Search Button Banner

This is a service of The Villages Gourmet Club containing unbiased ratings by club members without any advertisements. Our purpose is to promote and celebrate good food and exceptional service at reasonable and fair prices. To read 2006-2012 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 WiFi are indicated with a Free WiFi sign. Those offering discounts to AARP members are shown with an AARP Discount 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


"I should consider myself a vegetarian because I eat only those things that consume plant life -like cows. " - Anonymous. Like Us on Facebook

Now 273 restaurants on this page!
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 Blue Highway - A Pizzeria (Ocala), PizzAmoré and Sweet Tomatoes (Lady Lake), all at 14½ Stars. Congratulations!


Closed 110th Street Grille, 10901 SE Abshier Blvd. (US 27/441/301), Belleview, FL. Closed in April, 2014 after 5 years of operation. Soon to become another Texas Stockyards BBQ.


Avatar Coming Soon 1884 Restaurant and Bar, 12 E. Magnolia St., Eustis, FL. 24.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-800-856-1884. (American) L/D. Located where Michael's At A Third Place, before that A Third Place, before that The Moonlight Grill and before that Ferran's Department Store (from 1884 to 1998) did business. The 1884 wood interior remains. Expected to be open 7 days a week from 11 AM. Occasional entertainment. A fall, 2014 opening is expected. Leigh Ann Pippin, owner.


Closed Abio's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, 2377 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. Closed January 31, 2014, after 34 years in business.


Avatar 11½ Stars Video Free WiFi (Miller's) Ale House & Raw Bar, 305 SE 17th St. (SR 464), Ocala, FL. 20.5 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) Rainy night, yet the restaurant was almost full on a weekday. We had Kaitlyn, with her beautiful green eyes, as our server. I had a Red Sangria (and a second) at $4 each that was very different and slightly raspberry flavored. She had a White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Martini ($8). Both were excellent. She had the Seafood Combo ($15) of fish, scallops, clam strips and shrimp, all lightly fried. I had the Fish and Chips ($10) which was plentiful and light too. We both had Caesar Salads at $1 extra instead of Fries. Large menu here and the food comes out promptly. "Big John" was seen working at the kitchen output. He's worked at many places in the area. In all, a very good meal again. Our total was $43. Worth the drive up here.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Reservations were made for our party of 25 from one of The Villages clubs. We were met at the door and promptly seated. Our server, Chris, took our drink orders within 10 minutes. Unfortunately, it took another 30 minutes to get our orders, than another 45 minutes to get our food. The staff was not prepared for a large group, even though reservations were double-checked. I had the Prime Rib Special for $13, but was disappointed that it had so much fat. My wife had an excellent Key Lime Salad. The bill came to $26 with Tea. Several in the group were not happy with their meals. The consensus of the group was that it was not worth the drive.
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.

Avatar 9½ Stars Alfie's Restaurant, 11677 E CR 25, Ocklawaha, FL. 11.3 mile drive from The Villages. 288-9771. (American) (Seafood) B/L/D. Also known as Alfie's Tavern. Located on Ocala Rd. (CR25) about 2 miles west of downtown Ocklawaha. Now open 8 AM to 9 PM daily, except closed Sundays and Holidays. Lunch is served 11 AM to 3 PM, breakfast before those hours and dinner after. 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 9/13) Haven't been here in many years. Now I remember why. Our car club had dinner here for a few dozen members. I ordered what they were noted for - Prime Rib. It came with a Salad of white lettuce and tasteless Lima Beans. My Beef started out OK but the center of it was not only undercooked but tough. It's a large Queen Cut of 16 oz. but only 6 oz. of it was any good. My friend had the same experience. With two beers it came to $25. Crissy was our server and she did pretty good. Can't recommend this place. Don't know how they stay in business.
Q=2 S=3 V=1 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.



Avatar 9 Stars Video Al's Landing, 111 W. Ruby St., Tavares, FL. 20.5 mile drive from The Villages. 742-1113. (American) L/D. Open daily 11 AM to 11 PM or later on weekends. Began operation April, 2010.This new building at the west end of refurbished Wooten Park, houses two restaurants in the "Entertainment District". The lower level of 3,700 sq. ft. is called Al's Landing offering American fare such as Black Angus Beef Burgers ($9), Mini Sliders ($8), Beer Batter Fish Fry ($9), Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($7), BLT ($6.50), Grilled Salmon on a Toasted Roll ($10.50) and Flatbreads ($5-9). You can also find their own version of Surf 'N Turf ($14) - a 4 oz. Filet and 3 Shrimp. Salads range from $8-12 each.With tables inside and lake side, this can be a popular spot on the warm summer weekends. Entertainment is provided every night Wednesday through Sunday. Expanded parking, passing rail service, and new boat and seaplane docks nearby, allow many modes of transportation here. Full bar. Large selection of domestic and imported beer. Happy Hour 4-7 PM Monday through Friday. Pets allowed on deck. Reservations accepted. 18% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. See also Al's Top Shelf (see that listing) and Al's Dockside (see that listing). Travis Senning, owner.

Older Review: (from Colene M. 2/11) S=1.

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

Review: (from Rich C. 5/13) We sat under an umbrella on the deck on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Carrie was our friendly server. I had an Angry Orchard Draft Cider ($4) and she had a Beach Passion ($5). We also ordered glasses of water (one with lemon slice, one without). It took a while for the drinks to arrive and we had to remind her of the water we requested. We both ordered the Fish Boat ($9) which is fried pangasius. That took a while too. Carrie only dropped off one water. The Fish Fry was undercooked and mushy in parts because it is a cheap whitefish. The Slaw and Fries were fine. While there, we noticed a lot of pets on the patio. Evidently it is licensed to be pet friendly. However, one patron had a miniature doberman that wandered all over the patio while still on the leash. After the dog got tied up a few times, the patron put the dog on his lap and let him stand on their table over their food. The servers did not comment to him. He then took French Fries and proceeded to through them up to the sea birds flying around. That did it! We paid our bill ($27) and left in a hurry before the birds crapped on our food. The restaurant needs to prevent pets on the tables and stop patrons from feeding birds while others are dining. We won't come back here until they enforce rules.
Q=2 S=2 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
No.



Closed Temporarily Al's Top Shelf, 111 W. Ruby St., Tavares, FL. 20.5 mile drive from The Villages. 253-5237. (Seafood) (Steakhouse) D. Closed for renovations and will be renamed Al's Flight Deck.



Avatar Al's Dockside, 111 W. Ruby St., Tavares, FL. 20.5 mile drive from The Villages. 742-1113. (Breakfast) (Grill) B/L. Open for breakfast, appetizers and lunches. Offers Burgers, Ribs, Fish Tacos, Pulled Pork, Wings and other light meals ranging $7-14. Occasional entertainment. Pets allowed. Rodger Kooser and Travis Senning, owners here and Al's Landing and Al's Top Shelf.

Older Review: (from Dan K. 2/12) Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard
Long Gone - Harrington Hall Hotel Dining Room (1912)
South Main and Ft. King Sts., Ocala, FL.

Avatar Free WiFi Amrit Palace Indian Restaurant, 3415 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 23.1 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.



Avatar 12½ Stars Video Angelo's Italian Restaurant, 2270 Vindale Rd., Tavares, FL. 18.6 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. $15 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 Jan 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.



Avatar Free WiFi Arthur's Restaurant, 3600 SW 36th Ave. (off SW College Rd. SR 200), Ocala, FL. 23.7 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. 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. Open Thanksgiving and Christmas Day regular hours. Full bar and "Starting Gate Cocktail Lounge". David Lewis, manager. Hotel owned.



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

Closed Artisinal Dish, 6998 N. Hwy. 27, Ocala, FL. Name changed to Blue Wagyu (see that listing).


Avatar Asian Pop, 2611 SW 19th Avenue Rd., Ocala, FL. 22.2 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. Xiao Dong Lu, owner.



Closed At The Pier Restaurant, 965 CR 439, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. Closed after almost two years with this name; now back to its original name of Werda-Hecamiat (see that listing).



Avatar 13½ 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.

Review: (from David L. 9/13) Went to a doctor appointment and asked the assistant for a suggestion for breakfast; she recommended Aunt Fannies and thought we'd try it. Best suggestion we ever had. A very friendly, busy diner. We sat ourselves immediately and a very engaging server took our orders and before we knew it, both orders arrived heaped with hot food. I had Abner's Hasher consisting of 2 Sunny Side Eggs over Corned Beef Hash, Home Fries, Toast and Coffee for $8.49. My wife had the 3 Egg Omelet with Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese, Home Fries, Toast and Coffee for $6.39. If you like a good filling breakfast and you're in the area, a great place to try! With total came to $26.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 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

Avatar 13½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Ayuttaya Thai Cuisine Restaurant, 2437 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 22.3 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. Name comes from the Ayutthaya Province between Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand. Beer and wine only. Korn Kijnijchee, new owner.

Review: (from Colene M. 2/14) We were seated right away. Sara was our waitress and she was very nice and friendly. My husband had a glass of Cabernet wine ($4.50) and I had Hot Tea ($2.25). I ordered the Chicken Pad Thai ($11) which was very good along with a Salad ($3.25). My husband ordered the Sea Scallop dinner ($17) which came with the salad. Their peanut dressing is very good. It did take Sara a while to bring all the entrées but once they were there, everyone enjoyed them. Our meals came to $38 before t&t.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry H. 2/14) My wife and I both had a Ayuttaya Salad ($3.25) with delicious Peanut Dressing. It had a good peanut flavor with just a hint of spice. My wife had Shrimp Pad Thai and I had Chicken Pad Thai. Both were very good and the portion was large enough so that I took part of my entrée home for the next day's lunch. The Pad Thai were priced at $12 and $11 respectively. I had Unsweetened Iced Tea and my wife had Hot Tea. Both were $2.25. The total bill was $34 before t&t. The décor was nice but two of our party had difficulty reading the menu due to dim lighting. There was a low level of background music playing which made it very easy to carry on a conversation across the round table for six.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich. C. 2/14) We enjoyed the restaurant too. Don't know why we hadn't made it up here before now. Sara was our server and she was very helpful. Between us we had 3 Cabs at $4.50 each. We started with Crab Rangoon ($7) which was excellent. Been a long time since I've seen this dish. Could make a whole meal of it. I had the Duck Dinner ($19) and she had the Crispy Duck Pad Thai ($14). Both were very nice meals and came with Salads. Beautiful décor here but dimly lit with small fonts used in the menu. That needs to be improved. Quiet and lovely overall; it felt exotic. Round tables made for great conversation. Too full for dessert. Total before t&t was $53. Highly recommended. We'll be back soon.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Azteca's Mexican Restaurant, 348 Shopping Center Dr., Wildwood, FL. 11.0 mile drive from The Villages. 748-2250. (Mexican) L/D. Located on US 301 in the Save A-Lot Shopping Plaza, next to the optician store, where Angelotti's Pizza was once located. Opened April, 2012. Open daily from 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch , then 2 PM to 9:30 PM for dinner. Offers traditional Mexican fare. Luncheon specials during the week, Specials every weekend. Beer and wine offered. Gullermina De Torres and Antonio Reyes, owners. They also own Copacabana Cuban Café in Mount Dora, (see that listing).



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

Avatar 14 Stars The Bavarian Haus German Restaurant, 433 N. Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 27.2 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. Unfortunately, no reservations taken. 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.

Review: (from Dennis C. 3/13) On a Thursday night at 6:30 they were not too busy. Four guys enjoyed great German food. I had Wiener Schnitzel with homemade Red Cabbage and German Potato Salad. I also had two Wheihenstephan Hefe beers. Linda was a good server. The Potato Salad was not the usual kind most German Potato Salads are made like. This was cold, light with parsley or scallion flakes. Still good but unusual. My bill was $26.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Nanci C. 3/13) The food was really good and the service was delightful. Three of us had Schnitzel and one had Sauerbraten. We all enjoyed our meals. The Apple Strudel was very good but the Cheesecake and Black Forest Cake were just OK. My only critique would be the music, I would have preferred hearing some omp-pa-pa over the macarena! Since I was being treated to dinner, I did not see the bill.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 12/13) The Bavarian House is delightful. There were 8 of us. The owners are very active, and the food is authentic and well prepared. It is "home cooking" as opposed to gourmet, but if you want German food, this restaurant is a solid choice. The price was $52.50 for 1 beer, appetizers, entrees, and 1 dessert. The quantity of food was awesome and feed us for one more meal.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar B.D. Bean's Coffee Co., 5148 SE Abshier Blvd. (US Hwy. 27/441), Belleview, FL. 11.2 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.



Avatar Video Beef O'Brady's Family Sports Pub (Wildwood), 840 S. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 13.0 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. 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).



Avatar 12½ 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 $5 to $9 per portion size. Hot and cold subs ($5-7) offered for lunch. Italian desserts available also. Takeout menu. Limited beer and wine. 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.

Review: (from Walter P. 5/14) Sunday afternoon around 4:30. The place was full. Waited about 20 minutes for a table. Sunday special until 5 PM is "buy one pasta dish, get one free". Even the small portion is ample. We split a large Thin Crust Pizza (which was one of the better ones we have had in the area) and a small Salad. With large Carafe of Wine came to $36 (cash, no cards accepted). Other couple had Lasagna and Pizza. All good with adequate service.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 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.

Avatar Betty's Greenhouse Grill, 3725 Old Hwy. 441 West, Mount Dora, FL. 23.1 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. Open for breakfast and lunch only. Noted for Omelets, Belgium Waffles, Blueberry Muffins and much more. Carl Lau, owner.



Avatar 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. 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. Family operated. Dilbere Dura, owner.

Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) My wife and I arrived at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon and were promptly greeted and seated. Prices are very reasonable for a wide variety of Italian food. I had Spaghetti Carbanari that was disappointing because it tasted like sauce from a bottle with very little added. My wife had the Sampler and she stated it was OK. Our waitress was outstanding. Price came to $24 with no drinks or dessert. We may return if in the area.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Big Rascal Pit Bar-B-Q (& Grille), 3437 NW Blitchton Rd. (US 27), Ocala, FL. 24.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-732-0344. (Barbecue) L/D. Located on US 27, north of Ocala, just east of I-75 Exit #354. Open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM, except Monday, closing at 2:30 PM. Many single or combinations of Bar-B-Q items here. Platters offered are Sliced Pork ($9), Pulled Pork ($10), Turkey ($10), Beef ($11), Brisket ($12), Kielbasa Sausage ($9), ½ Chicken ($10), Skinless Chicken ($10), and combinations of Pork & Chicken ($11), Ribs & Chicken ($14), and a Sampler ($14). Ribs are popular of course, at $15 for Baby Back Full Rack, and $20 for St. Louis Full Rack. Dinners for 4-6 people run $50 and 10-14 people for $100. Garlic Bread and a choice of sides, like Mashed Sweet Potato Soufflé, Steamed Sweet Peas, Macaroni Salad, Bar-B-Q Beans, are included in platters. Sandwiches are also available running $6-10 each. You can also find Burgers on the menu at $6-9 and Wraps at $10, too. Plenty of desserts are offered like Pecan Pie, Key Lime Pie, Hot Apple Pie, Bread Pudding and Triple Chocolate Pie, all at $3 each. Appetizers like Battered Mushrooms, Hushpuppies, Okra and Fried Green Tomatoes (all ranging $3-7) keep the southern influence here.Beer and a few wines available, besides soft drinks and teas. Mark, Kathrin and Charles Mardook, owners.

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



Avatar 10½ Stars Billy's Café (Lady Lake), 13752 US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.3 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.



Avatar Billy's Café (Tavares), 1601 S. Duncan Dr., Tavares, FL. 22.4 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.



Avatar Free WiFi The Bistro (at The Grand Oaks Resort), 3000 Marion County Rd., Weirsdale, FL. 3.9 mile drive from The Villages. 750-9500. (Cafe) B/L/D. Formerly called TG's Gourmet Café and Lounge, now under new management. 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, 10 AM to 4 PM, except holidays and Mondays in the summer. Sunday Brunch is 9 AM to 2 PM. Also open for dinner on Saturday 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM with live entertainment. Breakfast items are limited to Oatmeal ($3), Egg and Cheese Croissant ($5), Muffins, Pastries and Danish ($1-2.50 each). Lunch offerings include Salads like the Derby Caesar ($7.50), Preakness with Turkey and Ham ($8.50) or the Belmont with Tuna or Chicken Salad ($8.50). Sandwiches range from a BLT Club, Beef & Blue Cheese, Turkey, Bacon & Cheese, Ham & Swiss, Italian with Salami, to the Grand Club, all $8 each on your choice of bread. Flat Breads are also on the menu and range from Vegetarian ($8), to 3 Cheese ($8), to BBQ Chicken ($8), to Beef & Blue ($9). Wraps run $8 each and include Egg Salad, Tuna Salad and two Chicken Salads. Paninis are also available and include Vegetarian, 3 Cheese, Beef & Blue, plus a Cuban, all at $8 each. Each meal comes with a bag of Chips and side dishes, like Potato, Pasta or Fruit Salads are $2 extra. Soup is also available at $3/$4. 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 entertainment and evening activities in season. Chuck (Charlie Brown) Scanio, manager; Tom Warriner and Tom Golisano, owners.



Avatar 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.



Avatar 9½ Stars Bloom's Baking House & Restaurant, 610 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL. 10.9 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.

Review: (from Dennis C. 2/14) I arrived at 10:30 AM for breakfast. Took a while for anyone to notice I was there, since it's seat yourself. I had to flag a waiter to ask for a menu and coffee. After I selected my Pancakes, I was told by my waitress that breakfast was over 15 minutes ago! OK, I ordered the Tuna Melt on Sourdough with Mac 'n Cheese. The lunch was ordinary. Would have preferred Pancakes. My bill was $7.75 before tax. Never learned my server's name, but she never checked back on me.
Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 2/14) I had been here a few times before they closed and always liked it. Four of us went for lunch. You seat yourself but within a minute a young man came over and gave us menus and silverware and said our waitress would be with us shortly, that she was also serving 2 other tables. We appreciated that. Within minutes Lori came to start our order. She was a fantastic server. She checked back often and was very pleasant. Three of us got the Reuben, which is my favorite. Good, but the Corned Beef was not as tender as on prior visits. One got the Tri-Salad of Tuna, Chicken and Egg. We all sampled it and all three were flavorful. Good ingredients and just enough mayo to bind it. Two also had the Italian Wedding Soup, which one said was the most unusual and flavorful he has had. Four lunches, three Iced Teas and the bill was $40 before t&t. We bought desserts for take out.They were excellent, but a friend paid for them, so I am not sure of the price. They are baked on premises.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ralph N. 2/14) We had Salads and Fries and Chili with Soft Drinks. Food was of average quality. Prices were reasonable. Décor was nice. Our waitress was very forgetful, missed half the items we ordered including our take out Key Lime Pie, which was very good. Prices ran about $20 for lunch excluding the take out dessert. Would come back for their Burgers which looked delicious.
Q=3 S=1 V=2 Total=6 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 6/14) Seven of us went there on a Thursday night. They don't take reservations, but do take a call ahead. We had a brief wait. The staff is very young, but very professional and knowledgeable. Victor was our waiter and did an outstanding job. Besides how excellent he was, we could overhear some of the other waitstaff and all seemed to know all about the food, offering food and wine suggestions. It was very hard to make a choice since everything sounded wonderful. I had the Tuscan Bean Salad. It was white cannellini beans, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red onion, olives, spinach, feta and lemon vinaigrette dressing. If it hadn't been a public place, I would have licked the plate. Best salad I have ever had. Victor said that and the House Salad are his favorites. Since Blue Highway is billed as a pizzeria, we all decided to go with that. I had Bianca - ricotta, fontina, parmesan, mozzarella cheeses, plum tomatoes and roasted sliced garlic on a thin crust. I couldn't wait for leftover lunch the next day. Absolutely delicious. I am not from New York, but this is the best pizza I have ever had. I finished off with a Cannoli, which is stuffed right then with homemade filling, so the shell was crisp. I hardly ever get dessert any more, but with this I ate the whole thing. Everyone really enjoyed their meal. Others paid for me, so I did not see the final bill, but I calculated that the Salad, Pizza, Iced Tea and Cannoli was about $21 before t&t. I wish they would open in The Villages. I can't wait to go back and try other things.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Diane G. 6/14) Everyone in our party ordered a different Specialty Pizza. One person ordered a Tuscan Bean Salad and said it was the best salad she ever had. Our server was Victor and very attentive. We also ordered Tuscan Fries which were amazing. Our bill with a Pizza, a Caesar Salad, Tuscan Fries, 1 Beer and 1 delicious Peach Sangria, was $28 before tip. Everyone in our party will be going back.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Judy H. 7/14) We heard good things about this restaurant so we took a drive to try it out. We had previously signed up for their email club and received a $10 off $30 purchase coupon which we used. We were greeted warmly upon entering and shown to a table for 2. Most tables are for 2 or 4 with a few unobtrusive TVs in the room. Our server was Chris and he was extremely attentive. Another positive note: many other servers came by to either clear the table, make sure we had refills on our drinks and asked if we needed anything. We shared a special appetizer which was Stacked Fried Green Tomatoes with pesto, jalapeno pepper relish and goat cheese. All the flavors worked very well and this was delicious. We also shared a Caesar Salad. It was pretty typical. Good, but nothing outstanding. We ordered one thin crust Marguerite Pizza and one Sicillian (thick crust) Abruzzese Pizza. Both were very good. Their crust is slightly buttery and crisp. There are other items on the menu. We noticed some other diners had Pasta dishes which looked good. Needless to say, we had plenty of leftovers to enjoy for a few meals at home. The meal was $37.10 with 2 drinks.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Blue Wagyu, 6998 N. Hwy. 27, Ocala, FL. 28.1 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.


Avatar Bombay City Indian Restaurant, 2635 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 22.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-671-6666. (Indian) L/D. Located where Amrit Palace Indian Restaurant did business before it moved. It's next to the Chevron Station at SW 27th Ave., across from Boston Market. Opens 11 AM daily. Presenting typical Indian fare for lunch and dinner. Beer and wine available. Raj Kumar, owner.



Avatar 11½ Stars AARP Card Video Gluten Free Menu Bonefish Grill (Ocala), 4701 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-873-3846. (Seafood) D. Opens at 4 PM daily and 11:30 AM on Valentine's Day. Now Sunday Brunch offered 11 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 4:00 PM daily, right on their website. You can also use "Call Ahead" seating for same day reservations. 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; Dorothy Boylan, Proprietor.

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.



Avatar 12 Stars Video Braised Onion Restaurant, 754 NE 25th Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.3 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 was vacant for 22 months. Loring and Marge Felix, who ran Felix's and Felix's Italian Casa in the 1890 House in Ocala for 9 years, opened this new casual dining spot 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. 20% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Full bar and a limited wine list. Happy Hour 4-6 PM. Loring Felix, executive chef and winner of Ocala Magazine's 2013 Best Chef Award; 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.

Review: (from Janice T. 2/13) Our party of 8 had reservations for 6 PM. When we arrived a few minutes early, our table was ready for us. We were seated at a round table, as requested. Our server, Joe, did an outstanding job. I had the Grilled Salmon; all four men had the Calves Liver. The other ladies had the Eggplant Rollatini, another Grilled Salmon and a Pecan Crusted Salmon. Everything was delicious and cooked to perfection. We all shared an Onion Loaf appetizer. What an excellent starter it was. Everyone in our group enjoyed their meal. No one had any room for coffee and dessert. Our check was $41 including tax, for the two of us. We also ordered and paid for the Onion Loaf appetizer for the table. We each had a soft drink also. We dined here in August 2012, and I gave this restaurant a great review. Nothing has changed, it is still a terrific restaurant, in my opinion. My only concern is that this restaurant still has those uncomfortable wooden chairs.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Paula M. 4/13) Having heard good things about the restaurant, we decided to do lunch there. They get an A+ for the décor. We were seated immediately, but it took several minutes for Andrew to stop by and say he'd be with us shortly. Shortly was yet another several minutes. After receiving our drinks (just water and soda), we each ordered one of the daily specials for $10, figuring that they would be good options. He got the Southern Fried Chicken and I had the New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. We both had Cheese Grits and Collard Greens for our sides. The chicken tasted like it had been fried earlier and then kept warm. It was dry, and also seriously lacked flavor. The five shrimp were good sized and cooked properly, but very salty seasonings and the sauce overpowered them. In fact, salty was the operative word for the grits and greens as well. Salt is fine, but not when it obscures any other flavors. We had to wait longer than we wanted for the check and then for it to be picked up and then for it to be returned and the restaurant was not at all crowded. I would like to go back, as the menu looks interesting and mostly because it should be good, considering it's partly run by Marge and Loring Felix. Unfortunately he has no desire to try again, so we'll have to have a "discussion" about that. With tax, but before tip, our bill came to $24.
Q=2 S=3 V=4 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes/No.

Review: (from Judy H. 11/13) We were the leaders for our Gourmet Club Dine Out Group plus a couple visiting us from Virginia. We went on a Friday night since that was a Jazz night. We had requested a round table for 10 and it was ready and set for us upon arrival. We ordered a few appetizers for the table, the Onion Loaf and two of the special appetizers, Tzatziki Tenderloin. They were absolutely delicious! Entrées included Meatloaf, Southern Fried Chicken, Filet Mignon, Chicken Marsala, Eggplant Rollatini, Macaroni and Cheese, Braised Beef Ribs. The winners were the Chicken, Beef Ribs, Mac and Cheese and the Filet. Others were also good. Prices are reasonable, ranging from $11 to $24. Portions are large, food was served hot and timely, rolls were warm and delicious. Excellent service from Cheri. 20% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. As all were coming to our home for dessert, no one ordered it here. The jazz in the background was a perfect accompaniment to dinner. The only drawback is the distance, since it is in Ocala.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 3/14) The restaurant was quite crowded, but we were seated immediately. Our server, Amanda, took our drink order and we shared a bottle of Malbec wine ($30) which was brought promptly. I had the Liver and Onions ($11.50) which was very good. The liver was tender and cooked perfectly. My salad was white lettuce and nothing special. We both had the Bisque Soup. Nothing special. My dinner partner had the 12 oz. Prime Rib ($23) and said it was very good. It was a nice experience but for a restaurant like this I would expect linen napkins and a more elegant feel and it just falls short of both. I have not been overly impressed either time I have been here. The service was very good however. Our total with the wine was $69 before t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 5/14) This restaurant is fine, but I expected a little better. The Braised Onion Flatbread was pretty special, but my Short Ribs were basic Pot Roast; none of the braised onion flavor was evident. The Eggplant Rollatini was good. The 2 for 1 House Wine was good. The Old Fashioned was fine. Nothing was better than fine or good, but it was that. Eight people left pretty happy, but the restaurant very nearly does better; it's a very good looking facility, live music was even well modulated. Jeannie was a good waitress; our tab for 1 appetizer, 2 entrées, and 3 drinks was $70.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 5/14) Another enjoyable experience at this restaurant. Our server, Jeannie, did an excellent job taking care of us. She also had a wonderful personality and was funny. I had the Grilled Salmon ($15.50) and my husband had the Beef Short Ribs ($20). Both were excellent. I just had water and my husband had the 2 for 1 Happy Hour House Merlot. It was $6. Happy Hour is 'till 7 PM. We ordered an Onion Loaf appetizer to share with the others. Delicious. Everyone else enjoyed their meals immensely. Some of the other meals were Liver and Onions, Pecan Crusted Salmon, Roasted Lamb (a feature for the evening) and Eggplant Rollatini. Gratuity was automatically added to our check. Before the gratuity and tax, our bill came to $48. Again my only concern is those uncomfortable wooden chairs. Sure wish they would do something about it. We will return for sure.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 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.

Avatar Brick City Café, 10 NE 1st St., Ocala, FL. 21.6 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). 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.



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


Avatar Brooklyn's Backyard, 2019 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.2 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). Beer and wine available, even by the bottle. Specials daily. Timothy and Janice Thomas, owners.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Buffet City, 1512 SW 10th St., Ocala FL. 21.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-236-8848. (Asian) (Buffet) L/D. Opens daily at 11 AM. This huge, 12,000 square foot Chinese Buffet, formerly the Stillwater Saloon and then Makos Beach Club, is located at the corner of SR 200 (SW College Rd.) and Martin Luther King Ave. (SW 16th Ave.), diagonally across from the SunTrust Bank. Opened November 19th, 2011. Sushi Bar, Habachi Grill and Mongolian Barbecue are included in this very large restaurant that is primarily a buffet.With about 150 items available, this Oriental venue offers a very wide selection of choices, both hot and cold. Beer and wine is offered. Playground for kids. Open Christmas Day to 8 PM. Nai Rong Li, owner.



Avatar Buzzard Beach Bar & Grill, 2050 W. Burleigh Blvd. (US 441), Tavares FL. 18.8 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 5/14) Why not give this place a try? Four guys all had bottle beer each (limited selection) and ordered from our server, Ciena (named after an old Oldsmobile). She was the dining room server, the dock/patio server and the bar maid too. Sure kept her busy. But after we finished our second beers, we still wondered where our food was. Finally my Burger, his Bratwurst, his Fried Oysters and his Stripsteak Sandwich all arrived. Ciena was friendly but the whole process was too sloooow. $15 was my total with tax, I presume. Good Burger but nothing to rave about here unless you like deciphering tattoos.
Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
No.



Closed Café Gianni, 31 East Magnolia Ave., Eustis, FL. Located here since 2008, it closed its door in June 2014 to relocate to Mount Dora.



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

Avatar Café Havana, 923 N. Magnolia Ave., Ocala FL. 22.4 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.



Avatar Now Open 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.



