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lakeland florida where to eat?

  • d
  • dee dee Feb 13, 2004 08:13 AM

we will be in lakeland, florida two days and one night...where should we eat?...best places...local...seafood...bbq...lunch and dinner...thanks, dee dee

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  1. You are in luck if you are there Wed-Sat.

    Bonesmoker's serves world class competition barbecue there.

    BONESMOKERS BBQ


    DURING THE WINTER I CAN BE FOUND AT 98 NORTH AND DUFF ROAD IN LAKELAND, FLORIDA USING MY MOBILE BBQ KITCHEN AS A RESTAURANT. I SERVE PULLED PORK, CHICKEN, RIBS AND SIDES.

    863-221-1855

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tom-Fl

      Unfortunately, I believe today is his last day of being open for the season. He is having to hit the road a little early this year.

      John

      1. re: RibDog

        Yeah it sure was. I could probably make some money if I'd actually be open once in a while.

        I gotta go to Atlanta, Kansas City, Albuquerque, Sacremento, Anaheim, back to Albuquerque, Denver, KC again and Saint Louis between now and April 1st. I see many gas station dogs in my future.
        See you in September.

    2. t
      Tandoori Girl

      I've posted before looking for places to eat in Lakeland. There's one place that's a Lakeland institution -- the Reececliff. It's on Florida Avenue just before Edgewood, I think. It's a casual family place. Pies...

      I went to a catered dinner in downtown at an elegant old hotel that had been renovated -- beautiful building -- I believe it was on Lake Morton. The dining area was nice, white tablecloths, and a beautiful view of the lake across the road. If only I knew what the building was I'd certainly recommend it, though you won't find fabulous food. There's not much in Lakeland -- unless someone can tell me different.

      1. What about the Branch Ranch near I-4?

        2 Replies
        1. re: eimac
          t
          Tandoori Girl

          I haven't eaten at Branch Ranch in years. I think it's awful. They cater to busloads of tourists, and the food is marginal at best.

          I wouldn't waste my time.

          1. re: Tandoori Girl

            I have to agree with Tandoori on this one. The food has lost a great deal of its quality over the years. I originally ate there back in 75 when I was actually happy with the food. You can find better.

            John

        2. While Lakeland is not a stellar restaurant city, there are enough good restaurants to sustain a short visit, especially if you are willing to drive thirty minutes to Winter Haven, Plant City, Lake Wales or Lake Alfred. heres a list.

          Antiquarian Restaurant and Bay Street Gallery
          211 East Bay Street, Lakeland, FL 33801
          (863) 682-1059

          Terrace Hotel
          329 Main St E, Lakeland, FL 33801
          (863) 688-0800

          LA Palma Ristorante
          2333 Cleveland Heights Boulevard, Lakeland, FL 33803
          (863) 701-7000

          Red Rose Dining Room
          2011 N Wheeler St, Plant City, FL 33563
          (813) 759-1888

          Antonio's Authentic Mediterranean Cuisines
          5665 Cypress Gardens Boulevard, Winter Haven, FL 33884
          (863) 318-1456

          Chalet Suzanne Inn & Restaurant
          Lake Wales, FL 33853
          (863) 676-6011

          Lekarica Country Inn Restaurant & Golf
          1650 South Highland Park Drive, Lake Wales, FL 33898
          (863) 676-8281

          Lavender N Lace Tea Room & Restaurant
          430 North Lake Shore Way, Lake Alfred, FL 33850
          (863) 956-3998

          The best barbecue rolled out of town with Bonesmokers (had some last weekend) but Jimbo's in Lakeland and Peeble's in Auburndale are institutions. Auburndale also has great pizza at The Pizza Connection and good English food at Surrey Arms.

          I hope this helps. If you have any more specific requests let me know, I might know of a place. I have some favorite holes-in-the-wall but they are not places I normally recommend.

          Eric

          1 Reply
          1. re: EOutlaw

            hi eric... i will be visiting lakeland for a week next month... and being from the bay area i am going to find it a challenge.. i am game... please do post a few hole in the wall places.. i have dine from the ritz to some of those dives around the world and believe me some of the best food in my life was found at those dives - that you don't want to know if they were able to pass a health inspection smiles!! thanx ruth

          2. I grew up in Lakeland. It's a good place to raise a family, and to grow up, but it's not a culinary paradise.

            There used to be a diner up on Lakeland Hills Blvd., north of the hospital and Watson Clinic that was run by a Thai couple. You had to ask for the Thai menu, but it was good.

            I used to eat lunch from time to time at the Reececliff, and it was not memorable. As a woman dining alone, I seemed to get short shrift on the service every time I went there. I think it has had its ups and downs across the years, as far as the food quality goes.

            My favorite place that never seemed to lose its quality was good old Mr. Fish. A tiny take-out across from the main public library on Lake Morton. Get your fish sandwich or fish and chips, walk down to the lake and sit on a bench while you eat your lunch.

            I think that some of the places around the square surrounding Munn Park would be a good bet.

            A lot of the big chains have invaded Lakeland over the last ten years. I hate to say it, but they may be the best bet for Lakeland.

            B

            1. Since Lakeland is the "Publix Mothership", don't forget George W.'s "The Deli at Publix", ha ha ha... (George W. Jenkins NOT George W. Bush!)

