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Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill

Ponce de Leon Blvd., De Leon Springs, FL - (904) 985-5644
Posted By Michael Stern on 1/21/2010 11:20:00 PM
To get to the Sugar Mill Grill you must enter De Leon Springs State Park, an idyllic recreation area with boat rides and picnic tables and opportunities to hike and bird-watch. The park is a popular destination and the restaurant is a small one, so almost any time of day you will very likely wait for a table. It is located in an old mill building in the beautiful area where explorers once sought the Fountain of Youth.

Once you are seated, it's time to start cooking pancakes. Talk about serve-yourself! The staff brings two pitchers of pancake batter – a milled-here, stone-ground, buckwheat-style batter as well as more traditional buttermilk batter – plus whatever mix-ins you feel you need (bananas, blueberries, pecans, apple chunks, peanut butter, chocolate chips, apple sauce are all available for a slight extra cost), and you pour and flip your own on a griddle built into the table. Sausage, bacon, and ham are also available … but cooked by professionals in the kitchen. Pancake toppings include molasses, honey, and syrup.

It’s fun to punctuate the process of eating pancakes by cooking them at your own speed and in your own favorite size; you can keep pouring batter until you bust. At $4.50 per person (plus the $4 per carload park entrance fee and obligatory 18% tip), this is one of the bargain breakfasts of the South.

(Pancakes are served from morning until the restaurant's closing time, mid-afternoon. It is also possible to order a sandwich on house-made whole grain bread.)

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
All You Can Eat Pancakes
Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich
BLT
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A couple of pancakes with blueberries need to be flipped over.
"A couple of pancakes with blueberries need to be flipped over. "
Cliff Strutz





I found myself passing by De Leon Springs State Park one morning on the way to a couple of catfish lunches for which I needed to preserve appetite. Anyway, the wait for a table at 11am was 45 minutes. But I couldn't leave this nice place without something to eat. So I got a BLT on Sugar Mill whole grain toast. Great sandwich! Lots of bacon, flavorful tomatoes. If you order this indoors, you also get some really good bread and butter pickles.
"I found myself passing by De Leon Springs State Park one morning on the way to a couple of catfish lunches for which I needed to preserve appetite. Anyway, the wait for a table at 11am was 45 minutes. But I couldn't leave this nice place without something to eat. So I got a BLT on Sugar Mill whole grain toast. Great sandwich! Lots of bacon, flavorful tomatoes. If you order this indoors, you also get some really good bread and butter pickles."
Michael Stern


To put on top of your pancakes, you get to choose between syrup, honey, and molasses.
"To put on top of your pancakes, you get to choose between syrup, honey, and molasses."
Cliff Strutz


Two pitchers of pancake batter.  The one on the left is a five-grain mix consisting of rice, rye, corn, whole wheat, and buckwheat.  The one on the right is called traditional white unbleached early American.
"Two pitchers of pancake batter. The one on the left is a five-grain mix consisting of rice, rye, corn, whole wheat, and buckwheat. The one on the right is called traditional white unbleached early American."
Cliff Strutz


Part of the fun here is creating your own pancake combinations.  For a small charge, you can get some blueberries or chocolate chips to put in your pancakes.  Also available are pecans, apples, bananas, peanut butter, and even apple sauce!
"Part of the fun here is creating your own pancake combinations. For a small charge, you can get some blueberries or chocolate chips to put in your pancakes. Also available are pecans, apples, bananas, peanut butter, and even apple sauce!"
Cliff Strutz


Entrance to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill
"Entrance to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill"
Robert S


Just outside the restaurant in the natural springs swimming area
"Just outside the restaurant in the natural springs swimming area"
Robert S


A side angle of the restaurant shows the old grinding wheel.
"A side angle of the restaurant shows the old grinding wheel."
Cliff Strutz


A long-shot view of the Sugar Mill from the parking lot
"A long-shot view of the Sugar Mill from the parking lot"
Michael Stern


Ahh, Florida: home of more fun kitsch than any other state. This billboard, showing Senor De Leon stepping out with a bathing beauty, is just outside the entrance to the state park.
"Ahh, Florida: home of more fun kitsch than any other state. This billboard, showing Senor De Leon stepping out with a bathing beauty, is just outside the entrance to the state park."
Michael Stern



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