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Favorite Restaurants

Do you remember Gary’s Duck Inn, Chastains, Meiner’s Barbecue, Ronnie’s, Gabriel’s subs, Rossi’s Pizzeria, Lee’s Lakeside, the luncheon counters at McCrory’s Downtown and in the Winter Park Mall?

Share your memories in the comments below.

 

ROSSI’S PIZZA & PASTA

Rossi’s Pizzeria was a go to pizza place from my teen years in the early 1970’s. The Rossi family moved to Orlando in 1965 and actually lived in the same building as the restaurant. It was my absolute favorite pizza place and I loved going in and saying “Hi” to Mama Rossi! After I married, we lived just down the street at the Weatherly Apartments on West Oakridge Road. We didn’t have much money, but once a week, we had pizza at Rossi’s!

Unfortunately, Rossi’s closed December 31, 2017, but my mouth still waters when I think of their pizza with fresh Italian sausage, peppers, mushrooms and onions.

ABOVE: My favorite Rossi’s pizza – fresh Italian sausage, pepperoni, peppers, onions and mushrooms.

 

LEE’S LAKESIDE

ABOVE: View of the Lake Eola fountain from the dining room at Lee’s Lakeside.

 

GARY’S DUCK INN

 

Read about Gary’s Reopening in 1949

Gary’s Duck Inn Reopens Today 

Gary’s Duck Inn, popular restaurant at 3974 S. Orange Blossom Tr, will be reopened today following an extensive remodeling program. The remodeled restaurant now has a modern air-conditioned dining room on the North side and a small private dining room in addition to the improved and redecorated original dining room on the South. The bar has been lengthened 12 feet, and a comfortable lounge has been installed, seating 28 [at] pullman booths and 12 at tables. In addition, kitchen space has been tripled, and new equipment and accessories have been installed, among them a stainless steel service counter costing $2,700 alone. Parking space has been increased four times. Gary Starling, owner, said yesterday the remodeling was designed to make the restaurant a “homey, comfortable, clean place where customers can enjoy good food at reasonable prices.” For seafood, however, no one could top Gary’s Duck Inn at 3974 South Orange Blossom Trail. Gary’s Duck Inn was an Orlando favorite right up until it closed in 1996. It was such an Orlando landmark that there is actually a Gary’s Duck Inn photo collection at the Orange County History Center in Orlando on Central just west of the Orlando Public Library. Gary’s great food and super service is reported to have been the model for Darden’s Red Lobster seafood restaurant. I never had the desserts, always ate my fill of shrimp and flounder, but I found this recipe for their famous key lime pie.

Gary’s Duck Inn’s Key Lime Pie
6 ounces fresh or frozen lime juice
28 ounces canned sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 (9-inch) graham cracker or chocolate-cookie crumb crust

Bring lime juice to a boil. just as it begins to boil, remove from heat and refrigerate about 15 minutes.

Stir lime juice into condensed milk and pour into pie shell. place in refrigerator.

Serve topped with whipped cream and garnish with a slice of lime.

Source: Another Taste of Florida: the Best of ”Thought you’d never ask,” by Dorothy Chapman and Heather J. McPherson.

 

RONNIES RESTAURANT

Ronnie’s at Colonial Mall on Highway 50 – Colonial Drive

Oral History Interview with Mike Worrell and Charlie Hoeck – Ronnies Restaurant

LISTEN (5:08)

 

VIEW Ronnie’s Menu 

Peruse the images and documents below under attachments.

 

 

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ATTACHMENTS

Gary's Duck Inn

Gary's Duck Inn on South Orange Blossom Trail was an Orlando tradition as was the jumbo shrimp platter. Both are featured on...

Gary's Duck Inn

This is a more recent post card of Gary's Duck Inn on South Orange Blossom Trail.

Gary's Duck Inn

This is the view most of us remember after South Orange Blossom Trail was widened, wiping out the front parking lot.

Chastain's Restaurant

Chastain's Restaurant at 23 North Orange Blossom Trail on the west side of the street. You can see the radio station booth...

Chastain's Restaurant

Ashtray from the Chastain's Restaurant located at 23 North Orange Blossom Train in Orlando. "Serving Good Food for Fine People".

Fred Houk Matchbooks 11

Matchbook covers from the famous Ronnies Restaurant which was located at Colonial Plaza.

Ronnie's Menu Cover

From Ronnie's Restuarant at the time they closed around 1994.

Ronnie's Menu Cover

From Ronnie's Restuarant at the time they closed around 1994.

Lee's Lakeside at Eola Park part 1

Inside of the matchbook cover from Lee's Lakeside at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.

Lee's Lakeside at Eola Park part 2

Outside of the matchbook cover from Lee's Lakeside at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.

Lee's Lakeside at Eola Park part 3

Outside of the matchbook cover from Lee's Lakeside at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.

Gary's Duck Inn - Grand Re-opening 1949

Large advertisement was published in the Orlando Morning Sentinel (page 9) on August 10, 1949 announcing their grand re-opening.

Ronnie's at night - Postcard

Ronnie's Restaurant at the old Colonial Mall at  night with the neon lights. 

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Ronnie's Restaurant Menu

Ronnie's Restaurant menu cover. This is the bottom half the a Ronnies Restaurant Menu from about 1994 when the closed.


Gary's Duck Inn Re-Opens

Gary's Duck Inn Reopens Today

Gary's Duck Inn, popular restaurant at 3974 S. Orange Blossom Tr, will be reopened today following an extensive remodeling program.

The remodeled restaurant now has a modern air-conditioned dining room on the North side and a small private dining room in addition to the improved and redecorated original dining room on the South.

The bar has been lengthened 12 feet, and a comfortable lounge has been installed, seating 28 [at] pullman booths and 12 at tables.

In addition, kitchen space has been tripled, and new equipment and accessories have been installed, among them a stainless steel service counter costing $2,700 alone. Parking space has been increased four times.

Gary Starling, owner, said yesterday the remodeling was designed to make the restaurant a "homey, comfortable, clean place where customers can enjoy good food at reasonable prices."


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