Winter Haven: Big Tom’s Diner

Exterior of Big Tom's Diner in Winter Haven, FloridaWe had a fairly long dry spell here in central Florida before a week of heavy rains.  That’s relevant because afternoon thunderstorms kept the crowds down when my wife and I paid a recent visit to Big Tom’s Diner in Winter Haven.  Big Tom’s is a popular place and seems to be standing room only during peak hours.  That’s a good sign but just means you might want to time your visit accordingly.

Interior of Big Tom's Diner in Winter Haven, FloridaWe immediately liked Big Tom’s casual diner decor and a large sign on one wall that expressed a beautiful sentiment:  “Nothing brings people together like good food.”  That’s a belief we share at Polk Eats.  The entire staff was friendly during our visit, especially our cheerful server.

Big Tom’s has an extensive menu and most days they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We were sorely tempted to have “breakfast at dinner,” but instead chose more conventional dinner options.  I ordered meatloaf which comes with 2 sides – mashed Potato souppotatoes with gravy and baked cinnamon apples, in my case.  My dinner also included a soup or salad; I went with the soup of the day, potato soup.  My wife ordered a bacon cheddar jalapeno burger with fries and cole slaw, though she requested hers without the jalapenos.  Two iced teas to drink.

Overall the food was quite delicious.  We also received a generous amount of food for the price.  It’s fair to say that meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort foods and it’s something I’m very particular about.  So can’t say I was wild about the meatloaf.  It tasted good but didn’t have the consistency of typical meatloaf; it just didn’t excite Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, and baked cinnamon applesme the way my wife’s home-cooked meatloaf does.  Otherwise we were very happy.  My potato soup and both sides were excellent.  I tend to forget how much I like baked apples with cinnamon, so I’m glad this was available.  My wife’s bacon cheddar burger was cooked perfectly and came with hearty pickle and tomato slices.  We got just the right amount of attention from our server throughout the meal.

Bacon cheeseburger with french fries and cole slawAnd what a deal – with tip our total was just over $24, a great price for this much comfort food.  Even though I wasn’t wild about the meatloaf, we both agreed we look forward to another meal at Big Tom’s Diner.  Mostly the food was quite good, friendly service, and it’s true that good food really can bring people together.  The restaurant is on Havendale Boulevard in Winter Haven, near 8th St NW (U.S. 17).  Give it a try!

If we’ve inspired you to visit Big Tom’s Diner, or you’ve already been there and want to share your experience, please comment below.  Or if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would to hear them via the Contact Us page.  Thanks for visiting and happy eating!

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