The Front Porch

Heading up to Marion County this morning.

Dunnellon’s got a lot of great things to know about it. It won a Rural Community award in 1998. There’s Boomtown Days. And then there’s this shop. A re-purposed gas station that is a bait shop AND bakery. “Pint of night crawlers and a dozen muffins, please. No, that’s alright, just put them all in one bag.”

We re-visited the Front Porch at 12039 North Florida Ave, Dunnellon, on 23 December 2012. We’ve been here maybe a jillion times, give or take a billion. It’s just Ivo and Andy today. Marek’s home being lazybones with mom.

Seems like new menus. Not new stuff in them, just new menus. Part of the major overhaul the Front Porch did after being in a bit of a traffic accident.

For all you new fathers out there, here’s a tip: Give your kid strong black coffee early in the mornings.

And then they’ll smile at you like this. Think about it, don’t you smile with your first jolt of joe in the morning?

The Front Porch also got new cups. Nicely done cups, at that.

The side porch is refurbished and looks like a pleasant place for a meal in good weather.

The professional food critic, already taking notes. (He’d draw a little line and say, “look, dad, it’s Marek!”) Also note, he seems to favor that left hand. I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

These pancakes are the size of hubcaps! Much larger than I remember them being, before the rebuilding.

Bacon and eggs. Good bacon, nice and crisp without being burnt.

Julie wasn’t our waitress, but she remembered us from earlier visits. So we took her picture, since she was so nice as to remember us.

And in return, she took our picture!

Ever wonder what a pancake looks like when a two year old is busy chewing it? Here’s another mystery solved. Your Tampa Bay Breakfasts Science Department at work.

“Cheers, dada, cheers!” OK, son. You’re going to be a good bar buddy when you get older. A man could wish worse for his son than to be quick with a toast.

The bill tallied up nicely, under $10 green-backed American dollars.

Ivo had to be cajoled, shamed, and dared to go back and get the change. Finish the job, kid!

After the bill was settled, we relaxed and finished our coffee.

Heading back out to the car, Ivo took time to practice his Olympic balance beam routine.

On our way west towards Grandma’s house, we had to stop and take a picture of this fine bit of custom Dunnellon pickup truck. The Scion FR-S seems to be smaller than usual here.

This just begs for a caption competition.

Look at Ivo around the back side, like a little mouse.

The wheels were surprisingly cozy for a kid.

We’re going to upgrade the Front Porch from our last visit of 4.5 pancakes to a full-on Tampa Bay Breakfasts five pancake rating. Great chow. Friendly people (who recognized us!), super prices, and just everything you’d want in a proper country diner breakfast. Tell’em Andy and Ivo sent you!


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