Avatar Free WiFi Now Open Cajun Quarter, 123 S. Joanna Ave., Tavares, FL. 20.4 mile drive from The Villages. 508-1192. (American) (Southern) L/D. New owner, Travis Senning, changed Tasso Cajun Kitchen to Cajun Quarter in February, 2014 and it became part of the Al's Landing compound. Open 11 AM to 11 PM daily, except 10 PM on Sunday. Louisiana dishes such as Andouille Red Beans & Rice ($11.50), Parmesan Crusted Chicken ($12.50), Catfish ($13), Jambalaya ($13.50), Shrimp or Crawfish Étouffée ($13.50), Shrimp Linguine ($15), and Seafood Gumbo ($16) are offered all day. Cajun spices added to your taste or omitted. The Sandwich List includes Cajun Chicken Club ($9), Nola Fried Chicken ($7), Cajun Burger ($9), Blackened Chicken ($10.50), Andouille Po' Boy ($10.50), Shrimp, Oyster or Catfish Po' Boy ($12.50 each), plus a Half or Whole Muffuletta ($9/$16). Onion Soup ($6), or Crab Bisque ($7/$9) are offered. Salads are also popular like Herb Grilled Salmon Salad, Shrimp Cobb, or Spinach & Bacon Salad, all range $5 to $12 each. Lunch items like Fried Green Tomato BLT, Jambalaya, or Fried Fish 'n Grits are all $8 each. Desserts, like Beignets, available too. Full bar. Entertainment on weekends.

Review: (from Shirley F. 5/14) We found this place after many detours in Tavares. It was worth every twist and turn! Samantha greeted us promptly on arrival and took our drink orders, although she was new and not familiar with the wines, but she offered a taste. We looked over the menu which is typical Louisiana cuisine. The 4 of us ordered Fried Green Tomatoes which were plump tomato slices in a crunchy, spicy coating, not soggy, served with a Remoulade Sauce that was outstanding. We each had different entrées and were pleased with the presentation and meals. The Shrimp were plump, juicy with a slightly sweet. with slightly spicy barbeque sauce served over the creamiest, Cheese Grits that I've ever had. One of the ladies wanted Fried Oysters, which are not on the menu other than a sandwich and Samantha offered to just bring the Oysters, with a slice of bread. The Crawfish and Shrimp Étouffés were nicely prepared, rich with Trinity Veggies in a well integrated spicy sauce. To top it off, the Beignets were as light as air and a fitting finish to a wonderful meal - as good as anything we've had in New Oreans. The whole meal, including 2 Wines and 2 Martinis came to $92. We would go back in a minute!
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.



Avatar 12½ Stars Carmine's Café, 8810 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala, FL. 26.5 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 10/13) Waited a long time to try this place. It's a little drive out here. On a Monday night, we didn't need reservations. The tables are pre-set with glassware and napkins. It looks inviting as you enter. The old man waited on us. Their wine and beer selection is very limited. We had two Cabs and they were generous pours and acceptable quality. We started with Artichokes French which were excellent. We also had Caesar Salads which were just OK (but an up-charge). She had the Salmon dish which she enjoyed but was a huge portion, so we took it home. I had the Chicken French which was very good. Our friends enjoyed their meals too. However the old man was very slow in taking our orders and bringing our bill. We had to ask twice. He stayed talking to his friends at another table and never checked on us. Luckily a waitress helped bring the food. The waitress's son and husband hung around the bar all night playing games. Made the atmosphere very un-professional. This might be a restaurant where a crowd might make a better experience. The food was good enough to try again. Two meals, one appetizer and two generous wines came to $36 with tax.
Q=5 S=2 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bruce W. 7/14) Our dine-out group of 14 went on the road to Carmine's for some delicious Italian food. As with several Italian restaurants in the area, the owner/manager is from Sicily, and helped serve the food. Our group arrived at the reserved time of 6 PM, were pleasantly met, and the tables were beautifully set and ready for us. The café seats about 35, but was completely full on this Tuesday evening. We tasted nearly all of their menu items which ran the from Spaghetti Carbonara to Veal Cacciatore and ranged from around $10 to $15 each, and to a person loved our food. It had lots of garlic. All of us talked about coming back again.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



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

Avatar 12½ Stars Casa Mia Café (Ristorante Italiano), 505 W. Main St., Tavares, FL. 20.5 mile drive from The Villages. 742-9940. (Italian) L/D. Open 11 AM to 9:30 PM Monday through Friday (to 10 PM on Friday) and 4:30 PM to 10 PM on Saturday. Closed on Sunday. Formerly on E. Alfred St., now in the Belton Building across from the courthouse. Family run. Italian déor with soundproofing to help keep down the noise. Typical Italian items are offered from Pasta to Chicken and Beef. Seafood items are also featured. Antipasto ($12 for two) makes a good starter. Tortellini Pavarotti ($15.50) is one of their popular specialties; so is Eggplant Rollatine appetizer ($8.50), Vitello Marsala, Piccata, Romana or Francese, Lobster Ravioli, Linguine Marinara and Pollo Piccata, Marsala or Francese all running $13 to $19 each. Pastas include Penne Boscaiola, Linguine & Sausage or Aglio e Olio, Lasagna, Gnocchi, Manicotti or Tortellini Cardinale, Pappardelle Norcia, Fettuccine with Meatballs and many others all ranging $11 to $15. Pizzas are also popular ranging $9-20 depending on size and toppings. The sauces are all homemade. Many desserts, like a French Profiterole are offered including heavy New York Style Cheesecake. Beer and wine offered. Patio seating available, also a private banquet room for 20-25. 2009 winner for "Best Italian Restaurant in Lake County" by Lake Magazine. Rocco Gaglioti, chef and owner.

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

Older Review: (from Ginny H. 9/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

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

Older Review: (from Bev R. 1/11) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Sandy K. 1/11) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.

Older Review: (from Ellen H. 1/11) Q=3 S=5 V=2 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from James D. 8/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Charles H. 9/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

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

Review: (from Walter P. 11/13) Round table for six, as requested, was ready on our arrival. Very busy Saturday evening, but the staff coped fairly well. Debrah explained the meals and specials very well. Meals arrived hot and all at once. No shortage of raves from all about their meals. I had the Veal Marsala; my wife had the Swordfish Special; we both had the homemade wide Pasta (several other pastas are available which come with the meal). Both very tasty, however, I've have had more tender veal, but it was OK. Bread and herbed olive oil dip and a small Salad with house dressing included with the meals. No one ordered dessert, but there was a nice selection. $20 corkage fee for own wine is high. Our bill with bottle of wine and tax was $81. Will try for lunch some day.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) Excellent family run restaurant. The Gnocchi with Meat Sauce was excellent and the Shrimp Pasta also great. The Mussels appetizer had great broth, but only 6 Mussels for $11. The bread was homemade and really good. The service was well coordinated, knowledgeable, friendly and really operated as a team. I'm looking forward to future visits.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Catfish Johnny's Restaurant, 2396 North CR 470, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. 27.6 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.



Avatar 11½ Stars Cecile's French Corner Café, 237 West 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 25.4 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.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 1/14) Three of us went there before a community theatre production. The outdoor seating has been expanded, but we chose to eat inside. We were served by Deborah, who was outstanding. All three of us had Hot Tea or water and fresh hot water and lemons were continually provided. I had the Nova Salmon Quiche. Very generous portion, good crust, really delicious with a lot of salmon. A fresh Side Salad with a vinagairette dressing was also very good. Another one had the Broccoli Quiche and the third had the Nova Salmon Salad. Both said their meals were delicious. One Quiche with Salad and Hot Tea was $13 before t&t.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Cedar River Seafood (Leesburg), 8609 US Hwy. 441, Leesburg, FL. 15.6 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.



Avatar Charlie Horse Restaurant & Lounge (Ocala), 2426 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 20.7 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.



Avatar Video Video Coming Soon Chef's of Napoli III (Wildwood), 9807 N. US Hwy. 301, Wildwood, FL. 9.5 mile drive from The Villages. (Italian) (Pizza) L/D. Located in the Wildwood Oaks Business Center, at CR 124A, 2 miles south of CR466, next to Lucky U Cycles. Expected to open in August, 2014. To be open daily from 11 AM, Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon. Closes at 9 PM or an hour later on weekends. A large restaurant taking up 3 suites of this new strip mall. Specializes in southern Italian dishes direct from Italy. Menu expected to be Antipastos ranging from $6 for Bastoncini di Mozzarella to Salmon Marinato at $10. Large and small Salads range $5-7 for small and $6-10 for large. Pasta dishes will start at $9 for pasta and sauce, to $12 for Fettuccine alla Carbonara. Other items may include Ravioli ($10), Lasagna ($12), Eggplant Parmiagiana ($12) to the Napoli Trio ($15). Various Chicken dishes range $11-14, Veals dishes $13-17 and Seafood $12-22 each. Two sizes of Pizza wil start at $9 for the 14", while Specialty Pizzas will range $12-17 depending on size and toppings. Lunch items will include Heros ($7-9) Paninis ($7-9) and Focaccias ($4-5). Cannoli, Cheese Cake and Tiramisu for dessert range $3-4 each. Beer and wine only, including Italian imports. This is the third location for these restauranteurs. The first is on Powell Rd. in Spring Hill. The second location is on US 41 in Inverness (see that listing). Full linen service. Luigi Barile, Antonio & Concetta Cacace, owners.


Avatar Chicken Time Cuban Restaurant, 10819 SE Hway US27/441, Belleview FL. 11.6 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.

Closed Cody Jack's Restaurant, 650 US 27, Minneola, FL. Closed.

Avatar Cody's On 4th, 111 East 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 27.3 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.



Avatar 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 noon-10 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.



Closed Colonial Tavern, 2060 S. Bay St., Eustis, FL. Closed in June of 2014.



Avatar 12½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Now Open Confessore Pasta Cucina, 2468 US Hwy. 441, Fruitland Park, FL. 5.8 mile drive from The Villages. 431-3814. (Italian) L/D. A new pasta house opened in May, 2014. Located in the Park Central Plaza just before the Boot Barn, next to Rae Rae's. Open 2:00-9:30 PM daily, seven days a week but closed Monday and Tuesday off season. Linen service under glass in a comfortable cozy setting. Specializes in just pasta in 7 different shapes from Linguine, to Tagliatelle, to Cappellini, to Reginette, to Pappardelle, to Gnocchi and more. Then add your choice of 3 dozen unique sauces from Napolitano recipes, ranging from $10-17 each, like Butter & Garlic ($10), Oregano-Garlic-Breadcrumbs ($11), Cream-Flour-Nutmeg ($11), Butter-Lemon-Capers-White Wine ($12), Cream-Gorgonzola-Sage-Nutmeg ($12), Butter-Garlic-Parmesan-Olive Oil ($13), Black Mussels-Anisette-Garlic-White Wine ($14), Shell Fish Array-Red Wine-Tomatoes ($17) and two dozen others. Gluten-free pasta on request. Salad and Garlic Bread included with your meal. Before the meal enjoy a special Antipasto ($8pp) or Caesar Salad ($6pp) both prepared table-side or a plated Caprese Salad ($7). The ubiquitous Italian Wedding Soup ($5) is also available. 9 Paninis were recently added to the menu and run $8-10 each. Early dinner (2:00-4:30 PM) is $1-3 less. Desserts include Pizzelles ($4), Ricotta Cheesecake ($6) or Italian Cookie creations ($5-6). Sunday is "Gnocchi & Gravy Day" at $18pp. A children's menu is also available at $4-6. Beer and wine served here. Geraldo (Jerry) and Agatha Confessore principals; Ronald and Joyce (Confessore) Berry, owners.

Review: (from Judy H. 6/14) The owners seem to be very nice people, aiming to please, greeting you warmly when you enter. Joyce, the owner, stopped by during dinner to thank us for coming in and to see if there was anything we needed. Very nice touch. The waiter, Anthony, was very attentive and also eager to please. Linens, cloth napkins and pictures of Italy on the wall complete the décor. The place looks spotless too. Now to the food. 4 types of Pasta with 20+ choices for sauces, some with Shrimp and Mussels. Each entrée comes with a choice of Salad with 3 dressing choices or the Caesar Salad plus Garlic Bread. The Garlic Bread was hard and when we told that to the waiter, he immediately made 2 more that were much softer. We had Spaghetti and Meatballs and Pasta with a lemon sauce, cream and parmesan. There was one large meatball atop the pasta. The dish was somewhat bland, but all in all, OK. They do give you the option of asking for the Pasta made spicier with red pepper flakes. The Lemon Pasta was very rich and filling, only able to eat half of it. The pasta itself on both dishes was fresh and good and came steaming hot. The jury is out on would we go back again as the Lemon Pasta dish was too rich for me and I didn't feel well for about an hour after that. However, if you are in the area, this is worth giving it a try. Everyone's taste is different and I think many would like this restaurant.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/14) Came with two other friends. On a Thursday, the restaurant gradually filled by 6 PM. Very nice atmosphere with linen under glass table tops. Takes a while to study the menu. And... the type is too small to read! Kathleen was our server. She was pleasant and talkative. Bread was brought to the table but... no bread plates offered. I started with a Caesar Salad, that turned out to be good but very small on a flat plate. I used that plate for my bread eventually. I had the Penne Bolognese and one Meatball. One of my friends had the Pasta Pie Special (Baked Pasta Bowl). The portion was generous and filling - it IS Pasta you'll remember. Mine was slightly overcooked, instead of al dente. One nice touch, the other server stopped by and cleared used dishes while Kathleen was busy. When it came to wine we all had a tough choice; none of the wines offered were notable. We all went with the red blend which turned out to be too sweet for our taste. We were charged for the Chianti in error and had to bring that to Ron's attention. They could use a better wine selection or a $10 corkage fee instead. That would help their business. "Wine makes the meal", especially in Italy. Total with one glass of wine was $22.50 before t&t. Not an economical pasta meal but we all enjoyed it. Joyce made the rounds. It would be nice to have one "Carne Special" each night like Veal or Chicken as an alternate to the Pastas. We'll be back on "Gravy Day". I hope they succeed.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Continental Country Club, 50 Continental Blvd., Wildwood, FL. 15.1 mile drive from The Villages. 748-0050. (American) (Barbecue) L/D. Opens 11 AM daily except Sunday; usually closes 8 PM in winter but during the summer, closes 6 PM on Monday and Wednesday, 7 PM on Tuesday, 8:30 PM on Thursday and 8 PM on Friday and Saturday. Open to 9 PM on Saturday in the winter. Sunday hours are 9 AM to 6 PM, when breakfast is served until 2 PM. Located in the Continental Country Club 55+ Adult Community off SR 44, east of Wildwood. Restaurant consists of a dining room and lounge. 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. Watch for money saving coupons in Thursday's Daily Sun. Check their website for special offerings. Debra Egger and others, new owners.

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



Avatar 13½ Stars Copacabana Cuban Café, 320 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 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. De Torres and Reyes also opened Azteca's Mexican Restaurant in Wildwood (see that listing).

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.

Review: (from Sharon B. 7/13) Our server this evening was Alberto and he was terrific. I had the Zarzuela, which is a Fish Stew. It had clams, scallops, calamari, shrimp and lobster tail. I enjoyed it. Another time I had the Picadillo, which I really enjoyed as well. There was one person in our group of 6 who was dissapointed in her meal; it was Arroz con Pollo and it was a lot of rice and not much chicken. Another person ordered Sangria. It had no fruit and was in a tiny glass. They gave him a new glass with much more Sangria and lots of fruit. Our meal was $32, which I felt is fair.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 12½ Stars Free WiFi Cotillion Southern Café, 101 North Main St. (Hwy. 301), Wildwood, FL. 11.8 mile drive from The Villages. 748-1223. (Southern) B/L/D. Now open 8 AM to 10:30 AM Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast, 11 AM to 2:30 PM, same days, for lunch and for "supper" from 4:30 to 8 PM Wednesday through Saturday only. Closed Sunday and Monday all day and Tuesday night. Located in a former 1920s 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 ($18), Alabama Fried Catfish ($12-14), St. Augustine Crab Cake ($18-20), Seafood Platter ($22), Southern Jumbo Fried Shrimp ($17-19), Texas Fried Steak ($15), Cracker Chopped Steak ($14), Southern Style Meatloaf ($15), Crispy Baked Chicken ($15), Atlanta Pot Pie ($16), Country Fried Chicken ($15) and Chicken 'n Waffles ($13). You can also find Smoked Pork Ribs ($15-20), Pulled Pork Platter ($15), Ribs and Pulled Pork Combo ($22), Pork Loin ($15) and other creations around $14 each.Ambrosia ($4), Crab Cake ($10), Redneck Nachos ($10), 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, Dixie Caviar 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. Appomattox Seven Layer Cake can finish the meal. Coconut Cake Fudge Cake and Red Velvet Cake are also tempting at $6 each. Wine and beer now available. Small corkage fee per person for your own wine. Or you can enjoy Root Beer, RC Cola, Orange Crush, Palatka Chocolate Soda or Sweet Tea at a similar cost. Reservations accepted for two seatings and may be necessary in season. Filled with treasured antiques of the Old South and Wildwood. Cotillion Cookbook available. Kathi & Jim Vincent, owners.

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.

Review: (from Ellen H. 5/13) We had reservations so the table was set and ready for us when we arrived. We ordered our drinks which were promptly delivered. I ordered the Shrimp and Grits as it is a southern favorite of mine but others in the group had the Meatloaf, the Turkey dinner and Mac 'n Cheese. All of them were excellent but there was way too much food for one sitting. The service was good and the waitresses were friendly. No problem with separate checks and when several people shared the desserts (they are way too large for one person to eat), they split that on the check too. I think that is a great service. I shared a Bread Pudding which was good but not wonderful. The bill was $29 before tip.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



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

Avatar 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.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Coyote Cantina (Southwest Bar & Grill), 18 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.3 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.



Avatar Coyote Rojo Mexican Restaurant, 2082 W. CR 48, Bushnell, FL. 28.8 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.

Review: (from Larry H. 3/13) We visited here based upon the recommendation of several Latino friends in the Bushnell area. The décor is simple with hand painted pictures on the wall. I had a Chicken Fajitas ($10) and my wife had Shrimp Fajitas ($12). They both included Yellow Rice, Re-Fried Beans, Guacamole, Sour Cream, Salsa and three Soft Tacos. The portions were generous. We had soft drinks with unlimited refills. For dessert, we shared a large Sopapillas ($4). One friend had Burrito Fajitas ($8) and a Mexican beer. The other friend had a Fajitas Salad ($9) and an Iced Tea. The service was very good, the quality of food was excellent and the prices were unbeatable. This may be the some of the best Mexican food that I have ever had. We will be back.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 12/13) Pleasant surprise. Haven't been here in a while and met my friends here for breakfast. I had a bottom-less cup of coffee ($2) and the Ham and Cheese Casserole ($7). It was very tasty. It came with a side of fruit and biscuits, which I waived. Nancy G. was our server and was very friendly and helpful. The food came out very fast. I was impressed with the help keeping the place clean. Good meal for under $10 with tax.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Gluten Free Menu Now Open The Crazy Cucumber, 816 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. 20.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-390-8020. (Breakfast) (Cafe) B/L. Opened February, 2014 where the Great American Coffee Roasters did business. Hours are 7 AM to 3 PM daily, except closed Sunday. Located at the "Magnolia Curve", 8 blocks south of the square. A wide variety of breakfast items like Eggs to Order ($2 each), Oatmeal ($5), Yogurt Parfait ($5), Cheesy Bacon Grits and Eggs ($6), French Toast ($6), Belgium Waffle ($6), Egg Sandwich ($7), Breakfast Burrito ($7), 2-Egg Garden, Santa Fe or Spinach & Mushroom Omelet ($8 each), or a Hash and Egg Biscuit Bowl ($8). You can also get sides, like Sausage, Bacon, Danish, Bagels, etc. For lunch they offer, Chicken Waldorf Wrap ($5), Margarita Flatbread ($6), Angus, Turkey or Veggie Burger ($6 each), Greek or Mediterranean Flatbread ($7 each), a variety of Paninis ($7-8), Shrimp and Salad ($8), Fajita Salad ($8), Mahi-Mahi Wrap ($8), Steak Wrap ($8), Corned Beef, Roast Beef or Pastrami on Marble Rye ($8), Turkey on Pumpernickel Sandwich ($8), Steak 'n Cheese Hoagie ($8) or Salmon and Salad ($9). Vegetarian, gluten-free and Paleo Diet friendly items are available. Chris Gardner, manager; Carlos Sanchez and Wendell Landry, owners here and of the Horse and Hounds Restaurants (see that listing).



Avatar The Crazy Gator, 402 North Bay St., Eustis, FL. 24.6 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. Steven & Margaret Robin, owners.



Avatar 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.



Avatar 11½ Stars (The) Cuban Place, 1 North Eustis St., Eustis, FL. 25.3 mile drive from The Villages. 357-4000. (Caribbean) (Spanish) L/D. It promises the flavors of Havana in 1959. Located at the corner of N. Eustis and E. Orange, one block south of Magnolia Ave. and one block west of City Hall. Opened on November 26, 2012. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily. Inside and sidewalk seating available. Start with Tamal Cubano, Masitas de Puerco, Chorizo al Vino, Tostones con Carne, Shrimp al Ajillo, Ceviche de la Casa (ranging $4-10 each) or a sampling from the appetizer menu ($13). Chicken dishes include Chicken a la Plancha ($12), Chicken Fajitas ($12), Chicken Fricase ($13) or Arroz con Pollo ($17). Pork dishes include Pork Fajitas ($11), Masas de Puerco Frita ($11.50), Grilled Pork Chops ($12), Pork Steak ($12), Cuban Roast Pork ($12.50) or Ossobuco Shank ($14). For seafood they offer Grilled Tilapia ($13), Mahi Mahi ($14), Shrimp Criolla ($14), Shrimp Ajillo ($14) and a daily Fish Special, like Seafood Paella for Two (call ahead only). You can also find Picadillo Havana ($11), Ropa Vieja ($12), Palomilla Steak ($12), Vaca Frita Flank Steak ($12) and Churrasco Skirt Steak ($16). They also offer Mofongo on most days. All are served with rice. For lunch they have Tuna, Chori Ham, Cuban Sandwich, Frita Cubano, Pan con Lecheon, Pan con Bistec and a Cuban Chicken Sandwiches, all ranging $7-9 each. Soups and salads are also on the menu. Desserts include Pastries, Flan, Key Lime Pie and Pineapple Delight at $2-5 each. Beer, wine and sangria are offered. Wine runs $4.50-10 per glass and $25-45 per bottle. Cuban coffee is also available. Salsa Dance Night is the First Friday of each month. See occasional ads in Thursday's Daily Sun for money saving coupons. Hector and Yadira Ramos and Blas Alejandro (Alex) Rodriguez, owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) Time to try a new restaurant. The outside is inviting with it's hanging flower pots. The inside was as attractive too. Very nice cane chairs make the tables inviting. We took a booth near the front window and Nick was our server. We immediately recognized him from Café Gianni down the street. He rattled through the soups and specials. She ordered a glass of Yauquen Malbec ($7) and I had 2 House Sangrias ($4.50 each) by the end of dinner. Nick repeated the specials and she chose the Shrimp Mofongo ($16.50). It's a Guy Fieri favorite. It consists of mashed plantains shaped into a bowl filled with 6 shrimp and probably chicken broth. The origin is Puerto Rican, not Cuban. It was very impressive and flavorful. We commented it should be on the regular menu every day. I had the Churrasco Marinated Steak ($16). It was thin on one end and thicker on the other end, and better because it was less done. It came with White Rice and two Plantains. I could eat ten of them. The plantains had cooled off but the other items on the plate were hot. We shared my bowl of Frijol Negro. They mixed well with my rice and actually turned it purple. We skipped dessert. One thing I didn't like was the clear vinyl table coverings protecting the nice lace table cloth. Made it hot and sticky, especially on your legs. Perhaps a glass table top would be better. Nick's service was better than what I had remembered and he was friendly. So was the other waiter in the restaurant. Our total came to $48.50 before t&t. This is a surprisingly good restaurant in an off the main drag, rather dreary, location. We'll be back.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 6/13) We brought friends back and sat at the front window on a Saturday night. Corrie was our server and had a hard time getting to us due to the position of the table for 6 in the middle of the room. We bought a pitcher of Sangria ($20) for 3 of us and I had a glass of Zin 91 ($8.50). both were very good. He had the Shrimp Mofongo (not on the menu - you have to ask for it) and I had the Shrimp Ajillo. His was $16.50 and mine was $14. I had a side of Black Beans ($3) too. Corrie did a good job but the seating was too tight. Our total for two with the Sangria pitcher was $62 before t&t. Nice meal with good choices. We'll be back.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 10/13) Visited here for a Gourmet Club outing. The food was very good; however, the kitchen and/or server (probably both) were very confused. Food for our group came out erratically, and almost all with some error. Drinks and water were very slow. I had the Shrimp Mofongo. It was excellent and I just returned from Puerto Rico earlier in the week (home of Mofongo); however, get the appetizer at $9.50, not the full portion at $16. You get about the same amount of food. My wife had Palimillo Steak which was served with Grilled Peppers and Onions rather than Onions and Cilantro as per the menu. Bill was $47 before tip, with 2 drinks. Our server was Corrie. I'd go back if the place was not at all busy. It was only moderately busy when we were there and confusion rained even though I saw plenty of servers. The manager did take 10% off our bill due to the confusion.
Q=4 S=2 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 10/13) The décor is pleasant, except for clear plastic table covering and cheap paper napkins. Must preface review by saying there was a huge outdoor "Cruise In" surrounding the restaurant; however, there were empty tables and enough servers to handle the customers. Our waitress knew the menu well and described dishes and options well. Took a long time to get drinks and water and menus. Waitress constantly complaining about work issues and kitchen problems. Meals came out in staggered fashion, and many were warm or cool. I had Black Bean Soup, and my wife, Red Bean Soup. Both were barely warm, meaning the steam table was not working properly or the soup sat a while after being bowled. My wife and I split the Cuban Sampler, Havana Sampler and Shrimp Mini Mofongo appetizers as our main courses. Much of which was just warm. My Croquets were missing, so had to wait for those to cook. Everyone got one thin slice of garlic bread to savor 10 minutes before ANY food arrived. Red Sangria pitcher was very good and draft beers poured correctly. At the very end of the meal the owner/chef appeared to ask about our meal. Every comment related to the presentation or temperature of the food was countered with an excuse. However, he did reduce every item on everyone's bill by 10%. Once they conquer the task of managing a restaurant properly, this will be a good place to try if you like Puerto Rican/Spanish food.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.



Avatar Free WiFi Cup O' The Irish, 3233 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 18.7 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.



Avatar 13½ Stars Free WiFi Cuvée Wine and Bistro, 2237 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL. 21.8 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-1816. (Continental) (Wine Bar) D. Located down the street from the Walmart Center. It's in the Florida Neurological Center building. Pronounced Koo'-vay - meaning "wine vat". Dinner served from 5 PM daily except Sunday. Opened in December, 2009, originally a wine bar, now serving dinner six nights a week in this very contemporary and unusual setting. Fresh and seasonal ingredients for upscale American and Continental cuisine is their mainstay. New England Clam Chowder ($7) can start the meal. Cuvée Tossed Greens Salad ($8), Mixed Greens with Bacon Salad ($8) or Stilton Bleu Cheese Salad ($9) are a-la-carte. Appetizers offered are Mediterranean Calamari ($8), Bison Meatballs ($8), Escargot Bordelaise ($8), Maryland Style Crab Cakes ($11), Flat Breads ($11), Portuguese Clams ($11) or Tuscan Scallops ($11). Entrées include Eggplant Napoleon ($19), Curried Moroccan Chicken & Shrimp ($27), Pork and Mushroom au Poivre ($27), Asian Glazed Short Ribs ($30), Sautéed Sea Bass ($32), Seafood Pasta ($33), 8 oz. Harris Ranch Filet Mignon ($34), 20 oz. Chili Rubbed Ribeye ($37) and a 12 oz. Australian Strip Steak ($37). Square-ish china plates are served on gray slate tiles. Small ($8-11) and Large ($28) Cheese Flights are popular with their wine sampling system or after dinner. Specials are changed daily. Desserts usually include a selection of cheesecakes. Table-side flaming creations, like Bananas Foster, can also be prepared. Online and phone reservations accepted and advised for dinner. 20% gratuity added for parties of 6 or more. $9, $15 and $25 money saving coupons available at restaurant.com and at Everyday Savings Center. Restrictions apply. Full bar plus a sophisticated self-serve card-swipe wine dispensing system offering 100+ wines from all over the world in 1, 2½ and 5 ounce pours ranging from a $1 taste to a $25 glass (tax included). Very wide selection of bottled wines as well. Recipient of Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence". Happy Hour 5-7 PM daily. Also $5 Martini Nights on Thursdays and Half Price Bottled Wine on Mondays, runs during the summer months. Corkage fee with dinner $15. Patio seating available. Brightly decorated for the holidays. Kevin Mueller, executive chef; neurologist, Dr. Lance and Marie Kim, owners.

