Florida Guide > Dining
The Cherry Pocket Restaurant
Two of well known films are Southern Comfort and the Burt Reynold' s thriller, Deliverance. Both portray a group of men being ruthlessly hunted by murdering rednecks thirsting for blood, trudging with increasing exhaustion and diminishing manpower through the swamps of the far South.
It doesn' t come much further South than Florida and there are no shortage of local swampy areas, creating the ideal location for the filming of the above spine tinglers.
One Sunday lunchtime, my husband and I along with two friends, drove to a highly recommended restaurant located in just such an out of the way deep South setting. The quiet narrow road led through shoulder length high grass with blue water flickering in the sunlight on the occasions the grass parted to allow the view. Then we turned a corner and our target, the Cherry Pocket restaurant was thankfully, in view. Accorded the postal address of 3100, Canal Road, Lake Wales, Fl 33898 it is actually situated at the edge of Lake Pierce and according to folklore, the 25 acres piece of land was discovered in the late 1940' s by two men, one named Mr. Cherry and the other, not.
The tavern started off as a small room with a front and back door selling groceries and bait and tackle for the numerous fishermen flocking to the area. The Cherry Pocket Restaurant has had several owners, Richard and Elsie being the current owners for the past ten years. Their local spoof newspaper/menu states that they have done a lot of restoration and plan to keep it a friendly rustic Old Florida unique place to stay.
I would be the last person in the world to burst their bubble, but I think they must have had a communal dream about the restoration bit. However, rustic it most certainly is. Most of the seating is outside, with its' own bar, a small canopy to house the live entertainment next to an area which was used as a dance floor by customers who had few reservations but displayed an admirable joie de vivre.
Everything about the restaurant is old, the tables, chairs, bar, floor and, not intending to be cruel, the singer and his country music. The restaurant was full and we were lucky to get a table. And I mean LUCKY! The atmosphere was fantastic, the singing was excellent, the service first class and the food was as good as I have eaten. Everything about the place screams at you, ' You are here to enjoy yourself, get on with it. ' The menu includes Starters, Raw Bar, Crab Dinners, Salads, Steak House, Blackened sea food entrees(including gator), Fettuccinis and numerous Specialities and a Kid' s Menu, although I didn' t see any children present.
The restaurant has live entertainment at variable times but I, at this moment in time, can only speak for Sunday afternoon lunch. I will definitely return and would strongly advise anyone who likes good food in good company to do the same. The Cherry Pocket can be reached by driving south down Highway 27, 30 miles from the 192 junction, 20 from the I4 junction, through Dundee. Check out their website www. cherrypocket. com for further information. It can be quite tricky to navigate, so a SatNav would be a huge help.
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