Atlanta to Plant City Fl to Homosassa to Pensacola
Our recent trip from Atlanta to Plant City, FL to Homosassa to Pensacola had some outstanding finds and some not so great to average finds. From Atlanta to Plant City was average. I had forgotten that there are Bob Evan's restaurants in Florida and my husband likes their sunshine skillet. We stopped in Ocala around 3:00 and then didn't eat dinner. Saturday we enjoyed judging at the Plant City Pig Jam and then headed north to Homosassa. We stayed at the Riverside Resort in Homosassa and they had a restaurant so we decided to eat there. All I have to say about that experience is that I hope they were having an off night. On Sunday we enjoyed an outstanding morning swimming with manatees. What a wonderful experience! As part of our tour we were given two $10.00 coupons for Crackers Bar and Grill http://www.crackersbargrillandtiki.com/.
Since we were both cold we started with clam chowder which was very good. I had a fried grouper sandwich and DH had fish and chips
Both were very good and way more food than two people could eat. We could have easily ordered the fish and chips and shared the meal.
Going back and forth between Homosassa and Crystal River we passed what looked like a local watering hole
but the sign suggested more:
As a new member of Roadfood.com I felt it my duty to report back on at least one roadhouse, right? So we took a chance and went in for dinner. Right away we knew we were in a local watering hole because the six individuals sitting at the bar all turned around and gave us the once over. We were shown to a table in the restaurant area where only one other couple was sitting.
Almost immediately someone, who we later learned was the cook, came out to entertain us with a magic trick.
After our server took our order, and our cook showed us another magic trick, we began looking around. What is the story of this place, we wonder. And we found out by reading a card on the table:
Leon Wilkeson is quite literally known the world over as Bass Guitarist for the legendary Rock N Roll Hall of Fame band Lynyrd Skynyrd. For over thirty years his colorful personality complemented his musicianship, endearing him to millions.
Leon's obligations to the band kept him away from another passion he held, and that, quite simply, was to create a restaurant where entertaining the guests was as important as feeding them.
To help complete Leon's vision his nephew, Mitch Simmons, and wife Lorraine, along with the help of Leon's son Lee Wilkeson, and Leon's sister Marlene Wilkeson Lusk have brought to you this establishment.
As a lifelong resident of North Florida Leon and the rest of his band mates couldn't help but be influenced by the music of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and the Zydeco music of Louisiana. They sing of it often in their own music. Leon's appreciation for the down home music and cooking is the perfect marriage, providing our guests with a unique dining experience. Therefore we are proud to bring you...Neon Leon'sZydeco Steakhouse
And to give credence to the story you look around and find Lynyrd Skynyrd show posters, pictures, and ...
and a guitar
We started our meal by sharing a wonderful bowl of "bayou bisque" (which I failed to photograph). It had a wonderful seasoning that I couldn't quite put my finger on and of course this was their "secret recipe". Nevertheless, it was delicious. For my entree I chose Seafood 'etouffee described as "Cajun cookin' meets French cuisine - shrimp, scallops, perfect peppers, onions in a rich creamy sauce".
and my husband had the special for the evening, "Catfish Louisiana" which was fried catfish topped with a crawfish stuffing and covered with crawfish 'etouffee with roasted potatoes on the side.
This was some of the most delicious food I have put in my mouth in a very long time. My only regret is that I didn't save room for the Blackberry cobbler with ice cream. Shame on me!!
Of course the owner, Mitch Simmons came out to find out how our meal was and I told him about reviewing his restaurant on Roadfood.net.
He told me that they try not to over season the food but rather use the flavors of seafood, the finest red and yellow peppers and subtle sauces to enhance their dishes. I can assure you that they have succeeded in this endeavor and I highly recommend this place to anyone interested in cajun meals. Of course their menu also includes appetizers including fried green tomatoes, various fried veggies, crab cakes, whimpy burgers; a lunch menu of cold (turkey, ham, chicken, roast beef) sandwiches; hot sandwiches (fish, crab cake, french dip, beef or chicken philly, patty melt or hamburger), lunch portions of cajun dinners including Rad Creole, Chicken gumbo, Jambalaya and seafood etouffee. Their dinner menu includes fish and chips, chicken dishes, country fried steak or chicken, tilapia with stuffed crab imperial, calypso chicken creole, creamy cajun pasta and steaks and prime rib. Desserts include key lime pie, pineapple upside down cake and Mitch's Blackberry cobbler with Ice Cream.
Prices were reasonable with the bisque costing $2.95 and the seafood 'etouffee - $14.95 and the Catfish Louisiana - $14.95. All of this with entertainment of magic (in all about 6 tricks throughout the evening).
This wonderful restaurant is located at 10350 W. Yulee Drive, Homosassa, FL and they are open Tuesday - Sunday from 11:00 am - 9:00 p.m. If you are ever in this area you are missing a great meal if you don't stop in.
If you drive by after dark you'll only see lights - don't drive past
I will post our Pensacola restaurant visits in a post tomorrow. I assure you, the next post won't be as long.
Wishing I could spend another week in Homossasa, Florida so I could try the blackberry cobbler...