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

Older Review: (from Wayne M. 3/11) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Robert F. 3/11) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Dan G. 11/11) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Ira F. 11/11) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Nadine F. 3/12) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Mac M. 10/12) Q=5 S=5 V=3 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 8/13) Our friends were dying to go here so we went on a Saturday night with reservations. We sat at the end of the main dining room. We all decided to try different wines, so we used the Wine Card system. Ours ran up to $32, but it was fun, if you're careful when/what button to push. She had the Roast Duck ($25), which was excellent because I had the left overs for lunch the next day. I had the Shrimp Gratin ($24) which looked more like an appetizer than entrée. We also split a Caesar Wedge ($8) which the kitchen divided for us and we also shared an order of Mussels ($12). Very nice meal served by Jay, our waiter, but the bill runs up fast. Our total was $101 before t&t. Not something you do every week or every month for that matter.
Q=5 S=4 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Fred J. 1/14) We visited for my wife's Birthday. Our server, Celina, explained all of the specials and how the wine dispensers worked. She recommended wines based on our tastes and experience. We shared the Stilton Salad (with fresh greens, cranberries, walnuts) large enough for 2. I ordered the Pork Chop and Jumbo Shrimp Special all served with a Key Lime sauce over the Shrimp. My wife had the Pescatore - with a lot of Lobster, Shrimp and Scallops. She substituted linguine for the risotto. Both dishes were terrific. Bananas Foster for dessert too. Cost with wine before tax and tip was $84.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from James D. 4/14) Superb! We had the Duck a l'Orange which was prepared perfectly. I had a Wilted Caesar Salad which was an experiment for me. It was very good but I like cold and crisp better. The service was impeccable, most impressive for this area. We had several different tastes of wines from an impressive array of choices. The cost for two of us was $96 before tip. We felt like we had been out in New York and it felt really good!
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 6/14) Very impressive food and service. This restaurant is also designed for dinner conversation. Much of the food is very inventive - deconstructed Oysters Rockefeller with kale (rather than spinach), very creative Cheese Plates, the Pescatore with Risotto was excellent and a Manhattan Cocktail made with a restaurant marinated strawberry balsamac flavoring. The restaurant was very accommodating about splitting appetizers and entrées. The wine distribution is also fun. 3 appetizers, 1 entrée (split), dessert, 2 drinks and one glass of wine with tax was $114.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Darrell's Dog Gone Good Diner (Ocala East), 3375 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 22.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-5632. (Cafe) (Diner) B/L. 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 Summerfield. Closed only Thanksgiving and Xmas. Darrell Warden, partner; Lawrence Breech, owner.



Avatar 13 Stars Now Open 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. Opened March 31, 2014. Located next to Keller-Williams Realty, behind Mattress Barn that faces US 27/441, just past StoneCrest. 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 Thanksgiving and Xmas. Another location is at 7578 SE Maricamp Rd., Silver Springs Shores and at 8441 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala. Darrell Warden, partner; Lawrence Breech, owner.

Review: (from Rich C. 4/14) A sandwich board outside announced the Special of the Day. I took a seat at the counter and Susan attended to me right away. At 1 PM in their first week they were not crowded. The soup was "86" already. I ordered a Diet Pepsi (free refills) ($2) and the Philly Cheese Steak on a sub roll with a side of Cottage Cheese ($8). Prices seemed higher here than at their other location. Everything was fresh and hot. Susan was very attentive and friendly. A pleasant experience.
Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Judy H. 7/14) This diner is constantly busy. You can tell it was a local favorite. I had the Slaw Dog which was delicious and huge. I took half home to have for lunch the next day. It comes with a side item but you can get Onion Rings or Fruit for additional 50 cents. The Turkey Club was the second sandwich which we also upgraded with Onion Rings. Both sandwiches were delicious and fresh. The Onion Rings were thick, slightly greasy but good. The place is very clean and the bathrooms were clean too. From where we were sitting we could see into the kitchen which was close to spotless. They have counter service and tables. There is one place in the back that could seat 6-9 people, otherwise the tables are for 2 or 4. Prices are extremely reasonable, our lunch was under $20. Service is fast and drinks are refilled quickly. Many customers were having a late breakfast and every plate looked good. Nothing fancy, just good food, good service and a clean environment.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Closed Dinner Bell Restaurant, 3170 US 27/441, Fruitland Park, FL. In business since 1957 with various owners, this restaurant closed in January, 2013.

Postcard
Long Gone - Palm Villa Hotel (1930s)
Fruitland Park, FL.

Avatar Don Chepe's Café, 2506 SE 17th St., Ocala, FL. 19.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-1300. (Caribbean) (Spanish) B/L/D. Formerly Honeysuckle's Café. Located at SE Maricamp Rd. (SR 464) and SE 25th Ave. Opened September, 2013. Open 7 AM to 10 PM daily. Not Don Pepe's, but Don Chepe's. Latin, Cuban and South American dishes prevail here. Appetizers like Empanadas ($2.50), Ham Croquettes ($3), Stuffed Potato ($3.50), Tomales ($5.50) and others start the menu. Dinner specialties include Masitas de Puerco Fritas (Fried Pork) ($8), Lechón Asado (Roast Pork) ($8), Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef) ($8), Vaca Frita (Grilled Beef) ($8), Bistec de Palomilla (Beef and Onions) ($9), Bistec Palomilla Empanizada (Breaded Beef) ($9), Carne Asada (Flank Steak) ($12), Bistec Encebollado (Beef Tenderloin) ($12) and Churrasco (Skirt Steak) ($12). For Chicken they offer Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) ($7), Pechuga de Pollo la Parilla (Marinated Chicken) ($8), Pollo Asado (Roast Chicken) ($8), Pollo Guisado (Chicken Stew) ($8) and Pechuga de Pollo Empanizada (Marinated Breaded Chicken) ($8). A Veggie Plate is also available at $7.50. Side dishes like Fried, Black or Kidney Beans, White, Yellow or Moro Rice, Fried Cassava, Fried or Green Plantains and Guacamole are offered at $1-2 each. Venezuelan and Columbian Arepas are offered at $5-6 each, as well as Salvadoran Pupusas (Pork Tortilla) ($5). For Pressed Sandwiches you can find Cubans, Turkey, Chicken, Roast Pork, Croquette, Steak and Chicken Stew Sandwiches, all ranging $6-8 each. Desserts include Flan, Tres Leches Cake, Rice Pudding and Cuban Pastries ($1-3 each). Cuban Espresso is a specialty here. Passion Fruit Milk Shakes, Mango Smoothies, Maltas Hatuey and Coco Rico drinks are offered here. Now serving beer and wine. José Marino (of Mesa de Notte Ristorante see that listing) and Marta Arias, owners.



Avatar Duck's Dam Diner, 9685 CR 464, Ocklawaha, FL. 13.0 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.



Avatar 12½ Stars Eaton's Beach Sandbar & Grill, 15790 SE 134th Ave., Weirsdale, FL. 5.9 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 10:30 AM to 9:30 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. 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 11/13) It's a winner! "40-45 minute wait" we were told on a cool Friday night just 9 days after they're grand opening and not a hitch in the service or food tonight. We're impressed. We had a drink at the Sandbar down stairs first and right at 40 minutes our pager went off. We 4 were seated at table 14. Mixed age group here. Jessie came scooting by to tell us our server would be here in a few minutes. Then another gal helped out and took our drink orders. We ordered 2 Malbecs. Then Kimberly, our regular server, showed up and said they were out of the daily soup already. The cool temperatures outside were to blame for that. My better half ordered a Low Country Burger with Garlic Fries ($11). Medium Well is as rare as they do them here. I ordered the Pastrami Dinner with Smashed Potatoes ($14). Her Burger was very nice and she raved about the Garlic Shoestring Fries. Even her Slaw was good. My Pastrami was delicious and very lean. Hardly any fat. The Potatoes were very good too. My friend enjoyed the Shrimp 'n Grits, a little on the spicy side for us. The food arrived hot; Hooray! Kimberly checked on us often. Two of us had the slice of Pecan Pie with Ice Cream ($5). Only way to make it better is to warm the pie first. We were impressed with the helpful service throughout the restaurant. Spill some water on yourself and another server stops by to offer assistance. The buss guys patrolled the dining area looking for dirty dishes. Only took seconds for them to spot a finished meal. The big bald guy in the blue shirt directed all the activity as well as kept an eye on every customer's needs. Everyone is well trained and friendly here. We spotted Randy Keuntjes, owner, and had to let him know how well we enjoyed our experience. Can't wait for a warmer day when the big doors are open and the sun sets across the lake. Tab for 2 was $40 before t&t, plus a generous tip. This might be our new favorite hangout "off the reservation". Can't wait to come back. Gator Joe - Watch out!
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 11/13) On a rainy Saturday night at 5:30 there was a 20 minute wait, that turned out to be only a 10 minute wait. A young man with an umbrella greeted each car that drove up. Nice touch!. Jessica D. was our server at Table #28. The doors were open to the lake tonight. We both had a Malbec and my better half had the Shrimp 'n Garlic Pasta. He enjoyed his meal. I ordered the Low Country Burger with Garlic Fries and it came out Medium (great!) but with regular Fries. Another waitress took it back for me. Our friends ordered the Pastrami dinner with Mashed and Fried Chicken with Mashed. The potatoes on both meals were cold. Jessica took then back to the kitchen for us also. Eventually the meals were made right. Everything was delicious and the servers were very helpful, even the buss boys. Our total before t&t was $41. We enjoyed our meal and the umbrella escort as we left.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dennis C. 12/13) Six PM on New Years Eve and there was a 40 minutes wait for a table. Too cool to sit outside even though they had those great heaters going. Peter and Nikki took good care of us at the bar. The time went by quickly. Our table was served by Kathy and she was pleasant. I had the Glazed Salmon with Green Beans ($16). She had the Chicken and Waffles ($13). She also had a glass of Malbec ($8). Both meals were good but mine could have been better if they had thicker slices of fish. Mine tended to be over cooked and burnt on the bottom. She enjoyed her Chicken. Our friends had the Pastrami Sandwich and Broiled Shrimp. They enjoyed theirs too. Kathy did a good job. Total was $37 before t&t. Cheaper wine would be nice.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 1/14) Called one hour ahead (recommended) to be placed on wait list for 5 PM, Sunday. Eaton's does not take reservations. Eight of us arrived early and waited less than 15 mins to be seated. Drink orders came quickly, as did appetizers and entrées. Daily soup was Sausage Bean Soup with plenty of beans & sausage. My Gumbo was one of best I've had in this area. Soup cups are almost a meal by themselves. Garlic Fries were passed around table several times by another couple. They were excellent. My wife's Shrimp & Grits was excellent and ample. My "Washday" special was disappointing. The Ham Hocks were not whole, just imperceptible slivers of hock skin mixed with Red Beans and Rice. The accompanying Andouille Sausage was really the main meat and to me, just so-so. Others raved about their Shrimp, Chicken and other choices. All would return. Great service by Charelle and attentive bus boys. Draft beer in full pint glass at $3.50, is a deal. Our tab was $44, including 2 drafts.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Colene M. 1/14) We waited approximately a half hour to get seated which was fine except they told us 15 minutes. Both my husband and I had a drink at their bar while we were waiting. His beer was only $3 but my drink a "Sunrise Something" was almost $8 which I thought was a little pricy. When we got seated, we were greeted by our waitress, "Kimmee". She was very nice and accommodating. I had my usual Crawfish Pie at $9; it is on the appetizer menu along with a cup of Gumbo ($5). My husband had Shrimp Creole ($13) and a cup of Gumbo ($5). It was a great evening with friends.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry H. 1/14) They do not take reservations, so we waited in the bar and since it was just before 6 PM, the two for one price on many drinks was still on. After about 15+ minutes, we were seated near the "garage doors" which were open due to the nice weather, but could be closed if necessary. Kimberly was our waitress and she did a speedy job of getting us coffees and water, but had to remind her about the tea. She promptly took our order and agreed to split the checks into the three bills for our party of 6. I had a bowl of Southern Bean Soup and a Chicken Sandwich with Applewood Smoked Bacon. The soup was served in a large bowl and tasted delicious. The chicken was tender and tasty. My wife had a Ceasar Salad with a Garlic Shrimp and Pasta entrée. The Pasta had a little too much oil in the bottom of the plate, but the meal was still very good. The portions were generous, so we did not have any dessert. Our bill was $37.50 before tax and tip. One of the other couples had a mixup on their bill, but it got corrected on the second try. The décor was pleasant and the atmosphere was not too noisy so it was easy to carry on a conversation without shouting.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Our Gourmet Club Party of 8 decided we would use the "one hour call-ahead" allowed for parties of 8 or more on a Thursday evening. We called at 4:50 PM for our 6 PM dinner/meet time. Finally, at 6:50 we were seated, thus, a two hour wait time. Heather was our waitress and had a sweet attitude, but since this was her first night alone, still has a few things to work on. A couple of us had Bayou Pasta which was very spicy, a Salmon plate, Cajun Chicken and the Washday Special of Red Beans and Rice. Portions were small but fairly tasty. Prices ranged from $14-$20. Desserts included an Orange Cake, which should have been set out at room temperature before serving since it was very hard. Eaton's Beach is a nice setting for warm weather dining, with a nice view of Lake Weir.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ann S. 1/14) We were in the group of 8 with a 2 hour call-ahead seating wait, which started our evening on a negative note. The 8 of us were then seated at a table meant for 6, which was so tight that we rearranged chairs ourselves so that we could have enough space to eat comfortably. Our server, Heather, was friendly and attentive. My Bayou Pasta was somewhat spicy but delicious and my husband found his Salmon to be moist and flavorful. The White Bean Soup was excellent. Desserts were mediocre. The bill without t&t came to $53 for 1 soup, 2 dinners, 2 desserts and 2 soft drinks.
Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 1/14) Our party of 8 did the one hour call ahead about 5 PM. Our group leader was texted back that he would receive a text when our table was ready. We thought that was pretty cool. We got there about 5:50, told our name and received a pager. We waited about 15-20 minutes for a table, but actually may have been seated sooner but were socializing at the bar and didn't hear the pager go off. Melissa was our server. She was very pleasant and efficient and checked back often to see if we needed refills or anything. Separate checks for each couple was no problem. One member ordered the Crawfish Pie appetizer and shared. It was delicious. I had Shrimp and Garlic with Linguine and it was very good, very garlicky. He had the Bayou Pasta which had chicken, shrimp, crawfish and mushrooms in a Parmesan cream sauce. He said it was very flavorful. Everyone said they enjoyed their meal. Julie, the manager, came by twice to check and see if everything was okay. All in all a very pleasant evening. Two dinners and one glass of wine came to $33 before t&t. The restaurant itself is very pleasant looking. It was a very cold night, so the garage doors were closed and you couldn't sit outside, but the view over Lake Weir was outstanding. We plan to go back on a more pleasant day and really enjoy the open air atmosphere.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ralph N. 1/14) My wife and I had a small Filet and Salmon dinner. Our server, Melissa, was attentive but did slightly mismatched the orders to the individual diners. The Filet was done perfectly and the Bourbon Salmon was excellent. Food prices were reasonable and drink prices very reasonable. Total cost was $36 without beverages. We went in the evening after dark so we did not get a chance to appreciate the view of Lake Weir. Would return and would make sure it was daylight so we could appreciate the scenery.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 3/14) Our group of 8 was seated with only a short wait, even though it was the Grand Opening Weekend. Service, food, and bill delivery was very prompt. The Shrimp and Grits were very good, the Shrimp Creole was a hit with several people, the Sandwiches were generous and the BBQ smelled great and reportedly tasted the same. Tracy K. was a great waitress and the staff worked as a good team. 2 meals with Coke and 2 Beers were $43 before t&t. Great view too.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 3/14) As usual the place was packed when our Gourmet Club party of 8 arrived for dinner. Hope this packed lunch and dinner every day will not make the management and staff complacent. Though for now, it hasn't. Was looking forward to having Jimmy Luv Bloody Marry and recommended it to others as well. Well, it came very spicy even though it was regular. Kathy C. gave us another which was good. That's service. The Gumbo some had was quite good. My wife had Crawfish Pie which she liked and I had Shrimp n' Garlic Pasta. Though it didn't come al dente, I didn't complain as most people in the US like pasta well cooked. Nice change of place to eat. At $41 for two with drinks was pretty reasonable.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 3/14) It was an hour wait on a warm Sunday afternoon, so we went down stairs to the Sandbar for cocktails at the very crowded bar. I bought a round for the four of us. In an hour, we got a text message that our table was ready upstairs. Great idea! When I cashed out the bar bill ($34), I was very surprised that all the drinks were $8 each before tax. The bar menu had no prices. Now I know why. That's way too high for a rum drink in a plastic cup filled with mostly ice. When we were shown to our table, the hostess took us all around the restaurant before finding table #33. Robin was our server. She was friendly and courteous. I ordered the Pastrami Dinner ($14) and my better half ordered the Salmon Dinner ($16) with a glass of Malbec ($8) - also too high. The other couple ordered a Salmon Salad and the Pastrami Sandwich. He found the roll too much to eat and the Pastrami has a smoky flavor. It made it different, not necessarily better. When our food arrived the kitchen supervisor (guessing) announced that she dropped the Salmon Dinner in the kitchen and it will be replaced shortly. At least she was honest about it and when it finally arrived, she apologized again. Our meals were good and hers came with a Side Caesar ($4 extra). Robin and the rest of the staff here are well trained, but the restaurant is noisy and crowded weekends. Total was $42 for the two of us with the one wine plus $32 for 4 bar drinks before t&t. The owner was arriving as we left and saw us waiting for the golf cart shuttle for a while. He got on his cell phone and asked the shuttle driver to come back to the restaurant to pick us up. That's customer service!
Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rochelle B. 5/14) I put together dinner for 24 from our neighborhood. Julie was very accommodating and the wait staff were excellent. We were set up on the wraparound deck off the dining room at tables for 5 and 4, each table had their own waitperson. Everyone was pleased with their food and the service. At our table, we ordered the Parmesan/Garlic Fries and the Smoked Fish Dip to share. Both were excellent - huge portions! He ordered the Midnight Sandwich (their version of a Cuban, and it was the best we've ever had). I ordered the Spanish Chicken served with Rice. Very tasty, nicely seasoned, thought I was in New Orleans! As a table, we shared the Orange Cake - like eating a Creamsicle®. Dinner for 2, including the Fish Dip and Cake, was $38 before t&t.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 5/14) Even though we called ahead 2 hours prior to our arrival, we still waited for 30 minutes for a table. The scenery on Lake Weir was very nice. Our server, Cindy was very attentive. I had the Salmon dinner and it came on a bed of fresh cooked Green Beans. It had a delicious flavor, but could have been warmer. I thought the $16. price tag was a bit high for what I got. My husband had the Chicken and Waffles. The Chicken Tenders were large and nice and hot, and had a wonderful flavor, but the Waffles were cold. His meal was $13. We each had a soft drink, so the total of our meal was $34. before t&t. It was very nice having dinner lakeside, and of course we always enjoy the people we are with. We will return, but probably not on a regular basis.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 6/14) Called ahead to get on the reserve list for 5 PM. Table for 4 was ready at 5. Jazz Burger and Pastrami Sandwich were both good. Prices a little high, but it IS on the lake. Nice view. Overhead fans provide cooling effect. Nice white sand beach and swimming area. Good place to take the grandkids (fee for beach use, but there is some kind of food provided). Meals with 2 drafts and tax came to $29.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Closed El Azteca Mexican Restaurant, 4011 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. Closed in April, 2014. Soon to be called Turtle Cay.


Avatar 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.

Avatar El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant, 10465 Hwy. 441, Belleview, FL. 11.9 mile drive from The Villages. 307-2480. (Mexican) L/D. Open daily. In the same plaza as Winn Dixie. Formerly the Laredo Mexican Restaurant. Large selection of traditional Mexican food. Entrées include Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas, Parrilla, Chiles Rellenos, Carne Asada, Tacos, Fajitas, Pork Chops, Shrimp, even Quail. Many chicken dishes. Prices range from $5 to $9 each. Many dinner combinations on the menu too. Taco and Guacamole Salads as well as Vegetarian dishes also available at $3 to $7. English menu. Full bar with beer, wine and an assortment of margaritas offered. Ricardo Alvarez, new owner.



Avatar El Toreo (Ocala East), 3790 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.3 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. $6, $9, $15 and $30 money saving coupons are available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. 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).



Avatar El Toreo (Ocala West), 3510 SW 36th Ave., Ocala, FL. 24.9 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).

Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) The service by Nancy was extremely good - our drinks were refilled often, plates cleared, chips and salsa refilled, billed promptly, all very friendly. The chips were good quality, the salsa fairly average from canned tomatoes. I had Shrimp Fajitas. The portion was very reasonable and the quality, good. My wife's Chicken Enchilada Verde, which is a dish she orders often, was extremely hot (spicy) which was unusual. $26 for lunch, one order from the dinner menu and the other from the lunch menu.
Q=3 S=5 V=3 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Elijah's Café, 248 W. Ardice Ave., Eustis, FL. 23.2 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.

Review: (from Colene M. 7/14) Very small place. I counted 24 chairs. Not gourmet but the food was excellent. We had the Gyro Combo which was the pita, meat, onions, lettuce, tomato along with their "sauce". It also came with "Freedom Fries" (French Fries) and a drink. The owner served us. The total was $23.59. Well worth it.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Elysee Grill, 2413 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 22.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-671-3663. (Barbecue) (Caribbean) L/D. Pronounced "El-ee'-zay". Opened in the fall 2011. Located in the Shady Oaks Plaza, off SR 200 at 27th, between Best Buy and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Open 11 AM to 7 PM weekdays, to 8 PM on weekends and to 5 PM on Sunday. A small barbecue joint that promises Dry Rub Slow-Cooked Ribs, Chicken, Haitian dishes and Cajun favorites like Jambalaya. Their specialty is "fall off the bone" Ribs and Quartered Grilled Chicken. Items on the menu include Smoked Island Wings, Riblets, Mozzarella Sticks and Jumbo Shrimp. Full and Half Slab Pork Ribs and a Deluxe Sampler are popular. Caribbean Rice with Pineapple is offered too. Family meals serving 5 or more are on the menu also. Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Caribbean Chicken Sandwiches are served with their Elysee Fries. A number of Burgers, including Veggie Burgers, are sold too. A few Wraps are offered also. For dessert indulge in Red Velvet Cake or their Banana Cake. Homemade sauce sold by the jar. Entertainment occasionally after hours with a limited menu. Beer and wine license. George Elysee, owner.



Closed Exotic Thai, 1532 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. After a few successful years of operation, they are now closed. It will soon be replaced by The Gyro Hut.


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

Avatar Fat Daddy's, 10135 SE Sunset Harbor Rd., Summerfield, FL. 5.8 mile drive from The Villages. 288-0980. (Sports Bar) (Southern) L/D. Open 11 AM to 11 PM daily except Sundays open 5-9 PM only. Formerly Fat Daddy's Grille & Bar, now reopened under new ownership in April 2012. Near the bend of Sunset Harbor Rd. Key West style biker-friendly bar. Specializes in Florida fare such as Sautéed Gatortail. BBQ, Burgers, Pork Chops, Chicken, Fish and Pasta on the menu.Black and Bleu Burger, Big Mouth Burger and other grilled beef sandwiches are the mainstay here. Reuben with Fries and Pickle, a frequent special. Very large selection of draft beers. Karaoke and live music often. Russ Hassell, new owner.



Avatar 11 Stars Video 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, or $10 corkage for your own. 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").

Review: (from Larry R. 4/13) Happy Hour was from 4-6 PM and included certain appetizers & wines for $5 each. Everyone in our party (8) ordered or shared an appetizer. We had the Saganaki ($8), Flaming Cheese with a side of Opa! However it was a bit salty and greasy. Others ordered the fresh Hummus or Feta-Bruschetta which we all shared. The consensus voted that the Feta-Bruschetta was the best appetizer. I ordered the Pastichio ($12) and she had the Mousaka ($12) which we both loved. We shared a small Salad ($2) and shared a Baklava ($3). Our total with tax but before tip was $50. We felt all the entrées were very tasty and reasonably priced. Our server, Katie, was pleasant and accommodating but not knowledgeable in the wine offerings. Overall, a pleasant dining experience.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bill R. 5/13) Our Gourmet Group met for dinner here. One person ordered Coke - they were out of it. Dinners in our group included Greek Stirfry, Chicken Souvlaki, Gyro Platter, and Sampler. Most were flavorful, however, the Greek Stirfry was dry and bland. Also, one meal came with a Baked Potato, but they were out of sour cream. The bill listed salad and bread, but no bread was served. Would go back, but not make a special trip.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 12½ Stars Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill (Mount Dora), 421 Baker Street, Mount Dora, FL. 25.6 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.



Closed Finnegan's Colonial Tavern, 2060 S. Bay St., Eustis, FL. Closed in June, 2012. Reopened as the Colonial Tavern in 2014 (see that listing).


Avatar 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. Jenny Shull, manager; Luis Luna and Ocala dentist, Demetrick LeCorn, 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/14) Been a while since I was here. Not crowded on a Sunday night. I remembered they had good Sangria, so I had two ($5.50 each). I also ordered the Veal Marsala ($16). Prices are higher than I remember. The Veal was excellent, pounded thin and tender. The brown sauce had a slight nutmeg flavor. Lester, my waiter, never asked if I wanted water, but spent a lot of time refilling the water glasses at the next table of three ladies and another table with one couple. He also never checked back to see if I needed anything else. (I would have liked some Parmesan Cheese.) In all a nice meal in a nice atmosphere. My total was $27 before t&t.
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.

Avatar Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi First Watch The Daytime Café (Ocala), 3411 SW 36th Terrace, Ocala, FL. 25.2 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.



Avatar 12½ Stars Fisherman's Restaurant, 12311 E. Gulf To Lake Hwy. (SR44), Inverness, FL. 24.1 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.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/14) This is a nice, little place with decent food. Very informal. I had called the day before to make a reservation. She said it really wasn't necessary at this time of year, but took my name. We arrived around 5 PM and were seated promptly. The place did fill up, but no one had to wait for a table. There is a small, outside area also, but I only saw one couple willing to brave the love bugs. Leslie was our server and she was very pleasant and efficient. I had the Grilled Shrimp and Scallops. Very good sized for both and seasoned well. He had the Big Fish Dinner, which was Swai and said it was cooked perfectly, not over cooked as can easily be done. The other diners selected Fried Haddock and Grouper and said both were very good. All dinners were served with seasonal vegetables. I had a Baked Potato and he had a Sweet Potato. One Iced Tea, one Beer and two dinners came to $42 before t&t. This is a nice place for a simple fish dinner.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 11½ Stars Now Open 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 ($10), Spaghetti and Meatballs ($10.50), Lasagna ($11), Cannelloni ($11), Spaghetti Bolognese ($11.50), Linguini with Clam Sauce ($12) and others. Specialties include Cheese Ravioli ($10), Tagliatelle Alfredo ($10) and Tagliatelle with Salmon ($12) or Pork Ribs ($14). You can also find Coconut Butterfish ($10), Tenderloin ($12), Mahi Mahi ($12), Salmon Filet ($14) and Zuppa Fra Diavlo ($15). Chicken dishes run $11-12 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), Calamari ($8), Bruschetta ($7.50), Antipasto ($9), Chicken Wings ($7.50) and Spinach & Artichoke Flatbread. Large Salads are also offered like Salmon Salad, Caesar Salad, Steak Salad and Chopped Salad (all $9 each). Lunch items include Meatball, Chicken Parm., Sausage & Peppers, Grilled Chicken, Mahi, and Philly Steak Sandwiches ($7-8 each). There's a Sirloin Burger too, at $7. 20% gratuity added for parties of 8 or more. Full bar with an interesting wine list. Happy Hour before 7 PM. Eric Reed and Noel Bravo, chefs; Francesco (Franco) Esposito, partner; Kathy Funk and Paul D'Alto, owners.

Review: (from Mary Lou G. 3/14) We had always enjoyed Taverna Red, so when this "remake" opened, we wanted to try it. Although they have only been open a short while, they are doing a booming business. We arrived around 5 PM and didn't have to wait for a table, but by the time we left, there were many waiting inside and out. We were seated in the adjoining room which I believe used to be just a screened porch. However, now it is a glassed and air-conditioned room which adds a lot more usable space. I ordered the Chicken Marsala which was served with an Alfredo Pasta. Both items were delicious. My husband had the White Vongole (pasta with white clam sauce) and he also was pleased with his meal. They offer a Soup or Salad with your entrée. I asked for the Caesar Salad and there was a $1 upcharge. However, the meals were only $12 each, so I consider that a bargain. We only had water to drink, so the bill before the tip was $28.50. Our server, Dean, did a great job of taking care of us. We enjoyed our dining experience here and will definitely go back again.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 3/14) Wanted to try this new or revamped restaurant, so when one of the clubs I belonged to decided to go there, I jumped at the opportunity. Because of our large group of 36, the restaurant decided to give us a limited menu. Still, what we had was good. Both of us had the Butterfish. They were sweet and cooked just right. Two for one House Chardonnay was pretty good and my wife liked the Gin and Tonic. Spoke to the owner, Francesco, and he mentioned that pasta's are made at his place. I asked whether they can make it al dente even with Capellini and he said yes. We look forward to another visit. Our server, Nyanza, was good and all servers seem to be co-operating with each other despite the big crowd. Inclusive of tax and gratuity of 20 percent added because of the crowd, I thought $40 for two was reasonable.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 3/14) Short wait at 4:30 PM already, so I sat at the bar and ordered a house Cabernet at $6 and got 2 for 1. I also ordered the Tenderloin with a Caesar Salad. The salad was OK but there was an upcharge of $1. The Tenderloin was very good. The Rice with it was fine. Alice and Jay took good care of me. Total was $19 before t&t. I'd come back.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 4/14) We had reservations for six at 6 PM and were seated somewhat promptly. We were seated in the outer room - very spacious, but on the noisy side. Our waitress was definitely way behind when we arrived. She had another table of 18 that she was obviously taking care of all by herself. She should have had help. Therefore, it took her about 10 minutes to come to our table to greet us and take our drink orders. We waited in my opinion, too long a time to get our drinks and actually the whole meal. Anyway, I won't go on and on about the service. It was way too slow to get our items, refill of drinks, etc. The waitress kept blaming everything on the kitchen. Perhaps that was part of the problem. On the bright side, I had the Salmon Tagliatelle and loved it. My husband had the Linguine ala Vongole (with the white clam sauce). He said it was tasty, however, he said the amount of Pasta that came with his meal would have been the right amount for a child's portion. We had 2 Iced Teas, and our 2 entrées come to $30. It was obviously a bad night for service. I will have to convince my husband to return. I would love to return.
Q=4 S=1 V=4 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Daniel G. 5/14) We arrived at 5:10 PM and were immediately seated in the Garden Room, there were several large parties of 8 and 10 in the room. As the night progressed the room became much too loud, had to ask that the ceiling fans be turned down as it was cold and blowing on us. Jolene was our server and it took a couple of minutes before she came over, excused the delay as she said it was a busy night. Drink orders were taken and she said she would have the bar make up the drinks, Diet Cokes and a Sprite. While waiting for our orders to be taken, it seemed she was handling many tables. Other servers and even the owner were delivering the food. The ladies had the Eggplant Rollitini ($10), I had the Chicken Marsala ($12) and the other gentleman had the Lasagna ($11). Entrées come with Soup or Salad, $1 upcharge for the Caesar Salad. I had the Wedding Soup. It had lots of ingredients. The Lasagna was good but lukewarm, the Marsala was a little salty. The Eggplant was somewhat burnt at the ends. Total was $58 excluding tax for four. The portions were OK, but either the restaurant was shorthanded on the floor or the kitchen could not keep up with the crowd. Suggest sitting in booths next time or in the main room.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 7/14) They are trying to make it above the run of the mill restaurants operating in or near The Villages but still not quite making it in my opinion. Franco, the owner, came to our table which is a very good thing. Loved my server, Amy, who was very honest. Asked about whether Caramari was soft and juicy and she said no. I usually taste Caramari to feel the soul of the chef and the restaurant. Fagiolli Soup I had last time I visited, was luke warm. Told her to make it hot and it was done and tasted good. My White Sauce Vongole had lots of clams both in pasta and outside with shells. Pasta was al dente enough. All in all, the dish was quite good. There was quite a time gap between appetizer and main dish. I thought they belong to the restaurant group of The Slow Food Society which I belong. Unfortunately they are not there yet. Wine selection by bottle was very limited. Price was very reasonable at $30. With a little more effort, they could distinguish themselves.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.



