Return Button Search Button Banner

This is a service of The Villages Gourmet Club containing unbiased ratings by club members without any advertisements since 2006. Our purpose is to promote and celebrate good food and exceptional service at reasonable and fair prices. To read 2006-2015 reviews, position your cursor over "Older Review". Reload/Refresh the page or relaunch your browser if the older review box misbehaves. Now you can search our entire database, just click the Search button at the bottom of this window. Videos giving more particulars about the establishment are linked with a Video symbol. Just click on the symbol. Establishments with free Wi-Fi are indicated with a Free Wi-Fi sign. Those offering discounts to AARP members are shown with an AARP Card symbol. And restaurants that offer a Gluten Free Menu are indicated with a Gluten Free Menu sign. Only Club Members may submit a review. Where restaurants have been reviewed at least twice, their average rating is now indicated by our STAR SYSTEM (for Quality, Service and Value), ranging from:

3 Stars to 15 Stars


"Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk of them and Champagne makes you do them. " - Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, French gastronome. Video Like Us on Facebook

Now 304 restaurants on this page!
iPad and tablet users: best performance using Google Chrome Browser - and not Safari.
Find it fast! » »
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   Y   Z
PAGE 1   PAGE 3   SEARCH

Top rated restaurants on this page are B.D. Bean's Coffee Co., Blue Highway - A Pizzeria (Ocala), and PizzAmoré, all at 14½ Stars. Congratulations!


Image
11 Stars 1884 Restaurant and Bar, 12 E. Magnolia St., Eustis, FL. 25.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-800-856-1884. (American) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Located where Michael's At A Third Place, before that A Third Place, before that The Moonlight Grill and before that where Ferran's Department Store (from 1884 to 1998) did business. The 1884 rich wood interior remains. Opened in early September, 2014. Open 7 days a week from 11 AM; until 2 AM on Friday and Saturday. For dinner they start with appetizers like a Roasted Beet Salad ($7), Ten Wings Fried or Grilled ($8), Caprese Salad ($9), Shrimp on a Skewer ($10) and Seared Ahi ($10). There's also Chili or Soup du Jour ($3.50-5.50). Full sized dinner salads include Caesar, Caprese, Roasted Butternut Squash, Tuna Steak and even "Build-Your-Own", all priced $10-12 each. Fish or Chicken can be added for $4-5 extra. For entrées they have a ½lb. Pork or Beef Burger ($10 each), Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Dish ($12.50), Grilled or Roasted Chicken Breast ($14.50-16.50), Grilled or Blackened Mahi Filet ($17.50), 2" Pork Chop ($19) and Grilled Salmon ($20). They are noted for their beef. So they also offer a 1" NY Strip Steak ($22), Thick Cut Rib-Eye ($27) and a 10 oz. Filet ($34). All the entrées come with a choice of two side dishes like Potatoes, Vegetable du Jour, Pasta Salad, Soup or a Side Salad. For dessert, expect to find Key Lime or Lemon Pie, Chocolate Cake or a dessert du Jour (all $4 each). Kids menu, like Mac & Cheese or Chicken Fingers run $5 each. Lunch items are similar but include just one side dish at a lower price. Late night during the entertainment they offer such items as Fried Pickles, Grilled Cheese, Pork Sliders, Edamame or Ten Wings ($5-8 each). Specialty cocktails like a Bourbon-based Southern Drawl run $8-10 each. House wine by the glass, just $4.50 each. Craft beers run $5-6 each. Occasional entertainment (starting at 8 PM or 1 PM on Sundays), like Bands on Friday, Singers on Saturday, Sax on Sunday and Comedy on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Full bar with a beautiful wooden bar with ample seating for cocktails. New Years Eve Celebration. Closed Thanksgivings and Xmas. Reservations welcome by phone or online via Open Table. Leigh Ann Pippin, owner.

Older Review: (from Walter P. 12/14) Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 12/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/15) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 2/15) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 12/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Dan G. 1/16) We were seated promptly at a table. There were many people at the bar and quite noisy they left after about 40 minutes for a party on the second floor. Our waiter who I believe was the owner's son, took our orders on his iPad. Several of the items he had to check with the kitchen regarding specifics. I ordered the NY Strip, Baked Sweet Potato and the Tomato Basil Soup as the 2 sides. My wife had the 6 oz Filet a Baked Potato and the same soup. Other diners ordered Salads with their main courses. I noticed that other diners that had come in after us, started to receive their appetizers before us. We questioned our server as to whether we could have our soup and salads before our main courses. He hemmed and stated oh, you wanted them before. For dessert I ordered the Key Lime Pie, I had a Coors and wife just had water. The food was prepared correctly and was very good.Without tip, the bill came to $51. All diners were happy with the quality of the food but service could have been much better. Next time would request delinquencies be addressed.
Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bonnie W. 2/16) 1884 has an attractive rich wood décor, being in an older building that has been renovated. It is a treat to see the interior of the restaurant. For lunch, I had the Blackened Chicken Sandwich with Fries, which was very tasty. My husband ordered the Lunch Special, a Hamburger Wrap, with Fries, which he rated as fair. His Fries were cold, but Brandon the server immediately brought out hot Fries. We did not order anything from the bar. We had the two Chocolate Chip Cookies for $1 for dessert, but they were disappointing. Our total cost before t&t was $24.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Leo M. 2/16) We had a pleasing experience in a historic building full of atmosphere with great food. Five out of the eight at our table ordered the 1884 Double Thick Pork Chop ($19), well worth the price. It comes with choice of 2 sides and BBQ Sauce which was not needed. Very succulent, likely due to marinating in a brine. My wife had the Blackened Chicken ($14.50) which was juicy and tasty. Others had the Sundried Tomato Cream Pasta and Sirloin Steak with fresh cut Fries. Everyone enjoyed their meals. A must have for dessert is the made-in-house Overstuffed Cream Puff ($2). Our server, Arielle, was pleasant. $41.56 before tip including one $3 house Chardonnay. Worth the drive but go early since the place was busy.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 5/16) This was our Gourmet Club's 2nd outing for this quarter. We had a very nice experience. Arielle, our server, took excellent care of us. I had the Grilled Salmon ($20). My husband had the Grilled Double Pork Chop ($19); it is the restaurant's signature dish. Both meals were delicious. Our beverages were a soft drink and a $3 glass of wine. We had one of their fantastic Creme Puffs ($2 each) for dessert AND ordered one to take home. Our check came to $52, including tax. Sure do wish we lived closer, so we could frequent this restaurant more often.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 10/16) Very nice luncheon with a group of 11. This was the first time I was here for lunch. Dawn, our server took great care of us. I had the Cheeseburger Wrap ($10) with a $1 upcharge for their Sweet Potato Fries. Everything was delicious. Iced Tea ($2.75) was my beverage of choice. The rest of my group had a variety of different meals from the menu. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their food. So now let's talk about 1884's fabulous Cream Puffs! I took 3 home to be enjoyed later in the evening and tomorrow. Hmm - the price has risen considerably. They used to be $2. They are now $3.50. Almost doubled in price. They are still huge and delicious, however, if they keep going up in price in these large increments, I might not be so inclined to get them. Bottom line, my meal, with drink and 3 Cream Puffs, came to $25. I really enjoyed my lunch experience here today. Actually, I prefer the lunch menu over the dinner menu.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - The Fountain Inn (1923) (1930s)
Built by Frank D. Waterman of the Waterman Fountain Pen Co. of New York City
Operated 1923-1936 until the Great Depression took its toll on business.
Turned over to a group of doctors that used it as a make-shift hospital for the growing population.
The hospital operated here until 2004, when it relocated to US 441 and the Inn was finally torn down.
E. Magnolia Ave. & N. Eustis St., Eustis, FL.

Image
Not Rated 1921 by Norman Van Aken, 142 E. 4th Ave., Mount Dora FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 385-1921. (Continental) (Southern) [D] Opened August 9th, 2016. Located on 4th Ave. just east of Donnelly, between Royellou and Baker Streets, where the Garden Gate Tea Room once did business. It's across from the Modernism Museum. Reservations by phone or online via Open Table are accepted. Restaurant failed to provide details of their hours and menu. Reports were that Burgers are $19 each and a Ribeye Steak ran $85. Camilo Velasco, chef de cuisine; Scott Geisler, general manager and noted restaurant entrepreneur Norman Van Aken, owner.

Review: (from Yori O. 3/17) Was looking forward to visiting but don't know what to make of this place. The atmosphere is wonderful. Nice place to bring your date or for an anniversary but I am talking about the ambience of the place. Because I asked about Van Aken, recipient of the James Beard Award, Scott, the manager, came to talk to me. Apparently his is the only name in Florida to appear on the James Beard directory, though there are a few more in Florida who got that award. I loved the selection of the Wines by the glass. I ordered a Merlot from St. Emilion area which I enjoyed. The server, and would-be sommelier, Adam C., was quite knowledgeable about wine as he was going to take a sommelier exam the next day. I quizzed him and he did well. To have Tokaji from Hungary or Carignan was quite an eye opener. Don't know whether Van Aken was there but the main dish, Red Snapper, was rightly cooked but was salty for my taste. The side of Mushroom was chewy. I enjoyed a Plantain Flatbread but so-called White Shrimp, Scott recommended, was like: so what's new? The Panna Cotta, I enjoyed. Total bill for just myself came to $60 without drinks. I'll return but can't rave about it today.
Q=3 S=5 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill & Oyster Bar, 3301 N. Hwy. 19A, Mount Dora FL. 24.2 mile drive from The Villages. 735-5505. (Middle Eastern) (Seafood) [L/D] Opened in November, 2015. Formerly C. J.'s Oyster Bar and Punta Cana Restaurant. Located near the intersection of Old Hwy. 441, Eudora Rd. and CR 19A. Open daily, except Mondays, from 11 AM. Popular with the locals. Specializes in fresh seafood notably Oysters plus Greek and Turkish specialties. You can find Clams, Mussels, Snow Crabs, Shrimp and other shellfish on the menu. Stuffed Grape Leaves, Gyros, Falafel, Sambousik, Kebbeh, Kafta, Kabobs, Taboule, Fattoush and Spinach Pie are also on the Middle Eastern list. So is Lebanese Chicken and Lentil Soups, as well as Oyster Stew and Clam Chowder. They also prepare Chicken Wings (10/$9), Grilled Chicken ($11), NY Strip Steak ($12), Ribeye ($15), plus Steak/Seafood Combos at $16 each. Sandwiches are also offered for lunch and dinner. Beer and wine licensed. $6, $9 and $15 money saving coupons available at restaurant.com. Rala Elagha, owner.



Image
11½ Stars Video Free WiFi (Miller's) Ale House & Raw Bar, 305 SE 17th St. (SR 464), Ocala, FL. 20.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-620-8989. (American) (Sports Bar) [L/D] Open daily. Located 3 blocks east of US 27/301/441 near the Longhorn Steakhouse at the Churchill Square Plaza. Better known as just The Ale House but the sign still says The Ocala Ale House. Specializes in cooked and raw seafood like English Style Fish & Chips ($8), Fried Clams ($8), Fried (35) Shrimp with Hush Puppies ($10), Grilled, Broiled or Blackened Corvina ($11) and Baked Bahamian Dolphin Fish (Mahi) ($12). House Specialties include Breaded Pork Medallions ($9), Osso Bucco ($11) and Bar-B-Que Baby Back Ribs ($9-15). You can also find Flat Iron Steak ($15), 12 oz. Ribeye ($15), 12 oz. New York Strip ($17), 8 oz. Filet Mignon ($18) and a 20 oz. Porterhouse ($19) on the menu. The usual Pastas ($10-12), Burgers ($5-8), Fajitas ($9-12) and Sandwiches ($6-9) are also available. Raw Bar items include Clams on the Half Shell ($6-9), Raw Oysters ($6-9) or either of them steamed by the dozen ($9). Famous for their spicy "Zingers" (Chicken Wings). Large variety of Salads ($4-9), Soups ($3-4) and Appetizers ($4-10). Very large selection of beer (both tap and bottles), as well as wines by the glass. Desserts and Smoothies also offered. $1 drink, $5 lunch and $9 dinner specials change monthly. Sports bar atmosphere with TVs. Full bar makes drink specialties. One of 67 locations in mostly Florida. Winner of Ocala Magazine's 2013 Best Happy Hour Award. Headquartered in Jupiter, Florida. Founded by Jack & Claire Miller in 1988. Jeff Fenning, manager, under Ted Lynch, general manager.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/07) Q=3 S=5 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 1/08) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 2/09) Q=4 S=2 V=5 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/09) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/10) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David S. 2/11) Q=4 S=2 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Brahma Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge (1955)
US 27/301/441 & SW 17th St., Ocala, FL.
"No finer food served ... anywhere! Beautifully different ... yet informal!"
Candler C. Reese, original owner opened in 1953.

Image
10 Stars Alfie's Restaurant, 11677 E CR 25, Ocklawaha, FL. 11.7 mile drive from The Villages. 288-9771. (American) (Seafood) [L/D] Also known as Alfie's Tavern. Located on Ocala Rd. (CR25) about 2 miles west of downtown Ocklawaha. Now open 11 AM to 8 PM daily, except closed Sundays and Holidays in season. Lunch is served 11 AM to 3 PM. In business since 1996. Old wood sided tavern serving meals. Prime Rib is their specialty, at $15 for the 12 oz. and $19 for the 16 oz. Pork Chops are also offered at $10. Seafood Platters, like Broiled or Fried Fish Dinner ($17), Broiled (10/20) Shrimp Dinner ($12/$$16), Stuffed Flounder ($13), Broiled Mahi Mahi ($15), Ahi Tuna ($15), Salmon ($16) and Chicken dishes ($10-12) are also offered. Many Pasta dishes are $9-10 or $12-15 with Chicken, Seafood or Shrimp. A Crab Leg dinner or Whole Lobster dinner are available at $23 each. Lunch items include such items as Patty Melt, Rueben, Philly Cheese Steak, Italian Sausage, Grilled Chicken and Clubs run $6-9 each. Breakfast items include Eggs, Omelets, Hash, Oatmeal, Pancakes, Waffles, Biscuits 'n Grits and others at $4-7, generally. Daily dinner specials might be a 32 oz. Monday Prime Rib for two with 4 sides at $30, Tuesday Twin Lobster Pot for two at $45, Wednesday Pizza and Beer Special at $20, Thursday AUCE Fish at $10, Friday Fish Platter at $13 and Saturday Surf 'N Turf at $17. Popular on the weekends. Closed part of July for vacation. Another Alfies is in Ormond Beach, FL and Jamestown, NY., all family owned. Full bar. Allen Evans, owner here.

Older Review: (from Tom B. 1/07) Q=4 S=2 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 4/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Gloria K. 5/09) Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 11/09) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/13) Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Dan G. 5/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 7/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Shirley F. 11/16) We had a 6:30 dinner reservation and were looking forward to Prime Rib. The bar had quite a few customers, but only 2 tables were filled. We didn't request a round table which would have facilitated conversation and were seated immediately at a long table. It is a tavern with wood paneled walls, wood tables and chairs, U-shaped bar at one side. I asked the server about their wines; she couldn't give me a description other than "most people like it". The Chardonnay was drinkable but non-descript, very light and on the sweet side. Hubby had Gin. I ordered the Prime Rib, medium rare, side of Mac 'n Cheese and house Veggies. The meat was cold, tasteless and served medium (no pink). Mac 'n Cheese looked great but tasteless too. Veggies were limp and overcooked. Hubby shared the Seafood Boil with me. It was OK, plenty of food, nothing special. Total for 2 drinks each and dinners was $104 before tip.
Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
No.



Closed Al's Sand Bar 181 S. Joanna Ave., Tavares, FL. Closed suddenly in September, 2016.



Image
11½ Stars Free WiFi Amrit Palace Indian Restaurant, 3415 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-873-8500. (Indian) [L/D] New larger location (formerly Shells) since November, 2010. In business more than 15 years. Traditional Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Saffron and curry spiced dishes are the mainstay. Eggplant Bhartha and Palak Panir offered. Tandoori Shrimp, Boti Kebob and Fish Tikka are new items on the expanded menu. Vegetarian and lamb dishes also available. Main course about $10 to $16 each. Beer & wine. Reservations accepted. Open Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Satnam Singh, owner.

Older Review: (from Bernie S. 10/07) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 7/15) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Harrington Hall Hotel Dining Rooms (1912)
"Steam Heat, Elevator and Two Dining Rooms" R.T. Adams, manager
South Main and Ft. King Sts., Ocala, FL.

Image
12 Stars Video Angelo's Italian Restaurant, 2270 Vindale Rd., Tavares, FL. 20.1 mile drive from The Villages. 343-2757. (Italian) [L/D] Open 11 AM - 10 PM (8 PM on Sunday). Closed Mondays. Opened in May, 2000. On US 441 past the Dead River crossing. Inviting decor. Traditional Italian food includes pastas ($9-13), chicken ($12-16), veal ($14-16) and seafood ($13-17) dishes. Traditional or White Pizzas ($8-17) are also available. Moderately priced lunches and children's portions offered. Inviting atmosphere and decor. Full bar plus a wine list. Reservations accepted. Cabaret Dinner Shows offered on the 3rd Sunday of the month seasonally. Banquet facilities available. In business since May, 2000. Money saving coupon available at their website. Restrictions apply. Naples born, Angelo & Julie Manco, owners.

Older Review: (from Howard H. 1/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 1/08) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Margaret S. 9/09) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Robert M. 11/09) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 5/10) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Nadine F. 5/10) Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Susan F. 7/11) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 5/16) Our table for 8 was ready on arrival. Attentive service, menu items are fully explained. All meals arrived together and in good time, considering the number of patrons. Noisy and crowded. My Flounder with requested garlic/butter Pasta on side was fresh and done correctly. My wife's Veal was fork tender, as was others in the party. One person thought the Chicken was overcooked. Other comments ranged from 7-9 on a 1 to 10 scale. Side Salads were good. Garlic Rolls a bit much and chewy. Ordered a bottle of Chianti. 2 glasses of wine came. No problem, brought a new bottle and comped the 2 glasses of wine. Our dinners with the Wine and Side Salads and 1 Coffee was $71 which qualified for $10 credit on return visit.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Frank K. 7/16) Our table for 6 was ready on time and the restaurant was virtually empty. Friendly but amateurish service, like the server tried to distribute take-out boxes, which were not requested, while some guests were still eating! With only a few patrons to attend do, most of the staff were having fun tossing pizza crusts in the air, some of which landed on the floor. The Seafood plates were tasty and ample. The tab for 2, no entrées, 2 glasses of House Wine and 1 shared dessert was $66. That's on the expensive side.
Q=4 S=3 V=1 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Arthur's Bistro, 3600 SW 36th Ave. (off SW College Rd. SR 200), Ocala, FL. 25.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-390-1515. (Continental) [B/L/D] Located in the Ocala Hilton Hotel at I-75 and SR 200. Formerly called Arthur's Restaurant. Frequented by hotel patrons, as well as locals. Lunch buffet offered weekdays. Sunday Brunch served 11 AM to 2 PM. Dinner served from 4:30 PM daily. Usual fare of American and Continental entrées. Examples are Tuna Niçoise ($19), Pork Loin Chop ($19), Pearl Chicken ($19), Chicken Fried Ribeye Steak ($20), Blu Bayou Shrimp ($21), Grilled New York Steak ($24), Char Grilled Grouper($24), Crisp Duck ($26), Grilled Lamb Chops ($26) and an 8 oz. Filet Mignon ($29). Sides of Asparagus, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Spinach, Linguini, Rainforest Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Risotto add $3-4 each to the bill. Soups, like Crab Bisque or French Onion Gratinée, and salads, like Classic Caesar, are $6-8 extra. Reservations accepted by phone or online via Open Table. Open Thanksgiving 11 AM to 3 PM, then again 5-7 PM and Christmas Day 11 AM to 3 PM then 5-9 PM with prix fixe dinner. Full bar and "Starting Gate Cocktail Lounge". David Lewis, manager. Hotel owned.



Image
12 Stars Artman Country Smokehouse, 6900 SE Hwy. 42, Summerfield, FL. 6.8 mile drive from The Villages. 307-6240. (Barbecue) [L/D] Located on SR 42 east of the railroad crossing before US 301. Opened on May 14, 2016. Family oriented Barbecue restaurant open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 7 PM and Sunday to only 6 PM. Closed all day Monday and Tuesday now, to feed the pigs. Order at the counter. Serves award-winning Beef Brisket barbecue items plus Pork Ribs, Chicken and Turkey also. Appetizers offered are Mama's Smoked Meatball-Cheese "Moinks" ($3/3 or $5/6) and Smoked Jalapeños ($2.50/2 or $3.50/4). Dinners come with 2 sides, like Smoked Half Chicken ($11), Pulled Pork ($11), Dry-Rub Rib Plate ($12), Sliced Angus Brisket ($13), and a "Pappa's Special Combo" ($18). Or add an additional side for $1.50 more, like Fries, Mac 'n Cheese, Sweet Baked Beans, Corn Casserole, Broccoli 'n Rice, Creamy Cole Slaw, Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad. Chopped or Caesar Salads are about $3 each. There's also a Feast for Two at $29. Sandwich List contains Pulled Chicken ($10), Pulled or Sliced Pork ($10 each) or Beef Brisket ($11). They come with a side and drink. Desserts include Banana Pudding ($4) and others. Kids menu available. Now beer and wine licensed. Outdoor seating available. Clark and Gayla Artman, owners.

Review: (from Paula M. 5/16) We had been watching the building go up with no idea of what it was to be. Finally there was a sign and we were very happy that it's a restaurant and even happier that it's Barbecue. We stopped for lunch, and were the first customers there that day. However, it was filling up by the time we left. There are just tables, no booths inside and everything looked clean and neat. We each got the Pulled Pork Platter for $11. Though you order at the counter, the food is brought to your table. There was a very generous amount of meat and we chose sides of Cole Slaw and Collard Greens. The meat was tender and we used the Hot BBQ Sauce (which wasn't really hot, but they also have Hot Sauce available). Two other sauces, Sweet and Tangy, were also on the table. The Cole Slaw was good and creamy and the Greens were cooked just right. We also each got a piece of really tasty and moist Corn Bread. This is a great addition to the area and with good food and prices, we'll definitely go back.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Eric O. 6/16) Everyone orders from the buffet where Gayla provided excellent service for us as we decided on our order. We had the outstanding Brisket Sandwich that was lean and juicy and nicely seasoned Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwich both with generous amounts of meat. The platters came with drinks and a side. I had tasty crunchy Coleslaw and my wife enjoyed the cheesy Rice Broccoli Casserole. Both items had been prepared nicely. The bill totaled $22 for the sandwiches, (Pork $10, Brisket $11) sides and drinks. The restaurant is not fancy but very neat and clean with adequate table and chairs. A group of about 25 ladies sat together where tables had been combined. The facility is larger than it appears from outside.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Colene M. 7/16) We first went to Artman's on a Monday and they were closed. They are only open Wednesday through Sundays. The building is new so it is very clean. You order from the counter and pay there as well then they deliver your meal to a table. Plastic utensils aren't my thing but this wasn't bad. We both ordered the Pulled Pork with 2 sides. I had the French Fries and Brocolli and Cheese Casserole and my husband had the Baked Beans and Cole Slaw. The French Fries came out a little later than the meal because they were FRESH, not made ahead which made them very good. Both came with Corn Bread. Both meals were $11. I asked for Hot Water (since they didn't have Tea) and my husband had Iced Tea. The bill did not come broken down, just a total of $26. That was with tax but before tip. They were friendly and we enjoyed our visit.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/16) Quick decision to come up here. I had the Angus Brisket dinner with Sweet Baked Beans and Mac 'n Cheese. It was very good especially the Baked Beans. Not too spicy, not too sweet. The Brisket was a large portion and I took two slices home. Corn Bread was good too. Their method of keeping everything in large sheets of aluminum foil needs streamlining; it takes a while to make an order. Very, very noisy inside with just a few customers. Don't know how the workers stand it. My total with soft drink before tax was a little over $15. Friendly people always checking on you.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 10/16) In my opinion, this is homemade BBQ, and everything was delicious. I had the Pulled Pork with Baked Beans and Cole Slaw ($11). My husband had the Beef Brisket with Baked Beans and Collard Greens ($13). My only negative comment is that the food could have been warmer. The 2 meals with 1 Iced Tea came to $27. We will return.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Shirley F. 12/16) We stopped here one Sunday afternoon. The person behind the counter gave us a sheet which described the dishes and explained the smoking process. Decided to split Papa's Special which was Brisket, 2 Spare Ribs, 2 Moinks (Sausage Meatballs wrapped in bacon) and Pulled Pork. The food was placed on a plastic tray, and we selected our 3 sides, sat down and ate...and ate...and ate until we were full and we still had a ton of food leftover which our server placed in a box and provided containers for the sides. The Smoked Meats were terrific - melt in your mouth tender and flavorful. We had 3 sauces to add - sweet, spicy and tangy. The sweet sauce was sweet and tangy - nicely balanced and it complemented the Smoked Meat. I thought the spicy was pretty hot, but my hubby liked it. Our sides were Mac and Cheese, creamy cheddar over elbow macaroni and was nicely flavored and smooth. The Broccoli Rice Casserole was flavorful but could have used a little more Broccoli. The Potato Salad was great with mayo and hard boiled eggs, a little celery and pickle juice. Interior is pretty non-descript. It was clean but no ambiance. Total cost with one Iced Tea and one Wine was under $30.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 2/17) This place closes at 7 but they were good enough to wait for us to slip in a few minutes before 7. Not a fancy place but quite family like atmosphere. Because of our late arrival, missed out on Potato Salad but still enjoyed Macaroni Salad and Baked Beans. I tried Brisket for the first time but my preference is for Baby Backs. My wife tried Chicken but she said it was dry. Perhaps all the good ones are sold out at this hour. Staff seems nice and friendly. Will try again for lunch next time. Bill came to $26 without drinks. Surprised they had Stella Artois beer. Red wine I never heard of came in a small interesting bottle. It said "Copa". Drinkable.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Asian Pop, 2611 SW 19th Avenue Rd., Ocala, FL. 22.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-2666. (Asian) [L/D] Located near the Regal Cinemas near SW 24th Ave. Opened in March, 2013. Hours are 11 AM to 10 PM, weekdays; to 11 PM on Friday; 1-11 PM on Saturday and 3-9 PM on Sunday. They offer a very wide variety of Asian dishes like Chicken, Snapper, Shrimp, Beef or Salmon Teriyaki ranging $12-14 each. Vegetable, Chicken, Shrimp or Seafood Tempura run $9-13 each. Popular Chicken or Pork Katsu is available at $11 each. Undo or Yaki Soba Noodle dishes are $8-9 each. Sushi dishes are offered as a dinner with 8 pieces and a Tuna Roll at $19. Sashimi dinner with 12 pieces for $20. The Deluxe versions are $3 to $8 more. A Love Boat Special is 22 pieces and 2 rolls at $50 for sharing. Many Hand Rolls start at $3.50 for Avocado Roll and range to $6.50 for Shrimp Tempura Roll. Chef Specials are numerous, like Coconut Curry Chicken ($14), Sweet and Sour Chicken ($14), Red Snapper in Curry Sauce ($14), Mongolian Beef ($15), Cheese Lobster ($16) and Chili Sea Bass in Lemon Sauce ($19). Most entrées come with Soup or Salad and Rice. Lunch specials are 2 Rolls ($8), 3 Rolls ($11) or a Sushi Bar lunch ($10-13). Also Bento Lunch Boxes run $8-11 each. For desserts they offer Mochi Ice Cream, Tempura Ice Cream, Cheese Cake, Creme Pie, Turtle Pie, Soy & Q and Fried Bananas ranging $3-6. Beer and wine licensed. Open Christmas Day to 10 PM. Bingrong Xu and Xiufeng Lai, owner.



Postcard
Long Gone - Dutch Pantry Restaurant (1964),
"Where good food makes friends."
At the Sheraton Motor Inn - I-75 and SR 40, Ocala, FL.

Image
8 Stars Athena NY Diner, 360 S. Hwy 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 3.1 mile drive from The Villages. . (Greek) (Italian) [B/L/D] Opened July 8th, 2016. Located where the Silver Cricket Restaurant and Texas Stockyards BBQ once did business, at the intersection of Griffinview Dr. and US 27/441. Hours are 7 AM to 8 PM daily, except Monday when they are closed, but to 9 PM on weekends. Breakfast served until Noon, but 'til 2 PM on weekends. Try 2 Eggs any style ($4), Biscuits and Gravy ($5), Corned Beef Hash and 2 Eggs ($8), Eggs Benedict ($8), Eggs Florentine ($8), Italian Frittata ($8), Philly Benedict ($9) or Steak and Eggs ($10). Omelettes are popular and run $5-9 each like a 3 Egg or Gyro & Feta. An Italian Sausage Breakfast Sandwich ($6.50) is also offered. On the American wake-up side you can find Short or Full Stack of Buttermilk Pancakes ($3.50/$4.50), Chocolate Chip ($4/$5), Walnut ($4/$5), Banana Nut or Banana Foster ($5/$6) and even Baklava Pancakes ($5/$6) too. French Toast, Belgian Waffles and Combos run $4.50 to $8 each. Famous ATHENA Stuffed Pancakes are $4.50/$6.50. For dinner, start with Onion Rings ($5), Chips and Salsa ($5), Spanakopita ($7), Fried Calamari ($10) and even Flaming Saganaki ($10). Opa! Soups include Chicken and Rice, New England or Manhattan Clam Chowder or French Onion (all $4-5 each). An ATHENA Feta Platter runs $9. Parmigiana entrées include Eggplant, Chicken, Meatloaf and Haddock (all ranging $12-15 each). Then there's Chicken French or Chicken Marsala both at $13.50 each. Haddock is popular here with a Rochester Fish Fry ($13), Broiled Haddock ($14), French Haddock ($16), ATHENA Haddock ($16) and a Potato Crusted Haddock ($17). You'll also find Shrimp Scampi ($17). Retained from the Texas Stockyards is a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich ($8), a Beef Brisket Dinner ($12.50) and Half or Full Rack Baby Back Ribs ($9/$14). Greek items include a Gyro ($10), Souvlaki Pita ($10), Meatloaf Dinner ($12), Gyro Platter ($12.50), Souvlaki Platter ($13), Calves Liver ($13), Grecian Chicken ($13.50) and the most requested, Mousaka ($14). There's also a Greek Combo ($17) and a Lamb Shank Dinner ($18). Also popular are Corn Beef on Rye Sandwich ($9), BBQ Beef Sandwich ($9), Reuben ($10), Chicken Parm. Sandwich ($10), Fish Sandwich ($10), Open-Faced Hot Roast Beef Sandwich ($10), Hot Roast Turkey Sandwich ($10), Baked Meatloaf Sandwich ($10), Prime Rib Philly Cheese Steak ($10) and even a Prime Rib on Kimmelweck ($11). Burgers are the fall-back choice ranging $8-9 each. And a Rochester Zweigles Hot Dog is just $6. The menu wouldn't be complete without a Greek Salad ($9). American and Greek desserts and a Children's menu available too. Beer and wine licenced. Large outdoor seating available. Open Thanksgiving Day, 10 AM to 3 PM. Elena and Christopher Kitrinos (Sr.), owners.

Review: (from Jan T. 8/16) When we arrived at 6 PM on a Wednesday night, we realized that we should have made a reservation. Very busy with at least a 30 minute wait. So we split up to 2 parties of 3, since we really wanted to try the food here. Our waitress, Melissa, served us well, however, she needs to learn how to pronounce some of the Greek dishes a little better. After being told that they don't have the Baby Back Ribs anymore, I had the Eggplant Parmesan, and my husband had the Meatloaf ($12 each). We both had a soft drink ($2.35 each). Our bill came to $30 which included tax. The meals were good, but nothing special. We will return, perhaps to try breakfast.
Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Hank T. 8/16) Well, as we said in our last review, perhaps we would try Athena for breakfast. Here we are. We arrived at 9:30 AM Sunday and it was very busy. We were seated immediately. Our waitress, Amanda, greeted us pretty promptly. We ordered our Coffee and Cream right away. The Coffee came out quickly, however, we waited about 10 minutes for the Cream. We had the 2 Egg Breakfast with Link Sausage and Home Fries ($6.60). Note, without the Sausage, the meal would have been $3.95. Wow - they serve expensive little bitty links. We also had the Hungry Man Breakfast ($8). We waited over a half hour for our food to arrive. Our coffee cups were empty for a long time. They're not on top of the game here. Coffee should be replenished all of the time. The food, when it did arrive, was not even warm. The Pancakes were rubbery, and the Hash Browns, were not greasy, but had a horrible oil taste to them. The Home Fries tasted OK, but we're greasy. They also needed to be crisped up a bit. The Eggs and Sausage were cooked correctly, but not warm. The 2 Eggs were an extremely small portion. Including 2 Coffees ($2 each) our bill including tax came to $20. Overall, we think this was an expensive, not so good meal, with slow service. We will not return for breakfast. Perhaps, for dinner, but only if someone else really wants to go here. There are many other restaurants much better than this.
Q=2 S=2 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
13 Stars Aunt Fannie's Restaurant (Ocala), 1031 S. Pine Ave. (on US 27 at SR 200), Ocala, FL. 20.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-732-4497. (American) (Breakfast) [B/L/D] Some of the daily dinner specials are Pepper Steak ($8), Yankee Pot Roast ($8) and an 8 oz. Rib Eye ($9). The specials menu is sometimes larger than the regular offerings. Noted for their Chopped Steak and Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy, as well as Chicken Fried Steak and Liver & Onions, this long standing diner has served up home cookin' for many years. Popular with the locals for breakfast, which is served all day and night. Another location is in Belleview. Open 24 hours including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Dwight Stephens, owner.

Older Review: (from Howard H. 5/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 8/11) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David L. 9/13) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 5/16) Stopped for Sunday breakfast. Always busy here; 10 minute wait. Between us we had a Coffee, Iced Tea, Blueberry Short Stack, 2 orders Corned Beef Hash, 2 Eggs, Cheese Grits and a Biscuit. It all came to $23 before t&t. Melissa was our waitress. It all came out fast and hot. More than we could eat.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Burger Chef (1965),
15¢ Hamburgers and 20¢ Milk Shakes on S. Pine Ave., Ocala.
Now the home of Aunt Fannie's Restaurant (above) with the same sign and remodeled building.

Video Video

Image
13½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Ayuttaya Thai Cuisine Restaurant, 2437 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 25.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-3433. (Asian) (Vegetarian) [L/D] Open weekdays from 11:30 AM and from 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. In the plaza with Best Buy. Comfortable, quiet, inviting authentic décor from Thailand. A variety of Thai appetizers ranging from $4 to $8 starts the menu of traditional Thai cuisine. Pork or Chicken Satay, Nam Sot, Chicken Red Curry, Whole Red Snapper with Sweet Chili Sauce and others featured. Pad Thai, Pad See-Ew, Pad Woon Sen are some of the noodle dishes offered. Spicy Basil, Panang and Curry dishes, as well as less spicy, Sweet & Sour, Ginger and Fried Rice dishes are prepared. All range from $10 to $13 each, depending on meat or seafood ingredients. Specialties include Ayuttaya Duck ($16), Chicken Bang Bang ($11), Frog Legs ($11) and Ayuttaya Grouper or Jumbo Shrimp ($16). Many sauces are offered too. Reservations for large parties suggested, by phone or online via Open Table. Name comes from the Ayutthaya Province between Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand. Beer and wine only. Korn Kijnijchee, new owner.

Older Review: (from Colene M. 2/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry H. 2/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich. C. 2/14) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
10½ Stars Backyard Barn Winery and Microbrewery, 1945 E. CR 462, Wildwood, FL. 12.6 mile drive from The Villages. 418-7887. (Brew Pub) (Wine Bar) [L/D] Opened in mid-2015. Near the burg of Royal, Florida, northwest of Wildwood. Hours are 4-10 PM Wednesday and Thursday, 4-11 PM Friday and Saturday and Noon to 6 PM on Sunday. A farm, pub, wine bar and music venue all rolled into one rustic location after the S-Curve on CR 462. Beards, mustaches. ponytails and "pretty girls" fit right in here. Serves tapas like Gourmet Chips ($3), Pretzels ($4), Sliced Meats and Cheese Plate ($8), 6 different "Un-round" 10 in. Stone-Fired Crispy Pizzas or Calzones ($10.50 each) and small plates of other snacks like Mac 'n Cheese Bites. Dinners offered for special events by reservation. Wine and beer licensed only. Noted for their own 27 types of wine including their Blackberry and Raspberry Wine ($5 each). Also has tap wine ($4 each) and an array of premium wines ($6 each). You can also find Mead ($6) and Sweet Dessert Wines ($7 each) here too. Most are 5-6 oz. pours. A Wine Flight runs $10/12 oz. They also make Backyard Barn Big Ass Brews at $5/pint, plus they stock other Florida Beers, like Gainesville's Swamp Head, or Blueberry Ale on tap at $6/pint. You can also try a Beer Flight at $8/20 oz. "Growlers" sold here too. Occasional Happy Hour. Inside and outside seating at a vintage bar, long wormwood tables, wall perches and outside picnic benches or big Adirondack chairs ($10 minimum). Your own soft chairs permitted. Roaring fire pit most nights. Pet friendly. Entertainment by local musicians most days they're open, from blues, to country, to acoustic guitar. Jam Session on the third Sunday from 2-5 PM. Open Thanksgiving Day 4-10 PM. Little Baxter, brewmaster and bouncer; Joe (and Melissa) Winiarski, owner.

Review: (from Rich C. 2/16) Stopped by for a quick "brewski" at the bar with Patrick on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Outside was full. One British Brown ($5) and one Coconut Ale ($6). The dark Ale was excellent. We also ordered a Pepperoni Sausage Two Cheese Pizza ($10.50). That showed up from the "pizza trailer" in a few minutes. Jam Session was outside. Very popular place to relax today. Fun interior and open backyard with a stage for the musicians. Food was limited but very good. We'll be back.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 3/16) Spent the afternoon tasting beer and listening to music. We both had a local beer flight ($8 each), among which was Peanut Butter Stout. We shared a Meat and Cheese Board with our friends ($11) and then I had Corn Dog Pups ($7.50) and he had a Meatball Calzone ($10.50). Chad waited on us, although Melissa, Joe and another server checked on us too. Total before t&t was $45. Perfect afternoon. We'll be back.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Robert F. 4/16) High priced and low quality. A small cup of Ice was $.20, a first for us. A German Pretzel with Beer Cheese was $6.50. This same Pretzel can be had a Sam's Club for $1.50. The Cheese was a liquid something. The Pizza was frozen and quite mediocre. The Beer, Bad Ass Pale Ale, was very good. My spouse said the Chardonnay, Pacific Quartet, was OK. The cost for one Ale, one Wine, one Pretzel, one 10" Pizza, and one cup of Ice, amounted to $30, plus tip.
Q=1 S=3 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Ellen H. 4/16) This is such a fun place to visit on a Sunday afternoon. We found a picnic table in the shade and listened to the music. The food is not gourmet but great bar food. I had Corn Pups which are small Corn Dogs with a side of Blue Cheese. I had their Imperial Stout which a very good hearty beer. My partner had a Meatball Garlic Pizza and a lighter beer. The service was slow but enjoyable. The bill was $30 before t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
13 Stars The Bavarian Haus German Restaurant, 433 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 26.2 mile drive from The Villages. 735-8387. (German) [L/D] Opened September, 2012. Moved from Winter Garden, FL. Located two doors south of 5th Ave., one block west of Donnelly St. Open for lunch and dinner from 11 AM to 9 PM (10 PM on weekends) except closed Mondays and Sunday hours are 11 AM to 3:30 PM only. Decorated with wall and ceiling paintings reminiscent of an Alpen Haus. Only 6 tables inside but twice as many on the porch. Featuring authentic homemade German food especially with a Munich influence. A number of Schnitzel dishes are featured, including two side dishes, like Schnitzel Wiener Art (Pork Schnitzel) ($13), Hähnchenschnitzel (Chicken Schnitzel) ($13), Zigeunerschnitzel (Pork Schnitzel with Peppers) ($13), Jägerschnitzel (Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce) ($13) and traditional Wiener Schnitzel (Austrian Style made from Veal) ($18). Käsespätzle (Cheese Pasta) ($11), Leberkäse (Pork & Veal Meatloaf) ($12), Schweinebraten (Pork Loin) ($13), Roulade (Rolled Beef) ($14), Sauerbraten (Marinated Beef) ($15) and Bratwurst (Pork & Veal Sausage) ($12) are also offered. Side dishes like Rotkohl (Red Cabbage), Kartoffelknödel (Potato Dumplings), Sauerkraut, Spätzle (Egg Noodles), Pommes Frites (French Fries), Katoffelpüree (Mashed Potatoes), Kartoffelsalat (German Potato Salad) or Garden Salad, are offered. Usually a choice of two come with the main dish. Additional sides are $2 each. Lighter meals on a Pretzel Baguette run $7 each. Special dishes like Grill Hax'n ($29 for 2 persons) may be available too. Lunch items include Strammer Max (Ham & Eggs) ($9), Bratwurst und Kartoffelsalat (Sausage & Potato Salad) ($9), Kassler und Kartoffelsalat (Pork Chop & Potato Salad) ($11), among others. Desserts like homemade warm Apfelstrudel ($7), Coup Dänemark ($6), Eiskaffee (Coffee Float) ($5), Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte ($4.50) or Sacher Torte ($4.50) are usually on the menu too. Kids menu offered also. German beers like draft Hofbrau (Lager or Dark), Weihenstephan (Lager or Wheat), Einbecker (Pils), Radler (Pils Beer & Lemon Lime), Russen (Wheat Beer & Lemon Lime) plus German wines, like Liebfraumilch, Auslese, Spätlese and Kabinett, available too. Occasional live music. Reservations now accepted and recommended. Achim Weyer, host; Patricia Jarrell, owner and chef.

Older Review: (from Shelly F. 10/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/12) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 3/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Nanci C. 3/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 12/13) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 12/15) Q=5 S=3 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/15) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Nancy B. 7/16) Our Gourmet Group of 7 went on Sunday afternoon. One couple had been before and requested a 2 PM reservation to be able to pre-order the Shank Dinner for Two. My husband and I both had the Wiener Schnitzel with Spatzle and German Potato Salad. One couple had the Sauerbraten. Our other diner had the Schnitzel as well. The food was good, and the service was good. The bill for two Schnitzel dinners with a Beer and an Iced Tea was $42 before t&t.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Cindy D. 7/16) Small, quaint, feels like you are in Germany. Authentic cuisine, beers and wine. I had Schnitzel Wiener Art ($13). It was a slice of tender pork, breaded and pan cooked. My side dishes were Mashed Potatoes and Salad. I'd order something different next time. Enjoyed the company of my Gourmet Club Dine-Out partners. It was my first time doing this.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 12/16) The place was crowded due to the parade, but 4 of us were seated around 4:30 quickly. Three of us had the Wiener Schnitzel with Dumplings, Potato Salad and Spatzle. Mushroom Gravy was $2 each. The other diner had a Frankfurter on a Pretzel Roll. Disappointed in the size and thickness of the Schnitzel. In the past, it covered the plate, now about half. Will give them another chance in the future. Hope this downsizing isn't a trend. Draft Beer is very good. Total for us with one 8 oz. and one 32 oz. beer was $62. Also took home a loaf of Stollen for dessert at $11. Excellent.
Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Colene M. 3/17) We were seated outside when we arrived. The tables and benches are very uneven and they wiggled a lot. We had a very good waitress who joked around with us. My husband had the Pork ($14) and I had the Unbreaded Pork ($15) with Mushroom Gravy. We both had the same sides, Red Cabbage and German Potato Salad. My husband had two small Beers and I had a Hot Tea. We shared a dessert ($5). The meal was very tasty and we enjoyed it. The total before t&t was $44.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
14½ Stars B.D. Bean's Coffee Co., 5148 SE Abshier Blvd. (US Hwy. 27/441), Belleview, FL. 11.3 mile drive from The Villages. 245-3077. (Cafe) [B/L] Open 8 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Saturday only. Opened in 1999. Located on 27/441 next to the Kangaroo Gas Station. An eclectic atmosphere with southern charm and interesting décor. Breakfast items daily. Lunch is a variety of salads, soups, quiches and sandwiches, like the Liverwurst and Harvarti Sandwich or the popular Cuban. Some vegetarian items offered. No bar. 10 varieties of coffee from Hawaii, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Columbia makes for a selection to satisfy every taste. They also offer smoothies, including coffee flavored of course. Becky Bennett, chef; Rebecca Anglemyer, owner.

Older Review: (from Barbara B. 1/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David L. 6/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Video Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub (Wildwood), 840 S. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 12.8 mile drive from The Villages. 689-0048. (Sports Bar) [L/D] Located next to Veranda Home Furnishings on US 301. Wings, Burgers, Fried Shrimp and Wraps in a sports bar atmosphere. Chicken Fingers Basket, Black & Bleu Burger and Chicken Caesar Salad are typical of the menu. Sells their own Wings Sauce too. TVs for coverage of sporting events. Full bar here. One of a large nationwide franchise chain concentrated in the southeast, based in Tampa. John Demo, Gerald Boyd and Francis Force, owners here. Two other locations are in The Villages (see that listing).



Image
13 Stars Belleview Pizza & Italian Restaurant, 5428 SE Abshier Blvd. (US 27/441), Belleview, FL. 10.8 mile drive from The Villages. 245-2091. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Open from 11 AM Tuesday through Friday, Saturday from 4 PM and Sunday from Noon. Closed Mondays. Popular local Italian restaurant serving traditional dishes, Calzones and Pizza. Lasagna, Eggplant, Baked Ziti, Veal Parmigiana, Cannelloni, Stuffed Shells, Fried Shrimp or Scallops among others range from $5 to $9. Noted for their three size entrées (small, medium and large depending on your appetite). For Pasta they offer Spaghetti, Ziti, Linguini, Angel Hair and Cheese Ravioli ranging from $7 to $11 per portion size. Baked dishes, like Lasagna, Manicotti, Cannelloni and Baked Ravioli, range $8-12 each. Pizza in 3 sizes runs $7-20 each depending on toppings and size. Fried Shrimp or Mahi Mahi runs $10 each. Hot and cold Subs ($7-8) offered for lunch. Italian desserts ($3-5 each) available also. Tuesday through Friday Special 3-5 PM is "Buy One - Get One" for Pasta dishes. Takeout menu. Limited beer and wine. Cash only. No credit cards accepted. Stuart Bell, manager; Tony Manserra, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/07) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 2/11) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 5/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 2/17) 3 guys stopped for lunch. I had the 12" Meatball Sub ($8) and a Diet Coke ($2.50). Everything was hot and delicious. Fine place if you can get in at 5 PM. Always crowded.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Green Shelter Restaurant (1967)
"Oysters the way you like them."
"Meals in just minutes with our giant Radar Oven."
US 27/441, Belleview, FL., 10 miles south of Ocala.

Image
Not Rated Betty's Greenhouse Grill, 3725 Old Hwy. 441 West, Mount Dora, FL. 23.0 mile drive from The Villages. 735-2800. (American) [B/L] Open 7 AM to 3 PM daily. Formerly known as just The Greenhouse, then Daniel's Green House, now it's back to the original owners, Betty and Carl, again since 1985. Open for breakfast and lunch only. Noted for Omelets, Belgium Waffles, Blueberry Muffins and much more. Carl Lau, owner.



Image
Not Rated Coming Soon BG Diner, 5545 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. . (American) (Diner) [B/L/D] A family style diner located where La Rocco's III Restaurant did business for many years at SR 40 and SR 35, near Silver Springs State Park. Opening in the spring of 2017. Bobby Genovese, developer; Patricia Marlow and Kirstie Ward, owners.



Image
11½ Stars Big Bob's Restaurant & Pizza, 12909 CR 25, Ocklawaha, FL. 10.4 mile drive from The Villages. 288-4200. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] On the north side of Lake Weir, not far from Gator Joe's. At the gas station. Open daily at 11 AM to 9 PM, except from 12 Noon on Sunday and closes later on weekends. Noted for their Pizzas, like Bianca, Vegetarian, Meat Lovers, DeLuxe and Margherita, ranging $11-13 for the 12 inch, $12-14 for the 14 inch and $13-15 for the 16 inch. There's also a Stuffed Pizza ranging $22-26 depending on size. Entrées include Baked Ziti, Lasagna, Stuffed Shells, Meat or Cheese Ravioli, Manicotti and a Pasta Combo, all ranging $8-10 each. Plus Eggplant, Chicken and Veal Parm. ($8-12 each) and Marsala, Francese, Piccata and Cacciatore items at $11-13 each. Shrimp, Mussels and Calamari dishes run $12-16 each. Lots of Pasta dishes like Spaghetti, Linguini with Clam Sauce, Fettuccini Alredo and Linguini Carbonara range $6-10 each. You'll also find Calzones ($7-15) and Strombolis ($7-15). Hot and Cold Subs run $6-8 each. Wings are also available at $7-14. Soups average $3-5 each. Salads and appetizers are also on the menu as well as a Kid's menu. Cannolis and Tiramisu at $3-5 are tempting desserts. Wine and Draft Beer licensed. Frosted pitchers for beer; wine list to $60 for vino. Family operated. Dilbere Dura, owner.

Older Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/14) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 3/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Daniel G. 6/16) I had the Veal Parm. I tended to have a cup of the Pasta Fagioli instead of the accompanying Salad, there was a $1 upcharge (to $14). Opted for just water. Wife had the Eggplant Parm., with the Salad ($9), also with just water. No dessert. Portions were ample, enough to take some home. The bill came to $26.50 with tax. Our dinner mates had the Eggplant Parm. and Zuppa Di Mare. This was our first time here, our dinner mates have eaten there many times and is one of their favorites. Waiter was good and on top of things.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/16) Busy as ever on a Friday night at 6 PM. Our wait was 15 minutes at the back bar. We bought a bottle of Primitivo Wine (around $24) and she had White Clam Sauce over thin Spaghetti and I had Veal French over Pasta. Nice and tender. We had Caesar Salads to start. Our friends enjoyed it too. Pretty noisy tonight. We prefer weekdays. Total before tip was $55.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
10½ Stars Billy's Café (Lady Lake), 13752 US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.5 mile drive from The Villages. 259-8988. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] The full name is "Billy's Café Family Restaurant and Pancake House"! Pancakes, waffles and omelettes are their specialties in this popular breakfast and lunch haven. Most items $4.50 to $6.50 each. Everything, from fried potatoes to pancake batter, is "home made". No bar. Credit cards now accepted. Another location is in Tavares (see that listing). Ilhwan & Sukhyun Cho, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/06) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 10/08) Q=4 S=4 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 1/17) No breakfast until after the blood is drawn, so went afterwards here for Eggs and Hash. I really like their Hash, not salty and outside is crispy. Their Home Fries are not bad, real cut potatoes. The place is not fancy but I like the ambience and servers are efficient and positive. I like to help non-chain family restaurants if the food is good. And the Hash is. Total bill with Coffee came to $11. So nostalgic that they use carbon check and hand written bill. What fun, love it.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Billy's Café (Tavares), 1601 S. Duncan Dr., Tavares, FL. 22.3 mile drive from The Villages. 343-7433. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Sister location to the above and is located on US 19, just south of Tavares near CR 561. Offers breakfast food and sandwiches for lunch. Specializes in omelettes, pancakes, waffles and roll-ups. Specials daily. No bar. Son-Mi Cho, (sister of Ilhwan Cho,) owner.



Image
7 Stars Free WiFi (The) Bistro (at The Grand Oaks Resort), 3000 Marion County Rd., Weirsdale, FL. 4.0 mile drive from The Villages. 750-9500. (American) (Cafe) [B/L/D] Formerly called TG's Gourmet Café and Lounge, now under new management, again. Located at the Grand Oaks Equestrian Resort and the Florida Carriage Museum, about 1 mile east of CR 25. Use the main entrance and follow signs to the Carriage Museum. Open for breakfast and lunch daily, 7 AM to 3 PM. Sunday Brunch is 9 AM to 3 PM at $40pp for the "Triple Crown". Also open for dinner on Friday and Saturday 4 to 9 PM with live entertainment. Breakfast items are a Breakfast Sandwich ($6), Biscuits & Gravy ($6), Belgium Waffle ($6), Pancakes ($7), Oatmeal ($7), "Build Your Own Omelet" ($8), Brioche French Toast ($8), Corned Beef Hash ($8), Eggs Benedict ($10), Ham & Eggs ($11) or Steak & Eggs ($11). Sides are extra. Lunch items include various Paninis like Cheese, Turkey or Ham ($7-9 each), Grilled Cheese ($6), Burgers or Grilled Chicken on a Pretzel Roll ($8-9), French Dip ($9) or a Cuban Sandwich ($9). Various Cold Sandwiches, Flatbreads and Wraps range $8-9 each. There's also Peanut Butter and Jelly ($4) for the young at heart. Salads, like Strawberry Salad, Cobb Salad, Caprese Salad, Greek Salad, Caesar Salad and others run $8-9 each. Soup du Jour or French Onion Soup runs $3/$5. For dinner the menu is expanded to serve appetizers like Tomato Bruschetta ($6), Wings ($8), Caprese Salad ($8), Flatbread ($8), Chicken Tenders ($9) or Ahi Tuna ($11). Entrées are served with Soup or Salad, Potato or Rice and a Vegetable. They offer a Prime Steakburger ($13), Vegetable Stir Fry ($14), Ahi Tuna Plate ($15), Cuban Pork ($15), Chicken Marsala ($17), Chicken Oscar ($18), Grilled Salmon ($18) and a Kansas City Strip Steak ($18). A Dinner Salad is also offered at $8. Desserts like Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Trilogy and Ice Cream run $3-6 each. There's a full bar and lounge called The Players Club in the back room that offers fine wine, bottled or tap beer and all cocktails. Occasional weekend entertainment and evening activities in season. Reservations taken for 8 or more. Open Thanksgiving Day with two seating times by reservation only at $28 per person. Tom Warriner and Tom Golisano, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 2/16) Not coming back here again! It took a while for the hostess to recognize us for seating, then we were told sit wherever you like. Angela was our server after a while. Seemed no rhyme or reason where the stations are divided. She took our order for Iced Tea and a Draft Beer. "Nope, out of Pastrami today." So we ordered a Cranberry Chicken Wrap and a Beef and Blue on a roll ($8 each). The restaurant was almost full by now. After a half hour we had to ask Angela to check on our meals. "Your order is in line." More time went by - no food. Others were complaining that they were waiting for their bill. We were there almost an hour to get two simple sandwiches. A brand new half million dollar kitchen and it doesn't work. I then offered to pay for the two drinks and leave. That got things moving. Soon her Beef came out. Later my Chicken showed up. Nothing special, black plastic plates and potato chips for the side. Total was $22 before t&t. Took another 10 minutes to get our bill. Standing by the exit door with my hand on the doorknob got some results. No manager here to complain too. Staff looks baffled. Won't be back here again. Don't know how the equestrian rental people tolerate this simple but slow restaurant.
Q=2 S=1 V=2 Total=5 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Stu R. 8/16) The resort is a large beautiful Florida horse ranch. The Bistro is hidden within a sign that read, "Museum and Cafe". We entered and stood in front of an instruction that read, "Please wait to be seated". It's a misnomer, as someone eventually shouted, "Sit anywhere!". There were 5 occupied tables among the 16 tables in the room. Three waitresses scurried around chaotically in circles. Our waitress was Barbara but she only appeared to take our sandwich order. Our drinks consisted of an Arnold Palmer and an Ice Tea ($2.50 each). My wife decided on a Virginia Panini ($8) and I selected a 3 Cheese Panini ($7). The Sandwiches were incredibly delicious. Our meal came to $20 before t&t. However the service was something else. Evidently in the Florida Cracker language, "Be right with you" and "Be right back" are really local idioms for "I never plan to see you again!". We will return, my kids were raised with horses and would love this place!
Q=4 S=1 V=4 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Blanca's Café, 5174 NW 26th St., Ocala FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-867-0001. (Breakfast) (Italian) [B/L/D] Located in the Ocala Palms Golf & Country Club, a few miles north of Ocala. Open from 8 AM to 7 PM on Sundays; 10:30 AM to 9 PM on Mondays through Saturdays. Inside the Ocala Palms Country Club at 5000 US 27 (at NW 49th Ave.) but open to the public. Specializes in Italian dishes such as Veal and Eggplant Parmegiana as well as many pasta dishes. Breakfast Buffet on Sundays 8 AM to Noon. Reservations accepted. Open Thanksgiving Day from 1 to 5 PM and Christmas Day from noon to 6 PM with a special menu, by reservation. Full bar, happy hour 3-6 PM. Aris Amaya, owner.

Older Review: (from Norm P. 1/15) Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
9½ Stars Bloom's Baking House & Restaurant, 610 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL. 10.6 mile drive from The Villages. 787-1004. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Located right in the heart of downtown Leesburg near 7th. Started in February, 2012 but was closed for a few weeks in early 2014. Open 8 AM to 3 PM Monday through Saturday. Closed up tight on Sunday. Breakfast runs to 10:30 AM and offers Pancakes, French Toast, Oatmeal, Eggs, Bagels, Wraps (all $4-5) plus various Omelets ($5-8 each) and the breads are bakery made. Lunch items take over at 10:30 AM and Hot Dogs, Burgers, Patty Melts, BLTs, Grilled Cheese, Club Sandwiches, Philly Cheesesteak, Reubens, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, Chicken Salad, Taco Salad and yes, Salad Salad, all run $3-8 each. Wraps are also popular around $5 each. Soup and a Half Sandwich Special runs about $7. The soups are homemade and change every day. A few Mexican items snuck in the menu too, like Quesadillas ($5-6 each). Dessert items are from the bakery and carry out is often the case. A few Vegan items are on the menu. Reservations for large groups. No bar. Outdoor seating available. Cheryl Bloom, owner.

Older Review: (from Dennis C. 2/14) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 2/14) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ralph N. 2/14) Q=3 S=1 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
14½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Blue Highway - A Pizzeria (Ocala), 2130 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-629-5555. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Located across from Ker's Winghouse, this popular pizzeria opened in June of 2013. Their original location is in Micanopy (see that listing). Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily or 10 PM on weekends. Their Pizzas are available in Thin Crust ($8-12) or Sicilian Style ($12-17). Margherita, Bianca, Abruzzese, Greek, Scampi are some of their flavors. One specialty is the Rustica Pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, roasted eggplant, garlic, kalamata olives and capers for $11 Thin, or $17 Sicilian style. Gluten-free varieties, at $2 extra, are also available. They also offer Caprese, Roasted Vegetable, Turkey Asiago, Chicken Rustico and Grilled Ham & Cheese Panini Sandwiches at about $8 each. Calzones are also offered at $10 each. Other sandwiches include Roast Turkey Club, Big Tuna, the Gino and the Highway (Roast Beef), all at about $8 each. Flatbreads, called Piadines, contain Turkey, Tuscan Bean, Chicken or Lamb and run $10 each. Salads include a Tossed, a Caesar, a Blue Highway, a Tuscan Bean and a Mediterranean Chopped at $7-8 each. For dessert you can fine Brownies, Cannolis and even Key Lime Pie ($3.50 each). Soft drinks, Italian Sodas, Beer and Wine are offered. Happy Hour is 3-6 PM. Call ahead for parties of 6 or more. Winner of Ocala Magazine's 2013 Best New Eatery Award. Another location is in the Tioga Town Center (see that listing). Frank and Winny Ruffino, owners.

Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 6/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Diane G. 6/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Judy H. 7/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 4/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Chicken Ranch Drive-In (1940s)
With Car Hop Service
SW 1st Ave., Ocala.

Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Blue Wagyu, 6998 N. Hwy. 27, Ocala, FL. 29.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-9977. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L/D] Formerly the Artisinal Dish, it changed its name in November, 2013. Located near the Horse and Hounds Restaurant (Ocala West) at Old Blitchton Rd. and NW 70th Ave. Open 11 AM to 8 PM, except Saturday from 8 AM and closed Sunday all day. Specializes in local beef. Some of the items you'll find are a daily Soup ($3/$5), Chicken Milanese Sandwich ($9), Shrimp Po' Boy ($10) and a Wagyu Steak Sandwich ($18). A wide variety of Wagyu Burgers are ¼ or ½ pound creations and run $9-10 for the ¼, to $15-16 for the ½ pounders. A bun selection is available too. The menu offers 3 Wagyu Sliders for $10 too. They also have a Pizza selection that ranges $10-13 each. Organic or Caesar Salads are $6 or $9 depending on size. Noted for weekend breakfasts too.



