Here is the scoop on the Black Hammock, Used to be a real fish,,ok ,, Gator camp,,yeah gator camp. It sits on the banks fo lake Jesup,which has 40,000 gators according to the departmewnt of conservation. Durring gator season you can watch gator trappers bring in their catch. This place was a dump until about 5 years ago when frenchman Joel Martin bought the camp and turned it into a tourist attraction complete with airboat rides and gator cages. The resturaunt is actually leased out to another family that has ran in off and on for the past few years. The fair is mostly fried southern. I don't really like the catfish because the fish are large and fatty. I have been there when they are smaller like fingerlings, but that only happend once. Good fried coating of cornmeal and flour though! If you like fried fish this is a good place to try. Go at sunset. They have a bar that sits out over the water where baby gator gather below. The view is breath taking. Better yet, Order your food to go from the resturaunt and take it down to the bar by the water. They have tables outside that are perfect for eating, drinking and watching the sunset! They also have bands on the weekends for dancing. It's a fun place!
Black Hammock is a totally relaxing place to go. Definitely not your typical dive. But it has a great restaurant and patio, with live music on the weekends. We usually go at least once a month. Try the gator sampler. It's great. Then after you eat at the restaurant, check out one of the two bars they have down at the marina.
I'd agree with both descriptions, in general, and have reccommended both places in the past as well and eating (and drinking) there myself.
Lee & Rick's Half Shell Oyster Bar
5621 Old Winter Garden Road
Orlando, FL 32811
(no web site)
Directions: From Colonial Drive (S.R. 50) or S.R. 408 (toll) west, exit Kirkman Road to Old Winter Garden Road. Turn left. Go two blocks, restaurant is on the right
Black Hammock Restaurant & Fish Camp
2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Road
Oviedo, FL 32765
Directions: From S.R. 417 north, take the Winter Springs exit, S.R. 419/434 (exit 44) east to Central Street, (also known as Alafaya Trail) turn left (north) to Howard Avenue. Turn left, then right on Black Hammock Road. Follow the winding road and signs to Black Hammock.
Lee & Rick's is still open and it is an off the beaten path kind of place. During oyster season, I've never found a place in Central Florida that can come close for freshness.
OK, that said, the place is a dump. Most people would walk in, look around and walk out. I say great, that's more for me. Not the nicest place, but the oysters are wonderful. If you want to eat more than a dozen, sit at the concrete bar and order a bucket. It's ridiculously cheap that way.
I've been told by one of the shuckers that they have been getting their oysters from the same source for decades and that they bring them in fresh daily. I can't attest to that, but they sure seem fresher, plumper and brinier than any other place around.
it's been a long time since i've been to black hammock, but i recall it being kind of a fun little off the track place. i was actually wondering about lee and ricks myself after reading up on places in central FL to get decent oysters. it pops up in various glowing reviews, but i can't find a website or menu or anything -- don't even know if it's still open. so i'm waiting to read responses also ;)