The Yearling Restaurant
The Yearling Restaurant, in Cross Creek, Fl, is one of my most favorite places to eat.
The restaurant was opened in 1952. It is located in Cross Creek, just a short distance from the home of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, one of Florida's most famous and well known authors. Her home is now completely restored to it's original condition and is a Florida State Park.
The town (actually a village) of Cross Creek is located just North of Citra, Fl on rt 325. It sits on Cross Creek which is a short waterway connecting lakes Orange and Lochloosa.
When the restaurant opened the owner wanted to feature true Florida Cracker style cooking using actual recipes discovered by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. To this day it has stayed true to that idea. The menu features all the standard goodies you would expect from an upscale restaurant as well as a full complement of Florida wild game and side dishes.
The restaurant is kind of like a display of contrasts. From the type of food served and the ambiance offered you would expect fancy clothes. However, last time I was there I was wearing my normal shorts and shirt with a ball cap and the men at the next table were all in ties and jackets. They were drinking Champagne and mixed drinks and I was drinking sweet tea with lime. They had Filet Mignon and Prime Rib and we were eating shrimp, scallops, duck breast, and venison.
The menu features steaks, pork, chicken, and seafood, as well as game including Venison, quail, cooter (fresh water turtle), duck, alligator, and frog legs. Sides include Cheese Grits, Baked Sweet Potato, fries, greens, stewed tomatos and okra, snap beans, black eyed peas, and swamp cabbage.
Appetizers include alligator, spicy gator, fried green tomatos, cracker sampler (frog legs, fried green tomatos, gator, and fried mushrooms), and soups/chowders. Also offered as appetizers are frog legs, escargot, venison medallions, duck breast with cherry cranberry sauce, fried onions, and assorted fritters.
Meal prices range between $13 and $30. There is a kids menu also. They are open for lunch on weekends with a full menu of sandwiches and other lunch items.
The restaurant gets VERY crowded at dinner so it is advisable to call ahead for reservations. When you arrive the restaurant looks a bit rundown but don't let that bother you.... the food is fantastic and you will get a real Florida experience from your visit. Another thing... do not be in a rush. NOTHING is prepared ahead of time. All dishes are prepared to order as they are ordered.
My favorite dish at the Yearling is the duck breast. It is broiled and served with a cherry cranberry sauce thick with berries. It melts in your mouth. I am also partial to the seafood. Jumbo shrimp, scallops, oysters, soft shell crabs, catfish and Grouper. They have a dish of Grouper stuffed with home made Blue Claw Crab stuffing that will amaze you.
Sam (Cheetah380) enjoys the combination game plate choosing venison medallions and duck breast. My wife is a traditionalist, she enjoys plain old fried shrimp. Our favorite deserts are the home made Key Lime Pie and the home made sour orange cream pie.
Another thing that has become a standard at the Yearling is Willie Green. Willie is into his eighties and he still roams the restaurant playing authentic down home blues on his guitar and harmonicas suspended around his neck. Willie has played with the best New Orleans blues masters and is proud to entertain you at the Yearling.
The Yearling Restaurant has been named one of the best restaurants in Florida every year since 2003. They must be doing something right!
I have been eating at this restaurant for a lot of years. I highly recommend the Yearling Restaurant in Cross Creek, Florida. be it for a birthday, anniversary, or even just a nice dinner for two you will not be disappointed.
P/S... The restaurant's web site is located at http://www.yearlingrestaurant.net/
Last edited by BangBang; 04-22-2013 at 06:40 PM.
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