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Florida Guide > Dining

The key to a great start to the day is have a hearty breakfast that will take you through to early evening – of course you have to keep hunger at bay with some kind of ice cream sundae! All you can eat buffets are perfect to start the day. Remember under 5s sometimes eat free so take advantage of this.

You sometimes have to wait to be seated but it is never too long as breakfast is not a long meal for most us and the kids are usually harassing parents to hurry up so they can get to the parks anyway! You will be seated and asked to order your drinks – stipulate if you want regular or decaf coffee and they will keep refilling your cups as many times as you want. Milk is usually in small cartons – if you order coffee from a coffee bar, remember dark is black coffee and light is white coffee. For the kids, there are usually milkshakes available, fruit juices and sodas (but not sure you would want your kids drinking these first thing in the morning).

There are quite a few all you can eat breakfasts available - we used to visit Ponderosa every year – you will see these restaurants everywhere but we feel of late that the food is not of great quality and although at $3.99 this is probably the cheapest, if you pay a little extra at either Shoneys or Sizzlers, the food is of better quality and we have now opted more for Shoney's.

All the above buffets serve a myriad of dishes such as scrambled eggs, bacon (usually very crispy), sausage patties (always find these spicier than English sausage but English sausage are a rarity in the US) and pancakes (American pancakes are to die for covered in Maple Syrup – if you have never tried these, make sure you have at least one on your visit and you will be hooked!). Grits are available that are a porridge like cereal that the Americans eat with their bacon etc – I tried it, hated it and haven’t bothered since but they are very popular over there. There are usually some kind of fried potatoes but if there are wedges with bacon and cheese on, try these are they are delicious. Shoney's to a really nice rice dish with peppers etc.

Many of the buffets have muffins and “cakes” available so the kids will gorge on “rubbish” if you let them – keep an eye on them and most restaurants stipulate that any child under 12 should be accompanied at the breakfast bar. Never take a dirty plate up to a buffet bar, simply leave the dirty plates on the corner of the table and your waitress will clear them away very quickly and leave you new plates. Never be afraid to ask for more plates.

They usually have variety size boxes of cereal and this is usually a hit with most kids to start them off. But they also have great fruit bars – melon, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, and bananas in strawberry sauce are very sickly but very nice!

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Page added on: 21 July 2004
Viewed 8323 times since 1 September 2008.

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