Recently I stopped in to say hello to Mark and Donna Paz-Kauffman at Story & Song Neighborhood Bookstore Bistro. Mark and Donna have made a life out of opening bookstores for others and wanted to have one of their own. They decided to plant a seed in their own backyard, and Story & Song has bloomed into an exciting and interactive bookstore with a top-notch eatery.
At Story & Song, you’ll find an invigorating amalgam of bookstore, courtyard, gift shop, art gallery, performance space, and cafe. In the Story & Song bistro, they are preparing delicious food made in-house, by hand and with love for island residents and visitors alike. Fresh baked pastries, coffee and tea, beer and wine, and a fantastic menu that is ever evolving are reason enough to stop in, but the playful nature of the store, its inviting atmosphere, and its digital connectivity keep customers stomachs and imaginations satiated.
As the school calendar inched ever closer to Christmas, time was slipping away faster each day. Before lunch one day at Fernandina Beach High School where I teach Culinary Arts, I called in and placed a lunch order for pick up. The menu at Story & Song is concise, with a focus on quality and good health, and loaded with literary references.
The selections are perfect for folks looking for a delicious meal without indulging too heavily in the middle of the day. I had to squeeze a lot of running around into my lunch break, so I opted for a snack I could eat on the go and an entree I could enjoy when I got back to school.
At Story & Song, many of the dishes are given names from favorite books. Eat, Pray, Love Hummus and Flatbread is the perfect opener. Pieces of flatbread pita that are seasoned and toasted perfectly are served with a creamy homemade hummus spread. The to-go cup of hummus fit perfectly into a cup holder, allowing me to enjoy the dish as I was moving around town. Finally, I made it back to school before the bell rang and I was able to sit down and enjoy my Story & Song Cobb Salad. The Cobb Salad is a classic that never disappoints. I opted for the creamy basil vinaigrette and would encourage anyone to do the same. After an ooey-gooey week of baking Christmas cookies with students, my soul was crying out for fresh vegetables, and the Cobb Salad was perfect.
Story & Song Neighborhood Bookstore and Bistro is an island treasure, located in Amelia Park Town Center at 1430 Park Avenue off of South 14th Street. There is plenty of parking for a crowd. You may dine-in, carry out, or have a luncheon catered on site. The store is open seven days a week, and the Bistro serves daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. Be sure to ask about their Soup Subscription, a weekly offering of delightful homemade soups to warm the soul through the chilly months, made available each Monday for pick up. It is a delicious way to support a local business and feed the family.