Avatar 10½ Stars The Frog & Monkey Restaurant Pub, 411 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 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 here at the Pine Island Grill and Lounge on North Alexander St. (see that listing).

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

Review: (from Ellen H. 12/13) It was Tree Lighting and the town was crowded. We managed to get a table for 5 without much wait. I had a Cab ($9) and he a Blue Moon ($6). I enjoyed a Cottage Pie ($15) and he had the Fried Fish & Shrimp Combo ($17). The others enjoyed their meals too. For a crowded restaurant the food came out in acceptable time. The food was good and Cassie did a fine job. We like the food here, but it's a little pricy ($47 before t&t).
Q=4 S=5 V=2 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.

Avatar 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. $6 and $15 money saving coupons available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. Five locations in Florida. Another located in Apopka. Both owned by George Hakim.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Garden Gate Tea Room, 142 East 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 25.6 mile drive from The Villages. 735-2158. (British) L. A tea parlor with inside and outside seating located one block east of N. Donnelly St. Not to be confused with the Windsor Rose English Tea Room who's address is 142 West 4th Ave. Coffee, tea and light lunch items such as Carrot Bisque, Chicken Pie, Chicken Salad or Salmon Soufflé are offered. Shabby chic décor favored by the ladies. No bar. Karen Sandvick, owner.



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

Avatar Gator Bay Bar & Grill, 10320 CR 44, Leesburg, FL. 18.3 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.



Avatar 11 Stars Gator Joe's Beach Bar & Grill, 12431 SE 135th Ave., Ocklawaha, FL. 10.0 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; Sandy 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 3/13) We had 13 of us on a Saturday night at 5 PM and we were surprised that they could put one big table together within 10 minutes. Brittany was our server. We had 3 Gator Juices, a Clam Basket and a Fish Sandwich. All were very good and came out surprisingly fast. The 18% tip is automatically added and dinner for two was $44 including tip and tax. Fun place with good food.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 6/14) We were seated outside on new tables that are not that comfortable. They are picnic style tables and have no backs which makes sitting a long time very difficult. Our server was Katie and she took our drink order pretty quickly. It took some time after our drinks were delivered for her to return for our meal orders. I ordered the Fish Basket with Vegetables instead of French Fries. We waited quite a long time for our meals but it was busy. My Fish was tasteless and overcooked. My Vegetables were soggy and had no seasoning. The Coleslaw was OK. Everyone's meal was adequate but not great. My total for the Fish Basket and a Gator Juice was $17 before tip and tax.
Q=2 S=3 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Video Gator's Dockside (Ocala) 3920 SW 42nd St. at SR 200, Ocala, FL. 25.6 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 21 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.



Avatar (The) Getaway Deli, 2637 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Ocala, FL. 22.0 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)
US 27/301/441, Ocala, FL.

Avatar 12½ Stars Video Goblin Market Restaurant, 330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mount Dora, FL. 27.3 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. 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.

Review: (from Mary H. 12/13) We arrived at the restaurant at 12:30 PM. We were asked what section of the restaurant and we selected the main floor. We were told the upstairs is a little quieter. Our waiter was Paul and he was very informative and provided great service. I had the Warm Tenderloin Salad and it was just delicious. My husband had the Market Cobb Salad which he thoroughly enjoyed. All of the salad dressings are made from scratch at the restaurant. A hot roll and butter came with the luncheon. Both salads were large and very filling. We also opted for the Raspberry/Peach Unsweetened Iced Tea, which was also very good. Our bill before tip came to $34. We also dined there last week with 12 neighbors for dinner. Some of us opted to share a dish which comes with a separate salad and we were all pleased with the portions. We had the Pumpkin Bourbon Glazed Salmon; again top notch. Everyone in the group really enjoyed the food.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Grace Japanese Steakhouse, 3035 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 19.1 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).

Review: (from Rich C. 1/14) Another restaurant that we were headed to was closed, so we came here. Seemed busy on a Saturday night. We sat at a regular table; Krystal was our server. We each had Malbecs ($6 each). She ordered the Salmon Katsu Bento Box ($16) and I had the Steak Teriyaki Bento Box ($16). Each came with Miso Soup but no Salad. Everything is served in plastic dishes with cheap utensils and thin paper placemats. The restaurant looked clean. The soup was good and the Bento Boxes were fine. In comparison to Sakura in The Villages, not as inviting for décor or food presentation. Pretty good for food quality and service. Just an average place overall. Total with 3 wines was $50.
Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Grace Sushi, 8075 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 27.7 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).


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


Avatar Grill 19, 18050 SE 102nd Ter., Summerfield, FL. 3.3 mile drive from The Villages. 347-6172. (American) L/D. Located in Spruce Creek South Community and formerly called Bogies Restaurant and The 19th Hole, also referred to as The Links at Spruce Creek South. 1 mile north of The Villages off US 27/441. Drive straight in and turn left on 102nd Terrace. Restaurant open to the public. Open 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch daily and 4 to 7:30 PM Wednesday through Friday only for dinner. A variety of menu items are available ranging from Burgers and Patti Melts to Seafood, Chicken, Pot Roast ($11), Meatloaf ($11), Pork Chop ($12), Sirloin Steak ($13) and NY Strip Steak ($15). Dinners start at $9. Fish and Chips featured on Fridays. Coupons appear in the Thursday Daily Sun. Occasional entertainment. Collared shirts and no denim. Reservations accepted. Full bar. Chip Rice, former operator of Orange Blossom Country Club, executive chef; Darrin Irwin, owner.



Closed Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, 3355 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. After more than one year in business, Guadalajara is now closed.


Avatar Habaneros Mexican Grill (Leesburg), 10601 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 17.1 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
US 27, Leesburg, FL.

Avatar 10 Stars Harbor Hills Country Club, 6538 Lake Griffin Rd., Lady Lake, FL. 7.6 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 5/13) We had reservations for 11:30 AM on Mother's Day and our table for three was waiting. Very pleasant room, carpeted, linen service, piano music and pleasant staff. There was an Omelet Station, Bacon, Sausage and Eggs, a Carving Station with Roast Beef and Pork Loin. Also Cod, Balsamic Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Rice, Vegetable Mix, a Salad, Fruit and Cheese Bar and a huge Dessert display. A soft drink, juice or coffee came with the buffet ($32 + tax + 17% gratuity). The Roast Beef was surprisingly tender, the Omelets were made well and the Mashed Potatoes were delicious. The other items were not memorable. The dessert selection was enormous but I didn't see anything homemade here. Angela was our server and she did a good job of keeping our table cleared and Iced Teas filled. A pleasant but expensive meal for the money ($119 for 3 with t&t) with no cocktails. The restaurant never filled up but they kept the tables nicely set.
Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 6/14) Table for 8 ready at 11 AM for Sunday brunch. Excellent service by Christina who had many tables to serve. Always kept our $4 per person champagne glasses full without asking. Typical breakfast fare with Omelets to order and Waffles. Prime Roast was not as rare as we would like, but tasty and tender. Baked Cod was very good. The Chicken in sauce was good. Make your own Salad had a good selection. Nice desserts and special Crêpes with Fruit Flambé with rum was a nice touch. Great views of the lake and grounds. Total for 2 with bottomless champagne tax and gratuity was $55. A good deal.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 10 Stars Harbor Lights Restaurant, 907 CR 439B, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. 28.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-793-7058. (American) (Buffet) D. Open Thursday through Sunday only. Opens at 4 PM except Sunday from 12 Noon. 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. 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.

Review: (from Bruce W. 4/14) My wife and I took a pleasant drive to Lake Panasoffkee and Harbor Lights Restaurant. I was disappointed there wasn't more of a view; we could see a very small portion of the lake. Saturday night is billed as "Seafood Buffet" night. The price was certainly good at $12pp. The seafood items, i.e., Catfish and Shrimp were what you would get at Golden Corral. However, the Ham and Roast Beef were outstanding. Mashed Potatoes were real, but runny. Salad bar was fine, but nnt exciting with anything special. Tea ran $2 per person. Desserts were OK. I will go back sometime, but I would have lower expectations. Good value for the money.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Now Open Hardwood Smokehouse, 5400 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 25.5 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. No bar. Member of the Florida BBQ Association. The Rich/Amy, experienced pitmaster, and Richard/Brenda Lucy families, owners.



Avatar 13½ Stars Video Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille (Ocala), 24 SE 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-840-0900. (American) (Southern) L/D. 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 8 restaurants headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. Heather Hunter, 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.

Review: (from Walter P. 11/13) Took advantage of their "Veterans Day Special" which was the best for miles around. The vet got ANY entree FREE. Even including a pint of Guiness. This vet had the Trout with Arugala Salad with a Red Beans and Rice side. Vet's wife had the Salmon with Corn Grits. She raved about it. Nice portions for both. Trout was some of best ever; entire fish butterflied and sauteed then sauced perfectly. All meals hot and spiced just right. Warm quasi-French bread comes with meal and is VERY close to for real French bread (with an herbed butter). Would not be fair to quote total price paid since this was a special day, much appreciated by the Vet. Server was "JT" and have had him before and he is attentive and courteous. Harry's is worth the trip and town is already decorated for Christmas already. We like Harry's.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) Harry's does excellent and innovative New Orleans cuisine. I think their blackened seasoning is the best I've ever had. It's fairly light and not salty. The Shrimp and Scallops Orleans was excellently cooked, the Succotash was some of among the best I've ever had. My wife loved her Eggplant Napolean which was layers of perfectly fried eggplant and layers of crab with a fabulous sauce. The Grits were outstanding. They were made with grits and creamed corn - very unique. The server was excellent. The tab was $35 with 2 sodas.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 1/14) I raved about this restaurant many times. In fact mentioning that they should come to The Villages to give Bonefish run for the money. However, if today is any indication of the food, I take it all back. Is Sunday a bad day when regular chef takes a day off? The server was nice and took back both luke warm She Crab Soup and Crawfish Soup. Brought a hot one but we both thought there was too much salt in both soups. I had Caramari and my wife had Crab Cakes. In both instances, too salty. One does not need to make food too salty in the kitchen. That's why there are salt and pepper shakers on the table. America has a tendency to make food too salty. Both in Italy and France I never had too salty dishes. Good restaurants don't. Hope it was a matter of regular chef taking a day off. I will return but... The price with two glasses of wine was $48 before tip.
Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Charles K. 2/14) We called ahead about 20 minutes early and requested a round table which was set up for eight. Our waitress was Christi-Lee. She was very personable and explained the Happy Hour procedure and described the menu. While the restaurant had a waiting line there was no rush but it was very efficient. The food was very good. One complaint was that an order of French Fries was cold; it resulted in a very quick hot replacement by Cristi-Lee. The round table is conducive to enable a party of eight to communicate easily. My wife and I had a Redfish Royale with a seafood topping. Everyone else had different entrées. Each of us were very happy with the food and the evening.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Closed Hibachi Buffet, 2259 N. Citrus Blvd. (US 27/441), Leesburg, FL. Closed after a year of operation.


Closed Hollywood Café, 105 N. Main St., Wildwood, FL. Closed after 3 years of operation.


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)

Avatar 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.



Avatar 11 Stars Horse and Hounds Restaurant (Ocala West), 6998 NW US 27 (at NW 70th Ave.), Ocala, FL. 28.2 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.



Closed Horse and Hounds Restaurant (Ocala East), 4620 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. This popular restaurant closed May 11, 2014, after almost 5 years in operation. It will soon become another Mojo's Grill. The original Horse and Hounds location is still open (see that listing).


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

Video

Avatar 12½ 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.

Review: (from Mary H. 4/14) We arrived at the restaurant at 5:30 PM. There was quite a crowd there but they were able to seat us outside (it was a beautiful evening) almost immediately. Katelynn was our server, she was very attentive and also very informative. We had great service. Some of our group opted for their Special Sangria which they all enjoyed. Our friends ordered the Chilled Peel & Eat Jumbo Shrimp to share with the table and it was more than enough shrimp to go around and quite tasty. My husband and I ordered the special, which was the Grilled Tilapia that was very good and my sides were the Broccoli and Steamed Veggies. My husband had the Broccoli and their tasty Coleslaw. 3 of our friends ordered the Smothered Chicken with Coleslaw and Fries and they all enjoyed it. The other person had the Burger which he enjoyed. We opted to order 2 desserts to share with the table, the Salted Caramel Crunch Cake which was very good and the Mud Pie which was absolutely delicious. I had 2 glasses of wine ($4 each) and my husband had an Iced Tea. Our bills which included 2 Tilapia dinners ($10 each), 2 desserts ($7 each) and beverages came to $45. Fun establishment, good DJ who played music on Saturday evening and nice to be able to see the water.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/14) Friday night and not very crowded at 6 PM. I had a Red Sangria ($8) that was not memorable but went down easy. I also had a glass of house Chardonnay ($4) with my meal. I ordered the Shrimp and Fish Fry ($11) with a side Caesar Salad ($4). The fish were typical Sysco items that were factory prepared. They were eatable but not noteworthy. Kala was my server and she checked back often. Nothing exceptional with this meal but it filled me up. My total was $27 before t&t.
Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Now Open 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.



Avatar Now Open 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.



Avatar 12½ Stars Video Free WiFi Ipanema Churrascaria, 2023 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL. 19.8 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 4 weekdays 11 AM to 2:30 PM; then again at 5 PM for dinner; 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 7 PM. 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 Jan 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/13) This was a combined birthday dinner celebration for us and friends. Wednesday is Half Price Wine night. We also had a text message offer of $30 Rodizo Dinner. We all enjoy wine and needed two wine lists to select our choices for dinner. We found the wine menu hard to read because of print size, had high wine prices and were glad the Half Price offer was available. Not being able to find a California Red Zin, we agreed on the A-Mano Primitivo (which is an Italian equivalent) at $32 for the first bottle and the Terrazas Malbec at $32 for the second bottle. Our first waiter did a nice job of setting up our glasses and presenting and opening the wine. Our friend did the tasting. He immediately had a bad reaction and asked me to sample it too. The nose was OK but after tasting, the wine was definitely "corked" and "oxidized". The waiter obliged and asked if we wanted a new bottle of the same wine. We opted to go with the second choice and then pick a new choice. Later the waiter said he had tried the bad wine and agreed with us. We related that about 8% of all restaurant wine is already bad and that the manager should check other bottles or take the selection off the menu entirely rather than offer more bad bottles. The ladies had the Salad Bar ($25) and the gentlemen had the Rodizo Dinner and Salad Bar ($30 with club offer instead of $42). The gauchos were polite but we found only 6-8 meats were offered instead of 11. Some meats were burnt. All were very salty. Our second bottle was a Kunde Sonoma Cab ($35). That wine was fine. Ryan took over serving us for some reason and was friendly and helpful. In all, a pleasant but expensive evening. Total for two people with one bottle of wine, one dinner and one salad bar was $99 before discounts and $71 before t&t after the discounts. The prices are much higher now then when they first opened. We were pleased with the way the server handled the bad wine. Fabian stopped by at the end of the meal.
Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 2/14) Lunch visit with 9 diners. Excellent and varied Buffet Salad Bar. Great Baguette, but need to replace more often. Good service. Overcooked Pork and some Beef. Chicken Parm Leg was very good, Sausage excellent, Skewered Pineapple a welcome treat. All had the senior full buffet with meats served on skewers at table at $23. Our tab with 2 Iced Teas and included 20% gratuities and tax was $61. Décor is remarkable and noteworthy. Also have private room for 50-60 diners and custom menus. We shall return.
Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 12½ 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 9 PM, 4 days per week; 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. Only beer and wine available. House wines run about $4 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. No reservations taken, except for parties of 6 or more. Specials prepared daily. Open Thanksgiving Day by reservation only 11 AM to 4 PM. 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.

Review: (from Mary Lou G. 3/13) We visited the Ivy House with 3 other couples on a Friday night. We were able to make reservations and were seated right away. My husband ordered the "1890 Special", which was Fried Grouper, Hush Puppies, Grits, Potatoes and Cole Slaw. No salad came with this dinner. He was pleased with his meal. I ordered the Fried Atlantic Cod which was delicious. It came with a salad, rolls, Green Beans, Carrots, and your choice of a starch. I chose the Mac and Cheese. Others in the group ordered Salmon, Tilapia or Scallops. Everyone was pleased with their meals, althought the tilapia was baked and it was a little dry. We shared a couple of appetizers to start and finished off sharing a couple of desserts. All were great, especially the Peanut Butter Pie! Our bill, including 2 glasses of wine and one of the desserts, before t&t, was $49. Since we were a party of 8, the gratuity was added to the bill when we received it. Katie was our server and did a great job of taking care of us. If there is any complaint, it is that the portions were too large and we all took home enough food for another meal. We would definitely go back again.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 3/13) We were a party of 8 and were seated immediately, since we had reservations. This restaurant is a converted 1890 victorian home. It was absolutely beautiful. I had the Baked Salmon and he had the Fried Scallops. We ordered an appetizer for the table to share, as did another couple. Everything was delicious and beautifully plated. We each had their signature Raspberry Iced Tea and enjoyed it. Our bill came to $46 before t&t. 20% gratuity was added automatically. Our service was terrific. We will return.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bill S. 5/13) A wonderful experience! My wife and I both had the Seafood Platter. We did not have liquor, nor did we have dessert; we were too full from dinner. We even had to take some home. Everyone in our party of 8 was very satisfied. Would definitely go again. Our waitress, Cecily, was very helpful. The owner came over and talked to us a few times and told us about how they started this restaurant. Will have to try some desserts next time, it looked very good! Our bill before t&t was $54.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Joan L. 8/13) My husband and I each had a tasty salad. One salad was included free with the entrée and we paid $3 for the other salad because we shared an excellent $24 Delmonico Steak (perfectly cooked) with Mushrooms and Vegetables. No "sharing" charge. We each had a glass of $4.50 Cabernet. Although we ourselves ate no dessert, the rest of our party enjoyed the extra large scrumptious pastries and cakes. The special Pecan Tulipe was enormous, and the "hit" of our table. Our coffee was too weak but that was the only negative for food quality. Atmosphere was very pleasant. Disappointed that tablecloths were plastic. Service was prompt and attentive. Good restaurant!
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 8/13) Big difference from our 12/12 visit where we had an excellent experience. This Tuesday evening experience seemed like it was staffed by second string chef and busboys turned waiters. Abrupt and inattentive service. Our bottle of wine was opened and poured somewhere out of sight. No opportunity to inspect label or taste-test. Filled glasses and the bottle were brought to the table and never re-poured after that. Food was nowhere near the quality of our previous visit. Carrots looked like Sweet Potatoes and were as mushy. My wife's Cod was "OK" and my Bay Scallops were plentiful but lacking in taste. They bring a Roll and Cornbread on the dinner plate. Could come earlier since it is a LOOOOONG time before dinner arrived. Coffee looks like tea and returning it to the kitchen offered no improvement. Plastic tablecloths and "Golden Corral" flatware, cheapen the ambiance of this place. Also ran out of their special "Tulipe" dessert but offered to make more shells if we would wait. We did and it was well worth it. We spl it one and it was almost too much. Too bad the restaurant is inconsistent; otherwise I would recommend it.
Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 9/13) There were 7 of us; we had reservations and were seated promptly. Very nice, homey décor here. Tammy was our server and was excellent. She checked back often. Everything was served in a timely fashion. I had the House Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay and they were mediocre at $4.25 each. We each had the Surf and Turf. Excellent meals. The salad was crisp and the house dressing (Honey Mustard) and his (Blue Cheese) were very good. The Steaks were very tender, cooked as ordered. The Shrimp were lightly breaded, the Green Beans good and the Carrots outstanding. Everything was really delicious. I just finished the leftovers for lunch - cold - and they were still tasty. We were all too full for dessert. One of the better meals I have had recently. We would definitely return - hopefully soon. Two dinners, two wines, no dessert and the bill was 53.50 before t&t.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 11/13) Four of us arrived at 5:30 PM and were seated by the front window. Katie was our server, dressed in jeans, sneakers and an apron. We asked about bottled wine (not shown on the menu) and she thought it was $14 per bottle for the Murphy-Goode Cab. "At that price we'd order a case." We asked her to recheck and she returned and said it was $28/bottle. Still pretty reasonable. Not a wide selection of wines here. None of them excellent choices. She returned with 4 glasses and an already opened bottle. She poured for us without offering a test taste first. Luckily the wine was OK. We all had a nice Chopped Salad with dressing on the side and instead of stale Croutons, they use Chinese Noodles. Great Salads on square plates. My better half had the Barbecue Shrimp and Grits ($19) and I had the Baked Atlantic Salmon ($18). Both were excellent and mine came with homemade Mac 'n Cheese, plus wonderful Sliced Carrots, Green Beans, Knot Roll and Corn Bread. Our friends had the Salmon and Panco Crusted Tilapia. All our meals were excellent and nicely presented. Here's our complaints: Tacky vinyl tablecloths and paper napkins, they offer mostly Steak and Shrimp dishes, no bottled wine list and a menu that hasn't changed since they opened. Yet the food is good, if a little over-priced overall, with items approaching $30. Katie did a good job, even split the wine on two bills and the kitchen runner (in a tee-shirt!) delivered our food while it was still hot. Total before t&t was $51.
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).

Closed Jackie's Grill, 26945 Bella Vista Blvd., Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. Closed in 2012.



Avatar JB Boondocks Bar & Grill, 704 South Lakeshore Blvd., Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 23.3 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 of Palm Tree Grill in Mount Dora (see that listing), owners.

Review: (from Rich C. 8/13) We heard the food is good here so we tried it on a Sunday afternoon. Nothing fancy but a nice view. They only have Sutter Home wine here by the glass, so I had a Cab . She had a Lemon Drop Martini. Both came to $12 for beverages. There were items on the menu that ran to $27! She ordered the Fish Fry with Cole Slaw ($12) and I had just a Wienerschnitzel Sandwich with a side salad instead of the Fries. Both meals were good, especially her Corn Fritters. After I got home I realized I was charged $3 extra for the Salad, no deduction for no Fries, then overcharged $1 for my sandwich (menu says $8.99, I was charged $9.99). Not happy with that trick. You have to watch the bill closely when they use a hand written check. Total with tax was almost $40.
Q=4 S=2 V=1 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Closed Jeffrey Paul's Chophouse ("The Deuce"), 1350 W. North Blvd., Leesburg, FL. Closed in June, 2014 after two years here. May take up a new location.


Avatar 12 Stars Jeremiah's Restaurant, 500 N. Highland St. (or 947 E. 5th Ave.), Mount Dora, FL. 27.7 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.



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

Avatar Jitterz Café, 13685 S. US Hwy. 27/441, Summerfield, FL. 7.1 mile drive from The Villages. 307-9870. (American) (Pizza) B/L/D. The new location on US 27/441 (just south of SE 135th St.), is about 3000 feet north of the Del Webb Spruce Creek (North) Country Club entrance, in the new Midway Centre Plaza, at Suite #11, where the Legends Bar was located. Open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM, except closes at 2 PM on Sunday. Homestyle meals offered. Specials daily. Beer and wine available. Reservations accepted. No credit cards accepted. John Dreggors, Sr. & Jr., owners.



Avatar 11½ Stars Kick n' Back Café, 14400 E. Hwy. 40, Silver Springs, FL. 26.0 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. Reservations accepted but not needed. $10 money saving coupon available at restaurant.com or at Everyday Savings Center. 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.

Review: (from Sharon B. 7/13) Four of the six of us had been here before and loved it. Danielle was our server and she was very attentive. The restaurant wasn't as crowded as it should be. I had the Fish Alaska for the second time. The portion was so huge, I took some home. My husband had the Mojo Pulled Pork Sandwich. We also had the Redneck Eggrolls. What a treat. Our bill was under $40 and well worth it. Everyone enjoyed their dinner. It was their 2nd anniversary, so they treated us to a home baked anniversary cake!
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 8/13) Five of us went to this little "Island In The Forest" on a Sunday evening. Very casual dining. There is an outside area where larger groups can sit and there is an outside sports area for volleyball, so families with grandchildren would be comfortable. Lee was our server and was very courteous, attentive and informative. Sandi, the owner, came over and spoke with us. They are from Key West, so definitely a Caribbean vibe to many dishes. We shared appetizers of Mushrooms, Coconut Shrimp, Conch Fritters and "Wasted Away" Shrimp (with tequila lime margarita sauce), that was my favorite. The Salad was mediocre, but I thought the lime dressing was good. We also sampled each other's dinners. Two had Fish Alaska, a white fish with a crab and shrimp stuffing, that was delicious and the sauce can also be used on a chicken entrée. One had Mojo Chicken and Pork that was also delicious. One had Blackened Fish, which was fine. I had the Seafood Platter, which had white fish, scallops and shrimp. The fish and scallops I had broiled and were very good. The shrimp I had fried. Next time I would not. We all loved the Garlic Toast. There are only 2 desserts - Peanut Butter Fudge Pie and Key Lime Pie - but you don't need anything else. Again, we shared both and they were excellent. We couldn't pick a favorite. They are made in house. I had the most expensive dinner at $18. My bill with one appetizer, iced tea, entrée and one dessert was $31 before t&t.It is a nice, little place. I would only drive there in daylight hours because the roads are not well lit at night.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Kotobuki Japanese Steak House, 2463 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 22.3 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.

Review: (from Yori O. 2/14) I had the Chirashi Sushi and my spouse had Jaw of Yellow Tail. I can usually tell the level of Japanese restaurant by these two dishes. We were looking forward to this restaurant as we heard it was run by Japanese. Frankly we were disappointed. We would not make a special trip there from The Villages. It is not that it was very bad but if it is this level, we had better at the VKI. They did not charge us for Tea which is usually the case with authentic Japanese restaurants. e were hoping that the restaurant was worth the 30 min. drive but we probably will not return. $17 for Chirashi and $11 for the Fish was an OK price but...
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"
S. Pine St. (US 27/441/300) & SW 10th St. (SR 200), Ocala, FL.

Avatar La Bella's Italian Piatto & Pizzeria, 3909 SE Lake Weir Ave., Ocala, FL. 17.9 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. Typical Italian food offered plus various pizzas. Piatto is plate or dish in Italian. Beer and wine only. Bernard John Pisarek, owner.



Avatar 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. Closed only for lunch on Saturday, Sunday and Monday now. 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. Open Thanksgiving Day from 11:30 AM to 6 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 2011 and 2012 from Florida Trend Magazine. Christophe Crouzet, chef; Patrice Perron, owner.

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.

Review: (from Walter P. 5/13) It was Friday night at 7:15 PM. We found the specials were very expensive. Quiet atmosphere. After our order was taken, the waiter returned to say there was only one order of Asparagus left. Other's soups arrived but not our Scallop appetizer. There was a "miscommunication" with the kitchen and our order would be "right out". 10-15 minutes later it came. Entrées of Steak, Pork Jarret Shank, Beef Bourguignon were all good. Warm bread was "almost French bread" but OK. One couple shared a skimpy slice of cake. Our meal with shared appetizer and wine was $81. Forced 20% tip on 6 diners was $16. Poor, inaccurate, blase' service and an overpriced menu. We will not return.
Q=4 S=2 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Ellen H. 4/14) This restaurant is always a pleasant experience. We were seated upon our arrival and our waitress brought menus and took our drink order. We ordered a bottle of wine ($29) which was only OK, and she presented the specials of the day. I ordered Escargot and Beef Bourguignon and my partner ordered a Caesar Salad and Duck a l'Orange. My Escargot had a nice flavor, although I prefer more garlic, but they were not very tender. The Beef was good. The gravy had a wonderful flavor that most of the meat was very tender. The Gratin Potatoes were also very good. The price with the bottle of wine, before tip and tax was $84 after a 10% discount. Our friends enjoyed the Swordfish special. They need to update their menu here. Same items for 5 years at premium prices. We'd come back more often if the menu gets a big change.
Q=4 S=5 V=3 Total=12 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.

Closed La Yaquecita Mexican Grill, 226 Alfred St. W., Tavares, FL. Restaurant in business three and a half years, closed in October, 2013. Soon to be called Pico deGallo Mexican Grill (see that listing).



Avatar Video Free WiFi Lake Dora Sushi & Sake, 227 E. Main St., Tavares, FL. 20.9 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.



Avatar 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.



