Mount Dora is in the heart of Lake County, close to the busy metropolis of Orlando yet far enough away to offer some tranquility. Nestled on a hill overlooking Lake Dora, the city boasts an array of shops, lodging, and (my favorite) restaurants.
Baker Joe’s, where Bistro by Glynne used to be, recently opened. New owners are mom Anne Hammill-Lyons and son Joe Hammill. The sign out front shows a baker with a pie, but inside, Baker Joe’s has more than sweets.
Joe has been baking for over 32 years, including at local shops. Anne enjoys making the salads, especially her tuna salad with apples and walnuts and chicken salad with grapes and almonds.
Enjoy coffee any time with an apple struedel, slice of pie, made-to-order cannoli, or whatever else Joe has coming fresh out of the oven. For lunch, there are salad plates, sandwiches, soups, and more. Mom and son even serve pizza. Ask about their $19.99 pizza special for four that includes a 14-inch pie, four drinks, and a family-sized salad
Baker Joe’s is open six days a week and is located at 335 South Highland Street. The phone number is (352) 735-5655. Call for hours and a menu.
Another new dining establishment in Mount Dora is The Frog and Monkey in the basement of the Renaissance Building where the Retro Wine Cellar & Bistro used to be. Also coming soon is a Cuban restaurant where Al E. Gators Pub used to be downtown on Dora Drawdy Way. More on these in the next issue.
In Lady Lake, Havana Country Club should be opening in November with author and celebrity Chef George Stella, who is featured on Food Network and has appeared on many TV shows as well as in magazines and newspapers. He lost 265 pounds by preparing naturally low-carb meals and published the recipes in his cookbooks. For now, visit his website at stellastyle.com, and in the next issue, I hope to have more information.
In Eustis, owner Steve Robin invites you to the Crazy Gator on Lake Eustis where you can arrive by boat or simply drive to 402 N. Bay Street. On Sundays, he features the NFL Ticket Package, including 45-cent wings and beer specials. This Thanksgiving is no different than the rest. For $10.99, enjoy ham, turkey, all the fixings, and dessert. “Walk-ins are welcome, but I highly suggest reservations,” Steve says. Call (352) 589-5885 and make yours soon.
Another Thanksgiving treat is at The Blackwater Inn, home to fine and casual dining in Astor. Enjoy a traditional dinner where every seat offers a spectacular view of the St. Johns River. Tables fill up fast on this day so call (352) 759-2802 or toll-free (888) 533-3422 as soon as you can. Reservations are offered online, too, at www.blackwaterinn.com.
Nibbles: In The Villages on Colony Boulevard, owner Gary Ryden is offering a few more items than what most are familiar with when it comes to Cici’s Pizza. The $5.49 menu doesn’t stop at the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, salad bar, dessert bar, and pastas. He also offers chicken noodle soup.
“This soup is good and hardy,” Gary says. “I hate to see it go because we change soups every few months, but the next flavor should be just as delicious.”
Another item he serves for an additional price that you usually don’t find at Cici’s is wings. “We have mild, hot, and barbecue, and they’re baked, not fried,” says Ryden. The phone number is (352) 259-5508, or visit the website at www.cicis.com.
Special thanks to Dani Chandonnet, marketing and business development coordinator for the city of Mount Dora, for her help.
Roseann founded Restaurant Guide USA and
still enjoys writing about new and upcoming eateries.
if you see or know of any new restaurants coming to your area.