Category Archives: Inglis

Shrimp Landing

We’re visiting our hometown today. Ivo found him a Ford. I tend towards a Ford also, and I never really did care for a Chevy. But this Apache looks like it was painted the color of rust to divert attention from the actual rust. Looks like a straight six under that hood and an all-American line-drive baseball into the windshield. A lot of work to be done here, but there’s potential for a beautiful truck underneath it all.

We visited Shrimp Landing at 48 Highway 19 S in Inglis on 18 August 2012. Shrimp Landing is adjacent to the Hickory Island motel and bar.

Close-up of the door to the office tells a story about the rooms here. Either that indeterminate propositional phrase is on purpose or it’s not, and either way it tells a story of my hometown.

Here’s the Shrimp Landing, and also what very well could be the first ever Scion FR-S in Inglis. Shrimp Landing used to be Peppermint Patties last year, and Hickory Island before that, and the Port Inglis for decades prior to that. The Port Inglis is where I used to say “coffee, and lots of it!” And the gal would bring me two cups, just in case.

It’s actually “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel and we’ve been watching and learning (and not having nearly as many nightmares as you’d expect). So Ivo is very interested in this one. I’ve also got to give compliments to the blue-painted mulch, an idea that actually works pretty well here.

The menu is standard breakfast, just like you’d expect in a small town. Get too fancy and folks’ll find another place for bacon and eggs.

Ivo’s got a case of the shys this morning. He just turned two a few days ago, and it’s frankly a bit overwhelming.



But, just like all two year olds, a little bit of hot diner coffee will cure him of that!

And also, breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. How can you be sure of this? Follow the sound medical advice of asking us, and we’ll tell you, breakfast is where it’s at!

We divvied it up evenly. Scrambled eggs: Check. Bacon: Check. Pancakes: Check. Fork: Maybe.

Simple and good, here. Decent chow that we both liked fine. Good coffee. Nice folks, with lots of regulars. Especially since it seems that Gobbler’s is under new ownership and was not opened at all this morning, making Shrimp Landing the only breakfast in town. It all weighed in at under a tenner.

That coffee really perked up our young Ivo. He jumped right up to pay the bill.

With a little encouragement on the compass heading, he promptly disappeared into the crowd.

And came back with change, a string of beads from “the kids’ treasure chest,” and a big ole goofy grin. That’s the look of pride and accomplishment my boy’s got.

After breakfast was down the hatch and the tab settled, we took a ride down Follow That Dream Parkway, as I don’t recall if Ivo has ever been to the End of the Road.

And a serious squall was just coming ashore. It’s difficult to pick out, but there’s three boys on the dock trying to fish without getting knocked off by the wind, and there’s a guy in a 20′ boat getting banged all over in the cross current trying to get up onto the trailer.

On the way home we stopped and visited the parents of a childhood buddy of mine. In the back I noticed the old Gheenoe that me and Gary used to fish out of for whole summers at a time when we were teenagers. Those were the days.

A fine breakfast day. Good chow, decent price, home-town fun, all for ten bucks. We’re happy to give Shrimp Landing a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.

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Shrimp Landing on Urbanspoon

Gobblers

We’re visiting all the family this weekend, so it’s another chance for some fine home-town chow. We visited Gobblers on Highway 19 in Inglis on 11 June 2011. Last time we were here was back on New Year’s Eve 2009!

Nice promenade here across the front of the building. Marek is leading the way.

Me and Ivo, we’re following.

This is the “parent sniff.” I realized that whenever I pick up Ivo I always sniff him. Show here, Ivo with that “new baby smell” and not that “new baby with a full load” smell that I was afraid of.

The latrines are out back. I have to tell you because if you didn’t know, you might not find them. Not because they’re out back, but because they’re camouflaged! That’s why those orange warning cones are there, to keep you from just walking and walking and WHAM, you hit the wall and pee your pants because you were holding it that long trying to find the latrines. Come on, why would they put cones there if it wasn’t a problem?

