On a recent Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of meeting up with a friend for brunch in the coolest courtyard in town. Situated within the historic Florida House Inn, Leddy’s Porch is a beautiful setting for a brunch. On this cool autumn Sunday, I met my friend Jessica for brunch on the back porch, which overlooks the beautiful courtyard and its mermaid fountain.
Leddy’s Porch is so named after a Major Leddy, who purchased the inn after the Civil War, during which it had been used to shelter Union troops. The Florida House Inn has a storied past, and an equally impressive present.
When we arrived, the place was packed, so we left our name with the hostess and wandered the sidewalks admiring the sights and sounds of downtown. Before long our table was ready, and we found ourselves at a high-top table on the porch. Our server darted about making sure all his tables were well tended to, and despite the brisk pace, he was personable and attentive.
We got started with an order of house-made Pimento Cheese and Lavosh. Pimento cheese, sometimes called the “Pate of the South,” is a popular southern staple. At Leddy’s Porch, it was luscious and worth the trip by itself, with the crispy lavosh a perfect accompaniment. We browsed the menu while we munched on the delicious spread, eventually settling on sandwiches: for me, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and for Jessica, the Fried Green Tomato BLT.
The pace on the porch does not seem to slow. Early or late, this joint is jumping, which speaks to its lasting legacy. Customers came and went, locals and visitors alike, and the courtyard was alive with laughter and conversation. Our meals arrived hot and fresh from the kitchen, and we dove in. I was delighted with my choice, but I admit I was a little envious of the Fried Green Tomato BLT.
The green tomatoes where fried golden brown, and delicious all by themselves, but on the toasted farmhouse bread, with applewood smoked bacon and buttermilk dressing, the sandwich was a perfect ten. The Crispy Chicken Sandwich is served on a toasted brioche bun with crispy greens and the same yummy buttermilk dressing as the BLT. The chicken is surely the star in this sandwich. Marinated in buttermilk and dredged in seasoned flour, the chicken breast was exploding with flavor and remained tender and juicy, enveloped in its crisp golden crust. After our meal, we lingered for a while, finishing our sweet teas and soaking in the historic charm. Leddy’s Porch is a perfect setting for a sleepy southern Sunday.
Leddy’s Porch at Florida House Inn serves southern-style comfort food and is open for lunch Wednesday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The inn provides catering for up to 250 guests and more, including weddings, family reunions, and other special events. The courtyard and porch are adaptable to several seating layouts and themes. The Florida House Inn is located at 22 South 3rd Street in the heart of Fernandina Beach’s Historic District. For more information, call (904) 491-3322 or visit www.floridahouseinn.com.