FORK ON THE ROAD: Wolfy’s

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Mama always said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” So instead of skipping a morning meal, make plans to kick-start your day on a good (and very tasty) note at Wolfy’s in Leesburg


STORY: Shemir Wiles PHOTOS: Fred Lopez + Shemir Wiles

I have a love/hate relationship with breakfast. I absolutely love breakfast foods like pancakes, eggs, and French toast. I rarely eat breakfast, however, because I’d rather sleep an extra 30 minutes than drag myself out of bed in the morning to cook. Thus, when I learned the famed Wolfy’s serves breakfast all day, I knew I had found a restaurant after my own breakfast-lovin’ heart.

Wolfy’s is a Leesburg landmark. Open since the early 1980s, this longstanding restaurant has always been the place locals and seasonal residents go to enjoy good, All-American comfort food in a family friendly environment. Before it was Wolfy’s, the restaurant was part of a family chain called Lum’s. When the Lum’s franchises began to close, Wolfy’s owner John Wolf quickly purchased the Leesburg and Ocala locations and turned them into the Wolfy’s restaurants people frequent today.

Since those early days, Wolfy’s has seen its fair share of changes. A kitchen fire in 2010 destroyed the popular eatery, leaving its future in limbo. Thankfully, Wolf decided to rebuild, making Wolfy’s bigger and better while still keeping its down-home, welcoming appeal.

The morning I dined at Wolfy’s I met with general manager Michelle Arbuthnot, who has worked at the Leesburg location for 29 years. Surveying the dining area, Michelle explained that Wolfy’s is certainly a place of many regulars.

“Sometimes people come two or even three times in a day to eat,” she said. “We have our locals who come often, and now we have our seasonal customers returning. The high school kids typically come on Fridays. We just have a real interesting mix of people who eat here.”

And even though Wolfy’s serves food for all three meals of the day, breakfast is by far the most popular choice. “We serve 300 a day on breakfast alone,” said Michelle.

While scanning the breakfast menu, I noticed the restaurant had my absolute favorite breakfast dish: omelets. Michelle encouraged me to order a spinach, feta cheese, and tomato omelet with home fries. To round out my sampling, I also asked for a small pancake, a piece of grilled kielbasa sausage, and a slice of their well-known crunchy French toast.

Wolfys-1213-8878I dug fork-first into the omelet, which was wonderful. The omelet was firm, perfectly cooked, and had the right amounts of feta, spinach, and tomato. The saltiness of the feta paired very well with the acidity of the tomato. And the spinach was garden-fresh and flavorful. I also enjoyed the home fries, which were grilled nicely with onion. The potatoes were soft and warm on the inside with a nice crispy outside. All I added was a pinch of salt and pepper and I was set.

My small pancake was delightful. Dressed with some whipped butter spread and syrup, the pancake was fluffy and cooked golden brown. The grilled kielbasa was also delicious. It was nicely grilled, creating a good sear on the skin. And the sausage itself was juicy, unleashing a burst of flavor with each bite.

Wolfys-1213-8985However, my absolute favorite part of the meal was the French toast. The toast was extra crunchy because it was dipped in Wolfy’s special batter, coated with cornflakes, and fried until it reaches a golden brown. It’s then dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of whipped butter spread and syrup. The extra crunch created by the cornflakes made this dish fun to eat. It almost seemed wrong to be eating something this decadent for breakfast, but I considered it an indulgence that everyone should experience now and then.

By the end of my breakfast, the restaurant was packed. It was nice to watch people who knew each other saying “hi” from across the room and stopping to chat. It’s clear to see why Wolfy’s is the place in Leesburg “where friends meet friends.”

“It’s fun coming to work,” said Michelle. “I love getting up and coming here every day. Many of the employees have worked here forever, and many of our customers have been dining here for years. We all get along. It’s like we’re one big family.”


POPULAR BREAKFAST DISHES

Onions, pepper, mushrooms, and cheese omelet: $5.65

Shortstack with bacon: $4.95

Crunchy French toast: $6.15

Ham steak with two eggs; hash browns, home fries, or grits; and toast or biscuit: $7.45


Address: 918 N. 14th St., Leesburg, FL 34748
Phone: 352.787.6777
Hours of operation: Monday–Saturday, 6a.m –8p.m.

1 comment

  • lisavhoffman@gmail.com'

    Great Article! I worked at the Lums Corporate offices from 1978-1980 for Ron S. I remember Mr Wolf and his great ideas for menu options.

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