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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

LIGHTHOUSE LANDING & RAW BAR
PONCE INLET, FLORIDA

Okay, I just finished watching an episode of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America and I feel rude so I'm just gonna come out and say it. Based on our one experience, the food here sucks.  On the other hand, the ambience is outstanding!


Extremely Rustic - Entrance From Parking Lot


View From The Dock (The Boat, However, Is Part Of The Restaurant Glued to the Deck!)

For those who aren't familiar with this part of Florida, Ponce Inlet is just south of Daytona Beach on the island.  Just keep traveling south on the main drag of Daytona Beach and when you come to the very end, turn right.  Then follow the signs to the lighthouse and Ponce Inlet.

We stopped here one Sunday afternoon for lunch.  The waitress quickly dropped off silverware and we unrolled our cloth napkin and my wife quipped: "Smell that napkin."  I did and couldn't immediately figure out what it smelled like.  But my wife quickly chimed in:  "It smells like grease."  And indeed, that was to be the theme of this meal!

We studied the menu and decided to order some smoked fish spread with crackers as a starter.  It was okay.  For our main course, we each got the fish and chips basket.  We substituted onion rings instead of French fries for an extra fifty cents.

About now, we started noticing all the wildlife.  A gray squirrel darting up and down the tree on the deck as people fed him little handouts.


Look carefully - he's there!


There he is again.

There were pelicans flying in and out of the area and landing on pilings.

And most incredibly, there was a great white heron that seemed to almost beg for food from diners.  He certainly was anything but shy!  Okay, technically this bird is a great egret but it looks like a heron, don't you think?  And I just read about this egret and it's also called a heron.  I'm more confused than ever.......

 


See That Head Sticking Up!!!!!!  He's Locked Onto That Food!!!!!!

While we marveled at the wildlife the food came.  I knew from looking at it that it was gonna be baaaad!  There were two moderate to small pieces of fish, thick with batter and way overcooked and incredibly greasy.  The fish was grease free, however, compared to the onion rings.  Yuk.  I couldn't even taste any fish.  The old, stale, dark brown grease overpowered the flavor so much.  It was some of the worst fish and chips I've ever had.

We ate it but had indigestion later that day!  I did notice a couple to our right enjoying what appeared to be a great big, juicy hamburger and an order of fried shrimp.  So maybe we just ordered the wrong thing but I'm not so sure about it.

Come here for the great old Florida ambience.  Bring the kids and grandkids.  Have a beer, order an appetizer, and then head somewhere good for a nice meal!

And unlike some people did while we were there, please do not feed the heron any greasy human food.  It's not good for him and I'm surprised the wait staff tolerated the constant feeding of fries and other garbage.  Shame on them.

You'll find complete information on this restaurant here.