Image
11½ Stars Video AARP Card Gluten Free Menu Bonefish Grill (Ocala), 4701 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 26.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-873-3846. (Seafood) [L/D] Opens at 11 AM daily. Now Sunday Brunch offered 10 AM to 2 PM weekly. On Rt 200 but 1 mile west of I-75 (behind the Walgreens). Now accepting limited reservations, up to 1 month in advance, for seating from 11 AM daily, right on their website. Extensive fresh seafood offerings with daily specials. Some popular items are: Bang Bang Shrimp, Crispy Calamari, Corn Chowder with Lump Crab, Pistachio Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout, Grouper Piccata, Pork Tenderloin Portabella and Chilean Sea Bass with Warm Mango Salsa. Try Crème Brûlée for dessert. Entrées range from $13 for Shrimp Fettuccine to $26 for the Twin Lobster Tails. Oak burning grill gives their seafood a distinct flavor. Casual dress at linen covered tables. Winner 2008 "Best Ocala Seafood Restaurant" by Ocala Magazine. Closed Xmas and New Years Day. Open Easter Sunday at 12 noon. 10% off food portion of the bill by showing your current AARP membership card. Full bar with signature martinis and a good wine list. Happy Hour ends 7 PM. One of a growing popular chain owned by Bloomin' Brands, Inc. 2008 & 2011 Foodie Reader's Choice runner-up for "Best Seafood Restaurant" in the Orlando area by the Orlando Sentinel. Number One rated for "Top Food", "Best Seafood", "Top Service" and "Top Healthy Options" for full service chain restaurants by Zagat. Gluten free information available on their website. One is in The Villages on CR 466 (see that listing). Leconte Carter, Kitchen Manager; Manny Negron, Managing Partner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/06) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 12/06) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Arlene M. 12/06) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 2/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Gordon M. 2/07) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Daniel G. 5/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Martin G. 1/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Martha M. 2/08) Q=4 S=1 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Robert M. 4/08) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David G. 4/08) Q=2 S=1 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
12 Stars Video Gluten Free Menu Braised Onion Restaurant, 754 NE 25th Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-620-9255. (American) (Southern) [L/D] Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 AM for lunch and dinner. Going back to 1989 this location, on 25th Ave., just a few blocks north of E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), was formerly a Shells, then Hightower's Seafood, then Grille 754, then Carmichael's, and then Bonnie and Clyde's. It actually goes back to the end of World War II. It re-opened on December 6, 2011. It has bright red walls, decorated with large pictures in two dining rooms, plus a lounge with bar. "Comfort Food With Attitude" is his slogan. Onions are the theme here, with most items including the bulbous root in the ingredients in some form or another. Appetizers include a Country Onion Loaf with Buttermilk Ranch Dip or Braised Onions with Grilled Flat Bread ($6 each), Fried Green Tomatoes with Creole Mustard Sauce ($7), Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa ($9) and New Orleans BBQ Shrimp with Cajun Garlic Brown Butter Sauce ($10). Soups include Grilled Mushroom or Lobster Bisque ($4/cup or $5/bowl) and their popular Braised Onion Soup with Fontina Cheese Top ($5). Salads include a Mixed Green House, Hearts of Romaine, Mixed Baby Lettuce (all $4 each), and Spinach or Caprese Salads ($5 each). All, well described, entrées include two sides that could be a vegetable, salad or even soup. They range from Felix's Meat Loaf, Chicken Pot Pie, Penne ala Vodka or Three Cheese Baked Macaroni & Cheese ($10 each), Roast Turkey Breast with Sage Stuffing, Pasta Primavera, Southern Fried Chicken, Lemon Chicken with White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce or a Vegetarian entrée ($12 each). There's an 8 oz. Grilled Mahi Mahi, Grilled Norwegian Salmon with Hollandaise or Maple Pecan Salmon ($15 each) on the menu. At the top end are 8 oz. ($16) or 12 oz. ($20) Prime Rib au Jus, Country Fried Filet Mignon with Brown Gravy ($17), 10 oz. New York Strip Steak ($20), Braised Beef Short Ribs ($20), New Orleans BBQ Shrimp ($20) and an 8 oz. Grilled Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce ($23). Vegetables include Baked Sweet Potato, Southern Style Green Beans Cheese Grits, Fresh Corn Off The Cob, and others. Lunch items are a few of the dinner entrées at reduced prices, salads, plus sandwiches such as a Cheeseburger, Patty Melt, Roasted Chicken Salad, Pulled Pork (all $7), and Fried White Fish or Philly Cheese Steak ($8 each). For dessert, you'll find Belgium Chocolate Bread Pudding and others. Reservations accepted and advised weekends by phone or online via Open Table. 20% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Full bar and a limited wine list. Occasional jazz sessions. Private room for parties. Thanksgiving Buffet 11:30 AM to 6 PM. Happy Hour 4-6 PM. Voted a "Top Restaurant" in the area by OpenTable members. Mike Yerry and Abner Bueso, chefs. Loring Felix no longer chef here. Bertie (Betty) Lemieux and Nicole Lassiter, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Barbara B. 2/12) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 8/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 8/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 9/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry R. 9/12) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Carol L. 10/12) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 10/12) Q=2 S=4 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Dan G. 10/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 2/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Paula M. 4/13) Q=2 S=3 V=4 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes
Older Review: (from Judy H. 11/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 3/14) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 5/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 5/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kat R. 9/14) Q=3 S=1 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from John N. 1/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 2/16) This was lunch with 30 others at an industry function in a private area. House Salad for all, 3 choices from limited menu. Fish & Chips were excellent, Chicken Parm. was excellent, Pasta dish, others had, seemed OK. Soft drinks. For a mass feeding they did a great job of service and food. Regular patrons were also being served. Checked out lunch and dinner menus and looked versatile and fairly priced. Will return on our own. Bill was paid by hostess of the group. Yay!
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 4/16) We arrived to a nearly empty restaurant about 4:15 PM and were seated at booth 34 were it was quiet. At first Donnie started to take our orders, then Joanne took over. There were 5 of us on a Saturday. I ordered a bottle of Rosenblum PR Zin ($36). We enjoyed that wine. She had a ½ Caprese Salad ($5.50) and I had a Cup of Lobster Bisque ($4) which was good. She ordered the Liver and Onions with Bacon ($14.50) and I had the Chicken Marsala ($16). Others had Pork Chop, Salmon and Fried Chicken. The Pork Chops were voted average, the Liver, on the tough side (Beef not Calf), the Salmon, ordinary and the Chicken dishes average. In all an ordinary meal. Service by Joanne was very friendly. Total with 10% coupon from the Ocala Civic Theater program was $68. The restaurant was busy by 5:30 PM when we left.
Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 6/16) Round table for 8 was ready at 5:30 PM. One of the quieter restaurants we have experienced. Due to sound absorbing art and ceiling "sails". Our server, Mason, was excellent. She knew all about menu and made recommendations. My wife and I shared the Braised Onion Soup, which was excellent and the 1/2 Side Salad which was a huge Romaine Lettuce Wedge. Rolls were good. My Stroganoff was tender with delicious wide noodles and creamy sauce with portabella mushrooms. We took half home. Her Cod was done nicely and was very tasty. Others had Meatloaf (so-so), Lemon Chicken, which was VERY lemony, and good Shrimp & Grits. Our check with 4 wines (2 for 1) and delicious Chocolate Mousse dessert was $70. All 8 shared the Braised Onion Loaf appetizer which was OK but difficult to cut to share. A pleasant experience, but the 50 minute drive might deter some. Will return, maybe for lunch.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Christine H. 6/16) Visited this establishment for dinner with 4 others. We were seated ahead of our reservation time - 6 PM and the décor was lovely. Talented musician in the background but not so loud and you could easily hear the conversation. Trevor was our waiter and he did an excellent job of serving us at our pace. He was also very knowledgeable about the menu and wine list. We shared the Crispy Onion Loaf (with a delicious sauce) and Crab Cake appetizer. Both were excellent. I had the Pecan Crusted Salmon which I enjoyed very much for $!9 (and brought half home to enjoy the next night). Others complimented their Shrimp and Grits, Liver and Onions and Short Ribs. We shared one dessert, the Chocolate Pie, which was also very good. My wine was $10 per glass. We all agreed we will return.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 8/16) Great ambience. Great Service. Mason, our server, was great. But as for the food, it was mixed. I liked their Chicken Pot Pie but the Braised Onion Soup which was basically just Onion Soup, was too salty for my taste. My wife who also tasted it said the same thing. As for the Beef Stroganoff, which my wife had, the meat was soft but the pappardelle was not al dente as it should be. Overall my impression was heavy over saucing. Reminded me of the Julia Child French style. Total bill without drinks came to $40.
Q=3 S=5 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 9/16) We had reservations for 4:45 and we're seated immediately. The restaurant was not busy at all. That changed within a half hour of our arrival. Wendy, our server, was very attentive. The kitchen was a bit slow delivering our meals. I almost feel I need to write two reviews for this experience tonight. First of all, everything is on the expensive side. Four slices of Fried Green Tomatoes for $7, as our appetizer? Over priced, but they were delicious. We each had a cup of their fantastic Grilled Mushroom Soup ($4 each). Main course was Pecan Crusted Salmon with Sautéed Spinach and Quinoa with a Frangelica Sauce ($19). It was the most amazing Salmon dish that I have ever had. The flavors and textures were phenomenal. My husband had the Liver and Onions ($13 + $2 for Bacon). His meal was cold, so he was not pleased at all. He might have sent his meal back to the kitchen, but he probably would have to wait over 30 over minutes to get hot food. The meals here used to include Salad. That's why I feel that it is on the expensive side. We had a soft drink and water for our beverages. The water tasted nasty. Our bill including the deduction from our theatre ticket coupon was $48. So, my experience here was great. My husbands, not so good, only because of his main course. It may be awhile before I get him to come back. As I have mentioned in my other reviews for here, those darn hard wood chairs are still here. I feel silly bringing my own cushion, but I have to do what I have to do.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Frank K. 12/16) This was our first (and last) visit to this restaurant. We were here to check it out for a possible Gourmet Dine-Out booking next month, and I'm sure glad we did. The hostess, Taylor, was most helpful and professional. We were promptly seated, then waited 15 minutes without seeing a server. We asked for some help and waited a bit longer, but after hearing that this had been going on for a while, we left. The people at the table next to us said they'd be right behind us.
Return=
No.

Review: (from Cheryl L. 1/17) We were a party of 10 and were actually seated before our reservation time of 5 PM. Our server was Joanne. She was very knowledgeable and helpful in making our meal selections. I had the Braised Onion Soup ($8). It was very good. My husband's entrée was Chicken Marsala ($16). Large portion of tender Chicken and plenty of mushrooms. He enjoyed it very much. I selected the Pecan Crusted Salmon ($19). Delicious Salmon on a bed of Spinach and Quinoa with a sweetened cream sauce. Soup, with 2 entrées, plus 1 Iced Tea, was $46 before t&t.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - The Oxford Inn (1953), then it was The Oxford Restaurant (1960s), then it was Lund's Hofbrau Restaurant (1965)
"Serving Orange Wine" "Special Chicken Dinner" - Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL.

Image
Not Rated Breakfast Station (Leesburg), 2229 N. Citrus Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 8.2 mile drive from The Villages. . (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Opened mid-May, 2016. Located in the Leesburg Square Shopping Plaza near Lee's Beauty Supply, Dollar Tree and Aldi's on US 27/441. Open daily, 7 AM to 3 PM only. You'll find the usual breakfast food with catchy names, like The Depot, The Locomotive, The Conductor, The Engineer, The Hobo and a favorite, called The Train Wreck. All are combinations of Eggs, Pancakes or Potatoes and Bacon or Sausage (all generally $6-8 each). Omelets are also on the menu (ranging $5-7 each). Pressed Tortillas run $7 at lunch. Burgers, Sandwiches and Salads are $5-7 each. No bar. Founded in 1955 in Port Richey, FL., slowly expanding to 9 locations in west central Florida. Cash and Kathy Smith, franchisors; Larry Burchell and Lisa Alexander, owners here.



Image
Not Rated Brick City Café, 10 NE 1st St., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-629-4700. (Cafe) [B/L] Opens early. Entrance is on N. Magnolia Ave., just north of the Boulevard. Also known better as Wayne's Brick City Café; not to be confused with the Brick City Restaurant (now closed) or Brick City Southern Kitchen a block away. In business since 1989 at this location. It's a kitchen counter kind of place. Nothing fancy. The Salad Plate is most noted here. Make your own combination of salad trio. Quiche of the Day is a favorite. The Brick City Burger is very popular too. Sandwiches are a mainstay. No bar. Wayne Langler, owner.



Image
10 Stars Now Open Brick City Southern Kitchen (and Whiskey Bar), 10 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-512-9458. (Barbecue) (Southern) [L/D] Opened for business on September 30, 2016. No relation to the Brick City Café above. Located on the square at Magnolia and Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40) in the corner building once occupied by The Melting Pot. Hours from 11 AM to 10 PM daily, to 2 AM weekends. Interior folk artwork by Nicklos Richards of Seattle, Washington. Offers mostly Barbecue and other Southern Food and a full bar specializing in Whiskeys. Menu includes appetizers of Fried Pickles ($7.50), Pork Sliders ($8), Smoked Chicken Nachos ($8.50), Fried Onion Rings or Green Tomatoes ($8.50 each), Pork Quesadilla ($8.50), Boom Boom Shrimp ($9.50), Smoked Chicken Wings ($9.50) and Burnt Beef Brisket Ends ($10). For main dishes you can find various BBQs like Texas Hot Links ($13.50), Pulled Pork Shoulder ($14.50), Carolina Pork ($14.50), Pit Smoked Chicken ($14.50), Smoked Turkey Breast ($15.50), Dry Rub Spare Ribs ($16.50) and Beef Brisket ($16.50). All come with Texas Toast and 2 sides. Platters include Fried Chicken ($15.50), Catfish ($16), Smokehouse Chicken ($16), Shrimp 'n Grits ($16.50), Grilled Salmon ($17), Barbecued Shrimp ($17), Grilled Mahi Mahi ($17.50) and a 12 oz. Rib-Eye ($20). These come with Cornbread and 2 sides too. Sandwiches of Pork, Brisket, Turkey or Chicken run $10-11 each. Specialty Sandwiches, like a Burger, Catfish, Mahi or Reuben, run $11-12 each. Brunswick Stew ($4.50/$7.50) and Grilled Salmon Salad and others are on the Soup 'n Salad List. For beverages they have a full bar with Cocktails (e.g. Vieux Carré $9), Beer (e.g. Swamp Head on tap) and Wines/Champagne ($20-110/btl.), plus Sweet Tea, Red Bull, Sierra Mist and CheerWine offered, among other soft drinks. Banana Pudding and a CheerWine Float are noted desserts. Lunch items are lower by $2-4 each. Mojo Q Holdings of Jacksonville, owner here and 6 other similar restaurants. Mike Hafer and DJ Fleming, managers; TC Curtin, general manager.

Review: (from Rich C. 10/16) "Three guys walk into a bar..." We stopped here for lunch on a Wednesday afternoon at noon. The place was almost full. Very noisy inside. Hard benches too. I had a Diet CheerWine ($3) and ordered the Dry Rub Ribs with Cole Slaw and BBQ Baked Beans ($13). LeeAnn was our server. They bring a milk bottle of water to start - nice touch. The drinks came promptly. $3 for a soft drink is too much. The Beans were hot and very good. The Cole Slaw was excellent too. The 6 Ribs were meaty and flavorful but were not even luke warm. My friend's Sandwich had the same temperature problem. The Toast was only lightly toasted White Bread. Food comes on heavy plates. The bill was $16 before t&t. Would rate the Food Quality 4 except for the temperature. Service was average. Linen napkins, thank goodness.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Paula M. 11/16) We were going to the Ocala Civic Theatre and were looking for somewhere new to eat dinner. Yes, it was a Saturday evening, but we were surprised at the crowd waiting outside. We got a zapper and we got a glass of house Cabernet ($5 each) which we drank standing near the bar. The bar has shelves up to the ceiling filled with different whiskeys. The shelves are accessible by a sliding library ladder – cool! In about 20 minutes, we were seated outside. I ordered the Smoked Half Chicken ($14.50), with Cole Slaw and Green Beans; he ordered the Ribs ($16.50), Collard Greens and Grits. For as busy as the restaurant was, our food came within a reasonable amount of time. All of the food was the right temperature and very tasty, and the meats were tender. There were about 6 different sauces on the table, nice to have choices. Yes it's noisy inside, but it's a bar and full high ceiling restaurant in an old building. We will definitely be back. Total was $31 plus t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Colonial Hotel (1912)
Once the Metropole Hotel, Central Hotel, St. Denis Hotel and Glenwood Hotel
On NE 2nd St., Ocala, FL.
"Ocala's Gold Seal Hotel"
"Room without Bath: $1.00; Room with Bath: $2.00".
Mrs. H. C. Jones, proprietor.

Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. See The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. (that listing).


Image
Not Rated Brooklyn's Backyard, 2019 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-304-6292. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Name changed from Brooklyn's Original Pizzeria & Restaurant when it moved from NE 14th St. Located in the Ocala Center. Open daily from 11 AM to 8 PM or later on weekends. Closed Sunday. In business since 2010. "Delicious food, just like your momma used to make - if your momma was Italian." Simple pricing on their New York Style Pizza: 18" Cheese Pizza is $12, then add any of a dozen toppings at $2 each. Sicilian Style Pizza is $18. There's also Specialty Pizzas like Central Park White Pie, Hawaiian, Roma, Chicken or Eggplant Parm., Buffalo Chicken, Meat Lovers or their Brooklyn Special (The Works) that all range $15-19 each. A variety of Strombolis and Calzones are offered at about $8 each. Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Heros and other creations run about $7 too. Dinners are available starting with Italian Appetizers, Wings, Salads and Soups. The typical Pasta dishes are offered from Penne with Marinara ($7.50), to Lasagna ($9.50), to Shrimp Scampi on Pasta ($11.50). Six styles of Chicken dishes are on the menu like Parmesan, Francese, Marsala, Toscana, Parma Rosa and Chicken Timothy, all about $11 each with a side of Pasta. There's also Eggplant Parmesan or Rollatini at about $11 each, also with a side of Pasta. Seafood Combination Buckets on Saturday run $21 to $56 depending on the number of choices like Canadian Snow Crab Cluster, 5 Jonah Crab Legs, 4 Maine Lobster Claws, 1 lb. Littleneck Clams, 1 lb. P.E.I. Blue Point Mussels and 1 lb. Louisiana Crawfish. You can also find Dungeness Crab Cluster, and a dz. Tiger Shrimp for an additional charge. Desserts include Cannolis, Cheesecake, Tiramisu (all about $4) and Black & White Lava Cake ($8). Full bar. Specials daily. Jeremy Zajac, chef; Timothy and Janice Thomas, owners.

Older Review: (from Dan G.. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Brownstone Pub, 11560 SE 176th Place Rd., Summerfield FL. 2.4 mile drive from The Villages. 245-1061. (American) [L/D] Located in the Stonecrest Golf Club and formerly called the Stonecrest Country Club Restaurant. Open to the public. Hours for lunch are 11 AM to 3 PM daily. Hours for dinner are 4 PM to 8 PM Wednesday through Saturday only. Specials include Lobster Night ($23) on Thursday, Prime Rib Night ($14) on Saturday and Baby Back Rib Night ($14) on Friday. All-You-Can-Eat Fish and Chips ($13) also available on Friday. Reservations accepted. Occasional entertainment. Full bar. John Brown of Brown Golf Management, owner.

Older Review: (from Walter P. 8/14) Q=2 S=1 V=3 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
13 Stars Video Gluten Free Menu Burger 21 (Ocala), 3105 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages.1-352-629-8821. (American) [L/D] Located on SR 40 where Carmichael's Restaurant did business for many years, ending in 2005. AKA B21. Opened February, 2016. Now, full service. Offering 10 variations of Angus Beef Burgers starting at $6 esch, like The Bacon Cheesy ($7), Philly Cheesy ($7.50) or Tex-Mex Haystack ($8), plus Chicken Burgers, like The Mediterranean ($7); Turkey Burgers, like The Skinny ($6.50); Veggie Burgers, like The Greek ($7), and Seafood Burgers, like The Spicy Thai Shrimp ($8.50) or The Ahi Tuna ($10.50). Even Hot Dogs ($4.50) and Fries ($2.50-6.50) can be found on the counter-ordering menu. Salads ($3-8.50) and Shakes ($3.50-5) are also offered. Sundaes ($4.50) are popular too. Kids menu ($5.50). A full bar at this location with cocktails, bottled and draft beers and wine. This is a new franchise brand, headquartered in Tampa, FL., with a few dozen locations, mostly in the southeast. A few are in Orlando. Started by the founders of The Melting Pot. John Usher and Michael Signorelli; owners here.

Review: (from Rich C. 5/16) Been to the one in Orlando and loved it. This one is better with a full bar. Nice airy room. We had the 3 Pack of Bacon Cheesy Sliders ($8), I ate 2; she ate 1. We also ordered a regular sized Sweet Potato Fries ($3) with 3 sauces from the "Sauce Bar". We shared a Chocolate Malted Milk Ball Shake ($5). All arrived in 5 minutes. Filling and delicious. Loved the food and friendly people here. Total was $17 for the two of us before t&t for lunch.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Paula M. 7/16) We decided to try this place, and we're glad we did. The menu is quite varied, with Beef Burgers plus other types, such as Seafood, Veggie, Turkey and Chicken. But since we didn't want anything heavy, we both ended up with the Chopped Cobb Salad. Although ordering wasn't the easiest, that will be moot as they are soon converting to full service. Our Salads were delivered quickly and with a smile. They were good sized, and bigger than expected, considering the price ($8 each). We both had iced water (you get your own) and I noticed that there is a large assortment of sauces there to accompany your Burgers. Next time we'll definitely get Burgers and add sauces! Our total came to $16, not bad for a good and filling lunch.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.
Review: (from Ellen H. 9/16) If you like Burgers and Fries, this is the restaurant to visit. They have a wonderful array of Burgers for anyone's taste. I had the Bacon Cheesy 3 Pack which was 3 very tasty Mini Burgers. I also had an order of the Sweet Potato Fries which which have several sweet and delicious dipping sauces. My favorite is the toasted marshmellow. He had the regular Bacon Cheesy and shared my Fries. We both had one of their signature drinks. Our waitress was Felicia and she was just OK. The total before t&t was $33. Clean and friendly environment.
Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Buster Tubbs Wine & Dessert Bar, 110 S. New Hampshire Ave., Tavares FL. 20.4 mile drive from The Villages. 742-7676. (American) (Grill) [B/L/D] Also known as Buster Tubbs Tavern now, which is more accurate than Wine Bar. Located between Main and Ruby Streets on the west side of New Hampshire. They like to be referred to as "The Neighborhood Watering Hole". Open daily 7-10 AM for first meal of the day, 11 AM to 2 or 3 PM for lunch and 6 PM 'til the last customer leaves (about 8 PM weekdays but 2 AM on weekends) for the tavern meal. Inside has tables and counter area. Open since November, 2015. For breakfast they have a Biscuit Sandwich ($4), Fruit and Cottage Cheese Plate ($4), Two Pancakes ($5), Waffle ($5) and a 2 Egg Breakfast with Meat & Biscuit ($5). For lunch you'll find a Hot Dog ($3), a Jalapeño Sausage Dog ($3), a Belly Buster Dog ($5), Grilled Cheese ($5), a ¼ lb. Burger ($5), Pulled Pork Sandwich ($6), and a Patty Melt ($7). There's also a Taco Salad or BBQ Salad ($6 each). Flatbreads can be had in two sizes like BBQ, Italian and an "Ooh La La" (all $5/$9 each). Beer Soup, Chili and a Soup d'Jour (all $3/$5 each), plus a Sourdough Soup Bowl ($6.50) are on the menu too. They offer desserts like a Cupcake ($1.50 to $3) depending on design, Cheesecake ($3), Cheesecake in a Jar ($3), Cupcake in a Jar ($3), Brownie Sunday ($4) and Beignets ($4). They also have Ice Cream at $1.50/scoop. Coffee Specialties are popular too. Dinner hours vary in time and menu is limited but may include 3 Cheese Pasta, Grilled Chicken, Fish Fry, Crab Cakes plus some of the lunch items. Kids menu available. After 7 PM it turns into a Tavern serving beer and wine with live entertainment like country music, ballad singers, karaoke, jam session and music trivia, Thursdays through the weekend. Large outdoor seating area out front. Frequented by the Key West Resort guests with vouchers. Ashley Richards, chef; world traveler, Rita McIntosh, owner.



Image
Not Rated Buzzard Beach Bar & Grill, 2050 W. Burleigh Blvd. (US 441), Tavares FL. 18.7 mile drive from The Villages. 552-8849. (American) [L/D] Not hard to find. On US 441 near the public boat launch. Open 10 AM to 10 PM daily. A "waterfront dive" to relax and enjoy the sunsets or sun. The "dining room" is adorned with hanging flags and underwear! Outdoor seating available. "No Shirt? No Shoes? No Clothes? No Problem!" Their ½ pound Burger ($7) is their claim to fame here. But a Hebrew National Hot Dog ($3), Brat Wurst ($5), Italian Sausage ($7), Philly Cheese Steak ($7) and Tuna Melt ($7) are also offered. $2 extra gets you Fries and Cole Slaw with it. New York Strip Steak Salad, Lobster Salad or Grouper Salad all run $10 each. Chicken Salad and Tuna Salad are $1 less. Chicken Tenders, Chicken Salad Sandwich, BBQ Pork Sandwich, Grilled Cheese, Wings, Fried Oysters and their popular Po' Boy, run $6-10 each. Cold beer and a full bar for tropical drinks, wash it all down. $1 drafts all day too. Friday Night Fish Fry features an 8 oz. Walleye with Fries and Slaw at $12.50. Laurie Protzman, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/14) Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Cackleberry Café, 13685 S. US Hwy. 27/441, Summerfield, FL. 7.1 mile drive from The Villages. 307-9870. (American) [L/D] Changed hands again in 2016. On US 27/441 (just south of SE 135th St.), it is about 3000 feet north of the Del Webb Spruce Creek (North) Country Club entrance, in the Midway Centre Plaza, at Suite #11, where Jitterz Café, then Noona's Restaurant & Pizzeria did business. "Cackleberry" is a slang term for a Chicken Egg. Open 8 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday through Saturday, to 4 PM on Tuesday and to 2 PM on Sunday. Closed Mondays. Appetizers include Fried Vidalia Onion Petals, Pork Eggrolls, Fried Green Tomatoes and Jalapeño Cheese Wraps (all $6 each). Dinner items include Pork Chop ($9), Pork Fritter ($9), Roast Beef ($10), Grilled Tilapia ($10), Country Fried Steak ($10), Chopped Angus Beef Steak ($10), Grilled Shrimp ($11) and Liver & Onions ($12). Southern Fried Chicken is a specialty with 2 piece, 4 piece, 8 piece and 12 piece dinners running $7/$9/$18/$23. Sandwiches offered are Grilled Cheese ($7), Veggie Wrap ($8), Havana ($8), BLT ($8), Pulled Pork ($9), Meatball ($9), Blackened Fish ($9), Chicken ($9), Philly Steak ($9) and various Wraps ($10 each). Salads ($7-10 each) and Burgers ($8-10) are also available. Pizza, Wings and Calzones are on the menu too. Breakfast served all day. Beer and wine licensed. David Gager and Christine Dewey, new owners.

Review: (from Dennis C. 10/16) Stopped in at 11:30 AM and was one of two customers in the restaurant. Mercedes was my friendly server. I had 2 Pancakes, 2 Eggs and 2 Strips of Bacon ($8) with a cup of Coffee ($2). Nothing special here but the Pancake batter was unique. It made for a heavy cake. Food came out promptly. Clean interior but no lunch patrons on a Thursday noontime. My total was about $10 before t&t.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Café Havana, 923 N. Magnolia Ave., Ocala FL. 22.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-4853. (Caribbean) [B/L/D] Located in the Magnolia Village Shopping Center at the corner of NE 9th St., a few blocks north of downtown. Open from 7 AM to 7 PM Monday thru Friday and 9:30 AM to 5 PM on Saturday. Closed Sundays. A little café offering traditional breakfast, plus Cuban Sandwiches and Plates for lunch and dinner. Their famous Cuban is toasted on the grill. Steak, Roast Pork, BBQ Pork, Grilled Chicken, Fish, Ham & Cheese as well as Croquette Sandwiches all served with French Fries, are offered from $4-6 each. Plates of Roast Pork, Cuban Chicken, Ground Beef, Shredded Beef, Cubed Beef, Fried Pork Chunks, Cuban Cod and Cuban Steak are all served with Rice, Beans, Plantains or Yucca at $7 each. Croquettes, Papas Rellenas and Yellow or Moro Rice are among the side dishes. Cuban Flan and Pastries are offered for dessert. No bar but a wide variety of soft drinks and juices available. Mango, Mamey, Guanabana and Guava Milkshakes are unique Cuban flavors at $3 each. Luis Eloy Canelon, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Café Ola, 400 N. 14th St., Leesburg, FL. 10.1 mile drive from The Villages. 365-0089. (Cafe) (Caribbean) [B/L] Located on US 27 at the NE corner of Center St., 3 blocks north of Main. In business since 2007 and formerly called The Latin Café. Open 8 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Friday only. Breakfast items run $2.50 to $4.50 each. For lunch, their most popular item is the authentic Hot Pressed Cuban Sandwich ($7), but Meatball, Steak, Roast Pork, Chicken, BLT, BBQ Cuban, Philly Cheesesteak and Chicken Philly are also offered (ranging $7-8 each). Larger meals like Picadillo ($7), Yucca Dinner ($7.50) and Black Beans & Rice ($4-7) are also on the menu. Large Salads like Caesar ($7), Greek ($8) and Suzann's ($8) can be had too. Empanadas, Plantains, Stuffed Yucca and Croquettes ($2 each) can be a meal or a side dish. Soups and Chili run $3 each. Lots of latin pastries are sold from a Churro, and Guava Turnovers, to Flan ($1-2 each). Cuban Espresso ($2) and soft drinks, like Malta available. No bar. Jamie Young, owner.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Hester's Drive Inn and Restaurant (1954) (1957)
1321 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL.

Image
Not Rated Café On The Lake, 18976 E. Hwy. 40, Silver Springs, FL. 22.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-289-4902. (Italian) (Southern) [B/L/D] Opened February, 2014. Located east of Lynne on SR 40 (aka Ft. Brooks Rd.) in the Ocala National Forest. It's across from the Mill Dam Lake Resort, right on Halfmoon Lake. Open 7 AM to 8 PM Wednesday through Sunday only. An eclectic array of Italian and Southern food that includes Clam Chowder, Burgers, Lasagna, Cat Fish, and others, all under $10. $2 breakfast specials offered. Noted for large portions. No bar. BYOB. Patio dining. Jeff Brosman, owner.



Image
Not Rated Candler Hills Restaurant, 8139 SW 90th Terr. Rd., Ocala, FL. 27.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-861-9720. (American) [L/D] Open daily from 11 AM to 7 or 8 PM, except Sunday 8 AM to 6 PM. Located 6 miles west of I-75 off SR 200, north on SW 80th Ave. then west on SW 80th St., in the On Top of the World community. Entrées include Fish and Chips ($9), Crab Cakes ($13), Meat Loaf ($10), Pasta Primavera ($10) and Grilled or Blackened Rib Eye Steak ($11). Burgers and Chicken Sandwiches are also on the menu at $8. Various Paninis like Cuban, Bacon Egg and Cheese, Chicken Pesto and Italian all run $7-9 each. A-la-carte vegetables are $2 each. Lunch ranges from $5 for Egg Salad Sandwich to $9 for Crab Cake or Mahi. Large Salads are also offered like Cobb, Key Lime Chicken, Caesar and others ranging $4-9 each. Rich desserts, like Kahlua Flan, Killer Brownie Sundae, Key Lime or Sweet Potato Pecan Pie, are also offered at $4-6 each. Early Bird Specials offered seasonally before 6 PM. Friday Fish Specials and Weekend Prime Rib Dinners ($13) are featured. Sunday Brunch runs 9 AM to 1:30 PM at $9 per person. Full bar. Reservations accepted. 18% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Don Hall, restaurant manager; developer owned.



Image
12½ Stars Carmine's Café, 8810 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala, FL. 25.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-854-1000. (Italian) [L/D] Located across from Pine Run. Opened in March, 2008. Hours are 10:30 AM to 9 PM weekdays; Saturday 3-9 PM; and Sunday Noon to 8 PM. Noted for their homemade Sicilian Garlic Bread. Dinner appetizers include Artichoke Francese, Fried Calamari, Mozzarella Caprese and Shrimp Cocktail. Pasta Fagioli soup is always on the menu plus a daily creation. Besides the House Salad, Carmine's Island or Caesar Salads are also offered. The usual pasta dishes are available plus Linguini Alla Vongole, Penne Alla Vodka, Linguini Mare & Monti, Fettuccini Chicken & Broccoli and Spaghetti Carbonara, Puttanesca or Matriciana, supplement the pasta offerings. Baked items like Stuffed Shells, Lasagna and Baked Ziti are from the oven. Chicken variations include Parmigiana, Florentina, Scarpariello, Marsala, Francese and Pizzaiola. Veal dishes like Parmigiana, Piccata, Rollatini, Marsala and Mondello are created here also. You can also find Salmon Alla Franco or Grouper Livornese too. Pastas include a cup of soup or side salad. The main entrées include a side salad and side pasta. Lunch items are unique sandwiches like Chicken Croissant, Tampa Cuban, Sausage-Peppers-Onions, Philly Cheesesteak and even Fried Grouper. Most dinner meals range $8-15 each. Lunch starts at $6. Wine and beer licensed. Named after owner's grandfather. Angelo Salamanca (Albany, NY transplant), owner. Editor's Note: Numerous reports of staff pouring wine that seems to be complimentary but then appears on the bill. Refuse unwanted refills.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/13) Q=5 S=2 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 7/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 8/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 4/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Shirley F. 4/15) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Sarres Drive Inn & Restaurant (1952),
"For steaks, chicken, frog legs and sea foods"
1920 (E.) Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL.

Image
13½ Stars Catfish Johnny's Restaurant, 2396 North CR 470, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. 27.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-793-2083. (Seafood) (Southern) [L/D] Take SR 44 west out of Wildwood, then turn south on CR 470 about 4 miles past I-75. Located in town on CR 470 between CR 434 and CR 436. Open from 10:30 AM to 8:30 PM daily. Closed Sunday for church. Operated since 1991. Friendly casual "fish camp" atmosphere. Offers Gator Tail, Crab Legs, Butterfly Shrimp, Grouper, Oysters, Clams, Frog Legs and, oh yes, Catfish too. All are southern fried to perfection. Also on the menu are Chicken Wings, Burgers, Chicken, Perch, and even Spaghetti. Homemade desserts are also available. "All You Can Eat" specials most days. Deck dining available. Blue Grass entertainment and dancing on Saturday night. Pedal steel guitar is the instrument of choice here on the second Wednesday of each month for an open club meet. Very popular is the Tuesday Jam Session that starts at 10:30 AM including lunch and a Country Music Jam Session for just $10. "Wall of Fame" depicts known celebs. Full bar. See occasional ads in Thursday's Daily Sun for money saving coupons. Pat and "Catfish" Johnny Galvin, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 9/15) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 4/16) This is a real find. You've got to like fried food. I had the Butterflied Fried Shrimp ($13). My husband had the AUCE Wings (Tuesday night's special) ($13). Both meals came with 2 sides. We started with a Fried Mushroom appetizer ($6). Would have like this appetizer to have more Mushrooms. Portion size was very skimpy for that price. We each had delicious Sweet Tea and their special Key Lime Pie. Heather served us well. Overall, this was a terrific meal. We will return.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Cecile's French Corner Café, 237 West 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.2 mile drive from The Villages. 383-7100. (French) [L/D] French Onion Soup, Baked Brie and Escargot start the menu at $7-11 each. Crêpes like Brittany, Normandy, Chicken and Broccoli, Cordon Bleu and Scandi or other light fare with a French flair are offered. Salads, Quiches, Cheese Platters and Sandwiches are also popular. Dessert Crêpes and Chocolate Fondues are popular too. Entrées range from $5 to $13 each. Desserts are $6-12. Dining on the front patio or inside. Occasional live music. Beer & wine available. Vicki Mac lsaac, manager. Cecile Hatcher, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/06) Q=4 S=2 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rochelle B. 12/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 1/14) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/14) Q=5 S=2 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Cedar River Seafood (Leesburg), 8609 US Hwy. 441, Leesburg, FL. 15.3 mile drive from The Villages. 728-3377. (Seafood) (Southern) [L/D] In business about 30 years in Florida. Located next to Phillips Toyota, just before the Leesburg Airport. Open until 9 PM. Start with a Shrimp Cocktail, Steamed Oyster Cocktail or Gator Tail Bites (all $6 each). Oyster Stew ($6) is also popular, as is New England Clam Chowder ($2/$3). Platters of Shrimp, Scallops, Oysters, Deviled Crab and Fish Filet ($15) or "Feasts" for One or Two include 2 or 4 Lobster Tails at market price are on the menu. Other combinations run $11-13 each. Side items offered are Hushpuppies, Cole Slaw, Baby Limas, Green Beans, Fried Okra and Grits plus various Potatoes. For dessert they offer Southern Pecan Pie, Key Lime Pie and New York Cheesecake (all $4 each). Beer and wine licensed. Another location is in Lake City, FL. (see that listing). Roland and Kathy Bell, of Capt. Bell's Seafood of Florida, owners here.



Closed Champion BBQ and Steak House, 2327 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. Closed in November, 2016 after 17 months in business.


Postcard
Long Gone - Imperial Motel and Restaurant (1955)
"Located on US 27/441, 4 miles south of Ocala, FL. Fine foods.
Lt. Col. A.B. Foreman (Ret'd), owner; Mrs. John Page, manager."

Image
Not Rated Charlie Horse Restaurant & Lounge (Ocala), 2426 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 20.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-4050. (Sports Bar) [L/D] Open daily from 11 AM, Sunday from 12 Noon. Casual pub. Famous for Wings, 1/2 Pound Burgers as well as a 1 Pound T-Bone Steak. Meals range for $4-20. Karaoke starts at 9 PM. Patio seating available. A second location is in Dunnellon. Full bar. Guy & Penny Iannone owners.



Image
Not Rated Chayote (Latin American Cuisine), 2209 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 20.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-304-6879. (Caribbean) (Spanish) [L/D] Located on SR 40 about 3 blocks west of 25th Ave. In business since June, 2014. Open 6 days from 10 AM, closes at 7 PM weekdays and Sunday and 10 PM weekends. Closed all day Monday. Specializes in Puerto Rican native food. The name comes from a vine fruit of a Central American plant related to the Cucumber and sometimes called the Pear Squash. Appetizers include Stuffed Tostones ($8-15), Ham Croquetas ($6), Ceviche ($15), and others. For main dishes they offer Chayote Relleno stuffed with Chicken, Beef, Pork or Skirt Steak ($10-14 each), Puerto Rican Mofongo Relleno stuffed with Chicken, Pork, Skirt Steak or Seafood Salad ($11-20 each), Bistec with Sautéed Onions ($11), Roasted Pulled Pork ($12), 8 oz. or 12 oz. Skirt Steak ($14/$18), Stuffed Chicken with Guava Sauce ($15), Glazed Salmon Fresco ($16), Stuffed Cornish Hen ($18), Tomahawk Pork Chop ($22) or Fried Red Snapper ($22). For lunch they also offer Sandwiches ($5-16 each). Desserts include Flan ($3.50), Tres Leches Cake ($6) and Guava Cheesecake ($7). Kids menu. Music on Saturday nights 7-9 PM. Beer and wine licensed. Sangria and Fruit Juices available too. Happy Hour 4 to 6 PM weekdays. Reservations accepted for large parties. Joel Ortiz, chef; Jose Troche, chef and owner.



Image
Not Rated Video Coming Soon Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen (Ocala), 4235 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. . (American) (Mexican) [L/D] Opening spring 2018 across from Sullivan Cadillac. Previously called Cheddar's Casual Café until 2015, it's a casual, moderately priced, growing chain. Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM, except Sunday from 10:30 AM and closes at 11 PM on weekends. A combination of American, Southern and Tex-Mex fare, all rolled into one. Their menu starts with appetizers such as Onion Rings, Chips & Queso, Chicken Quesadilla, Chicken Tenders, Nachos, Texas Cheese Fries, Loaded Potato Skins and Santa Fe Spinach Dip (all ranging $5-10 each). Classic entrées include Chicken Pot Pie ($8), Chicken Tenders ($10), Lemon Pepper Chicken ($9), Grilled Chicken Alfredo ($10), BBQ Chicken ($10), Dijon Chicken and Mushrooms ($10) and Chicken Fried Steak ($11). Seafood items include Fish Tacos ($10), Grilled Tilapia and Shrimp ($10), Grilled or Cornmealed Whitefish ($11 each), Grilled Salmon ($12), Beer battered Fried Shrimp ($12) and Blackened Redfish ($15). You can also find Honey Glazed or Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs ($11/half or $17/full rack). A few Steaks are featured like the Top Sirloin Steak ($10/6 oz. $12/8 oz. or $16/12 oz.) and the 20 oz. Ribeye ($20). They also offer favorites like Veggie Plate ($8), Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy ($10), Shepherd's Pie ($9), Baked Spasagna® ($10), Key West Chicken and Shrimp ($11) and New Orleans Pasta ($12). Combos pair two items together. Lunch or lighter appetites can have Sandwiches, like Grilled Cheese, Philly Cheesesteak, Monte Cristo or Buffalo Chicken Wrapper among others (all about $9). Various Burgers run $7-8 each. House or Caesar Salads are just $4 extra, as are side dishes ($2.50 each), like Broccoli Cheese Casserole abd Red Beans and Rice. Full Salads run about $9-10 each. Desserts are popular too with Bread Pudding, Apple Pie A-La-Mode, Key Lime Pie, Sundaes and Shakes made from scratch at $4-6 each. Lunch items run about $2 less. Full bar featuring Cocktails and Margaritas. Kids menu runs about $5 each. Founded by Aubrey Good and Doug Rogers in 1979 in Arlington, TX. Now with 150 locations in 23 states, headquartered in Irving, TX. Other Florida locations are in Lakeland (see that listing), Sanford, Orlando, Tampa, Daytona Beach and a few other Florida cities.


Image
12½ Stars Video Video Chefs of Napoli III (Wildwood), 9811 N. US Hwy. 301, Wildwood, FL. 9.5 mile drive from The Villages. 399-6825. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Located in the Wildwood Oaks Business Center, at CR 124A, 2 miles south of CR466, next to Lucky U Cycles. Opened September 29, 2014. Open daily from 11 AM, Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon. Closes at 9 PM or an hour later on weekends. Lunch menu ends at 3 PM sharp. A large restaurant taking up 3 suites of this new strip mall. Specializes in southern Italian dishes direct from Italy with a very wide selection, in a well decorated atmosphere and full linen service. The menu offers antipastos ranging from $7 for Bastoncini di Mozzarella, to Fried Calamari at $9, to Beef Carpaccio at $13. Large and small salads range $5-10 for small and $7-13 for large, like Arugula with Prosciutto. For dinner, pasta dishes start at $11 for Pasta and Sauce, to $13 for Fettuccine alla Carbonara, and to Fettuccine Gramigna at $18. Other items include Ravioli ($11), Baked Zitti ($12.50), Lasagna ($13), Eggplant Parmiagiana ($13), Gnocchi alla Sorrentino ($13), to the Napoli Trio ($16). Various Chicken dishes range $13-18, Veal dishes $16-22 and Seafood dishes $13-24 each. Specialties like Vitello Osso Buco or Linguine al Cartoccio run $32 each. Most meals come with a side, like a Pasta, Soup or side Salad. Three sizes of Pizza start at $7.50 for the 10", $10 for the 16" and $11 for the 18", while Specialty Pizzas range $9-22 depending on size and toppings. Lunch items include Heros ($7-9), Paninis ($8-9) and Focaccias ($5-7). Smaller portions of dinner entrées available at lunch for generally $4 less than evening prices. Cannoli, Cheese Cake, Tiramisu and everyone's favorite, Lemoncello Cake, for dessert range $4-6 each. Children's menu offered around $7. Reservations accepted and required for 8 or more. Full bar, including Italian imports. Franzia house wine runs about $5 per glass, as is Yago Sangria and a Lambrusco. Other selections like Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet, Merlot, Piot Noir and a Malbec run about $7/glass. A Chianti is offered at $7.50/glass. Bottled wines range $30-75 including many from Italy. Domestic beers are $4, while imports run about $5 each. Cocktails like a Martini run $8 each. There are Ports, Cognacs and of course, Lemoncello, after the meal as well. This is the third location for these restauranteurs. The first is on Powell Rd. in Spring Hill, with the second location on US 41 in Inverness (see that listing). Baldev and Sukhleen Virdi, new owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 10/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 10/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from from Walter P. 10/14) Q=3 S=2 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from from Teruko O. 10/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ralph N. 10/14) Q=5 S=3 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 10/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 10/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kat R. 10/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 10/14) Q=5 S=3 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 10/14) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from from Larry W. 11/14) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 11/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sharon S. 11/14) Q=3 S=1 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from James D. 12/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 1/15) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 1/15) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from from Teruko O. 2/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Robert F. 3/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 6/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ronald L. 7/15) Q=4 4=4 V=12 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 1/16) Haven't been here for a while because the kitchen gets bogged down when the restaurant is crowded. At 4:15 PM we had no problem and were seated at a booth in Jason's station. She remembered the Lemon Cello Martini ($8) on the menu and I ordered a Malbec ($7). The "specials" were pretty high priced, so we ordered off the large menu. She had the Veal Florentine with a Caesar Salad ($21) and I had the Penne Boscaiola with a Caesar Salad ($18). Jason reminded us that there is an upcharge for the Caesars. We appreciate his honesty. We had time to chat and found he comes from the Spring Hill location to work here. The salads were nice and crisp, all Romaine but a little too much dressing. But it was a good Caesar. The main dishes came out as soon as we finished our salads. A runner brought them nice and hot and they stayed that way throughout our meal. Generous portions on the Veal and Penne. Both had excellent flavor. We took a little home too. No dessert tonight. When we left there was a long line at the door. Our misgivings about a slow kitchen and cold food were solved by us beating the crowd. The bill totaled $53 before t&t. A little high but the food and service were excellent tonight.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.
Review: (from Neal P. 3/16) Came for lunch and was seated promptly. We had the Veal Parmigiana and also the Chicken cooked in balsamic reduction with Spinach on the side. We also had a Side Salad with House Dressing also a Lentil Soup. For dessert, we split a Cannoli. The service was fantastic and the food was hot and served promptly. Kelly was an excellent server and the bread was out of this world. The total cost of our meal without tax was $32 and we will be coming back for sure.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 4/16) We were early, so seating was not a problem. Our waiter was Tavis and immediately took our drink order. They have a delicious Limoncello Martini which I ordered and enjoyed. I had the Ravioli Special which was made with a Chianti Sauce that was wonderful. My partner had a glass of wine and Veal Francese which was also very good. We both ordered Caesar Salads which have a small upcharge but are worth the extra money. Our friends also enjoyed their meals. The total before t&t was $72.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from MaryLou G. 7/16) It has been a while since we were here last and wanted to try it again. We weren't that thrilled the last time but it was soon after they opened, so time to give them another chance. This time we all were thrilled with our meals. Our server was Antonio (from Sicily) and he took good care of us. I had the Veal Marsala, my friend had another Veal dish and my husband had the Grouper and Shrimp special. The Salads were crisp and cold and the bread was crusty and warm. As it was our friend's birthday, they sang to her in Italian and treated her to a serving of Tiramisu (served with 3 forks!). We all just had water to drink. The cost for the 3 dinners, before the tip was $69. We will definitely be back again.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Charles K. 7/16) My wife had the Veal Marsala and I had the daily special Grouper with Shrimp, Clams and incredible Lobster Ravioli. The food bill was about $45. My wife said the red sauce on her pasta was made with fresh tomatoes and was delicious. All sauces were perfection. Justin was our waiter and very proficient. We arrived just before 5 PM on a Saturday and were seated immediately in a private booth.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 11/16) Haven't been here in awhile. Our Gourmet Group of 8 had reservations and we're seated promptly upon arrival. We were in the main area and it was a quite a bit noisier than in our past visits. For me, the highlight of my meal, was the fabulous bread, dipping oil, and the house salad dressing. I had as my main course: the Stuffed Chicken Parmigiana ($19). Expensive and barely warm, at best. It had tomato sauce and alfredo sauce on it. The Alfredo, for me was inedible. The salt content was so high that it actually hurt my mouth. My husband had the Fettucini Carbonara ($15). Also expensive for basically pasta with sauce. He did enjoy his meal though. Our total bill with one soft drink came to $36. We will return. I will enjoy the bread and oil and the salad dressing. I don't have a clue on what my main course will be. It will NOT be anything with Alfredo sauce, for sure. Maybe I will try Pizza. Perhaps the Pizza will be warm. Our server, Laritza, was absolutely top notch.
Q=2 S=5 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 12/16) Haven't been here for a little while since I felt the food level went down a touch. We went with our family as one of our grandchildren wanted to eat Alfredo Parmigiana with Angel Hair Pasta. Anything for grandchildren. Also wanted to know the truth about the rumors. Yes, the food. I still love their Calamari with tentacles. So good as always. Oil for bread is back to its former glory, though I am not sure it's from Campania. Pasta was not wheaty this time and was good. I asked the server whether Cream of Broccoli Soup was not too salty. She said no but it was. I agree with the previous reviewer on salt. Overall, I'm coming back again. The other grandfather picked up the bill.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from from Teruko O. 2/17) We were a bit disappointed. Something is happening and I don't know what. We've always loved their Calamari with tentacles ever since they opened this place. Tonight, for the first time, Calamari was on the dry side and chewey. When we mentioned this, they were going to make another batch. I said no need and they took it off the bill. That was very nice of them but I would have preferred they gave us the usual good ones. We had Clam Vongole with White Sauce but it was not like it used to be. Friend told us to try Pizza. We said we only like thin crust pizza, that's crispy. No stretch of the imagination what they gave us was thin. The server said the thick one is much thicker and call it Scilian. We ate it. Though it may not be crisp, wish the Pizza was as thin as Neapolitan Margarita. Luigi was not there to ask. Didn't pick up the bill, our friends did.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Now Open Chefs of Napoli (Ristorante Italiano) IV (Ocala), 5400 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 23.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-857-8111. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Opened on February 20, 2017. Located in the Publix Heath Brook Commons Shopping Plaza, Stes. 104-106, near Hardwood Smokehouse. Open 11 AM to 9 PM weekdays, to 10 PM weekends and 12 Noon to 9 PM on Sunday. Same Italian menu as the Wildwood location. Reservations accepted here. Luigi Barile, Antonio & Concetta Cacace, owners.



Image
Not Rated Chesapeake Bay Grille, 4467 Arlington Ridge Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 16.3 mile drive from The Villages. 315-0066. (American) (Italian) [L/D] Located in the Arlington Ridge Community, south of Leesburg off US 27. Open to the public. Open Sunday 8 AM to 2 PM; Tuesdays and Saturdays 11 AM to 3 PM; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 11 AM to 8 PM. Thursday Night Buffet runs 4-7 PM. Closed Mondays and Saturday evening. So Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the only Dinner Nights. Dinner entrées include a Pasta Bowl with Meatballs or Sausage ($12), Cheese Ravioli ($13), Parmesan Panko Swai ($13), Meatloaf ($13), Spring Chicken ($14), Fried Shrimp ($14), Eggplant Parmigiana ($14), Chicken Piccata ($14), or Chicken Parmigiana ($15). All come with Soup or Salad. Sandwiches include Fish, Club, Reuben, Philly and Chicken (all $9-10 each). Burgers run $9-11 each. Salads include Chef, Egg/Tuna/Chicken and House (all $9-10 each). Specials daily. The Sunday Breakfast Buffet is $11pp. Lunch adds more Sandwiches at similar prices. Full bar. Outdoor seating available. Reservations accepted. Amenity Food & Beverage Co., operator.



Image
Not Rated Chicken Time Cuban Restaurant, 10819 SE Hway US27/441, Belleview FL. 11.8 mile drive from The Villages. 307-0555. (Caribbean) [L/D] Open 10 AM to 7:30 PM Tuesday through Thursday, until 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Dinner menu starts at 3 PM. Located in the Belleview Square Shopping Plaza across from Ford of Ocala. In business since 1992. Very popular with the locals. A mix of Cuban and Puerto Rican food. "Mofongo" is their specialty. No bar. Wady Sedan and Marie Del Valle, owners.

Older Review: (from Paula M. 1/11) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Four B's Restaurant and Drive In (1956),
"One-Half Pound Filet Mignon - $1.50"
Opposite the Ocala Drive-In on US 27/441/301 (4835 S. Pine Ave.), 4 miles south of Ocala, FL.
Walter and Nita Bowden, owners.

Image
Not Rated Cody's On 4th, 111 East 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 735-8426. (American) [B/L/D] Located in downtown Mount Dora between N. Donnelly and Royellou where Kermits Key West Lime Shoppe once occupied. Open daily from 8 AM to 10 PM. Not associated with Cody Jack's or Cody's Original Roadhouse. Serving light breakfast items like Bagels and Muffins. An array of salads like Aunt Lucille's Chicken Salad, Albacore Tuna Salad, Classic Caesar Salad, Barbecue Chicken Salad, Mediterranean Salad and Classic Spinach Salad (all ranging $5-9) are offered for lunch and dinner. Sandwiches (all $9) can be made to order with Turkey, Ham, Roast Beef, Chicken Salad, Bacon and various breads, cheeses, toppings and spreads. Cheese Plates ($10) and Antipasti Plates ($10) are also on the menu. Homemade Carrot Cake ($6) is on the menu too. Various wines by the glass ($6) and beer ($3) are also available. Cody Spitzig, owner.



Image
13 Stars Cody's Original Roadhouse (Ocala), 2505 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 21.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-8182. (American) (Barbecue) [L/D] Open daily at 11 AM, now. It replaced the failed Hops Restaurant on SR 200. A wide variety of popular food from Rotisserie Chicken to Grilled Salmon to Filet Mignon. Burgers and Chicken and Grouper Sandwiches range from $7 to $11. Chicken dishes range $9-12. Fresh seafood ranges $14-16. Steaks start at $10 and top out to $22 for the 24 oz. Porterhouse. Early Bird Menu before 6 PM. Open Thanksgiving Day 11 AM to 10:30 PM. Full bar. One of a dozen locations, mostly in Florida, based in Clearwater, FL. This new location operated by John Demetriadis and Allen Musikantow. Another location is located in The Villages (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Dennis C. 7/09) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Howard H. 10/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Continental Country Club, 50 Continental Blvd., Wildwood, FL. 12.1 mile drive from The Villages. 748-0050. (American) (Barbecue) [L/D] Restaurant consists of a dining room and lounge. Lounge open 11 AM to 9 PM daily except only to 7 PM Sunday and Monday. Some shorter hours in summer. Dining room open 4-8 PM Thursday through Saturday only and 9 AM to 2 PM on Sunday but closed on Thursday in summer. Winter hours start mid-October. Located in the Continental Country Club 55+ Adult Community off SR 44, east of Wildwood. Fish Fry offered on Friday night, all you can eat for $10. On Saturday, Filet Mignon is featured. Hardwood Smoked Barbeque items like Pork Back Ribs at $7 for Half Rack and $14 for Full Rack, Carolina Pulled Pork Dinner at $9, Sausage Plate at $9 or combos of the above at $11 are popular items. Full bar with Happy Hour on Monday through Wednesday 3 to 5 PM. Karaoke on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 6 PM during the summer. Open Thanksgiving Day, 1-4 PM by reservation. Watch for money saving coupons in Thursday's Daily Sun. Check their website for special offerings. Stanley Campbell and 8 others, owners.

Older Review: (from Mary H. 6/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
13½ Stars Copacabana Cuban Café, 320 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora, FL. 26.5 mile drive from The Villages. 385-9000. (Caribbean) [B/L/D] Opened March, 2009. Open daily including holidays at 11 AM. Also breakfast served 7:30 to 10 AM Friday through Sunday. Located in downtown Mount Dora, in the "back alley", one block west of Donnelly St., just north of W. 3rd Ave. in a building not very well marked. Another entrance from Donnelly Street is available. Large patio area is now finished. Parking available on 3rd Ave., Donnelly or Alexander Streets. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving Cuban specialties in a fine dining atmosphere featuring fresh ingredients. The menu (with English descriptions) is quite extensive. Items such as Ropa Vieja, Bistec de Palomilla, T-Bone Steak, Carne con Papas, Picadillo Conchita, Vaca Frita a la Criolla, Pechuga a la Plancha, Masitas and Chuletas de Puerco are just some of the meat dishes ranging $10-12 each. Seafood dishes like Compuesto de Camarones, Filete de Pescado, Pescado en Salsa and Pescado Empanizado are all priced at $14 each. Other island specialties also featured such as Copacabana Plate with Steak, Shrimp and Chicken on a sizzle platter, Stuffed Red Peppers, Zarzuela de Mariscos (sautéed Shrimp, Scallops, Calamari, Clams and Mussels), Carne con Champinones, Churrasco (Skirt Steak), Arroz con Camarones (with Shrimp) or con Pollo (with Chicken) are priced $11-17. Signature Paella Valenciana ($18 for one; $30 for two) takes 30-40 minutes to prepare and can be ordered in advance of your arrival. Most entrées come with two sides such as Arroz Moro, Yellow Rice or a Side Salad. Cuban Sandwiches, Medianoche, Pan con Lechon, Black Beans and Rice and Fried Plantains (Verde or Maduros) are also on the authentic list. Cuban Tamales, Papas Rellenas, Tostones and Empanadas are some of the appetizers offered at $3-10. Vegetarian dishes or a hamburger on Cuban bread are available for the less adventuresome. Salads are also offered and run $2-7. Lighter lunch items served 'til 3 PM daily. Contrary to popular belief, Cuban cuisine is not like Mexican food. Very few dishes are spicy. Now offering beer by the glass, bottle or pitcher and wine by the glass or bottle. Patio seating with an outside bar in the offing. Reservations accepted or just call ahead. Mrs. Isabel Figueroa of Cuba, chef; Alberto Paneca, Gullermina De Torres and Antonio Reyes, also owner of El Ranchito Mexican Restaurants in Leesburg (see that listing) and in The Villages (see that listing), owners here.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/09) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 4/10) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sharon B. 7/13) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 3/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
12 Stars Free WiFi Cotillion Southern Café, 101 North Main St. (Hwy. 301), Wildwood, FL. 10.7 mile drive from The Villages. 748-1223. (Southern) [L/D] New sign now calls it Miz Kathi's Cotillion Café & Sweetery. Now open 11 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Saturday, for lunch and for "supper" from 4:30 to 8 PM, Monday through Thursday and 5:30 to 9 PM, Friday and Saturday. Closed Sundays. Located in a former 1905 bank building, this "down home" establishment offers authentic southern dishes from old family recipes. The flavors of the Carolinas, Alabama, Texas and Florida are evident. Items include Low Country Shrimp 'n Grits ($22.50), Alabama Fried Catfish ($14.50), St. Augustine Crab Cake ($21.50), Seafood Platter ($24.50), Southern Jumbo Fried Shrimp ($21.50), Texas Fried Steak ($18), Cracker Chopped Steak ($15.50), Southern Style Meatloaf ($14.50), Crispy Baked Chicken ($15.50), Atlanta Pot Pie ($16.50), Country Fried Chicken ($15.50) and Chicken 'n Waffles ($15.50). You can also find Pulled Pork Platter ($15.50), Pork Loin ($15.50), Train Wreck ($15.50) and other creations around $15 each. Specials like the Thursday Turkey Dinner ($15) appear seasonally. Dixie Caviar (Black Eyed Peas) ($6), Crab Cake ($14), Redneck Nachos ($11), Onion Rings ($9) and Soup Today ($4-7) make interesting appetizers. You can find southern staples like Red-Eye Gravy, Cheese Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes and Sweet Potato Fries too. All entrées served with homemade Corn Bread, and choice of soup or salad. Names like "Last Chicken in Atlanta Pot Pie", "Twelve Oaks Pork Platter", "Steamboat" and "Train Wreck" make the menu interesting. Breakfast creations are equally enticing in season. Appomattox Seven Layer Cake can finish the meal. Coconut Cake Fudge Cake and Red Velvet Cake are also tempting at $7 each. Wine and beer available. Or you can enjoy Root Beer, RC Cola, Orange Crush, Palatka Chocolate Soda or Sweet Tea at a similar cost. Reservations accepted online and may be necessary in season. Filled with treasured antiques of the Old South and Wildwood. Cotillion Cookbook available. Miz Kathi & Jim Vincent, owners here and at Miz Kathi's Southern Sweetery (see that listing), two doors over.

Older Review: (from Mike M. 4/08) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rosalind G. 5/08) Q=1 S=2 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 6/08) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David G. 4/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rae Jean L. 7/09) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ray O. 12/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Laurie M. 2/10) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 12/10) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David S. 3/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Nanci C. 3/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Susan B. 7/12) Q=4 S=2 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 5/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jane H. 2/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/15) Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Teruko O. 10/15) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 1/16) We had reservations for 12:30 PM lunch on a Friday but had to wait about 10 minutes because of the crowd. Without a reservation the wait would have been over an hour. This is a popular place and the lady patrons outnumber the gentlemen by 4 to 1. Noisy because it's busy. Michele finally got to us and we ordered a Peach Tea ($3.50) and a Chardonnay ($6). Great glassware (jars) for the water and tea. I had the Pimento Burger with Sweet Potato Fires and local Cane Syrup ($11.50) and he had the Chicken and Waffles ($13.50). Everything was excellent and sweet. We just had to have a slice of Coconut Cake ($7) to take home too. Great place to bring friends but conversation is difficult. Total was $41.50 before t&t. Nice selection of comfort food here. The other servers helped keep things moving.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Colene M. 2/16) We were seated immediately upon entering. Our waiter, James took quite a while before asking what we wanted to drink. It took a lot longer to get our order. My husband ordered the "Train Wreck" ($16) and Iced Tea ($2). I ordered the Pork Loin and a Hot Tea. Twenty minutes later, the waiter came back and said to me, "we are out of Pork Loin" and gave me a menu to pick something different. I had to stop him 5 minutes later and told him I wanted the Meat Loaf ($14.50) then. They brought everyone their meal and when it came to mine, the guy from the kitchen came out and said, they were doing another one because he didn't like the way the Meat Loaf "looked". James brought me my side dishes and said, "You can start on these". Then I got the Meat Loaf and Hot Tea that wouldn't stay hot because their cup was so thin. It took James a very long time to bring our checks. I won't be back.
Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from James E. 2/16) One of our party ordered the Pork Loin. 20 minutes later the waiter came and informed them they were out of the Pork Loin. So the person then ordered the Meat Loaf. All of our meals came out, and this person had to watch us begin to eat. Another 15 minutes passed and the kitchen person came out and told this person that the Meat Loaf didn't look good to him, and he was going to fire up another one, so he left half the meal at the table while he went back into the kitchen to fire up a new Meat Loaf. My wife had the Chicken Pot Pie ($16.50) and said it had a rather strange taste and we think it was an over use of what they call "Pixie Dust". She also felt that there was not enough filling in the pie. I ordered the Crab Cake Platter ($22). They were dry and over done. The Carrot Cake was stail, as if the slice we got was sliced from the cake in the morning. Total was $54 before t&t. Not a good experience.
Q=2 S=2 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Ellen H. 2/16) Although their largest table seats 8, they added another chair for us to seat 9. We were a bit crowded but it was manageable. It took a long time before our server took our drink orders and then only because we managed to flag her down. After we were served our drinks, it was another 10 minutes or so before we were able to order food and, again, only because we caught her on the fly. As an aside, they are way too busy for only 2 servers and, since it's by reservations only, they do know how many guests will be served that evening. Finally she brought us some Corn Bread and our meals started arriving, one by one. Several of us had our dinners and were well into our meals before others were served. I had The Texas Steak which was very good, but one of our group had Chicken that was raw in the middle. Most of the other meals were fine. Since one of the reasons we choose this restaurant is for the desserts, several of us ordered them. I had the Butterscotch Meringue Pie and it was way, way too sweet. Others had their Cakes and they were excellent. My bill, for one person, was $31 with a glass of wine and before t&t. Not the best experience tonight.
Q=4 S=2 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Karen B. 5/16) This was our first visit to this establishment. I had the Twelve Oaks BBQ, it came on a delicious bun with Coleslaw, with a side of Sweet Potato Fries. My dining companion had the Chicken Salad on whole grain bread. My lunch was very good, the BBQ could have had more sauce, but that is a personal preference. Fries were piping hot and delicious. My dining companion really enjoyed the Chicken Salad. It took approximately 25 minutes from the time we ordered our food to have it served. For me, it was worth the wait. It appeared everyone waited a while for their food, possible that it was cooked as you ordered. Portions were huge, I ate half at lunch and half again for dinner. My total bill, with water was $12 before taxes. We did see the desserts, and oh my, I am ordering that first next time! Huge portions.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 10/16) Reserved a table for 8 for Dining Out Great ready at 12:30 lunch reservation. Considering the place was full, service was very good. We had a Whistle Stop (BLT); the bread was fair. Sylvia Shrimp on Croissant which was good, except the Shrimp seemed canned and not deveined plus 2 soft drinks for $28. A little pricey for Sandwiches. Cole Slaw sides were good. Busy and noisy. An OK place. Others with us seemed to enjoy their meals too.
Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Eric O. 1/17) Our Gourmet Group of 8 had a delicious meal! Brittany, our server, was very attentive. We shared the evening special of Fried Green Tomatoes. The crust was crispy, similar to a Fried Chicken coating. The soup of the day was Williamsburg Peanut Soup, creamy with layers of great flavor. I had Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes and my wife had a BBQ Pork Quesadillas with a surprise of Coleslaw inside it. We took home a slice of moist Carrot Cake to enjoy later. With one glass of wine, our bill was $51. What a fun evening! Where else could you eat in an old bank, surrounded by local history. We bought their cookbook which is filled with their family history and wonderful Southern recipes. We will be back!
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Joe T. 1/17) My wife and I had the Blackened Shrimp and Catfish which were well prepared, except the Shrimp did not appear blackened. The Fried Green Tomatoes were good but the batter was somewhat different, like Cornflakes batter. The service was speedy with the order taking and turn around time to deliver the entrées. I had a take out piece of Coconut Cream Pie with nuts, which was super good. The waiter and waitress were very knowledgeable and prompt. Total bill was $50.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ann P. 1/17) Went for dinner with our Gourmet Club group. We were seated immediately and had a great server, Brittany who was friendly and professional. I ordered Texas Fried Steak with Mashed Potatoes and first time having Peanut Soup, different but tasty. Meals come with hot buttery Corn Bread. My husband had Chicken Pot Pie, which is served deconstructed, puff pastry with the chicken and vegetables served separately. Too full for dessert but took some Chocolate Fudge Cake home. Delicious. Appetizer, 2 dinners, Iced Teas and one slice of Cake was $55.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Horne's Restaurant (1962)
SR 44, Wildwood, FL.

