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Jan 1, 2012 06:05 PM

"The Yearling" - Cross Creek

Cross Creek is the hamlet where Marjorie Rawlings wrote "The Yearling," and it's the site of an restaurant named after the novel. Cross Creek is one of the last unspoiled patches of Old Florida, a gem. The restaurant serves Old Florida rural food: alligator, venison, quail, frog legs.

This was the worst meal I've had in a restaurant in six decades of eating out. Nearly everything was deep fried in oil that must have died days ago. The thick breading on every morsel absorbed mostly the crankcase oil used in deep-frying so alligator tasted like frogs and like green tomatoes - all exactly alike, and equally inedible.

After a few bites, we asked for doggie bags, and indeed the dogs of our local host were the beneficiaries of this kitchen's talents.

The cost for two was $90.

The Yearling
County Road 325, Hawthorne, FL 32640

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  1. I wish that you had asked before you went. I would have told you to expect exactly what you got. It is never any good. Never has been. It is a tourist trap with terrible food.

    I enjoyed her books so much as a young person and was thrilled when we moved to the area 18 yrs ago. The restaurant aside, her homestead and the MKR Park are lovely and worth the visit. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy!

    I have eaten there, I had just moved to the area and had to try it. It was bad back then. This was also before everybody told me that it was a terrible place to eat. MKR books had alot of simple recipes in her writings..none of them are included in the grease fest that is Cross Creek's menu. I expected at least a few of those dishes. Or at least regional dishes done well.

    1. Perhaps they've gotten a new cook but I had an excellent Del Monaco steak there and the cheese grits are outstanding. Don't ever let anyone tell you this restaurant is in Hawthorne. It's in Cross Creek and the locals are very proud on the town and it's connection to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I also had an awful hamburger I'd avoid that. I'd go just to hear Willie Green play the guitar and sing. It's worth a visit.....

      1. It was that bad? Someone else in these forums recommended it as being a quintessential "old Florida" restaurant. I was actually thinking of making a road trip out of it... maybe not.