Order up a Little Magic

Order up a Little Magic

Elmo & Linda’s Magical Dining

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARIALICE QUINN

At Elmo & Linda’s Magical Dining in downtown Winter Haven’s Olde Towne Square, Elmo Bennett entertains the dining room crowd with his magic while his wife, Linda, and her staff cook up her magic in the kitchen.

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The taste of home cooking depends on whose kitchen you are in; and if you’re in Linda’s kitchen, you hit the jackpot. Linda and Elmo buy fresh fruits and vegetables from several area markets. Then Linda does her magic and what diners get is a delicious home-cooked meal at a reasonable price.

The magic in this friendly, charming restaurant begins early with choices from breakfast croissants, poached eggs, and homemade oatmeal bars to Eggs Benedict, homemade crepes and quiche – mile-high quiche. Linda won’t part with her secret; but however she does it; she makes the best quiche I have found. Fillings vary, but are always abundant without overpowering this light, fluffy egg dish. The good news is that you can have quiche for breakfast or lunch.

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Along with an impressive list of sandwich selections, Elmo & Linda’s offers hot-dish specials for a healthy, filling lunch. Choose from cottage pie, chicken pie, homemade meatloaf or chicken cordon bleu. Lunch plates are served with a choice of rice, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables, soup or salad, and all are under $10.

A full dozen salads, with names from Elmo’s card tricks, are built with the freshest fruits and vegetables available. The Full House, the house special, offers an array of seasonal fresh fruit served with your choice of tropical chicken salad, tuna salad or cottage cheese. Healthy eating doesn’t get any better than this.

Elmo does a little magic of his own in the kitchen for Friday night dinner with his famous homemade salsa. Vine-ripe tomatoes, fresh lime, onions, jalapeno peppers, olive oil and Elmo’s secret seasonings make this an appetizer you don’t want to skip.

Tender, slow-roasted prime rib and beef tenderloin tips come in small and large portions. Linda’s homemade meatloaf gets dressed up for the evening, and with ham and Swiss cheese becomes a tasty meatloaf cordon bleu.

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Choose Florentine or tropical for your chicken entree, slow-roasted pork tenderloin medallions, baked white fish or a Full House salad or Cobb salad. Can’t decide? Try the combination platter and enjoy pork, meatloaf and chicken with rice, potatoes and vegetables.

All dinner items are under $20, most of them way under. Dessert is as magical as everything else with homemade goodies such as pecan pie, chocolate and cherry cake or Linda’s special Fluff – mile-high sweetness in the flavor of the day – key lime is especially heavenly.

Elmo & Linda’s isn’t just a good place to eat. When you go there, you leave well-nourished in body and spirit. That’s just the way it is with Elmo and Linda. They both bring a little magic into your life, and who doesn’t need that?

Elmo & Linda’s Magical Dining is located in Old Town Square at 353 Third Street NW, in downtown Winter Haven. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. Call 863-514-5382 for reservations, to place a take-out order or to get information about catering. Yes, they can bring their magic right into your own home. Visit http://www.elmolinda.com/elmolinda_002.htm for their regular and catering menus.

 

 

 

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