The Edward Ball Dining Room@ Wakulla Springs

4.3
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92 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
The Edward Ball Dining Room serves an array of southern specialties sure to please both local residents and our visitors from all over the world. Our menu has all the classic Lodge dishes, such as Southern Fried Chicken, Beef Liver and Navy Bean Soup, and also includes seasonal Farm-to-Table creations. Come and enjoy a delicious meal with a view of the Springs.
What 92 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AG
Tallahassee
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food2service5ambience5

Everyone complained of too much sodium (very salty).
My liver was over cooked.

JM
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a very pleasant dining experience. The rib-eye was delicious and our server was amazing!

K
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server, Madison, was outstanding. The food looked and tasted fantastic. The perfect Valentines dinner. Loved looking out at the spring as the sun was setting.

m
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Dinner was always excellent. Staff very accommodating and friendly. Very professional. Loved the waitresses and managers! However, breakfast was huge disappointment - both days we tried but never received our food after nearly an hour wait. The other days during our stay, we drove into town to have breakfast. The last day of our stay was as successful as dinner ad always been.

JP
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience at the Dining Room! It could not have been a nicer celebration of my 91-year-old friend's birthday. I was told she would get a birthday wish at the meal which did not happen. However, I prompted everyone in the snack bar to sing to her! Also, your greeter on duty at the entrance gate, Glenda, was VERY helpful and friendly and set the mood for our experience at Wakulla Springs! We will definitely be back!

TH
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was quick and efficient
Servers helping each other
Food great
Nice and quiet

C
Tallahassee
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tasty southern menu enjoyed in a wonderful atmosphere with great 30s and 40s music quietly playing in the background with a view of Wakulla Springs. Perfect

KR
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall3food3service1ambience4

I would say MAYBE. Food had a good flavor but was barely warm. Service was awful. We were seated quickly but no one greeted us. We helped ourselves to the buffet, and then sat there waiting on drinks. I had to ask the hostess to get our drinks. We ran out of drinks and it took forever to get the bill.

A
Jacksonville
21 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We enjoy going to the Wakulla Lodge and dining in the Ed Ball Dining Room while there. The food is surprisingly good and the whole family agrees. This last visit the service was limited and slow. We dined two evenings in a row and had breakfasts there as well, so there was a definite trend of slowness. Not in a doting "enjoy your experience" way, more like a "we forgot about you" way. Let's hope this gets corrected soon. The food was delicious. We had the jambalaya, stuffed shrimp, captains curry, and seafood platter. My daughter had the pulled pork on toast and stated it was tasty, but way too sugared. That's saying something coming from a 10yo. The raw oysters, which were local, were perfect. The charcuterie left something to be desired. All in all, dinner was better staffed than breakfast and went faster, despite the many courses. Still a welcome respite in this part of Florida.

D
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience1

Maybe it was just because of the holidays but the food was terrible except for the shrimp and salad. Everything was picked over and not replenished unless we asked. And since our reservation was at 5 and the buffet started at 11, some of the items on the salad bar were questionable as we didn’t know how long they’d been sitting and were not on ice. Also the Open Table email had a link to the menu which was the regular menu. We had no idea it was a buffet until we arrived. For $80+ dollars we spent we felt it was not a good value.

LF
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Not for a special event. We have eaten while visiting the springs and it was good, but the Christmas buffet was not great. A confused assortment of foods that were not very good, beef was terrible and no poultry offered. Oyster dressing with beef gravy was not good. Why Cole slaw was part of the meal made no sense to me. The desserts were good, but the table was filthy. They ran out of coffee and we were not serviced well at our table. Never offered drink refill. They advertised music, and there was none. I have no trouble paying $40 or $50 for a buffet, but it has to be goid. Overall it was overpriced for poor service and not very good food. I know it must be hard to find workers that enthusiasticly work on big holiday like Christmas, and it was nice to have this service provided, but if your going to do it, do it well. We can not reccomend and we will not be back for a special event in the future. I do hope they take the comments to heart and do a better job in the future.

SW
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

The food on the buffet was not hot, except for the fried shrimp. Broccoli salad was excellent. Key lime pie was excellent as well.

OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was fresh and sensational!!

