One of the few things that frustrates me about Polk Eats is that I don’t get the chance to become a regular. Years ago, I worked in an office near a diner where I ate lunch about twice a week. I became a regular. The staff knew my order as soon as I walked in the door. That was a good feeling. At Polk Eats, our budget is limited enough that we generally need to be exploring new places. And I enjoy that, because I’ve eaten a lot of delicious meals at restaurants I might never have found otherwise. In almost every way, this blog is a fun project. But, alas, I’m not a regular anywhere.
I was thinking about that as we had lunch at A&B Restaurant in Lakeland recently. Several of the customers were greeted by staff as regulars. I like that, even if I’m not one of the regulars, it’s encouraging that people enjoy a restaurant enough to keep going back.
A&B is a traditional diner, a seat yourself kind of place. It’s not a large restaurant, but we had no trouble finding a table late on a Saturday morning. The menu offers a full range of breakfast options, and breakfast is served all day. Lunch entrees are a delightful variety ranging from pasta to seafood to pork and poultry to burgers and sandwiches. Our server was friendly despite being being quite busy the entire time. We both had iced tea to drink.
My wife ordered lunch, the Captain’s seafood platter, which included choice of soup, salad, slaw, or potato (she chose salad) and a vegetable (she chose French fries). The salad was a basic iceberg lettuce salad. It was nothing spectacular but she liked it (and her choice of dressing, ranch, was good). The seafood platter more than made up for anything the salad might have lacked. It included a fish fillet, shrimp, clams, and a crab cake. The fish fillet was her favorite part – the breading was light (possibly a beer batter) and the fish itself was flaky and tasted fresh. The shrimp were also delicious. The crab cake was well seasoned. The fries had a little seasoning but they weren’t spicy.
I had been craving French toast for a while, so I ordered breakfast. Along with the French toast, I ordered a cheese omelet which came with a choice of grits, hash browns or home fries (I chose hash browns), and toast or a biscuit (I got the biscuit).
Sadly, the French toast was a little disappointing. It was made with Texas Toast, which sounded promising. It just ended up a bit on the bland side, flat and without much flavor. The omelet, on the other hand, was quite good. It was substantial, made with 4 eggs. It included 3 slices of American cheese (ideally, I would have preferred a choice of cheeses, but this was still good). The eggs were cooked the way I like them, not runny and not too dry. And the hash browns were tasty and cooked just right.
We always enjoy hearty diner food, and A&B provided that. The seafood platter was the highlight of the meal but we enjoyed the entire experience. With tip, our total was about $34. I’m guessing most people wouldn’t order the French toast on top of the omelet breakfast, so that increased our cost some. And we both had leftovers to enjoy the next day. A&B Restaurant is on 1520 South Combee Road in Lakeland, just south of South Crystal Lake Road. Enjoy!