Image
Not Rated Cottage Inn Restaurant, 340 South US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 3.0 mile drive from The Villages. 753-3533. (American) [B/L/D] Home style cooking. Popular with locals. Sonmi Cho, owner.



Image
Not Rated Video Free WiFi Cousin Vinnie's, 10700 US Hwy. 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.7 mile drive from The Villages. 253-2442. (Sports Bar) [L/D] Opened in 2008, originally known as Cousin Vinnie's Chicken Wings, now referred to as a Family Sports Restaurant. Tucked into the end of a small strip mall, across from the Lake Village Mall at Lakes Blvd., a mile past the airport. Open 11 AM to 9 PM, every day, but later for major televised sporting events. If its Chicken Wings you're after, this is the place for Buffalo's Anchor Bar recipe. The menu boasts 100 wings for $76 and you can mix up to four flavors. They also sell them $58/75, $40/50, $29/35, $17/20, $13/15, $9/10 and 6 bucks for 6 wings. Their sauces range from "Wimpy" through "Burn Your Bottom" and "Purple Heart". But there are dozens of other sauces, like "Honey Kissed", "Raspberry", "Hawaiian", "Cajun" or even Dry Rubs that are available too. It's the "Home Depot" of Chicken Wings and Sauces. Other meals include Deep Fried Hot Dog ($7), Chicken Strip Dinner ($8), Fried Shrimp ($8), Stuffed Spuds ($8) and Corona battered Fish-N-Chips ($9). Burgers ($7 and up) are also hidden on the menu. Personal Pan Pizzas run $6-7 each. A Peanut Butter and Jelly Pizza ($6) is a hit with the kids, as are Chicken Strips ($6) and a Corn Dog ($6). Salads ($5-9), Wraps ($8) and Subs ($6-10) are also offered. For dessert you can find Deep Fried Ice Cream ($7) and Fried Twinkies or Snickers ($6), both unique and popular items. 5 beers on tap, 10 more by the bottle. Free refills on soft drinks. Ordinary House Wine by the glass. Beer and wine only here. Features Sports Night on Sundays, Bike Night on Mondays, Family Night on Tuesdays, Trivia Night on Wednesdays, Karaoke Night on Thursdays, plus Cruise-In Events during the year. Vinnie Vittoria of Buffalo, owner.



Image
Not Rated Coyote Cantina (Southwest Bar & Grill), 18 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-2331. (American) (Mexican) [L/D] Opened November 16, 2012. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily but to 2 AM Wednesday through Saturday. Kitchen closes at 9 PM. This new bar and grill restaurant took over the spot where BFE was located just off the square in downtown Ocala. It offers southwestern food, including Wings, Chicken, Burgers and Tex-Mex style grub. Music and bar-top dancing are featured at night. Maria Peña, chef; Chris Armstrong, Kevin Reynolds, Hugh Price and Robert & Amanda Tillander, owners.



Image
Not Rated Coyote Rojo Mexican Restaurant, 2082 W. CR 48, Bushnell, FL. 30.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-569-0302. (Mexican) [L/D] Located across from Walmart, just east of I-75. In business here since 2009. Open 7 days per week, 11 AM to 9 PM. Typical Mexican dishes like Quesadillas, Nachos, Buffalo Wings, Fiesta Platter and Guacamole, Cheese or Bean Dip, are offered for appetizers. Sizzling Fajitas like Vegetarian, Chicken, Steak, Shrimp and Combos range $9-13 each. Other entrées include Arroz con Pollo, Grilled Pork, Chicken Mole Enchiladas, Chile Colorado, Chile Verde, Pollo Asado and Carnitas are all priced at $10 each. Carne Asada and Steak Mexicano are $11 each. You can also find Grilled Tilapia, Fish and Vegetables (both $10), Chicken, Fish and Shrimp Combo, Seafood Enchiladas, Camarones Mexicanos, and Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (all $11), plus a Shrimp, Fish and Shrimp Combo at $12. Soft Flour Burritos run $6-8 each. Huevos Rancheros, Chorizo con Huevo and Chilaquiles all run $6 each. Many combinations of Flautas, Tamales, Chile Rellenos, Burritos, Tacos and Enchiladas are available too. Mexican drinks and beer are available, as is California wine. Flan ($3) is their popular dessert, as well as Tres Leches Cake and Fried Ice Cream (also $3 each). Another location is in Groveland, FL. Juan and Alma Alfraro, owners.

Older Review: (from Larry H. 3/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Video Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (Lady Lake), 13637 US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.2 mile drive from The Villages. 259-6603. (American) (Southern) [B/L/D] "Stick to your ribs" southern style home cooking. Items like Pork Chips, Fried Chicken, Turkey and Dressing are just some of the entrées. They now have a "Wholesome Fixin's" menu that includes Oven Fried Chicken, Pork Chop, Catfish, Grilled Sirloin and Vegetable Plates. $6 lunch specials daily, like Wednesday's Chicken Pot Pie. Open Thanksgiving Day with a special menu from 11 AM to 10 PM. Store within the restaurant. One of a very large nationwide chain based in Tennessee.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/13) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Jane H. 7/16) We were seated quickly and our waitress, Amber, took our drink order. I had Blackberry Iced Tea and it was quite nice. I ordered Fried Chicken Livers ($8) with a side of Mac and Cheese and Green Beans. The Livers were heavily breaded and way over cooked. They were difficult to cut and to chew. They had no flavor because of the breading. He had Blueberry French Toast that he enjoyed. He also had a Stewart's Diet Root Beer. The total was $22 before tip and tax. Had better meals here before. Amber was friendly.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Video Gluten Free Menu Now Open Craft Kitchen (Ocala), 2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-7300. (Continental) (Vegetarian) [L/D] Opened December 22, 2016 and located where Cuvée Wine and Bistro did business for almost 7 years at the "Neurological Center". Now also calling itself Craft Cuisine but officially licensed as Craft Kitchen. The layout is the same, but a few islands and banks of wine dispensers were removed. Open weekdays 11 AM to 9 PM and to 10 PM on Friday and Saturday. Closed on Sundays. The cuisine is mostly Italian with Spanish, French, Greek and other Mediterranean influences. All the items are marked if Gluten Free, Vegetarian or Vegan. Their focus is fresh, without hormones and antibiotics. The atmosphere is more casual that before. They offer a number of Tapas like Pan Roasted Artichokes ($5), Eggplant Croquettes ($6), Yucca Fries ($6), Ricotta & Peperonata Bruschetta ($7), Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflower ($7), Vegetable Antipasto ($9), Thai Style Pork Belly ($10), Sautéed Black Mussels ($10), Blackened Beef Tenderloin ($10), Parmesan Crusted Calamari ($11), Arepa Surf & Turf ($12), Pan Seared Crab Cake ($12), Sizzling Garlic Shrimp ($12) and Blackened Tuna ($13). All come with a sauce or accompaniment. They offer a Soup du Jour ($5), Craft Salad ($4/$7), Burrata Caprese ($8) and a Grilled Octopus Salad ($14). There's also a Cheese & Grilled Vegetable Board ($11) and a Charcuterie Board ($13). For entrées they have Crispy Chicken ($16), Bourbon Salmon ($17), Paprika & Cumin Crusted Pan Seared Tuna ($19), Pan Seared Bronzino ($22), Double Pork Chop ($24), Pappardelle Pescatore ($26) and Bistecca alla Florentine ($29). Entrées are served with a Side Salad or Soup. Desserts include Crème Brûlée, Deep Dish Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse Cake and a Coconut Flan (all $8 each). Smoothies, Espresso, Cappuccino and other beverages offered. Full bar with a fair selection of wines. Cocktails run $9-11 each. Wine dispensers offer 8 White Wines and 16 Red Wines by the 1, 2.5 or 6 oz. pours. That runs $6-9/glass for White and $6-12/glass for Red. A large selection by the bottle range $22-74/btl. for Whites and $26-119/btl. for Reds. The lunch menu offers a few of the same Tapas plus Grilled Chicken ($9), Veggie Panini ($9), Burgers ($10 each), Cuban ($10) and a Ropa Vieja Sandwich ($10). Three Lunch Salads run $8-14 each. You can also find a Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowl ($9), Pappardelle Bolognese ($11) and Shrimp & Chorizo Taco ($12) for lunch. Reservations accepted by phone or online. Two private dining rooms can be reserved for special occasions with small parties. Outdoor seating avaialabe. Webster and Fatima Luzuriaga, owners here and at Ipanema Churrascaria (see that listing) and Latinos y Mas Restaurant (see that listing).

Review: (from Paula M. 2/17) We had reservations and were immediately escorted to our booth. There were plenty of options available on the menu, as well as three specials. All entrées come with various accompaniments, plus Soup or Salad. We started with drinks. Unfortunately we were too late for happy hour! Our friends had a Cosmo ($14) and a vodka drink ($7) to start; we shared a bottle of Cabernet/Carmenere ($28). They each had another drink: vodka and a glass of pinot grigio ($8). We ordered the Black Grouper Special ($22) and the Bourbon Salmon ($17). Friends had the Grouper and the Crusted Ribeye ($32). The Salads were lovely and tasty. All of us enjoyed our entrées, even though the Salmon was a bit sweeter than most. We each had Coffee ($3). Because we were celebrating two birthdays, we had two free Flan desserts, which were exquisite and plenty to share. Our server was very good, but the secondary service needs a bit of improvement. The prices were reasonable for a “grown-up restaurant” and the food was very good. We'll definitely go back.
Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi (The) Crazy Cucumber (Market Street), 4414 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 26.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-390-6969. (American) (Vegetarian) [L/D] Opened January, 2015 and located in Market Street at Heathbrook Shopping Center, near Dick's Sporting Goods. Hours here are 11 AM to 10 PM daily, much later on weekends. No breakfast served. Billed as a "Healthy American Grill", this location has a full liquor bar and offers such things as Garlic Jalapeño Fries ($7), Baked Mac 'n Cheese ($9), Nachos ($9) and Tequila Chicken Wings ($10) for your liver and heart to consume. And that's just some of the appetizers. They also have 4 Flatbreads like Veggie with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Date, Roasted Chicken and Fried Shrimp (all $9-11 each). For entrées they have Half Brick Chicken ($17), Iron Skillet Pork Medalians ($19), Sautéed Atlantic Salmon ($19), Seafood Cioppino ($21), Pan Seared Diver Scallops ($22), New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($24), NY Strip Steak ($24) and Grilled Swordfish ($25). Side dishes are a-la-carte at $4-5 extra and include Whipped Potatoes, Smashed Fingerlings, Steamed Veggies and Baby Carrots. They also have Large Salads like Roast Chicken Cobb Salad ($13), Mahi Salad ($16), Tuna Niçoise Salad ($17) and Seared Diver Scallops with Charred Romaine ($18). For Pasta they offer Winter Vegetable Risotto ($17) and Pork & Beef Bolognese Pappardelle ($18). At lunch or for light really healthy appetites, they have a Mixed Greens ($7), Waldorf ($8), Caesar ($8) or a Warm Wild Mushroom ($13) Salad. For the not-so-healthy, they offer a Bacon Cheddar ($11), Bistro ($12), Mushroom Swiss ($12) or Short Rib ($12) Burgers. You can also find a Grilled Cheese Panini ($10), Grilled Chicken ($11), Blackened Tuna ($12) or Catfish Po'Boy ($12) Sandwiches on the list. Soups are featured too, with Minestrone ($4/$6) and Clam Chowder ($5/$7), served daily. Innovative bar featuring, what else, a Cucumber Martini. Occasional entertainment and "Open Mic" Night. Outdoor seating available. Reservations accepted. Dean Grill, chef; Carlos Sanchez and Wendell Landry, owners here and of the Horse and Hounds Restaurant (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/15) Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
Not Rated The Crazy Gator, 402 North Bay St., Eustis, FL. 25.1 mile drive from The Villages. 589-5885. (American) (Grill) [L/D] Open 11 AM - midnight, daily. Located on one-way Bay St. just north of Ferren Park. Typical waterfront indoor/outdoor gathering place. Large Salads topped with Fish, Grilled Marinated Chicken or Cajun Gator Tail are offered. Beer Battered Shrimp and Friday Fish Fries are popular. 1/2 Pound Burgers and Sandwiches are also on the menu. 10 oz. Flat Iron Steak is also featured. Health conscious meals available too. Outdoor deck is popular for lunch and evening sitting. Happy hour 4-7 PM weekdays. $10, $15 and $25 money saving coupons available at restaurant.com or at Everyday Savings Center. Restrictions apply. Randall Connor, owner.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - The Grand View Hotel & Restaurant (1925)
202 E. Magnolia Ave. at Grove St., Eustis, FL.

Image
Not Rated Video Crossroads Country Kitchen, 7947 West Hwy. 40, Ocala, FL. 27.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-1250. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L/D] Located on SR 40 at NW 80th Ave. Hours are 6 AM to 8 PM daily, except to 9 PM on Friday and Saturday and 7 AM to just 3 PM on Sunday. In business since 2003. Breakfast is served all day. Noted for their sandwiches at lunch, like the Country BLT, the Reuben, a Chicken Bacon Melt, Chicken Flatbread and a variety of Burgers like the Cajun, the Patty, the Cheeseburger or Bacon Cheeseburger and one with a Fried Egg on it. Dinner items include a Jumbo Shrimp, BBQ Ribs, Steak and Shrimp Combo, Chicken Fried Steak ($9) and a Catch of the Day ($10). You might find a Salisbury Steak ($8), Shepard's Pie ($8), Grouper Fingers ($10), NY Strip Steak ($11) or Prime Rib Dinner for two on the "daily white board". For dessert you can find Chocolate Molten Madness, Apple Pie and Shakes or Malts. Beer and wine licensed. Janith Aiello, owner.



Image
13½ Stars Free WiFi Cuba Pichy's Cuisine, 10401 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.6 mile drive from The Villages. 365-2822. (Caribbean) (Spanish) [L/D] Located in the Lake Square (ViaPort) Mall facing the highway, where The Tandoor was located. Opened in June, 2014. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily except closed Sundays. Large well decorated dining area and square bar. There is a private room for groups. At lunch they serve 7 Pressed Sandwiches on Cuban Bread ranging $7-8 each. For dinner, appetizers or tapas they offer Fried Mozzarella Sticks, Maduro Relleno, Copas de Tostones Rellenas, Wings and a Cuban Combo, all ranging $8-9 each, plus Shrimp Ceviche at $11. Main dinner dishes include Shrimp Creole ($13), Shrimp Scampi ($13), Sautéed Mahi Mahi ($13) and Sautéed Red Snapper ($14) for seafood; Picadillo a la Pichy ($11), Palomilla Steak ($12), Ropa Vieja ($12) and Bistec Empanisado ($13) for beef; Fried Pork Chop ($11), Fried Pork Chunks ($12) and Roast Pork ($12) for pork, and Fried Chicken Chunks ($11), Grilled Chicken Breast ($12) and Milanesa Chicken Breast ($13) for fowl. Specialties take 20-40 minutes to prepare and include Portabella a la Pichy (Spicy) ($15), Churrasco de Carne ($16) and Marea Terrenar Master piece ($17). Specialty meals for two include Arroz con Pollo ($27) and Paella ($35). Main dishes include Plantains, White or Yellow Rice and Black Beans. There's also Black Bean ($4) and Asopado de Camarones (Shrimp) ($11) Soup. A Cuban ($8) and Grilled Chicken ($11) Salad are also available. Sandwiches and Vegetarian items are offered too. A number of Cuban desserts and pastries are available from the adjoining bakery, like Flan ($5), Tres Liches ($5) and Cuba's Delight ($7). Their menu does a good job of explaining meals. Full bar here with tropical drinks like Mojitos and Sangrias. Reservations accepted. Chef Carmen ("Pichy") and Haidy Arias, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 5/15) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Duane R. 5/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 10/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Eileen P. 10/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ray B. 10/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Glen I. 1/16) We arrived around 12:30 PM, the place had only a few customers. We each ordered the same sandwich (OMG Sandwich); in addition, I had a cup of Black Bean Soup. The service was good. Our server was Yuverqui, who was working the room by herself. Food was good and hot; great on a very cool day. The dining room is pleasant but somewhat dark. Total cost was $19.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bill B. 1/16) We had the Leshon Asada, Shredded Pork with Grilled Onions, Rice and Beans plus Plantains, one of our favorites. The food was hot, freshly prepared and had a nice flavor. Our server was welcoming and did a good job of attending to our needs. Total cost was $33.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dan G. 4/16) Our Gourmet Group went based upon a recommendation. We shared a small pitcher of Sangria with another diner. Fruit that was added was not in abundance and was light in taste. I had the Palomilla Steak that came with several small Plantains and a heaping portion of Yellow Rice. I opted not to have the Black Beans. These all came with a pounded steak of ample size. My wife had the Pechga al Carbon. The Chicken was tasty and of ample size. The cost of both dinners was a good price of $13 each. Our waitress, Yuverqui, was from the Dominican Republic and was pleasant and did a good job with our orders. We met the manager who stated they were only in business for the past 6 months (?). This restaurant is definitely on our list and we would come back.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 7/16) What a wonderful experience this was tonight. We were a party of 8, with reservations. We were seated promptly upon arrival and was served by Justin, the best server I've had in a very long time. We never had to ask for anything. He knew what we needed before we even needed something. I had th OMG Sandwich with a side of Black Beans. ($8 + $3) My husband had the Grilled Chicken with Yellow Rice, Black Beans and Plantains ($13). Both meals were extremely flavorful, delicious, and a good potion size. We each had an Iced Tea ($2.50 each). Even the Tea was wonderful. Our bill came to $26. with a 10 percent off coupon. I will eat the half of my Sandwich that I brought home for lunch tomorrow, and look forward to it. I have never had Cuban food before. I am very impressed with this restaurant and I will gladly return to try some of their other dishes.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Sharon W. 1/17) Eight of us were in the party that gathered tonight with Yuverqui as our waitress, who was attentive to our needs. My husband ate the Caldo Gallego, a delicious Navy Bean Soup ($2.50), with a main dish of Shrimp Creole ($16). He found there were plenty of Shrimp, but the amount of Sausage and Ham was significantly less. The flavor was salty but good. I had the Chicharron De Pollo, ($13) which consisted of deep fried chunks of chicken with white rice and a blend Pichy's spices along with Plantains. I found the chicken a bit crispy, but very flavorful and enjoyed my meal. At the end of the meal, we split a dessert, the Tres Leche. It was a milky cake that had a light, refreshing taste. We both would go back and dine there again. Eight of us sat there enjoying our desserts and coffee and each other's company for about three hours, and our waitress and others working there seemed fine with us relaxing and taking our time. It was a lovely evening.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Lancer's Restaurant & Lounge (1963)
1100 N. 14th St. (US 27 at the "split"), Leesburg, FL.

Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Cup O' The Irish, 3233 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 19.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-694-0245. (Cafe) (Irish) [B/L/D] Located in Maricamp Square near Planet Fitness. Open 7 AM to 9 PM weekdays, 7 AM to 11 PM Friday and 8 AM to 3 PM Saturday. Closed Sunday. Opened in July 2011. Combination Coffee House, Ice Cream Parlor, Pub and Café. Breakfast items include a Weekend Traditional Irish Breakfast of Irish Bacon, Bangers, Blood Pudding, Beans, Potato Scone, Fried Egg, Sautéed Mushrooms, Fried Tomatoes and Toast ($7-10). There's also French Toast with Irish Cream ($8) and a Highlander Pizza Bagel ($7). During the week you can get a Scone with Clotted Cream ($4), Organic Quiche ($7) or Irish Breakfast Wraps ($7-8). Lunch items served until 2 PM include Dubliner Irish Bacon & Chicken Meatball Sub ($9), Shepherd's Pie Sub ($9), Stilton, Slaw & Spinach Wrap ($7), Guinness BBQ Chicken Wrap ($9), plus Whiskey Chicken & Cider Apple Salad ($9) or Stilton Spinach Bacon Salad ($8). For dinner after 2 PM they also carry Steak & Kidney Pie, Country Chicken Pie or British-Style Pork Pie (all $8 each). They also offer Irish Stew ($12), Bangers and Mash ($9), Shepard's Pie ($9), a Guinness Brat ($7) and a number of Pasties like Chicken Curry, Chicken Mushroom, Steak & Veggie, Cheese & Onion and Cornish Pastie (all at $8 with a side of Slaw or Salad). Side dishes are available too for smaller tastes. Kids menu available. Many dishes from Northern Ireland recipes. Espresso, Cappuccino, and Macchiato coffees offered as well as Herbal, Black, Green and Irish Teas. Frappes and Smoothies also on the list. Of course, Guinness beer, as well as Smithwicks and Harp, is available too. Occasional celebration events (like St. Patrick's week) held here. Gary & Tammy Dunseath, owners.



Closed Cuvée Wine and Bistro, 2237 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL. Sadly, after almost 7 years of fine dining and a 13½ Star rating from our members, Cuvée Bistro closed its doors in October, 2016. It is now called Craft Kitchen (see that listing).


Image
Not Rated The Dam Smoker BBQ, 36721 CR 19A, Eustis, FL. 24.5 mile drive from The Villages. 357-6555. (Barbecue) [L/D] Located back off the road, next to Lakeside Memorial Gardens, a few hundred feet south of Powers Rd off SR 19, ½ mile north of CR 44A, north of town. Open 11 AM to 8 PM, Thursday through Sunday only. In business since 1996. Ribs, Chicken, Pork and Beef Sandwiches are popular here at $5-7 each. Half Chicken dinner runs $8, while a Whole Chicken with 2 sides for 4 people is $16. Full Salb of Ribs is $20. Half Slab of Ribs is $11 but with 2 sides is $13. Wings are also available at $7/doz. Specials are offered each day. Kids menu available too. Desserts include Peach Bread Pudding and Brownies. Bluegrass music usually on Sundays at 1 PM. Order at the window. Outdoor seating provided. Beer and wine licensed. Happy Hour 4-7 PM on Fridays. Cash only. Gene Simmons and Jennifer Neal, owners.



Closed Dani's Latin (Fusion) Restaurant, 10465 SW Hwy. 27/441, Belleview, FL. Closed in December, 2016 after just one year in business. Now called Los Magueyes Mexican Restaurant (see that listing).


Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Belleview), 10133 SW Hwy. 27/441, Belleview, FL. 10.1 mile drive from The Villages. . (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] This is the 7th location near Publix in the Belleview Commons Plaza. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Ocala East), 3375 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-5632. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Located near Silver Springs on SR 40. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Ocala North), 4409 NW Blitchton Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-867-7070. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Located near Winn-Dixie in the Marketplace of Ocala at NW 44th Ave. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Ocala Southeast), 7578 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 17.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-687-0158. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Located near Silver Springs Shores in the Heather Island Plaza, end of the Publix strip, Suite #115,. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Ocala Southwest), 11175 SW 93rd Court Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-7377. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Located in the Blue Oaks Plaza on the street behind the Triple Crown Plaza. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Ocala West), 8441 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala, FL. 26.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-671-9888. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Located near the Winn-Dixie in the Friendship Center Plaza at SW 100 St. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Silver Springs), 5125 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-1115. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Located just inside the town of Silver Springs on SR 40, where the Stage Stop Restaurant did business for many years starting with Six Gun Territory. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. This is location #11 for the local chain. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
13 Stars Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Summerfield), 17350 SE 109th Terrace (Suite 1), Summerfield, FL. 2.6 mile drive from The Villages. 307-1686. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] This is the sixth location for this Ocala diner chain. Located next to Keller-Williams Realty, behind Mattress Barn that faces US 27/441, just past StoneCrest. Opened March 31, 2014. A long counter plus tables for 2 or 4 with hard chairs, all dressed in red and white give this diner a clean look. Breakfast and lunch daily, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy ($4), Scramble Cheese Eggs ($6), Country Fried Steak ($7) and a Bacon, Cheese and Tomato Omelet ($7.50) are some of the specialties. Their "2-2-2" runs $4-6 before 11 AM. For lunch, you can find Grilled Cheese ($5), Grilled Ham & Cheese ($6), BLT ($6), Tuna Salad ($6), Rueben ($7), Chuckwagon ($7), Turkey Club ($7), ½ Pound Hot Dog ($7), Pulled Pork ($7.50), Fish Sandwich ($7.50) and a Philly Cheese Stek ($8) are also favorites. Santa Fe Chicken Wrap ($6) and Cheese Quesadilla ($5) are among the items. Burgers run $7-8, depending on toppings. Salads are also popular at $6-8 each. Chili with Cheese is also available at $3/$4. No bar. Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/14) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Judy H. 7/14) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Wildwood), 8727 N. Hwy. 301, Wildwood, FL. 10.6 mile drive from The Villages. . (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Opened Memorial Day weekend, 2016. Located on US 301 at the intersection of CR 462, north of Wildwood. This is the 9th location in the chain. Breakfast and lunch items daily, 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 PM only. Biscuits 'n Gravy, Scramble Cheese Eggs and Country Fried Steak are some of the morning specialties. For lunch, Tuna Melt, BLT and Turkey, Ham 'n Cheese Sandwiches are typical menu items. Grilled Chicken Salad and Santa Fe Chicken Wrap are also favorites. No bar. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing). Closed only Thanksgivings and Xmas. Veterans get a 10% discount. Darrell Warden, partner and operator; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Image
Not Rated Duck's Dam Diner, 9685 CR 464C, Ocklawaha, FL. 12.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-288-8332. (American) (Diner) [B/L/D] Open from 6:30 AM to 2 PM daily and open for dinner only on Friday until 8 PM. Located near the Moss Bluff Dam on the Ocklawaha River, this 50 year old general store, now serving home cooked meals, is low key and friendly. Breakfast is the usual fare for under $5 and lunch is a variety of sandwiches and burgers for $4-6 each. Fried Fish, Chicken and Country Steak is their dinner mainstay running $5-9. Baked Ham, Marinated Chicken Breast and even Garden Burgers serve the more health conscious. No bar. John and Debbie Duckworth, owners.

Older Review: (from Bruce W. 6/15) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
12 Stars Video Video Eaton's Beach Sandbar & Grill, 15790 SE 134th Ave., Weirsdale, FL. 6.1 mile drive from The Villages. 259-2444. (American) (Southern) [L/D] Opened October 30, 2013. Located just west of CR 25 off Sunset Harbor Rd., on the south end of Lake Weir. Open 11 AM to 9:00 PM daily, later on weekends. Was a long time beach hangout, started by Jay Eaton, from 1924 until it closed in 2006. Now it's been rebuilt into a two story restaurant, plus new boat docks. Upstairs is a grill seating 150 patrons and downstairs is a sandbar facing the beach and lake. They feature Florida and Louisiana fused cuisine. Start with Fried Green Tomatoes ($8), Smoked Fish Dip ($8), Garlic Fries ($8), Brava Shrimp ($9), Crawfish Pie ($10), Buffalo Wings ($10), Peel 'n Eat ($10) or BBQ Shrimp ($11), and Marinated Lump Crab Meat ($13) for appetizers. They always have a Soup of the Day ($4/$7) and a Seafood Gumbo ($5/$8) listed. Their headliners are Cajun Fried Chicken ($13), Spanish Catfish ($13), Shrimp Creole ($14), Homemade Mac 'n Cheese ($14) and a Shrimp & Grits ($15). Other specialties include Chicken 'n Waffles ($13), Red Beans and Ham Hocks ($13), Bronzed Chicken ($13), Slow Smoked Pulled Pork ($13) and Bayou Pasta ($14). Beef items include a 6 oz. Filet ($20) and a 12 oz. Marinated Ribeye ($22). For seafood lovers there's Cajun Fried Shrimp ($15), Glazed Salmon ($16), Mahi Mahi ($16) and a Fresh Catch ($20). Most entrées come with a side dish like Red Beans, Slaw, Collard Greens, Cheese & Bacon Grits, Balaya Rice, Succotash or others. A number of Salads, like Grilled Chicken Caesar ($12), are offered. For Sandwiches they offer Pulled Pork ($10), Grilled Chicken ($10), Pastrami ($10), Ham 'n Swiss ($10) and Catfish ($11) or Shrimp ($12) Po-Boys. Also Low Country, Lake Weir and Jazz Burgers round out the "hand-helds" ($10-11). Desserts include Orange Cake ($6), Key Lime Pie ($5), Pecan Pie ($5), Chocolate Brownie ($6) and Churros instead of Beignets ($5). Wine List runs $22-62 per bottle, with many offered by the glass at $5-8 per glass. Kids menu available featuring Mac 'n Cheese, of course. Outdoor seating with lake view and colorful sunsets. Three full bars with daily drink specials. Most cocktails are $8 each. Occasional entertainment weekends. Courtesy Shuttle Service for groups of 10-14 persons from the surrounding area by prior reservation form. $5pp driver gratuity suggested. Winner of the "Best of Taste Award" at the 2016 Taste of Ocala Function. In the lower level, a separate seafood counter called Steam Shack (see that listing), operates as well. Dave Del Rio, of Tampa, chef of culinary distinctions; Gary Giberson, manager and customer advocate; Sue Keuntjes, staff director; Randy Keuntjes, owner and patron's friend.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/13) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 12/13) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 1/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 1/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry H. 1/14) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ann S. 1/14) Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 1/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ralph N. 1/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 3/14) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 3/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/14) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rochelle B. 5/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 5/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 6/14) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Leo M. 2/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 4/15) Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Duane R. 6/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Charles K. 10/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 4/16) It was a beautiful night at Eaton's Beach. The weather was perfect. We waited the 45 minutes for our table that we were quoted. I had the Weir Burger and my husband had the Chicken Sandwich. The food was OK. Service was slow. Amy, our server, was not as attentive was I would have liked. Our meals with 1 Soft Drink came to $26. This is such a nice place on the lake, so we will come back.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Christine H. 5/16) There were 6 of us for dinner on a beautiful evening. The restaurant was crowded but we were seated promptly and our drink order was taken and served quickly. Our waitress, Stacie, explained she would be with us shortly to take our order as she had to greet other tables. We did not mind as we enjoyed our drinks and conversation. I ordered the special - Grilled Grouper which was delicious and served with Rice and perfectly cooked Green Beans. Also had the Peachy Paradise Martini which was wonderful. Restaurant and restroom were clean with beach theme. Total for dinner and drink beforet&t was $30. The others agreed their meal was very good and they would return.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Lynne S. 7/16) Eight of us drove to Eaton's Beach on a beautiful weekday summer afternoon. When we arrived we were greeted and seated inside promptly. The room is large but tables are set up to permit conversation and there is a water view. Stacey was our waitperson. She was knowledgable about the menu and gave us some guidance when it came time to order. She also never let our glasses of water, Iced Tea or Lemonade become empty. The menu contained good down home food and was large enough to interesting without being so large as to be confusing. Pastrami is a specialty. It is smoked, sliced thick, melt in your mouth good and served with brown deli mustard. Five of us had Pastrami Sandwich plates that came with crunchy Shoestring Fries and Cole Slaw. The rest of our party had Po Boy Sandwiches also served with Fries and Slaw. Portions were generous. Lunch for 2 without alcohol, tax or tip was $28.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from David L. 9/16) Since I had never been there before, we decided to try it and wasn't disappointed. The upstairs restaurant was closed for renovation so we went downstairs and were seated immediately. Our server was Kimberly and she came over after we decided what to order and since they had a special 2 for 1 Rib Eye Steaks with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans for $30. It took a while before the dinners finally came out. The meal was delicious and my wife had a glass of Chardoney ($3) and I had a Yuengling Beer ($2) all of which with tax and tip came to $44.
Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Barb P. 2/17) We went with a party of 10 for dinner. The server's name was Amy and she was fantastic. She was very smart and was great in taking our orders and was helpful addressing our questions regarding the menu. My husband and I had Iced Tea and water. For dinner, I had the Salmon and my husband had the Sweet Cajun Chicken dinner. He was afraid that his dish might be too spicy but again Amy stated that was not going to be. The cons regarding my Salmon dinner was that it would have been nice to have a Salad included, instead of having to buy it as an side dish. We did not have dessert as we were both filled up. The weather was great and the décor was very cute. The cost before tax was $37.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Hotel Lakeside (circa. 1895)
On Lake Weir, Weirsdale, FL.
"L.T. Clawson, Proprietor."

Image
Not Rated Edo Sushi & (Japanese) Steakhouse, 4414 SW College Rd. (SR 200) Ste. 310, Ocala, FL. 23.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-861-0666. (Asian) (Steakhouse) [L/D] This restaurant opened mid-October, 2015 and is located in the Market Street Shopping Center at Heathbrook, near Painting with a Twist. Name is based on the ancient name for the city of Tokyo. Full service Japanese Steakhouse offering grill and menu offerings plus Sushi items. Sushi Rolls range $4-7 each. Special Rolls run to $16. Combos range $15 for 7 pieces, to $46 for 20 pieces. Various Chinese dishes run $12.50 for Chicken, $15 for Beef and $17 for Shrimp dinners. Teppanyaki grill items range $12-30 each or $19-30 for combinations. Tempura and Teriyaki items also offered at $10-19 each. Bento Box lunches are $9.50 each. Kids menu available. Full bar. Open Christmas Day 11 AM to 11 PM. Reservations suggested. Ling Zhu, owner here and at Ocean Buffet (see that listing).



Image
Not Rated Eduardo's Lokos Tacos, 226 W. Alfred St., Tavares, FL. 20.1 mile drive from The Villages. 742-1181. (Mexican) [L/D] Opened September, 2015. Was once a food truck. Located where La Yaquecita Mexican Grill and Pico de Gallo Mexican Grill did business for a few years, on a mostly residential street, just west of downtown (on old US 441) at the corner of N. Texas Ave., two blocks north of Main St. Open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM, to 10 PM on weekends and to 8 PM on Sunday. Offers a large variety of Taco dishes at $8.50 each. They also serve Quesadillas and Fajitas ($12-23 each). You can also find Burrito Grande ($8.50), Flautas ($9), Chimichangas ($9.50), Chiles Rellenos ($9.50), Sopes ($9.50), Gorditas ($9.50), Kekas ($9.50), Torta ($10) and Ceviche ($12.50) on the menu. Full bar with Happy Hour 3-8 PM weekdays. $3 Tequila Shots are popular too. Eduardo Cendejas and Leticia Gallardo, owners.

Review: (from Frank K. 5/16) Small and unassuming, Eduardo's offers many Mexican dishes rarely seen on menus around here. Unfortunately, you can't always get them. I wanted to try their Pozole but it wasn't available. Opted instead for the Chilaquiles with the green sauce, hotter than the red, and they were quite enjoyable. Lunch for 2 came to $18. Not a bad deal. The service was perfunctory, but it didn't spoil the overall experience.
Q=4 S=2 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Video Video Free WiFi Gluten Free Menu (The) Egg & I (Ocala), 303 SE 17th St. Ocala, FL. 19.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-7094. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Opened March 2, 2015. Located in Churchill Square Plaza behind LongHorn Steakhouse, near Publix. Hours are 6 AM to 2 PM weekdays and 7 AM to 2:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Over 60 breakfast and 20+ lunch items on the menu. A number of Benedicts, like Crab Cake Benedict ($10.50), Omelettes, like the Denver ($9), Pancakes, like Raspberry Granola ($10), Egg Dishes like Biscuit-Egg & Gravy ($7), French Toast, like the Viva La France ($9) and Waffles, like Strawberry Banana ($10), are offered here. At lunch they offer Soups ($3.50-4.50), Salads, like the Chopped or Cobb ($9), and Sandwiches, like Classic Club ($8) and the Chicken Apple Walnut ($9). Even a Cheddar Cheeseburger ($9) can be had. Premium Coffee, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Lemonaide, V-8 Juice and Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice are available. Patio dining. Kids menu items, like Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Seniors and military given 10% discount on food. No bar. Founded in 1987 in Fort Collins, CO., now owned by First Watch The Daytime Café chain. Now over 100 Egg & I locations are nationwide. Averie Johnson, kitchen manager; Melinda Whitaker-Baker, general manager; Steven and local dermatologist, Dr. David Casper, franchisees.

Older Review: (from Dennis C. 3/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 3/15) Q=4 S=3 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Duane R. 5/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant (Leesburg), 911 W North Blvd. (US 441), Leesburg, FL. 10.0 mile drive from The Villages. 314-9339. (Mexican) [L/D] Open daily. In business here more than 10 years. Burritos, Tostadas, Tamales, Chalupas and Chile Rellenos are on the menu at just $2-4. You can also find Enchiladas, Chimichanga, Tacos and Quesadillas at $4-8 each. Many combination plates ranging from $5 to $8 are offered also. The house specialty is Steak & Shrimp and Fajitas Texanas at $12 to $22. Camaron al Mojo de Ajo is also offered at $10. Full bar featuring Mexican beers and Margaritas. Antonio Reyes, owner here and at El Ranchito in The Villages (see that listing) and Copacabana Cuban Café (see that listing).



Postcard
Long Gone - Homer's Restaurant (1942)
411 Main St., Leesburg, FL.

Image
Not Rated El Toreo (Ocala East), 3790 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-694-1401. (Mexican) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM or later. Offers the familiar Mexican fare like Chimichanga, Steak Burritos, Flautas, Alambre de Camaron, Enchiladas Verdes, Pechugas a la Plancha and Fajitas ranging $6-12. Tamales, Tacos, Burritos, Chalupas and Chiles Rellenos are other a-la-carte items at $5-7 each. Many combination plates also dot the menu around $8. Festive atmosphere. Full bar. Two For One Happy Hour 4-7 PM. Drinks specials weekly. Jose Luis Quiroz, owner here. A second location is on the west side of town (see that listing).



Image
Not Rated El Toreo (Ocala West), 3510 SW 36th Ave., Ocala, FL. 25.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-2121. (Mexican) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 11 PM. Located on SR 200, just east of I-75 exit #350 at the Park Centre and Hilton Hotel entrance. Serves a number of different Nachos, Quesadillas, Chorizo con Queso and even Chicken Fingers and Buffalo Wings to start. Offers Salads like Seafood, Grilled Chicken, Beef Fajita, Taco and Guacamole Salad too ($3-9 each). Some of the special dishes are Chilaquiles ($8), Chiles Rellenos Poblanos ($9), Carnitas ($9), Tacos Arrachera ($9), Pozole ($9.50), Pollo con Mole ($9.50) and Bistec a la Tampiquena ($11). Parrilla Mexicana ($21) is a popular combination of Beef, Chicken and Shrimp. Chimichanga, Steak Burritos, Flautas, Alambre de Camaron, Enchiladas Verdes, Pechugas a la Plancha and Fajitas range $6-12. Tres Leches and Dulce de Leche ($4 each) offered for dessert. Full bar. Two For One Happy Hour 4-7 PM. Alfredo, Antolin and Juan Quiroz, owners here. Another location is on the east side of the city (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) Q=3 S=5 V=3 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 4/16) This was was our first Gourmet Club outing for this quarter. Loved the décor here. Nicole, our server, was excellent. I had the Chicken Enchiladas and my husband had the Chicken Chimichanga ($10.50 each). Both meals were very good. I didn't care for the Chips at all. I've tasted better Chips from a bag in the grocery store. The 2 entrées, 1 water and 1 Frozen Margarita ($7) with tax came to $30. We will return.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ann H. 4/16) Six folks from the Gourmet Club went here tonight. We arrived early for our 6 PM reservation but they quickly fixed the table and seated us. Our waitress was Nicole and she was very quick to take drink orders. She answered our questions and was very helpful and friendly. The place was very attractive both inside and out. We all enjoyed our meal. One thing I thought was nice for small portion eaters, they have a kids and seniors menu. $4.45. I ordered the appetizer, Fajita Nachos, for my meal with some changes. It came just as I ordered. Our bill was $31 including two meals, two beers and two Sangrias (on Happy Hour).
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Elijah's Café, 248 W. Ardice Ave., Eustis, FL. 23.1 mile drive from The Villages. 483-0006. (Greek) (Middle Eastern) [L/D] In business since 2007, aka Elijah's Grill. Located off S. Bay St. (US 19) in the Eustis Square Plaza. Open 10:30 AM to 6 PM daily, except closed Sunday. Warm walls and European photos greet many family patrons. Homemade Mediterranean fare fills the menu. Platters are the main dinner choices such as Baba Ghanoush (Eggplant) ($10), Gyro (Beef & Lamb) ($12), Chicken Gyro ($13), Shish Kabob ($15), Chicken Kabob ($15), Kafta Kabob ($15), Combo ($30) plus others that include a side dish, salad and pita bread. Subs and Sandwiches are popular at lunch or dinner and include Roast Beef ($7), Corned Beef ($7), Pastrami ($7), Cheese Burger (7), Rueben ($7), Tuna Salad ($7), Chicken Salad ($8), Cheese Steak ($8), Philly Cheese Steak ($9), Steak Pita ($9), plus New York Style Triple Deckers like the Italian Supreme ($9-10 each). In addition, Gyro, Chicken Gyro, Shish Kabob, and Kafta Kabob pita wrapped sandwiches range $7-9 each. A few vegetarian items like Falafel, Veggie, Stuffed Grape Leaves and Baba Ghanoush Sandwiches and Platters range $5-9 each. Garden and Greek Salads ($8-9) can also be ordered. Appetizers like Hummus, Falafel, Onion Rings, Mushrooms, Cheese Sticks and Freedom Fries run $3-8 each. Don't forget the Baklava ($2) too. No bar. Elijah Abraham, operator, waiter and chef; Fadi Salhani, owner.

Older Review: (from Colene M. 7/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
10 Stars Feta Mediterranean Cuisine, 306 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-433-4328. (Greek) (Italian) [L/D] Located in the Moses Building once occupied by Chef Daniel's Filet & Fin and before that, the original Primary Oven, just 3 blocks west of the square in downtown Ocala. Opened November 17, 2012. Opa! Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM weekdays, but from noon to 9 PM on weekends. They offer Greek and Italian dishes primarily, and Feta Cheese and Greek Olives are used extensively. Start with authentic Dolmades, Spanakopita, Calamari, Saganaki (Opa!), Bouyourdi, Tyropita, Kolokithia, Keftedes or a Trio of appetizer choices that range $6-10 each. Of course, Greek Salads ($4-9), as well as Mediterranean Salads ($9) are offered. Main dishes include the popular Mousaka ($12), Pastichio ($12), a Gyro Plate ($13), Chicken Souvlaki ($14), Gigantes Hirino ($15), Greek Stir Fry ($16), a Greek 5-Dish Sampler with a small Greek Salad ($18), and of course, Greek Lamb Chops ($26). On the Italian side you can find Baked Spaghetti ($9), Penne ala Vodka ($10), Fettuccine Alfredo ($10), Lasagna ($12), Penne Fratta with Chicken and Shrimp ($15), Mediterranean Cod ($16) and something called Aegean Pasta with Shrimp and Feta ($24). Pizza is also prepared, with White, American, Margarita, Vegetarian and Greek styles on the menu at $10-11 each. Calzones ($8-11) and a Stromboli ($10) can also be found. Lunch items offer an array of Pitas, Subs and Gyros at $5-8 depending on size. Greek and Italian desserts finish the meal. A variety of domestic and imported wines are available including the sweet Greek Mavrodaphne ranging $20-35 each. Corkage Fee: $10/btl. Beer is also carried. Linen serviced tables and high-tops fill the two level restaurant. Reservations accepted. Kevin Molduene and former Taki's chef, Dimitri Pomakis, owners, (aka "Two Guys and a Greek").

Older Review: (from Larry R. 4/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill R. 5/13) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Stu R. 10/16) After meeting in the parking lot, the eight of us were seated upstairs by our waiter, Jason. We shared Greek samples and Calamari ($10). My wife and I ordered a bottle of Black Noir Pinot Noir ($30) and an entrée of their variety meat Packila ($27). The others drank the house Merlot ($16) and coffee ($3) They shared Chicken Souvaki ($16) and a Soutzouk (Sausage) Platter. I had to prompt the waiter to tell us about dessert. My wife and I ate Baklava. In most cases by the time the food was carried up stairs, it arrived luke warm. All in all our dining out experience was mediocre at best.
Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Pig Stand (1949)
E. Silver Springs Blvd. and Watula Ave., next to the Ritz Theater, Ocala, FL.

Image
12½ Stars Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill (Mount Dora), 421 Baker Street, Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 385-3540. (Mexican) [L/D] Open daily from 11 AM.One block east of Donnelly St. Old world flavors of Mexico are offered here. Over 50 dishes are available. Their specialties are Fajitas. Full bar. Special Margaritas available. 2009 winner for "Best Mexican Restaurant in Lake County" by Lake Magazine. A second location is located in Colony Plaza in The Villages (see that listing). Jessie Reyes, owner.

Older Review: (from Jim C. 9/07) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 7/09) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Fiore's Café, 119 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-789-6980. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM or later; Sundays 4 to 9 PM. Summer hours are from 4 to 9 PM daily and closed Mondays. Once located at 207 S. Pine, it recently moved into the old Dairy Queen building previously occupied by Giordano's Café. Popular for New York Pizza, they also have other Italian dishes on the menu including a few daily specials. Antipasto ($10) is enough for two. Cold and Hot Subs run $6-9 depending on size. Italian Meat Pies are also here. Chicken dishes include Piccata, Marsala and Parmigiana ($13-14), plus Veal fixed the same ways ($16-17). Lasagna, Grilled Tilapia, Eggplant Parmigiana and Meat Ravioli ($13-15) are featured also.You can also find Seafood Cannelloni ($17), Spaghetti Gamberi ($18), Penne alla Vodka ($15), Salmon Mezzaluna ($20), Mussels Marinara ($15) and Shrimp Aglio Olio ($13). One signature dish is Black Seafood Linguine (about $22). Warm Garlic Knots are popular here too. Beer, Wine and homemade Sangria is available. Wines by the bottle are listed. Homemade Tiramisu ($4) is a favored dessert. Occasional light entertainment in the corner. Reservations accepted and advised on weekends in season. Winner 2011 "Best Pizza" in Ocala by Ocala Magazine. Juan Lazo and Angel Salamanca, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/11) Q=5 S=1 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jane H. 10/12) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/14) Q=5 S=3 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Blue Bird Restaurant (1929)
3750 S. Pine Ave. (US 27/301/441), Ocala, FL.

Image
Not Rated Video Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi First Watch The Daytime Café (Ocala), 3411 SW 36th Terrace, Ocala, FL. 26.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-2344. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Located in the new College Plaza (where Shoney's was located) in front of Home Depot off SR 200, just east of I-75. Opened October 22, 2012. Similar to the location in The Villages (see that listing) this one has 3,600 s.f. plus a 1,000 s.f. patio. Open 7 AM to 2:30 PM only. Gluten free information available on their website. No bar. Free newspapers and wifi. Call ahead seating for 7 or more. Sign up for their Sun eClub® HERE, for coupons and announcements. This franchise owned by Joe Cody, who plans one for Gainesville too. Started in Pacific Grove, California in 1983, the fast growing chain of 100+ restaurants in 12 states (30+ in Florida) is headquartered in Bradenton, FL.



Image
13 Stars Fisherman's Restaurant, 12311 E. Gulf To Lake Hwy. (SR44), Inverness, FL. 23.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-637-5888. (Seafood) (Southern) [L/D] Closed Mondays & Tuesdays plus 3 weeks in early September. Open Sundays 12 noon to 8 PM. Wednesday to Saturday 11 AM to 9 PM. Also known as Fisherman's Cove. Open Thanksgiving Day 12-8 PM. Located about 8 miles west of I-75 on SR 44, 6 miles before Inverness, FL., just past the Withlacoochie River bridge. Unpretentious building. Popular with locals. Very large selection of seafood and steak dinners. Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Shrimp or Fish Dinners (either blackened, grilled or fried) range $11-17. Scampi, Scallops, Oysters or a 7 oz. Florida Lobster Tail range $16-27. Combos like Sirloin Steak & Shrimp or Scallops & Shrimp or Steak & Lobster Tail range $21-32. Twin Tails are $36. Soft Shell Crab, Frogs Legs or Homemade Crab Cakes run $14-17. Large combos such as the Captain's Platter, Fisherman's Platter and Shipwreck Platter run $25-37. Catfish, Grouper, 'Gator and Lobster on their menu also. Meats such as Pork Chops, 8 oz. Top Sirloin, 12 oz. NY Strip and 14 oz. Delmonico Steak range $11-19. Besides large dinner entrées, you can find Wings, Hamburgers, Chicken and even Grilled Cheese at $4-15. Gator Bites from a local recipe run $5 to $9. Outside dining in season. Beer, wine ($4-9 per glass), coolers and canned pop. Wine list runs $17-48 per bottle. Reservations accepted. Vicki Sue & Bob Root, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/08) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rosalind G. 5/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Stu R. 11/16) I doubted that I would ever find a restaurant deserving our full 15 rating but my wife and I just did. This is a perfect example of what a modest Mom and Pop restaurant should be. We came in at 6:30 PM and there were only two open tables as it was Thursday Roast Beef Night. Our waiter, Conner, met us and took our drink order. My wife ordered a Yuengling Beer ($4) and I opted for a glass of White Zinfandel ($4.50). We perused an extensive menu. She decided on the medium rare Roast Beef ($18 - medium size) with Cole Slaw and a Baked Potato. I chose the Gator Plate ($17) with a Garden Salad and a Baked Sweet Potato. I sampled the hot Bread and immediately took another piece. Excellent! The Cole Slaw was perfect and my garden Salad contained lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, carrot, bits of kale with croutons. My wife tasted her Roast Beef and rolled her eyes at me in mock ecstasy! I tasted it and the au jus was superb! The entire meal was topped off by my having a Mango Cheesecake ($6) for dessert. Great! Vicki, one of the owners, cleared our table and I complimented her. The entire meal before t&t came to $54. This restaurant deserved its perfect 15 rating. We will definitely return!
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
12 Stars Francesco's Ristorante (Stone Fire Pizza), 16770 South US 27/441, Summerfield, FL. 4.1 mile drive from The Villages. 693-2008. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] This restaurant occupies the location in Baylee Plaza that Isabella's Restaurante, then Taverna Red did business for almost 4 years. Opened late February, 2014. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily or later on weekends. The experienced restauranteur brings a wide variety of Italian dishes and Pizzas. The menu uses the Italian language names for meals. Napoletana Style Pizzas are stone fired and range from Margarita, Pancetta & Mushroom, Prosciutto & Tomato, Chicken Florentine and a BLT, all ranging $10-11 each. Or you can build your own with extra toppings priced accordingly. Pastas include Eggplant Rollatini ($11), Lasagna ($12), Cannelloni ($12), Spaghetti Bolognese ($12.50), Linguini with Clam Sauce ($13) and others. Specialties include Cheese Ravioli ($10), Tagliatelle Alfredo ($11) and Tagliatelle with Salmon ($13). You can also find Coconut Butterfish ($11.50), Salmon Cleopatra ($15) and Zuppa Fra Diavlo ($16). Chicken dishes run $12-13 each. All main dishes come with a choice of Soup (like Italian Wedding Soup or Pasta Fagioli) or Side Salad. Appetizers include Mussels ($7.50), Fried Mozzarella ($7.50), Fried Calamari ($8.50), Bruschetta ($7.50), Antipasto ($9) and a Sampler ($10). Large Salads are also offered like Salmon Salad, Caesar Salad, Steak Salad and Chopped Salad (all $9-10 each). Lunch items, before 3 PM, include Meatball, Chicken Parm., Sausage & Peppers, Grilled Chicken, Turkey BLT Wrap, and Sausage & Peppers Sandwiches ($7-9 each). There's a Sirloin Burger too, at $8. 20% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Full bar with an interesting wine list. Family style meals on Sunday at $19 for 2, 3-Course Meal at $30 for 2 on Monday, NY Strips for 2 at $26 on Tuesday, Seafood for 2 at $23 on Wednesday and Braciole for 2 at $20 on Thursday. Open Thanksgiving Day 11 AM to 7 PM. Occasional entertainment including comedy. Happy Hour before 7 PM. Small Corkage Fee. Eric Reed and Noel Bravo, chefs; Francesco (Franco) Esposito, partner; Kathy Funk and Paul D'Alto, owners.

Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 3/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 3/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 4/14) Q=4 S=1 V=4 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Daniel G. 5/14) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 7/14) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 9/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Leo M. 1/15) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 6/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Betty P. 9/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 1/16) Have not been here in quite a while. At 6 PM on a Tuesday, our "15 minute wait" turned into a half hour wait. We had drinks at the bar. Only one bar maid. We had a nice quiet booth alcove in the main room when seated. (Chris)Tina was our server. I had a glass of Malbec ($7) with my meal. I also had Eggplant Rollatini ($11) with a Caesar Salad and Pasta. She had Salmon Cleopatra ($15) with a Caesar. Nothing on the menu said that Caesar Side was a $1 up-charge each, nor did Tina mention it. The food was pretty ordinary. Their red sauce is quite good, however. Our total with one wine came to $35 before t&t. We remarked that not one employee, including Tina and owner, Franco, smiled in this restaurant. As we left, the host did not even say "Goodnight", even with eye contact. Reasonable prices, very busy dining room, ordinary Italian, unfriendly atmosphere. We know better places for Italian.
Q=2 S=2 V=5 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Frank K. 5/16) This was our first visit, in a group of 8. The restaurant has two very large dining areas separated by a small bar. We were seated in what appeared to be the largest room and it was nearly empty at 6 PM on a Saturday. We were served promptly and professionally by Kenzie. The menu is varied and extensive with daily specials, too. I had the Rack of New Zealand Lamb ($17) and it was excellent with no hint of wool. My wife had the Pollo Casalinga ($13) and enjoyed it. Everyone in our group, in fact, was pleased with their selection. Portions range from ample to huge. The house Chardonnay was pleasant and not overly oaked. It was $6 for the 2-for-1 special. A few concerns: The room has no sound-absorbing material and despite being nearly empty it was quite noisy. And surprisingly there were several TVs in the room, OK for a bar area but never in a dining room and this added to the noise level with some fans cheering on their favorite team. Finally, we faced a west wall whose window treatments had big vertical gaps that kept some guests busy dodging the blinding rays. Except for these issues, Francesca’s would rate 14 stars.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 6/16) We were seated promptly for our 5:30 reservation for a party of 6. It was a busy Saturday night and the kitchen was a little on the slow side. Our server, Michael, served us well. My husband and I had the $25 Special. It consisted of 1 appetizer, 2 salads, 2 entrées. It was a certain menu to order from. I had the Zucchini and Squash Parmesan, and my husband had the Portofino Summer Dinner. (Shrimp, scallops, and portobello mushrooms in a garlic/wine light marinara sauce over pasta.) Both dishes were very good. The bread they put on the table was delicious. If my memory serves me correctly, the bread now is much better than it was in the past. The dipping sauce (balsamic dressing) is top notch. Our meals with 1 wine special 2 for 1, ($6.25), and a soft drink ($2.25), came to $36 including tax. Great meal, terrific friends and good service, but that back room is very noisy.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 6/16) Went here with our neighborhood group. Although many of our neighbors seem to like this place, we are not one of them. The food reminds me of Italian American joint of the 50s. We had House Cabernet which was not bad for the price. My Vongole White came well done despite the fact I asked for al dente. She said her Bruschetta Ben Fatte was OK. She liked the Italian Wedding Soup. Server, Michael, was efficient. The bill without drinks came to $30.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Jan T. 9/16) This was a very nice experience tonight. We arrived for our 5:30 reservation and were seated immediately. Michael, our server, was top notch. Our meals, mine, Tagliatelle al Salmone, and my husbands, Linguine in White Clam Sauce, were hot and delicious. They were $13 each. The salads were perfect, as was the bread and the balsamic dipping sauce. We started with the Brushcetta appetizer ($7.50). We each had their wine special 2 for 1 ($6) each. Our meal came to $45. We were well taken care of, and were checked on numerous times. Nothing could have been any better than it was. Of course we will return.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Hank T. 1/17) This is an easy review. The meals and service tonight were great. Jamie, our server, took excellent care of us. We had the Eggplant Rollatini ($11) and the Linguine in White Clam Sauce ($13). We just had water as our beverages. Love the Salad and Bread with the Balsamic Dipping Sauce. A terrific meal at a wonderful price. Our bill came to $27.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Fruitland Park Café, 3180 US 441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.2 mile drive from The Villages. 435-4575. (Cafe) [B/L/D] Located next to the Dinner Bell Restaurant. "Eat Healthy - Work Hard - Play Fair". A family oriented establishment. This café serves up coffee (self-serve) at just 50 cents per cup, all day. Breakfast is served 6-11 AM and all day Sunday. Lunch ends at 3 PM when the restaurant closes. "Supper" now being offered on Monday nights only, from 4:30-7:30 PM. Design your own breakfast, which can be 2 Eggs, 2 Toast, 2 Bacon Strips, 1 Sausage Patty, 1 Pancake, 1 Biscuit, 1 Toasted Bagel, 1 English Muffin, Grits, Home Fries, Hash Browns, Sausage Gravy, Sliced Tomato or Fruit, all at $1 for each item. Thick Cut New Orleans French Toast ($4), Breakfast Sandwiches ($2-3) and Biscuits & Gravy ($2-3) are also on the menu. Fresh OJ ($1.50) is a favorite in season. Lunch items include Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich ($5), a Cuban Pressed Sandwich ($7), Patty, Tuna or Turkey Melt ($5 each), Pulled Pork Grinder ($5), Club Sandwich ($6) and many Subs ($7-9 each). Burgers are popular at $5-7 each depending on toppings. Salad Plates ($6), Homemade Soup ($3.50/bowl), Wraps ($5), Hot Dogs ($2.50) and Chicken Wings ($7.50/10) are on the menu too. "Supper Night" (Mondays) may offer Fried Catfish, Cheese Grits, Garden Salad, Baked Potato, Green Beans and Peach Cobbler at just $9, all you can eat, with a soft drink. Another supper may offer Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Garden Salad, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Dessert and Coffee. Menu changes weekly. Watch Sunday's Daily Sun for their ad. No bar. Andrea (Niki) Pewsey, owner.

Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 10/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
10½ Stars The Frog & Monkey Restaurant Pub, 411 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 26.4 mile drive from The Villages. 383-1936. (American) (British) [L/D] Open daily from 11 AM. In the Renaissance Building basement, once occupied by the Frosty Mug and then Retro Wine Cellar & Bistro. This is now an English Pub with international flair. Both English, Irish and Italian food is offered. Typical entrées range from $14 (Spaghetti) to $20 (Seafood Pasta dish). Of the British items Cottage Pie ($15), Bangers & Mash ($15), Fish 'n Chips ($17) and Shrimp 'n Chips ($17). Other items include Grilled Teriyaki Glazed Salmon ($18) and Grilled Chicken Breast ($17). Paninis are also on the menu at $8-9, as are Burgers from $9 to $11 each and Flatbreads at $9-15 each. Full bar. Baked Brie ($9) makes an interesting dessert. 2009 winner for "Best Pub Cuisine in Lake County" by Lake Magazine. Yuthana (Ed) and Susanna (Suzy) Parsons, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/10) Q=4 S=4 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 12/13) Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/15) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Hotel Mount Dora (1922) (2009)
"Midst Lakes and Hills". Now The Renaissance Building
411 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL.

Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Froggers Grill & Bar (Mount Dora), 4931 Lake Park Ct. (off US 441), Mount Dora, FL. 23.3 mile drive from The Villages. 385-3555. (American) (Sports Bar) [L/D] Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily. One of a small chain. Fajitas ($13), Seafood Combo Basket ($13) and Shrimp or Scallop Baskets ($11) are offered. Fried Clams and Fish Filet also on the menu. Selection of Tacos, Soups, Salads and Buffalo Wings also. Large selection of Pizzas available. Sandwiches, Subs and Burgers ($7-8) are there too. One thing missing on their menu is Frogs. Daily specials. Full bar. Live entertainment 3 nights per week. Five locations in Florida. Another located in Apopka. Both owned by George Hakim.



Image
10½ Stars Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, 17860 SE 109th Ave., Summerfield, FL. 2.0 mile drive from The Villages. 347-6119. (Asian) [L/D] Traditional Japanese restaurant plus Sushi Bar located in the Spruce Creek Terrace Shoppes, Suite 618. Entrées range from Chicken ($13), Vegetarian ($13), Teriyaki Steak ($15), NY Steak ($16), Shrimp ($16), Filet Mignon ($19), to various combinations of those up to $26, all cooked on teppanyaki griddles by accomplished chefs. $14 Early Bird meal offered before 6 PM. Sushi ranges $3 for Egg, to $5 for Sweet Shrimp. Special Rolls range from $7 for Crunch Roll, to $13 for Salmon, Avocado Bagel Roll. Soups and Salads also offered, plus Shumai (Shrimp Dumpling) at $4, Tuna Todaki (Grilled) at $8 and Futo Maki (Crab) at $9 are also popular items. Full bar. Joon Lee and family, owners.

Older Review: (from Marlene C. 4/07) Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bob C. 7/08) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 8/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Gator Bay Bar & Grill, 10320 CR 44, Leesburg, FL. 18.0 mile drive from The Villages. 365-2177. (Sports Bar) (Southern) [L/D] Open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM, except closed Mondays.Located in a marina on Haines Creek on County Route 44, not State Route 44, 1/4 mile east of CR 473 (Haines Creek Road). Salads ($5-7), Burgers ($6-7), Hot Dogs ($3.50), Wings (20/$13) and Sandwiches ($6-8) are the norm here. Lunch specials start at $5. Such local favorites include Catfish Nuggets, Jalapeno Poppers and Southern Pork BBQ. A Gator Bay Po Boy is popular at $8. $8 Fish Fry offered on Fridays from 4 PM. Beer license only by draft or bottle. Happy Hour Tuesday through Friday 2-6 PM. $9 and $15 money saving coupons available at restaurant.com or at Everyday Savings Center. Restrictions apply. George Linardos and Kevin Goodson, managers; Norma Goodson, owner.



