My wife and I were on a day trip recently and were coming back through Brooksville just around dinner time. So I got out the GPS and we were heading toward a cafe that sounded good when we passed Roosters Cafe. As it turns out, the cafe we were looking for was closed down. We turned around and, wondering where we were going to go now, the wife said "Why not try that place?" pointing to Roosters as we passed it again. I drove around the corner and pulled into the packed to overflowing parking lot from the rear and found a space way in the back. When you see a restaurant's large parking lot totally full, it's a pretty good sign.
When we got to the front, we had to get in a line that extended out the door. That is also a good sign that the food must be pretty good, or that they are giving it away free. We only had to stand in line about ten minutes as Phil the owner was handling the seating and was quite good at being efficient in getting folks in and placed quickly. We sat in a small two person booth near the front.
Friday night is all-you-can-eat-fish night and I looked at the fish being cooked on the way in and thought I'd try it. I love fish and sea food and where it is not on the same level as a five star restaurant, the fish was good and tasty. The breading was light and had the well known southern style ingredients. The meat was light and flaky, not greasy or soggy. I got several plates full until I couldn't eat anymore. With the fish came several hush puppies. They were okay but would have been better if they had been warmer.
My wife got the meatloaf. She said it was good even though the collard greens that came with it could have had more flavor to them, such as the addition of ham bits to spice them up some.
The atmosphere at Roosters is nice and homey. It's basically one big room with booths around the edge and tables in the middle. Owner Phil is Mr. Hospitality. He is a transplant from way up north but is just as friendly as anyone you'll meet in the south. He knows most of the locals by name and walks the floor and talks to everyone, even us first-timers, like all are long lost friends. That impressed me. Even as busy as he was, he took the time to talk with us.
But you don't go to a restaurant to talk with the manager, you go there to eat. We were pleased with the food we got and the price we paid and will definitely go back when we are in Brooksville. I'd highly recommend you stop in and give Roosters Cafe a try yourself if you are in the market for some decent, reasonably priced southern home style cooking. You may be well pleased!
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