Stayed last weekend at the Rod n Nod, a place that rents cabins and boats on the river. Cabin was great, boat was seriously underpowered. But on to the chow...
The owner of the cabins suggested we check out Marguertitas down the road, said to check out the 9/11 show. The bar/grill was festooned with every patriotic image you can imagine, and lots of 9/11 memorabilia. The owners are two Greek brothers with hearts of gold. In fact, the whole place had a very friendly feel, although our server was definitely a work in progress, had to flag her down just to put in an order after some time waiting for someone to take out drink/food order. The rest of the servers seemed much more competent. They sell margaritas by the bucket. Huge 70+ ounce drinks cost $7, 40 ouncers cost $5. No wonder all these middle aged people were sucking them down--- cheap dates.
The food was a pleasant surprise. Peel and eat shrimp actually had great flavor, and the grilled quail was perfectly cooked. The peppercorn burger was wonderful, but the onion rings seemed a little undercooked. The batter was crisp, but the inside a bit wet. Fries were spot on (tho i like them more crispy), and their signature chicken sandwich was very good, especially for a chicken sandwich.
The 9/11 show featured a film tribute to the catastrophe interspersed with commentary in broken english by the owner, Tommy, who is a consummate showman. American flags were given to everyone in the place. When Tommy declared the US the best country in the world, he told anyone who thought differently to take some advice, and played "Hit the Road, Jack" for the audience. The whole thing was somehow corny and endearing at the same time, and ended with all waving flags to the strains of "Proud to be an American." You may roll your eyes, but Tommy has gauged the show perfectly to the conservative sensibilities of Citrus county.
On our way out of town, I stopped by the Museum Cafe for one of their great Cuban sandwiches. They serve a wonderefully balanced version of this classic. The spanish bean soup, however, was terribly bland and almost gray in color. Stick to the sandwiches and the deviled crabs.