Avatar 9 Stars Free WiFi Lakeside Inn, Beauclaire Restaurant, 100 North Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 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. Selections include Steak Burger ($14), Pasta Genovese ($20), Chicken Breast ($22), Blackened Grouper ($23), 8 oz. Pork Chop ($24), Stuffed Trout ($24), Lamb Chops ($28), Roasted Duck Breast ($28), 12 oz. New York Strip Steak ($28) and a 6 oz. Filet Mignon ($32). 60 Dish Sunday Champagne Brunch offered September to May. Wine by the glass $5-8. Full bar. 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. Now 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.



Avatar Free WiFi Lakeside Inn, Tremain's Tavern, 100 North Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 383-4101. (Cafe) L/D. Casual meals in the historic hotel Gatsby style lounge. Lighter fare from Fried Green Tomatoes, to Salmon and Shrimp Dip, to Lobster Strudel, to a Monte Cristo Sandwich, all ranging between $9 and $14. Jazz on the weekends from 7-10 PM. Full bar.



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

Avatar Lakis Restaurant, 3405 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.2 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.



Avatar Lampu Japanese Steakhouse, 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. 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. Lan Nghe, chef. Paul Phu, owner.



Avatar 13 Stars Now Open La Palma Mexican Grill, 1690 Citrus Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 8.9 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. Julie McCray, manager; Raudel Torres, formerly of Zacatecas, Mexico, owner.

Review: (from Larry W. 4/14) If you like Mexican, this is a must try! The Camerones Veracuz were very good and pretty unique - loads of shrip with pablano peppers, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro and only $11.50. The Enchiladas Verde were very good. The chips are light and the sauce is a little different but quite good. Draft Beer was $1 or 2 for happy hour. Our server, José, was very attentive and the staff operated as a team. The check was $25 with 2 beers and 2 entrées. The menu is priced reasonably and based on this meal's quality, I'm making it my favorite Mexican restaurant in or near The Villages, at least for now.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/14) I have to preface my remarks that I'm not a big fan of Mexican food. I'm just not into spicy cardboard, I guess. That said, I enjoyed my lunch here today. I started with a very nice bar-made Red Sangrai ($6) and she had an Iced Tea. I like Argentine Churrasco Steak but it's not available in lunch portions. We both had Chimichangas instead, hers Chicken, mine Beef. It was one Meat Roll with Rice, Beans and Salad. I enjoyed mine because it wasn't spicy. She, on the other hand said it was bland. Well she could have ordered something else, right? The décor is lovely in this large restaurant. Rosa was our server and she was friendly and attentive. We'd come back again to try their Steak and something fiery hot for her. $22 total before t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar (The) Latin Café, 400 N. 14th St., Leesburg, FL. 10.1 mile drive from The Villages. 365-0089. (Cafe) (Spanish) B/L. Located on US 27 at the NE corner of Center St., 3 blocks north of Main. In business since 2007. 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. Nicole Young, owner.



Avatar 12½ Stars Latinos y Mas Restaurant, 2030 S. Pine Ave. (SR 27/441), Ocala, FL. 19.8 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.

Review: (from Larry W. 1/13) Our group of eight went here for a Gourmet Club outing. Server was Javier. Our bill for two was $67 with 2 Mojitos, 1 appetizer and 1 dessert. The Peruvian Cerviche was very average, but interesting as it was served with Hominy and Sweet Potato. Tacos Carne Asada were solid. The Churrasco Steak with Shrimp was good, but the Chimichanga Sauce was really good and made an average steak even better. The Plantains were also a meal highlight. We liked the Tres Leche Cake, a very solid rendition. The service was competent, but inattentive to drink refills.
Q=4 S=2 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Nancy B. 4/13) From what I understand, the décor was updated and is pleasant. The chips were fresh and crisp, but not replenished in a timely fashion. I ordered Arroz con Pollo, which I found to be rather blah with not enough moisture; however, the Sweet Plantains accompaning the plate was the best I ever had. The side of Tostones when refried, was left a little greasy. Total cost with soft drinks, tip and tax was about $45. We were not rushed and enjoyed the company and conversation, but I would not return.
Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Mary H. 5/13) Our server was Stacie and the décor was very pleasant. I ordered a glass of Chardonnay and my husband had Unsweet Tea. The menu was extensive and I ordered the Pollo y Camarones Monterey which, was absolutely delicious; my husband had the Fresh Grouper a la Rusa, which he found to be good. Overall a real find for our Gourmet Dine Out Group.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 9/13) Latinos accommodated our Gourmet Club dining out party of 9 very nicely at custom arranged table. There were many patrons at 6:30 on a Tuesday. We had attentive and helpful service by Javier, our courteous waiter. One couple split a Calamari appetizer that could have served the table. Extensive menu of Latino, Mexican, Spanish type dishes are offered. Almost everyone ordered a different dish and all were pleased with the taste, temperature, presentation and quantity. Many boxes went home too. We had the Paella (one of the best I've had anywhere, including Spain) and Churrasco Criollo Con Camar (a steak dish with Argentinian sauce) and ½ carafes of red and white wines. Our bill with tax and imposed 18% gratuity (most of us added more) was $77. All were pleased and would return.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Doris M. 9/13) Our club had a 6:30 reservation and were seated promptly. The waiter was courteous and accommodating. Coincidentally 3 of us ordered the same meal, Bistek de Pollo. All of our meals were tasty and plentiful. Corn Chips and Salsa were served before the meal, this was a nice touch. Some ordered Sangria and offered positive comments on that. My husband and I ordered the Bistek de Pollo. The meal included Salad, Rice and Beans. We were pleased with the our choices and considered the prices well within a reasonable range.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Joan L. 9/13) Despite appearing to be full, our 6 PM Gourmet Group reservation was immediately honored. Service was prompt and professional. Our waiter was knowledgeable and fully answered all questions. A couple of large baskets of complimentary Tortilla Chips with several cups of dip and freshly baked bread, were brought promptly to the table. The two of us shared a good-sized $15 carafe of Sangria and we also shared a delicious $10 Calamari appetizer. Both of our entrées, a $13 Bistek de Pollo and a $12 Arroz con Pollo, were outstandingly tasty and unbelievably large in size. We shared a $5 Tres Leches Cake, which was a perfect ending to an extraordinary meal. The restaurant was spotlessly clean and the décor was good.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 2/14) My wife and I had another excellent meal - Palomilla Steak with Rice, Black Beans, and Plantains - all top notch. Service here is always good, but tonight it was excellent. Lots of water refills, frequent check-ins,and prompt bill settlement. Our server was Manuel and the bill for 2 dinners was $25 before t&t.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



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

Avatar Free WiFi Gluten Free Menu Le Bistro de Vie, 353 Plaza Dr., Eustis, FL. 22.8 mile drive from The Villages. 978-1181. (Cafe) (Vegetarian) L/D. Located on the service road near Mary Elizabeth Dr., on the north side of the US 441 and US 19 interchange, south of town. It's inside the Om Bookstore. Open daily 10 AM to 7 PM weekdays; to 10 PM weekends and 11 AM to 7 PM on Sunday. "Clean Food!" in an artfully decorated atmosphere. This is a health-friendly café serving vegetarian and vegan meals. Organic ingredients are used where available. Mostly gluten free food sold. Cooking in a solar oven for added freshness and flavor. They offer sandwiches, salads, chili, soups and many other healthy foods. Joe's Famous Oat Burgers are popular here. Coffee, Tea, Smoothies, Juices, Wheatgrass Juice and other beverages offered. Their Chocolate Cake is a big hit. Meatless Monday adds patrons each week. Organic beer and bio-dynamic wine available too. Courtyard seating offered. Light entertainment often, like Brazilian Jazz. Co-op Market produce for sale. Kali Telana owner.



Avatar Free WiFi Legends Café, 3430 US 441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.8 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.



Closed Levi's Bistro, 114 South 5th St., Leesburg, FL. After 2 successful years in business, this restaurant is now closed. Kim Robinson opened Zachary's Bar and Grill on US 27 (see that listing).

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)

Avatar 11 Stars Little Joey's Italian Restaurant and Pizza (Summerfield), 16840 US 27/441, Summerfield, FL. 3.7 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 1/14) Was craving a pizza on this cold and rainy night and Joey's is close by. The restaurant was full when I arrived at 6 PM on a weekday. I had a Cab at the bar. It was terrible and I watched as another guest questioned his Cab too. Way too sweet and with Lambrusco on the menu, don't know why they don't pick a drier red. I switched to a Meatball Sub with Cheese after I was seated. It was OK but nothing to rave about. Small roll and two meatballs cut in half. The taste was OK. Jeremy was my server. He was friendly, casual and quick. He did a good job. Everything is served on plastic plates here with cheap utensils. Don't look for spectacular meals here - it's an everyday type of place. My total before t&t was $11.
Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Little Joey's Pizza Restaurant (Ocala), 8602 SW SR 200, Ocala, FL. 26.9 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).



Avatar 11½ Stars Video Logan's Roadhouse (Ocala), 2621 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL. 22.5 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.

Review: (from Colene M. 2/14) When we got to Logan's there was a 40-45 minute wait but 30 minutes later we were seated. We had a BO-GO coupon so that must have been why there were so many people there (being Superbowl Sunday). Our waiter, Max, came over right away and asked what we were drinking. I said Hot Tea and a glass of water and my husband said Iced Tea. He brought it and took our order, two 6 oz, Filets and two Sweet Potatoes and Salad ($16.79 each). The drinks were $2.39 each. It took awhile but the Salads came and were great. Then the Steaks and Potatoes came and they too were great. I asked for extra hot water but that took awhile. All in all, it was a good experience. $38 before t&t but with our coupon our bill was $26.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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. 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.

Review: (from Sheldon F. 2/13) We visit this Longhorn Restaurant about every 3 months. This visit was the best ever. The Prime Rib, was especially great. One Steak and a Hamburg were most acceptable, a Fish Dinner was not to raive about. Service was outstanding. We waited 35 minutes at 5 PM. Cost for the Prime Rib and Hamburger was $33 plus tax and tip after a $4 discount coupon. One of our party had a discount anniversary appetizer: the Chili Cheese Bacon Fries. They were enormous, though the chili was missing, for all practical purposes. Tasty, nevertheless.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dan. K. 7/13) We arrived at 7 PM and were seated immediately. Amber was our server and she was excellent. We split an 18 oz. Outlaw Ribeye Steak and I had the Loaded Baked Potato. The steak was tasty, but not the quality I had hoped for. We split a Caesar Salad and she had an Unsweet Iced Tea. We have eaten here about 6 times this year and while the steak was not quite up to par, it was a good value. Our total bill was $29.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Video Gluten Free Menu LongHorn Steakhouse (Ocala), 307 SE 17th Street (SR 464), Ocala, FL. 20.5 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.

Avatar Lorito's Italian Kitchen, 1801 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 21.3 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.



Avatar The Lost Parrot, 100 E. 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 27.3 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.



Avatar Magnolia Oyster Bar, 201 W. Magnolia St., Leesburg, FL. 10.8 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.



Avatar 13½ 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 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. "Steaks with passion" is their motto. This restaurant offers the finest prime beef and freshest seafood. 7, 11 or 16 oz. Filet Mignon ($30/$37/$49), 14 oz. NY Strip ($36), 16 oz. Delmonico ($38), 20 oz. Bone-In Ribeye ($43), 8 oz. Top Sirloin ($25) and 16 oz. Pork Chop ($26), as well as Surf 'n Turf are typical meat offerings. Some seafood specialties include Crab Bisque, Wood Grilled Salmon ($24), Grouper Santa Fe ($28), Seared Tuna ($29). 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 $23 to $37 and side dishes $7-9 each. Crème Brûlée ($7) and Chocolate Paradise ($7) are two of their desserts. Extensive fine wine list and full bar specializing in exotic martinis. Corkage fee $15. "Award of Excellence" recipient from Wine Spectator Magazine. Online or phone reservations accepted and highly recommended on weekends. Ask ahead about separate checks per couple. William Scheel, Louis Saig and George McCoy, proprietors; Cindi Tremblay, managing partner; John Pendleton, manager. 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.



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 NRHP)

Avatar The Mason Jar, 37534 Hwy. 19, Dona Vista, FL. 25.5 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.



Avatar Video Free WiFi McAlister's Deli, 3930 SW 42nd St. Suite 110, Ocala, FL. 25.6 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, Pizzas, 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 small chain of about 10 franchises based in Ridgeland, MS. started some 20 years ago. This one run by William McQuillan of Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

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



Avatar Video Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Now Open 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.



Avatar 13 Stars Video Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi The Melting Pot (Ocala), 10 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-622-9968. (Fondue) D. Opens at 5 PM daily. Located on the city square in the northwest corner. A fondue restaurant. "Dip into something different!" Very relaxing and involved meal production. Typically, a two hour dining experience. Great for small groups. Three prix fixe 4-course dinners are available including Cheese Fondue, Salad, Choice of three Main Fondues and Chocolate Fondue Dessert. They range $78-92 per couple depending on the main dish ingredients. One might include Ravioli, Filet Mignon, NY Strip Steak, Chicken Breast and Shrimp while another might include Lobster Tail Pieces as well. You cook your own meal in Canola Oil, Boullion or other boiling combinations. A-la-carte choices also available, including six Cheese Fondues ($8 per person) and about ten Main Fondues ($18-26 per person) ranging from a Strip Steak, Chicken and Shrimp assortment to just Filet Mignon or Cedar Plank Salmon. Vegetables and salad are included. The Perfect Date Night option with wine and roses is available at $99 per couple; also Ladies Night Out offered monthly on Wednesdays at $29 per person. This establishment is also popular for just dessert fondues like Bananas Foster, Disaronno® Meltdown, Cookies 'n Cream Mashmallow Dream, Flaming Turtle and Chocolate S'mores ranging $16-32. Gluten free information available on their website. Winner 2011 "Best Romantic Restaurant" in the Ocala area by Ocala Magazine. Full bar with a nice wine list with dozens offered by the glass ($7-10). Reservations suggested weekends. 18% gratuity added to parties of 7 or more. Started in Florida, it's one of a nationwide chain of about 150 locations. This one now owned by Scott DeMaris and managed by Lawrence Kiernan.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 2/08) Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Bill S. 5/09) Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Al C. 12/09) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Fred H. 12/09) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



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 Melting Pot)

Avatar Merrill's Market, 115 W. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 729-2072. (Deli) (Wine Bar) L/D. Located at the railroad tracks at W 3rd and Alexander St. near the entrance to the Lakeside Inn. Open from 11 AM daily, closing at 6 PM Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 9 PM Wednesday and Thursday and Midnight on Friday and Saturday. Mostly sandwiches, flatbreads and wraps here, but Hot Dogs ($7-9), Burgers ($10-12) and Wings ($10/10 or $15/20) can also be found. The Sandwiches include Turkey & Cranberry, Roast Beef & Harvati, Asiago Chicken Caesar Wrap, Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap and a Gourmet or Salmon Pinwheel, all ranging $8-10 each. You can also order the Grilled Hot Pastrami, Cuban, BBQ Cheddar Melt, Grilled Cheese, Chicken Cordon Bleu or the Reuben at $9-11 each. Wine and beer are offered with a notable selection. Live entertainment, especially blues, 7-11 PM Friday and Saturday, make this a comfortable evening hangout. Rick Merrill, performer; Cheri Merrill, owner.



Avatar 12 Stars Mesa de Notte Ristorante, 2436 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 23.4 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-732-4737. (Italian) L/D. Closing May 12 to mid-July, 2014 for renovations. Call for more information. Open 11 AM to 10 PM daily except from 3 PM on Saturday and from 10 AM on Sunday. Formerly the Uptown Grill, it changed it's name, décor and menu in June, 2011. Open for Sunday Brunch from 10 AM to 2 PM, then it offers it's regular Italian dinner menu for the rest of the day. Appetizers include Bruschetta al Pomodoro, Caprese di Bufala, Cozzee Posilippo, Antipasto Freddo, Tuna, Salmon or Beef Carpaccio and Lumanche Portabella, all ranging $8-11 each. Soups, like Pasta Fagioli or Portabella ala Grigila, run $3.50 for a cup and $5 for a bowl. Large salads ($7-9) with Caesar, Spinach, Salad Tre Gust and Insalata di Arugula are offered among others. Pasta dishes include Capellini Pomodoro, Rigatoni Carbonara, Penne Vodka, Linguini Vongole, Fettuccini Alfredo, Linguini Pescatore and Shrimp Scampi at $13-17 each. There's also house favorites like Ravioli, Stuffed Shells, Manicotti, Eggplant Parmigiano, Canneloni al Forno and Baked Lasagna at just $13. For entrées (House Salad or small Soup is included), Pollo Scarpariello, Pollo & Shrimp Pancetta and Pollo Tricolore are all $14 each, while Vitello Marsala, Vitello Piccata, Vitello Parmigiana, Vitello Frances and Saltimbocca ala Romana are all $19 each. For seafood, they offer Snapper Maricciano ($22), Grouper Francese ($22), Sea Bass in Port Wine ($33), Pan-roasted Mahi-Mahi ($20), Tuna Steak ($24), Salmon Piccata ($21) and Zuppadi Pesce Amalfi (Lobster Tail) at $25. There's also Roasted Glazed Lamb Shank ($20), Lollipop Pork Chops ($20), Roasted Duckling ($24), Veal Chop Caprese ($30), 12 oz. New York Sirloin ($24), Ribeye Steak ($25) and 10 oz. Filet Mignon ($27). Desserts include Tiramisu, Cannoli, New York Cheesecake, Pears in Chocolate Sauce, and Zabaqlione with Wild Berries, at $5-7 each. Black and white linen service. Frequent winner at "Taste of Ocala". Lower prices at lunch time. Wine list available. No beer or cocktails served. 20% gratuity added for large parties. Reservations and Call Ahead accepted. Jean Stout and José Moreno, owners. Also owns Moreno's Grill, (see that listing) and Don Chepe's Café (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Barbara B. 7/11) Q=5 S=4 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Jan 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 Jan 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.

Review: (from Fred J. 2/13) It was Valentine's Day, we arrived early but it got crowded later. We ordered the Veal Francese and Grouper Francese. While the veal was thinly sliced and tender, all I could taste was the egg dip. It was as though I was eating an omelet. The same for the Grouper. The Francese sauce was slightly lemony and very heavy with the taste of butter. The Butternut Squash soup was outstanding, however.
Q=2 S=4 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Mary H. 5/13) Our Gourmet Dine Out Group ate at this restaurant this evening. Our server's name was Ricky. He was very attentative. We were seated at a round table which is just ideal for a group of 8. The bread and dipping sauce was very good and Ricky refilled both for us. They had some delicious sounding specials but I opted for the Penne Siciliana which is a pasta dish that includes sauteed eggplant, delicious sausage, served in a garlic, basil sauce with fresh tomatoes. The sauce was delicious, very light and flavorful. Ricky came around with freshly grated parmesan which most of us took advantage of. My husband had the Spaghetti and Meatballs and he was very pleased with his dish. He ordered Iced Tea and I just had water. The meal was plentiful and came with a choice of soup or salad. We chose the salad, mine with Ranch & his with Blue Cheese and we were happy with our choices. Others at our table had a variety of selections and all seemed very pleased with their meal. Our tab without tip came to $32.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 5/13) We had a reservation for 6 PM and were seated promptly at a round table as requested. Our server was Ricky and he served us well. We both started with their Portobella ala Griglia Soup. It was fantastic. It had some sherry in it that gave it just a little extra kick. Their bread and especially their dipping sauce is outstanding. I hope they never stray away from the sauce. I had the Chicken Marsala over Angel Hair Pasta. He had the Pappadelle del Nord. The sauce was a creamy Bolonaise. We both enjoyed our meals immensely. Others at our table enjoyed their meals and the experience here. We had two teas and the main courses, which included soup or salad, and our meal came to $39 before tip. I do love their food, but I still do think that they are a little on the expensive side. We will return.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dan K. 8/13) Our Dine Out Group of 8 was seated immediately at the round table as requested with our reservation. Most of the group had Veal dishes, everyone was quite happy. Mario was our server, knew his stuff and was wonderful. The owner checked on us and everything was promptly served. She had the "Veal 2436" over Angel Hair Pasta. The sauce was a white wine sauce with lemons, artichoke hearts and spinach. I had the "La Casa Nostra" which was Lasagna, Manicotti and a Cheese Ravioli in a terrific red sauce. We each had a salad, a glass of Linea Margherita Merlot and split a Tiramisu for dessert. Our bill was $57 before t&t. The gratuity was, of course, then added on to our bill.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ralph N. 2/14) 8 of us arrived at 1:30 and were promptly seated at a round table which had been requested. Kelly was our server and was attentive to our needs. The group ordered a variety of lunch dishes ranging from Chicken, Pasta and Seafood. The food was of good quality and ample portions. The meals per couple ranged between $22 and $26 without tax and drinks. General consensus was that the couples would return again to the establishment. The timing of lunch being around 1:30 allowed for a quieter restaurant environment which made conversation easier.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 4/14) An excellent Italian restaurant. Very good food and service. Strongly recommend the Mushroom Soup - it is a serious wow! We were a group of 8, all the entrées were excellent. Appetizers were good, but not quite up to the entrées. I had the Beef Bragioli - not something easy to find in any Italian restaurant. When this restaurant says garlic, it is serious garlic, but darn good. Tab for two was $72 but included a 20% gratuity since we were a large group.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 4/14) Again - a very nice experience at this restaurant. Ricky was our server and he did an excellent job. I had the Chicken Marsala ($15) and my husband had the Pappadelle del Nord ($18). Both meals were terrific. We started with the Tortino di Melanzane appetizer (eggplant rollatine with a pesto cream sauce). That dish was only OK, but very expensive for what it was ($10). We each had Portabella ala Grilia (Mushroom) Soup. It was fantastic as it always is. The dipping sauce for the bread is out of this world too. With our meals, appetizer and waters, the cost was $42 before t&t. 20% tip is added automatically for larger parties. Ricky certainly deserved it. Everyone else at our table enjoyed their meals too. My question is: Why don't I go to Mesa de Notte more often? To answer my own question: Even though everything was great, it still is a little on the expensive side.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Mi Tierra Latina, 2105 SW CR 484, Ocala, FL. 15.9 mile drive from The Villages. 245-7096. (Mexican) L/D. Changed names and owners in December, 2013. Formerly called Mi Tierra Caliente. Open 7 days from 11:30 am to 11 pm. Located just west of I-75 exit 341 (Belleview), in the Marion Crossroads Plaza behind McDonalds and Waffle House. 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. 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 Ave. (SR 200), Ocala, FL.

Video

Avatar 12 Stars Video Mimi's Café (Ocala), 4414 SW College Blvd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 25.3 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 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. You can 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. Most entrées range from $11-15, steaks $14-16, sandwiches $7-9, breakfast $5-9. Free refills on non-alcoholic beverages. This is similar to Fridays with 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. No Happy Hour. Approach from Dillards for easier access to the parking lot. One of a chain of more than 145 locations by LeDuff America of Dallas, TX. Another Mimi's Café location is in Orlando (see that listing). Brady Rosenbaum, managing partner 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.



Avatar Video Mission Inn Resort, El Conquistador Room, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 21.6 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. Full Bar. Attractive Wine List with many by the glass. Krystle Seamon, executive chef over 30 cooks in these 3 restaurants.

Review: (from Dan G. 11/13) We arrived on time and were promptly seated at a round table for 8. Our server, Chris, was very attentive during the meal. He took all of our menu requests without writing it down. Our soup or salad courses were served promptly. There was a delay in all the entrée orders, however. We waited over 45 minutes. The female manager did come over to say she was sorry for the delay and that our meal will arrive shortly. No explanation for the delay or any accomodations. I had the French Onion Soup, 8 oz. Filet and an Iced Tea. My wife had the Caprese Salad and the Lemon Chicken. All of the entrées were hot and very good. All others were happy with their meals. The meal was $81 with tax. I added a 20% gratuity. There were several large tables of diners; the dining room was about half full, and all diners seemed to wait for their meals. There were 2 waiters to serve the floor. Expect to pay a lot in this establishment. Décor is great.
Q=4 S=5 V=2 Total=11 out of 15. Return=
No.



Avatar 12½ Stars Mission Inn Resort, La Hacienda Room, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 21.6 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 by reservation. New Years Eve Gala, starting at 7:30 PM, is $155 per person. 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.



Avatar Mission Inn Resort, Nickers Room, (in the Clubhouse), 10400 County Road 48, Howey-In-The-Hills, FL. 21.6 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. 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.

Avatar 12½ Stars Gluten Free Menu The Mojo Grill (Belleview), 4496 SE 100th Pl., Belleview, FL. 12.5 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. Toby (Tompkins) and Rondo Fernandez, owners.

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.

Review: (from Rich C. 1/14) Amanda was our server and I was surprised that she could take orders from 3 different tables (about 9-10 people) without writing them down and get them all correct. We had the Pork Fajitas with Guac ($1.50 extra) and the Pork Dinner. Both came with Black Beans and Rice. A Bud Lite Lime and a Blue Moon Draft washed it all down. Our total was $32. Very busy on Family Night but clowns and kids are always fun to watch. Delicious dinners and great service by an attentive staff.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ellen H. 2/14) Sunday night at their new location. Still a few tables open but not for long. Kaitlyn, with the bling fingernails, was our server. We had a Blue Moon Draft ($4.50) and a bottle of Bud Lite Lime ($3). I had the Chicken Florentine Quesadilla ($10) with Black Beans and Rice and he had the Ricky (Pork) Sandwich with Plantains ($9). Both were excellent and filling. I took half mine home. Kaitlyn did a good job. Very noisy inside. Next time we'll sit out front. Total was $26 before t&t. Always good food and friendly service.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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). Toby (Tompkins) and Rondo Fernandez, owners.

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.



Avatar Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Coming Soon The Mojo Grill (Ocala East), 4620 East Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL. 22.4 mile drive from The Villages. . (Caribbean) (Mexican) L/D. Located in the castle building that once housed Horse and Hounds Restaurant (Ocala East) across from the entrance to the Ocala Civic Theater, Rondo Fernandez expects to open his 3rd Grill in 2015.


Avatar Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Coming Soon Mojo's Heart and Soul Southern Kitchen (Belleview), 5710 SE Abshier Blvd., Belleview, FL. 10.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-547-5668. (Barbecue) (Southern) L/D. Toby (Tompkins) and Rondo Fernandez, owners, plan to reopen the original location of the Belleview Mojo Grill and call it Mojo's Heart and Soul Southern Kitchen. They will specialize in comfort food. An August, 2014 opening is expected. Another location is in Ocala, see below.


Avatar Video Gluten Free Menu Free WiFi Now Open Mojo's Heart and Soul Southern Kitchen (Ocala), 506 S. Pine St., Ocala, FL. 20.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-368-3663. (Barbecue) (Southern) L/D. Opened July 15, 2014. The first of two locations. Located where another Mojo Grill did business, in the Pine Plaza at SW 5th St. on US 27/441, a few doors south of the Ocala Police Dept. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM, Monday through Friday only. Staffed by students and young adults on the road back from troubled times; the motto here is "Open your heart and feed your soul." Signature dishes, with 2 sides and cornbread, include Smoked Turkey Plate, Fried Chicken, Smoked Pulled Pork and Chicken & Dumplings (all $9 each). Their Sandwiches, with one side, incude Fried Chicken Salad BLT, Meatloaf Sandwich with Gravy and a Meat Choice with Coleslaw on a Kaiser Roll (all $8 each). There's also a large Market Soul Salad, with cornbread, topped with a choice of meat ($9). Specials rotate daily and might include Lemon Pepper Chicken, Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, Pork Chops, Cuban Oxtail, Smoked Brisket, Spare Ribs, Country Fried Steak, Pork Tips, Blackened or Fried Fish, Cheese Grits and Fried Shrimp. Some of the side dishes are Mac & Cheese, Black Eyed Peas, Sage Stuffing, Collard Greens, Fried Okra, Potato Salad, Sweet Potato Casserole and others. Gluten-Free items noted on the menu. No bar. Toby (Tompkins) and Rondo Fernandez, owners.



Avatar 9 Stars Gluten Free Menu Mom & Dad's Italian Restaurant , 304 North 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 2.3 mile drive from The Villages. 753-2722. (Italian) L/D. Opens at 11 AM in season, 4 PM off season. Closed Sundays and 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.



Avatar Moreno's Grill, 1450 SW 154th Street Rd., Ocala, FL. 18.6 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-307-8788. (American) (Italian) B/L/D. Located in the SummerGlen Golf Club. Open to the public. Open 7 AM to 8:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 8 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. Closed Monday. Specializes in Italian, Spanish and Country-Style cuisine at moderate prices. Some entrées include Shrimp Parmigiana, Grouper Francese, Jambalaya, Stuffed Flounder and run $12-13. Other entrées include Prime Rib, NY Strip Steak and Filet Mignon, all at $13. Pasta dishes can also be found on the menu like Ravioli Verde, Penne with Broccoli, Focilli del Sol and Spaghetti with Meatballs at $10-11. Appetizers and salads like Antipasto or Caribbean Salad ($7) are also available. Special Sunset Dinners, like Meatloaf or Cuban Pork, including soup or salad at $11 are offered nightly. Pizzas have also been added to the menu. "Zeppoles" featured for dessert among other items. Outdoor seating available. Open Thanksgiving Day, noon to 8:30 PM. Full bar. José Moreno, owner; also owns the Mesa de Notte Ristorante (see that listing).



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

Avatar Mount Dora Brewing (and the Rocking Rabbit Brewery), 405 S. Highland St., Mount Dora, FL. 28.1 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.



Avatar Mount Dora Pizza, 2718 W. Old Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL. 24.5 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).



Closed Mr. P's Speakeasy, 3295 US 27/441, Fruitland Park, FL. Closed after a few months in business. Building is for sale.


Avatar Murphy's Oyster Bar, 1900 S. Pine Ave. (US 27/441), Ocala, FL. 19.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-690-6860. (Seafood) L/D. Opens daily at noon. Formerly Louie's Oyster Bar of Ocala. Typical Florida oyster bar with the emphasis on the bar. Various fresh shellfish such as clams, mussels and oysters usually available. All you can eat Maine Lobster and Snow Crab Legs served every day. Philly Cheese Steak and Gyros also available. Popular with locals. DJ and karaoke on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6 PM. Wine and beer available. Mufeed Zaqzouq, owner.

