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Feb 24, 2002 04:02 PM

Any good restaurants at The Villages, FL

  • g

I wish to take some friends for lunch. I know there are at least four restaurants at The Villages in Lady Lake, Florida. Any recommendations?

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  1. If you head south on 27 just past Fruitland Park, there
    is a German restaurant (the name escapes me) that has
    been there for years. It's actually very good and it
    has some nice seafood choices and a full bar as well.
    There just isn't a whole lot to choose from up that way, but I have had a few decent meals at this place.

    7 Replies
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      My Parents live in The Villages. Are you a resident there, renting there or live nearby? There are several good restaurants in The Villages.

      What sort of food are you looking for? I can ask my folks for recommendations as well. I have several other places to suggest. Are you there for good, or just a short time? Feel free to e-mail if you have specific questions.

      To follow up on flavrmeistr's recommendation...

      Going south on 27, I think you might be talking about the Dinner Bell. If you are going south, it is on your right. If you go past Captain Bell's Seafood, you have gone too far.

      I LOVE both of these places. My favorite thing at the Dinner Bell....Jumbo Shrimp. These are more than jumbo - bordering on Prawns!! They sell them by the dozen and half-dozen. Do yourself a favor and only get 6 to start with. I know that in most places, a dozen shrimp aren't a big deal. Trust me, you will be stuffed with 6. (And I'm a definite chowhound, lol) And, if you aren't, you can always turn your half-dozen into a whole dozen. They have other great items - for landlubbers and other seafood fans.

      Captain Bell's - just across the street and down from the Dinner Bell is Captain Bell's Seafood. They have lots of great seafood, and plenty of it. They have lots of variety platters, local fish and non-seafood items as well. Very good place!

      1. re: smatterchu

        Thank you for your reply. I don't live at The Villages. I am between Clermont and Leesburg.
        I will try the Dinner Bell, it sounds yummy. As far as the Captain Bell, we ate there and we found the food well below expectations. We recently ate at one of The Villages' restaurants and it was decent (Augustino's).

        1. re: George R


          I'm in East Orlando right now, but we're thinking of moving to Clermont. I know the area you are talking about.

          Have you ever heard of BC's Grocery on Highway 19? She has some really great BBQ there leading up to the weekend. She went to school with my Mom in West Tennessee, and she does some great West Tennessee BBQ...I didn't say Memphis, which is a different style, btw. Let me know if you would like more info on BC's.

          Dinner Bell is definitely terrific! I see your point about Captain Bell's....Vic's Embers or the other Vic's is good...also good along there....Amigo's in Tavares (they are back open there, right)....

          Do you like the Clermont Pier House? We enjoy eating out in the screened patio. If you go there, you might ask for K.C. - in our opinion - he's the best waiter/server they have out there. He is there on the weekends. Fantastic service from him!

          Have you been to Dixie Crossroads near Mt. Dora? I love their Rock Shrimp (I think that's what they are called). There is a DC in Melbourne, FL, but the Mt. Dora is obviously much closer. But they are the same folks.

          If you head past the Villages toward Ocala, there is a semi-italian place called Bolla Pasta. Well, they have Italian there, but much more than that. I was so suprised when we ate was great!

          Augustine's is good in The Villages. I guess a lot of it is depending upon what you are looking for.

          I'll see if I can think of any other neat places near you. How long have you lived there?

          Nice talking with you....Smatta

          1. re: smatterchu

            My folks live up that way on 44 between Wildwood and
            Inverness in Lake Panasoffkee. My wife claims this
            is an Indian word that translates as "land of no
            decent food and constantly interrupted sleep". Thus, we
            are always on the look-out for something--anything--
            that isn't a chain or an old-people hangout. BC's
            Grocery sounds like my kinda place. Thanks for the word
            up. Could I trouble you for more specific directions?
            Just north of Clermont on 27 is Minneola, home of
            Jack's Barbeque. Pretty good sliced pork and ribs w/
            a mustard-based house sauce. On 44 on the west side of
            Leesburg is The House of Lamb, which features local
            roast lamb and mutton with Sunday dinner sides. Now is definitely the time to buy in Clermont. Good luck!

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              LOL, I know what you mean about finding the fine balance between the cookie-cutter restaurant and the 'Early-Bird Joints'....

