by Alyssa Reinbolt
In retirement central here in Venice, FL is an incredible family owned and operated joint, Night Owl's Eatery. Betty Anne is the owner and culinary genius behind the dishes being served. She is an incredible woman with a sense for good comfort food.
On a whim and searching for late night comfort food, I saw the bright lights surrounding the Night Owl Eatery and pulled in. I had heard so many wonderful things about them, and figured it was time to try them for myself.
I was greeted as soon as I walked in the door (very cheerfully for the midnight hour) and asked if it was my first time. When I confirmed it was, she immediately started suggesting items and telling me their specialties. I felt right at home, like talking to a friend.
We got the regular Cheesesteak sandwich with their homemade cheese sauce, a Little Owl sandwich (I ordered mine without the chili), the Fried Mac & Cheese, and Fried Oreos for dessert, all to go.
Everything is made from scratch and made to order, so while I waited, I was able to chat with the owners (who are very passionate about their business!) and learned a lot! They are a family owned and operated business, with a play kitchen tucked in the corner for their adorable granddaughter to play with when she visits. (She was there tonight! Such a sweetheart!)
They get their bread from a local bakery made fresh daily, nothing is ever frozen, and all of their sauces are made from scratch. (I got one of each, and personally think they need to bottle it and sell it... Especially their version of Ranch, super thick and flavorful)
There was not one bite tonight that didn't give me a tiny "foodgasm". Everything was delicious!
* The Fried Mac N Cheese balls were HUGE (think of a softball filled with mac and cheese and then wrapped in a crispy blanket of awesome) and filled with so much cheesy goodness, my husband and I fought over who would get the last one (he won).
* The Cheesesteak is made with REAL prime rib, (not steakums like sooo many places use) and a glorious cheese sauce oozing through it.
* The Little Owl... I didn't even know where to start with the sandwich, so instead, I picked it apart. Chicken tenders, angus beef burger, french fries, onion straws, cheese sauce and bacon. Chicken tenders were seasoned well, and paired perfectly with their house made BBQ sauce and house made honey mustard. Onion Straws and Fries were perfectly crisp, and the burger was juicy and flavorful. Top it all off with bacon and cheese... It was heaven.
*Fried Oreos... I have always seen it, but have never tried it. I loved watching her batter and fry them right there. Everything is super fresh!
Trust me, this is the kind of place you WANT to go to.
(Publisher's Note: They are open: Tues-Thurs: 6 p.m. - 2 a.m., Fri-Sat: 6 p.m. - 3 a.m. Their address is 2045 Tamiami Trail South, Venice, FL)
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