Betty’s A1A Cafe (Ormond Beach, FL)

(Update: Betty’s closed at the beginning of 2021)

Back in my recent review of The Gnarly Barley, I met up with my friend Leslie from My Adventure Bucket, who used to live in Ormond Beach, Florida. Ormond Beach, being essentially a one block wide town on a barrier island, doesn’t have a lot of restaurants, but Leslie spoke quite highly both of Betty’s A1A Cafe, and its friendly owner, Betty. So, my coworker and I decided to do the short drive up there from Daytona Beach to get some dinner.

Interestingly, in my last review, I mentioned that one of the things I like about traveling is getting different cuisine than at home, so, ironically, I arrive at Betty’s (too late at night to enjoy what is probably a fine view of Ormond Beach’s nice white sand) to find two things: (1) that, sadly, Betty passed on in 2015, although the restaurant is alive as well, and (2) that Betty’s actually features “New England Cuisine”. While “New England Cuisine” is definitely a thing (baked beans, brown bread, clam strips, Lobstah rolls, etc. Mmmm.), it’s not one that usually gets a lot of love outside of New England, so I’m actually happy to see that someone so far south is offering it up. Indeed, the night’s specials were meatloaf and New England clams with bellies.

But I had heard the burgers were awesome, so after perusing the menu, I ended up settling on their specialty, the “Big G.K.”, which comes loaded with cheese (I chose provolone), mushrooms, bacon, onions, and garlic mayo. A few minutes later, my burger (which is hard to see under the cheese!) arrived, cooked to a perfect medium rare with a nice crisp to the patty. The mushrooms were a nice saute that came from fresh mushrooms, a nice thick layer of bacon, and some very nicely sauteed onions. The accompanying garlic mayo was particularly strong and pungent, and it worked well with this particular burger. Add in a potato salad that was a great example of a house-made potato salad that was actually mostly potatoes (one peeve of mine is “potato salad” that’s actually more of a “mayo salad with bits of potato), and quite tasty to boot.

My coworker opted for the next burger up on the menu, the Italian with provolone and roasted peppers, and was not disappointed either. And he got the rings, which were rather good, and very substantial (bordering on the “onion donut” end of the spectrum).

Overall, Betty’s is a great place. I enjoyed both the food and the service, and hope that one of my future trips to the area will allow me to come back up sometime when there’s actually a view, and maybe explore the menu some more. So thanks, Leslie, for another great recommendation.

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