A Tasty Piece of History
Every now and then dreams come true. Such is the case for Mitch and Lorraine Simmons, who opened Neon Leon’s Zydeco Steakhouse in Old Homosassa in 2008.
Before opening Neon Leon’s Zydeco Steakhouse, Mitch and Lorraine Simmons had each owned and operated restaurants separately, but in 2008, they combined their years of business, hospitality and entertainment experience to create a one-of-a-kind dining establishment based on Old Louisiana-style food, music, history and culture. The menu also offers Certified Angus Steaks and Florida seafood seasoned with flare, and guests are given complimentary Mardi Gras beads to add to the New Orleans spirit.
Named after Leon Wilkeson, the late bass guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd who also happens to be Mitch’s uncle, it was Leon who first expressed an interest in forming a Neon Leon’s. To complete Leon’s vision, Mitch has incorporated an entertaining dining experience, featuring a large collection of family-owned photos, autographed guitars, stage apparel and rare concert posters, giving the restaurant one of the largest publicly displayed collections of Lynyrd Skynyrd memorabilia.
Encouraged by the restaurant’s immediate success, Mitch and Lorraine opened a second location that is just as unique. Ike’s Old Florida Kitchen is housed in the 90-year-old Izaak Walton Lodge, just 20 miles to the north in Yankeetown.
Ike’s sits on a grassy knoll on the bank of the Withlacoochee River. From the sparkling, 8-foot windows, you will see deer, hogs and wild turkeys appear from the canopy created from cedar, cypress, cabbage palms and Florida pines. Eagles and Osprey fly overhead of the alligators, otters, dolphins and, our most famous visitors, manatee. River tours aboard the 31-passenger, covered tour boat allow guests to take in the view.
The menu again features Certified Angus Steaks, flavorful seafood and the famous Pan Fried Grouper, which has been featured for over 30 years. Preserving the original history, Ike’s Old Florida Kitchen offers a game section on the menu as well.
Whether you’re looking for a rustic Louisiana barn dance or casual, waterfront dining in an historic lodge, Neon Leon’s and Ike’s have something to offer everyone.
Neon Leon’s Zydeco Steakhouse
10350 W Yulee Drive, Homosassa
Ike’s Old Florida Kitchen izaakwaltonlodge.com 6301 Riverside Drive, Yankeetown (352) 447-4899