              1. Here is a start

                The following get very high marks from the Lakeland newspaper:

                (these are fancier and pricier)
                -Antiquarian (in Lakeland)
                -Mario's Intalian Restaurant (in Lakeland)
                -Red Rose Dining Room (in Plant City)
                -Terrace Grill
                -Christy's Sundown Restaurant (in Winter Haven)
                -The Club at Eaglebrook (in South Lakeland)

                also getting good marks but not as fancy:
                -Bonefish Grill (solid and reasonable, small chain)
                -JJ's Cafe (good sandwiches)
                -Chalet Suzanne (in Lake Wales)
                -Farmer Jones Red Barn (steak)

                also solid:
                -Harry's (101 N Kentucky Ave)
                -Reececliff (burgers & pie!) on South Fla Ave
                -Terrace Hotel (nice)
                -Tapatio's (mexican) 734 E Memorial Blvd -- casual{www.tapatiosmexicano.com

                }

                and then there's BBQ
                -Peebles (503 Dixie Hwy in Auburndale) -- authentic, nothin' fancy at all but does BBQ right -- ribs, pulled pork, chicken, big ups
                -Garls -- 8121 US Hwy 98 in North Lakeland
                -Curly Tails -- 330 Old Winter Haven Rd, Bartow -- an oak tree in the center of the place lends an air of casual fun -- solid
                -Bunky's Smokehouse BBQ -- 201 E Hinson Ave in Haines City -- solid work here
                -Happy Jack's BBQ -- 3151 US 98 South
                -Jumbo's Pit BBQ -- 1215 Memorial Blvd
                -Manny's Original Chophouse -- 35496 US 27 North in Haines City
                -Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q -- 3611 US 98N in Lakeland and 595 N Broadway Ave in Bartow -- not great but ok for a chain

                1. Here is a start

                  The following get very high marks from the Lakeland newspaper:

                  (these are fancier and pricier)
                  -Antiquarian (in Lakeland)
                  -Mario's Intalian Restaurant (in Lakeland)
                  -Red Rose Dining Room (in Plant City)
                  -Terrace Grill
                  -Christy's Sundown Restaurant (in Winter Haven)
                  -The Club at Eaglebrook (in South Lakeland)

                  also getting good marks but not as fancy:
                  -Bonefish Grill (solid and reasonable, small chain)
                  -JJ's Cafe (good sandwiches)
                  -Chalet Suzanne (in Lake Wales)
                  -Farmer Jones Red Barn (steak)

                  also solid:
                  -Harry's (101 N Kentucky Ave)
                  -Reececliff (burgers & pie!) on South Fla Ave
                  -Terrace Hotel (nice)
                  -Tapatio's (mexican) 734 E Memorial Blvd -- casual{www.tapatiosmexicano.com

                  }

                  and then there's BBQ
                  -Peebles (503 Dixie Hwy in Auburndale) -- authentic, nothin' fancy at all but does BBQ right -- ribs, pulled pork, chicken, big ups
                  -Garls -- 8121 US Hwy 98 in North Lakeland
                  -Curly Tails -- 330 Old Winter Haven Rd, Bartow -- an oak tree in the center of the place lends an air of casual fun -- solid
                  -Bunky's Smokehouse BBQ -- 201 E Hinson Ave in Haines City -- solid work here
                  -Happy Jack's BBQ -- 3151 US 98 South
                  -Jumbo's Pit BBQ -- 1215 Memorial Blvd
                  -Manny's Original Chophouse -- 35496 US 27 North in Haines City
                  -Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q -- 3611 US 98N in Lakeland and 595 N Broadway Ave in Bartow -- not great but ok for a chain

                  1. Obviously, no one has mentioned Texas Cattle Company for the best steaks in the world! They were once listed in travel magazines on airlines as being one of the top steak restaurants in the U.S. Try one of their filets with a baked potato. You can get gator for an appetizer or their great potato skins. You will never find a better steak!

                    1. I moved to Lakeland about 5 yrs ago. I have lived in major cities like NYC and Miami Beach. I miss good food and service. I do agree that Texas Cattle has good steak. Mario's is pretty good. Haven't tried Terrace Hotel in a while (bad service last time we went for breakfast), same at Eaglebrooke. There's a diner type place in S Lakeland called Dona Julia's that has decent Mexican and American food and it is always packed for lunch. If you like Indian food you have to do the buffet at Cafe Roti near the hospital. Bad neighborhood but good food. Ask for certain chutneys and hot pickles or other stuff if you have eaten Indian or Pakistani food before and you don't see it in the buffet. They keep some stuff in the back and will bring it out on request. Didn't like Farmer Jones...green beans tasted straight from the can and steak was fatty. New Tapatios in S Lakeland is good, but they charged me when I asked for extra cilantro (what is salsa without tons of cilantro!) The commercials for Red Rose in Plant city are so tacky I can't bring myself to go there. The hotel chain they are located in is usually not a nice hotel. Stadium pizza 540A location has good pizza and Westshore isn't bad either. THere are some bad chinese places, but the buffet in the southgate publix plaza on S Florida is good and the chinese place on the corner there is good too. China one is actually pretty good take out on Edgewood and Lakeland Highlands. El Coqui is good Puerto Rican food. The jibarito sandwich with pork is great. Lunch buffet too. Other Latin restaurants in town are usually busy, but not as good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jmarroq

                        You should check out the website for Red Rose. The hotel is a Ramada but I guess is privately owned. They have fantastic southern theme rooms lol. We went there for brunch once since we got a buy one get one free coupon with our Brighthouse bill. It was definitely a decent brunch and my husband was thrilled by the clientele because he got to eat most of the smoked salmon that was on the platter with the fixings for your bagel ; )
                        We had a fun time and it was very entertaining in a kitcshy sense. Good food,good service, very clean. They even had live music! All in all worth the 30 minute Sunday ride from our house in Tampa.