What’s better than dining at home? Eating out at an iconic restaurant, because you cannot make it like that at home.
Cook your own pancakes right at your table at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill, next to the legendary 72-degree healing waters at DeLeon Springs State Park. The mill was built in the mid-1800s to grind sugar cane using power generated from the springs.
The mill now houses about 30 tables with built-in griddles. Guests can make their own pancakes from two signature batters, and top them with pecans, blueberries, peanut butter, apples or chocolate chips. They also can prepare their own French toast, eggs and omelets with ham, bacon or sausage.
Patty Schwarze runs the restaurant founded by her parents in 1961.
It is open for breakfast and lunch every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
After eating, head out to the springs for a swim, visit the museum or take a boat eco-tour to see the area’s wildlife.
Check out other iconic Florida eateries, including:
Any of the seven locations of Columbia, founded in 1905 in Ybor City and featuring authentic Cuban food.
Angel’s Dining Car in Palatka, opened in 1932 and is billed as Florida’s oldest diner.
The Bubble Room on Captiva Island—a three-story fantasy restaurant that opened in 1979 with collections of toys, movie memorabilia and one floor dedicated to everything Christmas.
Looking for amazing desserts? Try Bocas House in Doral, Weston and Coral Gables. Insider/MSN recently named its Nutella milkshake as Florida’s craziest milkshake. Here’s what’s in it, layer by layer: vanilla ice cream blended with Nutella, a Nutella brownie drizzled with Nutella and topped with a Nutella truffle and another scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is dressed with even more Nutella. It is big enough for four friends to share.
Kermit’s Key Lime Pies, with two locations in Key West and one in DeLand—may define the authentic Florida Key lime pie. Made with intensely concentrated Key lime juice, pies are not the only the product the company has created. Key lime pie bars dipped in dark chocolate, Key lime marmalade, Key lime steak sauce and Key lime skin-care products round out the selections.
To the Lake
Known as Lake Toho by locals, Central Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga, was ranked the best vacation lake in Florida by Money Talks News. The 18,810-acre lake beckons bass anglers, bird watchers and people interested in the area’s wildlife, which includes turtles and alligators.
For an interactive history of the area, visit the Osceola County Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek, osceolahistory.org/pioneer-village.
Florida native Pamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who specializes in travel, gardening, personality and feature writing. The avid traveler also is a photographer and accomplished sailor. Her website is www.pamelakeene.com.