Back to School with Polk Eats

We’ve reached the start of another school year. Polk Eats is here with recommendations for those days when you are busy or tired and want to enjoy a meal out. These are a few highlights from our 2018 reviews (with a couple of exceptions from 2017).

Scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon and toast at Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre snack bar in Lakeland, Florida
The eggs are there, just obscured by the toast

Cheap Eats: It’s hard to top the Silver Moon Drive-In snack bar for a cheap breakfast – we had eggs/bacon/toast/potatoes for 2 for less than $11. And the stroll around their Saturday morning swap shop can be quite educational.

Start the Weekend Downtown: Lakeland’s Downtown Farmer’s Curb Market is closed in August but returns on September 1 this year. We’ve bought perennial plants, organic honey, and jewelry there, in addition to the delightful produce. Stroll the market and have breakfast at Fescos or one of many other downtown restaurants.

Tomato, basil, and garlic pizza at Pizza Town restaurant in Auburndale, Florida
Basil, tomato, and garlic pizza at Pizza Town in Auburndale

Awesome in Auburndale: We still have a lot of places to explore in Auburndale, but we especially enjoyed Pizza Town earlier this year. Good crust and the right amount of sauce. We didn’t sample them, but the desserts are said to be very good as well.

Bat-tastic in Bartow: Lunch at Havana Delights has been one of the highlights of our year so far. Consider going on September 15, when Main Street Comics and Memorabilia will host Batman Day, with games, music, and cosplayers.

Wild in Winter Haven: We have been remiss this year and not made enough trips to Winter Haven. Dino’s Drive In, where we visited in 2017, remains one of our favorite surprises for friendly service and delicious burgers.

Cheesecake at Garden Bistro restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaDessert Surprise: In fairness, we expected the food at Garden Bistro in Lakeland to taste good, and it did. But we would go back if only for the coma-inducing desserts like cheesecake and apple pie. They taste even better when enjoyed outside overlooking Lake Mirror.

Family Night Out: Speaking of dessert, the deep fried Oreos from Treehouse Truck at the Downtown Lakeland Food Truck Rally are still among the most decadent desserts I’ve ever had. There are plenty of healthier options available from a variety of food trucks that set up around Munn Park on the second Thursday of very month.

Protein Power toast and PB&Bac'N Toast at The Juice Box Cafe in Lakeland, FloridaOur Latest Thrill: It’s a bit pricey, but we had lunch at The Juice Box Cafe in Lakeland in August and loved the place. They’re right up there with Concord Coffee in offering toast as a culinary delight. A mellow vibe with vegetarian juices, smoothies, bowls, and more.

Grown-up Night Out: We haven’t been there since early 2017, but the Red Door Wine Market in Lakeland remains a sentimental favorite. It’s where my wife and I went for our first date. All ages are welcome, but we suggest a relaxing night out among adults. Bring home leftovers for the babysitter.

Chocolate malted milkshake and Oreo milkshake at Strawberry Hut restaurant in Lakeland, FloridaShake it up: We’re still in the heat of summer. Cooling off with a milkshake is just the ticket. Our favorites so far this year have been at Strawberry Hut on Memorial Boulevard in Lakeland. Friendly service and tasty sandwiches only added to the fun.

New Place We Most Look Forward to Trying: It seems that every week a new restaurant has opened in Polk County. We’re reading rave reviews about D’Lucas, opened in Lakeland earlier this year by the owner of Nineteen61. We plan to go there before 2018 is over.

Starting school is stressful for students, parents, and faculty, but good food among others can help restore calm. Polk County has so many interesting restaurants at every price point. Try a map search of our reviews to find a restaurant near you, or search the categories along the right side of the page for ideas. Then go out and explore them to feed your body and your brain. Enjoy!


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