Once or twice a year, I visit small towns between St. Augustine and Gainesville FL on business. This is how I found myself in Palatka on a Tuesday night, looking for a decent meal. Seeking to avoid the usual steaks and fried seafood, Italian Latin Grill caught my eye. The name sounded too strange but I ducked in the front door long enough to check out the menu. The Mediterranean salad looked promising so I sat down.
The Italian Latin Grill is owned and operated by a delightful little woman originally from Lebanon. The food is all made on premises or prepared locally with fresh ingredients, the house wine is excellent if you like good dry wine, and the strange fusion of Latin and Mediterranean cuisine means anyone can find something they like on the menu.
The Mediterranean salad included red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, olives, cucumber and feta and the dressing was homemade and perfect. I had tiramisu for dessert and it was amazingly authentic. It should be, it's made locally and by hand.
The space itself was once occupied by a Hardee's and though a good effort has been made to convert it into something more intimate and upscale, the owners haven't gone far enough so atmosphere is nothing special, but the food - ah...the food makes this place a diamond in the rough called Palatka and that makes it the only place I'll be going the next time I'm passing through.
I don't give a glowing review very often but if fate ever finds you looking for dinner in Palatka, this place is a must visit.
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