Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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Pahokee, The Glades, and Mr. Jellyroll’s

August 23rd, 2008 · 1 Comment

If you’re driving through this little town that sits between the cane fields on the east, and the rim of Lake Okeechobee on the west, make sure you stop at Mr. Jellyroll’s café/diner on the curve at Main Street. (Note: breakfast and lunch till 2 p.m. only).

Southern comfort cooking (fried steak and gravy, fried chicken, etc.) and Mexican fare (enchiladas, burritos) are what’s what. Great iced tea!

It’s run by Ann O’Connell Rust, a long-timer in Pahokee, former model and author. She’s a talker and can make you feel like you’ve known her forever anytime you go.

I was with my “little brother” Scott Simmons, whose grandparents and many of their children lived in the Glades for years. We were delivering a donation from the employees of The Post to Father Mericantante, who runs a medical clinic and mission for the migrant workers and their families there.

After a quick meal at closing time, he and Ann chatted about the town, with Ann trying to get Scott involved in saving the town’s old movie house and stage, the Prince Theater. It’s a cool building, but like much of the depressed area, in sad shape.

There’s a nearby catfish house if you’ve missed Ann’s, or you can drive south along the lake’s rim to the Black Gold Steakhouse in Belle Glade, the bigger of the two towns.

The black gold? That’s the muck that sustains the area’s rich vegetable and cane fields. It’s celebrated annually by the town after the harvest season in April, in a festival called the Black Gold Jubilee. Fun – with tons of great food available.

Tags: Off Road

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 scottsfla // Aug 29, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Mr. Jellyroll’s reminds me of a trip to Pahokee, circa 1970, when all my father’s relatives were alive, well and happy. Ann is awesome, a wonderful hostess, and her restaurant generally attracts an interesting crowd. She has the vigor of a woman decades younger. Amazing!

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