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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
RED BARN STEAKHOUSE
We first dined at the Farmer Jones
Red Barn Steakhouse back in 1988. I was operations manager at NewsRadio
970 WFLA in nearby Tampa and our afternoon talk show host, the late Dick Norman,
suggested that we give it a try. I'll always remember him telling
me: "What you do is take I-4 east and get off at County Line Road. Go over to U.S. 92 and turn left. It's up ahead on
the right. Now when you first see it, you won't want to stop because it isn't
very pretty. But don't be scared off. It's a great place." It
was, as they say, love at first bite for us and I've recommended the place to
countless people over the years.
The menu features the "usual suspects" including New York strip and filet mignon steaks. But the two pound porterhouse is pretty hard to resist! The steaks are broiled under a very hot broiler and seasoned with a garlic powder of some sort. Great stuff but if you don't like garlic, you might ask them to hold the seasoning. And they always come to your table on a sizzling hot platter, as I mentioned.
Seafood offerings are included on the menu along with chicken but you come here for one thing--the steak!
Appetizers include some interesting choices including the fried green tomatoes. And for dessert, they've got some of the best cheesecakes around (plain and with berries on top) baked at a nearby bakery.
For people who live in Orlando and Tampa, a trip to this eatery makes a nice family outing. A bit of a hike but well worth the reward!
The Red Barn is a great place. From the moment you walk into the place you can tell that it has been there "forever" and a brief history is written on the menu.
Lakeland is located just off of I-4 between Tampa and Orlando. The Red Barn was located at 6150 New Tampa Highway in Lakeland.
Here's all that's left now:
It's so sad to post these (taken in October of 2007). We
had dozens and dozens of incredible meals at the old red barn! A moment of
silence please. (pause).