Farm 2 Fork – The Hot New Eating Trend

   There is a new trend among foodies called Farm to Fork or Farm to Table. In fact, there already are several restaurants in Florida capitalizing on this movement. There’s Florida Fields to Forks in Malabar, Farm to Fork Meals in Oakland Park and Farm to Fork Fresh Market in Fort Pierce to name a few.
   The movement promotes serving local food at restaurants obtained through direct acquisition from producers. Sometimes there is a direct sales relationship such as a market or produce on sale at the checkout counter. The idea is to know where your food originates.
   In Florida, there also are scores of fairs, festivals and celebrations of local food and foodstuffs such as the I Like it Hot Festival in Pinellas County, Let’s Eat Englewood in Sarasota County and The Taste of Honey Festival in Hillsborough County, Those and more such Florida Food & Farm festivals can be found at their website here
   When we went to Frostproof earlier this month, we discovered a new little restaurant. Called P&J’s Farm 2 Fork, using the decor of an old barn, this eatery in the heart of citrus country embodies one of the latest hot trends in the foodie world.
   It was the brainchild of Billie Sue Hutto, the owner of the local pool hall next door known as PJ’s Recreation. Her idea was simple – sell local food to local people.
   The notion is outlined at the top of the menu, saying that they believe in improving what we eat – and a big part of that is the ingredients. Farm2Fork works with local farms and growers to develop a menu that “excites the taste buds and reminds you what fresh food is.”
   The selections apparently are the creation of restaurant manager and chef Trisha Runnels. She eschews the title “chef,” pointing out she never went to cooking school. Rather, she developed her skills working under a number of chefs and spending the better part of her lifetime over a stove.
    Looking at the selections also is a new experience for many. There’s the “Pick of the Pasture” where customers literally can build their own dish. Starting with a base like pita bread, a salad bowl, Cilantro Lime Rice or a couple of tacos – you can top it with varieties of chicken, steak or pork, then add vegetables to taste. Toppings include; Tzatski, Herby Mayo, Local Ranch or Bleu Cheese to name a few.
   Then of course there’s a full line of sandwiches. Choices include the Frickin’ Chicken, the BELT (a BLT with an Egg to boot), the southern favorite Fried Bologna, Smoked Salmon and of course the Herbivore for vegetarians.
  Did somebody say sides? Maybe you’d like Duck Fried Potatoes, Fried Green Tomatoes, Poutine or some good old Pita Chips and Hummus.
   However, these are subject to change without notice. As the harvest changes, so will the menu. Hutto, a fourth generation Frostproof native,  said that most of the ingredients come from the Frostproof area, then Polk County, then central Florida, Florida and the Southeast. The idea is to stay as local as possible.

   And the service is as good as the food. It truly is Southern hospitality. Although they apparently had a “soft opening” for locals, the day we were there was the first official day of operation. Waitresses were scurrying about like crazy and the kitchen was a literal beehive of activity.

Management and staff were working hard to keep customers happy.
   The one caveat we had is that with barn wood on the walls, hardwood floors and ceiling panels, the place has a tendency to be a bit loud at times – especially with the crowds they draw. However, it is a small price to pay for the quality of food and the very affordable pricepoint.
   PJ’s Farm2Fork is located at 35 South Scenic Highway in the center of downtown Frostproof. They are open from 11am to 11pm Monday thru Saturday. For more information you can call  (863) 635-3276, visit their web page at www,pjsfarm2fork.com or see their Facebook page at PJsFarm 2 Fork.
   We would recommend you just go on down and pay them a visit, Your tastebuds will be glad you did.
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