One of the things I’m looking for on this epic trip is who makes the best corned beef hash around the country. Obviously, I don’t have the budget the actors and chefs do on the Food Channel, so I have to do a little research on the internet to find others reviews, look at menus, etc. So on our trek home from Fort Meyers, we were in the vicinity of Ocala and I did a simple search for “homemade corned beef hash near me”. One of the first restaurants it showed was Toojay’s Original Gourmet Deli in Lady Lake FL. So we set the GPS to 990 Delmar Dr Lady Lake FL and took a little detour. What a great surprise.
It was a pretty drive at times traveling down country roads lined with horse farms and trees with Spanish moss hanging low. At others through small towns clogged with local traffic. We ended up in part of The Villages. Toojays was located in a part of the Villages where people seemed to travel by golf cart as much as by car. The part of the area where Toojays is located was roped off for a farmers market, so we found a nearby parking lot and walked on this clear brisk morning.
When we entered the restaurant and greeted by a friendly smiling hostess and asked to be seated for breakfast. There were signs advertising homemade desserts, kosher deli items, corned beef, etc. The waitress approached within minutes and we ordered coffee. I asked if their corned beef hash was homemade and she said of course and it was the best in the area. I didn’t even look at the menu since I knew what I was ordering.
I received my order of 2 eggs over, corned beef hash, home fried potatoes and whole wheat toast. Not only is the corned beef hash homemade, but so are their breads! The corned beef hash was excellent and sets the bar for any others I review long the way! The corned beef was shredded with some of the shredded sections more dense than others. I’m not really a fan of chunks, so the denser sections of shreds was great. It was light on the potatoes (which I like since too many are just filler) and light on the seasonings to let the corned beef flavor take center stage.
The homefries have grilled onions and peppers fried with the potatoes and just a hint of garlic (which I think is always a good touch even at breakfast). For those of you not from New England, homefries are chunks of potatoes versus hash browns which are shredded. The coffee was pretty darned good too, which is where a lot of restaurants and diners fall flat. While I like a stronger brew, this was still satisfying and did not take away from a great breakfast which was priced reasonably (my breakfast was 8.99 and filling).
The service was great (I didn’t have to look for someone to refill my coffee), the staff friendly and always willing to answer questions even though it was obviously busy for a weekday morning. I was thoroughly impressed and happy to see that they are a chain (although only in Florida). So if you’re visiting Florida and want a great breakfast without wasting time, find a Toojays. If the rest are like the one in Lady Lake FL, you’ll be glad you did.