Ivo picked us up some menus. They’re baby-proof laminated, so he set about drooling on them. Note how all the text is black and the section headings are green, except for the red text “Farm Fresh Omelettes.” Does that make you wonder? It makes me wonder. I didn’t ask about it, but it would be very cool if they had an actual chicken coop out back. “Your eggs are going to be a few minutes…. Bittie’s squeezing now…”

Marek, no kidding, picks up the menu and starts making his order. Eggs and bacon and juice and mumble mumble. No one around listening to him, but that’s OK. And also, from this picture you’d think the kid was blind. He’s selectively deaf, yes. Blind, no.

Marek’s enjoying his morning coffee. Ivo is in the middle of executing a right hook to take me out. Feed me, old man, feed me!

And so here we go with the baby goop. Please stop with the punching and biting, Ivo!

Got to give the thumbs-up to the Nature Coast place mats. Of course, the more people who actually visit Natural North Florida, the less “natural” and more “Orlando” it will become, so I disagree with the encouragement for people to “visit.” Our breakfast on this map, for those of you’ns who aren’t from ’round these parts, is at the very bottom of the light green area. See the bottom-most horse on the map? Drive due south from him for ten miles; Gobblers is on the right.

This is Marek playing a new game of “what can I put in dad’s coffee that doesn’t make him mad?” He also discovered a newer game, “what can I put in dad’s coffee that really ticks him off?” Turns out, he won prizes for both games!

The answers for the two games, by the way are:

1. “Absolutely nothing”

2. “Pretty much everything.”

My coffee was saved by breakfast. So you’ll notice something here. Not a pancake for miles of Marek’s plate. He was NOT INTERESTED in pancakes at all. I asked him, Marek, want to go get pancakes? NO, DAD! Marek, want to go get bacon and eggs? Oh yeah, dad! And also, for those dedicated readers watching the boy’s motor skills develop in the human factors lab that is our breakfast, check out his rather skilled use of the knife.

Intrigued by the red font on the menu, I went with the “Southern Omelette.” This was made up of so many different pork products that I felt like apologizing to the next pig I see. Delish, for sure, but a bit more actual meat in one sitting than I usually have.

Little Ivo enjoyed the home fries. I thought they were pretty good but did need ketchup to really set them off. Ivo took them plain because, well, he’s 10 months old and doesn’t really need ketchup. Tabasco, sure, but not ketchup.

More coffee, just in time!

Ivo ate his whole bowl of goop, took a formula bottle, a handful of home fries, and toast. He ate my car keys once. We had to stay at the place for four hours until they came out the other end.

I put some jelly on some toast. Marek was all about, what’s that dad, what’s that dad? I gave it to him and, in classic “what planet is this kid from?” form, he proceeded to lick the toast rather than eat it, and then started opening jelly packets to eat them, too. I moved to another table and pretended I didn’t know either kid.

The final bill wasn’t bad. A little high for what we usually do, but this was an immense amount of chow for us boys and it was all pretty good. I can’t comment on the bacon, as it did a disappearing act into Marek’s belly, but otherwise everything was just right.

Marek paid the bill, with onlookers asking him along the way if he was going to pay the bill. If he was older he’d reply, no, I’m going to buy a used Space Shuttle, or something smart-mouthed like that. But he’s still young and sweet.

Marek looks like he’s ready to visit one of those places down on Adamo with all those ones.

This is Darlene. I have pictures of her holding Marek when he was Ivo’s age, and now I have a picture of her holding Ivo, too! Don’t you just love Darlene’s pigtails?

Gobblers was a fine start to our morning. From here, it’s all grandparents and cousins for the rest of the weekend!

Gobblers is a fine small-town diner. Almost everyone is a local, including the Bakers who keep my parents’ vehicles running (thanks, Mike and Jenny!). The chow is good, the coffee black, the latrines camouflaged, the prices OK, and the people friendly. We’re pleased to give Gobblers a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating (even though we didn’t actually have the pancakes!).

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Peppermint Patties

People ask me all the time, where did we get the idea for Tampa Bay Breakfasts?

