*** We want to note that we had already written this blog and had it scheduled to be published this week and ironically this was also the week that Shrimps closed for good. We have been unable to get a definitive answer on why they closed, but we DO know it was sudden and the owners live out of state. We decided to go ahead and publish it on the off chance that somebody else buys it and reopens it. There is still valuable information on where to avoid going to***
A few weeks ago we asked our readers and also our followers on Instagram if they would be interested in also hearing about places that we didn’t love. There was an overwhelming response of “YES!” so we will start doing this occasionally, starting with this blog. We are going to try and keep our bad experiences as factual as possible and leave our emotions about the experience out of it. Our readers definitely deserve to know about places where they might not have a good time, experience, or meal so we want to try and be honest about ours while staying true to the overall spirit of our blog.
First, we want to talk about the best place to eat in Lake Panasoffkee, or Lake Pan to the locals. “Shrimps on the Lake” is a quiet little restaurant that sits right off of Lake Panasoffkee and gives a fantastic view of the lake no matter if you are eating inside, or in their outside seating area.
Personally, I like their shrimp better than The Freezer’s shrimp. Which if you have heard about The Freezer, it is quite the compliment. I do think their sides menu needs some work. They have a broccoli salad which the staff said was really popular, but I wasn’t a fan of. It is a new business though so I am sure they will get some new things in as they grow and learn.
As you can see from the above photo gallery, the views absolutely can’t be beat! The staff is always extremely friendly. Since we discovered this place we have been back several times and it has been consistently wonderful.
Now for the part you have all been waiting for….the worst place to eat in Lake Pan (and the worst place I have eaten at in Florida) is right next door to Shrimps and is called the Big Bass Grille. I am just going to walk you through the experience from start to finish (and we finished by going next door to Shrimps). Before hand, we did read multiple bad reviews of this place but we decided to try it anyway and form our own opinion and we learned when there are that many bad reviews to believe them.
When you pull in there is a sign that tells Bikers not to wear their colors which was an immediate red flag that this place probably had some violence from time to time and was probably more of a bar than a restaurant. < Note to self: never eat at a place again that has that on their sign. > They did have a very large bar area overlooking the lake which looked decent. We chose to sit inside because we prefer the quieter atmosphere of the non bar side of restaurants.
After we were seated and our server returned with our drinks, my fiancé asked her what her favorite thing was. She told us that she didn’t eat the food there. We must have had quite the expressions on our faces because she quickly added that she didn’t eat it because she only liked chicken tenders. Okay well not everyone likes seafood so it wasn’t necessarily an immediate cause for alarm (we do have a whole comedic routine about people who order chicken tenders at restaurants though, maybe I will preform it sometime on our Instagram page) We ordered the gator bites for an appetizer and then I ordered a shrimp boil and he ordered fried grouper.
First of all, our gator bites came out almost burned. Not quite, but almost to that burnt stage. It was like eating a dog treat they were so hard. Before we even got a chance to fix that issue, our entrees came and this is where we realized we made a huge mistake in coming here. My shrimp boil was dry as a bone sprinkled with Old Bay Seasoning. When I say dry as a bone, I mean that I couldn’t even get the shells off of my shrimp because it was so dry. My fiance’s grouper was overcooked to dry-ness also while somehow still being very greasy and I highly doubt that was grouper. Looked and tasted like cheap store bought tilapia.
When our waitress came back to check on us, we were not even eating our food as we considered it inedible and she offered to take it back and have the cook fix us something else. She then said and I quote “Over 50% of my tables every night end up sending food back so I don’t doubt you that it wasn’t good” . We were both kind of flabbergasted honestly at her frankness about the situation and couldn’t believe she was telling us this. We asked to see a manager and she looked really uncomfortable and admitted that she had been trying to find one for over half an hour and had no idea where they were. Several of the staff members were in the bar area drinking, but I have no idea if they were on shift or not. I just know they had their staff shirts on so I hate to assume they were drinking on the job, but regardless no manager could be found.
We then tell her that we just want the check so we could leave and go eat somewhere else. When she brought the check I mentioned that I wasn’t going to give this place a good review but that she had been wonderful and it was no reflection of her. She then told me to please not leave a bad review because the owner would get really mad and stalk me on the internet. Well…I did leave a bad review and the owners response showed the overall classiness of the establishment. I was just honest about our experience and didn’t embellish any thing to sound worse because the experience itself was enough to write a book on “What not to do in the service industry”. Our waitress definitly didn’t lie when she said the owner would get mad. No idea if she ever stalked me on the internet though. Because of the food itself and the overall vibe of the place, this is definitely not a place I can in good conscience recommend to anyone. We usually give places AT LEAST 2 tries before calling it quits because everyone has a bad day, but the Big Bass Grille won’t get another chance unless they switch owners. Literally the worst place I have eaten at in Florida. We paid our bill and left and went to Shrimps and had a delicious meal.
I also just want to remind everyone that this blog is based on mine and my fiancé’s opinions and personal experiences. I tried to keep my emotions out of it when writing the above negative passage and tried to keep it just based on the facts of the evening.