AVON PARK — Ever since 1926, Pinecrest Golf Course has been a prime place for golfers to enjoy their game. It’s situated in a secluded location on the shore of Lake Lotela, just southeast of Avon Park, off County Road 17. Well, today it is also becoming well-known for its restaurant. Recently opened, The Sandhill Grill is open to golfers and the public.

Just about everyone in Highlands County knows about Cowpoke’s Watering Hole in Sebring and the Wild Turkey Tavern in Avon Park. What they have in common is their owner, Cruiser Cruz. Well, now Cruz and partner Tim Devlin have purchased the Pinecrest Golf Club and opened The Sandhill Grill in the clubhouse.

Along with the restaurant manager, Jessica Cobb, Devlin, Cruz and his chef, they designed the menu for the new eatery. It has a golf theme, but you don’t have to be a player to recognize that there’s something delicious for every taste.

Here’s just some of the highlights of the menu, all with golf-themed categories:

Appletizers include Chipshots — fried green tomatoes, grouper bites, giant pretzel, pork cracklin’s, and kitchen-made pimento cheese. “Buzzards Bay” refers to the Buffalo wings, chicken tenders, and fried shrimp.

There are plenty of salads in On The Green. You’ll also find their French onion soup and loaded baked potato soup listed here.

The Front Nine includes sandwiches and feature one called “Bandit Burger” that is topped with pimento cheese, bacon, pickled red onion, lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. Another is “The Brat” cooked in Sam Adams beer. It comes with a choice of sauerkraut, relish, raw or pickled red onion. Plus, there’s six other sandwiches to pick from, or order the fish tacos.

The menu continues with Water Hazzards, otherwise known as seafood — salmon, mahi mahi, shrimp, and “luteal” fish and chips. Perfect Round is a list of entrees and vary between shrimp scampi, chicken parmesan, chicken piccata, baked ziti, and several variations of Alfredo.

Every golfer envies a Hole in One (steaks). House-seasoned with choice of garlic butter or barbecue butter, the steak choices are the filet mignon, ribeye, skirt steak, sirloin, and chopped steak. Thrown in for good measure is the 12-ounce pork ribeye. Manager Jessica Cobb said, “It’s a big, huge, wonderful piece of pork!”

To add to the experience there’s the Mulligans, or sides. Seasonally, you’ll find asparagus and tomato, and grilled squash and zucchini. Add bleu cheese crust or a Pittsburgh sear to any steak. They make their own Sandhill fries and chips too. Other extras are sautéed onions or mushrooms. Potatoes Au Gratin, baked, and garlic herb mashed potatoes are ready at 4 p.m.

Bring your Mini Golfers (kids). They have choices too; plus, they get to do word search and tic tac toe games while they wait to tee-off.

There’s plenty of seating inside and out at The Sandhill Grill. Around the full bar, you can watch sports on the large screen TV’s while you enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine, or your favorite cocktail.

You might need to use your GPS, so plug in 2250 Little Lake Bonnett Road, Avon Park. Or, just call 863-453-7555. Sandhill Grill is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lunch is served all day as is the full menu.


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