It all started when Marek was a baby. I’d wake up early. He’d wake up soon after. And then Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom would get woken up when she’d really rather sleep all morning. So I’d nip Marek at the first grunt or sneeze and toss him in the car. We’d roll up to the local mom-n-pop shop for a coffee and newspaper, so Mom could get one day a week to sleep in. Marek’d look a lot like this every morning. It’s even the same car seat. Also, the same outfit.

Fast-forward to today. Marek is starting to want to sleep later, because he thinks he’s a teenager, and Ivo is up at 0600, waking up the whole house. So this morning, me and Ivo, we decided to go to breakfast the old way, for the old reason, and let the sleepyheads sleep. We’ll probably start doing more of this over the summer. We’ll have to get new business cards.

We went to Peppermint Patties on Highway 19 in Inglis. This location used to be the Hickory Island, which we visited in 2009, and before that it was the Port Inglis for decades. Back then it was one of our favorite pre-kid breakfasts. Back when poop wasn’t a part of dinner conversation. Back when everyone got to sleep late.

We got there before daybreak, so this picture was taken on the way out the door when a lovely Inglis morning was getting started.

Peppermint Patties seems like it ought have an apostrophe to indicate the possessive, like it’s Pattie’s place, rather than the plural “Patties” that they have on the sign. Everyone was very friendly and cheerful. They promptly swooped Ivo up like he was some cute little baby.

That gave me time to look at the menu. Considering that there might be donuts at the house later, I just stuck to the biscuits. But the menu had all the right things on it. TBB Super-Fan Steve reported that Peppermint Patties has really good bacon.

I had plenty of time to sip some good diner coffee while Ivo was wooing the ladies with his manly giggle-hide-smile routine.

When he came back, guess what he had waiting for him. That’s right, baby food. I had biscuits. Honest, that’s all I used to do three years ago before we got serious about Tampa Bay Breakfasts. Before pancakes.

Ivo had a solid appetite. This child never met a food, or a non-food of appropriate size, that he didn’t love to eat.

We didn’t really give Peppermint Patties the full TBB treatment. We didn’t try the pancakes and we didn’t unleash the Marek on them. Being as they’ve only been open a week, I’d say they’re off to a good start. Definitely worth a stop if you’re in Inglis. We give Peppermint Patties a Tampa Bay Breakfasts three and a half pancake rating.

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Inglis/Yankeetown Lions Club Pancake Breakfast

It’s Valentine’s Day! What did YOU do for your true loves? Did you consider breakfast as one of the best, most appreciated, and cost-effective ways to say “Baby, I loves you like pancakes!”? I surely did. Me and Marek, we took mom to the Inglis/Yankeetown Lions Club Pancake Breakfast at the Lion’s Club at 22 59th St. in Yankeetown.

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We saw the sign on the highway: “Pancake Breakfast $5″ It’s a sign worth following!

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When we got to the front, we were greeted with good news! There’s pancakes behind THIS door!

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Here’s something cool. Marek and I walked in the door and the nice lady says, out of the blue, “Are you Andy?” I says back, “Why yes ma’am, I am.” She says, “Is that Baby Inglis?” I says, “Yes ma’am, he is.” She says to us “Your breakfast is already taken care of. Come on in!” Wow. That is the first time we’ve ever been told when we walked in the door that breakfast was complimentary. We felt like celebrities! We got ready for a great breakfast with the Lions! (Marek’s middle name is Inglis, for our readers who are just tuning in. Around south Levy County that’s his nickname. I’m sure he’ll truly hate it when he’s ten, but for the moment he’s only two so he doesn’t get a say in the situation.)

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We were in for a real treat this morning. Grandma and Grandpaw joined us for breakfast!

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Our favorite guest reviewer, Mom, joined us too.

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And here comes breakfast! This is one of the finest breakfasts you’ll find in Yankeetown, the tri-county-area, or even in our whole Tampa Bay Breakfasts territory. I’ve got nothing but good to say about any of this most excellent chow! Even the coffee was exactly the way I like it, black as the tannin-stained water of the Withlacoochee River.

