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Florida Guide > Dining

Eating Out - Our Personal Favourites

The choice of wonderful places to eat is enormous and of course everyone has different requirements. We always like to try new places but there are some places that we always visit every trip. To put this in context we are a retired couple with one non-meat eater, and we travel with my 90 year old mother, consequently child friendly restaurants are not a requirement for us.

We have two locations at the top of our list and they are very different. They are The Cherry Pocket, and Vila de Flora at Gaylord’s. The Cherry Pocket is a very simple local restaurant set in a fish camp about 24 miles away to the south. The furniture is rustic and basic but the food is great. We always try to time it so that we arrive in daylight and we like to sit outside as the sun goes down. There are no Disney associations and it is the local restaurant for the community and the people camping there. You can enjoy the drive through the orange groves and ranch country and then just relax and enjoy. Prices are very reasonable and the portions are so large that we generally share. You can read more about this in another article.

The Vila de Flora at Gaylord is at the other end of the spectrum. Set in the magnificent atrium of the Gaylord’s Hotel it offers a very stylish and sumptuous setting and of course you can visit the whole atrium from the Everglades, through St Augustine, to Key West during your visit. The food is buffet style and in theory a different Mediterranean country is represented each night. Actually there are certain staples that are there every evening. We never leave without checking that the coconut shrimp with mango sauce are up to standard! The deserts too are worth saving space for and I must confess that their bread pudding is good enough to make us all forget about healthy eating.

We keep these two as special and for different reasons will only visit them once per visit.

My mother’s other favourite is Carrabbas as she loves their grilled scallops and shrimp and we all enjoy the other choices there as well.

Celebration is probably the place we head for most often for a meal, particularly when we are being indecisive about what we want. We love the town and enjoy pottering around before sitting down somewhere. For a light snack the Imperium Wine Bar is ideal, apart of course for the person who has to drive back. The Town Tavern quite often wins out just because of the range of offerings. The lobster roll is good and we will also share their ribs sometimes. For spicy food the Thai Thani at the top of Market Street is elegant and enjoyable.

Just writing this makes me realise just how much choice there is not even taking into account how good food tastes eaten poolside in your own villa.

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Page added on: 31 December 2010
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