19th Hole - Barefoot Bay - 3.5 Stars
"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial problems." ---Brandeis
I have a theory about food - the places you get the most surprisingly good food are the places you least expect to find it (and sometimes the converse is true). To be clear, I usually know what I am walking into, but I always keep an open mind regardless. Some people may disagree with some of my reviews, but the reality is that I am consistent in the application of my criteria. I feel free to lambaste décor and service because I don't rate based on service or décor: It's all about the food.
The 19th Hole restaurant is located at the Barefoot Bay Golf Course in the manufactured housing community of Barefoot Bay. This 10,000 resident retirement community was the largest in Florida at one time. Now it pales in comparison to Sun City and The Villages.
Anyway, this was my next stop on the list of restaurants. The décor is similar to every single public golf course clubhouse in existence. Golf-related kitsch is in great abundance, as to be expected. The tan walls exude a soothing relaxing vibe - it's almost like color therapy for the frustrated golfer. Denise, my server, was an upbeat and friendly older lady who I would gladly have as service staff at every restaurant I go to visit. She did not get annoyed at my questions and willingly asked the cook whatever she could not answer.
I ordered the turkey club sandwich and the open face meatloaf sandwich. The club came with real - not processed - turkey with fresh bacon and tomatoes. Served triple-decker style, it was enjoyable. On the other hand, the open face meatloaf sandwich was interesting. I inquired about the gravy because it was obvious the mushrooms were canned. Refreshingly, I was told the gravy is made by hand every Wednesday morning on the day of the meatloaf special. It was very flavorful and I totally believe it was made on premises as was reported. The loaf itself was pedestrian in the execution, but its seasoning was well-balanced. Like the other food, the mashed potatoes were made from real potatoes rather than some instant mix.
I can't imagine any of my followers going out of their way to eat here but if you are up for a round of golf stop in the 19th hole for a bite to eat. It may not be a hole in one, but Big Boy says it's par for the course.