Image
10½ Stars Gator Joe's Beach Bar & Grill, 12431 SE 135th Ave., Ocklawaha, FL. 9.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-288-3100. (American) (Southern) [L/D] Located off CR 25. Turn south at the traffic light in Oklawaha. Named after a 15 foot alligator that live in Lake Weir in the early 1900s. Entrées range from Mama's Mahi-Mahi, Fried Fish or Oyster Baskets, Chicken Fingers, Fried Shrimp and Baby Back Ribs to Gator Tail and Jumpin' Frog Legs. Other meals for the less adventuresome range from $8 to $14. Tuesday and Thursday all-you-can-eat specials. Deck and Tiki dining out over the lake. Laid back Florida waterfront beach bar atmosphere. Excellent for sunset cocktails. Entertainment on Friday nights. Closed Mondays. Popular with the college crowd on weekends and Villages groups during the week. Full bar. Green Gator Juice a specialty. In business since 1926 under various names. Steve Poucher, general manager; Ray McBride and Kirk Boone, current owners.

Older Review: (from Dennis C. 1/07) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David G. 7/08) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/08) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 10/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jeanne B. 2/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 3/12) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 6/14) Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 3/15) Q=2 S=1 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.

Review: (from Stu R. 10/16) My wife and I drove out to Gator Joe's for lunch. We were promptly seated and our waiter introduced himself as Hobi. We both had one of their specialty drinks which were delicious. The lunch specials were super. My wife had a Burger and she said it was one of the best she had eaten. I asked her if she would come back and she said definitely, which after 59 years of marriage, I can safely interpret as being a good endorsement. I had a Fish Meal which in my discerning opinion was also excellent. Both meals were served in a plastic basket. We ate outdoors on the pier which was a bit wobbly. The view was magnificent! This place is not fancy but they are attentive to quality food.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Video Gator's Dockside (Ocala) 3920 SW 42nd St. at SR 200, Ocala, FL. 25.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-433-2441. (Sports Bar) (Southern) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to Midnight. Located in the Berkshire Oaks Plaza on SR 200. More unusual pub food than other chains but no traditional grilled Chicken, Steaks or Fish entrées on the menu. Smothered Pulled Pork, Turkey Muffalatta and Gyros can be found on the Sandwich Menu. Cajun Chicken Alfredo, Baby Back Ribs, Quesadillas, Wings and Cobb Salad are just some of the main dishes offered. Noted for their Chili. Sports bar atmosphere with lots of big TVs. Full bar. 18% gratuity added on parties of 8 or more. Winner 2011 Ocala's Sportiest Restaurant by Ocala Magazine. One of 25 locations headquartered in Heathrow, FL. Chris Ciarletto, manager here. Another location is in The Villages (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Nadine F. 9/09) Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
Not Rated (The) Getaway Deli, 2637 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Ocala, FL. 21.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-789-6474. (Cafe) (Deli) [B/L/D] Open 9 AM to 7 PM weekdays, to 9 PM weekends but 7 AM to 5 PM on Sunday. Located on SR 40 near NE 25th Ave. in the Hillside Shopping Center, next to Big Lots. Opened in April, 2013. Offering mostly Sandwiches for lunch, like their signature Liberty Bell of Chicken ($7) or Steak ($7.50) with Peppers and Onions and Provolone. Reubens, Chicken Salad, Ham, French Dip, Steak Gyro, Veggie Wrap, Po' Boy and a Croque Monsieur, all range $6-8 each. Fish 'n Chips, Grilled Pork Chops, Burgers, Meatloaf and other items offered at dinner hour. Desserts include Lemon Meringue, Key Lime and Chocolate Cream Pies, plus homemade Tiramisu. No bar. Nathaniel Thibodeaux and Betty Goodrich, owners.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Stephen's Restaurant & Waffle Shop (1953) (1956)
On US 27/301/441, 2 miles south of Ocala, FL.
Next to Chamblees Court Motel.

Image
12 Stars Gianni's Italiano, 425 Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 735-3327. (Italian) [L/D] Moved from Eustis where it was called Café Gianni for about 9 years, this restaurant is right next to The Bavarian Haus German Restaurant on Alexander. Opened October 4, 2014. Hours run from 11 AM to 10 PM daily, except closed all day Tuesday. Offers a wide range of Italian dishes. Private room upstairs can accomodate groups. Reservations accepted. Outdoor tables provided. Beer and wine licensed. Unique Wine List. Gianni Liverotti, owner and chef.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Joanne B. 1/15) Q=4 S=3 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Carol H. 1/15) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Shirley F. 9/15) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 8/16) At 4 PM on Sunday, we were the only patrons. Dakota did a good job explaining the specials. I had Trota Livernase, an excellent trout dish, and she had Sacchettini Pasta which is a pasta puff filled with Shrimp (overcooked) and Pear. Excellent sauce. We split a Caesar Salad. $2.50 extra for Anchovies!. Caesar Salad is supposed to come with anchovies! With a $32 bottle of Chianti Placido which was excellent and served correctly, the bill was $90 including tax.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Cindy D. 8/16) Two of us had Sacchettini Pasta, homemade pasta with unique blends or 4 cheeses, pears with shrimp in wine cream sauce. Waiter was Dakota. It's a small pleasant dining area, quiet, opera music in the background but not too loud. Linen napkins but no table cloths. $19 was my bill. I only drink water, so that was the tab. I had no dessert or extras like salad or appetizer. Shrimp was a little overcooked for me.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Gluten Free Menu Now Open Not Rated Gio's Deli (and Mercato Italiano), 3975 CR 102, Oxford, FL. 7.6 mile drive from The Villages. 748-5558. (Deli) (Italian) [L/D] Opened mid-January, 2017. At the corner of CR 201 and US 301, across from the Oxford Post Office, a few tenths of a mile north of CR 466. Open weekdays 10 AM to 6 PM, but 10 AM to 3 PM on Saturday and closed on Sunday. New building and combined with an Italian Deli. Limited Italian menu, specializing in Italian bread and take home food. A dozen tables with chairs plus a private room for small parties up to 40. For Subs they have Corned Beef ($7), the New Yorker (Pastrami and Provolone) ($7), Assorted Italia (Ham, Capicolla, Salami and Provolone) ($7), Turkey Club ($7), Fried Grouper Filet ($8), Godfather (Roast Beef, Turkey, Ham and Provolone) ($8), Caprese ($10) and their signature hot Roast Beef, Peppers and Provolone on homemade Focaccia Bread ($10). They also have Sandwiches like Chicken Caprese, Philly Chicken Cheese & Onions, Veal or Chicken Parmigiano, Meatball, Sausage Broccoli Rabe or Sausage, Peppers & Onions (all about $7). For sides you can order Potato Crocchette, Eggplant Colosso, Rice Ball, Zucchini Fries, Onion Rings or Steak Fries (all $2-5 each). The also have Pizzas of Cheese, Margarita, Veggie, Bruschetta, Bianca, Sicilian or Pepperoni/Sausage, all ranging $3-4 per slice or $12-16 per 18" pie. Calzones of Ham and Cheese are $7 each. Salads include American, Greek, Julie's, Caprese, Chicken Caesar, Grilled Chicken and Gio's Salad (all $8-10 each). Numerous desserts from the deli case. Espresso and Cappuccino served. No bar. Giovanni and Julie Manco owner here and at Giovanni's Ristorante & Pizzeria (see that listing).



Image
12½ Stars Video (The) Goblin Market Restaurant, 330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora, FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 735-0059. (Continental) [L/D] In a back alley warehouse since 1996. Entrance is from Drawdy Way not Donnelly St. Closed Mondays. Lunch runs 11 AM to 3 PM; and dinner starts at 5 PM, except Sunday, where it runs 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM only. Start with Crab Bisque ($7), Irish Whiskey Onion Soup ($7), Tempura Dipped Artichoke Hearts ($10) or Escargot Vol au Vent ($10). Then enjoy New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($39), Applewood Rubbed Roast Pork Tenderloin ($29), Roasted Garlic NY Strip Steak ($34), Veal Mascarpone or Saltimbocca ($34), Baked Chicken du Monde ($29), 8 oz. Filet Napoleon ($35), Pan Seared Mediterranean Salmon ($29), Shrimp & Scallop Sauté ($34) or Baja Cobia ($29). Or have a healthy Chicken Avocado ($12) or Apple Walnut Spinach Salad ($11) for lunch. Then go on to a luscious dessert ($8 each). Award winning establishment with inviting romantic but dark décor. Entrées range from $27 to $39. Lighter fare, like soups, salads and sandwiches, is offered Tuesday through Thursday only from 3 to 9 PM in addition to their regular menu. Dressy casual. Full Bar. Wine list. Reservations accepted and advised weekends. Recent policy is not to issue separate checks at a table. Ask before ordering. 2008 winner for "Best Romantic Restaurant" in the Orlando area by WESH-2 News A-List. 2009-2010 winner for "Best Romantic" and "Best Overall Restaurant" in Lake County by Lake Magazine. Brenton Hillman, chef; Vince and Janis Guzinski, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich S. 7/07) Q=5 S=4 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jim C. 7/07) Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/07) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Fred H. 9/09) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rochelle B. 9/09) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Max B. 9/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 12/09) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/09) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Laurie M. 2/10) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Al C. 4/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Freda F. 9/10) Q=4 S=4 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from William M. 5/11) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 1/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 4/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 4/12) Q=5 S=1 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/12) Q=4 S=5 V=1 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Nadine F. 5/12) Q=2 S=4 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from John G. 6/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 12/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/14) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Teruko O. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from John N. 1/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Barbara B. 4/15) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 9/16) This was our 1st time here. Had reservations for lunch and were seated immediately upon arrival. Loved the ambiance. Our server, Lesley, served us well. Very good variety of lunch items on the menu. I had the Grilled Chicken Fontina Sandwich ($12). My husband had the Irish Cheddar Burger ($13). Both dishes came with Seasoned Fries and a very tasty Pasta Salad. I have never had a lunch that was as beautifully plated as this was. Both meals were delicious. We started with Soup. I had the Crab Soup that came with a side of Sherry to add to it. The Soup was rich, creamy and somewhat tasty, however, a little too salty for my palate. My husband had the Irish Whiskey Onion Soup. It was absolutely delicious. Each of the Soups were $7 each. He had Tea, I had Coffee. Our bill came to $47. After looking at the dinner menu, I have no desire to try this restaurant for the evening meal. I will certainly come back for lunch.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Grandview Hotel & Dining Room (1934) (1946)
W. 5th Ave. and N. Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL.

Image
Not Rated Grace Japanese Steakhouse, 3035 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 19.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-368-6888. (Asian) [L/D] Located at the west end of the new Park View Commons Plaza. Open 10:30 AM to 10 PM weekdays, to 11 PM weekends and Noon to 10 PM on Sunday. This 4200 sq. ft. restaurant offers traditional Japanese hibachi, teriyaki and sushi dishes. A number of appetizers, like Fried Crab Rangoon ($4.50) or Coconut Shrimp ($8) are at the top of the menu. Hibachi dinners of Tofu, Chicken, Shrimp, Salmon, Snapper, Scallops, NY Strip Steak or Filet Mignon run $12-22 each. Bento Boxes like Chicken ($14), Pork ($14), Beef ($15), or Salmon ($16) Katsu, as well as Teriyaki Styles at similar prices are on the menu too. Tempura Udon Noodle, Yaki Udon, Yaki Soba and Seafood Udon are all $11.50 each. Many signature rolls are offered at $8-13 each, with the Grace Roll (Crab & Lobster) featured at $17. Lunch specials before 3 PM run $7-10 generally. Sunset Dinners before 5:30 PM run $8-12 generally. Reservations accepted. Full bar. Zhen Bin Weng, owner here and at Grace Sushi, (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/14) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Grace Sushi, 8075 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 25.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-9303. (Asian) [L/D] Located near Publix in the large shopping center just past SW 80th Ave. Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily. New and popular Japanese restaurant that specializes in Sushi. California Rolls and Bento Boxes are typical items here. Edamame and Sashimi are also available, as are Hibachi and Tempura dinners. King Crab and Salmon are two of the items found here. Wide choices on their menu. Beer and wine offered. Zhen Bin Weng, owner here and at Grace Japanese Steakhouse (see that listing).



Grand Oaks Resort. Called The Bistro (see that listing).


Image
10½ Stars Video Great Chicago Fire Brewery & Tap Room, 311 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg, FL. 10.7 mile drive from The Villages. 474-2739. (American) (Brew Pub) [L/D] Opened on August 6, 2016. Open from 11 AM to 10 PM, daily, later on weekends, except from Noon on Sunday. Located where Jewelry Works did business at the corner of W. Magnolia and S. 3rd St., one block off Main St. Offering 6-8 "drinkable" home brews, like Raspberry Wheat Ale, Orange Peel Stout, Vanilla Porter, Oatmeal Coffee Milk Stout or an Irish Red, as well as taps from the Chicago area. Prices range $3/10 oz. or $5/16 oz. drafts, to a four 6 oz. Flight at $6 and Howler refills at $10. They also have "Adult Root Beer" at $5. Menu will include small dishes and bar food such as a Jumbo Dog ($4), Chicago Hot Dogs with Onions, Neon Green Relish, Tomatoes, Mustard, Garlic Salt, Sport Peppers and a Slice of Pickle (but no Ketchup, please) ($5), Italian Beef Sandwiches with Giardiniera Peppers ($7), Italian Sausages with Sweet Peppers ($6), Maxwell Street Polish Sausages with Grilled Onions ($6), Gyros with Fresh Tzatziki Sauce ($7), Chicago Style Pizza and Pizza Puffs ($4). A Combo runs $8. Inside "fireproof" aluminum tables for 4, plus ledge stools at the window. Outdoor beer garden behind the building. Live music on weekends planned. Memberships with benefits available. John Sokol of the south Chicago area, owner.

Review: (from Walter P. 8/16) "Not quite ready for prime time." The light lunch menu is fine with reasonable pricing. I had Great Chicago Style Hot Dog which was great. My wife had a Greek Gyro, very good. Others had Polish Sausage which was good, but the Hot Dog was better. This pub has a Chicago/firehouse theme due to semi-retired Chicago firefighter who often travels to Chicago to practice what he loves. Brews were good, many on tap, but brewing equipment is still on the way. They will be doing four of their own brews. Beer menu is extensive but small type and not marked as to which are on tap or bottled. Also no idea of what they are out of until you order. We all had 4 flight tasters, so there was a lot of discussion getting all of that together. They were short of flight glasses. When beers finally arrived, they were not identified, so that took some more doing. They were good however. They need to get a better system of getting that all together. Very warm inside and noisy. Large hand painted fire fighters emblem on wall is beautiful. They can make a go of this if they smooth out the rough spots. Two flights, two sandwiches was $23.50.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 8/16) They seem to have the same menu all day. Beer choices were many, and hard to read and understand, but when I picked one out, Adriana told me "We're out of that one". So I chose another and was told the same thing. Out of their dozen+ on the list, they only had about half. Each time she named one, she added "That's a good one." I almost asked, then I'll have a "bad one". Place was quite noisy. The bar was full. Very sterile feel for a "tap room". I had the Italian Sausage with Onions and Mustard ($6). It was served in due time and was mostly bread. Tasty, but not memorable. I had the "Berry" beer ($5 on HH). Prices must include tax or they're cheating the state. They need a larger variety of food and better beer menu.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Greenhouse Grill. Called Betty's Greenhouse Grill (see that listing).


Image
Not Rated Habaneros Mexican Grill (Leesburg), 10601 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.9 mile drive from The Villages. 315-1777. (Mexican) [L/D] Open 11 AM to 9 PM daily except to 10 PM weekends. Located just past Lake Square Mall at Lakes Blvd. and US 441. Shops of Lake Village Plaza. Oven 100 menu options including chicken, seafood, vegetarian and steak entrées. Dinners range $10 to $15. Authentic Mexican creations. Noted for their Monster Margaritas. Full bar. Mariachi band on Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30 PM. Jorge Ibarra and Joel Salazar, owners. One of a few outlets in central Florida. Other locations in Longwood, Casselberry and Gainesville.

Older Review: (from Bob M. 2/10) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Squire Restaurant & Lounge
Later called Squires' III Supper Club in the 1980s
with Vic Donahey, Herb Stoer and Mackie McCabe, owners.
US 27/441 at "the split", Leesburg, FL.

Image
10½ Stars Harbor Hills Country Club, 6538 Lake Griffin Rd., Lady Lake, FL. 6.8 mile drive from The Villages. 753-7000. (American) [L/D] Large, well appointed dining room with a nice view in a planned community clubhouse. Called the "Signature Grille", it's open to the public by reservation. Call during daytime hours only. Only open from 11 AM to 3 PM daily. Dinner on Friday only 5-8 PM, featuring Filet Mignon at $20. Their lunch menu is limited to Fried Shrimp, Liver & Onions, Sandwedge (Bacon & Egg), various Wraps, Burgers and Sandwiches and an assortment of large salads. Soup and Chili are also offered, as are Hot Dogs. It's more popular for their 11 AM to 2 PM Sunday Brunch: $18, children 4-10: $7, under 5: free. Champagne or Mimosas add $4 pp. Mother's Day Brunch is $32 pp. when Champagne and Mimosas add $8 pp. 17% gratuity added to all checks. Live music at brunch and dinner. New Years Eve Dinner Show with name entertainment, open bar and champagne at $120 pp +t&t by reservation. Full bar. Developer owned.

Older Review: (from Gordon M. 2/07) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dave M. 4/07) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ardelle M. 8/07) Q=2 S=2 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 6/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Joanne C. 3/10) Q=1 S=2 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Nadine F. 9/10) Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/13) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 6/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/15) Q=4 S=2 V=5 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 5/16) Ww went for the Sunday Brunch. First, I enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant with a pretty good pianist playing old time favorites. We had a table close to the window so we were able to see Lake Griffin in the distance. The easiest to get there is to go east on 466 and crossing over 411 and turning left to get on Lake Griffin Rd. Then just one road all the way to the Club. We enjoyed it because the club has different ambience from The Villages' Country Clubs. More like a true country club. The food is nothing special. Reminds me of buffet breakfast in Myrtle Beech, nothing out of the ordinary. Not bad is all I can say. Wished they had Smoked Salmon, Shrimp and perhaps Deviled Eggs for the price. Nikki, our young helper, was helpful, efficient and pleasant. Total with 17 percent tip already included came to $45 for two.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Shirley F. 5/16) My husband's favorite thing to do is find Brunch places. We were seated at a large round table making conversation comfortable. We were offered Mimosas. The cold table was well supplied with fresh Fruits, Muffins and Baked Goods, as well as a nice variety of 4 Cheeses which were cubed. Our second trip was to the Crepe/Waffle table where items were prepared as you waited. They offered syrupy fruit and/or chocolate toppings for the Crepes, and all the usual toppings for the Waffles. They were nicely presented. The carving table had Prime Rib which was a little more done (medium/med-well) than I prefer (med-rare) and on the fatty side. The desserts looked delicious but we were too full to have more than a small taste of the Cheesecake and another of the Red Velvet Cake. Brunch for 2 with tax and tip came to $50.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 3/17) Round table for 6, promptly seated at 1 PM. Excellent service by Brandie. Usual good brunch fare, consistent with past visits but the Roast Beef is still too well done. Could use Salad Dressing labels. They no longer have live piano player, which added elegance previously. A nice afternoon with friends. Quiet enough to converse comfortably. Brunch for 2 with $4 pp bottomless Champagne or Mimosas was $55, which includes service charge and tax. Price holding well over the years.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
10 Stars Harbor Lights Restaurant, 907 CR 439B, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. 27.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-793-7058. (American) (Buffet) [D] Open Thursday through Sunday only. Open 4-9 PM, except Sunday from 12 Noon to 8 PM. Watch for signs in town on CR 470. Buffet style with a view of the lake. Includes Fried or Boiled Shrimp and a carving station with Turkey, Ham or Beef usually. Offerings change daily. Snow Crab Legs, Frog Legs, Fish and other seafood available on Friday and Saturday. Seafood Buffet is $12pp as is the Sunday Buffet. Dessert and salad bar included. Reservations accepted. Open Thanksgiving and Christmas too for Holiday Buffets, Noon to 6 PM. Full bar. David & Paula Carson, owners.

Older Review: (from Dennis C. 9/06) Q=2 S=2 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 11/08) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 8/11) Q=3 S=5 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 4/14) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Hardwood Smokehouse, 5400 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 23.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-732-3677. (Barbecue) [L/D] Opened mid-June, 2014. Not to be confused with the Oakwood Smokehouse chain, this family run business offers "Competition Style BBQ". Located in the Heath Brook Commons (not Market St.) on SR 200, near Publix Supermarket behind M&S Bank. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily; later on weekends. Their specialty, besides Pork and Beef and their sauces, is the Beer Can Chicken ($15), a whole bird sitting atop a beer can. There's also 'Q for Two ($14), a Smoked Pulled Pork, Chopped Beef Brisket and St. Louis or Baby Back Ribs combo. The mainstay of the menu is Ribs, either ½ or whole Rack Baby Backs ($10.50/$16) or ½ or whole St. Louis Style ($13.50/$20). The other attraction is Angus Beef Brisket ($11) that's been smoked 12-14 hours. Also on the menu is Smoked Turkey ($10), ½ BBQ Chicken ($10) and Pulled Pork ($10). Most dinners come with 2 sides and Cornbread or Garlic Toast. Also popular is Brenda Joy's Southern Supper ($65) that includes a whole Rack of Baby Backs, ½ lb. of Pulled Pork, ½ lb. Beef Brisket and a whole Chicken plus lots of sides for about four people. They also concoct specialties like the Redneck Taco ($8.50), the Beef Brisket Legend ($8) and the Shotgun ($8) made of Brisket and Sausage on a Brioche Bun. Homemade BBQ Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Mac-n-Cheese, Corn on the Cob, Corn Nuggets, Fried Okra and other sides are offered here. Lunchtime items include Smokehouse Angus Burger creations ($7.50-10 each). There's also large Salads that run about $6 each. If all that doesn't fill you up, try Homemade Banana Pudding ($3), Peach Cobbler ($4) or Madisyn's Bacon Thingy Cookie ($5). Order at the counter, runners bring your meals. Kid's menu available. Beer and wine licensed. Member of the Florida BBQ Association. Open Thanksgiving Day until 5 PM. The Rich/Amy, experienced pitmaster, and Richard/Brenda Lucy families, owners.



Image
13½ Stars Video Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille (Ocala), 24 SE 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-840-0900. (Seafood) (Southern) [L/D] Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily. Located on the city square in the southeast corner. A New Orleans style restaurant with Big Easy decor. From Po' Boys to Filet Mignon, this restaurant has a wide variety of New Orleans style food. Grilled Trout Almondine ($16), Catfish Pontchartrain ($16), Blackened Red Fish ($17), Crab Cakes ($17) & Shrimp & Scallop Orleans ($18) plus more Cajun style entrées like Gumbo ($7), She Crab Soup ($7), Jambalaya ($16), Shrimp-n-Grits ($16), Crawfish or Shrimp Étouffée ($16 each) or Red Beans and Rice with Smoked Andouille ($13). More traditional Chicken, Pork and Steaks are also on the menu. Fried Platters also featured. Prices generally range from $5 to $21 per entrée. Early bird specials (4-6 PM) and happy hour too. Sign up at the restaurant for their birthday and anniversary discount club. Nice wine selection and full bar to make Harry's Hurricanes. Call ahead seating available, which is very effective on Friday nights. One of a small chain of 5 restaurants headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. Caleb Young and Kelley Packer, managers; Chris Colletti, general manager here.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/07) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Martin G. 4/07) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Howard H. 3/08) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 7/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Paula M. 7/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bob M. 1/11) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 2/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 4/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bonnie W. 9/11) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 9/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Patrice K. 4/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kat O. 4/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Doris M. 11/12) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 11/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 11/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 1/14) Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Charles K. 2/14) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ralph N. 10/14) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 6/15) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Harry M. 3/16) Six of us visited and it was new to the other 2 couples. I had Scallops & Shrimp Orleans, a long-time favorite, served over a Fried Grit Cake with Tasso Cream Sauce and a huge serving of Red Beans and Rice. It was wonderful! My wife had Bourbon Salmon, which I tasted, and agreed it was great and you could request the degree of doneness, something not often done with Salmon. We should have split the terrific House Salad, which is $4 with an entrée. Warm Bread with tasty Garlic Butter come to the table. We split the $8 dessert of Chocolate Bread Pudding with Ice Cream and argued who got the last bite! They run out of this treat, so order one to be held when you order dinner. Cost for the 2 of us without tip, tax or drinks, but including 2 huge Salads, an extra side, and the monster dessert was only $52. Sign up for E-mail and mail offers, which frequently provides non-expiring $10 coupons. No reservations, but "call ahead" gives you priority seating, usually with little or no wait. This is one of our favorite places.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 9/16) Late lunch at 3 PM for 6 Gourmet Club folks. 1/2 hour call-ahead worked well, got us a round table, which are scarce. Server, Megan, was knowledgeable about happy hour prices and menu items. I had Redfish Crab Crusted, which was actually double sized Crab Cake on top. At $3 extra was a bargain. She had Shrimp and Scallop Orleans and requested extra sauce, which came quickly. She very much enjoyed it. Others had Crab Cake, Jambalaya, Salmon, which were praised. Only glitch was Broccoli was substitute for ordered Snow Peas, but quickly was changed for a different side. They left the broccoli behind. Quick attentive service. Great Dixieland music, in the restrooms, they need to increase volume in dining area. We have never been disappointed here. Gift cards which are available periodically, give 20% discount and no expiration. $40 with tax for above meals and 3 Guiness Draft Pints at $3 each. WOW!
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 11/16) A $10 Birthday Coupon in the mail urged us to drop in on a Saturday night about 5 PM. Already busy with a 30 minute wait, we got the last hi-top in the bar without waiting. Jen(iffer) was our friendly server from the St. A's location. We had two Red Zins and a Pumpkin Martini to start. She ordered the French Crêpes of Shrimp and Chicken with Red Beans and Rice, while I had the Mahi Arugula with Smashed Potatoes. Everything came out quickly and was hot. The Bread was soft and the butter to die for. Very tasty meal and Jen spent a few minutes chatting, not rushing us. Great service with a smile. Still we were out before 6 PM. Our wine was our dessert. Bill came to $56 before coupon and t&t. Hard to get in this place without a wait.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 12/16) Called ahead 45 minutes before arriving and still waited 15 minutes to get seated. This place was "jumpin" on a Tuesday night at 5:30. Kristen, our server, treated us well as she could, considering how busy it was. I had the Bourbon Salmon with Sweet Corn Grits and Green Beans ($19). My entire dish was fantastic and I loved those Corn Grits. My husband had the Pasta Chicken Louisian ($15). He totally enjoyed his dish too. What a delicious sauce. We each had a Starter Salad ($4 each). Iced Teas were our beverage of choice this evening. We had a discount coupon, buy 1 meal, get 50% off the second meal. Our bill came to $40 using that coupon. Other than the restaurant being very very noisy, it was a an enjoyable evening.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Breakfast in the Diner (1934) (1948) (1949) (1951)
Seaboard Airline Railroad - aboard the "Orange Blossom Special"
All Pullman Service, New York to Miami/Tampa/St. Petersburg, via Wildwood, FL. (ran 1925-1953)

Video Video Video Video Video

Image
Not Rated Harvest Market Deli, 3751 SE 36th Ave., Ocala, FL. 18.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-624-2636. (Deli) (Grill) [L] Located where SE 36th Ave. meets SE 38th. In business since 2001. Open 11 AM to 4 PM weekdays, to 2 PM on Saturday, gone fishin' on Sunday. Offers 6 Burgers ($6.50-7.50), 9 Subs in 6" or 12" sizes ($7-11), 9 Salads ($8.50 each), plus Sandwiches and Wraps ($6.50-7.50). Kids menu about $3. All counter service. Outdoor seating. No bar. Money saving coupons on their website. Kim Main, owner.



Image
Not Rated Honeysuckle's, 2506 SE 17th St., Ocala, FL. 19.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-6809. (Cafe) [B/L] In business since 2007. Located at SE 25th Ave., SE 17th St. and SE Maricamp Rd (SR 464). Moved from Silver Springs Blvd. in March, 2013. Formerly called Honeysuckle's Café, now just Honeysuckle's. Open for breakfast and lunch 7 AM to 2 PM daily, except closed on Sunday. Lunch served after 11 AM. "Cookin' good in the neighborhood". This cute cafe offers Hand Carved Turkey, Ham, Chicken Salad, Philly Steak & Cheese and Reuben Sandwiches as well as New England Style Fish & Chips. Large Hamburgers are also made here. A dozen Salads are available for lunch. Their Honeysuckle Signature Salad is very popular. Over 30 kinds of Omelets are offered at breakfast. No bar. John and Sherri Gizzarelli, owners.



Image
Not Rated Video Free WiFi Hooters (Ocala), 2711 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 22.6 mile drive from The Villages. . (American) (Sports Bar) [L/D] They're baaaack! Once located on SR 200, this young-at-heart Sports Bar is now open between Best Buy and the Easy Street Family Fun Center where Champs, Sam Snead's, Terheggen's, POSH 27, Club Blue, Jade Dragon China Grill, Istanbul Turkish Cuisine Restaurant and Tony's Bar and Grill once did business. May 17, 2016 it opened. Open 11 AM to 11 PM usually. Noted for their Chicken Wings with 11 sauces, you can get a basket of 8, 10, 20 or 50 at a time. At least 5 types of Burgers are offered here too. For entrées they have Steamed Shrimp or Clams, an Oyster Roast, Fish Tacos, Fish & Chips, Snow Crab Legs and a Mahi or Grouper Sandwich. Other Sandwiches, like The Cuban are offered too. You can also find a variety of Soups and Salads like New England Clam Chowder. Onion Rings and Fried Pickles are favorite bar food. Famous for controversial young female servers in low-cut tops and orange shorts that love their jobs (and tips). Flat screen TVs are a slight distraction from the staff. Full bar with creative cocktails and cold beer. Corporate owned, started in Clearwater, FL. in 1983, this is one of about 430 locations worldwide, based in Atlanta, GA. Noted for their philanthropic work.



Postcard
Long Gone - Hooters Air ended service in 2006 after 3 years in business.
Service to Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Orlando and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Video

Image
11 Stars Horse and Hounds Restaurant (Ocala West), 6998 NW US 27 (at NW 70th Ave.), Ocala, FL. 29.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-620-2500. (American) (British) [L/D] Open daily from 11 AM. Located 3 miles west of I-75 (exit 354) near the Golden Hills Shopping Center. Popular with local clientele. Warm equestrian-themed pub offers British fare from Shepherd's Pie ($10), Fish and Chips ($10), Beef and Guinness Stew ($10) and Bangers and Mash ($9) to Angus New York Strip Steak ($18-23), Rack of Lamb ($27), Macadamia Crusted Shrimp ($16) and Pecan Encrusted Grouper ($19). Other seafood items, like Honey Bourbon Salmon ($18) and Maryland Crab Cakes ($16) also available. Rosemary Pork Chops ($12-17) and Guinness Baby Back Ribs ($17-22) are some of the other unique creations. Noted for their Angus Beef like Ribeye ($23), 8 oz. Filet Mignon ($24) and 3 cuts of Prime Rib ($18-23-26). Spinach Salad with Emerald Poppy Seed dressing is a favorite. Entrées start at $8. A Ploughman's Lunch is offered at noontime for $9. Call ahead seating, 30 minutes prior. Early Bird Specials offered until 6 PM. Full bar. $3 Flavored Martinis offered on Mondays. Carlos Sanchez, executive chef; Kerrie Landry general manager; Francis Landry, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/07) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Laurie M. 7/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Robert F. 10/10) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 3/11) Q=3 S=1 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Paula M. 7/11) Q=4 S=2 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
12 Stars Video Hurricane Dockside Grill, 3351 West Burleigh Blvd., Tavares, FL. 17.8 mile drive from The Villages. 508-5137. (American) (Southern) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM until 10 PM or later on weekends. Large 12,000 s.f. establishment, seating up to 450, formerly called JJ. Fin's Dockside, Nate's River Deck, Harbor Side Restaurant and Dead River Vic's, this location on the Dead River features a casual waterfront dining experience. Official grand opening was August 11, 2011. New chef, mostly new menu and new management. Now specializing in Jumbo Chicken Wings with 32 sauces. It retains the Raw Bar that was popular at Fin's. Menu items such as Fried Shrimp Basket ($14), Grilled Shrimp ($13), Fish N' Chips ($10), Hurricane Feast ($18), Pecan Crusted Fresh Catch ($18), Fresh Catch Scampi ($19) and a Captain's Broiler (Shrimp, Crab Cake and Lobster Tail) ($23), all come with Red Beans & Rice and the Vegetable of the Day. Grilled Chicken ($9), St. Louis 1/2 Slab Smoked Ribs ($13), 12 oz. Choice Sirloin ($16), 12 oz. Choice Ribeye ($17), Sirloin & Shrimp ($17), Roasted Prime Rib ($17) and a Surf n' Turf (Lobster Tail and 6 oz. Sirloin) ($23), are all served with Mashed Potatoes and a Vegetable too. Roasted Garlic Alfredo or Seafood Trio Pastas ($11-18) are available. Philly Cheesesteak, Toasted Cuban, Guava Bacon Chicken, Black Spiced Mahi Wrap, Santa Fe Chicken Wrap and a Key West Fish Sandwich (all $7-10 each) can be found on the menu too. Hurricane's is noted for Angus Burgers besides its Wings. The Half Pound Burger ($8) can be topped with Mushrooms and Swiss, Smoked Gouda, Bacon or Monterey Jack with Peppers and Onions all for $1 extra. Various Quesadillas and Tacos ($8-11) are offered also. Desserts like Mud Pie, Key Lime Pie, Piña Colada Cake or Cheesecake with Strawberries (all $7-8) are usually available too. This location features boat slips and a volleyball court. Outdoor seating with fans and misters to keep things cool in the summer. Special events like a Pig Roast Beach Party and Ridiculously Hot Wing Eating Contests are planned. Live entertainment featured weekends. Reservations accepted. Full bar with drink specials. Happy Hour 3-6 PM weekdays. Valet parking offered. Part of a chain of 50 mostly franchised restaurants, called Hurricane AMT (of West Palm Beach, FL.), in Arizona, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania but mostly in Florida. Hundreds more are expected. Derrick Haggerty, head chef; Martin O'Dowd, president; John Metz, CEO; Dave Henson, general manager here.

Older Review: (from Ira F. 11/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill H. 11/11) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 3/12) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Nanci C. 4/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 6/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 4/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/14) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Stu R. 11/16) Our waiter, Travis, promptly seated us and took our drink order. My wife had a Mojito ($8) while I had their special called a 'Bayou' ($7) made from 3 rums and pineapple juice. I found that delicious! She ordered the Mozzarella Sticks (8 sticks for $8) for us to share and likewise they were equally delicious. For entrées we had the Yingling Beer Battered Fish and Chips ($12) and an order of the Crab Topped Snapper ($18). My wife liked her Fish and Chips very much but I was disappointed in the Snapper because the blood line had never been removed. The darker fish meat influenced the taste of the rest of the fish. The Crab on top was nothing more than an over cooked Crab Cake on top of the fish. Travis offered to exchange the meal but my wife wanted to leave to get back to see a TV show.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Hwy. 441 Diner, 381 E. Burleigh Blvd. (US 441), Tavares, FL. 20.5 mile drive from The Villages. 508-5494. (Diner) (Southern) [B/L/D] In business since February, 2014. Formerly the Soup To Nuts Eatery of Robert Irvine's Restaurant Impossible fame, located on US 441, next to Jo-Ann Fabrics behind the Twistee Treat cone. Open 6:30 AM to 10 PM daily. Chrome, neon, red vinyl and checkerboard floors brings back the 50s. Breakfast offers the usual Omelettes ($5.50-$6.50), a 2-2-2 Combo ($6.50), Sourdough French Toast ($4.50) and Biscuits 'n Gravy (45) as staples. Pancakes and Waffles ($3.50-7.00) are popular too. Lunch offers a variety of Burgers ($5.50-7.50 each), a dozen Sandwiches ($6 each) and a Triple Decker ($8). Come dinner, they offer Chicken Tenders ($8), Country Fried Steak ($8.50), Meatloaf ($9) and Liver 'n Onions ($9). Chicken, Veal and even Shrimp Parmigiana with Pasta run $10-11 each. The menu also features Grilled Pork Chops ($11), Half or Full Rack of Baby Back Ribs ($9/$12), 10 oz. Rib Eye ($14), Fried Catfish, Tilapia or Haddock ($10 each), Fried Clam Strips ($10), Fried Shrimp ($12), Fried Crab Cakes ($14) and a Seafood Combination $16), all served with 2 side dishes. Ice Cream dishes for dessert are under $2 and a Kids Menu is available too. First Wednesday of the month brings out an old car cruise-in, 5-8 PM. No bar. Billy Digino, operator; Nabil Nasralla, owner.



Image
13 Stars ibar•b•que EXPRESS, 3170 US 27/441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.1 mile drive from The Villages. 315-4227. (Barbecue) [L/D] Also known as just iBBQ. Located where the Dinner Bell Restaurant did business for many years. Opened in mid-October, 2015. Hours are 11 AM to 8:30 PM daily, except closed Sunday, and to 9:30 PM on Friday and Saturday. Bright red chairs around tables for 4 and a few booths populate the large remodeled interior. Serves authentic Southern Barbecue meals cooked in the backyard for lunch and dinner. Sandwiches include Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket or Smoked Sausage ($8 each) and Beef Brisket Sliders or Boss Hog Pork with Cheddar Cheese ($10 each). Other Sandwiches include Fried Pork Chop, Chicken and Spare Rib ($7-9 each). You can also find Burgers ($8-9 each) and a 1 lb. Big Man Burger ($11) for the hungry guy. All Sandwiches and Burgers come with 1 Side Dish. Salads with meat are $9 each and a Side Salad is just $4 extra. Dinner Baskets range from Fried Chicken Tenders ($11), BBQ Chicken ($12), Chopped or Pulled Pork ($12), and Smoked Sausage ($12), to Spare Ribs ($13), and Beef Brisket ($14). There's also a 2 Meat Combo ($13) or 3 Meat Combo ($15). Each Basket comes with 2 Side Dishes and Cornbread. You can also find a Grouper Sandwich with 1 side ($10) and Fried Shrimp with 2 sides ($16). The array of Side Dishes include Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Cornbread, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Okra, Sweet Corn, Collard Greens, Green Beans, Mac 'n Cheese, Potato Salad, French Fries, Onion Rings and more. Sauces are on the table. Desserts are Pound Cake, Hot Cinnamon Apples with Ice Cream and their signature Sweet Potato Pie (all $3-4 each). A Meat Lunch Basket with 2 Side Dishes and Cornbread is offered at just $9. Soft drinks and teas served. Beer and wine licensed. Kid's meals available at $6 each. Take-out is offered too. Keith Walker Jr., owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/15) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill R. 11/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 2/17) Seated immediately at table for 6 around 5:30 PM. Good crowd there. Kenya explained menu and took orders. Efficient and quick considering the crowd. My wife had 3 Meat Combo which was good and plenty. Smoked Sausage was notable. My Rib Dinner had three huge Ribs cooked perfectly, Black Eye Peas, Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn Bread, Cole Slaw and all good. Best BBQ we have had in this area. Others were very happy with their meals. Ours with 2 soft drinks was $35. Plenty to take home. Offered beer.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 3/17) There were 6 of us and we took the round table in the corner. Shay took our orders for drinks but couldn't remember what beers they had to offer. Everyone we named, she said "I don't think we have that". They need, A) a beer list printed, or B) a server with a better memory. Took 15 minutes to get the drink order done. Kenya took our orders for food (separate checks please). She did much better and explained what came with what. I had two bottles of Yuengling but had to ask Shay for glasses. The Two Meat Combo was a bargain at $13. I had two large Ribs and some Beef Brisket. The Ribs were big with lots of meat on the bones. Not Baby Back, but still good. The Beef was fine and nicely sliced. My sides were Cornbread (took that home), Baked Beens (flavorful but watery) and Potato Salad (very acceptable). Total before t&t was $19. Kenya did a good job. Good bargain.
Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Ichiban Buffet (Leesburg), 10301 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.4 mile drive from The Villages. 728-6669. (Asian) (Buffet) [L/D] Located where Barnhill's Buffet did business at Radio Rd. and US 441 in front of the Lake Square Mall. Opened early February, 2014. Offering a large Asian buffet of Chinese and Japanese food. Prices are about $7.50 for the lunch buffet until 4 PM and $10 for the dinner buffet Sunday through Thursday and about $11 on Friday and Saturday night, 4-10 PM. A Sunday Brunch is about $9. Children's prices ($4-5) offered too. Sushi and a-la-carte menu items will also be available. A Hibachi Grill is also offered. Be advised that buffet prices vary by day of the week, special occasion days and holidays. A small chain of a half dozen locations in Central Florida. Other nearby locations are in Kissimmee and Crystal River. Erxi Shi, owner.

Older Review: (from Colene M. 8/15) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
12½ Stars Video Free WiFi Ipanema Churrascaria, 2023 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. 19.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-1741. (Steakhouse) [L/D] Located on 27/441 just south of SW 17th St. Closed all day Monday. Open for lunch Fridays 11 AM to 2:30 PM; then again at 5 PM for dinner 6 days per week; Sunday Brunch 12-3 PM, then dinner from 4 PM through closing (9 PM). Located opposite Latinos y Mas Restaurant on US 27/441. Name changed from Ipanema Brazilian Steak House by the new owners. The dining area and bar are very attractively appointed with a dragonfly motif and soft warm lighting. A new outdoor patio are has been added. This South American steak house is a Churrascaria (Portugese Bar-b-que), a unique dining experience. Eleven authentic cuts of meat are seasoned with rock salt and roasted, rotisserie-style, over mineral coals imported from Brazil. They are basted continuously in their own natural juices. The cuts include Picanha (Sirloin), Filet Mignon (Tenderloin), Costela de Gado (Beef Ribs), Frango (Chicken), Lombinho (Marinated Pork Loin), Linguica (Brazilian Pork Sausage) and others. These meats are served by traditional roving gauchos and the meal is complemented by a 50 item Salad & Vegetable Bar. Unlimited trips to the Salad Bar plus unlimited slices of meat is the unique serving style here. Prix fixe Rodizio Dinner with Salad & Vegetable Bar is $42 per person ($38 for seniors; $13 for children under 12). The large Salad Bar only (without meat) is $25 per person. Lunch Rodizio runs $25 ($23 for seniors) and the Lunch Salad Bar is $18 per person but $5 higher for Sunday Brunch. Desserts like Mousse de Maracuya (Passion Fruit Mousse) ($8) or Pudim de Leite Condensado (Flan) ($6) or Crème Papaia ($9) are also featured. Extensive wine list includes selections from Brazil and Argentina. Prices range from $27 to $350 per bottle. Wine discounts offered June to September. By the glass, the prices are $7 to $12 each for house wine. Happy Hour runs from 5-7 PM daily. A full and attractive bar makes tropical concoctions, such as the traditional Brazilian Caipirinhas ($7-8 each). Pitchers of homemade white or red Sangria run $40 or $10 per glass. Brahma, Xingu and Nova Schin Brazilian beers are offered at $4.25 each. Winner of Ocala Magazine's "Best of the Best for Libations" in 2011. Phone reservations highly recommended on weekends. Watch for coupons in The Villages Magazine for a free dessert. Also now dog friendly on the outdoor patio but by reservation only. 20% gratuity added to the bill for parties of 6 or more. Open on Thanksgiving Day until 6:30 PM by reservation only. Ortencia de Almeida, chef; Fabian Gomez, general manager; Webster and Fatima Luzuriaga, new owners, here and Latinos y Mas Restaurant (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Martin G. 3/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/07) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Richard B. 6/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Francis M. 2/08) Q=3 S=4 V=1 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Robert F. 4/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 10/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Denny G. 10/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Tom B. 7/09) Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 8/10) Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 7/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/13) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 2/14) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 12/15) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Karen B. 2/16) We enjoyed the Salad Bar first. Try the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, so good!!. Then the servers brought the meat around, the Bottom Round was rare and juicy, a little tough; the Garlic Sirloin was flavored well, cooked a little more than we prefer but still good. The Sausage was my favorite, a little spicy, juicy, perfect, I don't know what they did to that Chicken but it was delicious. The Cinnamon Covered Grilled Pineapple was a treat. We also tried the Pork Roast, and it was good. We came for lunch as it was priced about $23/pp. Paul, our server was excellent! We will absolutely return.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Neal P. 2/16) Went on Friday for lunch with 2 other couples. We were seated in a timely matter. Our waiter was Paul, who we nicknamed "Speedy" because he was running around and always asking us how our meal was. The Salad Bar was great. The Crab Stuffed Mushrooms were to die for. The Carved Sirloin, as well as the Pork and Chicken dishes were fantastic. Left room for dessert and had the Chocolate Cake which could be split among 2 people. Would go back again.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Six Gun Territory (1963)
East Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Ocala, FL.

Video

Image
13 Stars Ivy House Restaurant (Ocala), 917 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 22.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-5550. (Southern) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Located on SR 200 East, between NE 8th and NE 10th Ave. Opened November 22, 2012. Hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 AM to 8:30 PM, Friday and Saturday; closes at 2 PM on Sunday and Tuesday and closed all day Monday. Award winning local hideaway from Williston, Fl. now fills the beautiful Victorian mansion once called Felix's and before that the 1890 House. The ultimate in comfort food. Down-home Southern Style food for the soul is offered here. Items like Baked Crispy Chicken with Mac 'N Cheese ($14), Baked Panco Crusted Tilapia ($15), Fried Atlantic Cod ($15), Bay Scallops ($16), Fried Shrimp ($13-17), Baked Atlantic Salmon ($18), Barbecue Shrimp & Grits ($19), Petite Surf & Turf ($20), Filet Mignon topped with Shrimp Scampi ($25), 8 oz. Filet Mignon with Fried Shrimp ($25), 10 oz. New York Strip ($25), 12 oz. Delmonico with Mushrooms ($24) or with Fried Shrimp ($26) and Fried Florida Lobster Tail ($26) are just some of the dishes offered. The 1890 House Special combines Fried Grouper, Cheese Grits, Hush Puppies, Home Fries and Purple Slaw in one entrée ($21). Most main dishes come with a salad, vegetables, starch, like Baked Potato or Potato Wedges or Cheese Grits or Mac 'n Cheese, plus a roll and slice of cornbread. Kid's Menu of Grilled Cheese, Burger, Chicken Strips and others run just $5-6. Appetizers run $7-10 and can be easily shared. Featured is their popular Raspberry Tea, as well as the Hot Tin Roof, Key Lime Pie, Bananas Foster, Crème Brûlée or Pecan Tulipe desserts, all at $6 each. Upgraded to full bar in 2014. House wines run about $5 per glass; premium wines like Blackstone Merlot ($7), Mirassou Cab-Sauv or Pinot Noir ($7), Mark West Pinot Noir ($8) and Murphy-Goode Cab-Sauv ($9) are available by the glass or bottle, to name a few. Private rooms for small groups available. 20% gratuity added for parties of 6 or more. Reservations now accepted. Specials prepared daily. Open Thanksgiving Day, 11 AM to 6 PM by reservation. Rick Alabaugh, chef; Waica Huggins and Evelyn Nusell, owners. The original location is still open in Williston (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Walter P. 12/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/12) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 3/13) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 3/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 5/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Joan L. 8/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 8/13) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 9/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 7/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 11/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan G. 3/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 6/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Larry H. 1/16) Our Gourmet Group of 8 met at the restaurant at 6 PM and were seated promptly. I had a glass of White Zin and my wife had a Raspberry Lemonade. I ordered the special for the night of Cajan Chicken and Sausage Over Pasta. My wife ordered the Sweet Bay Scallops. Both meals came with a Tossed Salad. We had Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing on our salads. The salads were chilled crisp with the dressing on the side. The entrées arrived promptly and were large and very tasty. The Cajan meal was not overly spicy as the waitress (Briana) promised. The Bay Scallops were breaded and not what what my wife was expecting. The Baked Potato was good with the extra on the side. Both meals had a slice of Corn Bread and a Sweetened Dinner Roll. We had the Walnut Pie for dessert. It was not as tasty as the balance of the meal. One couple had a "Tulip Dessert" which looked much better and was very large. Since there were 8 of us, the gratuity of 20% was included on the check. The total bill including tax was $56.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Harry M. 1/16) Our Gourmet Group of 8 had an excellent dinner with great service in a beautiful setting. Everyone said it was one of the best restaurant experiences they've had. This was our 3rd trip here (and 2 to the original place in Williston, FL). I had the "1890 Special" which was Fried Grouper Fingers, the best Home Fries I've ever had, Purple Coleslaw, homemade Hushpuppies, Cornbread and a great House Salad. Every part of the dinner was perfect, and large. My wife had the house special, Fried Chicken and proclaimed it to be in the top 3 Chicken dishes she's ever had. Another in our party got the "Seafood Platter" on a monster-sized square plate that he couldn't finish, but that he proclaimed outstanding. Another had a NY Strip, done perfectly. Another, the night's special of Cajun Sausage & Chicken Pasta, and left the plate so clean it didn't need to be washed. The desserts are homemade and outstanding. I had the "Chocolate Mountain Cake" which could be shared by 3, and my wife had some great Peanut Butter Pie with a monster mound of Whipped Cream. The desserts, which all 8 of us ordered, were all wonderful, with some picture-perfect presentations, especially the "Pecan Tulipe". Our cost for two was $49 without tax but with an automatic 20% gratuity that was already added, a fact our server failed to point out. House wine at $5/glass was good.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Colene M. 6/16) We were suppose to be with our "group" but because of a mixup, we ate alone. We were greeted and asked if we wanted to be seated but we asked to wait. When none of our group showed up, we asked to be seated. Our waiter, Corey, was OK but not the best. I asked for sweetener twice and had to get it myself from another table. The food was great. I had the Fried Shrimp ($12) and Hot Tea ($2). My husband had the Baked Krispy Chicken ($12) and Iced Tea ($2). We seem to wait quite a while but it was worth it. Total check before t&t was $28.
Q=5 S=3 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 7/16) Ivy House has an extremely nice variety of dishes for lunch. Our server, Linette, was very personable and organized. However, she was serving numerous other tables, besides us, including a table of 25. We waited a long time for everything. I don't think I ever spent over 2 hours eating lunch before. Luckily I was with a group of people that had lots of conversations going on to keep me occupied. I had the Krispy Chicken Salad. ($11). It was delicious and very nicely plated. I also had their wonderful Raspberry Iced Tea ($2.50). My bill was $13.50, not including t&t. For a large party, tip is automatically added. Overall, this was a very enjoyable experience other than waiting, waiting and more waiting.
Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Hank T. 1/17) This was our first Gourmet Club team outing for this quarter. One of our couples had not been here before. We had the 1890 Meal. It's Fried Grouper with a variety of different side dishes, including delicious Cheese Grits ($21). We also had the special Prime Rib dinner ($20). Everything was very tasty. Service was a little slower than usual tonight. Our server, Josh, worked very hard for us. I think the kitchen was sluggish. We each had their specialty Raspberry Iced Tea and we had dessert, a Chocolate Midnight Cake ($5). Our bill came to $51. We enjoy the ambiance and the food here.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Leo M. 1/17) Southern cooking and southern hospitality are featured here. The restaurant located in a turn of the century home is beautifully decorated adding to the atmosphere. I had the 1890 House Special, which was Grouper along with a plate full of deep fried goodness like Hush Puppies and Home Fries. It also comes with Creamy Grits and Purple Slaw. My wife had the Prime Rib special; it was tasty, tender and succulent. Our server, Josh, was on his game and assisted by the kitchen runner, the timing and presentation of courses was spot on. The Signature Raspberry Tea is a must try as well as the Florida Key Lime Pie made with a macadamia graham cracker crust and homemade whipped cream. My eyes rolled back in my head when I took my first bite. Our bill came to $66 including gratuities.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The 1890 House (1949)
917 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Ocala, FL.
Once called Felix's and now The Ivy House Restaurant (Ocala).

Image
Not Rated Jamaican George (Caribbean and Soul Food) Restaurant, 2502 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL. 10.4 mile drive from The Villages. 455-1898. (Caribbean) [L/D] Located on West Main, 1 mile west of US 27, near Thomas Ave., in a green metal garage. In business since 2012. Open Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 AM to 8 PM, and to 9 PM on weekends. Closed Sunday and Monday. Meals include White Rice, Rice & Peas, Salad and Dumpling. Instead of lunch and dinner, they offer small and large portions, priced accordingly. Jamaican and Island food like Curry Chicken, Jerk Chicken, Stewed Pork Chops, Stewed Chicken, Stewed Turkey Wings (all $9/$10 each), Goat Soup, Curry Goat and Ox Tails (all $10/$11 each) are the main dishes. Occasionally you can also find Roti, Stewed Fish or Salt Fish on the menu too. Sides, like Corn, Green Beans, Plantains, Potatoes, Cabbage, Collard Greens, etc. are $2.50 - $4 each. Desserts like Cupcakes ($1), Pie ($3) and Cake ($3) are also available. Beer and wine licensed. Pepsi products and Jamaican drinks are the beverages. Occasional entertainment. Watch Thursday's Daily Sun for coupons. Fitz Campbell, owner.



Image
Not Rated Japan Express 456 E. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares, FL. 20.5 mile drive from The Villages. 742-5088. (Asian) [L/D] Located on US 441, before Inn On The Green Motel, behind Checkers, near Winn-Dixie. Opened in February, 2014. Hours: 11 AM to 9:30 PM daily but from 1 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Closed between 3 and 4 PM for menu change. Opened in November, 2014. Appetizers run $4-$7.50 each. They offer Hibachi dinners ranging $9-26 like Vegetables, to Shrimp, to Lobster Tail. Combo Hibachi dinners range $14-25. Sushi, Sashimi and Hand Rolls run $3-$5 each. Specialty Rolls run $8-$11. They also offer Tempura items at $10-$15 each. Desserts include Fried Bananas and Fried Ice Cream ($4 each). Kids menu. Beer, Wine and Sake only. Reservations accepted. Khin Ung, owner.



Image
Not Rated JB Boondocks Bar & Grill, 704 South Lakeshore Blvd., Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 23.2 mile drive from The Villages. 324-3600. (Sports Bar) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM, or 10 PM on weekends; except Sunday 12 Noon to 8 PM and Monday 11 AM to 4 PM only. Formerly the Paradise Harbor Marina. Located on Little Lake Harris. Lakeside dining on seafood, steak and chicken. Items like Grilled Pork Loin ($17), NY Strip Steak ($19), Chicken Juliette Pasta ($19), Crabcakes ($20), Seafood Platter ($20), Chicken Gambino ($20), Stuffed Redfish ($22) to Petit Filet Mignon ($23) and a 13 oz. Ribeye Steak ($27) give a wide range to the menu selection. Large Salads such as Caesar or Chicken Cobb range $7-11. Lots of Burgers ($9-11) and other sandwiches such as a Muffuletta ($10), Reuben ($10), Tuna Melt ($10) and Wienerschnitzel ($9) are also offered. Friday Night Fish Fry for $11 after 4 PM and Wednesday Night Prime Rib special weekly. Their Crab and Corn Chowder ($8) is popular here. You can also find Bourbon Street Pecan Pie and Carrot Cake on the dessert menu too. Full bar. 18% gratuity added for groups of 8 or more. $2 charge for shared entrée. Joe Carillo, Mena Sabatini and Mary Ortiz, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/13) Q=4 S=2 V=1 Total=7 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
12½ Stars Jeremiah's Restaurant, 500 N. Highland St. (or 947 E. 5th Ave.), Mount Dora, FL. 26.8 mile drive from The Villages. 383-7444. (American) (Southern) [L/D] A real "local place". Located just blocks west of Renniger's Antique & Flea Market. At the corner of E. 5th Ave. and N. Highland St. Open since 1981 when the owner was just 19. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily and to 10 PM weekends. Home cookin' is their forte. Bacon Cheddar Potato Skins, Quesadillas, Southwest Egg Rolls, Beef Fajita Nachos, Beer Battered Fried Mushrooms or Stuffed Mushrooms all ranging $5-10 each start the menu. Dinners include two choices from Salad, Soup, Coleslaw, Baked Potato, Steak Fries, Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Vegetable or Applesauce, for those that can't make up their mind. Honey Fried Chicken ($9), Broiled Haddock ($11), Pecan Trout ($11), Sportsman Steak ($11), Fried Shrimp ($12), Jack Daniels Sirloin ($13), Prime Rib ($13), and Baby-Back Ribs ($14) make up the main dishes. Pasta dishes like Thai Chicken Pasta ($9), Spaghetti & Meatballs ($9) and Ravioli ($10) are all served with a side Salad. You can even find Alabama Country-Fried Steak ($8), Shepherd's Pie ($8), Baked Chicken Pot Pie ($9), Grilled Liver & Onions ($9), and Pot Roast ($9) on the menu. Lighter offerings like a Shrimp, Fish, Chicken Fingers, Buffalo Wings or Combo Basket are all $8 each. Eight kinds of Burgers, like California Bacon Cheeseburger, are available for $8 each with Fries. Mexican food, like Fajitas, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Nachos and Tacos, are on the menu too at $7-12 each. A variety of Sandwiches, like the Reuben and the French Dip, ranging $7-9 can also be found. French Onion Soup and large Salads are also popular. Outdoor seating available. Full bar. Wayne Parker, long time owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/11) Q=3 S=4 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/12) Q=3 S=4 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/15) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Fralick's Famous Restaurant (1956)
305 N. Highland St., Mount Dora, FL.

Image
Not Rated Jimbo's Restaurant, 965 CR 439, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. 27.2 mile drive from The Villages. 793-8150. (American) [B/L/D] Formerly called Werda-Hecamiat since 2014, changed to Jimbo's in September, 2016. Open daily. Offers Seafood like Cod Fillets, Shrimp Dinner and a Combo, ranging $17-20 each. Burgers run $7-10 each. Sandwiches like Grilled Chicken, BLT, Club and Cod Fish run $7-9 each. Fried Baskets like "Shrooms", Onion Rings, Buffalo Wings, Cheesy Fries and Chicken Tenders run $8-11 each. Beer and wine licensed. Breakfast runs $6-9 generally. Occasional entertainment weekends. Jim (Jimbo) Napier, owner.



Image
Not Rated JK Thai Garden, 116 E. 5th St., Mount Dora, FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 385-4700. (Asian) [L/D] Located where the 5th Ave. Café & Market and Oudom's Thai & Sushi Restaurant once occupied, opposite Donnelly Park. Opened in February, 2016. Hours: 11:30 AM to 3 PM for lunch and 5 PM to 9 PM for dinner. Thai specialties. Wine and beer only. John Douangchanh, owner.



Image
Not Rated Now Open KAT's Grill, 1050 W. Burleigh Blvd., Tavares, FL. 19.6 mile drive from The Villages. 343-6669. (American) (Grill) [L/D] Located on US 441, after the Dora Canal, just before the SR 500A Tavares turnoff, where Sinbad's did business. Completely refurbished. On Lake Eustis. Opened March 16, 2017. Opens 11 AM daily; closes at 9 or 10 PM. Outdoor seating available. Beer and wine licensed. Tom Wagenhauser, owner.



Image
11 Stars keke's Breakfast Café (Lady Lake), 498 N. US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.6 mile drive from The Villages. 801-3996. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Located in the Lady Lake Crossing Plaza next to Kirkland's. Opened on Sept. 1, 2015. Hours are 7 AM to 2:30 PM only, every day. Decorated in dual brown hues with black tables. Mostly booths with a few tables in the rear for a large family or group. Home of the "Square Cup of Coffee". Servers are in black shirts and blue jeans. Very large menu. Breakfast served 'till closing hour. Noted for large portions of creative Waffles, Pancakes and French Toast, but no Crêpes here. They guarantee satisfaction with your selections. A dozen Waffles range from a plain Belgium style ($6), to Banana, Nut & Caramel style ($9), to a full-blown Banana Split ($10). Then there are Pancakes like plain Buttermilk ($7) and a Florida style with Bananas, Strawberries and Blueberries ($11). A few French Toast items run $7-11 each, but there's also Stuffed French Toast like Piña Colada style with Pineapple, Coconut and Cream Cheese ($9) or something called Turtle Stuffed style with Pecans, Caramel, Chocolate and Cream Cheese ($10). You can create your own too. A dozen Omelets, like Cheese ($8), Greek ($10) or 3 Meat ($12.50) are suggested or create your own meal from a long list of interesting ingredients. Lots of Egg possibilities like a Breakfast Wrap ($8), Scrambler Bowl ($9), Eggs Benedict ($10.50) or Five Egg Whites ($10.50) are some of the creations listed. Egg Beaters™ are available. Sides include English Muffins, Home Fries, Turkey Bacon, Grilled Ham Steak, Cottage Cheese and others ranging $2-8 each. At 10:30 AM, lunch items are available. A dozen Paninis like Grilled Cheese ($6.50), Chicken & Salsa ($9) and Southwest Turkey Club ($10.50) are among them. A simple BLT ($7) and Tuna Melt ($8) can be found too. A dozen Salads include Chicken Caesar Salad ($8.50) and others. Wraps run $6-11 each and include a Turkey, Bacon Swiss ($10.50). Pressed Wraps are also popular. Then there's Burgers in 5 styles ranging $7.50-8.00 each. Kids menu. No bar. Closed Thanksgivings and Xmas. This Florida chain of just 15 locations is expanding fast by franchising. Another location is in Orlando (see that listing). Parties are not seated until all are present. Guy and Pierre de Fabrique, franchisees here.

Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/15) Q=5 S=4 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 9/15) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Dennis C. 2/16) We stopped in for brunch. About a 10 minute wait about noon. Amelia was our friendly server. We had an Iced Tea, a small Tomato Juice, Eggs Benedict with Fruit (upcharge) and a Stuffed French Toast. No coffee or dessert. Food was OK, not much cheese in the French Toast. The bill with tax came to $29 plus tip. Wow! Sure adds up fast here.
Q=4 S=4 V=1 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Frank K. 8/16) On our first visit here; we had the Eggs Benedict and an All Whites Vegetable Omelet. Both were excellent. The Benedict was close to perfect, but the too oily Potatoes were a bit disappointing. Service was fast and fine. The décor and accoutrements here are certainly above average for a breakfast and lunch only restaurant. Their otherwise classy table setting is offset by the same small paper napkins found in typical diners. At $11, the Eggs Benedict are a dollar or two more than other area restaurants but worth the difference.
Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 1/17) Still trying to figure out the best breakfast in TV and proximity. Went there based on recommendations from a few. Frankly speaking I thought it was run of the mill. The place was spacious and "modern" and the service was very pleasant. I had a Waffle, couple of Eggs over and Link Sausages. Hope someone can recommend why this place is special compared to other breakfast restaurants. Perhaps I missed something. Deborah P, the server, was very efficient and pleasant and so was the person who brought me to the table. My bill was $10 without Coffee. But I didn't like the thick square coffee mug. It was modern perhaps but difficult to drink from.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Kick n' Back Café, 14400 E. Hwy. 40, Silver Springs, FL. 23.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-289-4069. (American) (Caribbean) [L/D] Opened July, 2011. Formerly The Raven's Nest. Hours: 11 AM to 9 PM daily, except closed Monday. In the Ocala National Forest on Ft. Brooks Rd. (SR 40), in "beautiful downtown Lynne". Offers a number of Chicken Sandwiches with Mojo, Teriyaki, Jerk and Onion flavors ($7). Also specializes in Cuban Sandwiches like Havana Pork & Onion and their Cuban Mix with Swiss ($7-8). An Italian creation is made from a Spiced Beef recipe from the island of Capri ($7). Philly Cheesesteak and a variety of Burgers like Blackened, Bacon/Swiss/BBQ, Chili Cheese and a Patty Melt, range $6-8 each. They also offer a few Wraps such as Havana, Seafood, Turkey Club, Philly and Cuban style, at $7-9 each. Salads include Garden, Chef, Seafood, Tuna, Chicken and Shrimp at $5-9 each. At dinner hour, they feature appetizers like Coconut or Buffalo Shrimp, Shooters, Shrimp Poppers, Cheese Sticks, Conch Fritters, Cheesey Bread, Gator Bites, Loaded Nachos, Onion Petals, Chicken Tenders and Buffalo Wings, all ranging $3-10 each. From there, their menu extends to Fish Fingers, Gator Tail, Black n' Shrimp, Fried or Grilled Fish Filet, Fish n' Shrimp Platter, Scallops, Country Fried Steak, Bar-B-Que Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, 10 oz. NY Strip Steak and a Fisherman's Platter, among others, from $10 to $17 each. At the top end is a Land and Ocean Combo with the Steak, Shrimp and Scallops at $19. Desserts include Kenney's Key Lime Pie or his Peanut Butter Pie at $4.50 each. Beer and Coolers available, as well as home brewed tea and soft drinks. Covered outdoor seating available. $6 money saving coupon available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. Ken and Sandi Kloza, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/11) Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sharon B. 7/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 8/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Silver Springs Hotel [200 rooms] (1886) (1887)
Built in 1881 by Thomas Brigham Bishop of Maine, author of "Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me".
Near the Florida Railway and Navigation Co. rail line - Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL.
Destroyed by fire in 1894 and again in 1895. Rebuilt as "The Brown House" (below).
Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - The Brown House (1899) (1900) - Silver Springs, FL.

Image
Not Rated Kiku Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, 15211 US 441, Eustis, FL. 22.1 mile drive from The Villages. 483-8288. (Asian) [L/D] Opened February, 2011. Hours: 11:30 AM to 9 PM daily with dinner menu starting at 4:30 PM. On US 441 where Finlay's Restaurant used to be. Japanese food served from firey teppanyaki tables and fresh sushi offered. Early Bird Specials before 6 PM. In business since 2008 at the Highland Street Market Plaza in Mount Dora. Full bar. Thanh-Thuy (John) McKinney, owner.



Image
Not Rated Kotobuki Japanese Steak House, 2463 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 22.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-3900. (Asian) [L/D] Open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 2 PM for lunch. Open 7 days from 4:30 PM for dinner. Located at SW 27th Ave and SW College Rd. (SR 200) in the Shady Oaks Plaza next to Best Buy. In business since 1986. Entertaining teppanyaki presentation is available. Items such as Beef, Chicken, Scallops, Lobster Tail and Filet Mignon can be prepared before your eyes. Tempura and Teriyaki dishes are available too. Also popular for fresh Sushi dishes. Full bar. Reservations accepted. Ishii Misuzu and Ishii Mitsuru, owners.

Older Review: (from Yori O. 2/14) Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Big D Steer In Restaurant (1956)
"Recommended by Duncan Hines"
Later called Mr. Han's Chinese
S. Pine St. (US 27/441/300) & SW 10th St. (SR 200), Ocala, FL.

Image
12½ Stars La Bella's Italian Piatto & Pizzeria, 3909 SE Lake Weir Ave., Ocala, FL. 18.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-620-8820. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Located in the small Courtney Plaza just past the train tracks on SR 464A, off US27/441 (right just past Southern RV Center). Been in business for a while as a small neighborhood restaurant serving to the healthcare workers in the area both during lunch hour and at night. Open for lunch and dinner 5 days per week. Closed Saturday and Sunday for a long rest. Very busy take-out business. Two dining areas. Generous portions. Piatto is plate or dish in Italian. Appetizers like Chicken Fingers, Onion Rings, Cajun Fried, Potato Munchers, Mozzarella Sticks, Jalapeño Poppers run $3-7 each. Or get the Combo Plate for $10. Noted for their Pizzas that start at $10/12", $11/14" and $12/16". Then add your toppings at $1, $1.25 and $1.50 each by size. Some of the toppings include Spinach, Broccoli, Bacon, Anchovies, Meatballs or (for $0.50 extra) even Grilled Chicken, Shrimp, Crab Meat, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Ricotta Cheese, Eggplant and Artichokes. They make a Butter Garlic Crust Pizza too for no additional charge, that's a must. Calzones ($9-10 each) and Strombolis ($10 each) are also on the menu with various fillings to choose from. Under "Baked Dinners" you'll find Fried Haddock ($10), Baked Spaghetti, Angel Hair or Ziti (all $10 each), Lasagna ($10-12), Eggplant Parm. ($11), Chicken Parm. ($12) or Chicken/Eggplant Parm. ($13). Their specialty is Pasta LaBella with Chicken, Sausage, Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Black Olives, Spinach and Penne in a Tomato-Cream Sauce ($13). All baked dinners come with a Tossed Salad and Breadsticks too. Other Salad choices include Chef, Antipasto, Caesar, Tuna, Pasta, Greek, Honey Mustard Chicken Salad that are all $7.55 for the small and $9.50 for the large. Lunch specials run $7.55 each. $2 Split Plate Charge. Closed Saturday and Sunday. No credit cards accepted. Cash only. ATM on premises. Limited beer and wine only. Bernard John (Jay) Pisarek, owner.

Older Review: (from Paula M. 8/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/15) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Free WiFi La Cuisine, 48-50 SW 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-433-2570. (French) (Vegetarian) [L/D] Opened August 18th, 2009. Hours are 11:30 AM to 2 PM for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and 5:30 PM to 10 PM for dinner, every day during the season. Closed only for lunch on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Memorial Day to early October, off season. Located in downtown Ocala one block west of the square and one block south of Broadway, in a double storefront. Vintage, modern, yet romantic and very "rouge" décor greets the patrons. The flavors of eastern France prevail. Many daily specials, such as Canard a l'Orange ($24) or Sea Bass with Chutney ($32), are frequently offered. Appetizers such as Quiche Lorraine, Sea Scallops Wrapped in Bacon, Country Style Pâté, Blue Crab Cake and Croustillant d'Escargots are on the menu and range $8-15 each. Soups sometimes include Vichyssoise or Classic French Onion ranging $7-9. An Assiette de Fromage or de Charcuterie are also offered at $13 each. Salads are Salmon, Sesame Ahi, Lyonnaise, Caesar or Foie Gras at $7-16. Entrées include such offerings as Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cod Filet, Saucisson de Lyon (Sausage in Red Wine), Bœuf Bourguignon (Beef in Red Wine), Quenelle (Fish Dumplings), Jambonneau (Pork Shank in Honey), Pork Jarret and Ragoût de Veau (Stewed Veal in a white cream sauce). These range $16-21 each. There's also 14 oz. NY Strip ($25) and 8 oz. Filet Mignon ($29) on the menu. Main dishes come with a side of Gratin Dauphinois, Pommes Paille, Ratatouille or Riz Pilaf. There's always a vegetarian entrée like Vegan Tamale ($14) or Linguini with Vegetables ($16) offered. Desserts offered include traditional Crème Brûlée, Crêpes, Mousse au Chocolat and other house creations, all at $7-8 each. Beer, champagne and wine available, mostly French and Californian running $22-85 per bottle, plus many by the glass at $5-11 each, and now a full bar with creative cocktails like a Saint Tropez and Le Mont-Blanc. Live entertainment Tuesday and Thursday evening from 6:30 PM. Wine Tasting event on the last Wednesday of every month. Early Bird dinners offered before 6:30 PM weekdays at $20 for 3 courses and Happy Hour runs to 7 PM, Friday and Saturday night. Special offers like half priced wine via their emails. 20% gratuity added for parties of 6 or more. Reservations are accepted and advised by phone or online via Open Table. Open Thanksgiving Day from Noon to 6:30 PM and Xmas Eve and New Years Eve from 5:30 PM with special menu by reservation. $20 Corkage Fee and $2 per person cake serving fee applies. Closed for vacation from mid-July to the first week of August, usually. Golden Spoon Award in 2015 from Florida Trend Magazine. Voted a "Top Restaurant" in the area by OpenTable members. Chad Karp, chef; Elodie et Patrice (chef) Perron, owners.

Older Review: (from Paula M. 8/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Al C. 10/09) Q=2 S=4 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ken Z. 10/09) Q=2 S=4 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Robert F. 11/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bob M. 11/09) Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/09) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Roberta M. 1/10) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bonnie W. 1/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bev R. 3/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bev R. 3/11) Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill M. 6/11) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Susan B. 3/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 5/13) Q=4 S=2 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 4/14) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 6/15) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Duane R. 6/15) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Shirley F. 9/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from James D. 12/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 2/16) I did not like what I ate there but friends of ours told us they enjoyed it. So, will give it a try again soon. Having lived in France I am a stickler for what's considered French cuisine. Realize this was for a big group of 30. Heard it was run by a French couple so had great expectations. Ambience was like a restaurant visited in West Bank, Paris. Champignons, as indicated on the menu, were blackened starving mushrooms, not like thick juicy portobellos. Side Roasted Potatoes were blackened not roasted. The only tasty part was Crème Brûlée. Was told that their Escargot as well as Foie Gras was pretty good, so will give the place a try again. Selection of French wines were not bad. Total bill came to $80 without drinks.
Q=2 S=3 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Le Paris French Restaurant (1986)
1618 S. Pine Ave. (US 27/300/441), Ocala, FL. Next to the Ocala Inn.
Owned by Jan & Catherine Catesson and chef, Frederick Tuvache.

Image
11½ Stars La Palma Mexican Grill, 1690 Citrus Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 8.8 mile drive from The Villages. 323-1444. (Mexican) [L/D] Located on US 27/441, just north of the "27-441 split". Formerly it was Ay! Jalisco (Leesburg), NY Café, The Boulevard and Lil' Anthony's Pizzeria over the years. Opened February, 2014. Hours are 10 AM to 9 PM and later on weekends. For appetizers they offer Guacamole ($3), Bean ($3.50), Queso ($5) or La Palma ($6) Dips, Ten Chicken Wings ($7), Cajun French Fries ($9) and Monterrey or San Miguel Nachos ($8/$10 each). Soups offered are Tortilla ($3/$6) and Enchilada Soup ($4/$7). Salads include Tossed ($3), Guacamole ($4) and various Taco Salads ($7-9). Their specialties include a Mexican "Po-Boy" of Chicken or Ground Beef ($8 each) or Pork or Carne Asada ($9 each), similar Sopes ($10-12), Flautes ($8), Tosdadas ($9), Chimichangas ($9), Chimichanga Rancheras ($10), Enchiladas Verdes or Rojas ($10 each), Cajun or Chicken Enchiladas ($10 each), Tamales ($11), Chile Relleno ($10), Pollo Relleno ($13) and Sizzling Fajitas of Steak, Chicken, Shrimp range $13-15 each. Fajitas For Two are also available ($22-24). They specialize in meat dishes with Burritos like El Rey, California, Cuba and others ($10-13), Carnitas ($11), Bisteck a la Mexicana ($12), Argentina Churrasco ($13), Steak a la Tampiquena ($13), Milaneza ($13), California Carne Asada ($13), 10 oz. Strip Steak ($14) and a 12 oz. Ribeye Steak ($19) on the menu. Also a California Burger ($9) for more American taste is offered and Mom's Specialty: Tacos Azteca ($11). Many seafood dishes are also included, like Coctel de Camarón ($11), Camarónes al Mojo de Ajo ($11.50) and Siete Mares ($12.50). Vegetarian items are also featured at $8-10 each. Kid friendly menu and a number of desserts range $2-5 each including Flan, Churro, Sopapilla and everyone's favorite, Fried Ice Cream. Lunch Specials (10 AM - 3 PM) start at $7. Full bar license with Margaritas. Mariachi band on the first Sunday of the month, 12-2 PM. Julie McCray, manager; Raudel Torres, formerly of Zacatecas, Mexico, owner.

Older Review: (from Larry W. 4/14) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 8/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Duane R. 2/15) Q=2 S=2 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.

Review: (from Jan T. 6/16) Very nice experience. Juana, our server took very good care of us. Chips were warm, as they should be. Salsa had the perfect "zip" to it. I had the Chicken Chimichanga ($9) and my husband had the Chicken Chimichanga Azteca ($10). The difference between his dish and mine pretty much was that his had a wonderful Queso Sauce on it. Rice and Beans were accompaniments. Both meals were very tasty. With 2 soft drinks and our meals, the bill total with tax was $25. Very enjoyable meal.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Closed La Rocco's III Restaurant, 5545 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Silver Springs, FL. After 30 years of steady business, this institution opposite Siler Springs Park closed its doors in April, 2016. Soon to become BG Diner (see that listing).



Image
Not Rated Lago Dora Ristorante, 134 W. Ruby St., Tavares, FL. 20.3 mile drive from The Villages. 609-2577. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Opened April 17, 2016. Located where Pastore's Downtown Pizzeria did business for a while. Near the 3 Key West Resort buildings on Ruby St. and the back of the Lake County circular office building. Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily, except 5-10 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Full service Italian restaurant serving mostly Pizza, Salads, Appetizers and a few Entrées. Features a 500 degree dome pizza oven. Full bar. Outdoor seating available. Reservations welcome. Deshaun Scott, former chef at Tasso Cajun Kitchen, owner.


Review: (from Rich C. 4/16) Had to try this new restaurant by Deshaun Scott. We arrived at 4 PM on a Saturday only to find they don't open until 5 PM. (Their Facebook page needs updating.) So we had a glass of wine at nearby Hemingway's Wine Bar first. By 5 PM there were 10 people dining already. We were cordially shown a nice table near the front window in the large bar room. Very nicely appointed dining area. We started with an order of Mussels ($9) not on the menu. The were excellent. Nice Bread too. We each had a Shannon Wrangler Red Blend ($4.50 each) which was surprisingly good. She had the Bistecca Salad with Blue Cheese ($6.50). More like a Wedge without any beef in it. She enjoyed it very much, however. I had the Chicken Parmesan ($14.50) which was good but not great. It was deep fried with a side of heavy Spaghetti and sauce. The menu is very limited with mostly Pizzas, Salads, Appetizers and a few Entrées to choose from. They need to get their menu straightened out and add some more high end meals. John from behind the bar was our server. He did OK, but wasn't ready with Parmesan Grated Cheese and he didn't check back right away. The FOH manager/host, did chat with us for a while before we ordered. Total with 2 wines, 1 appetizer, salad and an entrée came to $39. A good value.
Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Peninsula Hotel (circa. 1880)
Corner of Tavares Blvd. and New Hampshire Ave, Tavares, FL.
Built by Alexander (St. Clair) Abrams.
Burned down on April 9th, 1888.

Image
Not Rated Video Free WiFi Lake Dora Sushi & Sake, 227 E. Main St., Tavares, FL. 20.8 mile drive from The Villages. 343-6313. (Asian) [L/D] New location for Mount Dora Sushi & Steak in downtown Tavares where Gracie's Backporch Café used to be located. Opened September, 2011. Hours 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM for lunch and 4:30 to 9:00 PM for dinner. Closed Sundays. Offers a wide variety of Sushi with Beer, Wine and Sake. California, Tuna, Spicy Scallop, Miami, Tokyo, Avacado, Sweet Potato and Soft Shell Crab Rolls, plus many others, start the menu. Sushi and Sashimi ingredients include Squid, Scallop, Yellow Tail, Shrimp, Conch, Tuna, Mackerel, Salmon, Octopus, Smelt, Eel, Sea Urchin and Quail Egg, to name a few. Appetizers include Cucumber & Seaweed Salad ($3), Spicy Conch & Octopus Salad ($6), Tofu & Ginger ($4), Miso Soup ($2), Edamame ($4), Chicken Livers ($5), Crispy Chicken ($6), Spring Rolls ($5) and Beef Negimaki ($10). For entrées they offer Pork Filled Dumplings ($11), Tonkatsu Pork or Chicken ($13), Teriyaki Chicken ($13), BBQ Ell ($15), Grilled Salmon ($15), Stir Fry Scallops & Shrimp ($17) and Beef Negimaki ($17). They also offer Noodle dishes like Tempura Shrimp Udon ($9), Shrimp with Noodles ($12) and Yaki Udon, plain ($11) or with Chicken ($14) or Shrimp ($15). Vegetarian items also available. Full Sashimi Dinner runs $16-20. Hot and Cold Sake and Plum Wine available at $4-6, Domestic and Japanese Beers at $3-5, plus a few Wines at $5. Premium Sake runs $6-9 each. Reservations accepted for parties of 5 or more. 18% gratuity added to parties of 6 or more. Takashi Kobayashi, sole owner here.

Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Lake Harris Hideaway, 11912 Lane Park Rd., Tavares, FL. 22.9 mile drive from The Villages. 343-3585. (American) [L/D] In business since 2005. Located at the east end and right on Lake Harris, off US 19 and popular with the biker crowd. Picnic table dining with a view of the lake. Burgers are popular especially the Ultra Classic Messy (Bacon Cheese) Burger. Patty Melts and Tuna Melts are on the menu too. For Sandwiches they offer Grilled Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, Sirloin Steak, as well as Hot Dogs and Chili Dogs. Salads offered are topped with Chicken, Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad or Sirloin Steak. Other popular items are Peel and Eat Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, Clam Strips, Crab Cakes, Fried Pickles, Jalapeno Poppers, Nacho Baskets and even Corn Dogs. Buffalo Wings are also on the menu with a wide variety of sauces. Friday Special is a Fish Fry with Slaw, Fries and Hush Puppies at $8. Wednesday Specials include Open Faced Roast Beef or Roast Turkey Sandwiches at $8. Entertainment Friday night from 5 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 PM. Accessible by boat and seaplane as well as car. Very popular during Biker Weeks. Full bar. Happy Hour 4 PM to closing where beer and well drinks are $2.25. Daniel Kelyman and David Stone, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/12) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
9 Stars Video Free WiFi Lakeside Inn, Beauclaire Restaurant, 100 North Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 26.4 mile drive from The Villages. 383-4101. (Continental) [B/L/D] Fine dining in a 130+ year old historic hotel on the National Trust Register. It has an attractive dining room. Appetizers include Fried Green Tomatoes ($9), Baked Brie en Croute ($10), Salmon and Shrimp Dip ($12), Petite Beef Tender ($13) and a Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail ($12). Salads like Lakeside House ($8), Strawberry Spinach ($9) and Traditional Caesar ($9) are also on the menu. Soups include du Jour ($4.50/$8), Leek & Potato ($5/$8) and a Southern Gumbo ($5/$8). Selections include Penne Pesto ($15), Southern Burger ($17), Chicken Pot Pie ($20), 10 oz. Pork Chop ($22), Chicken Roulade ($22), Blackened Redfish ($23), Potato Encrusted Salmon ($24), Beef Brisket ($25) and Fried Short Ribs ($36). Lunch menu is similar at reduced prices with Sandwiches running $11-13 each. Sunday Champagne Brunch offered year round with a-la-carte Breakfast items running $10-13 each, Salads $9-15 each and Sandwiches $12-15 each. Wine by the glass $5-8. Full bar with specialty cocktails $9-10 each. Reservations accepted and required on holidays. Open Thanksgiving Day, 12-5 PM, for their large buffet at $37 per person. Open Christmas Day for Champagne Brunch 11 AM to 2:30 PM only. New Years Eve Dinner Celebration starting at 7 PM, with dinner at 8 PM and a champagne toast at midnight includes music and dancing at $99 per person. 20% gratuity added for separate checks or parties of 6 or more. Owned by Jim and Alexandra Gunderson.

Older Review: (from Jean W. 2/07) Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Mike G. 9/07) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Lakeside Inn, Tremain's Tavern, 100 North Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 26.4 mile drive from The Villages. 383-4101. (Cafe) (Wine Bar) [L/D] Casual meals in the historic hotel Gatsby style lounge. Lighter fare from Fried Green Tomatoes ($9), to Salmon and Shrimp Dip ($12), to Lobster Strudel ($13), to a Monte Cristo Sandwich ($13), and others ranging between $9 and $14. Seating on the Veranda outside is a favorite place in spring and fall. Jazz on the weekends from 7-10 PM. Full bar.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Sylvan Shores Hotel (1938) (1948)
Sylvan Shores, Mount Dora, FL.

Image
Not Rated Lakeside Stone Grill, 901 Lakeshore Blvd., Tavares, FL. 19.6 mile drive from The Villages. 742-1712. (Fondue) (Seafood) [L/D] Located at of the intersection of US 441, N. Lakeshore Blvd. and W. Alfred St. near the "Triangle Fountains", where Tale Chaser Grille did business for a while. In business since 1977 at another location. Opened here in late December, 2015. Specializes in Steak, Ribs, Seafood and Fondue. For dinner main dishes they have Beer Battered Fish & Chips ($12.50), Chicken Broccoli Alfredo ($13), Mushroom Chicken ($13.50), Shrimp Kebobs ($14.50), Honey Garlic Chicken ($15), Chicken Kabobs ($15), ½ Rack of Baby Back Ribs ($15.50), Shrimp Scampi ($16.50), Pork Loin ($16.50), Grilled, Broiled or Blackened Mahi Mahi ($17.50), Grilled or Broiled Atlantic Salmon ($17.50), 8 oz. Black Angus Filet Mignon ($19.50) and 8 oz. Black Angus Steak with Sautéed Shrimp ($25). All come with Soup or Salad and 2 Sides, like Baked Potato, French Fries, Mac 'n Cheese, Rice, Coleslaw, Spinach or Vegetable of the Day. They specialize in a 4-Course meal with Cheese Fondue, Soup or Salad, your choice of Steak 'n Shrimp, Chicken 'n Pork Tenderloin Medallions, Shrimp 'n Chicken or Shrimp 'n Scallops, plus Potatoes and a Dessert Fondue with sauce (all ranging $28-30 per person). For dessert you can find Ice Cream Concoctions ($6.50 each), Pineapple Upside Down Cake ($7), Turtle Fudge Brownie a la Mode ($7), Key Lime Crème Brûlée ($7), as well as a Mini Treat ($3.50). They also offer Burgers that range $10-12.50 each, Sandwiches about $11-13 each, plus Soups and Salads ($7-10 each). Coconut Shrimp ($9.50) and Classic Canadian Poutine ($5.50) are also featured as appetizers. Kids menu available. Reservations accepted. Full bar with beer, wine and cocktails. Joyce Plant, owner.

Review: (from Shirley F. 2/16) We remember this place as a pretty basic bar along 441 in Tavares and had heard that it was remodeled and reopened with a new menu. It is cute with mismatched chairs and some fresh paint and looks comfortable. We ordered drinks and water and the drinks came up first - as ordered - nothing special, but no water. Asked for water and received it after our orders were placed . It had a sulfur smell and taste. I ordered the Soup of the Day - Minestrone, which was heavy with ground meat and overcooked veggies but was cool. Shrimp Scampi was heavy with garlic, Shrimp was good; Mixed Rice was hard and undercooked, Broccoli was cold and tasteless. Cheeseburger was overcooked and the meat was tough. We had to ask for silverware twice. Total for 3 Dinners, 2 Wines, 2 Martinis and tip was $73.
Q=2 S=2 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=
No.



Image
Not Rated Lakis Restaurant, 3405 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-3090. (Greek) [L/D] Located in the Colours Plaza. Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily, later on weekends and from Noon to 9 PM on Sunday. Pizza is popular from small to large for the traditional Italian type, to 3 Greek varieties ranging $7-16 depending on size and ingredients. Greek items like Spanakopita, Dolmades, Tzatziki, Tyropita and Fried Calamari are offered as appetizers. Dinner entrées include Pastisio, Moussaka, Gyro, Souvlaki, Leg of Lamb and others are offered at $11-15 each. A Tour of Greece Combo is on the menu for $16 too. Italian specialties are also available like Lasagna, Eggplant, Chicken or Veal Parmigiana, Stuffed Shells, Spinach Manicotti, Eggplant Rolatini and Linguine with Shrimp and Clams go for $11-13 each. Chicken Marsala, Cacciatore, Picatta and a Baked type are offered at $11-13. Sandwiches and Wraps are offered at lunch time. Three sizes of Greek Salads range $4-8, as well as a Horiatiki at $9, are made here daily. Beer and wine only. Typical Greek décor inside. In business since 2002. Nick and Maria Angelidakis, owners.



Image
Not Rated Lampu Steakhouse & Sushi, 18862 US 441, Mount Dora, FL. 25.4 mile drive from The Villages. 383-6119. (Asian) [L/D] Located at US 441 and N. Donnelly St. Previously called Lampu Japanese Steakhouse, now Japanese omitted and Sushi added with new owner. Lunch served 11 AM to 2:30 PM except Saturday and dinner from 4:00 to 9:30 PM daily. Traditional Japanese Steakhouse offering a wide selection of entrées including Chicken, Beef, Lobster and Shrimp. Ginger Salad is popular here. Flaming Onion Volcano performed on the teppanyaki tables by skilled chefs is a show. Sushi bar featuring California Rolls also available and popular. Vegetarian Avocado Rolls and Spicy Tuna Volcano Rolls are examples of some of their creations. Full bar. Jin Lian, new owner.



Image
Not Rated Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant (& Gallery) (Ocala), 4414 SW College Rd. (Suite 410), Ocala, FL. 25.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-789-6880. (Mexican) (Vegetarian) [L/D] Opened April, 2016. Located in Market Street at Heathbrook Shopping Center, near Jos. A. Banks. Hours are from 11 AM daily. This is the second location in Florida. The original is in Gainesville. Brightly colored interior with carved chairs and artistic bar surface. Authentic Mexican food is offered like Burritos ($7-11 each), Chimichangas ($8.50), Enchiladas ($8-9 each), Quesadillas ($9), Tacos Asada ($9), Chile Colorado ($9.50), Carne Asada ($10), Steak Ranchero ($11.50), Steak Acapulco ($12.50), Steak Jalisco ($12.50), Fajitas ($20 for two) and many others including the popular, Arroz con Pollo ($8.50). Long list of appetizers too. Lunch specials are served to 3 PM and run $5-7 each. Desserts include Sopapilla ($2), Flan ($3.50), Churro ($3.50), Fried Ice Cream ($4) and Cheesecake Chimichanga ($4.50). Many vegetarian items offered. Full bar with Margaritas ($5), of course. Beer, Sangria and Wine available. Happy Hour runs to 8 PM. Weekly Mexican entertainment. Alberto Roman, owner.

Review: (from Ellen H. 6/16) The restaurant is visually beautiful. We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, so we went to the bar. No pager system here, they give you a number, then a host person tries to find you inside the property or outdoors. Pretty inefficient. There were 4 bartenders but no one even acknowledged us. Finally we found a drink menu and a rather surly woman took our drink order. We ordered Sangria which was on Happy Hour of Two-For-One (2 @ $6) and it was very good. We were finally seated next to a table with many unruly children and our waitress, Jacqueline, brought us a nice basket of Chips and Salsa. Our friends like very Spicy Salsa so they asked for a container of that also. They were never told that there would be an upcharge ($.75) for that condiment and they were not very happy when the bill showed that charge. This restaurant seems to cater to large groups and families. It was pretty noisy inside. I had a Scallop Quesadilla ($9) and my partner had Steak Ranchero ($12). My Quesadilla had not much flavor despite the Onions and Peppers. I added some Salsa which helped some. Both meals were just fine but nothing special, thus a 3 rating. It did take a while for our meals to arrive, so only 3 rating for service, although Jacqueline was fine. The price before t&t was $28, including 2 Sangrias which were well made. Very reasonable prices. Business lunch or 4 PM dinner might be a better choice here.
Q=3 S=3 V=5 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Las Palmas Cuban Restaurant, 351 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 720-3336. (Caribbean) [L/D] No relation to La Palma Mexican Grill in Leesburg. Located at the corner of N. Donnelly St. and 4th Ave. where the Palm Tree Grille did business for 20 years. Before that it was a Five and Dime store. Opened in January, 2016. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily. Menu items include such appetizers as Cuban Shrimp Cocktail ($12), Tamales Cubanos ($5), Papa and Yucca Rellena ($3.50 each), and Empanadas de Carne ($3.50). They are noted for Mofongo ($14-18 each) (a Puerto Rican dish). Main dishes include Ropa Vieja ($14), Bistec Empanizado ($15), Milanesa de Bistec ($17), Vaca Frita ($14), Rabo Encendido ($22), Fajitas de Bistec ($16), Picadillo ($14), and 10 or 16 oz. Churasco Steak ($22/$30). Pork dishes run $14-16 each. You will also find Pollo Empanizado ($15), Pollo Fajitas ($14) and Fricase de Pollo ($12). Roast Pork items, like Pork Chops ($15) or Havana-Tex Tamales ($16), are offered too. For seafood they have Shrimp Creole ($18), Fried Red Snapper ($22), Seafood Paella ($25/1 $45/2 & $80/4 portions), Garlic Shrimp ($18), Shrimp Fajitas ($18), Flounder Filet ($16) or even Lobster Creole ($30). Salads include Havana Salad, Tosada Salad and Chicken Lime Salad (all $12 each). Black or Red Bean Soup ($4/$5/$6) is also offered. A Cuban Sandwich ($10) will lead the lunch menu with most dinner dishes at reduced prices and a $9 Lunch Special daily. For dessert look for Flan ($4), Tres Leche ($4) or Empanada de Guava y Queso ($5). Full bar. A Guanabana Milk Shake is a favorite, as is Cuban Coffee. Kids menu available. A rooftop dining area and bar are planned. 20% gratuity added for parties of 6 or more. Edna Gonzalez of Sebastian, FL., owner.



Image
Not Rated Latin American Café, 1427 NE 25th Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-2822. (Cafe) (Caribbean) [B/L/D] Located at NE 25th Ave. and Bonnie Heath Blvd. (SR 492) next to the laundromat. In business since April, 2010. Hours are 8 AM to 6 PM weekdays, to 3 PM Saturday and closed all day Sunday. Their specialty is the Hot Pressed Cuban Sandwich and the Cuban Steak Sandwich (each $6.50). You can also find the Cuban BBQ Pork Sandwich and the Roast Pork Sandwich (each $7). The menu also touts a Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($6), Cuban Chicken Sandwich ($7) and Q'bano Croquette Sandwich ($8), among others. Dinner specialties include Palomilla Steak and Chicken Breast Dinners, plain or breaded (under $8). A Chicken Salad entrée at $6.50 is also available. Tostones, Fries, Black or Red Beans, Plantains and Yellow Rice can also be added ($2-4 each). For dessert, they promote Tres Leches Cake, Bread Pudding and Flan ($3-4) each. No bar. Isabel Camp; owner.



(The) Latin Café, is now called Café Ola (see that listing}.


Image
12 Stars Latinos y Mas Restaurant, 2030 S. Pine Ave. (SR 27/441), Ocala, FL. 19.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-4777. (Mexican) (Spanish) [L/D] Located opposite Ipanema Brazilian Steak House on US 27/441. Reopened August 12th, at their original location. Remodeled interior and exterior of stucco with colorful walls and Spanish artwork plus larger parking lot. Open daily except Sunday from 11 AM to 9 PM or later. Dinner menu available from 3 PM. Meaning "Latin and More", it's been serving Latin Fusion Cuisine since 1991. Prides itself on unique world recipes and fresh ingredients. Emphasis is on Spanish, Central and South American creations. Chicken entrées include Pollo Empanizado (Cuban Style), Milanesa de Pollo (Italian Style), Bistek de Pollo (Cilantro Flavored), Pechuga a la Marsala (Mushrooms & Wine), Pollo al Ajillo (Garlic & Wine) and Mar y Tierra (Shrimp & Chicken with Lobster Sauce) ranging $11-15. Beef entrées include Empanizado and Milanesa styles as above, plus Carne Azada con Chimichurri (Flank Steak), Parrilla Mixta (Spanish Style), Ropa Vieja (Creole Style), Bandeja Paisa (Columbian Style), Churrasco Criollo con Camarones (Argentine Style) and Palomilla (suatéed with Onions) ranging $11-18 each. Pork is also available such as Chuletas a la Marsala (Wine Sauce), Pernil (Cuban Mojo Style) or Grilled Pork Chops with Passion Fruit Sauce ranging $11-14. Fish dishes are also offered such as Salmon Santiago (Citrus Style), Grouper a la Rusa (Butter and Mushrooms) and Camarones al Ajillo (Sautéed Shrimp) ranging $15-17. Paella and Mariscada are also featured at $16-19 per person. Arroz (Yellow Rice) dishes are offered too. Mexican dishes can also be found on the menu including various Chimichanga, Fajita and Taco dishes ($10-14). Chips and Salsa accompany every meal. Spanish Flan and Tres Leches are popular desserts. Lunch items include Cuban Sandwiches, Quesadillas, Enchiladas, Burritos, Latino 2030 Salad and Arepas. Lunch specials change daily. Beer, wine and cocktails available including Sangria, Caipirinhas and Mojitos. Reservations accepted for parties of 8 or more; Call Ahead Seating also available. 18% gratuity added for parties of 6 or more. Winner 2011 "Best Tacos and Burritos" in the Ocala area by Ocala Magazine. Danilo Luzuriaga, manager. Maria Pozo (chef), Webster and Fatima Luzuriaga, owners, here and Ipanema Brazilian Steak House (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Carol M. 7/09) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Robert F. 7/09) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill M. 10/09) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/10) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from James D. 9/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sheila R. 2/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/12) Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 1/13) Q=4 S=2 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Nancy B. 4/13) Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 5/13) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 9/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Doris M. 9/13) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Joan L. 9/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 2/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 10/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Morrison's Cafeteria (1962)
1602 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Ocala, FL.

Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Legends Café, 3430 US 441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.7 mile drive from The Villages. 728-0006. (Italian) (Sports Bar) [L/D] Located across from Bill Bryan Chrysler. Open from Noon daily to 9 PM or later but only from 4 PM on Monday and Tuesday. Closed major holidays. Offers New York Pizzas in 14", 16" and 18" sizes ranging $11-16 with one topping. Plus Chicago Deep Dish ones, range $14-25 from personal size to large size. Chef, Italian, Chicken, Tex-Mex and Greek Salads range $7 for small and $10 for large. Pastas are available after 4 PM like Fettuccine Alfredo or Marinara at $10-11 each. Hoagies ($8-11), Grinders ($8-9), Wraps ($8), Calzones ($10-17) and other Italian items, also on the menu. Wings are popular here starting at $9 for 10, $17 for 20, $30 for 35 to $42 for 50. At least 9 sauces are offered to go with them. Craft Beers and Copper Ridge Wines available, as is Sangria and other bar drinks at the full bar. Karaoke on Thursday night from 7 PM. Nathan (Nate) Gray and Patrick (Pat) Curtis, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/12) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Lena's Seafood, 18478 E. Hwy. SR40, Silver Springs, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-625-6489. (Seafood) [L/D] Located on Ft. Brooks Rd. (SR40), about 12 miles east of Silver Springs, in the Ocala N.F., almost half way to Aster. Been in business since 1958. Popular with the locals. Typical "Fry Dive". AKA Lena's Restaurant. Noted for their Onion Rings. Open daily 11 AM to 8 PM or to 9 PM on Friday and Saturday and from 2-8 PM on Sunday. Start with appetizers like Homemade Fish or Clam Chowder in two sizes ($3.50-6 each). Then Fried Mushrooms, Green Beans, Sweet Potato Fries, Okra, Crab Bites or Calamari run $5-6 each. They also have Homemade Clam (not Crab) Cake appetizer at $6; plus Steamed Mussels at $6.50. All-You-Can-Eat Specials top their menu. Choose from A-U-C-E Shrimp, Clam Strips or Fish ($14 each) served with Fries, Onion Rings and Cole Slaw. Most "Plates" are offered in two portion sizes (Half/Full) and priced accordingly. They list Calamari (Half only at $7.50), Smelt ($9/$10), Chicken Fingers ($9/$11), Pollack ($9/$12), Clam Strips ($10/$13), Flounder ($12/$15), Catfish ($12/$15), Haddock ($12/$15), Fish Nuggets ($12/$15), Shrimp ($12/$15), Grouper ($12/$15.50), Scallops ($14/$18), Whole Fried Clams ($14/$19), Fried Lobster ($13/$25) on the "Plate List". Then there's a Seafood Plate (4 fish portions at $20) and the famous Whaler Plate (6 fish portions at $32) enough for two people. All the Plates come with Fries, Onion Rings and Slaw. From the broiler they have (Half/Full) Flounder or Haddock ($12/$15 each), Shrimp ($12/$15) or Scallops ($14/$19). These are served with Baked Potato, Onion Rings and Cole Slaw. A Roll comes with all Full portion meals too. You can also find a Chef Salad ($6.50) or Chicken or Beef Taco Salads ($7.50 each). For lunch or dinner they offer many Sandwiches and Subs like Grilled Cheese ($4), Cheeseburgers ($4-7), B.L.T. ($6), Tuna Roll ($6), Fish-wich ($7.50), Clam Strip Roll ($9), Scallop Roll ($13) and a Lobster Roll ($12.50). For dessert you can find Apple Crisp, Cheesecake, and Ice Cream Cones or Sundaes (all ranging $2-4 each). Children's menu about $4. No bar. Soft Drinks, Iced Tea, Coffee and Milk Shakes do the job. Robert and Karen Young, owners.



Image
Not Rated Let's Do Lunch, 426 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 735-4577. (Cafe) (Deli) L. Located on the main drag just south of 5th Ave. Opened October 9, 2015. Hours are 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM daily, except closed Mondays. Pleasant garden room serving sandwiches like a BLT, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad, Ham & Cheese or Sliced Turkey, on your choice of bread ($6 each). Their featured item is a ¼ lb. Maine Lobster Roll served on a grilled bun ($10). All come with a side of Slaw, 3 Bean Salad, Potato Salad or Chips. Soups change daily and might include a Chowder ($4/$5). Soup & ½ Sandwich with a side runs $7. Desserts include Chocolate Mousse or Pudding Parfaits ($2 each). Soft drinks and coffee or tea available. No bar. Catharina Flury, new owner.



Image
11 Stars Little Joey's Italian Restaurant and Pizza (Summerfield), 16840 US 27/441, Summerfield, FL. 3.5 mile drive from The Villages. 347-1800. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] In the Baylee Palza. Open 11 AM to 8:30 PM, except opens at 4 PM on Mondays and stays open to 9:30 PM on weekends. Closed all day Sunday. Cozy Italian trattoria. Unique Veal and Chicken dishes are favorites here. Lots of Pasta combinations are offered too. Some seafood is available like Shrimp dishes. Antipasto and large salads also available. Also popular are their pizzas. Beer and wine selections. Coupons in Thursday's Daily Sun. Nika & Julie Dedaj, owners here and at the Ocala location (see that listing). Also affiliated with Little Joey's in Hernando (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Howard H. 3/08) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Richard B. 1/09) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/09) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sheldon F. 9/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/14) Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Little Joey's Pizza Restaurant (Ocala), 8602 SW SR 200, Ocala, FL. 27.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-873-0223. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Located in the Big Lots Plaza on the south side of College Rd. opposite Steeplechase Plaza. Open from 11 AM to 8:30 PM daily, except to 9:30 PM on weekends and closed all day Sunday. A smaller version of the Summerfield location. Items include Stuffed Shells, Manicotti, Cheese Ravioli, Baked Ziti (all $7.50 each), Lasagna ($8.50), Baked Cheese Ravioli ($8), and Baked Meat Ravioli ($9). Spaghetti and Linguini dishes start at $7 with Tomato Sauce and Meatballs or Sausage adding $.50 each. Chicken items start at Chicken Parm. at $10.50 and also include Francese, Marsala, Scaparelli, Sicillian and Contanina styles, to $12 each. Veal items run $11-13 and Seafood items run $12-13 each. Combinations are also available. Pizza is offered in three sizes with many toppings. Beer and wine available. Nika & Julie Dedaj, owners here and at the Summerfield location (see that listing). Also affiliated with Little Joey's in Hernando (see that listing).



Image
11½ Stars Video Logan's Roadhouse (Ocala), 2621 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL. 22.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-9450. (Barbecue) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Located off SW 27th Ave. behind the Paddock Mall. Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily. Peanut shells on the floor are commonplace here. As you'd expect, steaks are always sizzlin' on the grill. 6 & 8 oz. Sirloins, 12 oz. New York Strips, 6 & 9 oz. Filet Mignon, 12 & 16 oz. Rib Eyes, 16 oz. T-Bones and a 20 oz. Porterhouse Steaks plus 12 & 16 oz. Prime Ribs are the selection of hand cut Midwestern Corn-Fed Beef on the menu. Baby Back Ribs are also available. Shrimp, Salmon, Tilapia and Catfish are also offered for non-meat eaters. Chicken, Meatloaf and Pork Chops can also be found here. Finish it off with New York Style Cheesecake. Full Bar. $5 coupon occasionally available on their website. A chain of about 170 locations in 20 states based in Nashville, TN.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/08) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 2/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 9/16) We were seated immediately and our server, Robbie, took our drink order. I ordered the Salmon with a Skewer of Grilled Vegetables. The Salmon was very good, and the vegetables were excellent. I would very much like other restaurants to think about using this as a side. He had the Salmon too but with a Baked Potato. We both ordered Caesar Salads which were cold and crisp, but had too much dressing. We each had a $5 glass of wine. The cost before t&t was $48.00 after a $5 coupon was used. Pretty good meal.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Video Gluten Free Menu LongHorn Steakhouse (Lady Lake), 590 North H'way 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.4 mile drive from The Villages. 391-5505. (Barbecue) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Opened March 10th, 2008. In the Village Crossroads Plaza, opposite Home Depot. This plaza is not golf cart accessible from The Villages. Noted for their steaks and seafood. They offer 5 styles of Sirloin Steaks. All are priced at $12 for the 6 oz. and $15 for the 8 oz. Also Flo's Filet ($19/$22), Ribeye ($22), Bone-In Sirloin ($14), Top Sirloin ($12/$14/$17), Bacon Wrapped Filet ($23), T-Bone ($22), New York Strip ($19/$22), Prime Rib ($19/$22) and the 20 oz. LongHorn Porterhouse ($25) fill out the meat side of the menu. Salmon ($15/$18) and Fried or Grilled Shrimp ($15/$16) dishes do the same for the seafood side of the menu. Chicken ($14/$15), Pork Chops ($15) and Baby Back Ribs ($15/$19) are also available. Lunch items include 8 oz. Steakhouse, Bacon & Cheddar, Black & Bleu or Crunchy Campfire Burgers ($9/$10). Gluten free information available on their website. 18% gratuity added to parties of 8 or more. Call ahead seating offered. A Western Hospitality Club offers complimentary appetizers and other offers for signing up online. Full bar. Well decorated, cowboy atmosphere. Carlos Gonzalez, manager; Beth Applegarth, managing partner. One of a growing popular chain of nearly 300 locations now owned by Darden Restaurants of Orlando. Another LongHorn location is in Ocala (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/08) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Francis M. 3/08) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 4/08) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jim B. 5/08) Q=3 S=1 V=4 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David G. 5/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/08) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 5/09) Q=3 S=5 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Frank M. 10/09) Q=4 S=3 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/10) Q=4 S=4 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 5/10) Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill M. 9/10) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from David L. 12/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sheldon F. 2/13) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan. K. 7/13) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 9/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.br /> Older Review: (from Ellen H. 12/15) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Video Gluten Free Menu LongHorn Steakhouse (Ocala), 307 SE 17th Street (SR 464), Ocala, FL. 19.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-368-9600. (Barbecue) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Open daily. Located 2 blocks east of US 27/301/441 on SR 464. Flo's Filet is a 7 or 9 oz. filet, wrapped in hickory-smoked, peppered bacon and is their signature dish. Big Sky Bleu Filet is also a favorite with melted bleu cheese on a bed of red wine glazed portabella mushrooms. One pound Ribeyes and 14 oz. New York Strips are also popular. LongHorn Choice Porterhouse weighs in at 20 oz. and is flame broiled. Many Salmon and Shrimp dishes balance out the seafood side of the menu. Lobster Tails and Spare Ribs are also available. Full bar. 18% gratuity added to parties of 8 or more. Call ahead seating offered. This large chain recently purchased by Darden Restaurants. Another location is in Lady Lake (see that listing).



Postcard
Long Gone - Reese's Snack Bar & Restaurant (1942)
E. Silver Springs Blvd. & NE 1st Ave., Ocala, FL.

Image
Not Rated Lorito's Italian Kitchen, 1801 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 22.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-629-1383. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Closed Sunday and Monday. In the Ocala Center Shopping Plaza. Been a fixture in this shopping center, behind the gas station, since 1970. Family atmosphere. The usual Italian food is offered including pasta, chicken, sausage, veal and seafood entrées. Minestrone and Pasta Fagiole soup is offered. Manicotti, Ravioli and Lasagna are on the menu too. Veal Scaloppine is a favorite. So are the Meatball or Sausage Subs. Also known for their large New York style pizzas, ranging $11-21 each, depending on size and toppings. Beer and wine only. Gaspard Lorito, owner.



Image
Not Rated Coming Soon Los Magueyes Mexican Restaurant (Belleview), 10465 SW Hwy. 27/441, Belleview, FL. 10.1 mile drive from The Villages. . (Mexican) [L/D] Formerly Laredo, then El Rodeo Mexican Restaurants, and then Dani's Latin (Fusion) Restaurant. It's in the K-Mart Plaza. Offering traditional Mexican fare. Combo dinners start at $15. 99 cent Tacos on Tuesdays and 99 cent Enchiladas on Wednesday. Full bar. Happy Hour 2-7 PM. Juan Jaime-Rodriguez and Gloria Rayas-Cervantes, owners here and at Los Tres Magueyes Mexican Restaurant in Wildwood (see below). Opening in the spring of 2017.



Image
12 Stars Los Tres Magueyes Mexican Restaurant (Wildwood), 344 Shopping Center Dr., Wildwood, FL. 10.9 mile drive from The Villages. 461-0577. (Mexican) [L/D] Opened early October, 2015. It's in the Wildwood Shopping Center where Rita's Oyster Bar and Grill did business, a while back. "The Three Agaves" is it's name. Often advertised as just Los Magueyes. Offering traditional Mexican fare. Combo dinners start at $15. 99 cent Tacos on Tuesdays. Mariachi Band on Thursdays. Now full bar. Happy Hour 2-7 PM. Juan Jaime-Rodriguez and Gloria Rayas-Cervantes, owners. Another location is planned for Belleview (see above).

Older Review: (from Yori O. 10/15) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 1/16) We both had Chili Rellenos with Re-Fried Beans, Guacamole Salad and Taco. Chili Rellenos were fresh, not canned, and the best we've had in this area. Quick, pleasant service. Clean, fresh and Mexican motif. Subdued Mexican music. Salsa and Chips were free. With 2 Iced Teas and a coupon, it was $15.50. Clincher was, several Mexicans having lunch there. Ain't your Taco Bell.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Charles K. 9/16) Ms. Delia was our waitress, very nice and efficient. My wife and I had Super Burritos each $11 and 2 Margaritas for $4 each and I had a domestic beer for $3. Total was $33 before tax and tip. The food was pretty good. Our usual Mexican restaurant was over crowded and there was no wait here. The food was comparable and the menu extensive with excellent illustrations.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ann H. 10/16) Four ladies from The Villages went to this restaurant for lunch. The place has Mexican décor. We noticed a large group of ladies (20+) and they were all seated together. All four of us had different dishes and were very happy with our food. I had a Lunch Steak Fajita and it was a very nice size portion. The lunches were very reasonable. My bill was under $10 including a Soda.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 10/16) $27 was our total bill at this, in my opinion, pretty authentic restaurant. The Chips and Salsa were excellent for our starter. I had the Chicken Fajitas ($12). Tasty, but overcooked and not hot (temperature wise). I think the Chicken was pre-cooked, then nuked. My husband had the Chimichangas ($11). Fantastic! Service from Carlos, was top notch. We will return and I will get the Chimichanga.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 11/16) This place can handle a few dozen people at a long table. We went with one of the clubs. Compared to when I first visited at the opening, the place has settled down and was surprised that it was quite busy. It's OK. Mexican food but it's closer here then going to Spanish Springs for us. Server Chon was efficient for a large crowd. Total bill without drinks came to $20.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 12/16) Our Gourmet Group of 8 were promptly seated at 5 PM in the expanded dining area of Los Tres. Very nice, roomy, extension with staff readily accommodating large groups. We had the Chili Relleno Combo #7, which we enjoyed. With Margarita and Beer was $28. Others enjoyed their selections except for two who thought their Steak was overdone and dried out. Thursday is Mariachi band night. They are pretty good. Service was prompt, courteous and attentive. This place is a bright spot in this Wildwood plaza.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated The Lost Parrot, 100 E. 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 729-2685. (American) (Caribbean) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 10 or 11 PM, except closed Mondays. Opened in the summer of 2011. Located where the Frosty Mug, and before that, Eduardo's used to be at the corner of 4th and Donnelly. Serving island food and drink into the late hours with frequent entertainment featuring music in the style of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley. Conch Fritters, Parrot Wings, Fried Mushrooms, Chili Cheese Fries and Beer Battered Onions Rings are just some of the appetizers that run $3-8 per portion. For entrées you'll find Coconut Shrimp ($11), Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs ($11), Margarita Chicken & Shrimp ($12), Crab Cake Dinner ($12) and Caribbean Style Mahi-Mahi ($15), all usually served with vegeatables and rice. Sandwiches and wraps, like Hot Pastromi on Rye, Smoked Turkey on Rye, Grilled Tuna, Ham & Cheese Wrap or BLT Wrap, all run $6-8 including Fries or Salad. There's also ½ lb. Angus Burgers with or without cheese on a Kaiser Roll for $7. Salads available for lighter appetities. Dessert items are also offered. Kid's items available too, like "PB&J". Full bar with tropical drinks featured. Doris Hawking and Charles (Sandy) Ulery, owners.



Image
Not Rated Now Open Louie's Seafood, Steak and Oyster Bar, 1900 S. Pine Ave. (US 27/441), Ocala, FL. 19.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-840-0090. (Seafood) [L/D] Opened in October, 2016. Opens daily at 11 AM. Formerly Louie's Oyster Bar of Ocala, then Murphy's Oyster Bar, now back to Louie's after 10 years. Typical Florida oyster bar with the emphasis on the bar. Various fresh shellfish such as Clams, Crawfish, Snow Crab, Scallops, Shrimp, Mussels and Oysters usually available. Even Gator Tail can be found here. All you can eat Maine Lobster and Snow Crab Legs served every day. Philly Cheese Steak and Gyros also available. Now steaks added. Wine and beer licensed. Popular with locals. Nahla Jabbour, owner.



Image
Not Rated (The) Lunchbox, 103 SE 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 352-512-0252. (Cafe) (Diner) [B/L] Open daily 7 AM to 2:30 PM. Located 1 block south of the square at Fort King St. For breakfast they have a large selection of Omelettes, Eggs, Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast and others (all about $6-10 each). For lunch you can find everything from Grilled Cheese to Reubens, to Club Sandwiches, Burgers and Wraps (all about $6-10 each also). Some items have catchy names like The Elvis, The Haystack and Big Al. All menu priced include tax. Beer and wine licensed. Kids menu. Josh Snyder and David Raney of Tallahasse, owners.



Image
Not Rated Video Video Free WiFi Magical Meat Boutique, 112 W. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.3 mile drive from The Villages. 729-6911. (British) (Cafe) [B/L/D] Located on 3rd Ave. near the railroad tracks, between Donnelly and Alexander, where the Chew Chew Express Sandwich Depot did business for many years. Opened in July, 2014. Open all day from 7 AM to Midnight daily, except from 8 AM on Saturday and Sunday. "Pleased to meet you, meat to please you!" is their slogan, as it hails itself as a British Carvery, or, more Americanized, a Gastro-Pub. The business name is more about The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" song, than it is about unknown ingredients in their meat, thank heaven. The "Boutique" part is lost in translation. Step inside to the London Tubes - Camden Town station to be specific. The photomural dominates the interior. Breakfast, served all day, starts with such British favorites as a Bacon & Cheddar Turnover ($4.50), a Bacon Butty ($6), Create-Your-Own Brekkie ($7-10), to the Full Monty ($15), plus the usual American fare, like French Toast ($6) or Pancakes ($7). For snacks, lunch or dinner they offer items like Scotch Egg ($6), Beer Battered Onion Rings ($7), Sausage Rolls ($7), Hoisin Duck Spring Rolls ($7), Baked Stilton Stuffed Mushrooms ($8) and Tandoori Spiced Chicken Wings ($9). Or pick any 4 for $15. A Daily Soup is $6. Sandwiches include Hot Ham & Cheddar or Turkey Ciabatta ($10 each), Guinness Battered Haddock Sandwich ($11), a British Burger with British Bacon Rasher ($12), Soho (Duck) Butty ($12.50), Australian Lamb Sliders ($12.50) or a Ribeye Sandwich ($13). For main dishes, they offer Sausage & Chips ($10), Hunter's Smothered (in Somerset Cheddar and Back Bacon) Chicken Breast ($13), Traditional Bangers and Mash ($13.50), English Fish 'n Chips with Sarsons Malt Vinegar at $14 (or $10 for the "ladies portion"), a Daily Carvery Plate (Meats of the Day) a.k.a. "Magical Meat Plate" ($15), Ale Braised Lamb Shank with Mint Gravy ($16) and a "Pub Grub" 12 oz. Ribeye Steak ($19). For dessert you can find Spotted Dick & Custard or Golden Syrup Sponge Cake & Ice Cream (each $8). Kids menu too. Cadbury's Hot Chocolate, British Sodas (like Lucozade, Irn-bru, Vimto, Fentiman's Dandelion & Burdock, etc.), plus British Beers on cold-tap like Hobgoblin Ale, Newcastle Brown, Guinness Stout, Innis & Gunn IPA, Tennent's Pilsner and Excalibur Cider are featured here, not to mention dozens of imports and domestics by the bottle. House Wine and Mead are stocked too or bring your own wine, by-George. And no Corkage Fee if you order meals here. No hard liquor either. For the more refined, there's always an English Spot of Tea. Outside seating available. Occasional Singer, Beatles DJ or Karaoke. Late night hangout when the rest of Mount Dora is asleep. David Sheets, Katherine Bellamy and husband, Phillip Barnard, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/15) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Mount Dora Motor Lodge - Restaurant & Cocktail Longe (1970s) (1980s)
"Fine food, 3 dining rooms. Golf privileges on 8 nearby courses.
C.R. 'Lefty' Wright, owner-manager."

New US 441, Mount Dora, FL.

Image
Not Rated Magnolia Café, 108 N. Bay St., Eustis, FL. 25.2 mile drive from The Villages. . (Cafe) [L/D] Opened in July, 2015. Located on the corner of Bay and Magnolia where Olivia's Coffeehouse did business for about 8 years. Light meals and coffee are available. Now full bar licensed. Music on weekends. Sami Zrida and Serge Graul, owners.



Image
Not Rated Magnolia Oyster Bar, 201 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg, FL. 10.9 mile drive from The Villages. 323-0093. (Seafood) (Sports Bar) [L/D] Also known as Magnolia's Oyster Bar & Café since 1954. Located a block south of Main St. in downtown Leesburg, at South 1st St. Open daily 3 PM - 10 PM (summers) and 11 AM to 10 PM (winters), except closed Sundays. Soothing blue-green color treatment make it a relaxed Jimmy Buffet style haunt. The menu specializes in fresh Florida Oysters but you can also find Mini Corn Dogs ($6), Mozzarella Sticks ($6), Jalapeño Poppers ($6), Baked Clams Casino ($7), Chicken Nachos ($7), ½ Dozen Baked Garlic Parm. Oysters ($7), ½ lb. You Peel Shrimp ($7-8) and ½ or 1 lb. Crawfish ($5/$9). Frequent specials like 25 Top Neck Clams ($10), 1 lb. Alaskan Snow Crab Legs ($10), 10 Buffalo Wings ($6) or 30 Shucked Oysters ($14-16) are offered on certain days (see their Facebook page). Salads, Quesadillas and appetizers also on the menu. Beer and wine only. A large selection of iced bottled beer is offered. Outdoor seating available. Karaoke and other entertainment weekly. Chad Mansour, manager; Rita Mansour, owner.



Image
Not Rated Video Coming Soon Marco's Pizza (Ocala), 4602 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 26.5 mile drive from The Villages. . (Italian) [L/D] Located on SR 200, at SW 46th Ct., just past Market Street Shopping Plaza, near Dillard's. Offers "Build Your Own" Pizzas with thin or thick crust starting at $8, plus Fresh Baked Subs, Chicken Wings and Salads. Usual hours are 11 AM to 11 PM daily. Opening here in early 2017. Founded in 1978, now 500 locations nationwide in 34 states, based in Toledo, OH. Other locations are coming to Clermont.



Image
Not Rated (The) Marion Cafe, 108 N. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-362-5300. (American) (Cafe) [L] Located in the old Marion Hotel, behind Symmetry Coffee & Crêpes, next to the Ballroom. Opened in October, 2016. Hours are 10:30 AM to 3 PM daily for lunch, except Saturday and Sunday. They offer Wraps or Subs like Turkey, Lettuce & Tomato, Turkey & Dill Spread, Ham, Pepperoni & Salami, Beef & Pepper Jack, Ham, Turkey & Bacon, Beef Dip, Pressed Ham & Pork, Tuna Salad and a Hummus Veggie (all $7.50 each). Side dishes like Potato Salad, Pasta Salad, Mac & Cheese run $2.50-3.50 extra. Very large selection of 25 Beers and some Wine too. Specials include Chips and a Soft Drink. Fresh made Bread and Soups offered also. Dan Sandstrom, manager/chef; Brian Caracciolo, owner.



Image
12½ Stars Free WiFi Mark's Prime Steakhouse (Ocala), 30 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-402-0097. (Steakhouse) [D] Closed Sundays; open 6 days, 5-10 PM usually. This very upscale steakhouse is located on the square in downtown Ocala at the location vacated by Reno's Grille at the corner of Broadway since 2008. "Steaks with passion" is their motto. This restaurant offers the finest prime beef and freshest seafood. 7 or 11 oz. Filet Mignon ($34/$41), 14 oz. NY Strip ($40), 16 oz. Delmonico ($42), 20 oz. Bone-In Ribeye ($47), 8 oz. Top Sirloin ($29) and 16 oz. Pork Chop ($28), as well as Surf 'n Turf ($55) are typical meat offerings. Some seafood specialties include Crab Bisque ($9), Wood Grilled Salmon ($26), Grouper Santa Fe ($33), Seared Tuna ($32) and Seafood Grill ($39). Lobster Tails are also a specialty at two Broiled Tails for $46. All items, including salad, potatoes and vegetables are priced a-la-carte with most entrées ranging from $26 to $55 and side dishes $7-9 each. Sauces are $3-4 extra. Crème Brûlée ($7) and Chocolate Paradise ($7) are two of their desserts. Extensive fine wine list and full bar specializing in exotic martinis ($10-12 each). Corkage Fee: $15. "Award of Excellence" recipient from Wine Spectator Magazine. Voted a "Top Restaurant" in the area by OpenTable members. Online via Open Table or phone reservations accepted and highly recommended on weekends. Ask ahead about separate checks per couple. Randal White, chef; William Scheel, Louis Saig and George McCoy, proprietors; Cindi Nicholson, managing partner this location. Another Mark's Prime location is located in Gainesville (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Dennis G. 11/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/08) Q=5 S=5 V=3 Total=13 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Robert F. 3/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 5/10) Q=5 S=5 V=3 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 3/12) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Susan B. 6/12) Q=5 S=4 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill T. 6/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Joanne B. 1/15) Q=5 S=5 V=3 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Harry M. 11/15) Q=3 S=5 V=1 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 11/15) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard Postcard Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Hotel Marion Restaurant (1930) (1936) (1941) (1959)
"In the Kingdom of the Sun"
108 N. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. (built 1927, now on the NRHR)

Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Mary's Kountry Kitchen, 15945 CR 448, Tavares, FL. 26.1 mile drive from The Villages. 343-6823. (American) (Breakfast) [B/L/D] Located in a long red building, near where the tracks cross the 448 highway. Open 6 AM to 2 PM, Monday through Wednesday, to 9 PM Thursday through Saturday and 7 AM to 2 PM on Sunday. Operating since 2007. Breakfast items include Belgium Waffles ($7), Cinnamon Bun Pancakes ($7), Eggs Benedict ($8) and plain or stuffed French Toast ($8). Homemade Biscuits and Sausage Gravy ($6) is popular, as are Skillets ($7-10 each). Many other breakfast items sold. For lunch or dinner, items like Fried Pickle Chips ($6), Clam Strip Dinner ($9.50), Coconut Shrimp ($12) and a Haddock Fillet ($15) are on the list. Liver and Onions ($8), Country Fried Steak ($9) and Fried Chicken ($10) are among many others. They boast about their Burgers which run $6-9 each. Wraps and Sandwiches are also available. They also feature an Indiana Style Pork Tenderloin Sandwich at $7. No bar. Reservations accepted. Mary Cutlip, owner.



Image
Not Rated The Mason Jar, 37534 Hwy. 19, Dona Vista, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 589-2535. (American) (Southern) [B/L/D] In business since 1980. Eat like no one is watching! Located on SR 19, halfway between Eustis and Umatilla, in the little town of Dona Vista. Open from 6 AM through 8 PM daily, except closes at 2 PM on Sunday. Noted for their big breakfasts and home cooking with a large menu at reasonable prices. Popular with the locals and bikers alike. Popular items include Smoked Pork Chops, Liver and Onions, Shepherd's Pie, Meat Loaf, Hot Roast Beef, Catfish and Fried Chicken. Noted for their Corn Muffins and Southern Flaky Biscuits. A-U-C-E Fish Fry on Friday night is $10. No bar. Byron Key and Keri Greer, owners.



