~ For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ...

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wheregreggeats.com
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~ For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Tue, 11/17/09 1:39 PM
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I've got a little time to kill and figured I chronicle what I've learned while spending the better part of the summer here in Sebring, Florida.

 

... NOTICE UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE POSTINGS ...  MOST RECENT 10/2012 ...

 

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THE WATERING HOLE ... Always my favorite.  Superb steaks, cooked perfectly served up, usually with fruit salad and superb, buttery potatoes.  My favorite is the salmon, grilled rare.  Not cheap.  Decent drinks at the bar.  CASH ONLY.  No sharing of meals (that keeps me away many nights when a friend and I aren't ready to pack down a huge dinner just before bed time).  Dinner only.  Tu-Sa. 
Full Bar.  DIRECTIONS  
 
WATERING HOLE closed, and re-opened ... new version of old mgmt (family?) ... now open a lot more (Always call ahead) ... even for lunch.  I hear the food is every bit as good, now with the same chef as before.

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THE WILD TURKEY SALOON ... A saloon, nothing fancy.  Everything is home made (even their fries) ... I had a burger there yesterday that rivals those of the Brickyard in Daytona.  Beer and wine only.  DIRECTIONS

I've since been back two or three times and have not been disappointed.   I wish they had Guinness.

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JULIO'S GROCERY ... A REAL RF GEM (Especially as other places close their doors) ... ... A ramshackle Cuban grocery store.  Julio turns out just about the best Cuban sandwich ... as of this writing $3.95 each.  No place to sit, to go only.  Soft drinks from the Coke display.  Closed Mondays.  Open Saturdays. He closes for a week every so often for vacation.  Lunch only, until 4 or 5.  DIRECTIONS

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  BLUE LAGOON TAVERN ... Another tavern.  Pretty good wings (I wish they grilled them) along with a well poured Guinness.  Friendly service.  Better than "valid" grub.  Good tavern atmosphere.  DIRECTIONS

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  THE CADDYSHACK ... A place that is growing more and more popular everyday.  Good to better-than-good pub grub food in a wide open enjoyable space.  I had liver and onions at my last visit and can't complain at all (although if you keep reading this missive, you'll see I am capable of complaining).

Decent drinks and daily drink specials ... (Not that that ever seems to work in my favor.  I was there on Malibu night or something along that line.) ... but everyone seems to go home happy.  The bar is friendly.  DIRECTIONS
 
UPDATE:  (2011) Seems to be going downhill food-wise -- just a bit -- lately.

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1/2  GALATI'S ITALIAN ... Best pizza for miles and miles and miles ... (not to be confused with New Haven, NYC or Boston).  Kind of reminds you of a red sauce spaghetti place you might find in NJ, PA or NY.  Beer and wine only.  Lunch and dinner, not sure about weekend hours.  Comfortable place to eat.  DIRECTIONS

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  SIRIANO'S LUNCHEONETTE ... Newly opened on the circle downtown by a family that had another place on the other side of town that was missed by the locals.  Known for their soup and sandwiches.  I went there today (during their first week open) and we had 2 soups (delicious) and split a sandwich, a Pepsi and iced tea for about $16.00 total.  Both were very very good.  Downside is we had to change it to a to go order because the kitchen was so slow -- although granted they were very busy -- eating there on a half hour lunch break wasn't practical.  So, I guess call ahead, or come with extra time or not at the peak hours, or maybe after a while when they get there choreography in order.  I'll be back. 

