Marsh Landing is one of those restaurants that you hear about for ages from everyone in your town and you anxiously await trying it for the first time. That was how it was for me at least. When my Vero Beach Garden Club decided to take a road trip and stop for lunch in Fellsmere, Florida, I was pumped.
We arrived at the restaurant, situated on a wide country street in the heart of a very small town, in a part of Florida you would not recognize. Though there are occasional palm trees, this is the middle of the country, and even the air smells fresher. We were ushered in, nearly twenty of us, and given our own room, the banquet room which seats 80, since they were not very busy.
The waitress took our orders and brought me delicious sweet tea, served in what was only fitting, mason jars. We browsed the menu and everyone ordered a variety of dishes; I was the only first-timer to the restaurant.
Inside, the decor is rustic and charming and I suppose they could seat hundreds guests. Good thing because many bus trips come here for meals. Mounted animal heads and antlers adorn the walls, a turn off for me, but it worked for this space.
I started my lunch with a cup of their signature item, swamp cabbage soup. Since the price was $5.95 for a cup, I really expected something fantastic but the musty looking broth with an occasional piece of palm and noodle left alot to be desired for me personally. For those unfamiliar with swamp cabbage, a term you will hear in Florida, at upscale restaurants it is referred to as hearts of Sabal palm.
Next came the meals, which took about an hour to prepare, even though the restaurant had only a handful of customers, and the plates were loaded with fresh cooked country foods. Marsh Landing is a place for country cooking such as catfish, quail, gator tail, frog legs, fried oysters, liver & onions, and country fried steak. They also have fresh fish and shrimp, ribs, burgers, and sandwiches, but they subscribe to the uncommon, which is nice for a change.
I tried the vegetable platter, though most of my choices would hardly constitute vegetables, but they were listed on the menu that way. The plate with your choice of four country sides, is only $6.95, quite a bargain. The sides you can choose from are grilled broccoli, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, green beans, carrots, black eyed peas, collard greens, rice, baked or mashed potato, coleslaw, fried okra, grits, applesauce, french fries, hush puppies, and sliced tomatoes.
The items I chose were good but not over the top great. Food temperature was barely warm for the most part. The macaroni & cheese was creamy and the broccoli was grilled perfectly. The ladies around me seemed to love their food,though a few had to get theirs to go since it took so long to get our orders in and our food out. We were at the restaurant over two hours and had only one server for twenty ladies.
Overall, visiting Marsh Landing was decent, not overly flavorful nor great service, but I liked the atmosphere, the town, and the large choice of foods they offer. On Thursday evenings at 6:30, they feature live bluegrass music and I hear it is a real hoot.
My Rating Scale 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest): 5
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