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Aug 24, 2007 04:00 PM

Help...Anything edible in Lake City?

I'll be in Lake City next week and as I recall they don't have much in the way of food or hotels. I read two posts on BBQ near Lake City, but that is all I found. I recall there is a Mexican restaurant that was ok on the main drag. We eat everything (Sushi, Indian, Steak, Seafood...),I just prefer to stay away from the Shoney's of the world. Also, anywhere that makes great cocktails?

We'd rather not go as far as Gainesville, but we may have to...any suggestions?

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  1. We have friends in Lake City that we visit several times a year and in a word...Gainsville.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RickL

      That's what I thought. I'll search the Gainesville boards, but may pick your brain...

      1. re: amsquires

        Karen reminded me that we went for a southern lunch buffet in White Springs (north of Lake City on 25A.) I think it was the Tedford Hotel and Restaurant and it was pretty good. Here's the address: 16521 River St. White Springs, FL 32096

    2. I believe the Mexican restaurant you're thinking is El Potro at 4290 W US 90, they're pretty basic but avoid the Margaritas, they're made with Lake City water and you can taste it. There's a second Mexican restaurant about a block further down called Costa Del Sol that has more traditional Mexican choices.

      There's a great place called Phish Heads at 1445 SW Main. It's locally owned and operated, they serve a lot of pub type food and usually have a daily hot plate special, nothing fancy but the food is good and the service is friendly.

      There is one "upscale" restaurant located in the Blanche hotel downtown, but I use the term loosely. Tucker's Italian keeps most of their food on a steam table and I ordered salmon grilled to medium and the owner/chef cooked it to well and sent it out with the message that he refused to undercook fish. Gainesville is definitely a better choice for upscale. On the other hand, Tucker's does have a phenomenal bartender who squeezed fresh limes for my gimlets and was able to be very attentive at the intimate five-seat bar, so if you just want some cocktails, check them out.

      If you want lunch on a weekday there's a little shack on 441 north called JJs that serves great chiliburgers and fries out of the walk-up window, so plan to take it with you. North of Lake City in White Springs is the Telford Hotel at 3 Rivers Street. It's a historical hotel from the days when White Springs was a popular health resort. They serve a pretty traditional Southern lunch buffet and I believe they offer a regular dinner menu. South of Lake City in Alachua is Conestoga, a steakhouse which I haven't tried, but have heard good things about.

      Hope you find what you're looking for!

      1 Reply
      1. re: nanadirat

        I believe I'd respond to the chef that I also have principles: I refuse to eat overcooked fish, so he can feed this crap to the cat.


      2. Update on Lake City - There is a brand new Starbucks. I noticed a couple smaller coffee shops, but didn’t have the opportunity to try them.

        Costa del Sol built a new, larger restaurant west of their old location. Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to try…I do recall they had some great salsa.

        We had a late night snack at Beef O Brady’s. The wings looked and smelled great when we walked in, but they were very disappointing. They only serve beer and cheap wine. The service was not exceptionally friendly, especially to those that asked questions. My medium extra crispy wings were mixed up with our niece’s mild wings. They redipped mine in the medium sauce and said that that is how they serve their extra crispy wings – they had a similar texture to that of raw chicken! They were also luke warm, but the sauce was quite tasty.

        I had dinner at Tucker’s Italian at the Blanche Hotel. I started off with a Lemon Drop Martini (tasted like lemonade!) and opted to skip the appetizers. Ever been to a restaurant where the menu sounds great, but then you look around and think it’s probably not going to be as good as it sounds on paper? The previous comments about food being prepared early and left in chaffing dishes…sounds about right. I ordered the Sausage Pomodoro and it tasted like it had been sitting around for some time (even with the artichoke hearts in the sauce). Probably ok under normal conditions, such as sausage and peppers, but this had so much sausage and the portion could have fed a family of four. It was ok, but I would not order it again.

        The homestyle southern meal that my husband’s family prepared was much better – deviled eggs, real macaroni & cheese, cupcakes…

        1 Reply
        1. re: amsquires

          Best food in surrounding area: Mike's Cafe off of US Hwy 90 has amazing food; try the salmon florentine! Only downside, no beer or wine, and they are usually only open on the weekends.For lunch, Chasteens in downtown Lake City offers fresh, homemade southern dishes. Those are about the only places worth going to around here! In High Springs, about a 20-minute drive, the Great Outdoors Cafe serves wonderful food, an OK wine list, and live music on the patio on weekends.