Image
Not Rated Video Free WiFi McAlister's Deli (Ocala), 3930 SW 42nd St. Suite 110, Ocala, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-690-7783. (Deli) [L/D] Opened December, 2008. Open 11 AM - 10 PM daily. Located opposite Gator's Dockside (Ocala) in the Berkshire Oaks Shopping Plaza off SR 200.Similar to Panera Bread but without the bakery. Order food at the counter then it's delivered to your table. This chain is famous for their Sweet Tea and Giant Spuds. Offering a wide variety of Paninis, Sandwiches, Wraps, Soups and Fresh Salads. Such concoctions as New Orleans Muffuletta ($5-11 depending on size) and others like Orange Cranberry Club, Greek Chicken Pita, "The Big Nasty"®, plus Turkey, Roast Beef or Ham Melts that range from $5 to $8 each are featured. Paninis such as Horseradish Roast Beef & Cheddar, Smokey Pepper Jack Turkey, Havarti Sweet Chipotle Chicken and Basil Parmesan Chicken, all $6, are toasted on sourdough bread. Sandwiches and Paninis come with a side dish like Mac 'n Cheese, Potato Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Fruit or Applesauce. Stuffed Potatoes like Pot Roast Spud, Bacon Spud, Grilled Chicken Spud and Cheese Spud run $4-7 each. Meatloaf and Pot Roast Platters, with a side dish, are more oriented toward dinner time. They run $8 each. A variety of large salads like Sweet Chipotle Chicken, Greek, Basil Parmesan Chicken, Taco or Caesar run $5-7 each. Daily Soup or Chili also available. Sweet tea or fountain drinks are served. No bar. One of a chain of about 300 franchises based in Ridgeland, MS. started in 1989. This one run by Dale Mulvey. A new one is planned for The Villages (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/09) Q=5 S=3 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Video Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers (Mount Dora), 18221 US 441, Mount Dora, FL. 26.1 mile drive from The Villages. 735-8257. (Pizza) [L/D] Located on Hwy. 441 next to the First Green Bank, about half way between S. Bay St. (US 19) and N. Donnelly Street. Since April 7, 2014. Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily, to 11 PM weekends. "Mell O. Mushroom" is their prominent mascot and "tie-dye" is their choice of corporate color in an obvious throwback to the founder's days of enlightenment in the 1970s. Any suggestion of psychedelic compounds, like psilocybin, in their pizza toppings is a totally false perception but enjoying their pizza is still said to be a spiritual experience, so says the corporate office. Even the dessert Brownie might be suspect. It's a family friendly, relaxed environment. Vintage machine shop and tractor equipment constitute the unique décor accents at this location. Disc Golf is part of the diversions too. All premium pizzas are offered in 3 sizes (10", 14" & 16") and the hand tossed dough is made with Appalachian spring water. Such creations as Just Cheese ($8/$12/$15), Gourmet White, Kosmic Karma, Funky Q Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Mellowterranean, Mighty Meaty, Holy Shiitake Pie, and Thai Dye (all at $12.50/$19.50/$24.50), also a House Special, Mega Veggie, Magical Mystery Tour, Red Skin Potato Pie, and Maui Wowie (all $13/$20/$25), plus Philosopher's Pie ($13.50/$20.50/$25.50) and Bayou Bleu ($14.50/$21.50/$26.50), make up the long list. Or you can build your own from an a-la-carte ingredient menu that boasts such toppings as Andouille Sausage, Kalamata Olives, Mantamore Cheese, Salami, Tofu, Tempeh and even Shrimp. Salads come in two sizes ("Lil" and "Reg") and include Tossed ($4/$5.50), Caesar ($5/$7), Spinach ($5/$9), Chef ($6/$9) and Greek ($6/$9). Again, build your own Salad with a choice of 10 dressings is offered too. Calzones like Chicken & Cheese or Steak & Cheese run $10.50 to $12 each. A dozen Hoagies come in half and whole sizes and range from Ham & Cheese ($5.50/$8.50), to Jerk Chicken ($6.50/$9.50), to a Shrimp Po' Boy ($8/$12). Kids menu at $5.50 offered. Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan and Lo-Cal items available. Patio seating. Full bar featuring 24 taps of draft brew, plus craft beers by the bottle and a frequent drinker Beer Club. Started in Atlanta, GA. in 1974; now fast growing with 150 locations mostly in the southeast. Another location is in Winter Park. This franchise owned by C. Michael LaRoe.

Review: (from Ellen H. 7/16) They have an incredible selection of unusual Pizzas for every taste. They even have Gluten Free and Vegan Cheese Pizzas for those allergic to wheat or diary products. Our waitress, Jessica was friendly and informative about the items on the menu. We had a Philosopher Pizza which had Pesto Sauce, Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese. The crust is a bit thicker than most which is a favorite of mine. It was delicious. The total cost with 2 drinks was $31 before t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Melodia Latin Cuisine, 3535 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 18.4 mile drive from The Villages. 352-450-8226. (Mexican) (Spanish) [L/D] Located on SR 464, in the Cedar Shores Plaza next to Winn-Dixie near SE 36th Ave. Opened in May, 2014. Hours are from 11 AM to 9 PM weekdays, to 5 PM Sunday and to 1 AM weekends. Plain tables surrounded by large Caribbean murals. You'll find Burritos, like Bean, Chicken, Beef or Steak Burritos ranging $5-7.50 each and Quesadillas like Cheese, Chicken, Beef or Steak ranging $4-7 each, plus Tostadas like Chicken or Steak ranging $6-7 a pair. Tacos are a favorite here, ranging $1-2.50 each. For main dishes they serve Chicken or Beef Enchiladas ($7), Steak Enchiladas ($8), Arroz con Pollo ($8), Chuleta de Puerco (Pork Chop) ($8), Arroz con Carne Asada (Grilled Steak) ($10) and Arroz con Cameron (Shrimp) ($11). A Taco or Steak Salad ($8 each) are available, as is Chili or Soup ($2.50). A few Sandwiches like the Cuban ($7), Chicken ($7) or Torta Steak ($8) are on the menu too. For dessert you can find Flan de Leche, Cheese Cake, Pineapple Upside Down Cake a la Mode, and an Ice Cream Sundae for $4-5 each. They also offer a buffet at lunch for $7. Kids menu available. Senior Citizen discount of 25%, 2-6 PM weekdays. And AUCE Tacos 4-6 PM Tuesdays for $7. Beer and wine licensed. Live or DJ latin music on weekends at 9 PM and some Wednesdays or Thursdays at 6 PM. Erik Gonzalez, and Kevin Hudson, owners.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Bennett's Fountain Café (ca. 1940)
"Sizzling Steaks 35 cents - Fried Chicken 35 cents"
S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. (now The Brick City Southern Kitchen)

Image
13 Stars Mesa de Notte Ristorante, 2436 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 20.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-732-4737. (Italian) [L/D] Noted chef, Loring Felix, now heads the kitchen. Open 11 AM to 9 PM weekdays and from 3-10 PM on Saturday. Closed Sundays. Formerly the Uptown Grill, it was renovated in the summer of 2014. Appetizers include Bruschetta al Pomodoro, Caprese Champagne, Calamari Fritto, Antipasto Freddo, Beef Carpaccio di Manzo and Aragosta Strudel (Lobster in Phyllo), all ranging $9-12 each. Soups, like Pasta Fagioli, Cipollata (Italian Onion) or Portabella (Mushroom) ala Grigila, run $6 for a bowl. Large salads ($9-10) with Greco, Caesar, Insalata di Arugula and Caprese di Bufala being offered among others. Pasta dishes include Capellini Loring, Rollatini Melanzana, Penne alla Vodka, Linguini Vongole, Fettuccini Alfredo, Linguini al Porcini, Gnocchi Genovese, Lasagna Bolognese and Penne Siciliana, at $13-21 each. For entrées, Pollo or Vitello (Chicken $15 or Veal $24) is prepared Marsala, Piccata, Sorrentino, Parmigiana, Francese, Scarpariello or Mesa style. There's also Pollo e Gamberoni Pancetta (Chicken, Shrimp & Pancetta) ($17), Anatra Arrosto (Duckling) ($26), Agnello (Lamb) Osso Buco ($26), 8 oz. Filetto Milanese ($29), 10 oz. Filetto al Quatro Pepe ($19), Bistecca Griglia (14 oz. Rib Eye) ($29.50) and top shelf Vitello Valdostana (14 oz. Veal Chop) ($37). Seafood items include Gamberoni (Shrimp) Mesa de Notte ($19.50), Mahi Piccata ($21), Spada (Swordfish) Puttanesca ($23.50), Salmone (Salmon) Champagne ($24), Cernia (Grouper) Marciano ($27), Zuppa de Pesce Amalfi ($31.50), Merluzzo (Cod) Nero ($35) and Aragosta (Lobster Tails) alla Verona ($39). Most entrées come with a side dish, like soup, salad or pasta. You may also add items like Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus or Risotto for $6 extra. Pizzas are offered for the smaller appetite ranging from $9-12. Lower prices at lunch time. Lunch items add Sandwiches ($9-12 each), Pasta ($10-14) and different appetizers ($8-12 each). Desserts include Tiramisu, Cannoli, New York Cheesecake, Pears in Chocolate Sauce, and Zabaqlione with Wild Berries, at $5-7 each. Split plate charge of $7 for sharing and 20% gratuity added to the bill for parties of 8 or more. Wise to reconfirm your reservation the day before. Open for Thanksgiving Buffet 11 AM to 8 PM by reservation. Full linen service. Frequent winner at "Taste of Ocala". Voted a "Top Restaurant" in the area by OpenTable members. Wine list available with full bar. Reservations and Call Ahead accepted by phone or online via Open Table. Loring Felix, chef; Jean Stout and José Moreno, owners.

Older Review: (from Barbara B. 7/11) Q=5 S=4 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 7/11) Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Paula M. 8/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ingrid P. 9/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 12/11) Q=3 S=2 V=4 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Daniel G. 2/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Wayne M. 3/12) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/12) Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 10/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Fred J. 2/13) Q=2 S=4 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 5/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 5/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 8/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ralph N. 2/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 4/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 4/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 11/14) Q=4 S=2 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from James D. 12/14) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 1/15) Return=No.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 4/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 5/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ray B. 8/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 9/16) OK, OK. After 1 year and 9 months of punishing Mesa de Notte (see my past reviews), I decided to give it another try. Mario, our server, took excellent care of us. Ahh, the wonderful hot, delicious rolls and fabulous dipping concoction started off our dining experience perfectly. We both had the grilled Portobello Soup. One of the best soups I've ever had. I had the Ravioli Pizziola ($14) and my husband had the Cappelini Loring ($17). Both meals were very flavorful, however, my meal could have been warmer. Our meals came to $31. We just had water to drink. We loved sitting at a round table in the front dining room. Everything about this visit was almost perfect. We will return.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 12/16) We went to this place with our Gourmet Group. The ambience was nice and the place was jumping. I got to believe people get swayed by the ambience of the place. For me, I don't care if it's a diner or dump but if the dishes are to my liking, I am a happy camper. The Mushroom Soup was so salty and like glue, I couldn't eat much. Have to hand it to our server. Didn't ask her to do anything but she took it off the bill. Linguini Vongole was better but nothing to rave about. My wife said Mahi Piccata was OK but at $25 a plate, she thought it could, have been better. Total bill without drinks came to $45. Don't know what to do with a restaurant where ambience, presentation and service are great but not the dishes, especially if the price is on high side. I've been seeing quite a few of such places lately.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Mi Tierra Latina, 2105 SW CR 484, Ocala, FL. 16.2 mile drive from The Villages. 352-307-0888. (Mexican) (Spanish) [L/D] Changed names and owners in December, 2013. Formerly called Mi Tierra Caliente. Open 7 days from 11:30 am to 9:30 PM. Located just west of I-75 exit 341 (Belleview), in the Marion Crossroads Plaza behind McDonalds and Waffle House. Peruvian and Mexican food offered. Some dishes include Camarones a la Diabla, Pechugas a la Plancha, Bistec Tampiqueno, Chiles Rellenos Pablanos, Pollo con Mole and Carnitas. Also available are Fajita Calentana, Carne Asada and Shrimp, Alambre de Camaron and Pollo Alambre. Other Burritos, Fajitas and Enchiladas are also offered. Lunch specialties include Chimichanga, Taco Salad, Quesadillas and a small Fajita. Desserts include Fried Ice Cream. Beer and wine only. Another location is at 3131 SW College Rd. Gloria Isaacs and Auris Pichardo, new owners.



Miller's Ale House. Called the Ale House & Raw Bar (see that listing).


Postcard
Long Gone - Steak and Ale Restaurant (1980)
3445 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL.

Video

Image
12 Stars Video Free WiFi Mimi's Café (Ocala), 4414 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 23.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-8668. (American) [B/L/D] Opened in mid-March, 2008. Located about 1 mile west of I-75 on the south side of SR 200 in Market Street at Heath Brook (near the new Dillards). Open daily from 7 AM to 10 PM (Friday & Saturday 'til 11 PM). New Orleans and French theme but eclectic down-home food offerings. Some of the classics are Chicken Pot Pie, Roasted Turkey, Country Fried Steak, Meatloaf, Pot Roast and Beef Liver. Pasta Jambalaya, Cajun Blackened Salmon, Spice Rubbed Baby Back Ribs and Crab Cakes add a Louisiana flair. Pork Chops, Sirloin and Flat Iron Steaks also featured sometimes. You might also find Hibachi Salmon, Seafood Fettuccine, Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi and Chicken Piccata with Asparagus on the large menu. For lunch, Bleu Cheese & Walnut Salad, Fried Chicken Salad and Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad are also offered. Albacore & Avocado, Meatloaf Ciabatta and Five Way Grilled Cheese are typical innovative Sandwiches. Bread Pudding, Bananas Foster Mud Pie and New York Style Cheesecake are favorites at $6-7 each. Most entrées range from $10-14, Steaks $14-18, Sandwiches $10-11, Breakfast $10-12. Free refills on non-alcoholic beverages. Menu changes seasonally. Lots of attention-getting cute wall decorations. Wine, beer and full cocktails available; as is an Espresso Bar. Reservations and Call Ahead accepted. Open Thanksgiving Day until 8 PM. No Happy Hour. $5/glass imported Red/White House Wine. Approach from Dillards for easier access to the parking lot. One of a chain of more than 100 locations by LeDuff America of Dallas, TX. Joseph Martin, general manager here.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/08) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 11/08) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Howard H. 9/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 12/10) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/11) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Phil S. 12/11) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/12) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/15) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 2/16) Not real happy with the meal this time. Samantha was our waitress. 3 of us for early lunch got both a Breakfast and Lunch menu to look at. We had Iced Tea ($3.29) and Tomato Juice ($3). Then we ordered a Tuna Melt with Corn Chowder ($10), a Half Reuben with Spinach Salad ($11.50) and a Half Grilled Cheese with Corn Chowder ($9.50). Only 2 of us got a Muffin with our meal. I found a coupon on my phone for buy one get one main dish. That saved us $9. But it took very long for the food to come out. Samantha checked on us often but the kitchen was the cause for my low Service rating, not her. The grilled Sandwiches were just OK. We've had better meals here before. Started to get busy as we left. Total before coupon, t&t was $41 for 3 lunches.
Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 10/16) All was well here, except our server, Andrew, didn't know how to smile or be personable. I had Turkey Brie Melt ($11). It was delicious! My husband had the Bacon & Bleu Salad ($11). He thoroughly enjoyed it. Coffee and a soft drink for us. $3.29 each. Expensive! Our total was $30. Good, but a lot of money for just lunch. We will return when we're in the area perhaps.
Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
11 Stars Video Mission Inn Resort, El Conquistador Room, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-800-874-9053, 324-3911. (Continental) [D] Opens at 5 PM daily. Located in the upscale golf resort. Overlooking the Plaza de la Fontana. Fine Continental dining with a monthly Wine Dinner for which reservations are required. Some items of interest are Lobster Bisque ($8), El Conquistador Salad ($8), Crab Cake appetizer ($13), Wild Mushroom Risotto ($15), Braised Pork Shank ($22), Lemongrass Shrimp ($23), Crispy Long Island Duck ($25), Australian Lamb Chops ($28), Andouille Crusted Snapper ($28) and Ancho Venison Loin Chop ($32), to name a few. Other entrées range $15-34 each and $49-69 for Grand Surf and Turf Combos. Side dishes are $5 extra. Business attire recommended. Reservations accepted. Full Bar. Attractive Wine List with many by the glass. Krystle Seamon, executive chef over 30 cooks in these 3 restaurants.

Older Review: (from Dan G. 11/13) Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=No.

Review: (from Yori O. 7/16) This visit was with our Gourmet Club Dine-Out team. This restaurant is part of the resort which is not too far away from The Villages. The resort is in "nowheresville" but we were amazed at this facility. If you've never heard of it like me, it's worth a visit. The ambience is great but we had mixed reviews as far as the food. My wife liked her Sea Bass but my NY Strip was on the hard side, though I asked for medium rare. Baked Potato was bland like most other restaurants. Guess they don't make juicy, fluffy, Sweet Potatoes anymore. I like it just with butter. Penne side was not bad. Our tab came to $70 without drinks. Lisa-B, our server, was excellent. There are other restaurants in the resort, so we may try those next time. The place itself is a nice experience without going to Orlando.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
13 Stars Mission Inn Resort, La Hacienda Room, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-800-874-9053, 324-2024 Ext. 23. (American) (Buffet) [B/L] Located in the upscale golf resort. Golf course view from this room. Open daily for breakfast at 6:30 to 11 AM. Continental Breakfast is $11 pp and Complete Breakfast Buffet is $14 pp. A-la-carte menu also available. Lunch runs 11 AM to 2 PM, with Express Lunch Buffet at $11 pp and Complete Lunch Buffet at $14 pp. Sunday Champagne Brunch which is served 11 AM to 3 PM for $31 per adult and $16 per child, 12 and under. Special Holiday Brunches, 11 AM to 5 PM, are $36 per adult and $18 per child, like the Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving Grand Buffet and Christmas Holiday Buffet ($45 pp) by reservation. New Years Eve Gala, starting at 7:30 PM ($175 pp). Full bar. Danny Connelly, executive chef. 2009 winner for "Best Sunday Brunch in Lake County" by Lake Magazine. 2009 Foodie Critic's Choice winner for "Best Brunch" in the Orlando area by the Orlando Sentinel.

Older Review: (from Jean W. 1/07) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Richard B. 5/07) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Martin G. 3/08) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 1/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 5/16) Four of us seated on time at 11:30 for Sunday Buffet Brunch. Table was near exit door used to ferry miscellaneous items in and out. Our request to move was quickly resolved to table of our choice. Service was top notch (Paula P. aided by several others) as well as most food items. Prime Rib was excellent and butter knife tender. Smoked Salmon a little salty, Peel & Eat Shrimp overcooked and had to be cleaned with butter knife.(a messy proposition). Biscuits & Gravy had lots of Sausage and Egg. The omelet chef knew his stuff. All offerings replenished quickly. Champagne kept flowing without being prompted. With a $5 coupon our bill for 2 was $67 including tax. Might sound expensive, but all Champagne, Coffee, Tea was included. Piano player, quiet, ambiance and the views all pleasant.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Mission Inn Resort, Nickers Room, (in the Clubhouse), 10400 County Road 48, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-800-874-9053, 324-2024 Ext. 7281. (American) (Buffet) [L/D] Located in the Clubhouse. Casual daily lunch (11 AM to 4 PM) or Saturday Night Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet which is $31 pp. Reservations accepted and recommended for the Saturday Night Buffet. Open for Christmas Day Buffet, 11 AM to 6 PM. Full bar.

Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 9/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - The Floridian Hotel & Dining Room (1938)
S. Palm Ave. (US 19) and E. Lakeview Ave. on Little Lake Harris, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL.

Miz Kathi's Cotillion Café. Also still called the Cotillion Southern Café in Wildwood (see that listing).


Image
Not Rated Miz Kathi's Southern Sweetery, 105 N. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 10.6 mile drive from The Villages. 748-1223. (American) (Cafe) [L/D] Located where the Hollywood Café did business and two doors north of their Cotillion Southern Café, sister restaurant, in downtown Wildwood. A place for desserts or a light meal. Open 10:30 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday only. You can find a Turkey, Bacon, Avocado Sandwich, Cuban Sandwich, Hot Ham Sandwich or Chicken Salad here. There is also a daily Quiche and Soups too. But most of all, they specialize in desserts like their famous Coconut Layer Cake. Now beer and wine licensed. Miz Kathi & Jim Vincent, owners.



Image
12½ Stars Gluten Free Menu (The) Mojo Grill (Belleview), 4496 SE 100th Pl., Belleview, FL. 13.5 mile drive from The Villages. 307-6656. (Caribbean) (Mexican) [L/D] Overlooks US 27/441 in Belleview, at the top of the hill, just north of Publix and the Tattoo Parlor where Beef O'Brady's did business. Opened January 31, 2014 but in business on SE Abshier Blvd. since April 15, 2011. Open 11 AM - 10 PM daily (to midnight on weekends) and Noon 'til 9 PM on Sunday. It's an eclectic mix of Cuban, Mexican and Cajun dishes. Gluten free and vegetarian items featured. Menu offerings are similar to above. Wings are popular at 10 for $9, all the way to 100 for $60. Cuban Sandwiches, Cajun Dip, Carolina BBQ, Cuban Pork with Swiss, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Chicken Caesar Wrap, Grilled Chicken and Mandingo Mahi, all run $8-9 each. Various salads are served in a Tortilla Bowl and run $8-9 each. Soups, like Gumbo ($7) or Chili ($7) plus Salads, like Soul Food ($10), Buffalo Chicken ($10), Caesar ($10) or Kitchen Sink Salad ($12) are on the menu too. Chicken, Pork, Burger, Vegetable and Shrimp Quesadillas are offered at $8-9 each. Fajitas like Blackened Chicken, Cuban Roast Pork, Mahi and Shrimp run $11-13 each. Beef Empanadas, Mojito Pork or Fish Tacos, Pork Dinner, Cajun Chicken Pasta and Blackened Mahi Louisiana are featured at $7-13. Various Burgers and Nathan's Hound Dogs are offered too at $6-10 each. Red and green table flags lets the servers stop to assist you. Occasional entertainment. $6 kid friendly menu. Full bar at this location. Two more locations will be in Ocala, plus one in Gainesville (see that listing) in 2014. Rondo Fernandez, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/11) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 8/11) Q=5 S=2 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Laurie M. 9/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 2/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
10½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi (The) Mojo Grill (Ocala West), 2015 SW 17th St., Ocala, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-369-6656. (Caribbean) (Mexican) [L/D] Moved from 506 S. Pine Ave. to a location once occupied by Tango Argentinian Steakhouse, Barbizon's Front Row & Grill, Latinos y Mas, Pinos Tex-Mex and before that, the Roadhouse Grill near Target at SR 200. Open 11 AM - 9 PM daily except to Midnight on Friday and Saturday. It's an eclectic mix of Cuban, Mexican and Cajun dishes. Menu includes 6 different Quesadillas ($9-11), Fajitas ($12), Burgers and Hot Dogs ($6-11) and Sandwiches and Wraps, like Crazy Cuban ($9), Cajun Dip ($9), Carolina BBQ ($9), Mandingo Mahi ($11) and Chicken Caesar Wrap ($9). Dinner entrées include Pork Tacos ($8), Beef Empanadas ($8), Fish Tacos ($9), Cuban Pork ($12), Cajun Chicken Pasta ($12), Shrimp and Grits ($13) and Mahi Louisiana ($14). Sweet Plantains, Black or Red Beans & Rice, Corn On The Cob and Cajun Waffle Fries are some of the side dishes. Buffalo Wings ($10-14) with a variety of sauces are also available. Lighter entrées, like Tacos and other Wraps run $9-12 each. Soups, like Gumbo ($7) or Chili ($7) plus Salads, like Soul Food ($10), Buffalo Chicken ($10), Caesar ($10) or Kitchen Sink Salad ($12) round out the menu. Vegetarian menu ranges $9-13, like Grilled Veggie Wrap ($9), Black Bean Burger ($10), Pasta Primavera ($11) and Black Bean Nachos ($13). Occasional trivia and other entertainment. Full bar here now. Children's Menu at $6 each like Mac & Cheese or Chicken Fingers. Winner 2013 "Best Place to Grab Lunch" in Ocala by Ocala Magazine. Another location is in Belleview (see that listing). Rondo Fernandez, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/09) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 7/12) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi (The) Mojo Grill (Ocala East), 4620 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 22.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-6656. (Caribbean) (Mexican) [L/D] Opened in mid-March, 2016. Hours are 11 Am to 10 PM daily, but to midnight on weekends. Located in the castle building that once housed Horse and Hounds Restaurant (Ocala East) across from the entrance to the Ocala Civic Theater. Same menu as the other locations. Patio pews are from the former Villages' Church On The Square at Spanish Springs. Outdoor area seats 80. Reservations accepted. Robert Huff, general manager; Rondo Fernandez, owner.

Review: (from Rich C. 5/16) We actually had a very nice dinner here. They rearranged the bar and increased the size of the restaurant. Decorations are fun. We asked for a booth in the corner, so Courtney was our server. During our meal we commented to our friends that it seemed quieter here than the other locations. It was a Saturday about 5 PM. I had the Pepin Pork Dinner ($13) with Cole Slaw and Plantains and she had the Pork Fajitas ($13). A request for Guacamole was $1.50 extra. I had great Sangrias (2 for $13) and she had a Malbec ($6.50). Prices are reasonable here. Service by Courtney was very good. Our total before t&t was $47. We'll be back.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Now Open Molly Maguire's (of Ocala) Eatery, 17 SW 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.4 mile drive from The Villages. 352-509-3999. (American) (Caribbean) [B/L] Open since October, 2014 on SW 10th St., but moved to this location in March, 2017. Located ½ block south of SR 40 (W. Silver Springs Blvd.), near Broadway, one block west of the square. Open 9 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday only. Noted for their large Cuban Sandwich. Order at the counter. Besides breakfast items they offer Sandwiches like King Cuban, Reuben, Bacon, Chili 'n Lime Chicken Sandwiches, Blackened Chicken Wrap and a Veggie Wrap (all about $7 each). Soup of the Day is $4.50/$5.50. A Garden Salad runs $8. "Pick Two Combo" runs $9. Beer and wine licensed. George Carrasco, manager and owner.



Postcard
Long Gone - S&S Cafeteria (1960)
500 S. Pine St., Ocala, FL.

Image
9 Stars Gluten Free Menu Mom & Dad's Italian Restaurant, 304 North 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 2.9 mile drive from The Villages. 753-2722. (Italian) [D] Opens at 4 PM daily except Sunday is 11 AM to 8 PM. Closed only Mondays. Usual and specialty Italian menu items are featured. A Deluxe Antipasto for starters runs $7.50-8.50, depending on size. Many Ravioli and Spaghetti varieties are offered ranging from $10-14. Eggplant or Chicken Parmigiana with Pasta ($12), Lasagna ($12), Manicotti ($12), Chicken Cacciattori ($12) and Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo ($15) are offered daily. Veal Parmigiana with a side of Spaghetti is a favorite at $14.50. Their specialty is Baked Spaghetti at $12-13. You can also find Fried Chicken ($11) and 9 or 12 oz. Delmonico Steaks ($17-20). Cheese Pizza New York Style is available at $9-11 depending on size. Hoagie Sandwiches like Meatball Subs are $7. Noted for their home made sauce and bread. Gluten free items available too. Coupons appear in the Thursday Daily Sun. Reservations taken. Beer and wine offered too. A Mattiucci family business since 1962. Ricky and Elaina Tucker, owners.

Older Review: (from Dan K. 11/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 7/08) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Robert M. 10/09) Q=1 S=3 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Nadine F. 7/12) Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
12 Stars Mount Dora Brewing (and the Rocking Rabbit Brewery), 405 S. Highland St., Mount Dora, FL. 29.7 mile drive from The Villages. 978-0752. (American) (Brew Pub) [B/L/D] Located off Liberty Ave. on Highland St. about 5 blocks east and 5 blocks south of downtown. It's in a 1920s building that once was a furniture making shop for 33 years by the current pub owner, brew meister and band member. (He must love this old place!) Odd hours are from 8 AM to 11 PM on Saturday and Sunday, from 11 AM to 11 PM on Monday and Friday and from 11 AM to only 3 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Closed Dec. 24-26 and New Years Day. Popular in Mount Dora for quite some time, it's a brewery, bar, beer garden, hang out, restaurant and music hall all rolled into one. The walls and shelves are decorated with cute breweriana. For appetizers they offer Sweet Potato Puffs, French Fries, Beer Battered Onion Rings or Fried Cheese, Southwest Egg Rolls, Crab & Cheddar Jalapeño Peppers, Baked Brie, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, and a Crab Dip, all ranging $6-10, plus a Brewery Boys Sampler at $15. For salads they have Wedge, Chef, Grilled Chicken or Salmon and a Cobb, all ranging $6 to $16 each. A Soup & Wedge Salad Combo is $10. They offer Sandwiches and Paninis like BLT, Patty Melt, Grilled Cheese, Turkey Reuben, Chicken Philly, Fish, Cuban, Beer Bratwurst, Chicken Club, Turkey-Spinach-&-Artichoke and a Prime Rib Sandwich, ranging $8-10 each. Flatbreads and Wraps are also featured at $9-10. For entrées they have Sliders like Feta Burger, Bacon & Cheddar Burger, Black & Bleu Burger and Pulled Pork, all at $10 each. Also popular are Fish & Chips at $11. An 8 oz. Prime Rib Dinner with soup, salad or veggie, plus a Baked Potato runs $17 on Friday and Saturday only. Desserts like Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, 3 Layer Chocolate Cake and Peanut Butter Pie are about $5 each. Organic beer brewed on site include Rocking Rabbit Red, Pistolville Dark Porter, Beauclaire Blond Ale, and Dora Drawdy Drool (say that three times fast!). "Florida's only mountain brewed beer." Orlando Brewing Ale and Blue Moon also on tap. Other domestic brands and a few imports also offered. A dozen wines are available like Prosecco, Russian River Pinot Noir, and Primus Veramonte Red Meritage, to name a few. Outdoor Beer Garden for relaxing or dining. Live music (Jazz, Acoustic, Country, Rock n' Roll, Folk) every Friday and Saturday night 8-11 PM; Jam Session on Sunday at 5 PM and the Brewery Boys Band playing on Monday night. Check their online calendar for the latest schedule. Jeffery Herbst, owner.

Review: (from Glen I. 1/16) Late lunch on a Sunday at 2 PM. Server was Kimberly. Only 2 other parties were there at the time. Décor is somewhat spartan, but clean in the dining room area. One of us had the Turkey Panini and I had Bacon Cheddar Burger with Sweet Potato Puffs. Food was served hot, both of us liked our meal. We had one Sam Smith Chocolate Stout (very good) and one Dora Drawdy Drool (very good). Cost before t&t was $33.48. Sweet Potato Puffs were excellent. Lesson learned, if you want a particular brew call first to find out if it is available.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 11/16) Friday night at 6:15 PM and we were lucky to find one empty table in the bar room next to the stage. Seems the friendly owner, Jeff, has many talents, with woodworking, brewing and singing 80s rock 'n roll. We ordered a Pistolville Porter and a Blue Moon, both drafts. They couldn't be farther away in style. We also ordered Caesar Salads to start. The side Salads were huge and very good. She had the Prime Rib with a Baked Potato ($19). It was correctly rare and tasty but a little fatty. I had the Crab Stuffed Salmon Wellington ($19). It came with a side of Veggies, which where just OK. The dish was unusual and I enjoyed it. I didn't notice the Crab flavor however. Our biggest complaint was that all the food was not hot. The meat, the fish, the potato and the veggies were barely warm. We ate it anyway as the restaurant was busy. Lindsay gave us good service. The 7 piece house band started at 8 PM. They were pretty good with two guys on trumpet, sax and flute. Many people danced too. A real local hangout as everyone seemed to know each other. Old dancing with young and singing along. Total was $48 before t&t. A good time.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Mount Dora Pizza, 2718 W. Old Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL. 23.6 mile drive from The Villages. 383-5303. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Open daily from 11 AM to 9:30 PM, except closed Sundays. A fixture in this community for over 30 years. Pizza is the mainstay but dinner dishes like Fettuccine Alfredo, Stuffed Shells Florentine, Linguine with Clams, Gnocchi, Spaghetti, Chicken, Eggplant or Veal Parmesan, Meat or Cheese Ravioli, Baked Ziti, Lasagna and other Italian traditions range $6-11 each. Small or large Antipasto range $5-8, as do the Greek Salads. Calzone and Sicilian Pizza range $10-14. Pizzas come in three sizes (12", 14" and 16") and range $8-14, depending on toppings and size. Specialty Pizzas like Deluxe or Vesuvio Special are also on the menu. Cold and hot Subs are popular at lunch, ranging $4-7 each. Beer and wine offered including Lambrusco and Chianti. Vincent & Josephine Folgore, owners; also owners of Vincent's Italian Restaurant (see that listing).



Image
12 Stars Mr. Cebiche (Peruvian Cuisine), 411 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 735-8106. (Spanish) [L/D] Located on the second floor of the Renaissance Building. Opened in November, 2014. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily and to 11 PM weekends. Offers Peruvian dishes and tapas. Appetizers include Ocopa (Salsa) ($6), Papa a la Huancaina (Potato 'n Cheese) ($6), Cheese or Shrimp Tequeño ($6/$9), Papa Rellena (Stuffed Potato) ($8), Causa (Potato) in 4 styles ($8-11), Choritos a la Chalaca (Steamed Mussels) ($8/$14), Calamari ($9), and others. Main dishes like Arroz Chaufa de Pollo (Chicken and Fried Rice) ($12), Qunoa Stew ($12), Tilapia ($12.50) or Grouper ($20) Meunière, Anticuchos (Chicken or Beef Kabobs) ($13/$18), Tallarines Verde con Bistec (Skirt Steak with Pesto Pasta) ($15), Arroz con Mariscos (Seafood and Fried Rice) ($16), Lomo Saltado (Marinated Sirloin) ($17), Jalea (Seafood Stew) ($18) and, of course, Cebiche ($20-23 each) are all authentic Peruvian creations. Some dishes, like Aji de Gallina ($10) are slightly spicy, the majority are not. Salads like Russian Salad ($7), Stuffed Avocado ($9) and Solterito con Quinua ($12) are offered too. Sandwiches run $6-9 each. A few Vegetarian dishes are offered ($9-15 each) also. For dessert, Alfajores (Cookies) ($2), Pionono ($5.50), Suspiro a la Limeña ($5.50) and Crema Volteada ($5.50) are on the menu; as is Lucuma, Guanabana and Chirimoya Ice Creams (all $5 each). Beer (including 2 Peruvian brands) and wine (domestic and Argentine) are served. They also carry Chicha Moarada (Purple Corn Beverage), Maracuya (Passion Fruit Juice) and the Peruvian national drink, Inca Kola, for soft drinks. Children's menu available. Reservations accepted. Chef Jorge Bracamonte and Hilda Arribas, owners.

Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 4/15) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Duane R. 4/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 6/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 8/15) Q=5 S=1 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Shirley F. 8/15) Q=4 S=1 V=5 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Muse Café, 416 SE Ft. King St., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-7070. (Cafe) L. Opened October, 2011. Located inside Tres Chic Home Décor and Decorating business, in the old 1888 Dunn House, in the historic section of Ocala. Formerly The Veranda Gallery & Tea Room, it serves light meals for lunch daily. Soups, salads and sandwiches are available. Chicken Flatbread with Peppers and Feta Cheese is popular and for the gentlemen, a Kobe Beef Burger is offered. No bar. Cindy Dinges, owner.



Image
12 Stars Naples Italian Restaurant, 1107 West North Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 9.8 mile drive from The Villages. 323-1616. (Italian) [L/D] On US 441 near the AAA Office. Open 11 AM to 10 PM, 7 days per week. Very popular establishment set back in a plaza, opened in 1996. Extensive selection of Italian favorites. Large portions from the all a-la-carte menu, especially the salads. Pizza and Calzones are popular including White Pizza running $8 to $15 depending on size and toppings. Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken or Veal Piccatta, Chicken or Veal Marsala, Fettuccini Alfredo, Spaghetti Napoletana and Lasagna Florentine are just some of the items available generally ranging from $6 to $12 each. Lasagna, Stuffed Shells, Manicotti, Gnocchi and Ziti are some of the popular baked dishes at $9-11 each. Specialty entrées like Penne Pesce Pollo, Ziti D'Napoli, Veal Scaloppini Shrimp Scampi and Shrimp Pomodoro run $11 to $15 each. Hot and cold Subs are also offered. Beer & wine. Phone reservations accepted. Changed hands in June 2013. Saba Markeci, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 2/07) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 12/07) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 8/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 10/15) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Lake View Hotel Dining Room (1925)
Home of the Annie Oakley Show during winters 1911-1914.
Main St. at Palmetto St., Leesburg, FL. (built in 1890, demolished in 1957)

Image
Not Rated Norm's Palette, 303 N. Baker St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 729-6196. (Cafe) (Wine Bar) [L/D] Located in the Sunset Building, Suite 100, on the corner of 3rd and Baker Sts. Opened November, 2012. Hours are usually Noon to Midnight, Friday and Saturday; 3 PM to Midnight Tuesday through Thursday and closed Sundays and Mondays, all day. A comfy tapas bar with beer, wine and art. "A destination for the senses." Light meals in the form of tapas include the Soup du Jour ($5/$6), Olive & Cheese Platter ($7), Mini-Pizza ($7.50), Shrimp Cocktail ($8), Hummus Sampler ($8), Chicken Crêpe ($9), Bruschetta Baguettes ($9) and a Meat & Cheese Platter ($12). Daily specials are featured on a chalkboard. A few craft beers are offered plus a wine bar featuring affordable wines by the glass or bottle. Reservations accepted. Entertainment in the form of artists at work or musicians is sometimes scheduled, especially weekends. Outdoor seating available. Denise Duke, chef de la kitchen; Norman Rinne, Cynthia Adkins and Kevin Lund, owners.



Image
12½ Stars Video Oakwood Smokehouse & Grill (Lady Lake), 860 South US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 4.0 mile drive from The Villages. 751-5640. (Barbecue) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM, but until 7 PM on Sunday.Popular Sliced Barbeque Pork ($8), Baby Back Ribs ($9-15), Beef ($9), Chicken ($8) and Turkey ($9) dinners are the mainstays. Smoked Sausage ($9) also a specialty. All dinners include two sides and Garlic Toast. Also available are Oakwood Chicken Breasts ($10), 12 oz. New York Strip Steak ($17), Shrimp Platter ($11) and various Burgers ($6-7). Large Salads ($7) are offered for the less-carnivorous patrons. Beer & wine served. Now 3 locations in this area, originally started in Leesburg. Catering and takeout available. New locations now open in Eustis and Clermont also, plus one coming to Wildwood (see below). 2009 winner for "Best Barbecue in Lake County" by Lake Magazine. Ken Waddell general manager; Tom & Bailey Cardwell, owners.

Older Review: (from Martin G. 5/07) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/07) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 12/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Frank M. 5/10) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jeanne B. 4/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 10/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rollin W. 8/12) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/13) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 10/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
13 Stars Oakwood (Express) Smokehouse & Grill (Wildwood), 1210 N. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 10.7 mile drive from The Villages. 461-0528. (Barbecue) [L/D] Opened in mid-April, 2015 where T. Weston's and Buddy's did business for years. This is the 5th location in central Florida. Others are in Eustis and Clermont besides Lady Lake and Leesburg. Hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, except closed all day Sunday and Monday. Wine and beer licensed. Reduced menu from the other locations (see above). Featured BBQ Ribs and Pulled Pork. Shelby Smalt, manager here; Bailey Cardwell, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rollin W. 5/15) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Teruko O. 6/16) As far as we're concerned, we love their Baby Back Ribs. Now, even if we share one plate of Full Ribs, we don't get charged $2 extra now. We also think they have the best French Fries around here, fluffy and juicy. Their Onion Rigs are good too, very juicy. They are closed on Sunday and the place is small compared to their main place on 27/411 but we love it here. Total bill came to 47.50 for 4 people.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Oasis Restaurant, 7651 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-4598. (American) (Cafe) [B/L/D] Located in a small shopping center on College Ave. out at SW 95th St., near Lowe's Home Improvement. Started in January, 2010. Opens at 6:30 AM daily. Closes at 7 PM but 3 PM on Sunday. Diner food in a friendly cafe setting. For dinner you can expect many items like Ham Steak, Liver and Onions, Pork Chops, Open Faced Roast Beef, Chopped Steak, Grilled Chicken, Salmon, Tilapia, Chicken Marsala, Shrimp Creole and, of course, Meatloaf, all ranging $8-12 each. Two sides and soup or salad are included. There's also a popular Shepard's Pie ($8.50). Sandwiches prevail for both lunch and dinner like Tuna Melt, Corned Beef, Monte Cristo, Philly Cheese Steak, French Dip, Patty Melt, Reuben, Cuban, Sloppy Joe and a Breaded Pork Tenderloin, all running $5-8 generally. Hamburgers ($6.50) and Hot Dogs ($5) are also on the menu; so is Chicken Quesadilla ($8). Soups, Salads and Combos are popular too, running about $7-8 each. Breakfast is the usual Eggs, Omelets, French Toast, Pancakes, Oatmeal, Grits and good ole Corned Beef Hash. Specials board for daily deals. No bar. Family run. Lisa King and Michael Auld, owners.



Image
Not Rated Video Ocala Wine Experience, 36 SW 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-369-9858. (Cafe) (Wine Bar) [L/D] Located just south of Broadway, between Pi On Broadway and La Cuisine. In business here since 1998. Opens at 2 PM daily except closed Mondays. Closes at 8 or 9 PM weekdays and Midnight on weekends. The lounge is upstairs. Trapped in a Hippie Time Warp. More of a wine bar than a restaurant, they offer four kinds of 12" Gourmet Pizzas, like the Mesquite Roasted Chicken or White Greek Pizzas at $16 each. Chicken and Brie Sandwiches ($8), Balsamic Salad ($8), Hummus and Fruit ($8), Shrimp Cocktails ($11/$17), Roasted Chicken Wings ($12), Brie and Fruit Plate ($16) and Cheese and Fruit Plate ($18) are also offered. They also have 10 flavors of Ice Cream, Truffles, Fudge Brownie and a Cheese Cake, all at $6 each. They also make Root Beer Floats and Smoothies ($5 each). Wines by the glass run to a wide variety and a Tasting Experience 8 Sampler runs $15. Their exclusive Pink Panty Droppers is especially liked by the uninhibited female clientele. A number of Beers, Stouts, Ciders, Wine Coolers and Sake drinks are on the menu too. Wine by the bottle is also offered with a low added charge for consuming on premises. 15% gratuity added to the bill for parties of 6 or more. Occasional entertainment. Outdoor seating available. Megan Whittaker and Mark Sykuta, new, owners.



Postcard
Long Gone - Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge & Restaurant (1955)
2280 S. Dixie Hwy, (US 27/301/441), Ocala, FL.

Video

Image
13½ Stars Ocean Buffet, 3425 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-789-6266. (Asian) (Buffet) [L/D] Open daily at 11 AM. Located where Bella Luna once operated, just east of I-75. Family operated with 40 years of restaurant experience. Opened in June, 2011. The Oriental Buffet boasts a large selection of a hundred or more items including Vegetables, Beef Filet, Chicken, Shrimp, Seafood, Noodles, and lots more. Sushi is also available. So are American items like Carved Roast Beef. Besides the large buffet, the restaurant also has a Hibachi Grill for Chinese style Bar-B-Que options. Crab Legs are avaialbe with an extra charge. Beer and wine available. Senior discount. Open Christmas Day to 10:30 PM. Another location is in Gainesville (6795 W. Newberry Rd.) Zhou Hua Zhu and Ling Zhu, owners here and at Edo Japanese Steakhouse (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Walter P. 8/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 8/14) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Teruko O. 1/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 4/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
13 Stars Off The Hook Bar and Grill, 10901 S. Hwy. 441, Belleview, FL. 11.4 mile drive from The Villages. 307-0661. (Spanish) [L/D] Moved from Spruce Creek South Community on April 5, 2016, to where the 110th Street Grill and Texas Stockyards BBQ did business in Belleview. Open 11 AM to 3 PM for lunch daily and 4 to 9 PM for dinner daily, except closed all day Monday. A variety of menu items that mix some American and Peruvian cuisines. Appetizers include Tamales ($4.50), Fish and Citrus ($6.50), Diced Seafood Vuelve a la Vida ($6.50), Papa a la Huancaina ($6.50), Choclito a la Huancaina ($7), Choritos a la Chalaca ($10), Battered Fish Chicharron de Pescado ($12), Fried Calamari ($12), Ceviche de Pescado ($13), Tiradito ($14) or Jalea Mixta ($14). Peruvian specialties include Saltado dishes of Chicken, Beef or Shrimp, Chaufa style Rice dishes and a few others (ranging $14-16.50 each). Arroz Rice dishes run $17 each. Churrasco Chorrillana ($16), Con Huancaina ($16.50), Con Pesto ($16.50), Con Tacu Tacu ($17), and a lo Pobre ($17.50) are available too. Pork Adobo ($13.50), Aji de Gallina ($14), Aguadito de Marisco ($15), Cau Cau de Marisco ($16.50) and Picante de Mariscos ($16.50) are featured comfort food. Soups and Salads ($8-9) round out the menu. Beer and wine licensed. Reservations accepted. Alberto (and Melanie) Benvenuto, owners.

Review: (from Frank K. 4/16) Bottom line: Great food, reasonable prices, attentive service, and less than 1/2 hour from The Villages. The restaurant is small, seating less than 50, the décor simple but well planned with no faux-Latino treatment. The Ceviche is excellent just the right level of tartness and a variant called Leche de Tigre is a must! Lots of Seafood and Rice combinations and several in our group had Skirt Steak Platters that they loved. All of the portions are huge. A typical entrée plus house wine runs around $20, a real value. None of the dishes are spicy unless you request it. The only negative is that the owner has decided to stop taking reservations.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 5/16) We had no trouble with seating as the restaurant was almost empty. Our server, Alyssa, greeted us and took our drink order. We both had wine. I ordered the Cau Cau De Mariscos which is a seafood dish with Rice. It was good and had a nice selection of seafood. My partner had Churrasco Macho and said it was just OK. We ordered a Tres Leche Cake to go which was very good. The total before tip and tax was $51.
Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Karen B. 7/16) Our party had reservations for 8 for supper last night. We were seated promptly and our server, Mayte, took our drink orders. She was very knowledgeable of the menu and helped us choose our meals. We enjoyed the specials, Tacu with Loma Saltado (a Beef type Stir Fry with tomatoes, onions and cilantro served over a rice/bean cake) and the Tacu Picante Marisco (a Fish dish with calamari, octopus, shrimp over the rice/bean cake). Both meals were served very hot and they were both delicious. The Fish dish came to the table about 10 minutes after the other dish, however. Neither dish was spicy, but our server brought 2 different types of sauce, one a mild red pepper sauce, and one a spicy cilantro sauce which was excellent. The portions are very large and could have been easily shared. These 2 meals, plus one Beer and a Sweet Tea came to $42 before tax. The restaurant is small, maybe seats about 50 people. They no longer serve sandwiches.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dorian R. 1/17) I had the Pescado en Escabeche ($15). It was a wonderful lightly battered fried fish with a vinegar based onion and pepper sauce. Other entrées tried by our group included: Pobre with Tacu Taco, a rice and bean cake that’s fried and served with steak or chicken and topped with fried eggs; Chuepe de Langostino, a creamy shrimp chowder; and Arroz con Mariscos Verde, a seafood stew in a cilantro sauce. All agreed that having the sauces on the side was a great idea so we could all establish our own amount of spicy "heat". We felt the food was great and reasonably priced. Love the fact they take reservations and can seat up to 45 patrons.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Judy S. 2/17) What a find! The restaurant only seats 40 people but takes reservations. We dined with our Gourmet Group of eight and were seated in a timely manner. Our waitress, Mayte and the owner, Melanie were attentive and extremely knowledgeable. Melanie spent a long time explaining the menu in great detail, which was well appreciated, as there are lots of unfamiliar dishes. On the table was a starter of puffed corn kernels. Then, we began with Yukita Frita, which is fried Yucca served with a pepper sauce. It was kind of like French Fries, only better! I had the Skirt Steak a Lo Pobre, served Tacu Tacu style, which is over a Fried Bean and Rice Patty. This was topped with a Fried Egg and served with yummy Fried Plantains. The Steak was meltingly tender and well seasoned - delicious! My husband had the Tacu Picante Marisco (a fish dish in a cream sauce, with Calamari, Octopus, and Shrimp over the Rice and Bean cake), also wonderful. We were probably too full for dessert but had it anyway: we shared a delicious moist Tres Leches Cake and Peruvian Fried Donuts in a sweet molasses type sauce. Both were excellent. Our meal of shared appetizer, 2 beers, 2 entrées and dessert came to $60 before t&t. I can't wait to return to this gem of a restaurant!
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bob T. 2/17) Wow! A great experience. Melanie, owner, met us as we walked in and immediately made us feel comfortable. 6 of us had the Pisco Sour, a very popular drink in Peru. I had the special of Arroz Tapado. My wife had the Churrasco Tacu Tacu Steak and loved it. Everyone had a bite of her dinner. All others had different dinners and they all want to go back. The only issue was French Fries that were not hot enough. Prices are very reasonable and good sized servings. Highly recommended.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dan G. 3/17) My wife had a glass of White Zinfandel; I had a glass of Merlot. Both were $6 each. We shared an appetizer of Causa Atun, also $6. My wife had the Milanesa Chicken with White Rice $12. I had the Milanesa Beef with White Rice at $14. Total was $47 with tax. Other parties were satisfied with their seafood meals and would be back.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
13 Stars Free WiFi O'Keefe's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 115 S. Rockingham Ave., Tavares, FL. 21.2 mile drive from The Villages. 343-2157. (Irish) [L/D] Open 7 days a week from 11 AM to late. Located on Ruby Street at Rockingham, facing Wooton Park and Lake Dora. An eclectic collection of items are on the menu. Irish Steak and Mushroom Pie, O'Brien's Chicken ($15), Carpet Bagger Salmon ($12), London Broil ($12-17) and others lead off the choices. Creole Steak with Spicy Crawfish Tails, Mushroom Burgundy Steak, Mixed Shellfish Sauté, Osso Bucco and Chicken Stir-Fry are among the occasional unusual items ranging $13-21. Hot Corned Beef & Cabbage ($15) and Shepherd's Pie ($13) are staples here. French influenced dishes can also be found. You can also find Black Angus Burgers ($8-11), Chicken Fingers, Sandwiches, Wings and other ordinary pub fare here ranging $8 to $12. Filet Steaks range $17-23 and a 10 oz. Rib-Eye goes for $20. Fries, Potato Skins or Boxty Potatoes accompany most dishes. Packed on March 17th, as you might expect. Occasional entertainment. Large outside patio facing the lake is pet friendly. In business over 25 years. A large collection of beer memorabilia and six packs fills the pub. Full bar with 9 brands of Irish Whiskies, 10 Scotch Whiskies and 2 Ports, plus over 100 brands of bottled beer from 30 different countries, as well as a dozen on draft that include Black & Tan, Guinness Stout, Harp, Smithwicks and Magner's Irish Cider among others. Their Mug Club boasts over 1700 members. Jennifer and Andrew O'Keefe, owners since 1984.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/10) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/10) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 1/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/12) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 2/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 9/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 2/13) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bob L. 7/13) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/16) We come here often. It was 4th of July weekend and the place was hopping. Couldn't tell a hostess from a customer. Then someone said, "Just find a table!". And we did. We had server #20, the one without the tattoos. By better half had a Double Chocolate Stout ($?) and I had a Draft Mager's Cider ($?). We split a Caesar's Salad ($4) to start. She ordered the Grilled Salmon ($17) with Pesto ($3.50 extra) and I had my usual London Broil ($19). Surprisingly the entrées arrived before we finished our Salad. That's OK, they were really busy and we feared a ½ hour wait for food. The meals were good, as always, but at the end of the meal the total was $61 with tax, before tip. Wow! They must have upped the prices on their drinks. Not a cheap meal, but the best Irish food around.
Q=4 S=4 V=1 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Que, 41100 SR 19, Umatilla, FL. 23.8 mile drive from The Villages. 669-3922. (Barbecue) [L/D] Located on Hwy. 19 (N. Central Ave.), 1 mile north of Umatilla and 1 mile south of Altoona. Open 11 AM to 9 PM, Wednesday through Saturday only. They offer barbecue items such as Beef, Pork, Turkey, Ham, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Chicken, Sausage or combinations of those, ranging $8-10 per dinner, including two sides and Texas Toast. Sides include Baked Beans, Slaw, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Mac 'n Cheese, Green Beans, Collard Greens and Applesauce. Baked Potatoes are favorites here at $2-3 each, depending on toppings. Sandwiches are also on the menu from $3 to $6 or add two sides to make a Platter at about $2 more. Brunswick Stew is popular at $4 per bowl. Specials offered on Wednesday night like, Pork Chops, Meatloaf, Fried Chicken or Country Fried Steak. Desserts are Peach Cobbler, Red Velvet Cake, Lemon Pound Cake, French Coconut Pie, Cherry Cheesecake, plus Ice Cream concoctions, all at $2-4 each. Kids meals, like Hot Dog or Grilled Cheese, also available. Many patrons take home Ribs sold by the pound. Outdoor seating available. No bar. Leora Locke and Robert and Patricia Williams, owners.



Image
Not Rated Now Open Old Time Diner, 1350 W. North Blvd. (US 441), Leesburg, FL. 9.8 mile drive from The Villages. 805-4250. (American) (Diner) [B/L/D] Opened October 30, 2016. Located where Jeffrey Paul's Chophouse did business for a few years. It's just after the Leesburg Split on 441. Fresh interior is decked out in 50s black and while floor tile, neon tube trim, posters, tables and chairs as well as a soda fountain counter. Open 6:30 AM to 9 PM, daily. Offers the typical roadside diner food like, Burgers (their specialty), Fries, Heros, Wings, Meatloaf, Country Fried Steak, Fried Shrimp, Fried Catfish, Fried Clam Strips, Fried Haddock, Broiled Salmon, Chopped Steak, Roast Beef, Liver and Onions, Chicken Parm., Lasagna, Stuffed Shells, Grilled Steak 'n Shrimp Sub, Chicken Tenders and Baltimore Crab Cakes, to name a few. Desserts, Ice Cream and Milk Shakes are also available. Breakfast items are the usual American fare of Eggs, Pancakes and French Toast. Lunch features Sandwiches, Salads and Soups. No bar. Donna Ahmed, owner.

Review: (from Jan T. 1/17) Amber, our server, from New York, served us well. She even had the New York accent! This real feel diner had a huge menu with EVERYTHING very reasonably priced. We opted for breakfast today since we arrived before noontime. We each had an Egg dish that included Coffee in the price. My Omelet, my husband's Eggs and Sausage, each with Potatoes and Toast were very tasty. Our bill was $15. We will return for lunch or dinner next time.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
12½ Stars Olive Branch (Mediterranean-Italian) Grille & Bar, 115 W. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.4 mile drive from The Villages. 729-6734. (Greek) (Italian) [L/D] At the corner of W. 3rd. Ave. and Alexander St. near the railroad tracks, this new fine dining restaurant takes over the space vacated by Merrill's Market. Opened late December, 2015. Hours are 11:30 AM to 9 PM, but 12 noon to 8 PM on Sunday and closed all day Tuesday. It has a vast, mostly Italian, menu selection with a few Greek twists served with full linen service in a comfortable and attractive dining room. Start with Fried Mozzarella ($8), Mussels di Napoli ($11), Eggplant Rollatini ($11), Mozzarella & Tomatoes ($11), Fried Calamari ($12), Mediterranean Meze (Greek Spinach Pie) ($12) or a Shrimp Cocktail ($15). The Soup of the Day can be had by the cup or bowl ($5/$7). Pasta meals include Pasta Broccoli ($15), Pasta Primavera ($15), Spaghetti and Meatballs ($15), Fettuccine Alfredo ($15), Penne Pesto ($15), Eggplant Parmigiana ($15), Baked Ziti ($16), Lasagna ($16), Penne alla Vodka ($16), Rigatoni Carbonara ($18), Penne Amatriciana ($18), Tortellini ($18), Fettuccine Cesare ($21), Shrimp Pesto ($18) and Penne Terra e Mare ($26). Some you can add Chicken to at $3 extra or Shrimp to at $6 extra. Chicken entrées include Chicken Piccata on Rice ($20), Chicken Parmigiana with Pasta ($21), Chicken Broccoli Francaise on Rice ($22) and Chicken Marsala with Pasta ($23). For seafood entrées they offer Shrimp (6) Scampi ($24), Shrimp & Scallop Pesto ($25), Seafood Fra Diavlo ($26), 8 oz. Poached Salmon ($26), Fish Florentine ($27) and Mediterranean Seafood Combo ($28). Carne entrées offered are Veal Parmigiana ($24), Veal Broccoli Francaise ($24), Veal Marsala ($25), Pork Chops ($25), Lamb Chops ($33), 16 oz. Bone-In Ribeye ($34), 16 oz. New York Strip ($35), 16 oz. Romanian Skirt Steak ($35), Osso Bucco ($35), 16 oz. Porterhouse Steak ($37) and a Surf and Turf (Skirt Steak & Lobster Tail) ($37). Most come with Vegetable, Potatoes, Rice or Pasta. All dinner dishes come with a Mediterranen, House or Caesar Salad. An array of desserts include Gelato, Sorbet, Rice Pudding, Chocolate Lava Cake, Chocolate Ribbon, Cappuccino Chocolate Mousse, Apple Tart, Berry Tart, Cannolis, Tiramisu, Greek Yogurt Cheesecake and Baklava (all $5-9 each). Lunch items are similar smaller portions but also add Burgers ($9-10), Spinach Pie ($10), Pizzas or Wraps ($9-11) and a Gyro ($11). Kids menu available. Full bar service now with Happy Hour 5-7 PM, except weekends. A large Wine List of mostly California and European productions has Whites by the glass ($7.50-9.00), with a few offered by ½ carafe ($16-17); and Reds by the glass ($7-13.50), with a few offered by ½ carafe ($17-22). By the bottle, Whites run $29-68 and Reds $24-200. As an example Castle Rock, Sonoma, Pinot Noir is $8/glass, $18/½C and $29/bottle. The well-known Penfolds Rawson Barossa Valley, AUS. Chardonnay is $7.50/glass, $17/½C and $29/bottle. A Bolla Amarone Della Volpolicella is $95/bottle. "The Dom" runs $200/bottle. You can find Italian and domestic beers, as well as Efe from Turkey. Espresso, Cappuccino or Balkan Coffee range $2-4 each. Music outdoors on weekends (weather permitting). 18% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Outdoor seating available. Reservations gladly accepted. Shaqet (Jerry), chef and Karen Vejseli of Long Island, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 3/16) We arrived at 5:15 PM to an empty restaurant. Keith, the GM, told us to take any table. We sat near the window at table #22. The dining room is impressive with white linens and clean wine/water glasses. The menu was inviting and they have a good wine selection. There were 3 of us. We picked a ½ carafe of Campus Oak Zin ($18). It was very nice, lighter than usual. We shared an order of Mussels Napoli Bianco ($11). Tina brought lots of Bread for us. The appetizer was delicious. Nice juices to mop up. One of us had Shrimp and Scallop Pesto with a Greek Salad ($25). One had Veal Marsala with a Greek Salad ($25). And I had the Leg of Lamb Special with a Caesar Salad ($22). The Salads were magnificent; crisp, fresh greens and light dressing with cheese. The first two came with a Pasta but for the Veal it was under the Veal slices. The Veal was not the most tender but had good flavor. She enjoyed it. The Pesto dish was not too strong and the Seafood part was very good too. Both the ladies took some home. My Lamb was thin slices of leg covered with brown gravy. Not what I expected but it was only $22. The gravy overpowered the Lamb taste. It came with crisp veggies and "fluffy" Potatoes that were nondescript. Would not order it again, but I did eat it all. Tina was pleasant and polite. She missed refilling an Iced Tea. Our total was $101 for 3 people without dessert or coffee. We'd look forward to another visit; there is lots to choose from. When we left, the restaurant was half full on a Wednesday at 6:30.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 4/16) This is a lovely restaurant with full linen service which is very appealing to me. However, it is very noisy and difficult to hear the conversation with your table mates. We had reservations but no one had recorded it; fortunately, they had a table for us in a very poor location next to the bar. Our server was Brenda who was a fountain of knowledge about the menu items and the bar. She was friendly and made this visit extremely pleasant. We had the Mussels Napoli Blanco which were good but not special. The bread was delicious however. I had Veal Broccoli Francaise which was a great dish. The Veal was tender and the Broccoli fried lightly in batter. My partner had Lasagna which he said was fine. The review from our dinner partners was one very good meal and one just OK. The total before t&t was $93 for two with a bottle of wine ($28) and a Limoncello ($8).
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 12/16) We had reservations and were seated immediately. I enjoyed the linen tablecloths and the ambiance of the room. However, the room was freezing cold and they had hard wooden chairs. My husband had to go back to the car and get me a sweatshirt and a cushion so I would be comfortable. I had the Eggplant Parmesiana ($15) and my husband had the Linguine with White Clam Sauce ($18) Both meals were delicious and plentiful. My eggplant had to be sent back to the kitchen to be warmed up. It must have been sitting around for awhile, while other dishes were getting completed. My pasta side was nice and hot though. Their freshly sliced and toasted Italian Bread with an oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce was very nice. Each meal included a Salad. My drink of choice was HOT coffee (it helped me warm up) and my husband had a soda. Our meal came to $38. Candice our server took excellent care for us. We will return and I will probably bring a snowsuit.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 12/16) Another wonderful meal. We were 10 minutes early for our 6:30 PM reservation on New Years Eve but were seated immediately at table #25 by the window. During the evening they were turning away people at the door without reservations. The patio was crowded too with a musician playing. We ordered our usual Campus Oak Zin ($8 each). Lisa was our friendly server. Chris at the next station entertained us too. The staff works well together here. The manager stops to ask how everything was near the end of your meal also. Special Holiday menu today with a reduced selection but still a wide variety to choose from. We had 2 Lamb Chops ($35) for her and Petite Filet Mignon ($29) for me. She love the Chops, nice and meaty. Nice Baked Potato and just OK Veggies. My Filet was cooked right but was covered in Garlic and Garnish. It gave it lots of flavor but I found myself scraping it off so I could see the meat. A Mediterranean and Caesar Salad and wonderful Italian Bread and Dipping Sauce arrived before our entrées. Good service, even from water pourers and bussers, but the room is noisy when they are busy. If the weather is nice, we would prefer outside when busy. The have plenty of staff here and the food and drink come out in good order, before you even expect them. They know how to "turn the tables", but we didn't feel rushed. Lisa was apologetic about being out of Chocolate Ribbon dessert, so we chose the Cheesecake ($7) to split. It was great. Total tab before t&t was $95. That's a little pricey for 3 wines, 2 salads, 2 entrées and 1 dessert but we did order the top shelf meals. Full white linen service also adds to the bill. This is an excellent restaurant.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Villa Dora Hotel & Dining Room (1941)
Run by Fred and Jennie Graves from 1925, then Carl and Helen Graves, until 1968.
601 N. McDonald Street between W. 6th & 7th Avenues, Mount Dora, FL.

