Have you ever eaten something so simply delicious that you had to stop chewing and convince yourself that you weren’t dreaming? You know, when your eyes become as big as the plate you are eating off of just so you can stare at the person across the table with that look of ‘Oh. My. God. What is this amazingness that I’ve gotten myself into?’ Well, at least, that’s what I experienced the first time I took a bite of a Duval’s Scallop Po’Boy. It is so outrageously scrumptious that I’m seriously considering getting an image of it tattooed on my neck. It is one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. And I’m a pretty big sandwich connoisseur. I want to make out with that Po’Boy. I want to take it home to mama and profess my undying love for it in front of my family. I want to put it in a tuxedo and make it marry me. Should I go on?
I should probably also add that I was born with the inability to like people who don't like scallops. It's a yet-to-be-named affliction, but it's 100% real.
I called my fellow Kitcheneer, Charlotte, on a Saturday morning many, many months ago. I was bored, hungry and anxious to blow through a bit of the paycheck I had just cashed. I asked her where I should go to get the best lunch in town. She said Duval’s without any hesitation. She is a freaking genius.
Wes and Cece's last restaurant venture was Deja Vu - a beloved restaurant that closed before I moved to Sarasota...I think. I’m pretty sure. Whatever, who cares, the important thing is they had the brilliant idea of opening a new restaurant: DUVAL’S!! Wes usually likes to keep hidden in the kitchen, cranking out winning dish after winning dish. Meanwhile, the tornado of energy that is Cece flitters around the restaurant checking on each table while shouting out stories about her granddaughter’s gymnastic abilities. I love it. She’s fantastic.
Duval’s is everything a neighborhood restaurant should be. It’s a cozy spot where you can order fail-safe dishes and talk about your family with the owners, who will, rest-assured, remember you on your next visit.
Now, if you have walked down Main Street lately, you’ve noticed that Duval’s is coming to the spot formerly known as The Nook. This pleases me to no end as I work fairly close to Main Street and am looking forward to the 39lbs that I’m going to gain in one month of eating fried scallops and the best bread in all of Florida. This second location will be called Duval's New World Cafe. The soft opening will be mid to late October with the grand opening happening in mid-November. The other location, on 41, will remain open and there will be no down or closed days during the opening of the Main Street spot.
Duval’s makes every single thing from scratch and most things to order. They don’t even slice a tomato until you order something that requires it. The only things pre-made are sauces. Their salads alone are so outstanding that they bring you to a state of euphoria. One bite of a Cece’s salad and you are ready to sign over your first born for the dressing recipe. They are that amazing.
Their shrimp and crab cakes are like eating marshmallows, they are so soft and light and fluffy. Their dinner selections are fantastic - selections of freshly caught fish, a variety of sauces ranging from lemon and wine to mushrooms and reductions. I’m considering purchasing two gigantic barrels of soup to go just so I can bring it home and pour it in my bathtub and swim in it. I tried to convince my man that if a hurricane comes to Sarasota, we do not need a tub full of water, we need a tub full of Duval’s Mushroom Soup, which is so beyond stupidly delicious that I’m positive we could create world peace with it.
Duval’s is a little behind the techie times as it has no website - I know, I know, it’s killing me too! But website be damned, Duval’s has the best dishes, the best owners and the best atmosphere in town.
Alright, Cece won't give up the Scallop Po'Boy recipe, but Charlotte thinks she has figured it out. Here's how to make one at home, although, I highly suggest you don't. Let Wes make you one instead. In no time at all, you'll be flaunting your Po' Boy neck tattoo while luxuriating in a bathtub filled with Mushroom Soup.
Baguettes - Charlotte suggests getting the frozen ones that are par-baked and
then baking them in the oven - she says these are better than the fresh
baguettes bc they get warm and fresh and chewy as opposed to crunchy.
Chipotle Mayo - what really makes the sandwich outstandingly special:
¾ cup mayo
juice of ½ lemon
1 large chipotle chile that’s been packed in adobo (in Mexican section)
-- blend in food processer to make mayo.
6 sea scallops per person:
season with salt and pepper and coat with panko bread crumbs
flash fry in 375 degree veg oil
Shredded napa cabbage.
Slice baguette in half lengthwise - after it’s baked, of course
Generously spread chipotle mayo on each side.
Top with tomato slices
Top with scallops
Drizzle more mayo - because you can really never have enough chipotle mayo on things.
Top with cabbage
Top with other slice of baguette
Smooooosh it together and enjoy. Note - this sandwich is not being properly consumed unless you have juices running down your arms and get mayo in your hair. Just sayin.