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When we were done we went back in the kitchen to thank our Breakfast Benefactor and Yankeetown Vice Mayor Doug for the great breakfast. Also in the back is our friend, Yankeetown Councilman and I/Y Lions Club president Larry. Thanks, guys, and to all the Lions, for the invitation and a great breakfast!

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While we were hanging out in the kitchen, we also ran into Levy County Commissioner Marsha! For the record, Marsha still owes me a pie.

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Marek says, dad, where’s Yankeetown Mayor Dawn-Marie? I want to show her how I can try to do backflips in your arms while you’re trying to talk! Over here, son. Show her your squirmy best.

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When it was all said and done, me and Marek, A.K.A. Baby Inglis, met lots of our Yankeetown friends and we had a superb breakfast with our first five-pancake review of 2010! We’d like to thank the Lion’s Club for inviting us and for putting on such a fine Valentine’s Day breakfast.

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We’re pleased to award The Inglis/Yankeetown Lions Club Valentine’s Day Pancake Breakfast with a Tampa Bay Breakfasts rating of five pancakes!

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A few notes about today’s breakfast. First, did you catch my fabulous “University of Inglis” shirt? The Fighting Devils! Folks are probably starting to forget the fun we had a few years back with our Satan Issue. Also, I wanted to wear an Inglis shirt both in honor of my main man Marek “Baby Inglis” but also in small protest against this foolishness.

Here’s something that most folks probably don’t know. 15 years ago today I “popped the question” to Baby Inglis’s mom, at sunset on a rickety old dock in Cedar Key. We got married in Yankeetown 15 years ago on July 4th and had our wedding reception right here in this Lions Club clubhouse. Now how’s THAT for Valentine’s Day romance?

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And here’s what the same spot looked like 14 1/2 years ago. Check out our red, white, and blue theme (and my particular shade of blue).

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Marek went home with Grandma and Grandpaw while our Favorite Guest Reviewer and I rolled up to Cedar Key to recreate the moment. There’s the dock behind her where the proposal Deed was Done.

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And the spot of our first meal as fiancees. Sadly, it was closed. We’ve actually never caught it open since we ate there on Valentine’s in 1995, which is a real bummer.

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But when we DID have supper there on the proposal night, the prospective groom did not actually have any money. I had to leave my lovely bride as collateral while I ran to the island’s only (at the time) ATM to pay our bill. If my account had been empty, Heather would have become the property of the Cook’s Kitchen restaurant and we’d not have Marek and our 15 years of true love. For your entertainment, here’s a recreation.

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Now those are some great Valentine’s Days! Both in 1995 and 2010! (Oh, and also all the others in between were groovy, too!)

Gobbler’s Eatery

It’s New Year’s Eve! Marek’s visiting his grandparents in Inglis for the weekend, so we’re taking a road trip for breakfast this morning. Marek packed provisions, like a good little boyscout.

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We got stopped by a train on our way out of Tampa. Check out this cherry Mustang in front of us! That’s one sweet ride! Of course, me, Marek, and the pancake-mobile could take him in the quarter-mile, but let’s keep it friendly, folks. We’re just going for breakfast.

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Marek got to choose the music for the ride. As you can see here, he was greatly torn between the latest Marylin Manson and the local musician collection “Amasura,” put out by the Withlacoochee Area Residents. He ended up choosing acoustic songs about the river. He said, but dad, we’re going to the Nature Coast. We’ve gotta set the right mood!

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We crossed the Withlacoochee and rolled into Inglis right at 0900. That’s the famished hour for Pancake Professionals like us!

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We visited Gobbler’s Eatery at 14 Highway 19 North on 31 December 2009. This was, obviously, our last breakfast of the year. Gobbler’s has a web site at http://www.gobblerseatery.com/. We’ve been to Gobbler’s a bunch of times. If you count when this restaurant was first opened as the Riverland Cafe back twenty-some years ago, I’ve been there probably 50 times in all my natural born life.