Older Review: (from Ira F. 12/12) Q=2 S=3 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=No.



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

Video

Avatar Muse Café, 416 SE Ft. King St., Ocala, FL. 21.6 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.



Avatar 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) Haven't been here in ages. Michelle was our server. I had the small portion of Penne Pesce Pollo ($14) and she had the Shrimp Risotto ($15). Both were acceptable. One Diet Pepsi and a water is all. Total was $32 before t&t. Not bad; not memorable either.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/14) We had wanted to try this restaurant for awhile and finally went on a Friday night. Not crowded when we first got there, but did fill up. They also were doing a brisk take out business. Seana was our server and she was pleasant and helpful. We each upgraded the Salad to an Antipasto, which was decent, but not remarkable. I had Shrimp Risotto. It was excellent. The Risotto was creamy and the Shrimp were large and flavorful. He had Seafood Lasagna, which I tasted and also found excellent. There was a lot of seafood and the sauce was delicious. Two dinners with upgraded salad and one Iced Tea came to $37 before t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Norm's Palette, 303 N. Baker St., Mount Dora, FL. 27.3 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.



Avatar 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. 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 4/13) Three guys decided to come here for lunch while the girls went shopping. It was ½ Rack Combo Special Day. I had the ½ Rack with Chicken, BBQ Beans and Mac 'n Cheese. My buddy bought the pitcher of Yuengling beer. I cut into my half chicken and found it pretty red. So I asked our server, Wanda, if the color is due to the smoker or was it under cooked. She apologized and immediately took it back to the cook. She returned saying they will cook me another one, well done. In a while she was back with a piping hot half chicken right out of the oven. I have to say they corrected the fault in the correct manner. I was happy eating poultry with no red meat. She even brought us second iced beer mugs. Probably the best and friendliest service I've had here. My total was $13 before t&t. Excellent food and my friends were all happy with their's too.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Oasis Restaurant, 7651 SW Hwy. 200, Ocala, FL. 28.4 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.



Avatar Video Ocala Wine Experience, 36 SW 1st Ave., Ocala, FL. 21.3 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 1 PM, except 2 PM on Saturday and closed all day Sunday. Closes at 8 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 Pizza at $16 each. They also have 10 flavors of Ice Cream, Truffles, Fudge Brownie and a Cheese Cake, all at $5 each. They also make Root Beer Floats ($4.50). Wines by the glass run to a wide variety and a Tasting Experience 8 Sampler runs $15. Her 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. 15% gratuity added to the bill for parties of 6 or more. Occasional entertainment. Outdoor seating available. Julie Atkinson, owner.



Avatar Ocean Buffet, 3425 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.1 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-789-6266. (Asian) (Seafood) L/D. Open daily at 11:30 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. Zhu Zhou Hua, owner.

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



Avatar 13 Stars Free WiFi O'Keefe's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 115 S. Rockingham Ave., Tavares, FL. 20.5 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 2/13) We were treated by friends so we don't know the total bill. Our server was William. He was just OK. She had O'Brien's Chicken, which is stuffed with ham and cheese. It was good. I had London Broil and Boxty Potatoes. We both had Caesar Salads to start. They were very strong on the dressing. The London Broil was not very warm and although I've had it here many times before, it was not very tender this time, at all. In fact it was chewy and hard to cut. William did not come back to check on us or I would have asked him to bring it back to the kitchen to at least be warmed up. She had a Beer and I had a Cider. Not up to par this visit, sorry.
Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bob L. 7/13) My wife and I had a delicious lunch at O'Keefe's Irish Pub in Tavares. The restaurant was immaculate and had the appearance and atmosphere of a genuine English pub. Service was excellent. I had the Shepherd's Pie for $13 and she had a Rib-Eye Sandwich with Mushrooms and Peppers for $11. My dish was outstanding. Her sandwich was very good. We had wine and beer. Extraordinarily large selection of beers and ales here. We would return
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Old Crow Real Pit Bar-B-Que, 41100 SR 19, Umatilla, FL. 24.1 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. $3, $6 and $9 money saving coupons are available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. Outdoor seating available. No bar. Leora Locke and Robert and Patricia Williams, owners.



Avatar Video Gluten Free Menu Olive Garden Italian Restaurant (Leesburg), 10026 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 16.0 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).



Avatar 12½ Stars Free WiFi Olivia's Coffeehouse, 108 N. Bay St., Eustis, FL. 26.4 mile drive from The Villages. 357-1887. (Cafe) B/L/D. Moved across the street from their original location, now at the corner of Magnolia Ave. and Bay St. with much more room. Open 7 AM to 10 PM daily, except Sundays 9 AM to 5 PM and Monday 7 AM to 2 PM only, except in the summer when they are closed Mondays. A true drop-in coffeehouse where you can relax with a cup o' java, read the paper, write letters, play Clue or even surf the web with free WiFi if you bring your own laptop. Morning offerings include Pastries, Muffins, Scones, Bagels, Biscotti and the like. Lunch might offer the Daily Soup, Fred's Chili, Sandwiches and an array of salads like Summer Salad, Tomato Salad, Oriental Mandarin Salad, Harvest Salad, Chicken or Tuna Salad and a Baby Greens or Spinach Salad all ranging $6-9. Light Dinner meals include Wraps like Chicken Picata, Philly Cheese Steak, Southwest Chicken, Turkey Brie, Roast Beef and Bleu Cheese or Provolone, Club, Buffalo Chicken, and an Italian "Wraparoni", all priced $6.79 to keep the math simple. Also offered is Quiche du Jour, Smoked Fish Dip, Chili Cheese Dip, Spinach-Artichoke Dip and a Hot Seafood Dip, all under $6. A fruit and Cheese Plate runs $7. Of course all kinds of coffee drinks plus sodas, lemonade, juices and even a few beers and wines by the glass are available. Many stop in just for dessert with Pound Cake, Chocolate Layer Cake, Crustless Ricotta Cheesecake, Ice Cream Sundaes, Scones and homemade Pies like Lemon, Coconut and Apple Caramel Pecan, all under $4. The coffeehouse is a true Greenwich Village transplant featuring poetry, plus music jam sessions, open mic Fridays and local bluegrass, celtic, folk, modern jazz, dixieland or what-not entertainment on most Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. They call it an "out of the ordinary place to be...". Beer and wine only. Fred Ledden and Olivia Spilotros, owners.

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

Older Review: (from Dennis C. 10/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Fountain Inn (1923)
E. Magnolia Ave. & N. Eustis St., Eustis, FL.

Avatar 10 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.



Avatar 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.



Closed O'Shea's Sports Pub, 5995 Signature Dr., Wildwood, FL. After only 8 months of operation, O'Shea's Sports Pub closed on December 9, 2013.



Avatar O'Shucks! Oyster Bar and Grill, 1016 S. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 11.4 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. Beer and wine is served. Annie Noell, owner.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 9/13) We go here often. He loves Oysters and thinks these are the better ones he has had around here. He always gets 1/2 raw and 1/2 half cooked. He thinks they know how to shuck them too. Wednesday night is the special $15/bucket. We were here on a Saturday, so $22/bucket is the price. It is definitely a neighborhood pub. It seats about 22 inside at tables and then there is a bar also. I believe there are outdoor tables. I always get the Swiss Mushroom Burger. It looks hand made; it is cooked as ordered and is really delicious. The bun is grilled and very good. The French Fries are average. I had Blue Moon beer ($2.50). It is usually not crowded, but because of the Alabama/Texas A&M game, it was packed and noisy. Service is usually good, but again because of the game and crowd, everyone was pitching in and serving, so we had a couple of waitresses and the bartender and I even got up to get the silverware and order the second beer. But, that was fine. This is not a fine dining experience, but for Oysters, Burgers and Beer, it is excellent. We always bring company here to show them some local flavor. Over 30 oysters, the Burger, 2 Beers and the bill before t& was $37.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Oudom's Thai & Sushi Restaurant 116 E. 5th St., Mount Dora, FL. 27.2 mile drive from The Villages. 385-4700. (Asian) L/D. Located where the 5th Ave. Café & Market once occupied, opposite Donnelly Park. Open 11:30 AM to 3 PM for lunch and 5 PM to 9:30 PM for dinner. No lunch served on Monday and closed all day Sunday. Thai specialties start with appetizers like Spring Rolls, Gyoza (Pot Stickers) and Crab Cakes. Soups include Tom Yum Shrimp, Wonton and Miso. A variety of Stir Fry items like Sweet & Sour, Pra Laam, Pad Phet, Pepper Steak, Lemongrass, Royal Seafood, Shrimp Clay Pot and Garlic Pepper Scallops, among others. Noodle dishes like Pad Woon Soon, Drunken Noodles, Pad Saew and the popular Pad Thai are offered. Seafood items include Garlic, Ginger, Basil, Curry or Triple Spice Fish. Roast Duck is also on the menu. Full Sushi and Sashimi Dinners are offered, like Maki, Unagi Don (Eel) and Tuna Tataki. A wide variety of Sushi Rolls are also available. Wine and beer only. Another location is in Deland, FL. Phaythoun and Somboun Ketsatha, owners.



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.

Avatar Oyster Troff, 936 North Bay St., Eustis, FL. 25.0 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 8/13) Place needs a paint job inside but all you need for dinner, including a roll of paper towels, tri-fold menus, utensils and tube of Saltine Crackers, are already right on the table. We shared a Smoked Fish Spread with Crackers ($6) and the three large scoops of dip were very tasty indeed. I had the Maryland Crab Cake Dinner with Caesar Salad and Hushpuppies ($13). The 3 Crab Cakes had lots of crab in them, very dark in color but only luke warm when served. The salad had a little too much dressing on it for me and the Hushpuppies looked factory made. She had the 6-Oyster Combo ($9) and Side Caesar ($3). The shells were large but the oyster meat itself was on the small side. The three toppings were enjoyable, she said. We each had a beer ($1-2 each). Jessica took good care of us. No atmosphere here but good food. Total was about $36 before t&t. We'll come back 'cause they have a large menu to choose from.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 13 Stars Palm Tree Grille, 351 North Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 735-1936. (American) L/D. Open from 11 AM daily except Monday and from 12 noon on Sunday. Dinner hour starts at 4 PM. At the corner of Donnelly and 4th Ave since 1995 in what used to be a Five and Dime store. Interesting murals adorn this café. Most main dishes range from $15-19 each. Chicken entrées include Florentine, Marsala and Parmigiana styles. Seafood entrées include Shrimp and Scallops Pesto, Cappellini with Shrimp and Sun Dried Tomatoes, Stuffed Flounder and Broiled Seafood Platter. There's also Veal Parmigiana, Stuffed Pork Loin Marsala and NY Angus Beef Strip Steak ($25). Sandwiches and Wraps like Smoked Turkey and Cheddar Croissant or Tuna Melt generally run $8-10 each. Soup or salad included with entrées. Beer, wine and full bar. 18% gratuity added to parties of 8 or more. Sisters, Mena Sabatini and Mary Sue Ortiz (chef), owners. Also owns JB Boondocks Bar & Grill (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Ellen H. 9/07) Q=4 S=3 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Max B. 12/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 12/08) Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Avatar 13 Stars Video Free WiFi Pasta Faire Ristorante, 10401 US 27/441, Belleview, FL. 12.0 mile drive from The Villages. 347-3100. (Italian) (Pizza) L/D. Opens 11 AM daily. Lunch and dinner specials daily. Open Thanksgiving Day from 12 to 7 PM. In business 20 years 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, usual hours. 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. Kathy Funk, 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.

Review: (from Larry R. 2/13) It had been a couple of years since our last visit and were happy to report that we were very satisfied with the food and service. Our group of 8 had a reservation for 6 PM and arrived at 5:45 PM which allowed us to take advantage of Happy Hour and the special early dinner menu, both at which ended at 6 PM. I ordered the Chicken and Eggplant Parm. Combo ($10) and my wife ordered the Chicken Cassadora ($10), which she loved. Both came with a generous salad and warm mini loafs of bread. House wines at happy hour are $3 and we shared an Italian Wedding Cake dessert ($6.25). Our waitress, Selina, was very friendly and efficient. A 20% gratuity was automatically added for our group of 8. Our total with tax & gratuity, was $44, very good value. Everyone in our party were quite happy with the value received.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Dennis C. 7/13) Our large group had lunch in the back room. A special $10 menu with about 10 choices was offered. Our table had Brian for a server. He was a little surly. It took him a while to get ready to take our drink and then food orders. I had a Diet Coke ($2.50) and the Parmesan Combo with a House Salad. Bread and Olive Oil was served too. I didn't like the way he threw the butter packages on the table and other items. The food came out quickly and was very good. I took home half. At the end, my bill was $13.25 with tax. He took my $20 bill and when he returned he said "Here's your $6 change" (no coins). Well that was 75 cents short, which I didn't appreciate. I just took it out of his tip. Beware of being short changed.
Q=5 S=1 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Mary H. 5/14) My husband and I decided to try Pasta Faire around 1:15 PM on Mother's Day. Most of the patrons had reservations but fortunately they were able to accommodate us very quickly. Our server was Brian who was very attentive and helpful with the menu options. They had a special Mother's Day menu which had plenty of options. They also had 4 specials which they described on a special menu and they actually displayed the dishes on their counter which I've never seen before but found very helpful. My husband opted for the Pork Chop dinner and I had the Strip Steak. We had a choice of soup or salad. Both meals were delicious. I had a Diet Coke and my husband an Iced Tea and our tab before t&t was $36. We both would readily try Pasta Faire again.
Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



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

Video

Avatar 13½ Stars Pavarotti's Pizza & Restaurant, 8075 SW SR 200, Ste. 101, Ocala, FL. 25.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-9424. (Italian) (Pizza) L/D. Open daily at 11 AM. 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. This new 3000 sq. ft. pizzeria and Italian restaurant is the second venture for these owners. Another Pavaratti's is located at 11352 N. Williams St. in Dunnellon, FL. 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.

Review: (from Judy H. 6/14) One couple had been there many times and recommended this gem of an Italian restaurant. Dinners include Salad, Garlic Knots and Pasta. We ordered Eggplant Parmesan, Shrimp Parmesan, Chicken Francese and Spaghetti and Meatballs. All 4 dinners were excellent. We asked for extra dressing on the side with salad, extra sauce on the dinners, a spicy marinara; all requests easily accommodated with a smile. The Garlic Knots were warm, soft, buttery, and garlicy - in a word-perfect. Extra Knots available quickly for the asking. Our server was Mickey who was pleasant, friendly and gets the order right every time. Refills on drinks came quickly without asking. The owner stopped by a few times to chat and make sure all was to our liking. We didn't try the Pizza but it looked good and many people came for take-out of the Pizza. You can buy Pizza by the slice. Terrific evening with good friends, good food and to top it all, extremely reasonable prices. Our dinners with drinks came to $24 for two, prior to tip.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Video Pi On Broadway 110 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-369-5100. (Italian) (Pizza) L/D. Open daily (except Sundays, Mondays and Holidays) 11 AM to Midnight; from 4 PM on Saturdays; until 2 AM on weekends. 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'i (with pork and pineapple) and Genovese (with chicken, prosciutto and pesto) are all $12 each. Or you can create your own from the list of a dozen ingredients. Salads offered include Spinach (with pear and walnuts), California Cobb (with avocados, almonds and cucumber) and Chicken Caesar (with romaine, pulled chicken and seasoned croutons), all $6-8 each. Sandwiches are also on the menu beginning with Caprese (with mozzarella, basil and yellow tomato), Tuna Niçoise (with dill and capers), French Toast Philly (with pulled chicken, peppadews and goat cheese) and a few others from $7-8. Appetizers and tapas are also available including Rock Shrimp, Chorizo, Tostones, Hummus and Manila Clam dishes about $5-7. The restaurant also offers a broad selection of micro brews and craft beers, as well as martinis and specialty cocktails concocted at the two bars. The rooftop open-air terrace is unique, giving an elevated view of the city. $9 and $15 money saving coupons are available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. Adam Volpe, chef; Juan Bengoa & Tom McDonald, managing partners.

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



Avatar Now Open Pico de Gallo Mexican Grill, 226 W. Alfred St., Tavares, FL. 20.2 mile drive from The Villages. 343-8008. (Mexican) L/D. Located where La Yaquecita 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. Named for the familiar Salsa Fresca served to every table. Expected to have similar Mexican fare. Ramon and Melina De La Paz, owners.


Avatar Pine Island Grill and Lounge 322 North Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 729-6189. (American) (Southern) L/D. Located where the Saucy Spoon and The Gables once occupied. Opened in June, 2013. Featuring Southern style cuisine and specializing in Shrimp 'n Grits, Catfish Nuggets, Gumbo and other southeastern specialties. Full bar at this location. Outside seating is available. Yuthana (Ed) and Susanna (Suzy) Parsons, owners here and at the Frog & Monkey Restaurant Pub on Donnelly St. (see that listing).



Avatar 11 Stars Gluten Free Menu Pisces Rising, 239 West 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 25.4 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" 11 AM to 3:30 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. Alexander Gandia, chef; Ron and Ann 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.

Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) My wife and I arranged for The Villages Convertible Club to have a late lunch at Pisces Rising on a very busy day during the Christmas Walk. We made reservations with their Party Manager, Jason ahead if time and were very impressed. He had his staff ready for our large group. Our meal included a list of Sandwiches that were $15 per person, including tax, tip and a drink. Numerous members of the club spoke highly of the menu and cost. It was a beautiful day to sit on their patio overlooking Lake Dora. They made a wonderful impression on a lot of Villagers on this visit.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 5/14) We went with the Gourmet Club and since we are trying to lose a few more pounds, both of us decided to stick to just appetizers. So, I have to rely on others who had full entrées. Half felt it was OK, but nothing special to write home about. They had Steak and another had Pork dish. Was told tonight's special Grouper dish was very good and his wife who had Shrimp & Grits also thought their entrée was quite good. My wife had Crab Cake which she thought was good but was surprised no Tartar Sauce came with it. I was surprised that Cream of Chicken was very good which was unlike any Cream of Chicken I had before. More like a Bisque. Calamari was good but what they did was to put good juicy ones on top and skimpy ones on the bottom. That I thought was not right. Samantha was our waitress and she did a good job with three orders of Banana Foster. Thought the service was a bit slow but what I didn't like most was that she should't pipe up and mention what she liked most from the menu. Unless asked to keep quiet. Our bill came to $49 with one drink. Ambience is very nice but I have to agree with other couples, nothing too much to write about. With few exceptions, it was just OK.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 14½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Video PizzAmoré, 622 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL. 27.0 mile drive from The Villages. 383-0092. (Italian) (Pizza) L/D. Located on the main drag between 6th and 7th Aves., ½ block north of the square. 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.

Review: (from Larry W. 1/13) Tab for two was $22 with one beer. Our server was not identified. PizzAmoré has a wonderfully unique pizza crust that is very light and crispy, but somewhat thick...though it is not heavy. We had a Spinach, Garlic, Tomato, and Feta Pizza that was a true delight and among the best pizzas I've ever had. And that is saying a great deal as pizza is my favorite food. They have a good selection of beers, with one on tap. They have a small selection of wines priced at $20 a bottle.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Sherry W. 1/14) This was our fourth visit to PizzaAmore in the past year, and I still contend it is some of the best pizza anywhere in the world. The crust is thin, light and crispy. Toppings range from traditional to innovative. They have a small but skillfully chosen selection of Craft Beers and Wine. Service is very friendly. We were debating two types of pizza and the server arranged to have half a pizza made with each. Salads are very excellent also. Our bill was $30 with wine, beer, salad, and extra-large pizza.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Plantation Oaks Restaurant, 4720 Plantation Blvd., Leesburg, FL. 18.6 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.



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)

Avatar 14 Stars Video Polly's Pantry Royal Tea Room & Gift Shop, 819 S. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 11.6 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.



Avatar Pressed For Time Café, 110 S. New Hampshire Ave., Tavares, FL. 20.4 mile drive from The Villages. 253-4663. (Cafe) B/L. Located about a block from the lake, just south of Main St. Open Monday to Wednesday 10 AM to 3 PM, then Thursday and Friday 7:30 AM to 3 PM and Saturday 11 AM to 3 PM. Closed Sunday. They specialize in the Hot Pressed Cuban Sandwich with bread from Tampa's Cuban community. Also you can find Chicken Salad, Turkey Melt, Corned Beef, Ham 'n Salami, BLT, Roast Pork, Beef 'n Swiss, Chicken Cordon Blue, Ham 'n Cheese and Chicken Club Sandwiches, all at about $4.50 for 4" and about $7 for 8" ones. Cold Sandwiches are also on the menu at the same prices. Wraps are offered also, like Tuna Salad Wrap, BBQ Pork Wrap and Turkey Wrap, all at about $7 or less. Black Beans and Rice is made for $4.50-6, depending on size. Caesar Salad ($7), Greek Salad ($8), Chef Salad ($8) and a Cobb Salad ($9) available too. A daily soup comes in 3 sizes ($3/$4/$5). A side of Cuban Bread come with the salads or soups. Cake, Muffins and Brownies are offered for dessert at $2 or less. Beer and wine is available here, as is plenty of outdoor seating. Fred, Chris and Tracy Belton, owners.



Avatar Quarterdeck, 831 S. Central Ave., Umatilla, FL. 24.2 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.



Avatar 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 6 AM to 2 PM weekdays 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 6/13) We had early lunch - late breakfast. Josh was our server. I ordered the Chicken Salad Melt on Rye and a Diet Drink and she had Two Eggs, Corned Beef Hash, Biscuits, Grits and an Iced Tea. Both were very good but when it arrived, Josh said they were out of Grits in the afternoon and he (or the kitchen) substituted Fried Potatoes, which she didn't eat. He should have told us about the Grits so she could have substituted Cottage Cheese or something more to her liking. The biscuit pan was homemade. She particularly liked the home made Hash. A CB Hash Sandwich would be a great addition to their menu. My Chicken Salad was mostly chicken. The total before t&t was $18. A little high but the food was very good. Tim stopped by to check on us and so did Christine. Now if we can get Tim to offer Pauly's Pizza here, we'd have more of a reason to drive down this way for lunch.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 10½ 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 ($16), World Class BBQ Ribs ($9 & $15) and Smothered Chicken ($12) tops the news-printed menu. Fried Shrimp Platter ($9), Fish 'n Chips ($8) and Broiled 'n Grilled Salmon ($11) are featured in the Seafood Section. Some Mexican favorites are here too like Ultimate Nachos ($8) and a Taco Salad ($7). They say their Buffalo Wings ($7-15) are "world famous". Who can dispute that claim? Lots of Wraps ($8), Sandwiches ($7-9) and Burgers ($6-9) are what most people order. Soups and salads also offered, like a Spinach Salad ($8), Cobb Salad ($8) and a Calypso Salad ($8). 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.



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

Avatar 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.



Avatar 11½ Stars Gluten Free Menu Riccardo's Restaurant 11783 S. US Hwy. 441, Belleview, FL. 9.2 mile drive from The Villages. 693-5828. (Italian) (Pizza) B/L. 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 7 AM to 2 PM daily, except 7 AM to 2 PM only 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 charge 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.

Review: (from Dennis C. 1/13) Saturday night and The Villages were too crowded with the Craft Fair, so we drove up to Belleview. Not very busy at all at about 6 PM. We had a nice table near the front window and William was our friendly server. The glass of Cabernet was remarkably good for only $3 each, so I had two. I ordered the Chicken Parmesan with some Rigs and meat sauce. It came out promptly. The Garlic Knots were good too. Pleasant meal with friends. They could do without the glaring florescent ceiling lights and add some much needed atmosphere. My meal (for one) came to $17 before t&t.
Q=4 S=4 V=5 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 6/13) Nine from Villages Gourmet Club were seated at 6 PM at a long table. Wine was $3.75 a glass. No carafes or bottles available. Bottled beer only. My Fried Fish Platter was good and plenty with Fries and huge Slaw. Side salad for $2 (with entrée) was good and plenty too. Her Grilled Combo was good. Everyone enjoyed their meal and would return. Service was varied. All meals came together but water service and wine, a little slow. Otherwise all orders were correct and timely. Groupon coupons sometimes available on line. Our tab was $46 for two, including 2 wines each.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 3/14) Table for 6 at 6 PM ready and on-time. Waiter was dressed in street clothes, no name badge. We had coupons but none were good on "specials". Waiter took order. When questioned about not writing orders he claimed he would remember. On reviewing orders, he repeated 2 or 3 incorrectly. When the entrées arrived, one was missing. He had to put the order in at that time again, so she ate after we were all done with ours. NOT GOOD. Food was OK, not special. Reasonable for what we got. Ours was $34 for two entrées (with salad and bread), 1 wine and 1 bottled beer. Like most restaurants in this area, "Ya never know...Ya just never know, about food quality and service from time to time".
Q=3 S=2 V=3 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.



Avatar 10 Stars Rita's Oyster Bar and Grill, 346 Shopping Center Dr., Wildwood, FL. 10.9 mile drive from The Villages. 399-2987. (Middle Eastern) (Seafood) L/D. Located next to Azteca's Mexican Restaurant in the Wildwood Shopping Plaza on US 301 downtown. Opened for business April 8, 2013. Named for the owner's mother. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM, later on weekends, but closed on Sunday. Middle Eastern food is prevalent on the menu. Raw Oysters and Clams are their specialty. A full bucket is priced at $22, half bucket at $12; or you can order a half dozen ($7) or a full dozen ($9). Tuesday and Thursday Buckets at reduced prices. There's also Fried Oysters at $10/doz. Rita's Oyster Rockefeller ($8) is also a popular appetizer. Fried Shrimp ($10), Steamed Shrimp ($9), Jalapeño Poppers ($7) and U-Peel Shrimp ($8) are also offered for appetizers. You can also find Wings (10/$8), Gator Tail ($9), Fried Frogs Legs ($8) and ½ lb. Snow Crab Legs ($9) on the appetizer menu too. The Middle Eastern appetizers include Tabbouleh, Falafel, Hummus and Stuffed Grape Leaves (all $6 each). For entrées they have Fried Shrimp ($11), Fried Frog Legs ($11), Fried Gator Tail ($12), Fried Oysters ($12), Stuffed Flounder ($13), Stuffed Shrimp ($13), Broiled Fish ($11), Fried Fish ($11) and a Combo of Fish, Shrimp and Snow Crab at $17. For meat lovers, they offer Rib Eye Steak ($14) and various Kabobs like Steak, Chicken, Shrimp and Kafta (all $16 each). Entrées come with Greek Potatoes, Garlic Bread and a Vegetable. Kabobs come with Rice and Vegetables. A Tossed Side Salad is $2 extra. They also offer Burgers ($7), Steak Pita ($9), Philly Cheese Steak ($9), Falafel Sandwich ($9) and Chicken Shawarma ($9). Clam Chowder and Oyster Stew ($4 each) can also be ordered. Live Maine Lobster dinners offered Friday and Saturday only in season. Kids menu available too. Beer and wine licensed. Reservations accepted. Paul Mansour of Leesburg, owner.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 4/13) We went here on a Thursday night because of the Bucket of Oysters for $16 special, regularly $22. That is what he got. He said they were good, not as good as O'Shucks, but good. I had the Clam Chowder which was fine. I also got the Stuffed Flounder. The "stuffed" was mainly breadcrumbs and seasoning. There may have been crab or fish with it, not sure. The Flounder was very undercooked, basically raw. She offered to reheat it, but I said I would just take it home and cook it later. The restaurant is small, but clean. Our waitress was very nice and attentive. We did have to ask for silverware. We had Iced Tea. The total for two, with no liquor, was $37. I am giving it the benefit of the doubt because they have only been open a month, so I would go back, but I could not highly recommend it yet. Hopefully, the food will improve.
Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Rich C. 5/13) Four guys wanted to try a new place, so we picked Rita's. No one ordered the Oyster Bucket, even though it was on special. Instead we had Fried Oysters, Fried Shrimp, Fried Fish and one had the Rib Eye Steak. The Steak came out sizzling and thick cut. Our fish items were good and served hot out of the frier. My Fried Shrimp were butterflied and a bit small. The Potatoes were fine, the Green Beans were canned. The Garlic Bread was just a half a toasted bun. Laurie was our friendly server. They were out of Yuengling and Blue Moon beers. I had two Malt Beverages instead. My bill before tip was $18. Everything was just OK. We'd come back to try the Raw Oyster Special next time.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 2/14) O'Shucks was out of oysters, so we decided to give Rita's another try. There were only two other tables full, so we were seated immediately and Rita herself was our server. The men split two Buckets of Oysters, one raw, one cooked. They said both were very good and shucked correctly. I had the Fried Shrimp and Clam Strips. This was a much better "eating" experience than last time. They were crispy and not over breaded. Greek Potatoes and Green Beans were the sides and both were flavorful. Rita overheard us say one of us was having a birthday and she brought him a piece of Key Lime Pie, which we shared and it was good. A nice touch. We were treated, so I am not sure of the exact bill, but the Oysters were $22 a bucket, the dinners were each about $9. I am glad we gave this restaurant a second chance.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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.



Avatar Roma Italian Restaurant, 2775 NW 49th Ave. (Suite 201), Ocala, FL. 30.0 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.



Avatar 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.

Review: (from Fred H. 4/13) This was a nice experience for our Dine-Out Group. We had reservations for 6:30 PM on a Thursday and were seated promptly. My wife had Scallops and I had Roasted Duck. Both were very good. Service was all right considering the size of our group. Our bill, which included a bottle of wine and a split dessert was $78, including tax and tip. Worth the 45-minute drive.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Ruby Street Grille, 221 E. Main St., Tavares, FL. Entrance on Ruby Street. 20.5 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.



Closed Rumors (Restaurant & Lounge), 10401 US 441, Leesburg, FL. After 1 year in business, they closed before the holiday season, 2013.