Image
Not Rated Video Gluten Free Menu Olive Garden Italian Restaurant (Leesburg), 10026 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.1 mile drive from The Villages. 365-0085. (Italian) [L/D] Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily. Billed as a "Tour of Italy", this popular chain serves up "Cucina Classica" recipes such as Five Cheese Ziti al Forno, Linguine alla Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo and Capellini Pomodora. Also offered are Pork Filettino, Chianti Braised Short Ribs and a Mixed Grill as well as Venitian Apricot Chicken and Parmesan Crusted Tilapia. Entrées range from $10 to $20 each. Bread Sticks are popular. Italian and traditional desserts are on the menu also. Gluten free information available on their website. Full bar. Over 600 locations operate as a division of Darden Restaurants of Orlando. Another location is open in The Villages (see that listing).



Image
8½ Stars (The) Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. (Lady Lake), 514 N. US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.2 mile drive from The Villages. 674-9000. (Cafe) (Deli) [B/L] Open 6AM to only 4PM daily. Located in the Village Crossroads Plaza, across from Sam's Club. This plaza is not golf cart accessible from The Villages. Opened July 26, 2011. It's the water that makes the best bagel, they say. This new eatery offers about 18 varieties of authentic Brooklyn Bagels. Take home Bagels are $12/dozen. Breakfast items include 3-egg Omelets and Egg Sandwiches ($4-7), Muffins ($3) and of course Brooklyn Style Bagels. Lunch items include Wraps ($8), Salads ($8-10), Bagel Sandwiches ($7-9), Melted Sandwiches on Bagels ($8-9), Pizza Bagels ($5-7), Soft Drinks, New York Iced Coffee and Brooklyn Fox's U-Bet™ Egg Creams. Voted 2013 "Best Affordable Dish" by Orlando Magazine Annual Reader's Survey. Coupons appear in Thursday's Daily Sun. One of about 12 franchised locations out of Boca Raton, FL.; Steven Fassberg, founder; Larry King, of TV Talk Show fame, financially involved.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/11) Q=3 S=2 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan G. 8/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 11/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 2/12) Q=5 S=4 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 7/15) Q=2 S=2 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 10/15) Q=2 S=1 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
Not Rated Osaka Japanese Steakhouse, 1401 Citrus Blvd. (US 27/441), Leesburg, FL. 8.9 mile drive from The Villages. 728-0788. (Asian) [L/D] Open 7 days per week, with lunch 11 AM to 2:30 PM then dinner from 4:30 PM to 9 PM except no lunch hours on Saturday. Early Bird Dinners run 4:30 PM to 6 PM. Steak, chicken and shrimp cooked by knife throwing chefs. No MSG used. Soups and rice accompany most dinners. Beer & wine. Chi Ly and Hoa Nen, owners.



Image
12½ Stars O'Shucks! Oyster Bar and Grill, 1016 S. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 13.8 mile drive from The Villages. 399-2200. (Seafood) [L/D] Located on the east side of US 301, just 500 feet south of SR 44. Formerly The Yacht Club Bar and Grill, it serves all kinds of oysters and other shellfish. Open 11 AM to 9 PM except to 8 PM on Sunday but to 11 PM on weekends. It's a "dive", but in a good way. On the slick laminated menu you can find appetizers like Fried Pickles ($7), everyone's favorite Fried Gizzards ($8), Fried Mushrooms ($8), Chicken Tenders ($8), Onion Rings ($8), Loaded Nachos ($9), Chicken Quesadilla ($10), and many others. Side Salads run $4 and a Tuna Salad Plate is $8. Clam Chowder or Chili Bowl are $6 each. There are full dinners such as Chopped Steak ($11), Grilled Chicken ($11), Chicken Tenders ($11), Fried Haddock ($13), Jumbo Clam Strips ($13), Fried Shrimp ($14) and Fried Oysters ($16) with sauces. These come with two sides that might include Fries, Mashed or Baked Potato, Slaw, Green Beans, Corn or Carrots & Celery. Chicken Wings (with 9 Sauces) are popular here and they run $5.50/5, $8.50/10, $12.50/15, $16.50/20, $24.50/30 or $39.50/50. On Tuesday, Wings are $11/person for A-U-C-E. Various Cheeseburgers ($8-13) are popular at lunch hour, as are ¼ lb. Hot Dog ($6) and a dozen different Sandwiches from Grilled Cheese ($6), to a 12 inch Philly Cheese Steak ($12), make the list. But most patrons come for the Raw or Steamed Oysters by the half or full dozen or bucket full ($8/$12/$29). Popular enough to keep a shucker busy behind the bar most evenings. Steamed Clams are the same price. Steamed, Cooked/Chilled or Grilled Shrimp by half or full pound is $11/$19. Beer on draft, mug or pitcher, plus Wine and Wine Coolers are offered here too. Soft Drinks are $2 with free refills. Desserts are all $4 each. Oh Shucks!, kids menu too. Annie Noell, owner.

Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 9/13) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 5/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Christine H. 4/16) It was great! After a short wait, on a Friday night, we were seated at a table in the bar. Had ½ dozen Oysters on the Half Shell, a mix of sizes but delicious, served with crackers and sauce. That was followed by a Fried Oyster Plate with Cole Slaw and Fries. Oysters were delicious, tender and delicately fried. Not greasy at all. My friends had the special, Fried Haddock, Fries and Cole Slaw, which they agreed were very good. Service was excellent. Price was very reasonable. Looking forward to my next visit.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/16) First time here for us. Yup it's a "dive", with worn floors, wobbley chairs, paper towel roll and flat silverware. We had Blue Moon on tap ($2.50) and a Bud Light Lime ($2.50) to start us off. She had the Fried Oyster dinner with Fries and Slaw ($16). She didn't care for the Slaw but the Oysters were wonderful. She couldn't eat them all. I had the Fried Clam dinner with Baked Potato and Slaw ($13). Loved the Potato and Slaw and my Clams were just OK. Some tender (the bellies) and some chewy (the strips). The Cocktail Sauce was spicy. Before our food arrived we were tempted to a few (wrapped) Saltine Crackers on the table. They were pretty stale. B. Ramey was our server. Many in the crowded restaurant were ordering Raw Oysters. Our total was $34 before t&t. Not too bad for a "dive".
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
14 Stars Oyster Troff, 936 North Bay St., Eustis, FL. 24.6 mile drive from The Villages. 357-9939. (Seafood) [L/D] Open weekdays from 3-9 PM, Saturday from 11:30 AM and Sunday from Noon. In business since July, 1998. They bill themselves as "Lake County's Largest Oyster Bar". Their specialty? Oysters of course! Sold by the ½ Dozen, Full Dozen and Bucket ($5/$9/$25). They also have Peel and Eat Shrimp at ½ Dozen and Full Pound ($8/$14). Pound of Steamed Mussels, Plain or Sautéed in Butter ($8/$9) and a dozen Steamed Clams ($8/Middle, $9/Topneck, $10/Cherry Stone) are also available. Oysters Rockefeller ($8) is very popular here, so is Stuffed Oysters ($8) and Triple Cheese Oysters ($8). Shrimp Scampi ($12), Seafood Combo ($15) and even Live Lobster (Mkt. Price) can be found. White Fish ($10), Popcorn Shrimp ($10), Clam Strips ($12), Fried or Broiled Shrimp ($13), Maryland Crab Cakes ($13), Coconut Shrimp ($14), Fried or Broiled Sea Scallops ($14), Yellow Fin Tuna ($14), Mahi-Mahi ($14), Fried Oysters ($14), Maine Lobster Tail ($15) and Alaskan Snow Crab ($19) are offered too. Hungry guests can order their Seafood Platter Assortment at $19 for one person or $35 to share for two people. ½ Pound Burger ($6), Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($7), Philly Cheese Steak ($8), White Fish Sandwich ($8), Po Boy Sandwich ($9), Crab Cake Sandwich ($10), Ranch Steak ($11) and other food offered also. Sides of Hushpuppies, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, Garlic Toast and Corn on the Cob run $1-2 each. Noted too for their Smoked Fish Dip ($6), Frog Legs ($7), Buffalo Shrimp ($7), Wings ($8/10, $15/20, $33/50), Oyster Chowder ($2-3) and Cioppino ($4-9). Popular with the locals. Daily specials published on their Facebook page, like Friday's AUCE Mahi-Mahi at $11, for instance. Full bar. Happy Hour from 3-6 PM. They offer draft and bottled beer, as well as Oyster Bay Wines (of course!) from New Zealand at $6-7/glass or $18-21/bottle. Stephanie and Chester Pando of Grand Island, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/13) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Eileen P. 10/15) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
13 Stars Video Free WiFi Pasta Faire Ristorante, 10401 US 27/441, Belleview, FL. 11.9 mile drive from The Villages. 347-3100. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Opens 11 AM daily. Lunch and dinner specials daily. In business since 1991 offering classic Italian dishes, Wood Burning Brick Oven Pizzas, but known more for their Roast Rotisserie Chicken than for their pasta dishes by some patrons. Pollo Marsala, Pesce Fresco, Penne Louisiana, Veal Parmigiana, Cannelloni, Baked Stuffed Shells, Classic Lasagna and the popular Trio Italiano are some of the dishes offered here at about $9 to $13. Various Pizzas range from $10 to $17. Steaks and other grilled meat are also available ranging from $12 to $18. Pecan Crusted Salmon and Cajun Tilapia are two of their seafood dishes at $15-16. Whole Roast Chicken is $9 to $12 with 1 to 3 side dishes. Soup and a variety of salads are also on the menu. Daily specials offered at the door or ask your server. Weekly specials offered like Italian Feast For Two on Sundays at $19.45, All-You-Can-Eat Chicken on Mondays for $7, Seafood Fest Extravaganza on Tuesdays for $10 or All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti on Thursdays for $6 are sometimes offered. 20% gratuity added on parties of 6 or more. A complementary $10 coupon available on their website. Remodeled inside and out. Reservations accepted. Open Thanksgiving Day from 11 AM to 7 PM. Offers a traditional "Feast of the Seven Fishes" on Xmas Eve, at $17pp/$30/pc. Full bar. Happy Hour 11 AM to 6 PM except Sunday. Brandon Magnuson, general manager; Kathy Funk Thorpe, owner.

Older Review: (from Andrea G. 5/08) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 10/08) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/08) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Gloria K. 2/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 4/09) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Frank M. 7/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/09) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Frank M. 8/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Colene M. 1/10) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Richard D. 3/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Richard B. 7/10) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 10/10) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 10/10) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 7/12) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry R. 2/13) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 7/13) Q=5 S=1 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 5/14) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 7/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 1/16) Never a bad meal here. We had Charlotte for our server. Very friendly. My better half had the Cannelloni de Marco Special ($12) and I had the Chicken Sorrento Special on Spaghetti ($12.50). Both were excellent and large portioned. We each had a glass of Malbec ($5.50) which was barely acceptable. The Caesar Salad was 50 cents extra and worth it. Very busy place with lots of help that seem to enjoy working here. In and out in a few minutes. $36.50 total before t&t. We come back here often enough.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Stuckey's (1953)
US 27/441, Belleview, FL.

Video

Image
13 Stars Pavarotti's Pizza & Restaurant, 8075 SW SR 200, Ste. 101, Ocala, FL. 25.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-9424. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Located at the west end of Canopy Oak Center (Publix Plaza) at Route 200 & SW 80 Ave. in suite #101 near Top Of The World Community. Open 11 AM to 9 PM, to 10 PM weekends, and to 8 PM on Sunday. This new 3000 sq. ft. pizzeria and Italian restaurant is the second venture for these owners. Wide variety of Italian dishes. Strombolis and Calzones are among the Italian items on the menu at $6-12 each. Full dinners of Pasta, Chicken, Veal and Seafood are offered. Unique dishes such as Stuffed Eggplant Rollatine ($8.50), Chicken Scarpariello ($11.50), Veal Marsala ($12.50), Lobster Ravioli ($9.50) and Shrimp Scampi ($11) are featured. Seafood Fra Diablo ($15) is a more spicy dish. Hot & Cold Subs ($5-6) are also available. Antipasto ($5-8) is also popular. Beer and wine is available. 15% gratuity added for 8 or more. John & Jodi Landolfi, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 1/10) Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Judy H. 6/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 1/17) We were out this way so we stopped for dinner. We each had the Malbec ($5 each). They were good. We started with Caesar Salads ($1 extra). They were good too. I had Linguine with Clam Sauce ($13) and he had Shrimp Parm. ($13). His was different but good too. I loved mine. Lots of Clams. Total was $41 with tax. Donna was our friendly server. Very friendly place here. Nice variety of food.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
12 Stars Pete's Diner, 3325 Hway 27/441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.4 mile drive from The Villages. 365-0051. (American) (Diner) [B/L] Opens daily at 6 AM. Closes at 2 PM weekdays but 12 NOON on Saturday and Sunday. Opened in 2000. Plain and simple. Breakfast offerings are French Toast, Pancakes, Eggs and Ham, Bacon or Sausage and the like. Some complete breakfasts under $5. Lunch has not only sandwiches but Beef Stew, Meatloaf, Country Fried Steak, Liver & Onions or a Fish Fry on Fridays. "Coffee under a buck". Coupons in Thursday's Daily Sun. Don't ask for Pete. No bar. Popular with locals. Allan Pharmer, owner.

Older Review: (from Robert F. 6/09) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/09) Q=3 S=5 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
9½ Stars Phở Kim Long (Vietnamese Restaurant), 1022 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. 20.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-5791. (Asian) [L/D] Located on 27/441 near downtown Ocala across from Aunt Fannies Restaurant, between the Marathon Gas Station and the Holiday Motel, where China Hut was previously located. Opened in mid May, 2015. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM and Noon to 8 PM on Sunday. Vietnamese cuisine concentrating on Noodle Dishes (Phở), Fried Rice, Chicken, Pork, Seafood and Vegetable Soups. For appetizers you may find Veggie or Spring Rolls, Egg Rolls and Winter Rolls (all about $4 each). There's also Chicken Wings ($7), Shrimp Paste on Sugar Cane Sticks ($7.50) and Roasted Quails ($12). For main dishes, various Clear Noodle Soups range $8-10 each and a variety of Beef Phở dishes like Phở Chin Bo Vien [Beef Noodle Soup with Brisket and Meat Balls] range $10-12 each. Vermicelli Bowls like Bun Dac Biet [Grilled Pork and Shrimp] run about $9 each. Jasmine Rice Platters like Com Tam Ga Nuong [Rice with Grilled Chicken] run $8-10 each. Goi Ngo Sen Tom Thit [Lotus Root Salad with Shrimp and Pork] is $11. There are also Sandwiches on the menu at $4 each. A 3 Color Dessert is offered at $3.50. Kids menu available. Reservations accepted. Beer and wine licensed. Hien (John) Lam, owner.

Older Review: (from Paula M. 6/15) Q=4 S=1 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill M. 10/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
11½ Stars Video Pi On Broadway 110 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-369-5100. (Brew Pub) (Pizza) [L/D] Open 11 AM to Midnight; but from 4 PM on Tuesdays and Sundays; until 2 AM on weekends, except 10 PM on Sundays; closed Mondays and Holidays. In summer open only for dinner starting at 4 PM. Located at the corner of 1st Ave., one block west of the square in downtown Ocala. Pizza and beer was never like this. A unique selection of pizzas, like Sonora (with refried black beans), Tuscan (with goat cheese and arugala), Lana'l (with pork and pineapple) and Genovese (with chicken, prosciutto and pesto) are all $12 each. Others. like Creole Pi and Quatro Fromage, run to $14 each. Or you can create your own from the list of a dozen ingredients. Salads offered include Spinach (with gorgonzola, pear and walnuts), Greek (with feta, shaved ham and pepperoncini), Caprese (mozzarella and tomato) and Caesar (with romaine, parmesan and seasoned croutons), all $8-9 each. Sandwiches are also on the menu beginning with a Veggie Burger, California BLT, BBQ Pulled Pork, Jerk Mahi and Pork Shoulder and a few others from $9-12. Appetizers and tapas are also available including Tomato Basil Bruschetta, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Tomato Goat Cheese Dip, Chorizo, Tuna Crudo, Hummus, Guacamole and Caramelized Brussel Sprouts, all about $6-12 each. Various Tacos are also offered at $7-9 each and a Create-Your-Own Burger starts at $10. Sunday Brunch Specials like Chicken 'n Waffles Benedict and Chalupa-Cabra run $8-12 each. Different specials daily. The restaurant also offers a broad selection of micro brews and craft beers, select premium wines, sangria, as well as martinis and specialty cocktails concocted at the two full bars. Happy Hour is 2-7 PM Tuesday through Saturday. The rooftop open-air terrace is unique, giving an elevated view of the city. Adam Volpe, chef and Juan Bengoa owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/09) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 2/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 3/16) We sat upstairs and were glad there were no smokers today. We started with a Midnight Oil Coffee Stout ($5.50) and a Floridian Hefeweizen ($5). Both were good. I had a Tomato & Cucumber Salad ($4), with Mac 'n Cheese ($8). Both were very good. He had the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with Cole Slaw ($10) and a side Spinach Salad ($1.50). Took a long time for the food to come up. Best eat closer to the kitchen. Dylan was not the friendliest server/bar tender. Only the Mac 'n Cheese was hot, not the BBQ. They charged $0.01 for "rounding". Our total was $36.05, so I "rounded down" the tip. Place is getting run down.
Q=4 S=2 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Hotel Hoffman (1920s)
E. Broadway, Ocala, FL.

Image
Not Rated Video Gluten Free Menu Coming Soon Piesanos Stone Fired Pizza (Pints and Pies), 2575 SW 42nd St., Ocala, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-371-7437. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Opening in early 2017. It's Piesanos, not Piesano's. At the corner of SW 42nd St. and SW 27th Ave. in the Publix Shopping Plaza, across from Trinity High School. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM or later on weekends. Full Italian menu with appetizers like Fried Mozzarella, Caprese Salad, Pepperoni Rolls, Bruschetta, Buffalo Wings, Mussels, Calamari, Anitpasto and a Giant Meatball (all ranging $7-13 each). Daily Soups are $4/$6 by size. About 30 Pizzas are available like Rustica, Meat Eater, Hawaiian, Italian Veggie, White Pizza, Meatballs, Pepperoni, Chicken, Napoletana, Spinach Pesto, Eggplant, Supreme and others at $9/8", $15/12", $20/16" and $36/24". Other, Create Your Own, Pizzas with less toppings start at $7/8", $11/12", $14/16" and $26/24". Specialty Calzones like Cheese, San Genero, Philly Steak, Meatball, Spicy Italian and a few others range $10-12 each. Large Salads, like Greek, Gorgonzola, Italian, Caesar, Spinach and others run $8-10 for a meal sized one. Subs ($10) and Burgers ($10) are also on the menu. For full entrées they have Spaghetti & Meatballs, Lasagna Bolognese, Baked Ziti, Chicken or Eggplant Parm. Stuffed Shells, Fettuccine Bolognese and others ranging $10-13 each. Specialties include Mediterranean Pasta, Cappellini Aglio Olio, Pork Osso Buco, Blackened Chicken Pasta, Chicken Piccata or Carbonara, Scampi Ravioli, Shrimp & Mussels Fra Diavolo, Penne alla Vodka, Beef & Veal Tortellacci, Broccolini & Sausage Ravioli, Pasta Arrabiatta and a few others all ranging $11-17 each. Desserts and kids menu available. Full bar with cocktails and draft beers. Gluten free items, including G/F Beer, are available. Lunch and dinner specials at reduced prices offered during the week. Run as a small franchise out of Gainesville, FL; this one owned by Gerald and Sabrina Roberts.



Image
Not Rated Coming Soon Pineapple Place, 322 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. . (American) [L/D] A March, 2017 opening is expected. Formerly the Chef's Pantry, the Pine Island Grill, the Saucy Spoon and the Gables before that. It's located next to the Olive Branch Mediterranean Grille & Bar, between W. 4th and W. 3rd Aves. It claims 4500 sq. ft. inside plus 1000 sq. ft. on the patio. This new attempt will offer gourmet Burgers, Steaks, Kebobs, Salads, Crab Cakes and other items with a pineapple twist in flavor, sauce, salsa or side dish. Outdoor seating available. Full bar. Happy Hour 4-7 PM weekdays and occasional entertainment. Pool table included. James Koepke, Farzad "Hoosh" and Michele Hooshmandan, owners.



Image
10 Stars Gluten Free Menu Pisces Rising, 239 West 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.2 mile drive from The Villages. 385-2669. (Continental) (Seafood) [L/D] Opened in 2003. Open daily from 11:30 AM to 9 PM, except closed 4 to 5 PM between lunch and dinner. Closed Xmas Day only. Fresh Florida seafood dominates the menu in this 1920's grand home. Steaks and other Angus beef cuts add to the menu. Cajun, Creole, Cuban and Caribbean influences the dishes. Soups, like Seafood Gumbo, range $5-8, Salads $5-12 and Pasta dishes $20-28 each. A-la-carte seafood or steak entrées generally range from $17-32, like Jambalaya ($18), Fried Shrimp ($18), Crab Cakes ($20), Chicken Roulade ($20), Seafood Paella ($22), Cubana Shrimp ($28), 14 oz. NY Strip Steak ($28), 8 oz. Filet Mignon ($30) and Scallops le Rouge ($28) or en Verde ($32). New "Wine Pairing 3 Course Dinners" are offered on the third weekend of the month for about $50 pp+t&t. "Prime Rib Night" is offered every Thursday evening at $24-30 pp+t&t. Entertainment weekends including a "Live Jazz Sunday Brunch" Noon to 3 PM. Outdoor deck overlooking Lake Dora. Extensive wine list. Corkage Fee: $20. "Award of Excellence" recipient from Wine Spectator Magazine. Wine Enthusiast Magazine "Award of Distinction" for wine friendly restaurant. 2 full bars noted for martinis. Happy Hour runs all day on Monday and 4-7 PM Tuesday through Friday. 2008 winner for "Best Seafood Restaurant" in the Orlando area by WESH-2 News A-List. 2009-2011 winner for "Best Seafood", "Best Outdoor Dining", "Best Wine List", "Best Desserts" and "Best Lakefront Dining and Entertainment" in Lake County by Lake Magazine. Reservations by phone or online via Open Table are accepted. Joshua Jungferman, general manager; Alexander Gandia, chef; Ron and Annie Winters, owners.

Older Review: (from Julie L. 5/07) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Wendell S. 11/07) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 1/08) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Daniel G. 2/08) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Wanda K. 1/10) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 3/10) Q=5 S=4 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Dan K. 10/10) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill T. 10/12) Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 5/14) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Teruko O. 12/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/15) Q=2 S=1 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Paula M. 9/15) Q=2 S=1 V=1 Total=4 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Mt. Plymouth Hotel and Airfield (1930s)
Mt. Plymouth, FL. east of Mount Dora, near Sorrento.
Became the Florida Central Academy in 1959 and closed in 1983.
Partially burned down in 1986 and again in 1987 by vandals.

Image
14½ Stars Video Gluten Free Menu PizzAmoré, 722 E. 5th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 26.6 mile drive from The Villages. 383-0092. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Moved from 622 N. Donnelly St. to this larger location east of town in 2015. Hours are 11:30 AM to 9 PM daily and to 10 PM on Friday and Saturday. Garlic Knots (4/$2), Dippers ($2 ea.) and Wings (5/$4.50) start the menu. Of course Pizza is there thing. Two sizes are both meant to share, a large and an extra large. They offer Hawaiian ($12/$16), Veggie ($14.50/$19.50), Supreme ($15.50/$20), Meat Lover ($16/$20) and Palermo - with Artichokes, Onions, Spinach and Olives ($16/$21). There's also Vesuvio - with Spinach, Feta, Garlic and Olive Oil ($12/$15.50), Margherita ($14.50/$17), Florentine - with Spinach, Ricotta, Garlic and Olive Oil ($14.50/$17.50), Bianca - with Mozzarella, Ricotta, Feta, Basil, Garlic and Olive Oil ($15.50/$19) and Alfredo - with Chicken, Spinach, Mozzarella and Alfredo Cheese Sauce ($15.50/$20). Gluten free large pizza is available at $3.50 extra. Or you can build your own with toppings ($1.50-$2.50 each on the large and $2-$3 each on the extra large) like Hot Peppers, Mushrooms, Ham, Eggplant, Bacon, Sausage, Meatballs, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Anchovies or Pesto, among others. Subs are two sized also, 6" and 12". They include Veggie, Italian, Chicken Pesto or Meatball Subs, all $7/$12 each. You can also order Calzones ($10/$15) or Strombolis ($14). They also make Pasta dishes like Spaghetti, Penne, Fettuccine ($7), Cheese Tortellini ($9) or a Gluten Free Pasta at $9.50 with Marinara, Rosé, Alfredo or Meat for the sauce. They also make Lasagna ($7.50), Eggplant Parmigiana ($12) and Chicken Parmigiana ($13). Salad and a Garlic Knot adds $4.50. Garden, Caesar and Greek Salads run $4-8 depending on size. For desserts you can find Cannoli, Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu and Crème Brûlée, ranging $4-6. Kids menu available, like Mac 'n Cheese ($3.50). A nice variety of 20 domestic, imported and craft beers, and wine by the glass and bottle are offered too. Plus a glass of Sangria ($5) is listed. Special deals every day. Front outdoor picnic seating is available. Jesse Thomas (chef) and Leigh Love, owners.

Older Review: (from Larry W. 1/13) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sherry W. 1/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 5/16) We enjoyed this spur of the moment stop. We started with Garlic Rolls ($2). We also got a small ramekin of Marinara Sauce. I haven't had Marinara Sauce this good, for a long, long time. I had a perfectly cooked Bianca Pizza ($8). The crust was the best I've had since I lived in NJ. My husband had the Cheese Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce ($9). Everything was absolutely delicious. Our server, Amanda, was very attentive. 1 water and 1 Lemonade our meals, rolls and sauce came to $25. I look forward to returning soon.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Plantation Oaks Restaurant, 4720 Plantation Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 18.2 mile drive from The Villages. 326-9001. (American) [L/D] Located in the Plantation Golf Club off US 27. Open Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 3 PM for lunch and 4 to 8 PM for dinner. Sunday hours are 11 AM to 4 PM for lunch. Large array, offering such items as Stuffed Orange Roughy, Tilapia, Crab Cakes and Shrimp Scampi on the seafood side ranging $12-18 each. Also Prime Rib, Flat Iron Steak, Grilled Sirloin and Chopped Steak on the beef side ranging $9-17 each. And Veal or Chicken Piccata, Marsala, Sorrento or Parmesan styles at $15 for Veal and $12 for Chicken. Chicken or Sausage Cacciatore ($14) is also on the menu. You can also find Liver & Onions, Pot Roast, Grilled Chicken, Pork Chops, Baked Eggplant and Pasta dishes at $10-16. Ribs, Shrimp Basket and Fish 'n Chips run $7-11. For less appetites, Pizza, Sandwiches and Wraps starting at $7 are also offered. 18% gratuity added for 6 or more. Reservations accepted. Full bar. John Gorman, owner.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Plaza Guadalajara, 18660 US Hwy. 441, Mount Dora, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 308-8973. (Mexican) [L/D] Located on US 441 just before Donnelly St. where La Hacienda and Backyard Boys Bar-B-Que did business. Opened in January, 2015. Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM daily, to 10 PM weekends. Full Mexican menu includes Nachos, Salads, and many specialties like Huevos Rancheros ($8), Huevos a la Mexicana ($9), Huevos con Chorizo ($9), Burrito Supreme ($10), Green Burrito ($10), Sincronizada ($10), Deluxe Burrito ($10), Soft or Fried Chimichanga ($10), Arroz con Pollo ($11), Chori-Pollo ($12), Carnitas ($12), Alambre Chicken or Steak ($12) and Carnitas en Salsa Verde ($13). There's also Chuleta Ahumada ($11.50), Rib-Eye Steak ($14) and Mixiote de Borrego ($15). There are many Chicken, Seafood and Steak dishes too, ranging $8-12 each for Chicken, $10-13 for Seafood and $12-14 for Steak. Quesadillas ($7-11 each), Tacos ($8-10 each), Enchiladas ($11 each) and Steaming Fajitas ($12-14 each) are also popular. Lunch menu runs 11 AM to 2:30 PM daily. Vegetarian items listed too. Reservations accepted. Full bar. Specializes in Patron Margaritas. Juan Jaime Rodriguez and Mario Rodriguez-Villasenor, owners.



Postcard
Long Gone - Plantation Pancake Inn (1966)
1140 S. Pine St. (Ave.) (US 27/441), Ocala, FL.
"Featuring 27 varieties of Pancakes and Waffles" - (Now an IHOP)

Image
14 Stars Video Polly's Pantry Royal Tea Room & Gift Shop, 819 S. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 12.9 mile drive from The Villages. 330-4002. (British) (Cafe) L. Open daily except Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM for lunch, tea and desserts. Located in downtown Wildwood, on US 301, next to the Colonial Bank. Themed on the owner's own books, "Polly Brown", "Princess Polly" and now "The Trouble With Polly Brown", too. A true tea room transported from England. Delightful frilly atmosphere; popular with the ladies. Fresh made Soups, Quiches, Salads, Desserts and a selection of coffee and teas but no bar. BYOB permitted. All items run about $10 each and the Quiche, Soup and Sandwich varieties change daily. Signature dish, "Coronation Chicken Salad" (chopped roasted chicken, dates, walnuts, apricots, apples, celery and raisins in a cream sauce) is very popular. Desserts like Peach Cobbler, English Bread Pudding and a Fruit Trifle with Custard, run about $5. Elegant High Tea with Sandwiches, Scones with Preserves and Cakes runs $16-19 per person. Dinner for groups of 10 or more by special arrangement. Coupons appear in the Thursday Daily Sun. Reservations accepted. John & Tricia Bennett, owners.

Older Review: (from Richard B. 12/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 12/08) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/08) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bob E. 9/09) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Arlene P. 10/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/15) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
11 Stars Puddle Jumpers (Lakeside) 111 Ruby St., Tavares, FL. 20.7 mile drive from The Villages. 508-5862. (American) (Seafood) [L/D] Located where Al's Landing did business for many years. Opened in September, 2015. The name is in reference to Sea Planes, not VW Beetles. A casual dining area open from 11 AM daily. They have an extensive menu of items that start with appetizers like Cheese Sticks ($7.50), Onion Rings ($8), Pretzel Bites ($8.50), Chicken Pitadillas ($9), Boneless Wings ($9.50), Coconut Shrimp ($10), Crab & Sausage Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms ($11), Crab Cakes ($11), a Lakeside Combo of 3 items ($14) and a small or large Bucket of Snow Carbs and Peel-N-Eat Shrimp ($16/$28). For entrées they offer Chicken Fingers ($11), Fish & Chips ($12), Fried Shrimp ($12.50) and Coconut Shrimp ($13). They also grill Lump Crab Cakes ($16), Norwegian Salmon ($17) and Mahi Mahi ($17.50). In addition they have an 8 oz. Sirloin Steak ($15), 14 oz. Ribeye ($20), Baby Back Ribs ($22) and such combinations as Sirloin/Shrimp/Crab Cake ($25) or Mahi/Shrimp/Crab Cake ($26). Grilled items come with 2 sides. You can also get Pasta dishes like Blackened Chicken Pasta ($14) or Seafood Medley Pasta ($16). Burgers are also popular with ½ Pounders ($10/$11). You can also get 1, 2 or 3 Sliders, called "Puddle Jumpers", at $7/$10/$12. Sandwiches and Salads are also on the menu like Caribbean Jerk Chicken Sandwich ($9) and Blackened Chicken Caesar ($11). They also offer Chili ($4/$5) and Lobster Bisque ($4.50/$5.50). For dessert you can find a Brownie Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Chocolate Madness Cake and others (all $8 each). Full bar serves cocktails, wine and cold beer. Jonathan Aramino, new owner.

Review: (from Leo M. 1/16) Taking a suggestion from the Gourmet Club Newsletter, our first Dine-Out Dinner of 2016 was at Puddle Jumpers. There wasn't any posted reviews but the menu looked good. We took a leap of faith and our group of 6 was thrilled with the choice. Our server, Samantha, was very accommodating using the mantra "I'll make it happen". My wife ordered the 8 oz. Sirloin Steak served with Mash Potatoes and cooked to perfection. I had the Rack of Baby Back Ribs and they came out just as the menu described them, "fall of the bone", coated with caramelized BBQ sauce; it was delish. Happy Hour is 3-7 pm and the $1 Puddle Jumper Lager was a tasty amber, worth a try. Jon, the owner checked on us during the meal and was seen throughout the evening. Reasonably priced $32 before t&t with a coupon. Beautifully situated next to the water with an outdoor bar area and patio.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 1/16) This was a good dining experience. The décor was extremely relaxed. My husband and I had the Blackened Chicken Pasta ($14 each). The Pasta and Chicken were cooked perfectly and tasted delicious. It turned out that Tuesday night is A-U-C-E pasta. I had an Iced Tea ($2.50), and my husband had the happy hour beer special that runs Mon-Fri 3-7 pm at $1 per glass. Each glass had to be at least a 12 oz. pour. Samantha, our server, took care of us extremely well. Our meals, my Tea, and my husband's 2 Beers came to $34. The menu here had a nice variety. The rest of our group enjoyed their meals immensely. Don't dress up to go to this restaurant. We will definitely return.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 2/16) Spartan. This took over from another restaurant and they made few changes. We had Fish and Chips. Fish was very good, but the Chips were soggy. Wait staff dressed in beach garb. Service, spotty and stilted. $1 Beer and $2 Wine was a good deal, but my Iced Tea $2.49? No sense to that disparity. One had Shrimp Basket with over-battered Shrimp with same limp Fries. Check came all in one. We asked in the beginning for 3 separate checks and got the familiar "not a problem". This is a place where takeout would be the best idea, except for the Fries. Like eating in a church hall or firehouse. Two Fish & Chips, Tea and Wine was $30. Oh, and $.50 for Mayo. What? Not returning here.
Q=3 S=1 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Janice T. 6/16) Delicious! We stopped here on the spur of the moment. We sat outside overlooking Lake Dora. My husband had the Crispy Fried Shrimp and I had the Coconut Fried Shrimp ($13. each). Both dishes were fantastic. They came with crispy, wonderfully seasoned Hand Cut Fries. The Shrimp were huge and were perfectly thin breaded and fried to perfection. I had an Iced Tea ($3) and my husbands drink of choice, was their $1 Draft Beer Special. The glass was at least 12 oz., maybe even 16 oz. With such a deal, he had 2 glasses. Our bill came to $33. including tax. I can't wait to go back again and order the best Coconut Fried Shrimp I've ever had.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Quarterdeck, 831 S. Central Ave., Umatilla, FL. 26.9 mile drive from The Villages. 669-4662. (Seafood) [L/D] Located just south of town, across from the plant, on SR 19 and 5 miles north of Eustis. Open from 11 AM to 9 PM daily; to 8 PM on Sunday. In business since 1993. They are famous for their QD Fish Sandwich here. Other specialties are ½ lb. Spiced Shrimp ($8) and ½ lb. Snow Crab Legs ($10), both served with soup or salad and a potato choice. Fried Seafood includes Fish of the Day ($7), Popcorn Shrimp ($7), Fried Scallops ($8), Fried Catfish ($8), Beer Battered Haddock ($8), Fried Clam Strips ($8), Fried Oysters ($9), Jumbo Butterflied Shrimp ($9) and a Large Captain's Platter ($10). These meals are served with Hushpuppies and 2 sides. They also have Burgers, Ham & Swiss Sandwich, Cheese Steak, Grilled Cheese, French Dip, BLT, Shrimp Sandwich and Chicken Cheese Steak, all ranging $4-7 each. Fish Chowder, Grouper and Sweet Potato Fries are also popular. A-U-C-E Fish Fry on Fridays at $10. Beer and wine offered. Glen Key and Keri Rust, owners.



Image
11½ Stars Rae Rae's Restaurant, 2468 Citrus Blvd. (US 27/441), Fruitland Park, FL. 5.8 mile drive from The Villages. 323-1595. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Licensed since April 4, 2013. Formerly Sweet Treats and Eats. Hours are 7 AM to 2 PM weekdays, except closed Monday and 7 AM to 1 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Located in the Park Central Plaza just before the RCC Western Store. Serving the usual breakfast items, either a la carte or in a combo, like Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Grits, Hash, Eggs, Omelettes ($6-7), French Toast ("Eggy Bread"), Waffles ("Fat Daddy"), and Pancakes ("Katie Kakes"). You can also find specialties like Chicken and Waffles ($9), Catfish 'n Grits ($9), Pork Tenderloin, Eggs 'n Grits ($9) or Corn Beef Hash 'n 2 Eggs ($7). Switches to lunch meals at 11 AM. Salads, like Chef ($7), Tossed ($4.50), Caesar ($5) or Antipasto ($7), Sandwiches, like The Club ($7), BLT ($6), Tuna or Chicken Salad ($6) or Ruben ($8) and Heros, like Meatball, Italian Sausage, Roast Pork, Italian Deli, Steak 'n Mushrooms, Grilled Chicken or Pork Tenderloin (all ranging $5-10 each), are offered. So is Grilled Catfish on occasion. Burgers ($6-7) are also popular. No bar. Tim Rohan (formerly of Pauly's Pizza), manager; Christine Greenaway, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 8/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 6/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 8/15) Q=5 S=4 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Shirley F. 1/16) My hubby's favorite thing to do on Sunday morning is to find a place for brunch and he found Rae Rae's. We had beautifully prepared meals with plenty of fresh food. The Biscuits were huge, flakey squares that melted in your mouth. My Swissy Krissy Omelet was loaded with chicken, fresh spinach, seedless chopped tomato, and Swiss cheese and perfectly done. The Biscuit With Sausage Gravy was served piping hot and was delicious. The Eggs Benedict were nicely poached and served on a biscuit with ham and turkey and hollandaise sauce on top. Drink refills were timely (and free). The restaurant is very casual and small - only holding about 40 people. The only negative was that our table was not completely cleaned when we sat down although it was cleared and the main part was wiped. Our waiter took care of it immediately when it was pointed out.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Jan T. 6/16) It was our 1st time here. Had a little wait for a table. Very small establishment. We each had the 2 Eggs with a meat, Potatoes, and their delicious square Blueberry Biscuit. I had the Link Sausage and my husband had the Bacon. Both meals were delicious and hot. I like temperature hot food. With a coupon, our meals with 2 Coffees came to $15. We had a very nice experience here.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Hank T. 9/16) This was our 2nd visit here. We arrived at 9:15 on a Sunday morning. There was no wait and we were seated immediately. We had exactly the same dishes as my last visit. Food was served quickly, was hot and delicious. I guest since our seasonal people are here or returning soon, the price went up $1 for the specials we had with 2 Coffees. This time it was $16. Our waitress, Sophia, served us well. We never had an empty coffee cup. We will return.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
11 Stars Ramshackle Café, 1317 N. 14th St. (US 27/441 at SR 44A, Griffin Rd.), Leesburg, FL. 9.1 mile drive from The Villages. 365-6565. (American) [L/D] Open 11 AM - 11 PM, except 10 PM on Sunday. On the site of the former Leesburg Howard Johnson's Restaurant (1954) since 1989. "ram/shack/le (ram' shak' al), adj. loose and shaky". Broiled Delmonico Steak ($18), World Class BBQ Ribs ($9 & $15) and Smothered Chicken ($13) tops the news-printed menu. Fried Shrimp Platter ($12), Fish 'n Chips ($9) and Broiled 'n Grilled Salmon ($13) are featured in the Seafood Section. Some Mexican favorites are here too like Macho Nachos ($9), Fish Tacos ($9), Bandito Burrito ($9), Fajitas ($10-19), Chicken Chimi ($9) and a Taco Salad ($9). They say their Buffalo Wings ($8) are "world famous". Who can dispute that claim? Lots of Wraps ($9), Sandwiches ($8-9) and Burgers ($8-9) are what most people order. Soups and salads also offered, like a Spinach Salad ($9), Cobb Salad ($9) and a Calypso Salad ($9). 15% gratuity added for parties of 6 or more. Roadside diner decor. Full bar with 2 for 1 Happy Hour until 7 PM. Sit on the porch and watch Leesburg go by. Ma Barker may have hid out here too. Kathy Idell, manager; Glen Gerken, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/07) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/09) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 5/10) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 2/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 12/15) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Howard Johnson's Restaurant (1954)
Now the location of the Ramshackle Café
1317 N. 14th St. (US 27/441), Leesburg, FL.

Video

Image
Not Rated Video Red Lobster (Leesburg), 10010 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.0 mile drive from The Villages. 728-2400. (Seafood) [L/D] Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily. Offering fresh seafood for nearly 40 years, this popular chain offers entrées such as Snow Crab Legs, Lobster & Seafood Mixed Grill, Crab Linguini Alfredo and of course, Live Maine Lobster. Many fried meals are available like Shrimp and Clam Strips. Broiled fish such as Farm-Raised Catfish, Seafood-Stuffed Flounder and a Platter of Bay Scallops, Garlic Shrimp and Fish Filet are also on the menu. Steak and Chicken main dishes available for land lovers. Many meals are combination plates and the menu is vast. Entrées can range from $11 to $29 or more. Originally developed by Bill Darden in Lakeland in 1968, nearly 700 locations nationwide, still operate as a division of Darden Restaurants of Orlando. Another Red Lobster is open in The Villages (see that listing).

Older Review: (from David L. 1/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu Video Video Coming Soon Red Robin (Gourmet Burgers and Brews) 3355 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. . (American) [L/D] Opening in February-March, 2017. A "roadhouse for burgers". Fast-casual, brightly-colored, table-waited, burger joint, primarily serving Burgers and Beers. Formerly home of Black Bear Smokehouse, located between Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse on SR 200. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM, later on weekends. A wide variety of ½ lb. Angus Burgers are offered like "Keep It Simple", Smoke and Pepper, Black & Bleu, Marco Polo, Southern Charm, Tavern Double, Royal, Bacon Cheeseburger, Guacamole Bacon, Sautéed 'Shroom, Chili-Chili, Banzai, Burnin' Love and a Bleu Ribbon Burger, all ranging $7-10 each. There's also a Patty Melt, Grilled Turkey Burger and a Garden Burger. All come with Steak Fries. You can also find Whiskey River BBQ, Teriyaki, California and Bruschetta style Chicken Sandwiches, plus a Crispy Arctic Cod Sandwich. Dozens of appetizers ($3-7 each) are also offered, like Poutine, Onion Rings, Yukon Chips and Nachos. Not into Sandwiches? They have a Prime Rib Dip, Fish & Chips, Ensenada Chicken Platter, Chicken & Shrimp Plate and a Seafood Scatter. You can also find Wraps, Salads, Soups and Chowder on the huge menu. Smoothies and Milk Shakes are popular here but a full bar offers many brews, wines and innovative cocktails or infusions. Happy Hour is 3-6 PM then 8 PM to closing Monday to Friday only. Dessert time brings Mud Pie, Brownie Cake, Lemonade Cake, Cheesecake, Dough Rings and Chocolate Fruffles. The selection seems endless. Kids menu available too. Special Red Robin spices on every table. Started as Sam's Tavern in 1943, it changed its name and started branching out from Seattle, WA. Now more than 550 locations in US and Canada dot the map. Two dozen locations are in Florida, including Winter Garden and Sanford.


Image
11 Stars Gluten Free Menu Riccardo's Restaurant 11783 S. US Hwy. 441, Belleview, FL. 9.3 mile drive from The Villages. 693-5828. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Chef Ricardo Cardenas, formerly of Pasta Faire Ristorante, opened his own restaurant where Jitterz Café was once located in the Almeida Plaza on US 27/441, just south of Baseline Rd. at SR 25A. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily, except to 7 PM on Sunday. Opened October 16, 2012. Watch for coupons in Thursday's Daily Sun. Two large rooms for dining, the "Pizza Room" and the "Plate Room". Photos of Italy and family rim the bright white walls. Simple place settings and vinyl tablecloths. For starters they offer such items as Fried Mozzarella Sticks ($7), Bruschetta del Giorno ($7), Homemade Potato Chips topped with Bacon, Scallions and Cheese ($8), Mussels Marinara ($9), Potato Skins with Monterey Jack Cheese ($8), Fried Calamari with Sausage ($9), Chicken Fritters ($9) or 4 Bacon Wrapped Shrimp ($9). Pasta main dishes include Cheese Ravioli ($9), Stuffed Shells ($9), Baked Rigatoni with Meat Sauce ($12), Chicken Cannelloni ($12), Chicken Caprese Style ($12), Shrimp Scampi ($13), Blackened Chicken with Pasta ($13), Shrimp and Scallops Pomodoro Fresca ($14), Gnocchi with Shrimp and Chicken ($14) and Cajun Spiced Chicken and Andouille Sausage with Rigs ($16). If you can't decide, there is a Combination of Baked Rigatoni, Eggplant Parmesan and Meatball or a Combination of Chicken Parmesan, Fettucini Alfredo and Sausage, each $13. Chef Specials include a Fried Fish Platter ($11), Chicken Parmigiana or Marsala or Piccata or Francese ($11 each), a Greek dish of Grilled Chicken, Rice and a Greek Salad ($12), Chicken Sausage Rustica with Melted Mozzarella ($13), Shrimp Portofino ($14), Veal Parmesan with Pasta ($14), Grilled or Baked Salmon ($15), Spaghetti Pescatore with Clams, Mussels, Shrimp and Calamari ($18) and a 12 oz. New York Strip ($18). Again, a Combination of Jumbo Shrimp, Grilled Chicken and Andouille Sausage with Spaghetti is offered for the undecided, at $13. Greek, Caesar and Tossed Salads are available. Side salads are a-la-carte priced. A number of soups including Pasta Fagioli and Chicken Noodle are made daily at $3-4 each. Simple Create Your Own Pasta dishes, with your choice of noodles and sauces run $8-10 each. Pizza is New York Style and runs $12 for 14" and $14 for 20". Various combinations and toppings are extra. Gluten-free pasta is available. Daily specials offered too. A Kids Menu from a Slice of Pizza, to a Cheeseburger, to Spaghetti & Meatballs, runs $3-6. Lunch and breakfast offered too with various Omelettes featured. Beer and wine available. No wine list. House brand wines are $3.75 per glass. $10 Corkage Fee for your own premium labels, since there is no wines available by the bottle here. Reservations accepted. Owned by Ricardo and Desire Cardenas.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 11/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Paula M. 11/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dennis C. 1/13) Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 6/13) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 3/14) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 11/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Stu R. 11/16) This place has a nice open atmosphere and should be doing well. My wife and I dropped in after a movie and was promptly seated by our waitress, Ashley. My wife ordered an Italian Sausage Dinner ($14) and I chose the Lamb Chops Scottadito ($22). While we waited, I ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir Montebello wine ($32). My wife commented that her Sausage and Pasta had almost no taste what so ever. My Risotto was runny and the Lamb Chops while cooked to the correct temperature had little flavor. The plates were brought to the table with gravy from another order on the plate. The presentation and food quality in our opinion did not justify the higher pricing. We did not order dessert. Our total bill for the two of us ran $68 without t&t.
Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.



Image
10 Stars Rice and Beans BBQ, 16580 S. Hwy. 475, Summerfield, FL. 12.0 mile drive from The Villages. 347-7433. (Mexican) (Spanish) [L/D] Located in Pedro, Marion County, on CR 475, just south of SR 42. Opened June, 2014. Hours are 11 AM to 8 PM daily except to 6 PM Sundays and 9 PM weekends. Closed Mondays. Specializes in Columbian food. They are noted for large portions. For appetizers, you can find such items as Beef Pastry ($1 each), Yuca with Guacamole ($4), Sausage with Plantains ($5), Chicken Fingers & Fries ($8), Quesadilla ($9), Shrimp in Garlic Sauce ($9.50) and Shrimp in Lime Juice ($10). For meat entrées they offer Breaded Chicken Breast, Grilled Pork, Breaded Pork Loin, Steak & Onions or Steak in Creole Sauce (all about $12 each). There's also an Argentine Style Steak ($18). They come with two sides like Rice, Beans, Fries or Plantains. Their specialties feature a Traditional Columbian Meal ($14). You can also find Grilled Chicken Breast ($11) plus Arroz con Pollo ($10.50). They also offer Combos with Rice and Beans, Chicken, and Ribs at ($9/$10/$12). A few Seafood items like Shrimp in Garlic Sauce ($12), Diablo Shrimp ($13) or Shrimp and Rice ($14) can also be found. Occasionally the Puerto Rican dish Mofongo and some Mexican items can be found on the specials. Caesar and House Salads run $4 each. At lunch, Sandwiches are featured like Tuna Fish ($6), Shredded Beef ($7), Pressed Cuban ($7) and a Spanish Steak Sandwich ($8.50). For desserts you can find Rice Pudding, Tres Leches Cake, Flan and Cheese Cake (all $3.50-4.50 each). Beer and wine licensed. Reservations accepted for large parties. Moreno Holmes, owner.

Older Review: (from Sharon B. 6/15) Q=2 S=3 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.

Review: (from Karen B. 8/16) Our party of 4 enjoyed lunch here this past week. I did not get the name of our server, but she and her son were the 2 servers in the restaurant. They were attentive and very helpful with the menu. We started with the Beef Empanadas, which were piping hot and quite tasty. One of our diners ordered the Shrimp in Garlic Sauce appetizer portion for lunch. It was delicious. It did have more sauce than needed, but the sauce was tasty and the portion was huge. We also ordered the Arroz Con Pollo, the Colombian "Typical Plate" and the Mofongo "Typical Puerto Rican Plate". All the portions were large, the food was definitely tasty. We had the Empanadas, the dishes mentioned, a glass of wine, one beer and 2 soft drinks for $57 before t&t. The restaurant was very clean with simple décor. Absolutely can not wait to go back!
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Now Open Rockin' Café (On Donnelly), 622 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 720-5951. (Cafe) (Deli) [L/D] Opened November, 2016. Located where PizzAmoré did business before moving; it's just north of the downtown park. Furnished in Rock 'n Roll décor. Open 10 AM to 8 PM, to 10 PM weekends but closed Sundays. Expect American food like Salads, Sandwiches, Philly Cheesesteak, ½ Pound Burgers and Mahi Tacos. Outdoor seating available. Occasional entertainment. Beer and wine licensed. Carl and Lisa Smith, owners.


Image
Not Rated Rocky Cola, 2065 N. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. 22.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-1880. (Seafood) [B/L/D] Located north of the city on US301/441, at NW 21st St., a few blocks north of the Hwy. 27 cut off. The building was formerly Tommy's Bar-B-Que. Opened in October, 2013. Hours are 8 AM to 9 PM daily, except closed Sunday. To start, they offer New England Clam Chowder ($8) and a Poached Shrimp Cocktail ($8). Dinner specials include Blackened Catfish or Tilapia Fillets ($14), Herb Poached Shrimp Salad ($15), Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya ($16), Baked Flounder Fillets ($17), Shrimp-Rice-Pineapple-Avocado Salad ($17), Wild Salmon Cakes ($18), Poached Wild Salmon ($19) and Poached White Fish ($19). Also on the menu at market prices are Crab Cakes and Pan Fried Sea Scallops. Lunch items include Quarter or Half Roasted Chicken ($7/$9), 2 or 3 Ribs ($8/$10), 12 or 30 Garlic or Steamed Shrimp ($10/$18), 10 or 20 Jumbo Wings ($9/$17), Shrimp Fried Rice ($9/$11) plus items like a BLT ($8) or Chicken Salad ($8). Most lunches include two side dishes. The place also offers Snow Crab Legs, King Crab Legs and Dungeness Crab at market prices. Breakfast items include Belgium Waffles ($6), Biscuits & Gravy ($5), Omelets ($7-9), Pancakes ($4-5) and something called a Philly Steak & Egg Benedict ($10). No bar. Rocky Wang, manager; Kevin (Cola) Huang and Steve Lau, owners.



Image
Not Rated Roma Italian Restaurant, 2775 NW 49th Ave. (Suite 201), Ocala, FL. 26.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-368-7662. (Italian) [L/D] Located in northwest Ocala, on US 27 near the Publix in The Shops at Foxwood. Offering the usual Italian meals. Lorraine Bari, Kristine Delgiudice, Wendy Melnyk and William Wind, owners.



Image
12 Stars Now Open (The) Rose Plantation, 200 Rose Ave., Fruitland Park, FL. 7.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-805-4340. (Continental) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Officially opened December 27, 2016. Located on Rose Ave. one block south of W. Miller St. (CR 466A) and about 3 blocks west of the old Dixie Hwy. or 3 miles east from Morse Blvd. It's hidden behind a narrow driveway entrance. It was originally known as the Pine Eden Estate and has a 1920s atmosphere, complete with a brick fireplace and oval windows. Casual, elegant and relaxing are the key words that describe this new residential, 75-seat, restaurant. It is a converted southern home on 4 acres fronting Fountain Lake and was the former James Dwight (of Massachusetts) party-hosting winter homestead built by him in 1917. Open Tuesday through Saturday only for lunch and dinner. Closed Sunday and Monday, all day and between 2 and 4 PM between menus. Banquet bookings are also being accommodated eventually. Full linen service in the evening, eclectic china, sparkling silverware and fine stemware. The menu includes starters like a Caprese Salad ($6), Chicken Rangoon ($10), Cha Siu Bao ($10), Blackened Creole Beef Tips ($11), (4) Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail ($12), plus there is an Imported Cheese Platter to share ($15). Salads include Spinach with Hot Bacon Dressing ($7), Maison with Artichoke Hearts ($7), Classic Caesar ($8) and a Mandarin Orange Chicken ($15). Soups (by cup/bowl) include Caramelized Butternut Squash ($6/$8), French Onion ($6/$8), She Crab ($8/$10) and a Soup du Jour ($7/$9). For entrées (soup or salad and a side included) they offer Salmon en Papillote ($19), Grilled Grouper ($22), Cioppino ($23) and Baked Stuffed Shrimp ($25) for the seafood choices. Hickory Smoked meat from the charbroiler include a 12 oz. Pork Chop ($23), 10 or 14 oz. Strip Loin ($25/$29), 5 or 7 oz. Filet Mignon ($25/$33), and a 10 or 14 oz. Delmonico Ribeye ($29/$35). Other meats include Chicken Piccata or Primavera ($20 each), 10, 12 or 16 oz. Prime Rib ($20/$26/$32), Smoked Pork Ribs ($24), Duck Breast ($28) and Rack of Lamb Dijon ($34). A vegetarian dish will also be offered as Udon Noodles ($16). One side is included with the entrée but a second can be added: Creamed Spinach ($3), Roasted Honey Glaze Carrots ($3), Seasoned Green Beans ($4), Jasmine Rice ($4), Plantation Potatoes ($4), Baked Potato ($4), Whipped Sweet Potatoes ($5), and Steamed Asparagus ($5). Full bar in the kitchen room. An inviting Wine List boasts 6 or 9 oz. pours and full bottles, for six Whites and seven Reds that include such labels as Ferari-Carano Sonoma Fumé Blanc, Reichsgrat von Kesselstatt Reisling, Pacific Bay Merlot, Stemmari Cab-Sauv., Llama Malbec and Gundlach Bundschu Sonoma Red Zin ranging $8-10 for 6 ozs. and $12-15 for 9 ozs. on Whites and $7-14 for 6 ozs. and $10-21 for 9 ozs. on Reds. Full bottles range $25-52 each. The House Wine is also available at $5/$7/$18. Full bar too. Specialty Coffees are available at $6-8 each. The lunch menu (before 2 PM) brings Sandwiches like a Veggie Gyro ($9), Grilled Cheese ($9), BLT on Toast ($9), Pulled Pork on a Kaiser ($11), Chicken Caesar Wrap ($11), Brisket Hoagie ($12), 1/3 lb. Burgers ($12-14 each), also Quiche ($9), Chicken Florentine ($12), Grilled Grouper ($14), Petite Filet Mignon ($18), plus a Chef's Special. Salads like Shrimp & Kale or Strawberry & Spinach or Nut & Slaw Chicken run $6-9 for Half to $9-12 for Full. Luncheon Soups include Thai Chicken Noodle, Roasted Corn Chowder and Steak & Black Bean (all $5-6/cup and $7-8/bowl). $10 Quick Meals are also offered. $8 charge to split an entrée. Reservations accepted and recommended but larger parties are separated. Private dining room for 2-6 patrons available. Outdoor seating on the side porch. Connor Barton, chef de cuisine; Paulie Villareal, manager; Richard, Jeff and Sandy Andrews of Ocala and restauranteurs, John and Judy Gibson of The Villages, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 1/17) This new, highly anticipated, restaurant has only been open about a week but we still had to try it, even though it was on "limited menu". We arrived on a Thursday night about 6 and noticed it was not that busy yet. Pauli seated us at Table #3, a deuce, near the porch door. Kristen was our friendly and efficient server, we recognized from The Villages. The wines were presented on a computer tablet. We'd prefer a card showing selections by the glass and by the bottle, but we chose a 6 oz. pour of Stellar Shiraz ($8) since there were no Red Zins. Beautiful, engraved, "hipped" wine glasses already on the table. Full linen service with an eclectic array of dishes, 5 utensils each, a creamer, bread and butter plates and a butter dish, plus old fashioned salt and pepper shakers at our table. How elegant is that? Nice easy pace, not rushed but still prompt, friendly service, even from bussers asking permission to clear your table. My better half had the Butternut Squash Soup and I started with a Caesar Salad. They are included with entrées but the menu appears to be all a la carte, since everything is priced. Kristen explained. The Soup had some chili pepper in it and she said it was "snappy". Not to everyone's taste. My Caesar was a little unusual, with a slight tartness instead of the usual anchovy flavored dressing. Interesting and unique, I finished it. Her main was the 10 oz. Prime Rib "still mooing" ($25) with the Honey Glazed Carrots for a side. I had the 10 oz. Strip Loin ($25) with the Wild Rice side. Her Prime was one of the best she's ever had. I tasted it and agreed, slight smokey flavor, very tender and little fat; it was blood red, just the way she likes it. My Strip, medium rare, was more smokey flavored, fairly tender and tasty like any Sirloin. My Wild Rice was unusual in that it was mixed with Brown Rice and maybe White Rice too, all stuck together. Again unique flavors and style with each course. Can't leave without dessert, so we shared a Chocolate Mousse ($5). Again unique presentation, it was not in a parfait glass, but in a teacup. How cute! I was amazed at how fast the food came out. We were not rushed but we were done in an hour. The owner came by to check on us. Our total before t&t was $79. We'll be back with a large luncheon party in a few weeks. Lovely experience.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 2/17) In making the reservation I was told that because of few bad apples who didn't show up, we can only now reserve two weeks in advance for groups. I decided to come to investigate for lunch. The place is now very well decorated. The place was humming with ladies. Yes, groups of ladies and ladies. Didn't see one single male in the main dining room. I didn't make a reservation but was able to squeeze in for lunch. I ordered Half Sandwich and Soup. I enjoyed the Roast Beef Sandwich but I thought the She Crab Soup was too salty for my taste. If it wasn't salty, the rest would have been great. I want this place to succeed as there are not many places like this in or near The Villages. All the servers were very nice. The owners busy making sure things were running smoothly. Will come for dinner pretty soon and check out the new chef. Hope he or she has the passion to make this place a success. I always believe the food comes first before the décor. My server, Diane, was very pleasant and efficient. Wishing the best. My bill came to $10.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Judith S. 2/17) We dined here with our Gourmet Dine Out Group, and I must say, this is a lovely place unlike anything else near The Villages. The offered rolls were soft and buttery. I had the She Crab Soup, which had large chunks of crab and was well seasoned. It was excellent. I then had the Grouper, which was grilled, and finished in a butter sauce. That was delicious, also! It was reasonably priced at $28 and included 2 sides. The sides included a very southern Sweet Potato Casserole and nicely cooked Asparagus. Other sides offered were Loaded Baked Potato, Creamed Spinach and Roasted Potatoes. Our only bad note was our server, John, who was inattentive and had an attitude bordering on rude. He came very close to ruining our dining experience. However, the meal was excellent, so I will return. My dinner including soup, main and a glass of wine came to $44 before t&t.
Q=5 S=3 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Karen B. 2/17) This is a beautiful old home converted into a lovely upscale restaurant. We enjoyed dinner there last night. I had a glass of red wine, from a paper wine menu. The wine menus were presented on a paper trifold, one for reds and one for whites. We were started off with delicious rolls. I ordered the Prime Rib, King Cut, Loaded Baked Potato and Asparagus. While the Prime Rib was flavorful it was tough. In my mind comparable to outback's Prime Rib, my Asparagus were mushy but seasoned well. The Baked Potato was delicious and perfectly prepared. Our Server, April, was very sweet, but must have been busy as she did not refill the water glasses or check to see if we needed anything else. The tables in this venue are very close to together, almost every server as well as a few guests bumped into the back of my chair, knocking my purse to the floor. This happened enough times to actually distract from my dinner. The restaurant was packed, so it was also very loud. Since it has only been opened a short time, I think I will wait a bit, but definitely plan on going back. Before t&t, with a glass of wine (9 oz), the bill came to $49.
Q=4 S=4 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 2/17) Since the place is so different in terms of ambience and the environment; it's more like a B&B, I want this place to succeed but it's still going through a process right now. One good thing is that an owner came out after we had paid the bill and asked for our feed back. I sensed they genuinely wanted to improve. Our friends were just OK with the food. Unfortunately I had to agree. It wasn't only food but service as well as availability of what's on menu. For example, the lesser expensive bottle of wine was out of stock after I ordered it and ending up paying $10 more for a similar Cab. If dishes are out of stock, waiter should be aware of unavailability and inform the customer before my wife orders. Owner told us they are thinking of doing away with large groups(meaning 8 or more) because it changes the mood. Total bill without drinks came to $43. Wishing them luck.
Q=5 S=3 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Colene M. 2/17) We were early for our reservations but they let us come in and order a glass of wine ($6) while we waited. Since we were quite early, our waitress, Laura, said the bread wasn't quite done and she'd bring it when it came out of the oven. The place is decorated beautifully but it's not real big. The pond in the back it a great feature. We both had She Crab Soup ($8) and my husband had the Stuffed Shrimp ($25) with two sides included. I had the Salmon ($26), also with two sides included. We both had the Sweet Potato Casserole, which was great, and the vegetable of the day; but my Veggies were too salty. My husband didn't have a problem with them. I had Hot Tea ($2) and my husband had Coffee ($2). Total bill before t&t was $89. We were disappointed that our Gourmet Group of eight couldn't get a reservation so everyone could sit together. They said they are doing away with tables of eight starting in March.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Christine H. 2/17) Our Gourmet Dine Out Group of 8 had difficulty making reservations and the leader had to call 3 times before receiving one, 2 weeks later. We were seated in the indoor porch overlooking the pond and against the window. The view was exceptional and although the room was packed, the noise was not too bad. I shared the Crab Cake which was wonderful and full of crab. My entrée was the Duck. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned; came with 2 sides, a fully loaded Baked Potato and the Vegetable of the Day, Squash. Portion size was very generous. Our waitress was April and she was very attentive but at times was unable to explain the menu items. I also had a glass of the house wine which was very good. Bill before t&t was $42 for one.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 3/17) Our club was able to make a reservation for 16 couples for lunch. We had to pay in advance but that was OK. I've been here twice for lunch and I liked the simple sandwiches. I didn't care for Brisket at another place as too heavy but I liked the light Brisket here. Lunch time service is quite efficient compared to evenings. At least for lunch, they are now in a rhythm. Last time I tried She Crab soup, it was too salty but would try again if they cut down on salt. Beans which came as a side was quite good but still I felt a bit salty. My spouse had a Cobb Salad which she also liked. Total bill with soft drinks and t&t came to $36. Am cheering for this place.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Harry M. 3/17) Our party of 4 made a visit all looking for a great Steak. What a HUGE disappointment! One of us had the Queen's Cut of Prime Rib that was terrific, with the other 3 sampling and agreeing. The rest of us all ordered the 12 oz. Delmonico Steak at $39 each. The 3 Steaks were of greatly varying size and thickness, one of which was likely no more than 8 ounces. ALL were tough, with lots of gristle. No one finished their Steak. The server failed to check with us during the meal. It's too bad, as the rest of the meal was terrific, with two shared Seafood Cocktails (Shrimp and Lump Crab Meat), as well as Stuffed Mushrooms. The Bread was warm and delicious in 3 varieties. The shared desserts of Banana Cream Pie and Bread Pudding were also very good. The house wines were also quite good and reasonably priced. The Creamed Spinach was rated the "best ever". The Mixed Vegetables were crisply done, but barely warm, while the Spinach was steaming hot. After so much anticipation, 3 of us were terribly disappointed, especially with an expensive entrée like the Delmonico. The cost for two of us, including a glass of house wine each, 2 appetizers and desserts, was $104. Same for the other couple.
Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.



