We haven’t been to Eagle Lake yet, until now. In fairness, it’s not a large town, with a population under 2,300 according to the 2010 census. Located along U.S. 17 south of Winter Haven, we’ve driven through many times but never really stopped until now.
We hadn’t been in that part of Polk County much this year, so on our way we stopped at one of our favorite local vantage points, Lake Howard in Winter Haven. It’s 624 acres but only about 19 feet at its deepest. There’s a walkway around part of the lake – there was talk of trying to implement a recreational trail around the entire lake, but sadly that doesn’t seem likely.
Going south on U.S. 17 from Winter Haven, Eagle Lake is just past the State Road 540 intersection, at an area where the north and south bound lanes of 17 separate. In the area between those north and south bound lanes, you can find the Eagle Lake Family Diner.
This is a classic, no-frills, old school diner. There is outdoor seating but between a sudden rainstorm and the heat and humidity of summer, we stayed inside. The restaurant was quiet – no music or TV blaring – which was perfect and seems to be an increasingly rare thing these days. The menu is straightforward, offering breakfast all day and lunch from 11AM onward. There is a breakfast buffet in the morning, which I was told is less than $10. They offer a lunch buffet following breakfast. We were there for breakfast.
Service was outstanding, the young woman who waited on us was very cheerful and stopped to have a conversation with my wife about how to properly prepare grits. I had iced tea to drink and my wife had coffee and a glass of water.
There were two breakfast specials on the menu and my wife ordered one of them, the “Super Country Special,” 2 eggs (over easy for her), grits, and a half-order of biscuits and gravy. Thankfully the grits were done just right, in the way both women had already discussed. The over easy eggs were prepared correctly, and the yolks mixed well with the grits – I’m not a fan of grits, so I didn’t even know that’s a common way to eat them. The gravy was seasoned with pepper but wasn’t too hot.
I ordered a cheese omelet, which came with a choice of hash browns or grits and a choice of toast or biscuit. You can see from the photo I chose the hash browns and biscuit. I didn’t even notice on the menu the omelet was made with 4 eggs, so I was pleasantly surprised by such a generous portion. There was plenty of cheese mixed in with the omelet, which was evenly cooked all the way through. My only nit to pick is that the cheese didn’t have a lot of flavor – I would have preferred sharp cheddar. The hash browns were well prepared, a little crispy without being overdone. The biscuit was fluffy and delicious and tasted homemade.
The price left us feeling good, also. With tip our total was just over $21. We were very happy with the whole experience – a simple, hearty breakfast with friendly service, all at a good price. Give them a try. The Eagle Lake Family Diner is on 5th Street at Lake Avenue in Eagle Lake. Enjoy!