Avatar Sammy Joe's, 132 S. US 441, Lady Lake, FL. 2.7 mile drive from The Villages. 633-1949. (Pizza) L/D. Located on 27/441 in the Lady Lake Plaza near Lady Lake Blvd., just south of the Lady Lake Chamber of Commerce and park. Opened in July, 2013. Hours are 11 AM to 9 PM daily except closed Monday, and to 10 PM on Friday but only 3-10 PM on Saturday and 4-8 PM on Sunday. Specializes in Pizza at $6.50/10", $8.50/14", $10.50/16" and $13.50/20" plus toppings that are $1.25, $1.50, $1.75 and $2.00 extra per topping respectively. Plus they have house specials like "The Veggie" at $10.50/14", $12.50/16" and $15.50/20" and "The Motivator" at $13.50/14", $15.50/16" and $18.50/20" and "Meat Lovers" or "Deluxe" at $14.50/14", $16.50/16" and $19.50/20". Calzones and Strombolis (both $8.50/$13) and "Grinders" like Italian, French Dip, Meatball, Steak & Cheese and Sammy Club (all $8 each) are also on the menu. 10 or 20 Jumbo Chicken Wings run $8.50 & $15.50. Salads are also offered at about $8 each. Special deals for mid-week and Sunday dinner. Small seating area. No bar. Delivery available. Carol Laufersky, owner here and at SonRise Café in The Villages (see that listing).



Avatar Sammy's Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, 6106 SW SR 200, Ocala, FL. 25.9 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.



Avatar 10 Stars Buffalo Discount Card Free WiFi Sam's St. John's Seafood (Summerfield), 17860 SE 109th Ave., Summerfield, FL. 2.0 mile drive from The Villages. 307-7387. (Buffet) (Seafood) L/D. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Located in the Spruce Creek Terrace Shoppes across from Walmart on US 27/441. Specializes in seafood buffet as well as menu items like Grilled Monterey, Shrimp Scampi, Stuffed Flounder, Grilled Shrimp, Gator Tail and even Surf & Turf. Grouper, Pollock, Salmon, Flounder, Catfish and Sea Trout can be found on the menu, as well as beef and chicken entrées. A 10% discount coupon is available on their website. Early Bird Specials from 3 to 6 PM at $9. Full bar. 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. William Scott, manager here; 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.



Avatar 13 Stars San Juan Mexican Restaurant, 1341 S. 14th St., Leesburg, FL. 11.4 mile drive from The Villages. 787-7575. (Mexican) L/D. Located at the end of the Southside Shopping Plaza located a few blocks south of SR 44 (Dixie Ave.). Open 11 AM to 8 PM daily, except to 5 PM on Sunday. A small Mexican restaurant offering the typical Mexican fare. Chicken Enchiladas are popular here. Full bar with margaritas. Juan Sanchez, owner.

Older Review: (from Mike S. 12/10) Q=4 S=3 V=5 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from William R. 11/12) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.



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

Closed Sapplings Café, 1434 W. Main St., Leesburg, FL. After just 20 months of operation, sadly this cafe closed in December, 2013.


Closed Saucy Spoon Downtown, 322 North Alexander St., Mount Dora, FL. Closed in the early summer of 2013. Now it's the Pine Island Grill and Lounge (see that listing).

Avatar 12 Stars Free WiFi The Schnitzel Factory, 1053 NE 14th St., Ocala, FL. 23.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-433-2300. (German) L/D. Open 11 AM to 8 PM five days per week. Closed Sundays, Mondays (and Tuesdays in summer). Travel north on US 27, past downtown, turn right on NE 10th St. (CR 492), go east about 10 blocks on CR 492. New German restaurant featuring traditional Schnitzel (pan fried veal cutlet) and other authentic German dishes. The menu includes Wienerschnitzel, Jaegerschnitzel, Zigeunerschnitzel, Rahmschnitzel, Pfefferschnitzel, Spargelschnitzel and Holsteinerschnitzel. If that's not enough, Schweizerschnitzel, Prinzesschnitzel, Hawaiischnitzel and Zwiebelschnitzel are on the list too. Many types of Wursts are also offered. Rib Eye Steaks and Gulasch are also available. Sauerbraten, Rouladen mit Spaetzle and Schweinebraten are weekend specialties. German desserts like Kirschstruddel and Deutscher Kaesekuchen are available too. German beer and wine available. German spoken. Entertainment after 5 PM Saturdays. Usually closed first week of July for vacation. Reservations accepted and advised for entertainment nights. See their website for a 10% coupon. Juergen Beissel, owner.

Older Review: (from Mary Lou G. 1/09) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.

Older Review: (from Eileen C. 10/09) Q=3 S=4 V=4 Total=11 out of 15. Return=No.

Older Review: (from Bob M. 2/10) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

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

Older Review: (from Bill M. 1/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Dan G. 3/13) There were 8 of us. My wife and I shared the Potato Pancakes ($5). They were crisp and tasty. I had the Beef Stroganoff ($16) that came with Green Beans. This entrée was sufficient and very tasty. My wife had the Veal Schnitzel ($18). The Mashed Potatoes was smothered in gravy (she ask for the gravy on the side). Green Beans were good. The fried veal was good. The waitress (Petra) was very good and talked with the whole party. We shared the Cherry Strudel, which was very good. They ran out of the Apple Strudel which we were looking forward to. I had Lemonade and she had Iced Tea. Total bill was $52 without the tip.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Scrambles Café, 3233 SE Maricamp Rd., Ocala, FL. 18.6 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.



Closed Shane's Rib Shack, 2602 SW 19th Ave. Rd., Ocala, FL. Closed in April, 2014.


Avatar Silver Springs Restaurant and Steakhouse, 5300 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs, FL. 21.2 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.

Avatar Sinbad's, 1050 W. Burleigh Blvd. (US 441/SR 44), Tavares, FL. 19.7 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. Opens 11 AM daily. Kitchen closes at 6 PM on Sundays and 9:15 PM other days. Long established "Beer and Grill" since 1989. Known for their Fried Shrimp, Grouper and Tenderloin Sandwiches, Peel and Eat Shrimp and famous Chicken Wings with Mild/Hot/Firecracker Buffalo, Garlic Butter or Teriyaki sauces. Unique method of deep frying. 2010 & 2012 Foodie Critic's Choice winner for "Best Wings" in the Orlando area by the Orlando Sentinel. Said to have the coldest tap beer in the area. Views of Lake Eustis. Lakefront porch and boat dock. The writing is on the wall (and the ceiling). Beer only. Melody and Steve (Sam) Burroughs, owners.



Avatar 13½ Stars Video SKY Asian Fusion Restaurant, 3600 SW 38th Ave., 6th Floor, Ocala, FL. 25.6 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, 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. 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 or phone reservations accepted and advised. Suggested gratuity automatically added for large parties. Winner 2008 "Best Ocala Restaurant" by Ocala Magazine. Golden Spoon Award in 2011 from Florida Trend Magazine. Tony Trinidad, executive chef; 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 Jan 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 Jan T. 8/12) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Bill S. 6/13) We wanted to try this place for some time and finally got up to Ocala with our group. After going to the 6th floor, the place itself should win a prize for décor. The food also was very good, all in party were very pleased with the meal and the service. The waiter, Matt, was very helpful and polite. My wife had the Mongolian Beef and I had the Black Pepper Steak. She had a Caeser Salad and we both had a house wine. The Crème Brûlée for the dessert was a welcome finish to our meal. Our bill was $60 before t&t, and yes they added 20% tip to the bill for parties of eight or more. Would definitely come again.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 1/14) Eight in our party. Sky has very impressive food. The Lettuce Wrap appetizers were a standout and quite large. The other appetizers were credible. However, the real star was the main course. The Sea Bass entrée was perfectly cooked and a beautiful piece of fish. The Scallops entrée was excellent and had the most unique Rice - blueberry and coconut flavored, a great surprise. Everyone in our group enjoyed their entrée. I found the Banana Spring Roll dessert lacking in texture and flavor however. Others really enjoyed the Bread Pudding dessert. Our server, Kim, did a good job. The tab for 2 was $100 with one drink, 2 appetizers, 2 entrées, and 1 dessert.
Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Walter P. 5/14) Table for 6 at 6 PM and seated on time. Server, Kimberly, was very good. Explained how appetizers were large enough to share. Our group shared the Lettuce Wrap, Crispy Calamari Salad and Wontons. All excellent and plenty. Our entrées were Szechuan Shrimp and Shrimp Moogoo, which were very good. With 2 glasses of house wine each and appetizer, bill was $59 before t&t. Décor was pleasant and decorative. Background music did not match the décor and was a bit loud. Will return.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 5/14) Our party of 8 had 6 PM dinner reservations and were seated after a short wait. The room is formal looking, not what you would expect at a Holiday Inn and the view out of the wall of windows is lovely. Sara was our server and she did an excellent job. We had requested, and were seated at, a round table, the center of which had a lazy susan. This was great as all 8 of us ordered a different appetizer and then could just move them around. The Chicken Lettuce Wraps are always a hit and the Spring Rolls are the best I have had, with a lot of flavor and good texture, not soggy or greasy. We shared the Dinner For Two Special ($40), which comes with one appetizer, two entrées and one side dish. We selected Mongolian Beef and Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and a side order of Fried Rice. Very tasty and large portions. One Happy Hour Beer, an extra appetizer and the dinner special came to $54 before t&t.
Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ann S. 6/14) Our party of 6 was seated a few minutes early. Kenny, our waiter, explained the Happy Hour specials and pricing and took drink orders in a timely manner. He also gave detailed descriptions of the specials and all dishes we had questions about. We started with the Chef's Special Appetizer (Ribs, Wontons and Spring Rolls), enough to share and very tasty. We both had the Citrus Scallops which were large, plentiful and perfectly done. The Blueberry Coconut Jasmine Rice was like no side I'd had before and we both loved it. Another couple in our party had the "Dinner For Two" Special, plenty to share and also delicious. All agreed it was an excellent dining experience. Total for 1 Martini, 2 glasses of wine, 1 appetizer and 2 entrées was $81 before t&t.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Janice T. 6/14) Another good experience at this restaurant. We had reservations at 6 PM and were seated promptly. We had the round table by the window (Table #37) with the Lazy Susan. Drew, our server, was very knowledgeable and took care of our every need. The food was delicious for all. We had a variety of 8 different dishes that we all shared and enjoyed. I ordered the Shrimp Moo Goo Gai Pan ($18) and my husband had the Orange Chicken ($16). We had a pot of Oolong Tea and a soda for our drinks. Wow, the Oolong Tea was $5. Too expensive! Our total was $41 before t&t. The only down side - the portions are still getting smaller. It used to be that some took home a little of the leftovers. No leftovers from the past few visits. If the portions get smaller, then the price should get smaller. Ha Ha! Overall, it is expensive for what you get. We will return, but not as often as I would like because of the prices.
Q=5 S=4 V=3 Total=12 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Yori O. 6/14) Never expected the likes of this at a Holiday Inn. The Asian décor and ambience was quite impressive. Reminded me of a restaurant in Hong Kong. We had the prix-fixe dinner but my overall impression of the dinner was just OK. Unfortunately the Steamed Dumpling, Mongolian Beef, Orange Chicken and Lo Mein, one could have at Chinese take out. The food did not match the rich feel of the restaurant. Fortunately our friends gave each of us one Scallop which we thought was excellent. It was soft and juicy. Perhaps it was the prix-fixe selection which did not meet our expectations. We might try a regular meal next time. Kenny, the server, was very efficient and two for one glasses of wine both white and red were fine. Price was $40 for prix-fixe.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Closed Slyce Bistro & Pizzeria, 2515 NE 3rd St., Ocala, FL. Closed in the spring of 2014 after almost 3 years in business.

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

Avatar Sol de Mexico, 125 N. Bay St., Eustis, FL. 25.3 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.



Avatar 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. Kaye Buglino, franchisee.



Avatar Gluten Free Menu Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q (Leesburg), 1396 W. North Blvd. (US 27/441), Leesburg, FL. 9.7 mile drive from The Villages. 326-3000. (Barbecue) L/D. Open daily 11 AM to 9:30 PM or later on weekends. This location is at the "27/441 split" outside Leesburg. Sonny's was established in 1968 in Gainesville, Florida by Floyd Tillman. It offers variety of Bar-B-Q meats, including St. Louis Cut Ribs, and their signature Baby Back Ribs plus Pulled Beef Brisket. Also popular is Pulled Pork or Sliced Pork, Turkey or Chicken. Side items include Bar-B-Q Beans, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, Coleslaw, Onion Rings and Fried Okra as well as Southern Green Beans. "We cook it up slow and serve it up fast and friendly." is their motto. This location is one of their oldest franchises. Gluten free information available on their website. Beer & wine served. Sonny's Red Ale complements their food. Take-out and catering available. 2010 & 2011 Foodie Reader's Choice runner-up for "Best Barbeque Restaurant" in the Orlando area by the Orlando Sentinel. One of 127 locations in 9 states, now headquartered in Maitland, FL. Ken Kirkpatrick and Wes Dixon, franchisees here and at their Villages location (see that listing).



Avatar Gluten Free Menu Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q (Ocala South), 1794 SW CR 484, Ocala, FL. 15.6 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.



Avatar Spring Garden Buffet, 10135 SE Hwy. 27/441, Belleview, FL. 12.2 mile drive from The Villages. 307-8880. (Asian) (Buffet) L/D. Located near Publix Supermarket in the Belleview Commons Shopping Plaza. Open 11 AM to 9:30 PM, 7 days per week. Opened December, 2010. Offering the usual assortment of Chinese cuisine with chicken, beef, seafood and vegetable items. Dinner buffet starts at 3:30 PM. Lunch buffet is $6.25 per person and dinner buffet $9.25 per person. Soft drinks available. No bar. Bo and Yong Lian Chen, owners.



Avatar 13 Stars (The Original) Stavro's Pizza Restaurant, 3223 North Hwy. 27/441, Fruitland Park, FL. 7.5 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.

Review: (from Larry W. 3/13) This was our first visit on a recommendation from a fellow Gourmet Club member. The Pizza is hearty, but well balanced - generous cheese, generous toppings (very good sausage), interesting sauce and a remarkably light and crispy crust. The Greek Salad was different than I'm used to but the dressing was good and the overall effect was satisfying. The Baklava Cheesecake is very original and extremely good. Our bill was $33 for 2 people with 1 beer. Our server wasn't identified...they tended to work a team - very effectively.
Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Larry W. 8/13) Second visit to Stavros. Pizza was richly topped and flavorful. The Greek Salad has shredded lettuce, olives, tomatoes, pepprocini, cheese, and ham - different, but very interesting. The servers work as a team. Desserts, especially, the special, can be amazing. Tab was $40 with Large Pizza, salad, small pitcher of beer and a glass of wine.
Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



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

Avatar Stella's Modern Pantry, 20 SW Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.7 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. 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.



Avatar Stone Creek Grille, 9676 SW 62nd Loop, Ocala, FL. 32.3 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 Fish & Chips ($12), Tuscan Chicken ($13), 6 oz. Prime Rib ($13), Stuffed Grouper ($15) or Petite Filet ($16). 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. A $15 money saving coupon is available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. Kathy Mills, chef; Sean Vandak, director; owned by Pulte Homes, Inc.



Closed Sunset Harbor Marina, 10333 SE Sunset Harbor Rd., Summerfield, FL. After many years of operation, this landmark is closed.



Avatar Free WiFi Sushi Bistro, 18 SE Broadway St., Ocala, FL. 21.4 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.

Avatar 14½ 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. 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. 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.



Avatar 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.



Avatar 12 Stars Takis Greek & Italian Restaurant (Lady Lake) 13761 US 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 1.4 mile drive from The Villages. 430-3630. (Greek) (Italian) L/D. Pronounced "tak-iss", not "tak-ees". Located in the Beall's Plaza. Sister establishment to the one in Leesburg that opened in 1980. Authentic Greek fare like Pastichio ($11), Lamb Chops ($16), Mousaka ($12), Slouvaki with Chicken or Pork ($14-15) and Gyro Plate ($13) are featured. Full Rack of BBQ Baby Back Ribs at $13. Prime Rib, Pizza ($9-19), Italian dishes ($9-15) and Greek Salads ($4-9) are also available. Pita Sandwiches ($5-7) are popular for lunch. Indoor and outdoor seating. Full bar. Another location is in Leesburg, on US 441. 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.



Avatar Free WiFi Tantra Indian Fusion Restaurant, 3131 SW College Rd. (SR 200), Ocala, FL. 22.7 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-9237. (Indian) L/D. Located where Bay Leaf and Saffron Indian Cuisine did business, at suite #303. It's directly across from the Paddock Mall. Open 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch, then 5 PM to 9:30 PM daily for dinner and later on weekends. All the flavors of India in a new age urban style cuisine. Traditional Indian dishes as well as neavou creations are represented. $9 and $15 money saving coupons are available at restaurant.com. Restrictions apply. Reservations accepted. No bar. Chandrika, Kashmira, Kalpa, Hetal and Vaishali Patel, owners.



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

Avatar Tasso Cajun Kitchen, 123 S. Joanna Ave., Tavares, FL. New owner changed its name to Cajun Quarter in February, 2014. (See that listing).

Avatar Gluten Free Menu A Taste of Everywhere, 128 SW. Broadway, Ocala, FL. 21.3 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.

Review: (from Rich C. 9/13) New place for lunch. I wanted to try the Beef Brisket, but they were out today. Instead, I had a Meatball Parm. Sub ($8); it came with a side, I chose Pasta Salad. I also had a canned Diet Coke and took home a Strudel for later. The food is brought out pretty promptly. They also use real china and stainless utensils, but it's more or less help yourself. The sandwich was good. Could only eat half. Total with tax was about $13. I'll be back for the Beef Brisket.
Q=4 S=3 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar 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. "Two-for" coupon available from their website. No bar. Lee Johnson, owner.



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

Avatar 12 Stars Texas Stockyards BBQ (Lady Lake), 360 S. Hwy 27/441, Lady Lake, FL. 3.1 mile drive from The Villages. 750-5227. (Barbecue) B/L/D. Located where the Silver Cricket Restaurant did business, at the intersection of Griffinview Dr. and US 27/441. Opened April 28, 2012. Hours are 7 AM to 9 PM daily. Now open for breakfast daily, 7-11 AM. This non-chain restaurant offers Texas Beef and Southern Pork Barbecue meals for lunch and dinner. Platters can be 1, 2 or 3 meat selections at $9, $13 or $17 respectively. The first two include 2 sides, the 3 meat platter includes 3 sides. The meat choices are Beef Brisket (their specialty), Pork & Beef Sausage (plain or jalapeño), Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Pork Loin stuffed with Boudin (Cajun Sausage), Smoked Turkey Breast or Smoked Chicken. The side dishes are Twice Baked Potato, Western Spiced Beans, Mac 'n Cheese, Garlic Green Beans, Fried Sweet Corn, Spicy Dirty Rice, Curly Fries, Fried Okra, Potato Salad, Coleslaw, Cucumber Salad, Garden Salad, Deviled Eggs and even a Baked Potato for an additional charge. Family meals for 4 or 6 or more run $35/4 and $50/6. Barbecue sandwiches are $6 without a side dish. "Spuds" are offered "with all the fixin's" at $5 or stuffed with meat at $8. A large "Chuckwagon Salad" with a side of meat is $8. Desserts include Blackberry or Peach Cobbler, Brownie and Banana Pudding, all at $4 each.Serving soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea, bottled beer and wine only. Outside seating with smoking. Open Christmas Day, 8 AM to 6 PM. A second location is planned for Belleview. Villager, Donald Rapp, owner.

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

Older Review: (from Colene M. 5/12) Q=4 S=3 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

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

Older Review: (from Bev R. 6/12) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Ellen H. 6/12) Q=4 S=5 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Freda F. 7/12) Q=5 S=5 V=4 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Paula M. 9/12) Q=4 S=5 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

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

Review: (from Rollin W. 1/14) Our server was Erin. She was pleasant and acceptable. Reasonably busy. Had the 2 for $20 from the coupon on their website, consisting of 4 sides (Mac & Cheese, Fried Sweet Corn, Twice Baked Potato Casserole and Side Salad), 2 pieces of bread and full Rack of Ribs (chose the Wet and Sweet). Lettuce in salad had brown edges. Other sides were okay, but not spectacular. Ribs were very tender and were improved by dipping in the lightly spiced sauce. Overall the meal was average. In an area with a lot of choices, we'd try other places before going back. $20 before t&t.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Ralph N. 2/14) We were a group of 5. Two ordered Rib-Eye and three had the Beef Brisket. The Steaks were extremely tender, cooked to our specification and had a wonderful seasoning on them. The Brisket just fell apart. Meals come with 2 side dishes of your choice. All seemed homemade. Their Baked Potatoes are Texas-sized. Prices were reasonable given the quantity and quality of food. Total bill without tax or drinks came to $67 for the five of us. Reservations are recommended on Friday & Saturday evenings. Nice western setting.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Coming Soon Texas Stockyards BBQ (Belleview), 10901 SE Abshier Blvd. (US 27/441/301), Belleview, FL. 11.4 mile drive from The Villages. . (Barbecue) L/D. Located where the 110th Street Grill did business for 5 years. Same menu as Lady Lake expected. Summer, 2014 opening scheduled.


Avatar Thai Sushi America, 925 N. Bay St., Eustis, FL. 24.8 mile drive from The Villages. 357-1949. (Asian) L/D. Located on US 19 north of downtown Eustis. Open 11 AM to 2 PM, then 5 to 9 PM weekdays, and 5 to 9 PM only on Saturday. Closed Sunday.Offers Thai-style suatéed and curry dishes including a variety of 6 soups ($4-6 each). Pad-Thai, Pad-Woonsen, Pad-Se-ew, Pad-Kee-Mao, and Lad Nah styles of Chicken, Beef, Pork, Tofu, Veggies, Scallops, Shrimp and Squid (ranging $10-16 each) are on the menu. Red, Green, Panang and Massaman Curry dishes are also available. Specialties such as Crispy Duck ($17), Crispy Chicken ($13), Crispy Shrimp ($14) and Pan-Fried Snapper ($14) are offered. American dishes such as New York Strip Steak ($15) and Filet Mignon ($18) can also be ordered. Vegetarian dishes such as Pad Pak ($11), Pak Nung ($11) and Fried Rice ($12) are on the menu too. A large selection of sushi items ranging from $4-6 is also featured. Sashimi Platter ($14) and Chirashi ($14) are featured too. Fried Ice-Cream and Fried Bananas, as well as Sweet Sticky Rice (all $4-6 each) are available for dessert.Sake, wine and beer are available. Coupons available on their Facebook Website. Araya Witzigman, owner; husband Jason, manager.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Dreamboat, a.k.a. The George A. Simpson Lunch Boat (1937)
Bay St., Eustis, FL.

Avatar Video Tijuana Flats (Leesburg), 10300 US 441 (Suite 1), Leesburg, FL. 16.4 mile drive from The Villages. 343-3337. (Mexican) L/D. Located on US 441 in a strip mall on the south side of the highway. Offering Beef, Chicken or Blackened Chicken Crispy Quesadillas, Ultimate Nachos, Tijuana Tostadas, Chimichangas, Enchiladas, and of course, Burritos (what they're famous for). Flats are also popular too. Large Salads are also on the menu. Sauce Bar. Beer and Sangria is available. 2010 & 2012 Foodie Reader's Choice winner for "Best Tex-Mex Restaurant" and 2011 & 2012 Foodie Reader's Choice winner for "Best Cheap Eats" in the Orlando area by the Orlando Sentinel. Another location is in Ocala (see that listing). Chain based in Maitland, FL.



Avatar Tijuana Flats (Ocala), 3590 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-291-1316. (Mexican) L/D. Located just east of I-75 on SR 200 near Chili's. Everything made fresh. Pork, Beef or Chicken Burritos are popular. Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Chimichangas, Flautas, Tostades and Tacos are available too. Hot Sauce Bar is an attraction. Average check is under $10. Sangria, wine and beer offered. Based in Maitland, FL. Brain Wheeler, CEO. Now with 65 locations in the southeast US. Another location in Leesburg already open (see that listing).



Avatar Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery (Ocala), 3155 E. Silver Springs Blvd. (SR 40), Ocala, FL. 22.3 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-351-5458. (Sports Bar) L/D. Located where Steak & Ale, then Bennigan's Grill & Tavern once stood. Opened Sunday, January 9, 2011. A Sports Pub with a Celtic twist; think "Hooters in plaid". Not for the prudish or after Sunday church services. Even the guys are in kilts. Featuring about two dozen beers on tap including their own brew, the menu starts with such appetizers such as Drunken Clams, Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, Battered Onion Rings and Five Quid Squid. Burgers run the course of Classic, Black & Bleu, Reuben and Chilelagh. Wings and Wraps can be topped with Kilt Burner Sauce. The Fish & Chips are called Maggie Mae's. Sandwiches include Pastrami, Irish Dip, Pulled Pork, Scottish Cheese Steak and the Longshank's Sausage Sandwich. As for main dishes, they include Shepherd's Pie, Flannery's Steak, Meatloaf Sandwich, Gaelic Chicken and Sausage Artichoke Fettucini. Even Pizzas are available. Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips are a staple here. Top off the meal with the Tilted Guilt dessert. Full bar also features Irish and Scotch Whiskies and 28 beers on draft including some imports. This is a franchise of a fast growing chain of 42 locations (5 others are in Florida already; a 6th is planned for Gainesville) based in Tempe, AZ. Leslie Coleman, manager; David & Larry Stone and Larry Chauncey, franchisees.

Older Review: (from Ellen H. 6/12) Q=2 S=4 V=1 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.



Postcard
Long Gone - The Foxfire Inn (1977)
"Exquisite gourmet dining, exciting décor, nightly entertainment."
Located in the new Cascades Mall with 35 unique stores. Ben Hiley, manager.
1515 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL.

Avatar Tony's Bar and Grill, 2711 SW 27th Ave., Ocala, FL. 25.0 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-390-8188. (Sports Bar) L/D. Opened August 16, 2012. Formerly Champs, Sam Snead's, Terheggen's, POSH 27, Club Blue, Jade Dragon China Grill and Istanbul Turkish Cuisine Restaurant. Located just south of SR 200 next to the Regal Hollywood Movie Theater in a large building with a long restaurant history. Open from 11 AM Friday through Sunday and from 4 PM weekdays. The place is filled with over 30 flat screen TVs, inside and out, for all the sports and news events. Two pool tables, two electronic dart boards, video arcade games, 20 hi-top tables plus a large bar, help to fill this large, open, somewhat noisy, room. Full menu from sandwiches, pizza, and burgers, to full dinners with steaks and seafood offered. Appetizers include Onion Rings, Potato Skins, Artichoke Spinach au Gratin Dip, Fried Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Thai Shrimp, Chicken Wings and something called Southern Hot Browns, all ranging $5-$9 each. Large salads include Garden Salad ($4), Classic Caesar ($8) or Mixed Salad topped with Grilled Chicken, Shrimp or Tenderloin ($10-12). There's always Classic French Onion Soup ($6) too. For sandwiches they offer Cheese Burgers ($8), Angus Beef Burger ($9), Grilled Chicken ($9), Traditional Reuben ($10) and a Buffalo Ranch Chicken Wrap ($11). They all come with a side. For entrées they have Blackened Chicken ($11), Chicken Parmesan ($14), Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic ($14), Blackened Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo ($15), Pasta Orleans with Shrimp and Crab ($15), Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms ($15), Grilled Atlantic Salmon ($15), Grilled Ahi Tuna ($16), Grilled New York Strip Steak ($16) and a Filet Mignon ($17). One side is included. Side salad is extra. There's also a kid's menu. Desserts meant for two include Sorbet ($5), Key Lime Pie ($5), Hot Tin Roof ($6), Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie ($6) and a Large Root Beer Float ($6). Reservations for groups accepted. Outdoor seating available. Full bar with over 3 dozen beers on tap like Key West Sunset, Blueberry Ale, Swamp Head Stumpknocker, Golden Monkey and others. Jason Luke, manager; Tony and Jane Li, owners.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 8/12) Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.



Avatar Tony's Pizza & Subs, 2760 E. Orange Ave., Eustis, FL. 26.9 mile drive from The Villages. 589-9001. (Italian) (Pizza) L/D. This is their original location, since 2003 and popular with the local Eustisarians. Located on SR 44, about 2 miles east of town, next to Kangaroo Gas, near Abrams Rd. Open daily 11 AM to 9 PM or to 8 PM on Sunday. For appetizers, they make Toasted Ravioli, Drunken Mozzarella, Potato Skins, Fried Pepperoni and Wings, all ranging $5-7. They are famous for their Garlic Rolls ($7/doz.). A Greek or Garden Salad in two sizes is $3.50-$8.50. An Antipasto is also on the menu at $8.50. There's also a Fried Pepperoni Cobb, Coconut Crusted Chicken Salad and a Ranch Steak Salad, all are about $9 each. Italian Flat Breads, like the Greek, Philly and Chicken Piadinis, are about $8 each. Subs run the range of Cheese Steak, Sausage, Meatball and even Chicken Parm., all served hot, at $6-8 each. Large and larger Calzones run $11-18 each. Pizza is their mainstay and run $9.50 for small, to $17.50 for large. Even specialty pies like Sausage, Bacon, Ham, Beef, plus a Hawaiian and Bianca Pizzas run $12-27 depending on toppings and size. You can also find Ziti with Meat Sauce, Cheese Ravioli, Penne with Sauce, Chicken Parm., Stuffed Shells and Baked Manicotti or Lasagna, all run $7.50 to $10 each. They also make Bow Tie with Chicken, Rigatoni with Sausage & Meatballs and Chicken Marsala, all at $10-11 each. A Sirloin Steak Roll is rolled in pizza dough at $10. Kids menu available; so is beer and wine. Lisa Milligan and Kay Branton, owners.