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  MAE LEE'S LUNCHEONETTE ... A very busy popular place with fast service and a wide ranging menu of soups and sandwiches ... I want to try the veal Parmesan sandwich.  They are open at breakfast time, but they aren't geared for breakfast.  DIRECTIONS

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  1/2  ROADHOUSE ... It WAS part of a chain the went out of business.  I assume the local operator decided to hold on and go it alone.  THEY ADVERTISE LUNCH SPECIALS and beer for 2 bucks ... once you get in they explain the restrictions.  So unless you love Bud Light, or Something-or-another Ultra, figure on paying more.  I was there for lunch only once and had the lunch special club sandwich, that came out without mayo or tomatoes ... I managed to eat it, but I can only hope I caught the kitchen on a bad day ... If your going to sell me a special, don't make me feel like I'm slumming it.  I haven't crossed it off my list.  Full bar.  DIRECTIONS

UPDATE:  [Note downgrade in smiley face rating]  Well, I went there for lunch today once again, sit at the bar as I always do anyplace for lunch, they hand me a menu with no specials.  This time I ask and, after a 2 minute search, they come up with a list of the very same lunch items, only with lower prices.  What if I hadn't asked?   My Yuengling, I was told is not 2 bucks, but 2 for 1 ... I don't want 2 beers at lunch and left feeling I paid for 2 but only had 1.  I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm for ordering food.

Oh, and if the managers ever read this, the fact you had peanuts out, but no little trays to carry them to the table or bar, makes the offering seem disingenuous -- either that or it was an accident and just a warning sign to customers that details are not important here.   

 

NOW CODY"S ROADHOUSE ... I HEAR it is very good -- steak-wise ... a small chain ... I'd venture there before Outback.

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DEE's ... downtown, just off the circle on Ridgewood ...very good breakfast ... the very good biscuit was not enhanced by the 'dairy spread' ... even though i don't use syrup, I wasn't impressed by the Sam's Club variety they offered .... my take is almost superb breakfast ... lousy condiments.

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OSHI BURGER ... kind of a teriyaki/burger joint ... but not obnoxiously so, as in greater-Seattle ... flat-top burgers and stir-fry ... very light, not overtly sweet, if sweet at all ... they have a SUPERB pink sauce that is good on everything ... they have an outpost at the mall ... VERY GOOD choice ... in a little building next to AT&T next to the Gold's Gym shopping center, a little south of Starbucks.  REALLY WORTH A TRY.

 

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  SUNSET GRILLE  [Read this carefully] ... No better place to spend a Florida evening on the deck.  I heard good things about the food.  BUT, my "homemade, grandmothers ... " meat loaf seemed waaay over microwaved and dry with fresh (from the can) gravy and mashed potatoes that my companions thought were instant (I didn't eat enough of them to render a decision).  It was the kind of meal where you try to get the taste out of your mouth for the rest of the night.  The fried calamari someone had was good.  Of eight of us eating, one person did say they were happy with their meal (some kind of a chicken thing).  

They have 2 for 1 drinks at happy hour, but only for the low end booze and you might as well ask for both drinks at once ... let's just say, they have always been "conservative" with their pours when I've been there.  You'd better have a snort or two before you go there for drinks or you'll be all night trying to get any "satisfaction."  No point drinking good stuff, based on the strength of their pours and the prices.  They usually have a good live band and the setting is nice.  I'm not eating there again.

Question to bar owners everywhere:  If you want to attract customers with 2 for 1 drinks specials, why can't you encourage people who don't drink from the well (and presumably are inclined to spend more) to take part.  DIRECTIONS

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  THAI HOUSE ... Best Thai around.  They are very conservative with spicing ... you might go for one more star than you are used to.  Beer Wine.  DIRECTIONS

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  CHICANE's AT THE INN ON THE LAKES ... My favorite hotel.  The restaurant is apparently very good, but in my experience not everyday affordable.  They have specials, like Monday Happy Hour wings, good quality for about $3.00 a dozen.  And here we go again, 2 for 1 bar drinks and beer.  If you are inclined towards decent "call brands" (Absoult and up, as I recall) they are 1 for 1 and at seven or eight bucks a pop, I can't afford it.  I'm told their Bistro dinner deal is good -- again, if you are happy with the one glass of house wine it comes with.  Bottom line: I think they charge too much for decent drinks.

