The BBQ is top notch, but what makes Boggy Bottom BBQ unique is the ability to combine it with an Airboat ride through the headlands of the Florida Everglades.
Location: 2001 East Southport Road, Kissimmee, Florida
The restaurant is located at Southport Park, connected to the Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, but you do not have to be a patron of the park to eat at the restaurant. If you want to skip the Airboat experience and go straight for the BBQ, that is just fine.
Menu: The simple but delicious menu features BBQ ribs and brisket, offered as entrees, sandwiches or on top of salads. Hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, and a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on Texas Toast are popular lunch entrees. Traditional southern side dishes like BBQ baked beans, coleslaw, sweet corn, mac & cheese, green beans, carrots and French fries are offered.
For dinner or a heartier lunch appetite, a BBQ combo of the ribs and brisket is on the menu. There is also a sirloin steak, for those celebrating a special occasion. A veggie burger is available for those who don’t eat meat.
The secret to the BBQ, in addition to the tender, slow-cooked meat, are the sauces. Four styles of sauce are on the table in squeeze bottles, ready to tempt. My suggestion is to not choose just one but to sample a small squirt of each one, then choose your favorite. The flavors are Texas BBQ, Original, Mustard, and Hickory.
Pretzels with cheese, onion rings, and fried pickles are all offered as shareable appetizers, but the most unique appetizer is the Gator Bites. Because we were in gator country, I just had to try them. There were more than plenty in the order to share with the table. The delicious sweet and sour dipping sauce made them addictive.
If you’ve never eaten gator meat, I’ll let you in on a big secret. It tastes just like chicken. The reason gator meat has not spread around the world as a popular delicacy isn’t that there aren’t plenty of gators or an active gator farming community. It is because gator meat must be served fresh and does not can or freeze well. The meat becomes very chewy and unappealing if not served right away. So, the best and perhaps only time to try it is when you are visiting gator territory.
I can’t imagine having room for anything more after a healthy plate of BBQ, but three types of cookies, a chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin and white chocolate macadamia cookie, are on the dessert menu for those with a sweet tooth.
A variety of domestic and imported beers are offered, along with a local IPA, Swamp Ale Double. Swamp Ale Double is made by the Florida Beer Company in neighboring Cape Canaveral. It is made using four varieties of hops: Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus. Designed to be paired with robust and spicy meats, it is the perfect complement for BBQ.
Thoughts: Central Florida is most definitely a tourist destination, filled with a wide variety of dining options. It can be overwhelming at times, to decide where to eat. Large portions and high prices are typical.
Lake Toho and the Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures are set apart in a more rural, natural part of Kissimmee. Short of bringing your own picnic, it is the only place to eat in the area. The Boggy Bottom BBQ is located on the bank of Lake Tohopekaliga or known to the locals as Lake Toho. Lake Toho is the largest lake in Osceola County, Florida, and sits at the headlands of The Florida Everglades.
This is the perfect setting for a special date to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, or a family vacation or reunion. Hour long and ½ hour tours are available all day. Sunset tours are quite romantic, and night tours are thrilling for those who want to come face to face with an American Alligator when they are most active. You can even book a private tour or pay an experienced Coast Guard trained Master Captain to teach you how to drive an Airboat.
A refreshingly air-conditioned dining room provides a nice break from the Florida humidity. Outdoor picnic table seating overlooking the lake is also available. Spectacular views of the lake and the Florida Everglades wildlife make tolerating the humidity tolerable.
A choice of a nice variety of casual, delicious menu options at reasonable prices compliments an active sightseeing day, making this more than just another meal on vacation. The opportunity to sit down at a table in an air-conditioned restaurant is a seemingly simple, but much-appreciated benefit. It was a nice mid-day break from the hot Florida sun.
Price points seem lower than many of the tourist-oriented restaurants in the area, giving the wallet a break too. The menu is family friendly and the service is quick. The kids will be happy with the familiar variety of choices, and the adults will appreciate the ability to try a local brew. The entire family can enjoy the novelty of tasting gator meat.
Price Range: Entrees $10-$22. Salads and Sandwiches $9-$11 Gator Bites $10 Kids Menu $6 Cookies $2
Disclosure: The author was a guest of Experience Kissimmee.
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