By Gary McKechnie

On a road trip recently, I took two-lane Highway 41, a road I don’t often take. I will from now on, because just south of downtown Dunnellon I spotted the Front Porch Restaurant and Pie Shop.

A country diner will always catch my attention, and when you add pie to the title then it’s a shoo-in. Or a shoo-fly pie in.

The missus and I stopped and it was great; one of those Old Florida feelings where a group of servers was flying among tables carrying huge pork chops and meatloaf and chicken and fresh vegetables and glasses of sweet tea. (See a more thorough menu below).

There was a real friendly atmosphere inside the Front Porch Restaurant (which actually has an enclosed front porch) and that feeling was echoed in the country-style decorations.

This is exactly the kind of place I look for when I’m exploring Florida’s back roads or when traveling across the nation on a motorcycle. There’s just something great and exciting about finding independent restaurants where you can settle back with a home-cooked meal.

And when it was time for some delicious Florida desserts, it took a lot of discussion to select just the right slice of pie. We settled on a chocolate-coconut pie topped with a tower of meringue. It was heroic in size and one of the best things I’ve ever tasted.

Funny thing. I didn’t know about the Front Porch until last week. Now I’ll never forget it.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

If you go...

Front Porch Restaurant and Pie Shop
12039 North Florida Avenue (Hiwy 41)
(352) 489-4708


Bacon Cheeseburger

BLT on White, Wheat, or Rye

Fish Sandwich

Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Breast on a Hoagie

Fried Chicken Breast on a hoagie

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese w/ Bacon

Big'Un Hot Dog 1/4 lb.

Ham & Cheese

Cuban Sandwich

Homemade Soups

Homemade Chili

Greek Salad

Grilled Chicken Salad


Corn Dog Basket

Fried Chicken Strips

Fried Fish

Crab Patties

Fried Shrimp

Fried Fish & Shrimp

Onion Rings

Fresh Vegtables

Corn Nuggets

Sweet Potato Fries

Breaded Mushrooms

Onion rings

Pot Roast

Fried Chicken

Fried Bone-in Ham Steak

Grilled Liver n' Onions

Chicken Fried Beef

Chopped Steak with Grilled Onions

Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled Pork Chops

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Wings

Shrimp and Crab Platter

Chocolate Cake





Lemon Meringue

Coconut Cream Meringue

Chocolate Cream

Banana Cream

Key Lime

Peanut Butter Chocolate

(in season)



Sweet Potato


front porch restaurant

A monumental piece of chocolate-coconut pie -- reason enough to visit the Front Porch in Dunnellon.

- Gary McKechnie

front porch restaurant

One of the happiest days of my life.

- Nancy Howell