Green Lion Cafe Is More Than Par For The Course

Looks can sometimes be misleading as we learned recently when we stopped by the Green Lion Cafe . Having never been there before we didn’t know what to expect but since it is located basically on a golf course we expected expensive food that may or may not have been top quality.
This expectation came after having eaten at a number of golf course restaurants in the past in the course of our restaurant reviewing career. The food quality ranged from quite good to quite bad at the places we visited in the past.
Green Lion had been recommended several times in the past few months so we made a trip to the Palm Harbor Golf Club recently.
We can’t describe the results as surprising, necessarily, because we as mentioned, we’ve had good experiences at golf courses in the past, just not that often.
Anyway, after this meandering introduction we can say that the food here is definitely worth making a trip to the links. The dinner wasn’t perfect but there were many more positives here than negatives and the negatives can be easily corrected.
The biggest thing we learned after eating here is that the people in the kitchen know what they’re doing, which is also the most important factor we look at when assessing a restaurant. If the kitchen staff is good, and even better — talented — then it’s possible to create good food in any type of kitchen. And what is good? In our book, it’s food that people will return for.
What would we return for here? The chicken quesadillas and the flatbread, for starters. They were starters actually, and very tasty ones at that. The quesadillas were more like little tacos, with deep fried chunks of chicken in them coated with buffalo wings sauce, along with some blue cheese slaw and some spicy white and red sauces on the side. It’s like buffalo wings meet quesadillas and the result was delicious.
Our second starter, the Margherita flatbread, was topped with a little tomato, some mozzarella and a sprinkling of rocket along with some balsamic. The result, again, is very good.
Our main courses that evening were also well-prepared and well-thought out dishes. The seafood pot pie has a clever presentation, with a lobster claw garnishing the pot of seafood which contained fish, shrimp and clams and came with a side of tempura green beans, one of the little Asian touch you’ll find here. The scallop and steak surf and turf special was also well done with well-cooked, seared scallops sitting on top of a strip steak.
A steak frites entree rounded out the meal and along with the surf and turf steak revealed the only flaw of the evening, really. Both steaks were slightly overcooked from the ordered temperatures of rare and medium rare, which, as mentioned above, is easily correctable. But both still tasted great since they were quality pieces of meat to start with so they were still very enjoyable.
This is not a golf course restaurant per se, but rather a good restaurant located on a golf course. The difference is clear and very welcome.
— Tom Aikins