Al fresco dining is one of those perks we love to enjoy living in Florida. Floridians flock to outdoor cafes year round (except for those super sticky hot months of July and August) to enjoy fresh air under the stars. On a rainy day in Sebring, Chad and I found ourselves enjoying this open air dining concept amongst the flowers, just like the sign says at The Garden Cafe at McLane’s Country Garden.
Of course, we were under a roof so we weren’t actually in the rain, but the space lacked walls so the cool breeze flowed into the dining room and the sound of the rain danced in our ears. Sounds like a setting for romance novel and it was.
The day was gloomy and slightly cold, perfect weather for hot soup. I ordered a cup of the soup du jour which was New England Clam Chowder. It was thick and creamy, pretty good though it needed a little more flavor or salt.
We split our entrees- the first of which was a Vegetable Quiche. The quiche menu consists of four flavors including spinach and bacon or Hawaiian quiche as part of the express lunch menu. Other items on the express menu include a few sandwiches like the turkey cranberry sandwich and the BLT. The express menu is designed for a quick in quick out dining experience.
We, however, didn’t need to be in and out quickly so we enjoyed the quiche with roasted vegetables like broccoli and onions with herbs and melted cheese. The crust was golden and the quiche was creamy and hearty.
Our second entrée was from the specialty sandwiches menu. We ordered the Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese with melted Swiss, fresh spinach, artichokes and roasted red peppers. I always love variations on the classic grilled cheese and we both really enjoyed this spinach and artichoke version.
Our sides included beans and rice and a garden salad.
I loved the BBQ Blue Cheese dressing our server recommended to top the garden salad.
We both loved the environment. We strolled through the gardens and admired the variety of plants and flowers. The whole property is serene and relaxing- a great place for a leisurely lunch.
The service was good and the prices are reasonable. A hearty 4 1/2 out of 5 sprouts.