On a winding drive through the Ocala National Forest, you’ll find Kick N’ Back Café and Grille, a Caribbean-themed restaurant parked on highway 40. The café has a laid-back atmosphere, where guests are welcome to enjoy a drink after work with a platter of Kick N’ Wings blended with BBQ or buffalo sauce. Conch fritters served with cocktail sauce, a Key West tradition, are also a Kick Starter favorite.
Kick N’ Back opened this past July, and customers have raved ever since. The restaurant’s slogan, “It’s all good,” instills the easygoing mindset owners Kenney and Sandi Kloza wish upon their diners. At sunrise, a breakfast of fluffy Porthole Cakes or a Seafarer’s Omelet off the griddle will start your day off right. Hungry bubbas can order a Bubba’s Breakfast of two eggs, home fries or grits, a half order of biscuits and gravy, and bacon or sausage.
Lunch and dinner features a variety of chicken sandwiches, burgers, salads and wraps. The Cuban Mix—Havana pork, ham and Swiss cheese with pickles and mustard on a pressed hoagie roll—comes highly recommended. Salty sailors can have their share of fish filet feasting on the Fisherman’s Platter: an entree with select white fish, shrimp and scallops.
Kenney, who hails from Key West, has a food business history spanning a decade, but Kick N’ Back’s building, he says, has a longer and more colorful history.
“It used to be a place locals would drive by but have never been into,” Kenney says, referring to the building’s more rowdy restaurant tenants in the past.
But word of mouth and delicious food have drivers stepping on their brakes since Kick N’ Back’s opening. Besides snacking on shrimp poppers or chowing down on the Mojo Chicken and Pork, guests can enjoy playing volleyball, tossing horseshoes or building sandcastles in the outdoor recreation area. And, of course, there’s always that special place on the screened-in back patio, where guests can feel a cool breeze, relax under the fans overhead and taste a slice of Kenney’s Key Lime Pie.
Kick N’ Back Café and Grille
14400 East Highway 40, Silver Springs
Tue-Sat 6:30a-9p / Sun 6:30a-7p / Closed Mon