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“Camouflage” is a primary color, just like red, green, and blue. These doors hit the TBB checkbox for unique feature! And yes, the latrines are detached. Makes you think twice about having to “go” if it’s raining out!

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Inside you’ll find a very warm and homey place. Comfortable in every sense. Almost by definition it’s full of regulars; Inglis isn’t very big and, frankly, there’s not much to draw folks in from out of town. Just like at Hickory Island, we were a little disappointed that we didn’t know more people, but we did know some. When we left we already knew more.

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This was a special breakfast for us. Not only is it our last breakfast of the year, but we had a celebrity guest! All year long, folks have been asking me, “who is Steve?” Steve’s a fellow in Yankeetown we’ve known for years. He’s one of those rare individuals who understands just how Important a Breakfast can be. It’s about gosh-darned time we have him as a guest reviewer.

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After such a long ride in the car, Marek was, I’ll admit, a little cooped-up feeling. While we waited for breakfast, all he wanted to do was play.

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And play.

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And then breakfast came. That’s Steve’s son James with us also. James is the bartender at VFW post 8698, where I used to be a member until we moved to Tampa and I joined post 424. If you go to the VFW and see James, tell him you know him from Tampa Bay Breakfasts — and make sure to give him a big tip!

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When the pancakes landed, Mighty Marek was there with the speed of toast popping! This picture doesn’t lie; he actually made a little sonic boom, he moved so fast!

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When was the last time you took a group picture with Your breakfast? If you haven’t lately, you should make a point of it.

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Marek wasted no time putting the hurt on these quality pancakes.

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He puts pepper on pancakes. I figure, hey, you’re a grown man, Marek. You can make your own decisions. Whacko.

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This is a pretty good spread for the price. We even got a biscuit, in case our friend Doug Dame of Biscuit Fame is reading. And while not pictured here, the coffee was dark like the unchanged oil of an old mudding truck, bitter like battery acid. In other words, just the way we like it.

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When we were done, Marek paid the bill.

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And can you believe it? There’s a box of toys back there! Marek got a little airplane to take home! Now THAT’s a nice touch.

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Marek always gets the girls. Heck, he can recite the sensual poetry of Pablo Neruda AND he can bench press 250 pounds. He’s a dream!

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When it was all done, all we could say was, this was a fine way to wrap up a year of Pancake Pondering. We’ve had breakfasts all over the Tampa Bay area, in Hernando, Citrus, and Levy counties, and even in Germany. We’ve had some good ones and some bad ones. And this was a good one. Price for four was around 25 clams. Breakfast was large and good. Coffee bottomless. Unique place full of locals. And it’s in my hometown. Thanks, Steve and James for being part of our last 2009 breakfast!

We’re pleased to give Gobbler’s Eatery a Tampa Bay Breakfast rating of four and a half pancakes. Have a great new year!

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Now that the official part is done, when we left Gobblers we went to The End of the Road to play for a little while. A true Pancake Professional knows when to eat and he knows when to play!

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Hickory Island Restaurant

We’re going on a road trip. We need maps.

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And provisions. And more provisions. Holy Moly, dad, are we STILL driving?

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We’re taking Tampa Bay Breakfast on the road. To the country.

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Loyal readers, especially the TBB addicts like fan DeniseK, may recall that our official territory is made up of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties AND the Levy-Citrus-Marion tri-county area, which is essentially Inglis, Crystal River, and Dunnellon. Today we went to Inglis. We visited the Hickory Island Restaurant at
48 Highway 19 South. Note the number of pickup trucks involved.

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Obviously, after the snacks and the maps and the crying (first me, then Marek, then together, and finally only him) and the hour and a half in the car Marek and I arrived at the Hickory Island in time for breakfast. As usual, there’s more to the story. And this, gentle reader, is where it gets personal. Nearly confessional. Gather round. Do as a nice older lady suggested to me later that day, and slip whiskey in your lemonade. We’re talking about Inglis. The word “city” in the name is a bit of an exaggeration.

