The Edward Ball Dining Room@ Wakulla Springs
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!
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.
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.
The service and meal were outstanding, plan to return.
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.
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.
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.
Suggestion, add one other menu item, a LOCAL FRESH FISH broiled, blackened or stuffed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A wonderful experience! Love the 30's music playing in the background.
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.
We didn’t enjoy all of the items on the Friday night buffet as much as ordering from the menu.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Some locals consider this a great deal, I do not. Average, I believe. Not bad but nothing to rate it higher than average.
A very relaxing but elegant atmosphere. Our food was delicious, hot and presented well. The cool temperature in the dining room was a welcome relief from the hot sticky weather outside. Although we were dressed casually, we didnt feel under dressed at lunch time.
We were pleased to be seated before our reservation time on a busy day. The service was prompt and efficient for our party of six. The dining room and lodge are old Florida at its best. The adults all had an excellent salad. The ingredients were fresh and delicious. The childrens' hamburgers and ice cream looked good. The Bourbon Pecan Pie was a show stopper. We will be back.
The seafood platter was extremely greasy. The oysters for the appetizer were about the size of my little thumbnail.
Took forever to get drink refills.
It was absolutely fabulous. I loved that it wasn't loud in there. I have sensory issues and loud noises are most unpleasant for me. Not a problem there❤️Food was fabulous. The Server was so kind❤️ I'll be making another reservation when I go back!
We love Wakulla Springs. Great dining.
The food, ambiance, and service was superb. The food is delicious and plentiful. The tomato pie appetizer is a must.
Great value and food buffet was great on Father's Day. Highly recommend.
Eating in a historical building is a treat, but the food is average, very expensive, and the decor is run down (dark, water damaged ceiling, cheap folding table chairs, damaged tables and chairs, cheap flatware...). It's high dining prices with Denny's level food. Actually, I've had significantly better food at Denny's.
Additionally, we went for Father's Day, and after we were sat (by the literal 4 people at the host stand), we were never greeted, or talked to, or checked on by anyone until we were finished eating. It's hard to have a high-dining experience when you don't even have a waitstaff that knows you're in their section. Thank goodness they had a buffet that day, or we would have starved.
Also, $28 for a buffet? And what did the buffet provide? Coleslaw, mixed veggies, rice pilaf, scalloped potatoes, fried chicken, fried shrimp, and a roast beef carving station. For $28...
BTW, $28 is as much as their most expensive option on their existing dinner menu, which is a 14oz char-grilled rib-eye steak. So, the only option on a family holiday is to charge every patron for the highest entree on your menu? That's predatory.
I'm never eating here again, and I strongly recommend whoever is running this restaurant be replaced.
Had reservations for 6 for my Dad’s Father’s Day breakfast at 9:30 am Father’s Day, Sunday. Was turned away by the staff saying they were closing it off. There were only a few tables that were seated and eating. My Dad called me, as I was on my way to meet him and 6 others there. He and my brother had paid to get into the park, $6 each and had to turn around and leave without breakfast and without reimbursement for getting into the park. Was very disappointed as we’ve been there a few times before and never had an issue. It really upset my Dad as well as the rest of us who were looking forward to Father’s Day breakfast. We had to go to three different restaurants after that just to find a place that could take us at one table. We were even going to go on the tour boat ride afterwards, but couldn’t even do that because we weren’t able to get breakfast there WITH reservations.
We Eloped at wakulla springs and stayed the night at lodge and was perfect! Dinner was amazing and everything was delicious ! Thank you so much for providing the perfect place to express our love .
This was a party of 7 people...Online menu is out dated and very limited... No bison burger.. No mullet dip... Med rare steak was Well done... Caramelized Brussel sprouts taste burnt... Cheese grits was left over from the mornings breakfast... Oysters was not washed and full of mud and green matter... Catch of the day on seafood platter was common fried catfish...Young waitress was untrained and very dull but did well next morning for our breakfast... The breakfast was amazing... Fruit and yogurt plate was a very generous portion... Breakfast sadwitch was great... And cheese grits was great only for breakfast though... Service outside of our waitress was excellent including the of age lady that had to serve our drinks because or waitress was underage
A unique restaurant located in a Lodge in a State Park. Im not sure who operates the restaurant but it isn’t very well managed. The food is acceptable but the service is far from experienced. There seemed to be no manager on duty and there were many times during dinner service when no employees were on the floor. Our waitress brought our bottle of wine already uncorked then did not pour it. We observed the same at an adjacent table. Plates were not removed when empty. The waitress didn’t ask if we wanted dessert and did not clear away dishes or ask if we were finished and/or wanted something else before bringing the check. When we settled the bill and walked away the table was still covered with every plate and utensils used during our meal.
I would not recommend coming to this restaurant unless you were staying at the Lodge. In the case of overnight guests it is the only on site dining option.
This is a wonderful dining experience in a beautiful old Florida environment. The food was very nicely presented, delicious, and the service was outstanding. I can’t say enough about the experience.
Let me start by saying we love the Dining Room at Wakulla Springs. We have enjoyed many special occasions there and have always been very happy with the location, food and service. But, on this occasion not so much. I made the reservation several weeks in advance for a 9:00 a.m. reservation for breakfast on Mother's Day. The day before I called to see if I could enlarge the reservation from 7 people to 10 people only to be told "we are closed at 9:00 a.m." But, I have a reservation for 9:00 a.m. what am I supposed to do now? Why didn't someone call me earlier so that I could make other arrangements? My only option was to move the reservation to 8:00 or 8:30 but I explained that my daughter works nights and could not make it earlier - still they said there were no other options. I understand they had a buffet that day and were serving a lot of people but didn't I at least deserve the courtesy of an email or phone call? Very disappointed.
The lodge itself has a lot of potential to be great, but dinner was just not good. The waitress didn’t bring us a bread basket like everyone else, never checked in on us after taking our order, and straight up told me that a cocktail was horrible when I asked about it. The crab stack appetizer was flavorless to the point that we barely touched it. The shrimp and grits had the opposite problem - it was so so salty and the grits were very stiff. For a $15 appetizer and a $20 entree, I did not expect such poor quality and service. We enjoyed getting to see the lodge, but I would not recommend this place to anyone.
We came for our sons graduation, I wanted to find a old southern country club feel and the Lodge at Wakulla definitely met what I hoped for. The food and atmosphere was wonderful, we had to make the reservation early as our son had a 7:30 p.m., FSU graduation, the buffet was not available but we had plenty of fabulous food. The music piped in was from the aura the home was built and I loved the touch, plus we were fortunate to hear beautiful music played by a gentleman on the grand piano as we were leaving, thank you for a glimpse back in time from the old south.
While the buffet was a little more expensive than we expected. The food, service and dining hall were all amazing!!!