For a special meal, it is a nice place.  DIRECTIONS

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CHATEAU ELAN ... A nice hotel.  Let's just say that their restaurant doesn't get raves.  DIRECTIONS

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I've heard of, but haven't tried:

 - HOMER'S BUFFET ... Crowded, but in central, Florida, that is not much of an indicator. I've never heard anything good about it.
 - DOT'S CAFE ... I've heard good things.  Breakfast.
 - SUNSET II ... I've heard they have a good breakfast.
The town needs a FIVE GUYS or a SnS.

Hope this helps, if you are venturing this way.

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<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Fri, 10/12/12 9:37 AM>

ces1948
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Tue, 11/17/09 10:32 PM
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Thanks for the info. Sebring is about 2.5 hours from me. Years ago we used to go over to Sebring to play golf. Seems as though they had a couple of pretty good reasonably priced courses. Now that I'm back to my old stomping grounds I may make the trip again. Always good to have some idea where to grab a bite.

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Thu, 11/19/09 9:16 AM
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A couple more:

  [1/2]   CIRCLE CAFE LUNCHEONETTE ... Mainly breakfast as far as I can see.  A good (maybe $2.99) breakfast special ... but with a glass of milk and a tip, you are pushing $10.00 at breakfast.  Everything I have had there has been fresh and home made.  They have a adjoining dinner restaurant CHARLIE'S STEAK AND SEAFOOD, I've never been.  I've heard good things about Charlie's, but the pitch black windows are not welcoming and I have no idea what the place is like.  I wish they had better curb appeal.  DIRECTIONS
 
UPDATE:  CLOSED DOWNTOWN ... they have pulled up stakes and become part of the exodus from what could/should be a charming downtown and moved to the former site of Woody's BBQ, across from Wal-Mart.  The sign outside only says "CHARLIE'S" ... no idea if the luncheonette concept will prevail once opened.    
 
[RANT] ... I am a big devotee of nice downtowns.  Sebring is picture perfect, BUT, BUT, townsfolk must not support it at all ... EVEN THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MOVED FROM DOWNTOWN -- out to a strip mall on the highway -- WHAT KIND OF SIGNAL DOES THAT SEND?  They didn't even bother to take down their sign or cover up their windows (like they aren't even embarrassed about it) ... All I can say, is that if you are in the vicinity, try to stop downtown and visit the two or three boutiques that are holding on -- last vestige of small businesses holding on.

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  JIMMY'S GREEK RESTAURANT ... Breakfast, lunch, and I think, dinner ... basic diner-level food with a Greek twist.  I had the breakfast special.  It had a nice hunk of ham, eggs and grits or potatoes (I forget) ... a good value, but once again, with a milk and tip, we're tipping 10 bucks.  That said, the parking lot is always full and I've heard nothing bad.  Beer and wine, I think.  DIRECTIONS

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  [1/2]   LAKESIDE RESTAURANT ... Attached to The Kenilworth Hotel.  Reminds me of a NJ diner menu, with a wide Greek-based menu.  I'm not sure they go beyond beer and wine.  Basic and valid.  DIRECTIONS

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Honorable mention:

 - THE COFFEE BEAN on 27, south of the congestion ... I've only been there years ago. Always had a nice homemade and by that I mean homemade breakfast.  A good bet.  UPDATE:   "ALWAYS CALL AHEAD" ... As far as I know they are in business -- and still valid, but I almost never find them actually open.

 - GYRO PLUS ... in a strip mall north of the congestion ... valid food, but the gyros, in particular, are crafted in a way that everything falls apart in your hands, rendering it a platter ... there is too much food (ie. iceburg lettuce, cheese, etc.) on your plate to eat for lunch and there is no point taking it home in that the delicious white sauce turns to cement in the fridge.  I'd go there if there helpings were more manageable.
 

<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Fri, 10/29/10 9:12 AM>

JDAStonewall
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 11/20/09 12:32 PM
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Thanks for the info. I am going to be in Sebring in February so this gave me a few places to check out.