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People know about Marek. And by now, people know about pancakes or they just aren’t paying attention. But what folks don’t know is that Marek’s honest-to-God middle name is “Inglis.” I heard you just ask which came first, Inglis the town or Inglis the boy? The town. And yes, he’s named after the town. And yes, he has my explicit permission in 14 years to swipe a town limits sign if the town hall won’t provide him with one. Inglis, much like Nikos diner in Tampa, has an Elvis Thing going on. We have an interesting relationship with Satan. We have a nuclear power plant, and we might have two nuclear power plants. We have around 1200 folks and one stop light and lots of pickup trucks and more churches than bars yet plenty of both and we’re proud of America and wish we had more jobs and we can’t all get along any better’n folks in Yankeetown but at least we have more stop lights. This is my hometown. We came for breakfast.

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The Hickory Island used to be The Port Inglis and used to be my all-time favorite breakfast. This was years ago, in the epoch known scientifically as “BM” (before Marek). The Port Inglis had some great old tables made of wood and resin and filled with nautical stuff. The kind of table you’d find from the 70s at a fleamarket and say, wow, I’m buying that just to let people come to my house and say, hey Andy, where’d you get THAT? And the PI used to have a nice gal named April. April would ask what I wanted and I’d tell her “coffee, and lots of it.” April would always bring me two cups of coffee at the same time and tell me I wanted a lot so here you go. Both the tables and April are gone (in the “not in this restaurant anymore” sense, hopefully not in the deceased sense!).

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So this is sort of a challenging breakfast, because this location holds a 55 gallon drum of memories for me, but it’s got new owners and has been completely renovated (I noticed that the toilets were the recipient of a much-needed upgrade, from 1930s fixtures and decor to 1970s fixtures and decor. That’s progress. What?). First thing we noticed were friendly folks welcoming us. Second thing we noticed was the nice menu, preserving that bit of Old Florida ways. Third thing we noticed was that we didn’t know or recognize a soul. That’s to be expected when you move away, but it still surprises me. Used to be I knew every face in town.

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We sat at a nice booth by the window.

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All the tables have big sheets of paper on them, like going to the doctor where there’s the paper covering the examining table. Our nice hostess brought a basket of crayons, and thank you sister, we got to work. Looks like Marek is practicing Hangul.

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This was one talented kid.

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I kept egging him on. (We had time on our hands. The menu warned us that chow was rolled fresh, so don’t be in a hurry. They weren’t lying!)

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And then … out came breakfast. Looks like Marek was writing out some classical Sijo poetry while we were waiting.

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Marek wasted no time. He hookup up his four wheel drive appetite and hauled this pancake out into the woods of his belly.

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This was a pretty good breakfast. I like the eggs done a little better. The bacon was sweet, which I’m not super-fond of personally. And it was non-Steve-standard. The pancakes were, as forewarned, quite large. And very good. And the coffee was exactly what you’d expect out of a southern fried breakfast joint like Hickory Island. Battery-acid Black Beverage, Boys!

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When we were done with coloring and playing and eating and eating, Marek paid the bill.

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He played to the crowd, doing a little hide-and-seek around the corners, making all the customers chuckle. Of course, none of them knew Who He Was yet!

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He found the register and payed the bill, and even returned the change!

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Then we had a nice conversation with some “new locals.” We talked about politics in Yankeetown and how Marek is known to some in these parts as “Baby Inglis.” Then he took me by the hand and hauled me and the spiders out of there!

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We had to meet Mom to go to the Yankeetown Seafood Festival, an annual pilgrimage for us. We got in Mom’s car and rolled out to the fest. I think you, my belov’d reader, will join me in the feeling that the below picture may not be improved by any caption or comment.

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We had a great visit in Inglis and Yankeetown. We saw grandparents and family. We went to the fest. We had pancakes and coffee. Marek got some exposure to his namesake hometown. And it was good. Hickory Island is a fine example of a down-home breakfast. Y’all go getcha some, and tell ‘em Baby Inglis and his old man Andy sent ya. Except for Steve. If you go, bring your own bacon.

We’re pleased to give The Hickory Island Restaurant a Tampa Bay Breakfast four pancake rating.

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