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Oct 18, 2007 08:06 PM

Best Florida Road Food

I realize this is a broad topic, so let me pose it to you this way:

If you were going to take a road trip anywhere in Florida--in the county where you live or way across the state--where would you stop to eat along the way? I'm not looking for destination restaurants, but roadside cafes, diners, BBQ shacks, b-fast joints, and the like that serve satisfying grub to road-weary travelers. DH and I plan to take a rather unstructured road trip in the coming weeks, so I'd love to have a list of recs (together with roads they're on and names of the nearest towns) in case our meanderings happen to take us in that direction. Who knows, we might just decide on a direction based on your input! Look forward to hearing your suggestions.

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  1. The Yearling is a real out of the way place,on CR 325 about 1 mile North of Marjorie Keenan Rawlings Park,closest town is Hawthorne, It is well worth the effort to take the drive for this real Florida Food and people.The house is where M.K.R. lived and wrote her best works.You can stroll around the property and actually see & feel, the things she wrote about.

    6 Replies
    1. re: DenimOrchid

      You got me hooked--this is definitely on our itinerary!

      Any other recommendations out there?

      1. re: laurie

        Make sure you try the sour orange pie.

        1. re: Sunshine17

          Do you have the recipe for the sour orange pie?

      2. re: DenimOrchid

        Walt's Fish Sarasota It's a great no frills local place. The seafood is very well prepared.and incredibly fresh. The prices are insane. A quart of delicious clam chowder costs about as much as a cup does here in NY, I usually prefer to say, "inexpensive" but this place is downright cheap (cost, not quality) And I mean that in a good way..
        Here is the menu...

        1. re: DenimOrchid

          The Yearling is in Cross Creek, right outside of Micanopy, not Hawthorne. Hawthorne is to the north of Gainesville, Cross Creek to the south.

          1. re: grapefruitgal

            Actually, Hawthorne is to the East of G-ville. It is 10 miles from Cross Creek to Micanopy and 15 miles to Hawthorne. Nothing in Hawthone except the annual Hog Festival. Micanopy is an old, historic Florida town that offers some good antique hunting. No matter - - - back to The Yearling. It is located adjacent to the old MKR home and is worth the visit. Not great, but worth the visit. A great old "Road House" with a low, wood (hearts of pine?) celing that serves some old Florida cracker specialties including gator tail, frog legs and venison. Its a heavy dose of fried food, but what the heck. Good chowder, too. I have never had the steaks but I hear they are prime meat.
            On my visit this past summer, there was live entertainment. An elderly, black, blues singer. Again, worth the trip.

        2. Just off US 27 in Lake Wales is the Cherry Pocket. Good food and cold beer (if that's your thing). Fantastic Desserts.

          1 Reply
          1. re: polkcountygator

            Also in Lake Wales is Norby's Steakhouse--more like Steakshack. Doesn't look like more than a biker bar just east of the wal-mart on hwy 60. Fairly reasonable prices for extremely tasty steaks. sweet tea served in plastic cups...a whole stick of butter on the baked potato... Try the horsey bites for an appetizer: garlic bread with a slice of steak and freshly ground horseradish to top it all off. If this doesn't clean out your sinuses, nothing will!!

          2. Go to the website:

              1. re: steakman55

                Frog's is good but not great. I passed by may times and wanted to stop. Finally did just after thanksgiving. The Sauce is the best part. The ribs weren't very tender,, in fact they were tough! Good bbq ribs will pull away from the bone easily with little effort. I had to chew on these! I heard of a better place up the road in cheifland but I cant remember the name. There is also a drive thru fried chicken barn in perry. It kinda looks like a drive through beverage place but there is a big sighn on top that says "fried chicken".
                I will try this place next!

              2. On SR 48 ( north of Clermont off Hwy 27) are two jewels, both in a little bend in the road called Yalaha. There is a Barbeque place that is only open Wed- Sat. Take-out.
                There is also a bakery that looks like it belongs in Bavaria. The best breads and pastries in Central Florida. They also do sandwiches. The country around Yalaha is still pretty - rolling hills ( unfortunately becoming covered with houses) and lots of lakes. A welcome respite from Disney inspired insanity.

                3 Replies
                1. re: eimac

                  I second the Yalaha offerings. If it fits in your plans, go to the bakery ( on a Saturday morning. It is packed with folks there for the bread and the Free Live Music! It's a must, as far as I'm concerned! The barbecue place is about 1/4 mile from the bakery and is in a little general store. All orders are to go. If they have it, order the Brunswick stew.

                  1. re: eimac

                    The BBQ place is BC's General Store and is the best BBQ I've had since I moved here from North Carolina. Go to the Yalaha Bakery for dessert; I'm not a huge fan of their sandwiches. Their breads are awesome (so much so that my husband and I make 90 mile round trips for our breading needs).

                    Also, check out the Lakeridge Winery if you find yourself out that way. They make really good southern style wines.