              Thanks for the advice on seems like a great place...and I love the hills. I tell you another good place to eat in Clermont. At the base of the Citrus Tower is a newish mexican restaurant - El Santiago. They have fantastic cheese dip!! Their fajitas are also great - even the shrimp, which many places tend to mess up.

     for BC's, it's no trouble at all. Below is something I put together for someone else. I can just paste it for you. As I say - let me know if you have any questions or would like me to e-mail you a scanned copy of the menu.

              BC's is a mandatory stop on the way to my parents' house at The Villages. The first night at their house is always dinner from BC's. And let me tell you, it's a long drive with this great smelling stuff in the back seat! LOL


              I'm not sure what type of BBQ you like, but I can tell you where good, West Tennessee barbecue is in Central Florida!!!

              I grew up in West Tennessee, and a lady my Mom went to school with moved down here to Central FL 25 years ago and opened an old country grocery and BBQ shop. It's such an authentic hole in the wall. -And it's the real thing!!! No liquid sliced BBQ....just good, slow-cooked chopped pork shoulder, ribs and chicken...

              Okay, it's called BC's Grocery near Yalaha/Tavares/Howie in the Hills. It is fairly close to Leesburg, Florida.

              BC went to high school with my Mom in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and when Mom moved to Central Florida, she was told that BC was down here too. BC, her first name is Betty (but I'm not sure she'd answer to it these days), runs a tiny grocery near "Little Lake Harris" with the most wonderful barbecue in the state. She says she only stocks the grocery with items she herself would use -- she says, "that way, in case the business ever folded, she would still have a full pantry of things she liked."

              She closes the store 'to go fishin' some days, but she typically serves Barbecue on Wednesday through Saturday. If you are planning a roadtrip down there, I'd suggest that you call ahead and make sure: A. She's open and B. She has any BBQ left. Sometimes the local folks buy everything by mid-afternoon, and since it's slow cooked -- there's not much way to 'make-up' a quick batch.

              She's definitely worth it. Let me know if you have any questions.

              Here's a mention in the Lake County Travel Site. She has been interviewed several times by the Orlando Sentinel, but I can't find the articles in the archives...

              Over in Yalaha is BC's General Store, where one finds an eclectic assortment of sundries such as pickled eggs and pigs feet in jars, a claw-foot tub filled with clothes for the taking or for donating your own, and a number of local folk sitting in rockers cooling off from the heat and "shooting the breeze" with BC.

              End of quote...


              Phone: 352-324-3730

              Hours: Wed - Sat
              Around 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
              (Except When Fishing)

              BC's General Store - Hwy 48 - Yalaha, FL

              If you would like a copy of her menu, e-mail me and I'll send it to you. If you would, please put BC's BBQ or something like that in the subject. -In case your message winds up in the bulk folder - I'll be able to pull it out easily...

              If you are on I-75 or 301, you'll go east on 470...when you cross Highway 27 it becomes Highway 48. From that intersection, you'll go about two miles and BC's is on the right. If you get lost, you can probably ask anyone in the Yalaha or Tavares area where BC's is....they probably won't want to tell you (they like to keep her a secret if they can.), but she is right next to the Yalaha Post Office, if that helps. In fact, I think BC's is the old post office and they built the new one next door.

              When my husband and I moved here last summer, we decided to do the "Tour de Pork" around town to check out the local so-called, BBQ joints...buncha' wasted money. Either it was 'sliced BBQ', 'covered in way too much sauce' or Beef BBQ...Either way, it wasn't what we were looking for. For our money, we'd rather drive an hour or so to BC's. Lots of people go out to that area just to eat...she has picnic tables in the shade if you can't wait.

              While you are there, you could head back about a mile toward Hwy 27 (west) and stop at Yahala Bakery (on the left, headed west). It's a beautiful place with great stuff. Very unique breads and pastries.

              Let me know if you ever get over in that direction. I'd love to hear what you thought.

            2. re: smatterchu

              Wait...Wait....I didn't mean 'Bolla Pasta' - that's a place in Memphis. LOL

              What I meant to recommend was Pasta Faire in bellview, a few miles east of Ocala.

              Sorry for any confusion - Smatta

              Original item pasted below....

              1. re: smatterchu

                I thought the only other DC was in Titusville