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Variety Reigns Supreme at The Garden Cafe

By Jake Levin

Since she was a very young age, Melanie Armstrong has loved to cook.

"I thought anything was possible," said Armstrong, who is the owner of The Garden Café in Dade City, Fla.

Armstrong credits a lot of hard work and perseverance as reasons why The Garden Café has been in business for nearly 10 years, an anniversary it will hit this summer.

Offering a casual but classy and quaint atmosphere, Armstrong said that The Garden Café is the perfect location for a wide variety of occasions, from a simple lunch with a friend to an important business meeting.

The building, which used to be an old car garage, still has the garage doors in use in order to create an open-air atmosphere for the eatery.

"I love that it is a historical building that has been repurposed," Armstrong said. "Our patio is a great space and our customers love to sit outside and it is pet friendly."

The vast menu has many popular items, but Armstrong said that her favorites come from the fried green tomato selections. There are several fried green tomato appetizers, including the fried green tomato BLT, which would be her No. 1 choice. There's a fried green tomato sandwich with free mozzarella, tomato, pesto and red onion which seems to be a hit among the customers as well. Armstrong also mentioned the "fabulous" baked potato menu at The Garden Café.

You don't have to go directly to The Garden Café to enjoy its menu, either. Armstrong and her staff also offers catering options, which she believes are perfect for any event.

"We put a lot of effort and pride into our catering services as well as every aspect of our business," Armstrong said. "We make pretty much everything from scratch with real, whole ingredients."

To learn more about The Garden Café and to see its full menu, be sure to check out its website at www.dineinthegarden.com.

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