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Ford’s Garage in Hamlin

Ford’s Garage is apparently not super new to the Central Florida area (there are locations near the Orlando Premium Outlets, Kissimmee, and even one in nearby Lakeland) but we recently visited our very first one. The newly opened location at Hamlin in Winter Garden is so much more than it looks from the outside. There’s plenty of parking adjacent to the restaurant so once you’ve found a spot start heading inside.

Originally opened about 10 years ago in the Fort Myers area, the Ford’s Garage backstory is pretty interesting: It’s located less than a mile from Henry Ford’s winter residence. With most locations expanded and concentrated throughout the state, there is one location in Ohio, one in Michigan, one in Indiana, and one in Texas.

“Ford’s Garage is your neighborhood burger and beer joint, where everyone is welcome. Ford’s Garage will give you the vibe of being in a 1920’s service station to include vintage Ford vehicles, gas pumps, and fixtures. Our bars feature prohibition-style elements of old brick, rich wood, and a hand-hammered copper bar top. Many more unique features, too numerous to list, really make the Garage a fun place to visit and take pictures!” – FordsGarageUSA.com

Once inside the establishment you’ll note a gigantic open dining area. One big room which really does bring a sense of community to the place. At this specific location–and we’re not sure just how closely all restaurants are designed with regard to their interiors–there are two huge bars contained within, with several large televisions for those wanting to watch “the games” (which is what we and our dining companion dropped in for). The decor is littered with automobile paraphernalia…almost to the point of overkill. It’s all in good fun, though. It even extends into the lavatories (sorry for posting a pic of a urinal but they’re just so fun):

 

When it comes to the food, Ford’s Garage is pretty much bar food. Technically they tout themselves as a gourmet burger bar serving up the finest varieties of Black Angus Beef, Turkey, Chicken, and Vegetarian products coupled with all-natural aged cheeses and gourmet toppings. Amplified bar food. But there are some delicious looking items on the menu.

We started out with some of their fried pickles, which were quite tasty! These little guys can be located under the “Starter Your Engines” section of Ford’s menu. We typically prefer chips versus spears, but spears was what’s on the menu so there ya go. They were fried perfectly and ample spear sizes. “Ford’s Pickles” are hand-breaded in a panko crust, served crispy with dipping sauce.

(Ford’s Pickles.)

One strange thing about these fried pickles in particular that we’ve never encountered anywhere else, is the pickles were fried on only one side. How does that even happen?! Regardless, they were still appetizing and we ate every single one of them.

(Ford’s Pickles and Honey Butter Cornbread.)

In addition to the spears we also ordered some Honey Butter Cornbread.

Now let’s move on to the main dishes. Our dining companion and we decided to go all in when it came to the main meal. Let’s break ’em down by each:

  • Ford’s Signature. Located under the “Burgers of Fame” section of the Ford’s Garage menu, this was selected by our dinner mate. Tillamook® Aged Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Chopped Romaine, Tomato, and Red Onion on a Brioche Bun. It looks absolutely delicious and the report back was that it is pretty darn good.
  • Smoked Brisket Burnt Ends Melt. This was our choice…and it was not a bad one at all. This little gem is consists of…well, smoked brisket burnt ends caramelized in Bourbon BBQ Sauce, Tillamook® Sharp Cheddar, and Bacon Jam on country white toast. This one is also located under the “Burgers of Fame” area of the menu.

Aside from these two dishes we’re definitely interested in checking out some other things on the menu during a future visit. Here are a few:

  • Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad. Mixed Greens Tossed in a Roasted Garlic Red Wine Vinaigrette with Chopped Bacon, Hard Boiled Egg, Fresh Tomatoes, Avocado, Crumbled Gorgonzola, and Grilled Chicken.
  • The Famous Firestone Shrimp. Lightly Battered Crispy Shrimp Tossed in Spicy “Boom Boom” Sauce and Topped with Scallions.
  • Mama Ford’s Homemade Meatloaf. Our Secret Recipe Topped with Homemade Gravy, Served with Your Choice of Two Side.
  • Campfire Brownie. Killer Brownie Company® Fudge Brownie, with Hershey’s® Chocolate Sauce, and Topped with Toasted Marshmallows and Graham Crackers.
  • Jalapeno Creamed Corn. Topped with onion straws.
(Jalapeno Creamed Corn. Photo courtesy of Ford’s Instagram.)

Location deets:

Ford’s Garage
5375 Hamlin Groves Trail
Winter Garden, FL 34787
407.887.3673

Have you ever had a meal at a Ford’s Garage? What was your experience like?

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