Bulldog Certainly Does Wish You a Most Happy New Year!

Bulldog Certainly Does Wish You a Most Happy New Year!

This is a quick blog posting to say that I do hope this brand-new year of 2018 has gotten off to a good start for you! You just might feel–as I do–that 2017 was so awful that this year has just GOT to be better! If so, I think we’re both right!

I did not say a word about the new year on Monday when it was new new, but I ushered it in with some perfectly-cooked black eyed peas with onion, garlic, ham and Bulldog’s special seasonings! And some scratch cornbread which also could not have been better!

And, no, I did not have any champagne, but some ice-cold Coors in those awesome retro-looking bottles worked just fine.

So far the new year’s going alright. The best thing I’ve done so far is today’s trip to our Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. Had a fine time and got a few good pix; I’ll have a couple of them up here in a new post very soon.

Please accept my best wishes for a safe, fun and thoroughly-amazing 2018! And I hope you get to spend some of it doing some cool stuff outdoors!

Krispy’s Chicken in Groveland is Heaven-on-Earth for Folks Who Love Real Food

Krispy’s Chicken in Groveland is Heaven-on-Earth for Folks Who Love Real Food

I try hard to have lunch or dinner at Krispy’s anytime I pass through the town of Groveland. I passed right by this Mecca of awesome eats a couple of days ago, but alas, it was way passed their closing time. I was cruising down Highway 50 on my way to Brooksville for three days of camping and great music and was making the trip at a rather odd time. I will get back there soon to atone for the great sin of passing a top-ten best Florida eatery without stopping to chow down.

I could boil down my whole review to two terms near-and-dear to the hearts of all of us who love Southern cooking. Those would be: “fried chicken” and “buffet!”

Now, I know that some buffets are not worth the $8.95 and they depend on patrons who are drawn in by the “all you can eat” part but who haven’t actually sampled the product. They rate high in quantity but miss the mark completely in the quality department. Krispy’s is NOT like that.

If you stop by once, you’ll become a regular. Like me, you’ll feel like you’ve done something very, very wrong if you’re even in the same zip code and don’t stop in.

The chicken is scrumptious and you can go back to the counter to reload whenever you want. Their amazing sides are on that delectable buffet and I swear if I hated fried chicken, I’d go there for those side dishes alone.

I love the collard greens. The black-eyed peas are choice. The chicken salad has become a fave of mine; this is the only joint I’ve ever been to that throws jalapeno bits into chicken salad. You’ve got to try it.  And get this: the mashed potatoes are in a steaming-hot hotel pan right next to — can you believe it — a pan of chicken gravy! No, I wouldn’t kid you about that!

For those of you who have read my blog before or know me from social media know that I do like the national chicken chain where most of us have dined a thousand times. I do. But it’s always bothered me that the gravy served with their mashed potatoes is beef gravy. Well, Krispy’s is the first restaurant I’ve been to that doesn’t engage in that awful practice. Beef gravy with fried chicken! Who ever heard of such a thing!? (No, this is NOT a knock on KFC. They stand head-and-shoulders above most fast food places, but the gravy thing annoys me to no end!)

Folks, I could go on and on. But I won’t. Just go to Krispy’s and be prepared to chow down. It’s got great vittles. In ridiculous portions. With good and friendly service. What more could any lover of down home-cooking ask?

 

Krispy’s Chicken ~ 307 E. Broad Street ~ Groveland, Florida ~ Call 352 429-4819

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Barbecue is As Good As It Gets

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Barbecue is As Good As It Gets

The best I can remember, I first visited Bubbalou’s Bodacious Barbecue back around ’85 or ’86… Not exactly sure. What I know for sure is that I’ve gone back about a bajillion times. And I’ll be going back many, many times more.

At the time I made that first killer visit to this Mecca of Florida barbecue, the Lee Rd. location was it. (If you haven’t been there, that’s just west of where Lee Rd. begins at Hwy 17-92.) I didn’t know that one day Bubbalou’s would have five locations. Or that they’d all be way bigger than the original one. And that people from every corner of the Orlando metro area would come to love their chow the way I did.

I prefer cafeteria-style service at barbecue joints, as you tend to have your dinner in front of you faster that way. That’s the system at Bubbalou’s. But their staff will be table side several times while you’re chowing down even though they’re not actual wait staff. You can tip at the time you order. They tend to fill up for lunch and because seating consists of picnic tables, you may be enjoying your selection with friends you haven’t met yet. But that adds to the charm of the place. And they feature a decent beer selection.

I’ve had five or six entrees, all told. I tend to order my faves over and over so it’s true that there are things on their menu I’ve never tasted. Some of my “stand-bys” that I’ve had a thousand times would include the Pulled Pork Sandwich, The Ribs and the Catfish Dinner. I recommend them all. If you opt for a sandwich, you can go with a bun or the grilled garlic toast you find at many barbecue restaurants; yeah, I know that “authentic” barbecue should come with plain white bread, but that is the one thing about old-school barbecue that I really hate. Give me the not-authentic garlic toast every damn day of the week!

Let me say one more thing about the catfish; it’s been consistently good and I go that route fairly often because catfish is not on the menu at most barbecue joints. So that’s one of the reasons I go to Bubbalou’s often.

Their sides are killer; there are many from which to choose. I especially love the collards and the black-eyed peas. But all the ones I’ve had are top-shelf.

I’ve been to four of the five locations; have not made it out to the Apopka store yet. Give me a little time. I’m not out in the UCF area that much, but the Alafaya location is huge and has a full bar and a substantial patio. You can play bean bag toss after dinner and they feature live music on weekends. I’ve visited that one four times in all; its vibe is quite different from the others. And, yes, you’ll see plenty of UCF kids there. Both as patrons and crew.

If you’d like to wrap a train trip around your lunch or dinner, the Altamonte Springs location is the way to go; it’s within easy walking distance of the Altamonte Sun Rail Station. I’ve gone that route and it was a lot of fun. In fact, they have a train rider special but you’ll have to show your Sun Rail pass.

They are family-friendly too. I’ve always seen every kind of diner on my visits. Check them out whether you’re with family, friends or “flying solo”, as is my usual custom.

You’ve gotta love Bubbalou’s. Five great locations. Top-shelf barbecue and very yummy sides. Fast service from an efficient and engaging crew. What’s not to like?

Bubbalou’s accepts most credit cards. American Express is not on that list, however.

I am not going to list the addresses of the five locations here. For that, I recommend their site. To see the locations and their fabulous menu, just follow this link.