BL
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We go to the dining room for a special treat every month or so, but this is the first time trying the holiday buffet. It was wonderful! Some of the best food we have ever had, especially the fried shrimp and prime rib and salad table. About the most crowded we've seen it, but the staff kept things well organized and the food trays well refreshed. Thank you for an extra nice Christmas meal in one of our favorite locations!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went here for Christmas lunch and the buffet was perfect. The staff was nice and The best part I didn’t have to cook and we highly enjoyed ourselves.

C
Tallahassee
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our table was great. The food very good. The prime rib was perfect. The fruit and salads as well as the desserts were more than adequate. Not spectacular mind you but good tasting with an attentive friendly staff. We went early. The line moved quickly and the food was very fresh. Lovely location. I highly recommend the experience.

GC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience2

It appeared that they were short on help. The wait to get a table in a almost empty room was too long. The server was nice, helped us with our order. She had to go back to kitchen two times to see if what was on the current menu was available. The wait for the appetizer was very long, the appetizer was only fair. Almost immediately the main course arrived. The main course on the surface was overcooked, almost burned, beacon wrap of the shrimp had uncooked beacon on the inside. The only good food was the cake for dessert . Traveled 115 miles one way to visit this restaurant, not sure we will return.

LS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We held my daughter’s graduation brunch here and it was wonderful. Originally we had 12 guests but I had to add an additional one that morning. They immediately accommodated us and even gave us a private dining room since it was a special event. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. I would highly recommend them!

TF
Tallahassee
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

First time we have been to Wakulla Sorings Lodge for the Thanksgiving buffet. It was underwhelming and not even mediocre. We had a 5pm seating, and were told that the restaurant would be serving and restocking the buffet until 7pm. Nope! No roast beef. Nothing was hot. The turkey and ham were all pre-sliced portions, not freshly carved. The starches (dressing, mashed potatoes, and rice) were all super bland. No gravy at all on the buffet. Cranberry sauce was that jellied slop from a can. The green bean casserole looked like it had gone through a blender. Collard greens were good. Desserts were okay. Picture banana pudding served in a giant galvanized aluminum washtub....I'm not kidding. Our service was barely okay. Never again!

LR
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I'll start with the good. The Thanksgiving buffet at The Edward Ball Dining Room (at the Wakulla Springs Lodge) was delicious. Turkey, ham, fried shrimp, mashed potatoes, stuffing (no extra gravy though), sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry, fruit, salad and a number of deserts including banana pudding, pumpkin pie, cannolis. The mashed potatoes had garlic in them, a popular trend I'm not so crazy about, but were still good. Nothing ran out while I was there, the staff kept bringing out fresh, hot food to the buffet. Which was good, because...

The not-so-good... The EBDR was packed. Overly packed, it seemed. Even though most people made reservations months in advance, the owners/staff feel they cannot turn away any walk-ins. When we arrived at 1:15pm there was a line out the door just to check in. We ended up waiting 20 min. beyond our 1:30pm reservation time. Diners were not leaving tables as soon as needed. Standing in another long line for the buffet (15-20 min), we learned this was not the usual situation for the buffet and had not been the case this year prior to 1pm. Our guess: the staff mismanaged how many people could make a reservation at a time and they allowed walk-ins to have tables that should be held for people with reservations in the next 10 minutes.

The wait to be seated and start enjoying the food aside, the staff was very friendly, the food was constantly replenished, and was excellent.

SC
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

There was no gravy on the buffet. I asked a staff to get some for me and he gave me half a small bowl. There should've been gravy on the buffet.
I didn't see cranberries when I got my food but did see a small bowl of cranberries on the buffet as we left.
Salad plates would been helpful.
The fried shrimp was delicious but salty.

NC
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and meal were outstanding, plan to return.

JT
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have a group of ladies that meet for lunch once a month and we always try to chose someplace out of the ordinary. This month we chose The Edward Ball Dining Room at Wakulla Springs. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. The view to the springs was so calming during our meal. We did not feel rushed by the staff and felt we could take our time catching up with each other. Our waitress was super friendly and was always seeing if we needed thing but she did not hover to stop the flow of conversations. A couple seated next to us caught a part of our conversation and asked a question and then joined in. It was great. Will definitely do this again.

OT
Savannah
3 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were a group of 4 and Jacob was our waiter. He did a fantastic job! Food was great, too. We will definitely be back.