Postcard
Long Gone - Palm Villa Hotel (1930s)
401 Thomas St., Fruitland Park, FL.
Former home of Realtor, Tom Grizzard.
Built 1893; burned down in December, 2014.

Image
Not Rated Royal Orchid, 3131 SW College Rd. (SR200), Ocala, FL. 22.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-4949. (Asian) [L/D] Formerly called Thai Ruby of Ocala at Suite #206. Open weekdays for lunch 11 am to 3 pm; and for dinner 4:30 pm to 10 pm. Saturday and Sundays from 12 noon on. A variety of meals from Thailand ranging from mild to spicy are offered. Signature dishes include Pad Thai Chicken, Shrimp Curry and Fancy Lobster. Winner 2008 "Best Ocala Ethnic Restaurant" by Ocala Magazine. Beer and wine available. Jairo Hernandez, new owner.

Older Review: (from Fred H. 4/13) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Ruby Street Grille, 221 E. Main St., Tavares, FL. Entrance on Ruby Street. 20.8 mile drive from The Villages. 742-7829. (American) [L/D] Open 11 AM to Midnight daily and later on weekends. Overlooking Wooten Park on Lake Dora. Basically a casual eating spot featuring a variety of Burgers ($8-9) and Pasta ($11-17) plus a few meals like Beef Tournados, Grilled Mahi, Seared Ahi Tuna, Meatloaf and Pork Chops with potatoes and vegetable ranging $12-19. Many sandwiches are also available such as the Ham Muffaletta, Tuna Melt, Turkey Club, Chicken Brie & Bacon and a featured Buffalo Beef on Wick or Shrimp & Crab Balls, all ranging $6-11. Pizza also offered at $7-9, as well as soups and salads ($4-11). Full bar. Frequent entertainment weekends. Salomon Bajares, chef; Andy Saunders & Mike Stairs, owners.

Older Review: (from Richard D. 8/10) Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=No.



Image
Not Rated Saigon Fusion, 16700 US 441, Mount Dora, FL. 24.1 mile drive from The Villages. 800-4052. (Asian) [L/D] Opened July, 2016. Located in the Tri-Cities Shopping Plaza, just west of Eudora Rd. Formerly the Wasabi Buffet, then the New Wasabi Buffet. Hours are 11 AM to 3 PM for lunch; 4-9:30 PM dinner, 7 days per week. They have a vast Asian menu. It offers a selection of Vietnamese cuisine, Japanese Hibachi grill and fresh Sushi. Phở (Noodles) are offered in 13 varieties ranging $9-11 each. Vietnamese Rice Platters run $9-11 each. Ga Xao Xa Ot (Lemongrass Chicken Special) is $10. Hot & Sour Fish Soup ($14/$19) is offered in 2 sizes. Vegetarian dishes run $9-12 each also. Sushi Rolls ($3-11 each) are available too. Hibachi lunch and dinners range $9-26 each. Beer and wine licensed. Khin Ung, owner.



Image
Not Rated Coming Soon (The) Salted Brick, 4180 NW 44th Ave., Ocala, FL. 28.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-402-3172. (American) (Southern) [L/D] To open in the spring of 2017. Located at Trilogy at Ocala Preserve, in the Oak House. It's about 5 miles north of Ocala off US 27. The name is a reference to the salt lick given to horses in hot weather. The décor is light industrial here. It features fine Southern cuisine, plus a table-side cooking of a fondue-style signature meal, meant to be shared. The open kitchen's focus is a wood-fired grill. The building features a multi-level patio for outdoor dining overlooking the Reflection Lake. Full bar. Jeremiah Goodrich, chef. Community developer, owner.


Image
Not Rated Sammy's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, 6106 SW SR 200, Ocala, FL. 23.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-861-2828. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Located in the Jasmine Square Plaza at SW 60th Ave. near CVS. Open daily 11 AM to 8:30 PM, later on weekends. Closed Sundays. Specialties include Chicken Francese, Marsala, Con Broccoli or their house creation at $11.50 each. Made with Veal it's $13. Pasta with Red or White Clam Sauce is $9, Shrimp Scampi or Shrimp Marinara is $12, Calamari or Mussels Fradiavlo are $10.50 and $12 respectively, Red Snapper is $11.50 and a Frutti de Mare at $16 are offered for seafood. Pasta dishes include Spaghetti, Ziti, Linguine, Fazoli or Angel Hair that runs $7-8 depending on the sauce. Baked Ravioli or Ziti, Manicotti or Stuffed Shells is $8. Lasagna is $9 and Pasta with Eggplant Special is $10. Eggplant, Chicken or Veal Parmigiana runs $9.50, $10.50 or $12 respectively. Eggplant Rollatini is $10.50. Brooklyn Style Pizza is made in 9", 14", 16" or Sicilian size starting at $6. Calzones ($7) and Strombolis ($7) are also available. Hot and cold Italian sandwiches are also on the menu. Desserts include Tiramisu ($4), Cannoli ($3), Cheesecake ($3) and Zeppolis ($3). Salads and appetizers are sold also. Beer, including Italian Peroni, and wine, including Chianti, are available too. 20% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Vuksan (Sam) and Colleen DeDovic, owners.



Image
10½ Stars Free WiFi Sam's St. John's Seafood (Summerfield), 17860 SE 109th Ave., Summerfield, FL. 2.0 mile drive from The Villages. 307-7387. (Seafood) [L/D] Open daily for lunch (11AM-4PM) and dinner (4-9PM or later on weekends). Located in the Spruce Creek Terrace Shoppes across from Walmart on US 27/441. Specializes in seafood menu items like Grilled Monterey, Shrimp Scampi, Stuffed Flounder, Grilled Shrimp, Gator Tail, Frogs Legs and even Surf & Turf. Pollock, Salmon, Mahi, Tilapia, Flounder, Catfish and even Lobster can be found on the menu, as well as beef and chicken entrées. Clam Strips, Oysters, Scallops and Crab Cakes are also popular. As are the Blue Crab Claws and Crab Legs in season. A few Pasta dishes are offered too. Most seafood entrées range $12-18 each. Occasional All-You-Can-Eat Specials. Beer, wine and a few mixed drinks offered here. A small chain of a dozen restaurants, started in 1982, using the name Sam's St. John's Seafood and Crystal River Seafood, headquartered in Green Cove Springs, FL. Bajalia family, owners.

Older Review: (from Frank M. 7/09) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Ira F. 4/12) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 9/15) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Stu R. 10/16) The outside sign of the restaurant was not working properly but my wife and I thought we would give them a try any way and we are delighted we did. This is a very plebeian, no frills, restaurant with nothing but good food and low prices to offer. We were seated quickly and given extensive menus. We started with cups of Clam Chowder ($4), Crackers and a Dip (free). Our waitress, Marlene, was quite attentive and cheerful. I had Broiled Cod ($14 special) and my wife enjoyed her heaping platter of Frog Legs ($15). The sides were Baked Beans, Apple Sauce and Cole Slaw and were generous and quite tasty. My wife and I topped our meal with a choice of Pies ($4) which were bakery quality. Unfortunately, no one but us saw the spilled Cole Slaw that sat on the floor near our table from the time we sat down to the time we left. Still, it’s a good place for good food.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Now Open San Jose's Original Mexican Restaurant (Leesburg), 1341 S. 14th St., Leesburg, FL. 11.3 mile drive from The Villages. 805-4174. (Mexican) [L/D] Opened January 16, 2017. Located where the San Juan Mexican Restaurant was in the Southside Shopping Center in 2015. Open from 11 AM to about 10 PM, daily and to 9 PM on Sunday. For starters they have Cheese, Bean, Chorizo, Spinach, Beef and Guacamole Dips at $4/$6 depending on portion size. They also have appetizers like Nachos ($5), Cheese Quesadillas ($5), House Quesadillas ($6), Taquitos ($7), Machitos ($7), Queso Fundido ($8), Premium Quesadillas ($9) and a large Sampler Plate ($15). Chicken Soup ($3/$4), Beef Soup ($3/$4), Tortilla Soup ($4/$5) and Frijoles Charros ($4/$5) are offered, as are House Salad ($4), Taco Salad ($8), Grilled Chicken Salad ($10) and Fajita Salads ($9-11 each). For dinner they have a half dozen Burritos ranging $10-12 each, a half dozen Enchiladas ranging $10-13 each, 8 Fajitas ranging $13-18 each and a few Tacos ranging $10-12 each. They also have Mexican Burgers and Torta Sandwiches ($8-10 each). A number of Vegetarian items are on the menu like Veggie Chimichanga and Chiles Rellenos, all ranging $10-13 each. Dinner Combos make the choices seem endless, ranging $9 to $14. House Specialties are Nachos Supreme ($10), Chilaquiles ($10), Flautas ($10), Tostadas ($10), Chimichanga ($10), Quesadilla Rellena ($10) and Hawaiian Nachos ($11). They also offer Tinga Poblana Platter ($11), Steak Platters, like Carne Asada ($14/$19), Bistec Ranchero ($14) and La Tampiqueña ($19). Three Chicken Platters are $13 each, two Pork Platters are $14 each and five Seafood Platters range $11-20 each, like the Sopa de Mariscos. Desserts include Sopapillas ($3), Flan ($4.50), Tres Leches ($4.50) and famous Fried Ice Cream ($4). Full bar here. Various Margaritas are offered at $5/$7/$16 sizes. Sangria is the same price and Cervesa runs $4.50 for Mexican imports. Occasional Mariachi Band entertainment. One of just four locations based in Ocoee, FL. with another one in Clermont and one in Altamonte Springs. Zenovio and Armando Salgado, Luis Vidales and Miriam Lopez, owners.

Review: (from Walter P. 3/17) Server, Alex, did well considering a full house at 6 p.m. Happy Hour drink offerings were confusing and some of us got "Special" Margaritas rather than "House" Margaritas at increased cost. Nachos come constantly and we ordered small the white cheese sauce which was great and plenty for 2. Two of us had the Chiles Rellenos which was a veggie dish and covered with a thich bready covering. Not that good. Two beef accompaniments were good. Others were pleased with their meals. With 1 House Margarita, 1 Draft, ours was $33. There are better Mexican restaurants closer to The Villages.
Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
No.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Hotel Magnolia Dining Room (1908) (1958)
W. Magnolia St., Leesburg, FL. (demolished in 1971)

Image
Not Rated Scrambles Café, 3233 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 18.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-694-4405. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Located in the Maricamp Square Plaza near the AMF Galaxy Bowling Lanes since 2001. Open just 7 AM to 2 PM every day. "Prepared With Passion". Breakfast all day, (until they close at 2 PM). Scrambled Eggs ($4), Breakfast Sandwich ($5), Biscuits and Gravy ($6), Grilled Hash and Eggs ($7), keep the chickens busy. Belgium Waffles, with butter ($6) or Eggs and Sausage ($7), Breakfast Club Wrap ($8) and a Breakfast Quesadilla ($8) are available, as are Grandma's Hotcakes ($6) or Cinnamon French Toast ($7). There's a Breakfast Sampler ($6) for indecisive diners too. Go with any of 8 kinds of Omelettes ($7-8) or Eggs Benedict Arnold ($7) or the Berry Breakfast Blintz ($7). Specialties like Oatmeal ($4), Fresh Fruit Crepes ($7), Egg White Love Boat ($8), Cholesterol-Free Eggs with Spinach and Tomato ($8) are on the healthy side of the menu. By lunch time they pump out Sandwiches like Stacked Grilled Cheese, Italian Sausage, Philly Cheese Steak, French Dip, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Turkey Melt Reuben and others range $5-8 each. Rolled Sandwiches (Wraps) include Cuban Style, Shaved Prime Rib, Chicken and Cheese, Chicken Salad and others ranging $7-8 each. Large Salads like Caesar, Tuna, Greek, Spinach, Pacific Rim Chicken, Cobb and, of course, Egg Salad Salad run $6-8 each. Soups change daily and sell for $2-4 depending on size. A daily Quiche goes for $7. Oven Baked Sandwiches are their luxury items like Corned Beef, Hickory Ham, Roast Beef, Chicken Salad, Pastrami, Turkey, Tuna and a BLT, all served on a choice of breads that include Marbled Rye, Wheatberry, Hoagie, Kaiser or a Croissant and run $6-7 each. Early Bird discount before 7:30 AM. Free refills on soft drinks and iced tea. Even Hot Chocolate is available. No bar. Winner of Ocala Magazine's 2013 Best Breakfast Award. Stephen and Allison Nile, owners.



Image
Not Rated Shiva Indian Restaurant, 140A W. 5th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 25.4 mile drive from The Villages. 735-4555. (Indian) (Vegetarian) [L/D] Opened April 4, 2016. Located near the Princess Theater building in the old book store between Dora Drawdy Way and Alexander St. Named after one of the major deities in Hinduism. Open daily 11 AM to 9:30 PM, later on weekends. They specialize in the bold flavors of India and Pakistan with a large selection of foods. Appetizers like Onion Bhujia, Raj Kachori, Chicken Pakora and Punjabi Fish Pakora run $4-11 each. Soups include Mulligatawny and Murgh Palak Shorba (both $5 each). Popular Tandoor items include Chicken Chapli Kabab ($13), Tandoori Chicken ($14/$24), Lamb Chapli Kabab ($15), Chicken Tikka ($15), Jalpari Tandoori ($19) and Lamb Chops ($25). Spicy and mild dishes like Chicken Curry ($14), Chicken Korma ($16), Butter Chicken ($16), Chicken Vindaloo ($16), and Chicken Jalfrazi ($16) are on the poultry list. Lamb and Goat items like Korma, Vindaloo, Saag and Curry versions are $17 each. Bombay Fish Curry and Goan Shrimp Curry are $17 each, while Shrimp Masala is $19. A number of vegetable items like Tadkewali Daal ($11), Baingan Bharta ($13), Aloo Gobi ($13), Saag Paneer ($15) and Paneer Makhani ($15) are offered as well as rice items like Sabzi Biryani ($13), Lamb or Goat Biryani ($18) and Shrimp Biryani ($19). Plain, Garlic, Cheese, Peshawari Naan Bread runs $3-5 each. Desserts include Kulfi, Mango Ice Cream, Rice Kheer, Rasmalai and Gulab Jamun Pastry (all $4-5 each). Lunch Buffet runs $10. Beer and wine licensed. 18% gratuity added for tables of 6 or more. Devendra Patel and Davinder "DK" Kumar, former owner of The Tandoor at Lake Square Mall in Leesburg in 2011, owners here.



Image
Not Rated Silver Springs Restaurant and Steakhouse, 5300 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-5215. (American) (Steakhouse) [B/L/D] Moved from Lady Lake in 2011. Located off SR 40, entrance on NW 25th St., just west of Silver Springs Nature Park. Was once occupied by Pernice's Restaurant. Open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM, except closes at 2 PM on Sunday. Appetizers, like Onion Rings, Mushroom Florentine and Cheese Fries, run $4-5 each. Popeye's Spinach Salad, Caesar Salad and a Greek Salad can be found on the menu at $5-7 each. Entrées include Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Stroganoff, Chicken Zorba, Smothered Chicken, Baked Chicken, "Jewish Pot Roast", Granny's Pork Chops, Tilapia Mediterranean, Sirloin Steak, Flat Iron Steak, Fried Fish, Fettucini Alfredo, Country Fried Steak, Baked Haddock, Southwest Sirloin and Black & Blue Steak, all ranging $8-12 each. There's also Shrimp and Salmon at $13 and a 12 oz. Prime Rib at $17. Now offering authentic Russian dishes like Dumplings, Pancakes, Stews, and more. Side salad, starch and a vegetable are included with the meals. Lunch features Burgers, Reubens, Monte Cristos, Cheesesteaks, Gyros, BLTs and Fried Fish Sandwiches, all range $5-7 each. Also serves breakfast from 8 AM. Reservations and Call-Ahead accepted. 10% discount for orders made before 4 PM. No bar. Ethan (chef) and Rebecca Kurland, owners.



Postcard
Long Gone - Pernice's Restaurant (1960)
5300 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL.
"Known for Italian and American Home Cooking"
Now called The Silver Springs Restaurant and Steakhouse.

Closed Sinbad's, 1050 W. Burleigh Blvd. (US 441/SR 44), Tavares, FL. Closed in 2017. Now called KAT'S Grill (see that listing).


Image
11 Stars Gluten Free Menu Sip Restaurant Jazz and Wine Bar, 707 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL. 10.6 mile drive from The Villages. 435-7840. (Spanish) (Wine Bar) [L/D] Opened February, 2015. Expanded to the adjoining store with a bar and additional quiet seating in August, 2015. Located on Main across from Frugals Décor at N. 7th Street. Hours are 11 AM to 5 PM, on Monday, to 7 PM on Tuesday, to 9 PM on Wednesday and Thursday, to 11 PM on Friday and to 1 AM on Saturday night. Closed Sundays. Decorated with brick walls, abstract art, grand piano and cushiony black leather chairs and sofas. Black linen service for dining. Menu includes Soup, like French Onion ($5), Flatbreads, like Ham, Apple, Chicken, Cheeseburger and Capresé (all $7 each), Paninis, like Prosciutto with Goat Cheese, Roast Beef, Teriyaki or BBQ Chicken, Meat Balls, Turkey, Ham & Cheddar, Rueben and Brie & Cranberries (all $8 each), Salads, like Walnut Chicken, Grilled Romaine, Capresé, Spinach, Wedge and Caesar (all $7-9 each), Sandwiches, like Korean Beef and Pulled Pork ($8 each), Tapas ($5-9 each), and Pasta Dishes ($7-10 each). A Scallop Ceviche is offered at $8. Desserts include Crème Brûlée, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate or Carrot Cake (all $6 each). A new wine list has 6 Whites at $6-10 per glass and 12 Reds at $7-10 per glass. 7 House Wines are $6 per glass. Bottles run $18-45 each, including Sparkling Wine for celebrations. Two dozen beers run $4-7 each. Now full bar offered. Features live evening Jazz, Blues and Pop music, Friday and Saturday nights with a dance floor. Thursday features Latin music. Accepts reservations. Benjamin Moseley, partner; Anita Valdez, owner.

Review: (from Mary H. 5/16) A group of 10 neighbors decided to try Sips on a Friday evening. We were able to make reservations and arrived just before 6 PM. Our table was located right by the window which worked out great for us. The décor is very nice with long brick side walls on the sides, wood floors and a very tall ceiling. Shortly after 6 the restaurant started filling up and they had a very good singer located in the back of the restaurant. Our server was Jose and I ordered a Spinach Salad which was delicious along with a house Chardonnay. My husband had the Ribeye Steak along with a Diet Coke. His sides were a Salad and a Baked Potato. He enjoyed his meal. Everyone in our party seemed pleased with their meals. Jose was very attentive and helpful. Our bill was $40 before t&t. The only downside was that once the restaurant started filling up it just got louder and louder. Would love to try lunch here.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 9/16) Not our first time here, but first time for lunch. The menu is the same. She had a Zin 91 and I had the house Pinot G. She had the Prosciutto & Fig Flatbread and I had the Teriyaki Chicken Panini. Both were very good and filling. The wines were very nice. Trina was our server and got lost here and there in the kitchen, but was friendly. Total was $35 with tax.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 10/16) Although the restaurant was very crowded, the hostess found us a small table. Because there is music at this popular eatery, there was a full house. Misha was our waitress and she was friendly and personable. We each had a glass of wine and I had the Prosciutto and Goat Panini and he had the Chicken Marsala. My had a cup of the Corn Chowder too. Both of them were excellent. The bread is delightfully crusty and the filling is very tasty. The soup had a touch of spice, but was very flavorful. His Marsala was just OK. The total before t&t was $50.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kare B.) First time here, lovely restaurant. The tables are not crowded, there is outdoor street seating as well. We ate in the room with the music, so it was a bit loud. We were immediately seated as we had reservations. Our server, Teri-Ellen, was nice, called everyone "Honey" and Sweetheart" (strange since we never met this girl before). We ordered drinks, which arrived 30 minutes later. Service was especially slow this evening. I had the Shrimp and Grits, the Grits were plain, unseasoned and unappealing. The the Shrimp was OK. Thank goodness for the bits of jalapeño, helped to kick it up a bit. My dining partner had the Chicken Marsala, which he said was just OK. He enjoyed his Sweet Tea, and I had 2 glasses of the Zin 91, which was lovely. Before t&t our meal came to $50. We will probably not go back to this establishment again.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Cathy L. 3/17) Our party of eight was seated at approximately 6:30 PM. We had a longer than usual wait we were told because of the Arts & Crafts Fest. they had that day. I had the Chicken Marsala which I thought was rather bland. My husband had Shrimp and Corn Chowder which had one-half of a small shrimp and was mainly potatoes and corn.The Unsweetened Tea was good. Service was very slow. Our meal came to $27 before t&t mainly because my husband had only Soup.
Q=2 S=2 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.



Image
13 Stars Video SKY Asian Fusion Restaurant, 3600 SW 38th Ave., 6th Floor, Ocala, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-0123. (Asian) [D] Located on the top floor of the Holiday Inn Conference Center west side of I-75 and SR 200, behind Cracker Barrel. Open 7 days for dinner from 5 PM, late night on Friday and Saturday and special Sundays for brunch also. Dress code "Dressy Casual" but neat shorts are permitted. Dishes include Lo Mein ($10), Korean Chap Chae ($10), Pad Thai Noodles ($12), Szechuan Eggplant ($12) plus more exotic specialties like BBQ Laquered Salmon ($18), Thai Pork Tenderloin ($20), Walnut Shrimp ($24), 7 Spice Togarashi Ahi ($26), Teriyaki Glazed Sea Bass ($26), as well as Shanghai Strip Steak ($28) and Filet au Poivre ($28). Brown or white rice accompanies these main courses. Also offered are more ordinary wok-based dishes ($12-14) like Basil Chicken, Black Pepper Pork, Kung Pao Shrimp, Mongolian Beef and SKY Orange Chicken or Beef. Steaks and Seafood items recently added. Full bar offering specialty cocktails like Korean White Tiger, Sakerita and Fire & Ice. Very wide variety of domestic and international wines and champagnes by the glass (20) or bottle (140). Special Martinis ($7-10) are listed on their own menu card. 8 varieties of hot or chilled Sake are offered also. Happy Hour is 5 PM to 7 PM. Urban-chic, contemporary Chinese atmosphere. Online via Open Table or phone reservations accepted and advised weekends. Suggested gratuity automatically added for large parties. Winner 2008 "Best Ocala Restaurant" by Ocala Magazine. Golden Spoon Award in 2015 from Florida Trend Magazine. Scott Rollins, general manager. Now operating under the direction of the owner of the Holiday Inn, Danny Gaekwad.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/07) Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/07) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/07) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bob M. 10/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Wendell S. 10/07) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Jack C. 10/07) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Martin G. 10/07) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Michael S. 11/07) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bernie S. 11/07) Q=5 S=3 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sheldon F. 12/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 2/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rochelle B. 9/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Dee M. 6/10) Q=3 S=1 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.
Older Review: (from Rocki B. 9/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 8/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Sheldon F. 10/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 8/12) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Bill S. 6/13) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Walter P. 5/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/14) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ann S. 6/14) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Janice T. 6/14) Q=5 S=4 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Yori O. 6/14) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Christine S. 7/14) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 8/14) Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Stephen H. 1/15) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Mary H. 6/15) Q=4 S=3 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ann H. 8/15) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Cheryl L. 8/15) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Stuckey's (1965)
at I-75, Old Exit 67, Ocala, FL.

Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Small Batch Bistro, 132 E. Magnolia Ave., Eustis, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 308-8901. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Opened January, 2016. Located on Magnolia Ave. near N. Grove St. (US 19NB), across from the Fountain Green Park, where DeLite's Bakery did business. Open daily 9 AM to 3 PM, except closed Sunday and Monday. Breakfast is served all day. Favorites include Quiche, Blueberry Pancakes, French Toast ($6-7 each) or a Breakfast Pannini ($11). You can also find Cookies, Muffins and Cinnamon Rolls ($2-2.50). For lunch they offer Soup and Salad like Roasted Tomato Balsamic Bisque ($4), French Onion Soup, Strawberry Feta Chicken Salad, Apricot Chicken Salad, Spinach Salad, or Chicken Caprese Salad (all $11 each). Sandwiches include Apricot Chicken ($8.50) or Pesto Grilled Chicken ($11). For Grilled Paninnis they offer Pesto Grilled Cheese Paninni ($8), Pot Roast Paninni ($11), BBQ Chicken Paninni ($11) and Grilled Cheese with Chicken Paninni ($11). A Bistro 2-item Combo is available at $11 also. Desserts like Devil's Food, Red Velvet or Carrot Cake can be found here. No bar. Smoothies are $6.50 each and Hot or Iced Coffee, Teas and Soft Drinks round out their beverages. Jill Anderson, chef; Martin and Kim Van Der Sanden, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 5/16) Our first time here. Table service is available. It got busy while we were here on Saturday. We ordered 2 flavored Iced Coffees ($3 each) to start. Sarita was our server. My better half had the Bistro Combo Pesto Chicken Panini and Tomato Bisque Soup ($11). I had the Apricot Chicken Salad Sandwich with homemade Slaw ($8.50). Both were exceptionally good. The Soup was delicious. Nice surroundings, good service and we took home 2 Pecan Scones ($3 each) for breakfast. Total was $31.50 before t&t; a little dear for lunch. We'll return.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Sol de Mexico, 125 N. Bay St., Eustis, FL. 25.2 mile drive from The Villages. 357-0259. (Mexican) [L/D] Open 7 days per week from 11 AM to 9 PM or later. Located on Bay St. a few doors from the Bay Street Theater. A popular Eustis establishment, in business since August, 2009. Colorful warm Mexican interior with tiled roof over hangs, as well as an outdoor covered patio. Chimichangas, Burritos and Quesadillas are the mainstay of the menu. Steak, Chicken or Shrimp Fajitas are also popular. Chile Rellenos, Sopes Tapatios and Tamales are also available. Mexican Salads are the health-friendly items on the menu. Tex-Mex as well as authentic Mexican dishes are offered. Full bar with Mexican beers on tap and Margaritas made by the dozen. A Mariachi Band entertains on the third Tuesday of the month. Ramon and Melina De La Paz, owners.



Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q (Belleview), 5209 SE Abshier Blvd. (US 27/441), Belleview, FL. 11.0 mile drive from The Villages. 347-5400. (Barbecue) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM or later. Ribs, ribs and more ribs. Sonny's competes with the other well known "Rib Houses". Rib Sampler, Pork 3 Ways, Bar-B-Que Chicken with Sweet & Smokey Ribs or Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs are just some of the varieties and combinations. Also specializes in the hard to find St. Louis Style Ribs. Other favorites include Pulled Beef Brisket, Sliced Beef, Charbroiled Steak, T-Bone Steak, 1/2 Bar-B-Que Chicken, Chicken Breasts, Chicken Tenders, Catfish Fillets, Fried Shrimp, Sliced Pork and Sliced Turkey. A wide variety of sandwiches for lunch including a 1/2 Pound Cheeseburger. Side dishes include various Fried and Baked Potatoes, Corn On The Cob, Bar-B-Q Beans and Homemade Cornbread. Fruit Cobbler for dessert finishes off your waistline. Gluten free information available on their website. Beer & wine served. Take-out and catering available. Winner 2008 "Best Ocala Barbeque Restaurant" by Ocala Magazine. Another Sonny's is open in The Villages (see that listing). One of 127 locations in the southeast US, headquartered in Maitland, FL. In business 40 years. Wes Dixon with John, Ken & Kaye Kirkpatrick, franchisees.



Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q (Ocala South), 1794 SW CR 484, Ocala, FL. 16.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-243-5595. (Barbecue) [L/D] Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM.Located around the corner from the Don Garlits Museum of Speed at I-75 and CR 484. They are noted for Baby Back Ribs at $14.59 with two sides and a choice of bread. Sweet & Smokey Ribs, Chicken 'n Ribs, Chicken 'n Pork, Grilled Chicken, Pork 3 Ways, Catfish Dinner, Fried Shrimp Dinner and Grilled Steak make up most of the entées at $10-15. Many combinations available for the undecided. Gluten free information available on their website. Soft drinks and beer only served here. Take-out and catering available. Winner 2011 "Best Rib House" by Ocala Magazine. One of 127 locations in the southeast US. Also owned by Kaye Buglino, franchisee.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 2/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
8 Stars Southern Gourmet & Café, 314 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL. 10.7 mile drive from The Villages. 409-7512. (Cafe) (Deli) [L] Located at the corner of Main and 4th St. where Dandy Sandwich Shop did business. Gourmet Food Gift Shop included. Hours are 10:30 AM to 3 PM daily except Sunday. Often open in the evening for special events or festivals in town. Offers lunch items like a Baked Potato ($6), Nathan's All Beef Hotdog ($6.50), Grilled Deli Wrap ($8), Turkey Reuben ($8), Strawberry Salad ($8), Bacon & Tomato Grilled Cheese ($8), Deli Sandwich ($8), Grilled Chicken Wrap ($8), Pecan Chicken Salad ($8), Chef's Salad ($8.50) or Super Club Sandwich ($8.50). Most come with a side of Chips, Cranberry Salad, Pasta Salad or Fresh Fruit. Homemade Soup of the Day runs $3.50/$5. For dessert, they offer Gelato in $3/$4.50 sizes. Now beer and wine licensed. They also partner with Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe at 410 W. Main St., on Tuesday through Friday nights 5-7:30 PM or later, al fesco style, with Tapas like Chips and Salsa ($6), Pot Stickers ($7), Jalapeño Cream Cheese and Crackers ($7), Pecan Chicken Salad ($8), Potato Planks ($9), Sidewalk Sliders ($9), Caprese Salad ($9), Caviar & Johnnie Cakes ($16) or a Charcuterie Board ($23). Wine by the glass from the Wine Shoppe available. Jim and Sandy Maddox, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 10/16) We actually came to the Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe at 6 PM to sample the Tapas from the Café down the street. Trish was our server. The food is moderately priced so we had 4 items between the two of us. We had the Potato Plank, Pot Stickers, Sidewalk Sliders and Caprese Salad. It ended up to be too much food. The Potato slices were a large portion and were very tasty. There were 8 Stickers, as I recall, all very nice. There were 3 Sliders that were good. The Caprese Salad was large and good too. All were $7-9 each. Our only complaint was that Trish was quite busy with a handful of people ordering food. She disappeared to the Café for more than 50% of the time. Perhaps she could use a cell phone or walkie talkie or iPad to transmit the orders. Service was slow but friendly. When she arrived with our food, it was cold; partly due to the long wait, partly because it was 75 degrees with a light breeze and the long walk from the Café allows the food to cool too. Maybe a microwave hidden near the Wine Shoppe might help. We'd try it again, maybe they will have two servers then. Food was $34 before t&t and the 3 generous pours of Cab were $15 total including tax. We brought home half the food. We'll give it another try.
Q=4 S=2 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dennis C. 11/16) We had a Loaded Baked Potato ($6.50) and a Roast Beef Sandwich ($9) with Jello, Iced Tea and a Coke. Service was just OK. Trish was our waitress. But $18.50, before t&t, for this lunch is too high. Leesburg can't afford this restaurant.
Q=3 S=3 V=1 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
No.



Image
13 Stars Free WiFi Southern Pig & Cattle Co. (Smokehouse & Grille), 6105 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 23.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-2224. (Barbecue) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Opened October 5, 2015. Located near SW 60th Ave. on SR 200, near Walgreens and Kangaroo Express, about 3 miles west of I-75. Specializes in Smoked Pork and Beef plus Hand Cut Steaks and a Salad Bar. Open 11 AM to 9 PM daily. Starters include Fried Pickles, Corn Nuggets, Onion Rings, Fried Mushrooms, Fried Green Tomatoes and Southern Fried Ockra (all $4-5 each); there's also Fried Chicken Tenders ($6). Pig Wings ($6/5, $11/10 & $20/20) are you-know-what. The "Meat of the Matter" is Baby Back Ribs ($15.50), St. Louis Ribs - Plain or Sweet 'n Tangy ($15.50) or Half Babies and Half St. Louis ($17.50). Various other combos with Chicken, Sliced Pork or Beef and Turkey run $15.50 for Ribs Plus 1 other meat and $19 for Ribs Plus 2 other meats. Smoked Turkey ($10.50), Sliced Pork ($10), Pulled Pork ($11), Chicken Tenders ($11), Sliced Beef ($12), Beef Brisket ($13), Half BBQ CHicken ($13), Double Chicken Breasts ($14) and other BBQ Combos run $13.50 to $19. Not done yet, featured, you'll find Chop Steak ($14), 6 oz. Top Sirloin ($15), Prime Rib ($19/10 oz., $23/14 oz. & $25/16 oz.) and a 10 oz. Ribeye ($23) for the Beef Eaters. Not a land lubber?, there's Fried or Cajun Catfish ($12), Mahi ($14), Catfish & Shrimp ($15) and Fried or Broiled Garlic Shrimp Dinners ($15.50). Most dinners come with Corn or Garlic Bread and 2 sides, like Tossed Salad, Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Apple Sauce, Green Beans, Turnip Greens, Okra, Cob Corn, BBQ Beans, Mac 'n Cheese, Fries, Sweet Potato or Baked Potato. Large Dinner Salads and Soup are also offered. Then again, there's the "Family Feast" for 4 folks at $46. Lunch Plates run $9-11 each, while Sandwiches run $7-12 each. You can even get a fancy Burger at $10-13 each. Specials listed daily. Take-Out is popular. Coke® products, Sweet Tea, Pink Lemonade and even Hot Chocolate are served. Beer and wine licensed. Call ahead seating taken. One other location is in Stuart, FL. since 2012. Gary Nolan and Wilston Tomlinson, owners here and there.

Older Review: (from Janice T. 12/15) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 3/16) Three of us drove up to try out the new "Rib Shack" in town. "Seat yourself" works for us. Paige took our beer orders. Little choice here. I had the St. Louis Ribs with a Baked Potato, Green Beans and Cornbread. The Ribs were meaty and good. My friends had the Baby Backs and enjoyed them too. 3 sauces on the table. The Baked Potato was unusually delicious and large. I ate the whole thing. Cornbread was excellent too. With a second beer my total was $23 with tax. Good meal, big menu, nice building, friendly, fast service. A "keeper".
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
13 Stars (The Original) Stavro's Pizza Restaurant, 3223 North Hwy. 27/441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.6 mile drive from The Villages. 315-0028. (Italian) (Pizza) [L/D] Been in business here since 1974. Open 11 AM to 10 PM, Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Owned by the original founder. The other restaurants bearing his name are no longer connected, except for the Eustis location on SR 44. Fresh made pizza made them popular in the area. They have Cheese, Pepperoni, Deluxe, Stavro's Special, Hawaiian, Vegetarian, White and even Greek Pizzas, all under $19 for the large. Now the menu boasts many Italian and Greek dishes like Calzones and Strombolis ($8-14), Baked Ziti, Cannelloni Florentine, Chicken or Eggplant Parmigiana, Baked Lasagna, Manicotti, Stuffed Shells and even Veal Parmigiana all $8-12. Spaghetti dinners with Meatballs, Sausage or Alfredo run $8-9. Greek Salads and Pita items, like Gyros are offered too. Top end dinners include Chicken Marsala, Greek Chicken, Scallops Over Pasta, Shrimp Scampi, Veal Marsala and even Mussels, all $10-15. Beer plus wine available by the glass, carafe and half carafe. Stavros Kountanis, owner.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 3/10) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Frank M. 4/10) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from William R. 11/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 3/13) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Larry W. 8/13) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Fruitland Park Hotel (1910)
Fruitland Park, FL.

Image
Not Rated Steam Shack (at Eaton's Beach), 15790 SE 134th Ave., Weirsdale, FL. 6.1 mile drive from The Villages. 259-2444. (Seafood) (Southern) [L/D] Grand opening was April 28, 2016. Located on the lower level of Eaton's Beach Sandbar & Grill (see that listing) and operated as a separate restaurant and bar offering Raw Oysters, Clams, Shrimp, Crab Legs, Crawfish and other fresh seafood. Sandwiches, such as the Cuban or the Muffalata and some appetizers are also available. Prepay from a posted daily menu. Prices depend on market conditions. Opposite the beach. Full bar. Entertainment on weekends draws beach crowds. Courtesy Shuttle Service for groups of 10-14 persons from the surrounding area by prior reservation form. $5pp driver gratuity suggested. Dave Del Rio, chef; Randy Keuntjes, owner.



Image
Not Rated Stella's Modern Pantry, 20 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-3663. (Cafe) [B/L/D] Opened September, 2009. Hours are 9 AM to 7 PM Tuesday through Thursday and 'til 9 PM on Friday & Saturday. Closed both Sundays and Mondays. A narrow deli offering cheese and bakery items as well as gourmet groceries, meats, cooking gadgets and wines that now serves sandwiches, salads and flatbreads. The menu is limited. Choose from Goat Cheese, Sorrento Jamon or Italian Salami Sandwiches on Ciabatta Rolls at $7.50 each. Also offered is the Stella's House Salad of mixed greens, sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, marinated onions, greek olives, pine nuts, shaved parmesan, homemade croutons and lemon vinigarette for $6. Flatbreads include Wild Mushroom and Red Peppers or Artichokes & Sun Dried Tomatoes at $8 each. Cheese Boards or Cheese & Charcuterie Boards are also available ranging $12-38 for individual or party appetites. House made desserts can be chosen from the case. Wines by the glass or bottle are offered starting at $6. Special events held regularly. Albert Barrett and Stephanie Harrison, chefs; Felicia Tyler and Stacy Atsides Harvey, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 12/11) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Stone Creek Grille, 9676 SW 62nd Loop, Ocala, FL. 30.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-2140. (American) [B/L/D] Located at the Del Webb's Ocala Stone Creek Country Club, just west of SW 80th Ave., north of SR 200.Open to the public from 7 AM to 8 PM, daily. Dinner menu starts at 4 PM with steaks, seafood, sandwiches and salads available throughout the day. Three Course Prix Fixe Dinners start at $10 per person. They include soup or salad and a choice of Boneless Pork Chop Marsala, Chicken Marsala or Baked Manicotti Parmesan, plus a dessert. Other dinners are Liver and Onions ($10), Fish & Chips ($13), Tuscan Chicken ($13), 6 oz. Prime Rib ($13), Stuffed Grouper ($15), Smothered Chicken ($15), Grilled Mahi ($15), Cod with Béchamel Sauce ($16), Grilled Salmon ($16), Seafood Pot Pie ($18), Lobster Ravioli ($17), Shrimp Scampi ($18), 10 oz. Rib Eye ($18), 10 oz. NY Strip ($19) or 6 oz. Petite Filet ($19). All include a starch and a vegetable. Thursday nights they offer a Prime Rib and Pasta Buffet at $15. Friday nights they have a Seafood Feast Dinner. Daily specials. Full bar. Happy Hour 4-6 PM weekdays. Check for hours around the holidays. New Years Eve Celebration starts at 5 PM and includes dinner and champagne. Reservations accepted. Nice views of the golf course. Kathy Mills, chef; Sean Vandak, director; owned by Pulte Homes, Inc.



Image
Not Rated SummerGlen Grill, 1450 SW 154th Street Rd., Ocala, FL. 19.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-307-8788. (American) (Grill) [L/D] Located in the SummerGlen Golf Club Community. Formerly called Moreno's Grill and also known as SummerGlen Golf Club Restaurant. Open to the public. Open 11 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Saturday and 9 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. No longer offers full entrée meals. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus ($6), Steak and Chicken Quesadilla ($7), Fried Artichoke Frittas ($7), Chicken Tenders ($7/$9), BBQ Pork Loaded Potato Skins ($8), Coconut Shrimp ($9) and other dishes are appetizer size. Large Salads run $5-10 each. Wraps and Flatbreads run $7-9 each. Sandwiches like a 6 oz. Burger, Chicken Sandwich, Reuben, Tuna Melt, Pulled Pork, Cold Cut Sandwich, all run $8-11 each. Pizzas have also been added to the menu at $13 each, plus toppings. Sorbet, Key West Lime Cake, Pound Cake Sundae or Cheesecake are offered for dessert at $4-7 each. Outdoor seating available. Open Thanksgiving Day, 11 AM to 4 PM by reservation. 20% gratuity added for all parties. Full bar with Sangria ($5.50), Margaritas ($6) and Mudslides ($8) featured. Kris Mahoney, general manager; developer owned.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Sushi Bistro, 18 SE Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-401-7650. (Asian) [L/D] Opened Sept. 5th, 2009.Weekdays, hours are 11 AM to 9:30 PM; Saturday 12 noon to 10:30 PM and Sunday 12 noon to 9 PM. Formerly The Cool Burrito, this establishment now serves sushi and related Japanese fare facing the square. New Orleans Roll is a medal winner. A large selection of items fill the menu. Appetizers like Yakitori, Spring Rolls, Edamame and Crab Rangoon range $4-10. Salads, soups and noodle dishes are starter courses too. The Chef Specialties include Bistro Beef, Basil Duck, Beef Teriyaki, Shrimp Tempura and Volcano Chicken ranging $15-19 each. Curry dishes of Fish, Duck or Lobster run $15-23 each. Filet Mignon meals range $20-29 each. A Seafood Platter is available for $33. Many Specialty Rolls like Crabby Abby, California, Dragon, Crunchy, Sweet Monster or Lobster run $7-15 each. Of course fresh Sushi like Tuna, Salmon, Hamachi, Crab, White Fish or Eel range $3.50 to $6. Rare items like Sea Urchin, Conch, Salmon Roe, Squid, Surf Clam, Octopus, Scallop, Yellowtail and Masago are available a-la-carte for the adventurous. Vegetarian items are also offered. Lunch items like Udon Noodles, Hosomaki Combo, Katsu Chicken run $9-15 usually. Beer and wine available. Reservations accepted. Silvia Gonzalez and Nestor Espartero (sushi master), owners.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - The Ocala House and later the (New) Hotel Ocala, Dining Room (1915) (1949)
Main St. (now SE 1st Ave.) opposite the square, Ocala, FL.

Image
Not Rated Sweet Potatoes Café, 8075 SW Hwy. 200 (Ste 126), Ocala, FL. 25.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-402-0234. (Breakfast) (Cafe) [B/L] Opened August, 2015. Hours are 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM daily. Homestyle creative breakfast and lunch café located on the side of the Canopy Oak Center plaza where Delancy Street once did business. Offers Egg Creations ($5-7 each) and Omelets ($7-9 each) as well as a 3 item "Create Your Own" at $9 each. Flap Jacks, French Toast and Hand-Held Breakfast Sandwiches ($3-10 each) are also on the menu. Bread Bowls ($10 each) are popular. For lunch, Large Salads ($8-11 each), Soups ($5), Ciabattas ($9-10 each), Wraps ($9-10 each), Paninis ($9-10 each), Crispers ($8-9 each), Burgers ($8-10 each) are all usually served with Kettle Chips or a Side Salad. Specials are offered too. No Bar. Alan and Jennifer Ingram, owners.



Image
14 Stars Video Gluten Free Menu Sweet Tomatoes (Lady Lake), 508 N. US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.1 mile drive from The Villages. 751-2500. (Buffet) [L/D] Open from 11 AM to 9 PM daily and to 10 PM on Saturdays. Sunday Breakfast Buffet runs 9 AM to Noon. Located in the Village Crossroads Plaza on an outparcel next to Insight Financial, across from Sam's Club. This plaza is not golf cart accessible from The Villages. Pre-opened for a Fund Raiser on April 1, 2011. It's known as the "The Salad Buffet Restaurant" with a 50 item counter that specializes in fresh produce, prepared salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot-tossed pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, frozen yogurt and more. Part of the menu rotates daily with a half dozen soups and about 3 pastas being featured. Wildly Blue Blueberry Muffins, Chicken Enchilada Soup, Mac 'n Cheese, Tuna Tarragon Salad, Caesar Salad Asiago and Strawberry Lemonade are just some of their more popular items, not to mention the Chocolate Lava Cake. A few Mexican inspired dishes have recently been added to their repertoire. Some sugar-free, low-fat and vegetarian foods are available for those with more will-power. Nutritional information available for the health conscious. Hand sanitizers on the line help reduce bacterial spread. Members of their email Club Veg get valuable coupons sent to them. Lunch is $8.79 per person plus beverage. The evening fare (after 4 PM) is $10.29 plus beverage. Seniors (62+) get a 10% discount, if they ask. Villages residents get 20% off every day and a meal and beverage for only $8, all day Sunday; ID required. Watch for coupons in the Sunday paper. No bar. This location seats 170. 2010 & 2011 Foodie Reader's Choice winner for "Best Buffet" in the Orlando area by the Orlando Sentinel. Voted 2015 "Best Salads" in the Orlando area by Orlando Magazine Annual Reader's Survey. Started in 1978 as Souplantation in southern California, the first Sweet Tomatoes brand restaurant opened in Palm Harbor, FL in 1990. Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., headquartered in San Diego, CA., now operates over 110 company-owned locations in 15 states, adding about 6 new locations per year. Laura Berube, general manager, here.

Older Review: (from Colene M. 4/11) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 4/11) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Richard B. 4/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ellen H. 4/12) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/14) Q=5 S=2 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Frank K. 6/16) No one in search of "fine dining" would consider Sweet Tomatoes, but the food is always tasty and they manage to throw some variety into their signature salad bar and soup offerings. And I'm sure that no one has ever left hungry! Mary Beth tended our table and if Sweet Tomatoes could simply clone her, they could dispense with their training director. At around $10, depending on time of day, it's a hard-to-beat value.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 10/16) Got a 30% off coupon via email. That's enough to bring us in again. Fresh Salads and toppings, 8 hot Soups, Breads, Pizza and Ice Cream. Yumm! Menu changes often to bring us back. Very friendly staff. Meals for two were $17 with the coupon before tax. Great value here.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Frank K. 12/16) We've eaten here many times and have always been pleased. But this visit was our last. The first staffer we encountered, who was at the Salad Bar at the entrance, was the rudest restaurant employee I've ever seen. Of course, we walked out, never to return. Being nasty to customers is a quick way to kill an otherwise great business.
Return=
No.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Now Open Symmetry Coffee & Crêpes, 108 N. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-512-8639. (Cafe) (French) [B/L/D] Opened in August, 2016. Located in the old Hotel Marion Building, at the corner of NW 1st St. on Magnolia, downtown. Hours are 7 AM to 7 PM daily. Specializes in Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latté, Café Brevé and Cortado Coffees ranging $2.50-5.00 each. A Tasting Flight is $7. They also have French Press, Aero Press, V60 Pour Over and Chemex, ranging $3.50-5.00 each, plus Hot Chocolate and Teas about $4 each. Iced beverages are also made. For food, they offer three types of French Crêpes: BREAKFAST, like Cheese and Eggs, and "Build Your Own", all about $6 each. Also SAVORY style, like Great American Ham & Cheese, French Dip Roast Beef with Provolone, Goat Cheese with Fruit & Nut filling, South Western, and Florentine, all $7-8.50 each. Plus SWEET Crêpes, like S'Mores, Apple Pie, Banana Nut, Blueberry Compote, and a Fresh Fruit and Cream, all $5.50-$8 each. Syrups and Sauces can be added at a small charge. Order at the counter. Occasional entertainment on weekends from 5 PM. No bar. Ted (& Cherie) Lynn, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 10/16) Tried this for lunch. Limited menu. Coffee House feel with a variety of seats. I had an Iced Coffee ($4) and the Great American Savory Crêpe ($7). Offered on a pewter metal plate, no garnish and plastic packaged utensils. Really? The large Crêpe was pretty good, but not special. Service was average. Total was $11. Might be a nice place for a French Press and folk music, ala "Greenwich Village".
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Image
Not Rated Taco 'N Madre Taqueria, 80 N. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-671-5277. (Mexican) [L/D] Located on US 27/301/441 just one block north of Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40). Open 10 AM to 10 PM daily. A Taco Shop (Taqueria) selling such authentic items as Vegetarian, Pork, Chicken, Steak and BBQ Burritos ($4-5 each) or Tacos ($2 each) and Steak or Chicken Quesadillas ($6 each). Some specialties include Beef Tongue. Steak or Chicken Taco Salads are $6 and a King Burrito is $7. They also prepare Sopes with your choice of meat ($3.50 each), Steak with Rice and Beans ($12) and Chicken and Pork with Rice ($13). Tostades de Pata are offered at $4 each. Kids menu available. Mexican Sodas, Aguas Frescas and Beer available too. Marcelino Solis, owner.



Image
Not Rated Tail Winds Café, 1200 SW 60th Ave., Ocala, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-3211. (American) (Breakfast) [B/L/D] Located at the airport - the Ocala Airport, at Sheltair Aviation, just south of SR 40 and north of SW College Rd. Originally called It's About Thyme Bistro, then changed to Thyme Flies Bistro, now called Tail Winds Café, since June 2015, with new owners. The windows offer views of the runway. Hours are 7 AM to 7 PM daily. For lunch and dinner they offer Sandwiches and Wraps like Grilled Cheese, Veggie, Smoked Turkey, Ham, Chicken Salad, Chicken Philly, Buffalo Chicken Philly, Philly Cheese Steak, Grilled Chicken Breast, French Dip, Roast Beef, Grinder, Ahi Tuna and their Bistro Club (all $7-10 each). They can be ordered on Tomato or Spinach Wrap or a Hoagie Roll. Comes with Fries, Onion Ring, Fruit, Salad or Pasta Salad side. Large Salads are popular like House, Bistro, Chef, Antipasti, Mediterranean and Spinach (all $7-9 each). Angus Burgers run $8-9 each and include Bacon Bleu, Smokehouse, Guacamole and Mushroom Swiss, among others. In the evening, after 3 PM, they add Orleans Pasta, Chicken Marsala, 8 oz. Ahi Tuna Steak and 8 oz. Chopped Steak (all at $12 each). A Soup and Salad Combo runs $7. For breakfast you can find Eggs Benedict, Omelet, Breakfast Burrito, Sunrise Sandwich, French Toast or Sausage Gravy and Biscuits (all $7-9 each) to get you going. Kids menu too. No bar but Chocolate Milk can be had instead. Bruce Cordrey, chef and Gaylene Martian with Warner Waller and Debra Martian, owners.



Image
12 Stars (The Original) Takis Greek & Italian Restaurant (Lady Lake) 13761 US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.5 mile drive from The Villages. 430-3630. (Greek) (Italian) [L/D] Pronounced "tak-iss", not "tak-ees". Located in the Beall's Plaza. Remaining establishment to the one in Leesburg that opened in 1980, now sold (see below). Open 11 AM to 9 PM daily, but from Noon on Sunday. Authentic Greek fare like Pastichio ($11), Mousaka ($12), Slouvaki with Chicken or Pork ($14-15), Gyro Plate ($13) and Imported Lamb Chops ($22) are featured. Full Rack of BBQ Baby Back Ribs at $14 is also popular. Pizza ($9-19), many Italian dishes ($9-15) and Greek Salads ($4-9) are also available. You can find Tyropita ($5), Spanakopita ($5), Dolmades ($6), Evegania's Delight ($8), Fried Calamari ($9) and even Flaming Saganaki ($7) for authentic traditional Greek treats. Pita Sandwiches ($5-7) and Burgers ($7) are popular for lunch. Desserts include Baklava ($2), Cheese Cake ($3.50), Key Lime Pie ($4.50) and Tiramisu ($5). Indoor and outdoor seating. Full bar. Reservations accepted. Occasional Belly Dancing shows usually on the last Sunday of the month. Steve & Katerina Tsolakis, owners.

Older Review: (from Howard H. 1/09) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Rosalind G. 1/09) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.
Older Review: (from Ralph N. 10/14) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
12½ Stars Takis Restaurant (Leesburg) 1205 N. 14th St., Leesburg, FL. 10.4 mile drive from The Villages. 787-2344. (Greek) (Italian) [L/D] Pronounced "tak-iss", not "tak-ees", but sometimes listed as Taki's (even on their own website). Different owner from the location in Lady Lake (above). Located at "the split" where US 27 & 441 come together. Open daily 11 AM to 10 PM. Authentic Greek specialties like Pastichio ($10.50), Mousaka ($11), Gyro Plate ($12), Chicken Slouvaki ($13.50) or Pork Slouvaki ($14.50) and Lamb Chops ($17) are featured. Two Greek Combination Plates are also offered ($14-!5 each). Italian dinners like Spaghetti & Sauce ($8), Baked Penne ($8.50), Manicotti ($8.50), Cheese Ravioli ($8.50), Beef Ravioli ($9), Fettuccine Alfredo ($9), Mostaccoli ($9), Eggplant Rollatini ($10), Lasagna ($10.50), Chicken ($10) or Veal ($11) Parmesan, Fettuccine Milano ($12), Linguine with Shrimp & Clams ($13), Chicken ($13) or Veal ($14) Marsala or Picata and Veal Oscar ($15) are also featured on the Italian side of the menu. Most come with a Greek Salad and Garlic Bread. Full Rack of BBQ Baby Back Ribs at $13, Pizza ($7-20), Calzones ($8-16) and Greek Salads ($4-8) are also available. Pita Sandwiches, like Gyros ($6) are popular for lunch. So are Burgers, Subs, Hoagies and Grinders. You'll find Baklava, Tiramisu, Kok, Carrot Cake and Key Lime Pie ($2-4.50 each) are on the dessert list. Kids menu. Full bar. Reservations accepted. Dimitrious and Anna Ioannidis, owners since 2007 and in this location since 2014.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/16) Thought we'd try this place because they are always busy. Saturday night at 5:30 PM and they were half full. They have a full bar but couldn't make a Lemon Drop or Pomegranate Martini. So she had Iced Tea and I had a glass of Cab ($4.50), followed later by a glass of Burgundy ($4). The wine was Carlo Rossi and no premium wines are offered. She had Mousaka ($11) which she didn't enjoy very much. I opted for Penne a la Vodka with Shrimp ($15). I enjoyed mine. It was a large portion which I took half home. Just ordinary food here but Jazmyn, our server, was helpful and polite. Total was $34 before t&t.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 3/17) Called ahead for 5 PM table. Ready when we arrived. Kyna did a nice job of explaining menu and happy hour offers. Attentive service. I had Greek Combo 1, (a nice sample of many dishes). My wife had the Gyro Plate. Our friends had Italian dishes. All had a Greek Salad with Cheese liberally spread on top. Very good warm long Rolls came with meal. Huge portions with plenty to take home for another meal. Ours with 2 Beers each came to $31. Great place.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - John & Pearl Drawdy Wemple's Brez Inn Restaurant (1950), Leesburg, FL.

Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Taste of Asia, 2635 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 22.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-1727. (Asian) [L/D] Look for the thatched roof building under the billboard on SR 200, near SW 20th St. in the location previously occupied by Amrit Palace next to Pappa John's. In business since July, 2015. Open daily, 11 AM to 9 PM, except closed on Sunday. It bills itself as the "House of Noodles and Rice". Some Japanese and Thai items but mostly Vietnamese food is on the menu. Starters include Spring Rolls ($3), Shrimp Rolls ($4) and Banh Mi ($6). For Noodle Soups they offer Traditional Brisket Phở ($9), Ramen Soup ($9), Hu Tieu Soup ($10), Spicy Noodle Soup ($11) and Bun Noodle Salad Soup ($11). For Rice Dishes you can find Veggie/BBQ Beef/Chicken/Pork Rice Plate ($9 each), Shrimp Rice Plate ($11), Humba Braised Pork Belly ($10), Curry Chicken ($10) and BBQ Pork Chop Rice Platter ($12). Fried Rice is $1 extra. They have Stir Fry Dishes too, like Beef/Chicken/Pork/Shrimp Singapore Rice Noodle ($10), Beef/Chicken/Pork/Shrimp Pad Thai ($10), Crispy Beef/Chicken/Pork/Shrimp Egg Noodles ($10) and Stir Fried Beef/Chicken/Pork/Shrimp Ramen ($11). For dessert you can have Turon with Ice Cream ($4.50) or Three Color Tea with Blended Milk ($5). No bar. Smoothies are popular here at $3.50 each. Boba Tea is on the list. Kids menu at $6 is available. Phuong Mai Lam and Tonhu Lam Le, owners.



Image
Not Rated Gluten Free Menu A Taste of Everywhere, 128 SW. Broadway, Ocala, FL. 21.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-3121. (Cafe) (Vegetarian) [B/L/D] Opened January 25, 2013. Open Tuesday through Thursday 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Friday 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM, then 5:30 to 8 PM and Saturday 9 AM to 2:30 PM. Closed Sunday and Monday. Located where Bakers and Cooks and Primary Oven did business, two blocks west of the square. European style Pastries, Cakes and Sandwiches made here. Offers Vegetarian and Gluten-Free items. For Saturday breakfast you can find Belgian Waffles, Croissant French Toast and Croissant with Egg, Cheese & Ham, all at $4.50 each. There's also Eggs, Hash Browns and Bacon at $5 and Build Your Own Gourmet Omelets at $9 each. For lunchtime Custom Sandwiches they offer Brisket of Beef, Fresh Turkey, Fresh Pork and Corned Beef. Their Classic Cuban is $8, as is their Corned Beef, Roast Beef Club, Turkey Club or Turkey Reuben. A Chicken Salad Sandwich runs $7 and a Hunters Club runs $8. A choice of bread and cheese is involved. All the Subs, like Italian, Meatball Parm., Cheese Steak and Italian Beef, run $8 each. Large Salads like Greek, Chef, Mediterranean or Antipasto run $9 each. Spanakopita, Spinach Burger, Zucchini Burger, Mediterranean Salad, Greek Pizza, Antipasto Sub and a Tapas Platter run $4.50 to $9 each for the vegetarians in the crowd. Specials every day, like Baked Ziti ($8). No Bar. Soft drinks, juice, coffee and teas available. Cash only. Joe Cangelosi and Katlin Cox, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/13) Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Image
Not Rated Now Open Tavern On The Square, 11 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-390-8969. (American) (Wine Bar) [L/D] Opened December, 2016. Located on the north side of the downtown square in Ocala, next to the old bank, where BG Downtown and the Tin Cup did business. Hours are 10 AM through 2 AM, 6 days per week. Serving lunch through dinner and late night. A Jazz Brunch is offered on Sundays 10:30 AM to 3 PM, weekly. Some menu items might include Chicken Wrap, Salmon Pescatore and 14 oz. Bistecca Florentine. Tapas will include Burrata Caprese Salad and Garlic Shrimp. Wine Down Wednesday at $4/glass and Ladies Happy Hour 5-7 PM weekdays. Entertainment on weekends and open late. Reservations accepted. Victor Luzaragga, chef; Philip Glassman, owner.



Image
Not Rated Tea With Lee, 944 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 22.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-867-5530. (Cafe) [L] Located on SR 40 at SE 9th Terr. Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday only 11:30 AM to 2 PM, except holidays. Billed as an Italian Café. This tea room offers Quiche du Jour, Chicken Salad Platter or Chicken Caesar Salad for about $6 each. Sandwiches include Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, Turkey, Ham & Cheese, Italian Meats, Meatball or Sausage all ranging $5-6 each. Beverages include an assortment of Teas, Lemonade, Demitasse and Italian Cream Soda soft drink. No bar. Lee Johnson, owner.



Image
Not Rated Free WiFi Terry's Place, 4121 NE 36th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL. 23.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-732-3820. (American) (Sports Bar) [L/D] Located in the northeast part of Ocala, just northwest of Silver Springs. AKA Terry's Sports Bar and Grill. Dive bar that's very popular with the locals for large portions. Open 10:30 AM to 2 AM daily, except to Midnight on Sunday. Burgers are their specialty that range $5-8 each for 8 different varieties. Appetizers include Fried Okra ($4), Fried Mushrooms ($5), Onion Rings ($5), Jalapeñ Poppers ($7), Fried Shrimp Sampler ($7) or Cheese Stix ($7). Chicken items like Chicken Wings run $8/10, $15/20, $22/30, $35/50 and $65/100, if you can eat that many. Chicken Strips are $9. For dinner you can find a Sirloin Tips Dinner ($9/$13), Fried Fish Dinner ($9/$11), a Grilled Chicken Dinner ($11), 1 lb. Boneless Country Ribs ($12), a 12 oz. NY Strip Steak ($12), Grilled Pork Chop ($12), Fried Shrimp ($13), Chicken and Ribs Combo ($14), Fish and Shrimp Combo ($14) and even Filet Mignon ($14) and a 16 oz. King Cut Sirloin ($15). All dinners come with a small salad and a starch. There are also large Salads like House, Chef, Caesar ($4-7 each), to those with Chicken or Sirloin Tips added, at $4-5 more. Sandwiches include Fish, Pulled Pork, Chicken Cordon Blue, Chicken Parm., Rib or Sausage (all $6-8 each), plus they have Subs ($5-11 each). All are served in a paper-lined basket. Outdoor seating available. Full bar. Happy Hour 12-7 PM. Entertainment 3 nights per week. Dennis Durst, owner.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Magic Restaurant (1956)
1712 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL.

Image
13 Stars Video Video Gluten Free Menu Texas Roadhouse (Lady Lake), 745 N. Hwy. 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.2 mile drive from The Villages. 674-9764. (Barbecue) (Steakhouse) [L/D] Opened mid-March, 2016. Located on US 27/441 next to Sam's Club and just north of the Town Hall of Lady Lake, this 7,200 sq. ft. restaurant on a 2 acre outparcel, seats about 280 patrons. Operating hours are 3:00-9:30 PM daily, to 10:30 PM on weekends, but from 11 AM on Saturday and Sunday, with "call ahead" seatings available. "Legendary Food, Legendary Service®" is their motto. Known for buckets of peanuts on the table, bright pine wood interior and staff breaking into line dancing a few times per hour with some Hootin' and Hollerin', this chain offers casual meals in a western atmosphere. They offer "Hand Cut" Steaks like 6/8/11/16 oz. sized Sirloins ($10/$12.50/$16/$20), 10/12/16 oz. sized Ribeyes ($16/$18/$2