EatingTheRoad
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 11/20/09 2:03 PM
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A few?!?

sk bob
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 11/20/09 6:02 PM
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great reviews Gregg, say hi to Erin

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Sun, 11/29/09 9:07 AM
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A new one:

  CANG TONG ... Kind of a Chinese and Japanese combination.  No MSG.  Super soup.  I didn't come away with that overly salty aftertaste I expect from this kind of food.

Actually, some of the best I've had anywhere.  DIRECTIONS

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 12/11/09 1:45 PM
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Another new one:

  THE CASTLE GRILL ... North of downtown, in the middle of nowhere, in a building with hand-painted lettering on the outside in what looks like it might be a scary gin joint.

SUPERB Cuban food in a very small (think take out if you can) immaculate luncheonette with an equally clean kitchen.

So far, I've only been there once and had the Cuban Pork Roast, but will be back to try their grilled wings and handmade pizza (not expecting much from the pizza because of the location -- 1200 miles south of New Haven) ... but I will report back.

DIRECTIONS


wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Tue, 01/5/10 1:24 PM
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Plus:

If you are headed to Sebring from the north (from I-4) headed south ... as soon as you get on highway 27, look for The Shamrock NOW CLOSED in Davenport, a superb sports bar and Irish pub.  I actually saw grownups singing Irish songs in a corner on afternoon.

They pour the best Guinness I had in Florida there and their Sunday Roast, bangers and mashed and just about everything I've had there has satisfied ... especially the fish and chips.

   MORE



<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Fri, 10/12/12 9:30 AM>

Bluemaxx
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Mon, 02/1/10 6:50 AM
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Looks like I will be in Sebring this Friday and Saturday. Staying at the Kenilworth Lodge. Any interest in getting together for a bite?

John A
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Tue, 02/2/10 8:45 AM
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LOL Gregg. Is there any place you did not try. Great report.

Hey Rich, I did not see your car here this past weekend.

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Tue, 02/2/10 9:31 AM
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Bluemaxx


Looks like I will be in Sebring this Friday and Saturday. Staying at the Kenilworth Lodge. Any interest in getting together for a bite?


Looks like I will too.  Lets try for a Cuban.

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Wed, 02/3/10 8:45 AM
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For the record, Rich and I are doing Cubans at Julio's, lunchtime Friday, February 5th.  Anyone else in the neighborhood ???

GB944
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Wed, 02/3/10 2:26 PM
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Wish I could be there, but my budget only allowed for a week at Daytona.

FWIW, due to Greg's and Rich's recommendations, I and the others in my gang ate at The Brickyard three times in four days.

The owner was treating us as regulars at each repeat visit!

Have a great time at the Club Race!

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Wed, 02/3/10 3:14 PM
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GB944


FWIW, due to Greg's and Rich's recommendations, I and the others in my gang ate at The Brickyard three times in four days.

The owner was treating us as regulars at each repeat visit!



Brickyard can't be beat.  Glad you enjoyed.



Bluemaxx
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Thu, 02/4/10 10:07 PM
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GB944 - that warms my heart.....mmmmm, The Brickyard! 

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Wed, 03/10/10 1:23 PM
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COWBOY'S is an outpost of the place in Okeechobee ... (which might be okay) .... This is a BBQ joint with  uninspired meat (often dry) and standard issue sauce.
If you have a hankering' for BBQ don't stop here.  If you want to see why the unwashed masses stand in line to eat C+ food, this might be a fair laboratory for your experiment.   I'll be at The Watering Hole.
NOW CLOSED ... REPLACED BY A PLACE CALLED MUGGS AND JUGGS (no further comment needed)
<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Fri, 10/12/12 9:33 AM>

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Mon, 03/15/10 1:37 PM
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A little north, in Avon Park is The Olympic .... superb mid-range food .... kind of reminded me of a NY diner.

Worthwhile.