Postcard Postcard Postcard
Long Gone - Windmill Motel Restaurant/Grille/Cafe (1941) (1955) (1962)
"Breakfast Served - Complete Dinner $1.00"
Mr. & Mrs. Joe Reeves, owners.
24926 S. US 27, Leesburg, FL. (The motel still exists.)

Avatar Tony's Sushi and Japanese Steakhouse, 3405 SW College Rd. (Hwy. 200), Ocala, FL. 25.2 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-237-3151. (Asian) L/D. Open daily from 11 AM, Sunday from 3 PM. An unlikely name for a large and authentic Teppanyaki Table Japanese dining establishment with extensive Sushi Bar. Offerings range from traditional to exotic. Tataki, Edemame, Gyoza, Sushi, Sashimi, Teriyaki and Tempura style preparations are available. Chicken, Pork, Beef, Seafood and Tempura entrées available on the large grill tables ranging from $11 to $17 plus Seafood Teriyaki at $28 and Lobster Tail Teriyaki at $29. Many combinations offered at $15 per person; $40 for 2 persons; $90 for 4 persons. Temaki (Specialty Seaweed Rolls) offered at $7 to $11. Sushi and Sushimi are house specialties. Unusual items such as Eel, Octopus, Squid, Sea Urchin, Conch, Saba and Ikura can be found on the menu as well as the more traditional Salmon, Tuna and Scallop. Noodle dishes, Yakitori, soups and salads as well as hot or cold appetizers ($5-10) round out the very large menu. Bento Boxes ($8) available for lunch. "Sunset Dinners" at reduced prices ($9-12) offered from 2-6 PM. Children's menu available. Open Christmas Day 11 AM to 10 PM. Winner 2008 "Best Ocala Sushi" by Ocala Magazine. Full bar includes Japanese beer and sake. Hibachi Grill chefs entertain the guests. Reservations suggested. Mei Hui Chen, owner.



Avatar Toppers Tavern, 13605 Del Webb Blvd., Summerfield, FL. 8.4 mile drive from The Villages. 307-0261. (American) L/D. Located at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Spruce Creek, overlooking the golf course. Formerly called The Players Grille. Open 11 AM to 8 PM. Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday Brunch is offered from 11 AM to 3 PM. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Lunch starts at 11 AM and dinner at 4 PM. Specials include "Create Your Own Pasta" ($13) on Thursday; Fish Buffet ($12) or Prime Rib ($15) on Friday and an Omelet Occasion ($8) on Sunday. Lunch items include Chicken Quesadillas, Chicken Tenders, Cobb Salad, Double Decker Club, Pressed Cuban, Classic Rueben and various Burgers, all ranging $7-9 each. Reservations accepted. Thanksgiving Buffet 11 AM to 4 PM at $21 pp, by reservations only. Full bar. Happy Hour in the bar 4-6 PM daily. Occasional dinner shows with entertainment. Operated by BrownGolf Management of Bluffton, SC.; Jeff Gallo, chef; Tony Hagwood, manager.



Avatar Traditions Café, 3107 East SR 44, Wildwood, FL. 13.2 mile drive from The Villages. 748-1077. (Cafe) L/D. Formerly Sisters Traditions Café, now back to its original name with new ownership. Open Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 2 PM for lunch and Friday and Saturday to 8 PM for dinner. Closed Sundays. Located above the Traditions Antique Mall on SR 44 just west of US 301 near Russell Stover Candy Outlet. Use the staircase at the east end of the building. Offering soups, salads, sandwiches and daily specials. Beer and wine licensed. Carmen Murvin of Ocala, owner.



Avatar 10½ Stars T. Weston's, 1210 N. Main St., Wildwood, FL. 10.7 mile drive from The Villages. 748-9378. (Barbecue) (Steakhouse) L/D. Opened March 15, 2013. Formerly Buddy's Barbecue, then Prater's Smoke House BBQ, this location is well smoked over the years. It's located at the corner of Main St. and Old Wire Rd., on US 301, just south of the bridge over the CSX mainline. Open 5 days per week, 11 AM to 8 PM, or later, closed Sundays and Mondays. The restaurant serves Prime Rib, Steaks and, of course, Barbecue. Items like ½ or Full Rack of St. Louis Ribs run $15/$27 with 2 sides. ½ Smoked Chicken ($14), Pulled Chicken Sandwich ($10), Pulled Pork Sandwich ($10) or 8 oz. Brisket Dinner ($18), come with Potato and a side. Their 16 oz. Prime Rib on weekends runs $24 with 2 sides. The 16 oz. Rib Eye at $24 and the 8 oz. Filet Mignon is $25, both with 2 sides. You can also find an 8 oz. Smoked Salmon Dinner at $14 or a 10 oz. French Cut Pork Chop at $15. Extra side dishes are $3 each. An 8 oz. Angus Burger ($11) is also featured. "The Bomb" Baked Potato is $5 extra. Specials like 5 Wings for $5 or Black Angus Tri-Tip at $12 are sometimes offered. Wine and beer licensed. Happy Hour 4:30-6 PM, Two for One Draft. Aileen and Tracy Weston Smith, owners.

Review: (from Jan T. 5/13) A group of 10 decided to try this place since it is brand new. It is open less than two months now. We arrived a 11:15 for lunch and were welcomed with open arms. This is an old building that has been remodeled inside, I think. Table, chairs and less than 6 booths. Definitely a barbeque joint, it just needed some picnic tables to make it very authentic. Our service was OK. There was only 1 server. I guess it was the owners that helped out when needed. Not a large menu - but very expensive. For example: A full rack of ribs for $22! I had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich which the menu says comes on a croissant. When I received my sandwich, it came on a Kaiser roll. I called over the owner/server. I thought I asked very nicely about the switch of bread on my sandwich and got my head bit off. I mentioned what the menu had said and she immediately said, "No, you're wrong, the menu doesn't say that." Then she nicely asked if I did want the croissant, and I said "yes". After waiting 10 minutes for the change, the croissant was very good, but my fries were cold. When I received my check there was an additional $1 charge for the change of bread. Bottom line - on the way out of the restaurant, I looked at the menu again and the sandwich that I had ordered should have been on a croissant all along. Other diners with me were not overly impressed with their meals. My sandwich was just average tasting and was $7 with the $1 up-charge for the bread. I had an Iced Tea for $2. My bill came to $10 not including t&t. Even if I had not had the problem with the bread, I still will not return. The food is only average and the prices are way too expensive.
Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Nanci C. 5/13) I was hoping to get the advertised special of Grouper but at 6 PM they were sold out, so I had the Brisket; it tasted good but it was quite fatty and I only ate half of it. My husband had Ribs and said they were good. One friend also had the Brisket and said hers was good. The server, Kylie, was very nice. We all felt the food was good, not great, and a bit expensive for what you got. Also this is a BBQ joint and they don't serve beans! The bill for 2 was $42 with t&t.
Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Rich C. 7/13) My buddy and I had dinner here. We each had two Sam Adams Seasonal Ales. He had the Half Rack of Ribs with Collard Greens and Mac 'n Cheese; I had the Beef Brisket Dinner with Baked Potato and Mac 'n Cheese. "KOA" was our young blonde server. She missed a few things like one setup missing. a steak knife and forgot the butter for my Potato. My friend said the Ribs were a little overdone (charred black), a little fatty and did not fall off the bone. Then again they were not Baby Backs. My Beef was OK, not a large portion but cooked right. The Mac 'n Cheese was homemade but crusty. The owners, and even the chef, stopped by frequently to check on us. Service is on plastic plates. In all, an OK experience. My dinner and two beers was $24 before t&t. Not a bargain for this quality of food. Might try it again for lunch but not dinner.
Q=3 S=3 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) Very disappointing. Reservations were made for 14; however, they were not prepared. Very slow service. Food was fairly good once it arrived, though. St. Louis Ribs are their specialty and those were very good. Side portions were large.
Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
No.

Review: (from Ralph N. 3/14) The décor of this restaurant focuses on music and is nicely decorated with a clean fresh look. For one entrée, we had Ribeye and Scallops Wrapped with Bacon and the other entrée was just Bacon Wrapped Scallops. The seafood was very fresh. Service was very good. Both meals with drinks were $48 without tip. I understand the chef has background in high end hotels in CA and AZ. Not just a Steak and BBQ place since our seafood entrées were delicious.
Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Kathleen Q. 4/14) This is a small place, but very clean and nicely decorated. The music was not too loud, so conversation was easy. Our server was Danielle. Winnie and Paul, the bartender, also helped out. Paul recommended the Double Cut Pork Chop and I had that. It was the best I have had, very juicy and seasoned perfectly. Cole Slaw and Baked Potato were fine. He had a Full Rack of the St. Louis Ribs. Excellent. Again seasoned and smoked well. The meat came off the bone very easily. Collard Greens were very good and the Bean Salad was different than most, but very tasty. We both said the food was some of the best we have had here and the service was excellent. A very nice experience. Two dinners and one Iced Tea was $43 before t&t.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Avatar Umatilla Inn, 605 N. Central Ave. (US 19), Umatilla, FL. 25.1 mile drive from The Villages. 669-1325. (American) B/L/D. Open daily except Sunday 7 AM to about 1 AM. In a historic building and formerly known as the Umatilla Tavern and Restaurant. Located north of Umatilla on US19 at CR450. Now serving breakfast too. Entrées include Meatloaf ($7), Country Fried Steak ($7), Veal Fritter ($7), Liver and Onions ($7), Chicken Tenders ($7), Spaghetti & Meatballs ($7), Pork Chops ($8), Fried Shrimp ($9), Fried Catfish ($9), Fried Haddock ($10) and New York Strip ($10). Shrimp Caesar Salad is offered at $10. Friday Night All You Can Eat Fish Fry is $10. At the top of the menu is Prime Rib at $16. All main dishes are served with two sides, like Fries, Salad, Mashed Potatoes or Vegetable of the Day. Sandwiches, Subs and Wraps available for lunch. Noted for their Burgers at $6-7 at lunch and the "Big Catch" at $10 for dinner. Occasional entertainment and Texas Hold 'Em. Full bar. Hugh Johnson, owner.



Closed Temporarily 9½ Stars Video Vic's Embers Restaurant & Lounge, 7940 US 441, Leesburg, FL. 13.7 mile drive from The Villages. 728-8989. (American) (Steakhouse) L/D. Closed due to an extensive fire just after Christmas. Expects to re-open in the fall of 2014. Open 4:30 to 10 PM weekdays, to 11 PM weekends but only to 9:30 PM Sunday plus 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM for Sunday Brunch. Dimly lit club atmosphere since 1988 specializing in grilled Steaks and Prime Rib as well as Seafood, Duck, Veal and Pasta. Appetizers include Alligator, Mussels, Escargot and Yellow Fin Carpaccio. Table-side Caesar Salad and Flamed Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing are featured. Steak Diane and Orange Amaretto Duck are just two of the featured dishes offered. Entrées range from $16 to $40, like Lime Chicken ($16), Fettuccini Alfredo ($17), Calf's Liver ($18), Frogs Legs ($19), Fried Shrimp ($20), Lollipop Pork Chop ($19), Fettuccini Carbonara ($20), Orange Roughy Fromage ($22), Filet Mignon ($25), Lamb Chop ($26), Prime Rib ($26), and Filet Mignon with either Lobster or Crab Legs ($40). Sandwiches like the Open-Faced Prime Rib ($13), Honey-Baked Ham ($6) and Steakburger ($7) are also offered for lighter meals. Desserts include Key Lime Pie or New York Cheesecake (at $6 each), to Banana's Foster Flambé or Cherries Jubilee Flambé (at $13 each) which are a show piece. Bread Pudding made from sweet croissants is also popular. Live entertainment Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. No reservations taken. Open on Thanksgiving for Turkey or Ham dinner at $19 pp. Full bar. 2008 winner for "Best Steakhouse" in the Orlando area by WESH-2 News A-List. Free bus transportation for groups. Vic Donahey, owner; son, Victor, manager and chef.

Older Review: (from Bob M. 1/07) Q=2 S=4 V=3 Total=9 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Gordon M. 1/07) Q=4 S=4 V=3 Total=11 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Tom F. 1/07) Q=3 S=1 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.

Older Review: (from Kenneth M. 4/07) Q=2 S=2 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=No.

Older Review: (from Dan G. 11/07) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Walter P. 5/10) Q=3 S=2 V=2 Total=7 out of 15. Return=No.

Older Review: (from Arline P. 6/10) Q=5 S=4 V=5 Total=14 out of 15. Return=Yes.

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

Older Review: (from David S. 1/11) Q=4 S=4 V=4 Total=12 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Review: (from Bill S. 12/13) We went with a group of 48 from Liberty Park on Vic's bus. My wife had the Prime Rib ($24) and I had Shrimp ($21). Our total bill before t&t was $56. We had no drinks and no dessert. The Corn Chowder Soup was very good but the rest of the meal left a lot to be desired. My Shrimp was over cooked and very small size and not enough for the price. My wife's meat was also small for the price and the taste was okay but not great. The Stewed Tomatoes had some kind of seasoning which I did not like. Our waiter, Jory, was very good but not good enough for us to come back.
Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=
No.



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

Closed Vincent and Francesco's Italian Bistro, 4120 Corley Island Rd., Leesburg, FL. After 16 months in business, this Bistro suddenly closed in March, 2014.

Avatar Vincent's Italian Restaurant, 5914 North Orange Blossom Trail, Mount Dora, FL. 29.8 mile drive from The Villages. 735-4578. (Italian) L/D. Located on US 441, 2 miles south of CR 46. Open 6 days per week, closed Monday. Pizza, calzones, subs, pasta and Italians entrées. Banquet rooms available. Beer & wine. Vincent & Josephine Folgore, owners; also owners of Mount Dora Pizza (see that listing).

Older Review: (from Bob E. 7/09) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Avatar Vitality Bistro, 301 N. Baker St., Mount Dora, FL. 27.4 mile drive from The Villages. 735-8411. (Cafe) (Vegetarian) L/D. It's in suite #106 of the two story building at Royellou St. and E. 3rd Ave. across from the public parking lot on N. Donnelly St. Open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 AM to 8 PM and Friday and Saturday, 11 AM to 9 PM. Closed Sunday and Monday. This cafe offers casual food made from fresh, organic, vegan and non-GMO ingredients. The emphasis is warm but not cooked food, so the full nutritional value is preserved. The restaurant offers Smoothies ($8), Fresh Juice ($6), Soups, Salads, Dips, Pastas, Burgers and some ethnic classics like Heirloom Lasagna ($18), Pad Thai ($16), Spaghetti and Italian Herbed Croquettes ($15), Mediterranean Pizza ($12), Mexican Tostadas ($14) and their signature Burger. Slightly lower prices for lunch. Even desserts are represented like Chocolate Brownie à la Mode ($8), Apple Pie ($8), Chocolate Truffles ($8), Tutti Fruitti Parfait ($8), Mango or Berry Sorbet ($7), Fudgesicle Shakes ($7) and more. Beer and wine licensed. Tenanda Madhi, owner.

Older Review: (from Tom B. 9/12) Q=3 S=4 V=2 Total=9 out of 15. Return=No.



Avatar Wasabi Buffet, 16700 US 441, Mount Dora, FL. 23.4 mile drive from The Villages. 383-7016. (Asian) (Buffet) L/D. Located in the Tri-Cities Shopping Plaza, just west of Eudora Rd. Hours are 11 AM to 9:30 PM daily, except to 9:00 PM on Sunday. A very large variety of Asian food, including Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Thai, together with Sushi and Sashimi. About 120 items are prepared daily for dinner.Prices are $13 for dinner and $7.45 for lunch. Children 10 and under at reduced prices. Reservations for groups taken. Beer and wine are available. Seniors 65 and over may ask for their 10% discount. Take-out is also available with prices ranging $7-12 per entrée. Inducted into Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA in 2009. Nga Thi-Ngoc Le and De Zhong Wang, owners.



Wayne's Brick City Café. Called Brick City Café (see that listing).


Avatar Now Open Werda-Hecamiat (Restaurant and Fish Camp), 965 CR 439, Lake Panasoffkee, FL. 26.5 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-304-4822. (American) (Seafood) B/L/D. Previously called Werda-Hecamiat for many years, then changed to At The Pier Restaurant in October, 2012, with new operators; now it's back with the original name since May, 2014. "Where the heck am I at?" has been its call for many years. It's in an RV/Cabin Rental Fishing "Resort" (Camp) on the lake. Open 8 AM to 8 PM, Thursday through Sunday in summer, for breakfast, lunch and din-din. A typical Friday menu includes a Fish Basket ($10), or Fish Dinner with 2 sides ($13) with your choice of Pollock, Tilapia, Cod or Pangasius for the Fish Fry. There's also two sizes of Seafood Platters ($15/$22) consisting of 1 Fried Fish Filet, 2/4 Fried Shrimp, 2/4 oz. Fried Clam Strips, 2/4 Fried Oysters, French Fries, Swamp Puppies and Slaw or Salad on the side (not fried!). The larger Platter also has Fried Mushrooms, Onion Rings and 6 Popcorn Shrimp added. Then there's an A-U-C-E Fish Fry (Fridays only) after 3 PM of Pangasius ($12) or Catfish ($15); either one served with two sides. Beer and wine licensed. Brian Herron, owner.



Avatar Whale's Tale Fish House, 2720 W. Old US Highway 441, Mount Dora, FL. 24.5 mile drive from The Villages. 385-1500. (Seafood) L/D. Open Tuesday through Saturday only from 11:30 AM to 8 PM. Located next to Mount Dora Pizza. Best described as a fish fry place. Soups include homemade French Onion, Maryland Crab and New England Clam "Chowda" at $4-5 for cup or bowl. Appetizers include Crab Balls, Onion Rings, Clam Strips and Fried Oysters ranging $3-9. Seafood Rolls are nuggets of fried Cod, Catfish, Shrimp, Oyster or Clams, served in a toasted roll with one side dish for $7-8 each. Seafood Baskets are Belly Clams, Fish & Chips, Haddock, Shrimp, Catfish, Oysters or Clam Strips, all fried in canola oil, served with two sides for $9-18. Bonnie's signature dish is Maryland Lump Crab Cake, broiled, with two sides for $12 for one and $23 for two cakes. Salads are also available. Cheesecake or Key Lime Pie end the meal at $4. Early Bird Dinner ($7) before 4:30 PM. Beer and wine available. Bonnie Duffy, owner.

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



Avatar Windsor Rose Tea Room and Restaurant, 142 West 4th Ave., Mount Dora, FL. 25.5 mile drive from The Villages. 735-2551. (British) B/L. Open for lunch and high tea from 11 AM to 5 PM daily, except including breakfast from 9 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Closed on Wednesday in the summer. No longer serves dinner. Located just west of N. Donnelly St. in dowtown. Not to be confused with the Garden Gate Tea Room whose address is 142 East 4th Ave. A traditional British experience. Noted for their "English High Tea" adventure, they offer fresh baked Scones with Devonshire Clotted Cream, Queen Victoria Sponge Cake and Assorted Finger Sandwiches and French Pastries with Tea for two at $36. English Cornish Pasty ($12), Cottage Pie ($12), Reuben ($12), Steak & Mushroom Pie ($12), Bangers and Mash ($12.50) and Alaskan Salmon Cakes ($13) are luncheon favorites. Crème Brûlée, Apple Crumble, Carrot Cake and Chocolate Corruption Cake ($5-7) finish the meal. Decorated with English Royal Family memorabilia. Beer, ale, bitter, stout and wine available. British groceries and fine bone china stocked also. Reservations accepted. Brenton Hillman, chef; Paul and Sue Goodale from the UK, owners.

Review: (from Colene M. 4/14) This was a "special performance" with Patrina entertaining along with a dinner. My husband and I both ordered the Salmon Filet. It was cold when served. It came with Mashed Potatoes (warm), Green Beans (cool), Carrots (cold) and a Salad (fine). We told our waitress about the meal temperature and all she could do was to give us extra Vegetables, that took 20 minutes, and didn't even ask to warm our Salmon. They did give us a complimentary dessert. I thought the entertainment was fine but the food was not. Not worth the $38 each we paid.
Q=2 S=2 V=1 Total=5 out of 15. Return=
No.



Avatar Wine Cellars Uncorked, 106 E. Magnolia Ave., Eustis, FL. 25.2 mile drive from The Villages. 357-5552. (Cafe) (Wine Bar) L/D. Located in historic section of downtown Eustis on Magnolia Ave. just east of N. Eustis St. Open from 4 to 10 PM on Wednesday and Thursday, from 12 noon on Friday and Saturday but closed Monday and Tuesday. An offshoot of Wine Cellars of Mount Dora. This wine bar also sells light meals, like Roasted Pepper, Olives and Goat Cheese Mini-Pizzas, Tomato, Basil and Goat Cheese Ciabatta or Prosciutto, Melon and Mozzarella Ciabatta, all $7.50-8.50 . Chili and Soups ($2-4.50) are also offered, as is Traditional Warm Bacon Spinach Salad or Apples, Walnuts and Goat Cheese Salad ($7-8 each). The emphasis is on wine either by the glass ($9-12) or bottle. Wine Classes and Wine Tasting events ($15) are held here also. Entertainment planned. Nancy Lacky, owner.



Avatar 11½ Stars Wolfy's, 918 N. 14th St., Leesburg, FL. 9.8 mile drive from The Villages. 787-6777. (American) (Cafe) B/L/D. Open 6 AM to 8 PM daily except Sunday. This was formerly a Lum's location prior to 1983. Ravaged by a massive fire in April, 2010 - the owner rebuilt and reopened in mid April, 2011. The restaurant has been in business for 28 years. "Where friends meet friends." Hamburgers, Patty Melts, All-You-Can-Eat Fish and breakfast all day are popular items. Specials usually run Ham Steak ($8) or Spaghetti ($8) on Mondays, Meatloaf ($8) or Chicken Parm. ($9) on Tuesdays, Roast Pork ($8) or Chicken ($9) on Wednesdays, Pot Roast ($8) or Chicken Pot Pie ($7) on Thursdays, Fish Fry ($8) or Prime Rib ($11.50) on Fridays and Roast Turkey ($8) or Prime Rib ($11.50) on Saturdays, Take A Day Off on Sundays. Prices are very moderate and employees faithful. Beer and wine license. John Wolf, owner, who also owns the one in Ocala.

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

Review: (from Dennis C. 7/13) Was craving a Turkey Dinner, so I drove down here for a diner style meal. #13 redhead was my server. I order a Bud Lite Draft and the Turkey Dinner with Stuffing, Mashed, Carrots, Cranberry Sauce and Toast. It came out immediately - like less than 2 minutes. The food was great, nice and hot and generous portion but there was something wrong with the beer. I couldn't drink it. I told my server and she apologized right away and took it off the check. I think it might have been bleach since many restaurants use bleach in the dish water to sterilize plates and mugs. As she brought my beer back to the kitchen, she held it up as if to say "Another one!". Clearly there was a problem with the plastic mugs or the beer itself. Therefore my rating of 2 for Quality. My total was $8 for the dinner itself.
Q=2 S=4 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Bruce W. 1/14) We arrived at 10:45 A.M, for lunch thinking we would beat the lunch rush. Not so! This is a very popular eatery among the locals in Leesburg. After a short wait, we were seated and serviced by Erica, who was very pleasant and prompt. They serve breakfast all day, so my wife decided on Eggs and Pancakes, while I went for the daily special of Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, with Corn. Coffee and Tea were immediately refilled by waitresses navigating the room for that purpose. Breakfast was just average; nothing special. My Meatloaf and side dishes were very good though. Total cost was around $20, including tip and drink. If in the neighborhood, we would return.
Q=3 S=3 V=4 Total=10 out of 15. Return=
Yes.

Review: (from Ralph N. 3/14) Good old fashion home cooked food. We had their 1/4 European Chicken and their Meatloaf special. Both meals come with 2 sides. Portions are generous.Total bill is under $20 before tip. Place gets crowed between 11:45 and 1:30. May have to wait 10 minutes. Décor is your basic American Diner setting, nothing fancy but the food and service make up for the basic setting.
Q=5 S=5 V=5 Total=15 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Postcard
Long Gone - Lum's Restaurant (1968)
918 N. 14th St. (US 27), Leesburg, FL.
Now the site of the new Wolfy's.

Video

Avatar 11½ Stars Video Woody's Bar-B-Q (Wildwood), 1220 South Main St. (US 301), Wildwood, FL. 13.5 mile drive from The Villages. 748-7427. (Barbecue) L/D. Open daily at 11 AM to 9 PM. Occupying the building where Dickey's Barbeque Pit was located near the Turnpike. Carolina Pulled Pork is their specialty. Baby Back Ribs and Smokin' Spare Ribs are also popular. Pork, Beef, Chicken and Turkey are barbecue favorites. Fried Shrimp and Grilled Prime Rib are also available. Dinners range $10-15, with lunch $6-8. Beer and wine available. A Florida/Georgia/Alabama chain of nearly 40 locations headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. Founded by Woody & Yolanda Mills in 1980. This one franchised to Mark Sharratt and Nicholas Hart of Davenport, FL.

Older Review: (from Rich C. 9/08) Q=5 S=4 V=4 Total=13 out of 15. Return=Yes.

Older Review: (from Bob M. 4/09) Q=3 S=4 V=3 Total=10 out of 15. Return=Yes.



Avatar Video Yalaha Bakery, 8210 CR 48, Yalaha, FL. 18.8 mile drive from The Villages. 324-3366. (Cafe) L/D. Located on CR 48, about 3 miles east of US 27 and west of the Mission Inn Resort. Open Monday through Saturday 8 AM to 5 PM and Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM. European decorated building. Besides the well known Germain bakery, there is a small deli that offers meals ranging about $8-9 each. Outdoor dining with live music occurs on Sunday from about 11 AM to 2 PM in season. Items include Reuben Sandwich on a Pretzel Roll with German Potato Salad, Quiche Lorraine and Cranberry Chicken Salad on Multigrain Bread. Occasional grilled Bratwursts are offered outdoors on weekends. Numerous desserts are available from the bakery. Licensed for beer and wine. Heinz Klumb and Andres Fischer owners.



Avatar Video Yamato Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar (Ocala), 4714 SW College Rd. (Hwy. 200), Ocala, FL. 26.9 mile drive from The Villages. 1-352-304-6077. (Asian) L/D. New Japanese Steak House located about 1/2 mile west of I-75, on the south side of SR 200 at Market Street Shopping Complex. Lunch served Wednesday through Friday 11:30 AM to 1:45 PM. Dinner served 4:30 PM to 10:30 PM daily and 12 noon to 9 PM on Sunday. Some of the authentic Japanese dishes include Tempura Udon, Chicken Katsu and Yaki Udon. Teppanyaki dinners of Steak, Chicken, Shrimp, Lobster, Salmon, Tuna, Scallops and various combinations are offered. Fresh Sushi is also offered at the bar. Full bar. Yoon & Hui Hwang, owners. Another Yamato Steak House is already open in Gainesville (see that listing).



Avatar Zachary's Bar & Grill, 26736 US Hwy. 27, Leesburg, FL. 16.4 mile drive from The Villages. 323-6098. (American) (Sports Bar) L/D. A new Bar and Grill opened where Laura Leigh Steak & Seafood did business back in 2009. Located on US 27 at the entrance to Legacy of Leesburg Retirement Community. Opened in September, 2013. Dinner entrées include Pasta Primavera ($10), Liver & Onions ($12), Grilled Chicken Breast ($12), Roasted Half Chicken ($12), Fish & Chips ($12), Country Fried Steak ($13), Maple Salmon ($14), Pork Tenderloin ($15), Blackened Mahi Mahi ($15), 8 oz. NY Strip ($15), Shrimp Alfredo ($16) and a 10 oz. Ribeye Steak ($17). Most entrées come with two sides, one of which can be a salad. They also offer a dozen sandwiches like Philly Cheese Steak and French Dip (all ranging $7-11 each). Flatbreads ($7-12) and Salads ($6-9) are also on the menu. Appetizers from Fried Onion Rings to a Shrimp Cocktail run $5-10. Full bar license. Modest wine and draft beer list. TV sets around the bar. Outdoor lounge. (Lowell) Kim Robinson, owner, who previously owned Levi's Bistro in Leesburg.

Review: (from Rich C. 10/13) We arrived early, before 4 PM, on a Saturday night and there was only one other table occupied. The place is nicely decorated, soft orange walls, tile floor, quality stainless, clean marble tables, except for 4 TVs. Heck it's a Sports Bar primarily. We had 3 wines between us ($6 each) that were acceptable. She had Liver and Onions with a Caesar and Sautéed Spinach and I had the Pork Tenderloin with a Caesar and Rice Pilaf. The Liver was thin and a little overdone. The Pork was a small portion covered with chunk apples. The meat was more like Pork Chop than Pork Tenderloin. Nothing was objectionable and nothing outstanding either. Michelle had to tell us "86" on Shrimp and "86" on Mashed Potatoes tonight. A fair meal, far from what Levi's first offered when they opened in downtown Leesburg, years ago. Even the printed bill still says "Levi's". Total was $49 before t&t. We might be back but not for dinner.
Q=3 S=3 V=2 Total=8 out of 15. Return=
Yes.



Don't see your restaurant here? Check the other pages first, then

Please report dead links and listing errors to the webmaster at Webmaster@TheVillagesGourmetClub.com .


"Nothing goes perfectly, especially when you're opening a new restaurant. " - Bobby Flay.

Restaurants in The Villages.
Restaurants near The Villages.
Restaurants away from The Villages.
Search our entire database.
Return home.

Visitor Count

DISCLAIMER and COPYRIGHT: This website is not, per se, an endorsement or criticism of any dining establishment. As such, it does NOT represent the views of the webmaster or the club's leaders. Instead it gives factual information about area restaurants and posts member's individual reviews of their own experiences. Your experience and rating may differ, so we encourage you to patronize the establishment yourself and if you are a club member, write a review so others can share your observations. Photos and video links on this page may not represent the offerings at the adjacent establishment and prices and details may vary. All content Copyright © 2006- The Villages Gourmet Club. All rights reserved. No part may be included in another website or advertisement.