Crystal River is famous among nature lovers for being an amazing place to swim with manatee. That alone was the reason that made me fall in love with the idea of visiting it. But I later discovered Heritage Village and I felt that I could have stayed on this tiny street for days.
Heritage Village, Citrus Avenue, is several of blocks long with many tiny shops and restaurants. It has a unique charm that takes you back to the days when it was a fishermens’ village.
The architecture of most of the buildings is from the good ol’ days of general stores and Mom and Pop hardware stores, and delicious home cooked meals at restaurants. Once again, as I was looking for a good place to eat here, I turned to to the Hernando County Tourism Board – and am grateful to Honey and Tara for steering me toward Tea House 650.
So far, it has been the best restaurant of our two-week trip through Florida.
It might have been because I am a self proclaimed tea addict and the idea of drinking good tea sounded great to me. But then when I got there I saw how much character this place has. The actual eating area is mainly on an outdoor porch in the back. It is really small with three tables outside and also two tables inside.
As soon as our waitress came out the first question was: Which tea should we taste? They have a huge menu only for teas that made it incredibly hard to choose.
For the boys (ages 3 and 9) we decided to stick with ice teas – and even that proved to be challenge.
So we had a taste test, and ended up going for a delicious organic strawberry smoothie with berry tea and strawberry yogurt.
It was the food that truly impressed us, though. The restaurant is run by a couple, Gail and Norm. Gail takes care of greeting costumers and showing them around the place while Norm is the talented chef.
Just by reading the menu you don’t really get an idea of what the food is going to be like. It is until you have your food in front of you that you wish you ordered everything.
Among everything on the menu I seceded to go for what I felt most comfortable with: Chicken pot pie. It has been years since I had one, and this one has made me crave more.
For my oldest boy, we got a roast beef sandwich, while we ordered a panini and soup platter for my three-year-old. He isn’t a big sandwich fan, but he loves soup so I got the chance to try both.
My husband went out on a limb and got the Tabouli, feta and bean dish. This ended up being the one that left us speechless. I’ve never had such a good Tabouli. After trying many and not liking them I gave up. But whatever they did to this one, made it perfect. It was out of this world!
After we had our meals and the kids went out to play to the backyard I decided to take a look around the store.
That was when I discovered how important was Gail’s task here. As much as I love tea, 90% of the ones here were new to me.