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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 04/23/10 5:00 PM
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Took our nephew to the Sunset Grill when he was back from Iraq.  The food was terrible.  Won't go back.  Watering Hole is my favorite also.

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Mon, 10/4/10 7:10 PM
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Can't figure out how to edit the original post.
 
UPDATE:  ROADHOUSE is closed.  (Funny the proprietors blamed it on the "economy" ... for some reason, they didn't mention the fact that everyone who went there (in any economy) left dissapointed.
 

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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Mon, 10/4/10 7:31 PM
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HI Gregg !!
Still spending lots of time in Sebring ????
Yes,  the BRICKYARD rocks !!!
Wish we were all getting there together again this year!
 
p.s. I still owe you a phone call, lol ...

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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Wed, 10/6/10 9:58 AM
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I mentioned it on a separate thread, but for the record here on the Sebring thread ...
 
This one hurts. 
 
People who have eaten there will remember where they were when they heard the news ... THE WATERING HOLE is CLOSED !!!  So I'm told ... Rumors are they may be reopening.  I drove by during the day last week and there was no sign on the door, or anything.  Worth a call if you are an optimist.
 
They'll be remembered for just about the best steaks you'd find just about anyplace.
 
NOW REOPENED, SEE MY NOTES IN FIRST POST
<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Fri, 10/12/12 9:31 AM>

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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 10/29/10 9:22 AM
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A new place, THE FAIRMONT CAFE has just opened in a hidden spot in The Fairmont Plaza (next to the north-end Publix ... A hole in the wall.  I only had a soup (wasn't hungry) ... My first impression is the place is very valid and worth a try.  Seem like everything is wholesome and home cooked by a couple who has done this before (in Lake Placid) ...  MENU   A friend reports she tried to eat there at 1pm on a Friday and the place was too packed ... a good sign.
 
BTW:  PUBLIX still has the best fried chicken around ... a true option in the Sebring restaurant void.
 
BTW(2):  The take-and-bake pizza at Wal-Mart (in Sebring and elsewhere) is better than most so-called pizza places serve (far better than Little Caesar's, Hungry Howie's, Zeno's, Pizzano's, Domino's and other disappointments that for some reason seem to thrive) ... Galati's, downtown, is still the BEST pizza bet in Sebring-ville. Remember I'm SoCT spoiled.  (A Pepe's snob).
 
Meanwhile, the anti-snowbird that I am, am in Massachusetts again and will be doing a bit on New Hampshire and Maine in coming weeks.
<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Fri, 10/29/10 3:19 PM>

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Fri, 10/29/10 2:33 PM
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There is a website with most, if not all, menus in the area posted.
You'll find most of the above places ... the rest are either sub-par or unexplored.
http://www.highlandscountyrestaurants.com/
 
Also, I went to the HIGHLANDS INN in the Highlands Hammock State Park ... kind of a concession-type place.  I had the pulled pork and it was not bad at all.  Basic burgers and such.  Not an everyday stop in that it costs $4 to $6 to get into the park. 
11/23/2010:  UPDATE ... Another One Bites the Dust
 
With that, I think I'm up to date.
<message edited by wheregreggeats.com on Tue, 11/23/10 5:39 PM>

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:For The Record: Sebring, FL Restaurants ... - Mon, 01/31/11 9:07 AM
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I actually found two more viable places ...

 

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  [1/2]   MI RANCHO ... Lunch and Dinner.  The sign says Mexican and Spanish ... I've only had Mexican and I'd call it very good.  When graded on a curve, by virtue of being in Sebring, it might rate "superb."  Beer and wine. 
Located in the Fairmont Plaza, on the left as you come in from the north, just before Publix.

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  [1/2]   ROSERIO'S ... Lunch and Dinner.  Red Sauce Italian.  Very good calzone and very good lasagna.  Pizza looked viable too.  Located in the outskirts out on highway 98, by Sun & Lake community in a very non-descript strip center.  I didn't see any sign that they serve beer and wine.  DIRECTIONS