AP
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food1service5ambience5

The service was outstanding (Olivia). The food, however was another story! Those who ordered the chicken and beignets and the pork sandwich were very dissatisfied.The chicken was cooked to insignificance, and the pork was cold. Also it was an hour and a half from the time we were seated until we were served. We were there celebrating my husband's 75th. The total bill was nearly $500 and I certainly thought we deserved better.My husband and I have celebrated many special occasions at your place, but we may not do so in the future.

V
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Suggestion, add one other menu item, a LOCAL FRESH FISH broiled, blackened or stuffed

TF
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Big improvement from last time. Food all came out hot and all together.Service was great overall
Would recommend the Lodge to anyone that’s wants a good meal at reasonable price. I was pleased
With all this dining aspects of the meal.

Tom F

AB
Tallahassee
7 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and overall experience was excellent. Only one minor “complaint” regarding dessert: the pecan pie was served cold and didn’t really seem to be prepared on premises. Everything else was delicious as usual.

A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

The Service was Not very polite, the ambiente with the Low Office Chairs somewhat strange. The Food was at Max. Average, don‘t wanna Talk about the wine service.

t
Pinehurst
41 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Uncomfortable seating. Chairs too low for tables. The restaurant is not at all fancy, as the description might lead one to believe. We went because we read on the website that they had oysters. When we got there, we found but they did not have oysters and were very disappointed. I got a shrimp salad with what was supposed to be grilled shrimp but turned out to be translucent frozen shrimp with a barbecue-type seasoning to make it appear grilled. actually, it might have been "grilled" on something like a George Foreman grill, but definitely not charcoal. I had to send it back, as the shrimp arrived cold when they were supposed to be freshly cooked. The cook obviously threw them back in the pan for a few seconds, which did warm them up, but they were certainly not fresh Florida shrimp. My husband had some kind of Creole seafood mixture that had unidentifiable pieces of fish meat in it, but it was very disappointing. The thing that was the star of the evening was a delicious family recipe tomato pie slice, which was offered as an appetizer. It was truly one of the best tomato pies I've ever tasted. Yes, this is a state park restaurant, and I suppose we should not be too surprised that it was less than elegant, but the online description was rather misleading. If you are there for a swim, sticking around for dinner is not a terrible idea, but I bet there are other places where there is fresh seafood available.

KL
Tallahassee
64 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wanted a Sunday drive and lunch and that is exactly what we had. Love going to the Lodge at Wakulla Springs and seeing how beautiful it is and enjoying the delicious food that they serve there all the time. Love visiting Old Joe & dipping our toes in the freezing water! Highly recommended. A Florida treasure.

BE
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The experience for the 6 of us was great. We had the side room to ourselves and closed the doors to the noise of the main hall. There seemed to be a problem with our reservation but it was resolved quickly. Our server Olivia was charming, knowledgeable. and efficient. The food was very good especially the tomato pie, crab stack, and chocolate cake. We have found memories of the lodge because we have celebrated weddings and anniversaries there.

JM
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful experience! Love the 30's music playing in the background.

JM
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I enjoyed it very much & will come back again. My only issue was there was a large party there who basically ate all the stuffed shrimp & we had a 6:30 dinner. I thought it was early to be running out.

OT
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We didn’t enjoy all of the items on the Friday night buffet as much as ordering from the menu.

AR
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Wonderful atmosphere, food was excellent. Very young, inexperienced service staff. Had to wait quite a while to be seated both times even though it was not very busy- no one at hostess stand either time. Had to ask for simple things like plates for appetizers and drink refills and find another waiter as our disappeared. Some customer service training would be helpful with the waitstaff. Overall, a good experience and would go back again!

LG
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The only complaint I have is that the tables are too close together. My husband and I could not talk to each other because it was so loud and we could hear everyone else’s conversations even though we didn’t want to.

BH
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

My family took a trip down nostalgia lane at Wakulla Springs last Friday. I haven't been there since I was on a field trip in grade school. The dining room and lodge are busy and well-kept. Our server was quick and helpful. We ordered several items off the breakfast menu to our delight. The only let down was the omelette. You can only have two ingredients according to the kitchen? It was a bit dry and needed more seasoning. Overall the meal and day was delightful.

OT
Memphis
10 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience3

When we come in, it seemed no one had their food yet. Very short staffed. Took a long time to take our order and longer to get our food.

TW
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Some locals consider this a great deal, I do not. Average, I believe. Not bad but nothing to rate it higher than average.