Last week we spent the afternoon at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. It’s a 250 acre historic garden with a tall “singing tower” with a concert twice a day on carillon bells. The grounds are vast and surrounded by orange groves.
On the way there we stopped for breakfast at Fred’s Market Restaurant in Plant City. It’s a family-run business specializing in Southern comfort food – and over the last several years, they’ve expanded to open more locations in Lakeland, Bartow, Winter Haven, and Riverview.
The atmosphere is laid back and inviting. The patio is lined with rocking chairs, and the employees wore shirts that said “Manners and Mashed Potatoes” on the back.
There is an option to order an a la carte menu, but their main focus is on the buffet. There was a huge assortment – including various casserole dishes, fried green tomatoes, bacon, sausage, fried chicken, biscuits with gravy, and pretty much everything you could imagine in a Southern breakfast. They do warn that they charge extra for excessive waste or over-consumption (3+ heaping plates). I had two plates and didn’t end up eating again until dinnertime.
I’m not normally a fan of buffet restaurants, but you can tell they take pride in their food. The fried chicken was the best part – it was super crispy outside, moist inside, and wasn’t greasy at all.
Later in the day, they have lunch and dinner buffets with other traditional comfort foods like fried catfish, skillet cornbread, and smoked ribs. Lance liked his breakfast so much he would have gone back for dinner that same night if I’d have let him.
Fred’s Market Restaurant has several locations. The one we visited was at 1401 West Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd, Plant City, FL 33563 and is open 6am – 9pm Monday – Saturday and 8am – 9pm on Sunday.