By Brandie Mathison-Klein, CEO, REALTOR®
If you are anything like me, you face the never-ending dilemma of deciding where to eat. A couple of years ago, I made a pretty big lifestyle change. I try to eat gluten-free and organic as much as possible. This often poses a challenge when eating out. I also tend to lean towards the smaller, non-chain restaurants because I like to support our local business owners and like their unique atmosphere. Here are my top four restaurant picks and why I enjoy them.
If you want an awesome atmosphere to go along with your great food, then you have to check this place out! They have inside and outside dining. This is an older house that was converted into a restaurant. My personal favorite is eating outside where they also have live music. This is a very casual atmosphere. You walk up and order your food. Every time I have eaten there it is very busy. They also have a beer and wine selection. Their food choices are very good. They have a lot of barbecue options. Their gluten-free options are marked on the menu, so that is helpful. They also have an excellent dessert selection. I personally haven’t tried any of them, but you will see their desserts displayed when you order. The atmosphere this place has is cool. There is writing all over the walls and lots of pictures of cute dogs. They have a pet-friendly atmosphere as well.
If you haven’t tied Troy’s Cuban Deli yet, then you are missing out on some of the most sought-after food in Clermont. Thankfully, this restaurant is located in the same plaza as my office. This is a regular hot spot for not only myself and my team, but many other locals. If you want some true Cuban selections, this is the place for you. The meats they use are all natural. They have the everyday specials that are served quickly. You can choose from a section of rice and beans, plantains or yucca and your choice of a meat, or you have several menu items that are made to order. We also enjoy their café con leche (Cuban coffee) on a daily basis. YUM! It is the perfect pick-me-up. The staff is always friendly and keeps a very clean restaurant. The cost is average. For an average meal, you are looking at between $8-$10.
If you are in the mood for some sushi, try Fancy Sushi. This is great for lunch or dinner. They have several good options and have some great affordable lunch specials as well. You can also get hibachi and other menu items, like teriyaki chicken and other non-seafood choices. Their service has always been great and their prices are very reasonable. My husband and I will often have dinner here and then head to the movies because it is located right next to the Epic Theatre. This makes for a nice and easy date night. The dining area is small but we have never had to wait too long to be seated.
This restaurant is a gastropub that supports local farms and ranches. They always have a large choice of specials each day. Their signature menu items are always so good. The atmosphere also offers a wine and beer bar, local live music on some nights and outdoor dining as well. This gives an overall great setting to enjoy lunch or dinner with friends, family or a date night with your special someone. I have never tried a menu item that I didn’t like. They offer a variety of great salads, burgers and some other amazing things like fried green tomatoes and their blue cheese chips are addicting! They don’t have a lot of gluten free options, but everything is made fresh, so sometimes I just have to alter a thing or two from my order to fit my dietary needs. The price is reasonable and two people could dine for under $35-$40. The staff has always been very friendly. My only complaint is that they tend to take a little long for my taste during the lunch hour.
Those are my personal four top choices of local non-chain restaurants that are locally owned and operated. I encourage you to try them out and find your favorite selections.