Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Great “Find” in Ocala – Brooklyn’s Backyard

During our trip in early September, I’d planned to stay overnight in Ocala before rolling into the Tampa/Clearwater area early the next day.  As usual we stayed at a Hampton Inn…almost always reliable!

I’d done a bit of digging via the Internet in order to find a good or at least interesting and different place to have dinner after our long drive from East Tennessee…

This is Brooklyn’s Backyard.  It was located in a strip shopping center well off the Interstate highway.  It caught my attention as both the menu and concept seemed quirky.  In addition it ranked 12th among Ocala area restaurants with 83 Excellent/Very Good vs. 8 Poor/Terrible reviews…equaling my desired 10:1 ratio.

Now you see what I meant about a quirky concept!  It’s backyard dining indoors…  The restaurant’s motto is “Good Beer.  Better Food.”  The menu includes finger food (appetizers), soup, salads, burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads with homemade dressings, pizza, Stromboli, calzone, chicken wings and desserts.

For drinks there was craft beer, wine and Sangria.  I am not a beer connoisseur…Miller Lite is my standard so I like light beers.  Our very helpful and pleasant waiter Ryan suggested that I order a Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat. ($5.00) It was so good that I ended up ordering 2 of them…

Laurie ordered the Sangria. ($8.00) While I thought that it was a little pricy, Laurie flat out said that it was the best Sangria she’d ever had!  That made Ryan very happy as he is the one who makes up the Sangria for Brooklyn’s Backyard.

The informality of the restaurant was reflected in the dining tables and chairs, a deck, lanterns, stars on the ceiling and walls, wooden beams, faux grass and this big blackboard advertising specials, new items and music every Friday night…

This looks like a pizza…but on the menu it is listed under “The Flats”.  The Salerno flatbread ($8.99) consists of blackened Alfredo sauce, topped with blackened chicken and mozzarella cheese.  This was Laurie’s dinner and she thought that it was great!  She gave me a bit or two and I agreed with her evaluation…

This ‘beast’ of a sandwich was what I ordered for dinner… It’s the Brick City Chicken Sandwich. ($10.99) For my side I had to choose between the mango slaw, cheddar cheese grits, park fries, sautéed vegetables, grandma’s mac and cheese, mushroom rice pilaf or this Jalapeno corn bread.  What the heck…we were on vacation!

My sandwich consisted of a country fried chicken breast topped with Black Forest ham, hand cut French fries and country gravy.  My doctor would definitely not approve!  However, although it was very messy to eat, it was also very good indeed…

Brooklyn’s Backyard is located at 2019 Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala Florida.  Phone: 352-304-6292.  Their website can be found at

Note: I was curious about the name of my sandwich…”Brick City” Chicken Sandwich.  It turns out that much of Ocala’s downtown area was destroyed by fire on Thanksgiving Day, 1883.  The city encouraged rebuilding with brick, granite and steel rather than lumber.  Consequently by 1888, Ocala was known statewide as "The Brick City".

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what’s for dinner!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. It all looks great, Dave! That "pizza" looks good and the chicken sandwich is something else, yum! And Tampa is great too! Speaking of pizza, Lou Malnati's is opening today here in Cary! You know how good there pizza is, the best! :-)

  2. At first I thought you meant Brooklyn, New York:) What a great place to eat!

  3. Another great find - can't believe that sandwich.. We occasionally eat in Ocala and I'll make a not of this place.