Favorite Florida Pit Stops goes Italian in Central Florida. Favorite Florida Pit Stops is a dining series that features places to pull over for a break and a bite while traveling along the state’s main corridors. They don’t take a lot of effort to find and are worth more than just a stop for stretching your legs and back. Especially if your refueling needs are beyond petrol. These provide fuel for the body, mind and spirit.
With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, lots of Floridians are hitting the road. US Highway 27 is a popular route for anyone traveling to and from Central Florida, especially Orlando. It’s where you’ll find Floridino’s Italian Kitchen. This large, family owned restaurant sits on the banks of Lake Hamilton in the town bearing the same name. Lake Hamilton is near Winter Haven. A stop here will give you a break before getting into the grueling traffic on I-4.
Floridino’s was in Winter Haven for about 13 years before a fire destroyed the restaurant. That’s when owners relocated to this somewhat empty stretch of U.S. 27 across from an orange grove. The stand alone building stands out. Inside is spacious, lively and the bar is surrounded by big screen TV’s. Diner’s have a view of the lake from almost everywhere inside. However, the best view is on the expansive, screened in patio.
Floridino’s Italian food
Finally, let’s get to the food. The menu is huge and includes nearly a dozen salads. The sandwiches are stacked full and the pasta dishes are generous. Dough for the pizza, calzones and pizza muffins is made fresh daily. Those muffins are a signature. They are like miniature pizzas baked in muffin tins. The dough is filled with everything from pizza toppings to buffalo chicken. Fantastic for sharing or boxing up for more snacking while on the road.
Floridino’s brags about their calzones with the slogan “Home of the World’s Largest.” They really DID set a record in 1991 with a calzone measuring 409 feet and one inch. At lunch you can get a smaller portion. Get them with traditional fillings as well as Cajun chicken or broccoli Alfredo. The pizza crust is crisp on the outside, soft in the middle. In addition, there is a gluten free crust.
Floridino’s has something on the menu for everyone. It’s casual, friendly and makes for a great pit stop. Need some more pit stop ideas? If you’re traveling on I-95 around Daytona, check out this all purpose place. And in Punta Gorda along U.S. 17, this local crab shack is a must. If you have any favorite Florida road trip stops, let me know here.
In the meantime, Favorite Florida Pit Stops goes Italian in Central Florida and here are some photos to whet your appetite.