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Aug 10, 2007 07:38 AM

Need recs for Florida road trip - BBQ, French, Seafood

On Aug. 16, traveling down I-95 then over to Orlando on I-4, then south to Fort Myers on 27 out of Plant City or I-75 out of Tampa. Any OUTSTANDING chow recs -- esp. BBQ (Love Baby back ribs) or country-style French or Seafood? Also recs for moderate Fort Myers Beach seafood or baby back ribs?

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  1. On I75, at the Ellenton exit, get off and go west about a quarter of a mile. On your left hand side you will a restaurant called Hickory Hollow. The ribs are overdone in my opinion but the Carolina style que is not bad. They also have a very large selection of side dishes. Usually 20-25 different ones. But they are only open Thursday through Sunday. So beware,


    2 Replies
    1. re: RibDog

      Gosh, RibDog, you must be the only person eating in Florida! (no other posts)

      By overdone, do you mean the baby backs are falling off the bone? Do they offer "options" - like dry rub, sauced, etc. or is it just smoked with a dry rub?

      Thanks for the suggestion; that looks like a good lunch stop before hitting Ft. Myers.

      1. re: alkapal

        Yes, I do mean falling off the bone. Which if that is okay with you, then go for it. Plus I can't remember whether they are BBs or St. Louis style ribs.

        No, the ribs only come one way. Their way! I think it is smoked with a dry rub, sauced and then held.

        But the atmosphere and remainder of the menu is great. Nice little place.


    2. We just returned from a interstate road trip. I always love breakfast on the road and all three were super great. The Beachcomber in St Augustine. Clary's Café in Savannah and The Marina Variety Store & Seafood Restaurant in Charleston are gems

      These places were great for dinner, especially Jazz'd.

      St Augustine:
      Cap's On The Water


      Gullah Cuisine

      39 Rue de Jean

      1 Reply
      1. re: 2top

        2top, wow, those are all really tempting! Cioppino at Cap's, Tapas at Jazz'd, Boulliabaise at 39 Rue de Jean, and fried okra at Gullah Cuisine. I'm ready to eat! Fortunately, I have family in Charleston area, so those local recs passed on to them, also. BTW, the Jazz'd website has to be one of the VERY BEST websites I've ever seen -- for anything. How dynamic. Thanks for your suggestions!

      2. As you are traveling through Orlando, plan a BBQ stop at Lee Rd, which is prior to downtown. Bubbalous is one of the local favorites and close to the highway. Not fancy, picnic tables outside kind of place.

        Also have heard good things about O'boys (Winter Park and S. Orange Ave would not be bad off of I-4)

        I'm sure Bob M Will be able to give the "official" word, I don't eat meat so I'm passing along what I've heard from friends and family. :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: winechic

          Tried Bubbalou's. Shrimp fried in panko-like breading; ribs. Was pretty good, but not so much I would make any special trips if I lived in the area. "Interesting" clientele. Maybe I caught it on a good day! ;-}

          1. re: alkapal

            have eaten at bbbalou's twice in course of two years- only fair. not worth trip

        2. There is an amazing restaurant in Dade City a little north of Plant City on I-75. It is called Lunch on Limoges. Dade City is a super cute town with antique shops and such and Lunch on Limoges is the gem of the town. They have a pecan grouper there that is too die for. They only serve lunch and you generally have to have a reservation, but it is worth any extra drive. They serve great little muffins with flavored butter and the menu is on a chalkboard they bring to your table. Oh and for dessert the chocolate cake and Fairy cake is out of this world!

          11 Replies
          1. re: lorilaw

            Small world, lorilaw; I have been there. My sister and husband live in nearby Ocala (and Ft. Myers) so they introduced me to Lunch on Limoges. The pecan grouper was my choice, and it was goooood! I love their flavored butter. What is it, anyway, as we had a debate at the table?

            1. re: alkapal

              It is fruit flavored butter...I have been going there since I was in high school...the town is especially nice at Christmas time.

              1. re: lorilaw

                orange, perhaps? would make sense.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Update: just recently went to Lunch on Limoges with my elderly mom who does not have a big appetite. 1. you are REQUIRED to order one entree PER PERSON (i.e., my mom could not just get a bowl of soup); 2. the flavoring in the butter is pineapple. I had fried green tomatoes that were good. Accompanied the grouper. Should have had pecan-crusted grouper, but got "crunchy" (?) grouper. Mom got the eggplant/roasted veg. panini, which of course we took away, and used later in an omelet. She got soup, which she liked. She did not like fact we HAD to order an entree each. They are not THAT special to have such policy. They DON'T use Limoges! ;-}

                  1. re: alkapal

                    they may not be that special but they are that busy and are always booked so they can demand it

                    1. re: rhnault

                      Well, as a free market gal, I cannot begrudge them that.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        next time you're in Dade City try Kafe Kokopelli. It's a neat place and your Mom could definitely just order some soup! They have the best white bean chicken chili. I'll drive from Tampa for it ; )

                        1. re: rhnault

                          Have you cracked their recipe? (dumb question if you'll drive that far for chili!) We did cruise by there, and it looked interesting.

                          1. re: alkapal

                            I probably could but then I would miss out on having a scenic ride out there a couple Saturdays a year ; )
                            My husband and I like to take Sat rides on the back roads to interesting places.

                2. re: lorilaw

                  next time you are there try Kafe Kokopelli. My husband and I like it better than Limoge and it's unusual too. Though more in a rustic inn style.

                  1. re: rhnault

                    thanks Rebekah, and good to know a Tampa chowhound. Soon, I will be visiting a friend at John Knox Village, at 4100 Fletcher Avenue.

                    rhnault or other chowhounds, What would you recommend in the way of a good Seafood or Steak (or authentic Florida, southern) place nearby for lunch? Thanks!

            2. Orlando. Seafood. Go to Fulton's Crab House at Walt Disney Village

              By the way, I vote for Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ in Orlando as well. There are two locations: Lee Road ( just off I-4) and SR 436 in Altamonte Springs.

              Not only a fun place for a family, but the seafood bill of lading is posted at the front door: it's flown in daily - see for yourself when you go there.