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Country Prose
by Charlie Hansen

Mike’s SmokehouseThere isn’t a lot of music taking place around here this month so I’ve decided to be a food critic and give you an inside look at some of the eating establishments that we’ve found in this part of Florida. Some are good, some are historic and some are just so so.

Let’s start with the historic. We took a trip across the state a while back to visit some friends and decided that we’d stop for lunch at the historic Desert Inn in Yeehaw Junction (yes it’s a real place).

The place was built in the 1880s and was used as a site for a sawmill and trading post until the early 1900s when it was used as a stopping off place for cowboys on cattle drives across the state. The Desert Inn patrons at that time included Indians as well as cowboys, business people, moonshiners, traders (trading goods and lumber), and lumber men. Not much has changed over the years. The Inn has some rooms that wouldn’t be recommended as well as a restaurant that is also not recommended. The best that I can say is that the place is interesting.

If you like authentic Florida barbeque in a “casual” atmosphere then we can recommend Mike’s Smokehouse. The food is inexpensive and the beer at $1.00 a mug is cold. We had the pulled pork sandwich and it was great, tasty and moist with lots of slaw and fries. Of course we had to sample the beer to make sure it was suitable for human consumption. It was and as a matter of fact we had two. Mike’s is located on US highway 301 just above interstate 4. The interior is funky with picnic tables and lots of interesting posters and memorabilia. If you can get past the funky look of the building we recommend this place as an adventure. The wait staff are very friendly and accommodating and the beer is cold (oh, sorry I said that already, but it really is).

The final place on today’s menu is The Lucky Dill in Palm Harbour. This place is a beehive. It has about 200 or so seats and they are pretty much filled from morning until night. The restaurant and bar are in the New York style with lots of bagels, corned beef and other New York favourites. The place is divided up into burroughs. We sat in the Bronx and opted for the corned beef and cabbage. The plate was full and it was well prepared and presented and , oh yes, the beer, it's cold too. I had a Brooklyn Brown draft and it was excellent. The brew is considerably more expensive at the”Dill” but the overhead of the business is also much greater than Mike’s. All in all a very pleasant place for a meal. It must be because they serve approx. 2500 meals a day.

That’s it for this time but until next month don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to Bluegrass Island every Sunday at 9 pm on CFCY 95.1 FM in Charlottetown and on the web at cfcy,fm.

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