Monday, November 30, 2015

Cody’s Roadhouse – Crystal River Florida

Continuing our early September trip to Florida, we’d planned on sight-seeing to occupy our day and then we’d spend the night in Crystal River.  Our sight-seeing was rained out and we ended up going to a movie… 

Then when we drove over to the restaurant that I’d found on Trip Advisor for our evening meal, it was closed!   So, it was time to just pick a place along the road and cross our fingers…

There weren’t many choices in the immediate vicinity but Cody’s Original Roadhouse was very, very busy and it was close to our hotel too.

(“Busy” doesn’t always mean good or even OK!  One of the worst restaurants we’ve ever experienced was many years ago in Kingston Ontario.  It served Chinese, Canadian and American cuisine and it was packed!  To be honest, it was just out and out terrible!)

The interior of Cody’s fits its name as a “Roadhouse” as we view them today…expansive, bright, casual and frequently with peanut shells on the floor.  And yes, there were buckets of peanuts on the tables!

By definition, a ‘roadhouse’ is an inn or tavern usually outside city limits providing liquor and usually meals, dancing, and often gambling.  No dancing or gambling here!

A quick check revealed that Cody’s Original Roadhouse is a regional restaurant chain that began in Tarpon Springs Florida in 1994.  As per the web site, they now have 15 locations across west-central and north Florida.

Our waitress was very busy but quite efficient.  This is not a place for a relaxing dinner…lots of families, conversations and fun.  Laurie and I picked dinner entrees which came with the ‘famous endless salad bowl with Cody’s garlic ranch dressing, and fresh baked yeast sweet rolls with cinnamon butter.  We ate 2 of these bowls of salad but neglected to take a photo before we had destroyed the initial ‘look’ of the salad bowl.

The garlic ranch dressing was excellent but unfortunately they don’t bottle it and sell it!

The menu is extensive with a nice selection of appetizers, a lot of steaks, salads, BBQ ribs, pork chops, prime rib, chicken, tilapia, shrimp, salmon, burgers and other sandwiches. 

Dawn ordered the Chicken Fajita for her dinner. ($11.98) It didn’t come with a salad per se so she ordered an ‘add-on’ and shared the salad bowl. ($3.49) She described her Fajita entree as just OK…nothing special.  

I’d ordered the ‘heart healthy’ Chicken Fried Steak with French Fries on the side. ($13.98) My doctor wouldn't have been happy but my chicken fried steak was huge and it was very good.  The fries were crisp on the outside and soft in the middle…as good French Fries should be!  Cody’s also had the requisite Tabasco for use with my Chicken Fried Steak…

Laurie opted for the Garlic Fried Shrimp accompanied by a baked potato. ($14.49) The shrimp were big and juicy with lots of flavor and the baked potato was just right…not over cooked or under cooked.

Laurie and I also indulged in adult beverages with our meal.  My Miller Lite was priced at $3.77 and her Kettle 1 Vodka and Tonic Tall with 2 lime slices cost $7.97.  (Strange pricing, perhaps designed to make you think that you got a real deal?) 

Should we run across another Cody’s Original Roadhouse on our travels, we would stop for another meal.  The food is casual and basic, the restaurant was hectic but the quality is there…

The Cody’s Original Roadhouse in Crystal River Florida is at 305 South East U.S. Hwy 19 North.  Phone:  352-795-7223.  The website is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Sounds a lot like our restaurants here in Sicily...very crowded and noisy, you can't even hear yourself think! The food looks so delicious! My daughter has been in Florida and she loved it!

  2. Looks like a good find. If we get back to the area, we'll give it a try.