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Let's Do Lunch!

Let us know your favorite lunch spot: E-mail Ernie Neff

UPDATE Dec 2006: Slim's BBQ (formerly "Deep South BBQ) 319 S. Brevard Ave. (In the northbound lane on U.S. 17 just south of town).  Originally submitted for this list by Steven Rogers of Highland City, this local BBQ favorite changed its name in recent years but nothing else.  The food's still great and it's still a local lunch hotspot for growers and other citrus business people in this area of Florida's 'heartland'.

UPDATE Dec. 2006: Peebles Bar-B-Q - suggested by Jim Ellis of Bartow who says Peebles is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. "Great food run by the son and family members of late father who started the business. Come early, the line gets long at noon time."

UPDATE Jan. 2007: For citrus people off the beaten path heading up through northeast Florida, there's a great little BBQ place in downtown Callahan, a small community north of Jacksonville just a few miles from the Georgia border, on the
corner of US 301 and US 1. Callahan BBQ, known by the locals as "The Chicken House" has the best sweet tea in town! Time your visit just right, because with enough seating for only 20 people the place fills up fast at lunch hour!

UPDATE Jan. 2007: Downtown Ft. Pierce is getting a much needed facelift, and along with the improvements a number of family-owned shops and restaurants are popping up along the waterfront downtown area.  One we especially enjoyed on a recent visit is Tropical Wave Restaurant, a small but comfortable little place a couple blocks from the waterfront that will make you feel like you're spending the evening in the islands.  The chef is said to have worked at the Breakers in Palm Beach before venturing out on his own at Tropical Wave.
Asked where he learned to cook like that, he replied with a smile, "by watching my Mama." The Orange Sunshine cake is a must for dessert, so save room.  Restaurant Contact: Carline Lubin 772-429-1551

Frostproof Family Restaurant, 133 South Scenic Highway in downtown Frostproof. Submitted by UAP representative Glenn Brown. "Great food with super prices," Brown says. "Many of the citrus industry production managers, caretakers, growers,
processors, along with fruit buyers, already know about Frostproof Family Restaurant and eat there regularly. A great place with plenty of room for meetings."

RedWing Restaurant – Just south of Groveland on Highway 33. This great little place in Lake County is well worth the drive if you are not from the immediate area, but bring an appetite for some very good food. While it is small and unassuming from the outside it is very comfortable with great service inside, and the food is nothing less than gourmet! You may find things like elk chops, grilled quail or wild board chops on the menu at any time, and if the fresh supply is of high quality enough, owner Patrick Borsey even puts tuna steak on the menu as an occasional special. This is a real find for those who like good gourmet food with a country flair. After you eat here, we’d love to hear your opinion!

Johns Restaurant, 1504 U.S. Highway 27 south in Haines City. Submitted by Drystal Wren, sales engineer for Watkins Engineers and Constructors

Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, U.S. 27 in Haines City. Submitted to Citrus Industry Magazine's Citrus Lunch Contest in 1997 by Richard Lingenfelter of Haines City and Larry Parsons of
the Lake Alfred Citrus Research and Education Center. They said many citrus people go there for a great lunch.

Lozano's Restaurant and Sports Bar at 405 New Market Road. Lozano's serving Mexican and American food, was recommended by several people in the citrus industry. They said it serves good food and you can be in and out in 45 minutes at lunchtime.

The Good Times Cafe on Highway 710. Submitted in 2002 by Marsha Powers of Owen's Grove Corp. "In Indiantown the biz is done at Good Times Cafe," Powers wrote."This is for both breakfast and lunch. The food and service are excellent."

UPDATE Dec. 2006: Flora & Ella's, on State Road 80 west of downtown. This one has also been on this list for years and it continues to be favorite of ours while on the road in Southwest Florida.  It's a local lunch spot favorite of growers and industry folks from throughout the Gulf Citrus production region.

Jerry's Family Restaurant. Submitted in 2003 by University of Florida food microbiology professor Mickey Parish. "Scientists and visitors at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center can often be seen at Jerry's ... a half block east of the traffic light on Haines Boulevard in downtown LA (Lake Alfred)," Parish wrote. "Jerry has a daily list of specials ... just good down home cooking."

Pat's BBQ, 123 U.S. 27 South (in the middle of town). Submitted by Steven Rogers of
Highland City.

Family Restaurant, also known as 'the truck stop,' on U.S. 27 two miles south of Lake Placid. Mike Waldron of called it "one of my favorite home cookin' restaurants."

Woody's Bar-B-Q on Highway 27. Recommended by Todd Motis of
Chemical Containers, Inc. "There are many growers, sales professionals and bankers that take the time out of a busy day to eat at Woody's," Motis writes. "Wonderful place to catch up on the 'citrus pickins' of the week."

Fat Boy's south of Lake Wales on Highway 27. "Find a number of citrus people having a nice lunch," suggests Jim Ellis of Bartow.

Jack's Bar B Que, on U.S. 27. Submitted to Citrus Industry Magazine's Citrus Lunch Contest in 1997 by Jerry Chicone of Orlando. "Excellent ribs" and a "great citrus meeting spot for all segments," according to Chicone.

Citrus Restaurant, 821 North Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando,was recommended by Orlando grower Jerry Chicone. "Upscale. Serve red Florida citrus in salads!" Chicone wrote. The restaurant's phone is 407-373-0622; the web site is

Annie's Club 98 seven miles east of Sebring on U.S. 98. Mike Waldron of said this"great spot for lunch" is "just a little bit past the Arbuckle Creek Bridge."

Nicholas' Family Restaurant on U.S. 17. Submitted to Citrus Industry Magazine's Citrus Lunch Contest in 1997 by grower/bird dog Mark Manuel. Manuel said the restaurant
"is where I earn my Continuing Education credits in Citrus-culture." On most weekdays, several growers have a good lunch there and discuss production practices, fruit deals and current topics, he added.

UPDATE Jan. 2007: The Speckled Butterbean is located on Highway 471 in Webster by the Sumter County Livestock Market. With a full buffet offered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a full menu as well, it's a guarantee you won't leave hungry, and the service gets you in and out in 30 minutes.

UPDATE Feb. 2007: The Grove in the Edgewater Hotel, 99 Plant Street downtown. Grower Jerry Chicone says the Grove is one of the lunch spots frequented by his citrus crowd.

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