Tag Archives: Buffet

Sheryl’s Buffet in Live Oak, FL

27 Oct

We enjoyed a late lunch on Sunday afternoon at Sheryl’s Buffet in Live Oak, FL. This quaint little town along the fabled Suwannee River makes for a perfect setting for a good old down-home country feeding frenzy. I first learned of Sheryl’s place on a web site called www.florida-secrets.com . Check it out — pretty cool site. Anyway, Florida Secrets promised “tasty, homey, and you can’t beat the price.” Sure sounded like our kind of eatery.

As you can clearly see from the platter above, I loaded up. And I’m not ashamed to say I went back for seconds …. and thirds! Wow — where do I begin? The fried chicken was super crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. I normally prefer white meat, so I reached for a big honking breast. My sides included a warm yeast roll, sliced candied yams dripping with melted mini-marshmallows, pork-laced turnip greens (I kicked them up with some Texas Pete hot sauce), cut green beans, and fresh white zipper peas. You may also notice a small bowl of cole slaw just above the yeast roll. The slaw was perfect … just the right temp (cool) and texture (crunchy). It was minced very finely and had just the right blend of mayo and a hint of sugar. My beverage of choice was a sweet tea spiked with a lemon wedge.   

My second run (not pictured here) was highlighted by stewed tomatoes & okra, a ketchup-kissed meat loaf, and an amazing dessert which requires a bit of a description. Imagine, if you will, an expertly whipped vanilla eclair mousse dusted with very finely crumbled vanilla wafers. Man, you wanna talk about light and fluffy and deeee-lish??? It was truly amazing. When I asked our waitress, she went straight to the source — the young lady who prepared the treat. Her “awww shucks, wasn’t nothing” attitude spoke volumes about the eatery’s lack of pretention. I complimented her profusely, which quickly inspired several diners around us to revisit the sweets table. I will get this recipe and (I’m willing to bet) they will be more than happy to oblige.

If you’re ever crusing near the intersection of I-75 and I-10, please do not miss out on Sheryl’s Buffet. We’re told the menu changes frequently and features such down home goodies as baked lasagna, chicken and dressing, fried pork chops, squash casserole, and a bubbly macaroni & cheese. Sheryl’s is open from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sunday thru Friday. Drive to 515 SW 5th Street and look for the big red barn-like structure — you can’t miss it! Call 386 362-2898 (or the local fire station) if you get lost.

Troyer’s Dutch Heritage

20 Aug

Some of you may remember my somewhat negative blog about Yoder’s Amish restaurant in Sarasota. I felt bad about trashing them, but my first experience just wasn’t a good one. But Yoder’s isn’t the only Amish eatery in our area. Troyer’s Dutch Heritage is located in the same general neighborhood and I was determined to give them a fair shake.

Troyer’s is a pretty massive place — an Amish compound of cuisine!

Troyer’s offers a lunch buffet for $8.89 each Monday – Thursday. I figured this would be a good way to get a reasonably quick and affordable overview of their food offerings. The entree choices today were BBQ chicken, roast beef, Sloppy Joe mix, and broasted chicken. I stuck with the chicken (both varieties) and found them each to be enjoyable if not outstanding. The chicken breast was a touch dry (this often happens when kept warm in a chafing dish) and the crust was flavorful but not very crispy. The BBQ bird was shredded white meat with very little fat or gristle. I was impressed by that. The sauce was sweet rather than spicy. I’m guessing they don’t make their own BBQ sauce here. The green beans were OK, although I think they could have used a little more smoked pork flavor. Hey, I’m just a good old boy at heart!  

I also loaded up my platter with some chicken salad and ham salad. You don’t see ham salad that often in restaurants thee days. It was really popular back in the ’50s and ’60s. It was just OK at Troyer’s — probably because it had too much mayo and not enough lean ham. The chicken salad tasted better, but lacked the firm texture I enjoy (in other words, it was a tad mushy for my finicky palate).

The salad bar was really nice — and included some rather unusual choices. Perhaps the most bizarre were the pickled beet and mustard soaked hard boiled eggs. And I do mean HARD! These babies were overcooked and tough … like super ball tough! It took some elbow grease to carve into the center yolks and to say the eggs were chewy would be an understatement. I would suggest they take them off the salad bar and save them for next year’s Easter egg hunt.

The cole slaw was outstanding — no complaints at all. My salad was made with romaine lettuce and the honey mustard dressing was nice (not too sweet). The salad bar condiments were highlighted by the “Amish Peanut Butter” and Troyer’s homemade Apple Butter. Their peanut butter is actually a strange mix of peanut butter, melted marshmallows, and Karo syrup. Tasted sort of like a PB and honey blend. Interesting, yes – but I still prefer good old Skippy or Peter Pan. The Apple Butter was more like a spicy apple sauce — not the same smooth and creamy Apple Butter I remember growing up with in Virginia. 

In a nutshell, Troyer’s is bigger, better, cleaner, newer, and more reasonably priced than Yoder’s. That’s the good news for Troyer’s. Would I return for another meal? Probably not. Although I will surely stop back in for dessert, which sadly was not included in the buffet price. The fresh Peach Pie looked promising and the baked goods (especially the sticky buns and the molasses cookies) were calling my name as I stepped back out into the FL sunshine. www.troyercorp.com