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Zellwood Country Kitchen Truck Stop Diner1 Zellwood Country Kitchen Truck Stop Diner2
Zellwood Country Kitchen Truck Stop Diner
2651 South Orange Blossom Trail Zellwood, FL 32798
T: +1 407 889 7002

  Somewhere in an old American movie (picture one with Clint Eastwood or Jack Nicholson), there is a country diner alongside a highway.  It's the kind of place that has no pretensions, no fast food, and no teenage waitresses in identical uniforms smiling the same fake smile at everyone who enters.  Instead, it offers a casual, genuine and friendly place to relax.  It is owned by one family, not a business chain.  You can eat simple but great food (actually cooked to order!), and have a chance to chat with real folks who are not attached to their IPods, cell phones, or laptops.
  Here where I live in Florida, you may not find Clint or Jack, but you will find local cowboys (yes, Florida has cattle ranches), construction workers, farmers, truck drivers and regular folk.   Take a good look:  this place is an endangered species.  This kind of eatery is disappearing from the American scene.  Disappearing faster than you can say, "Venti Mocha Frappacino, please," or "I'll have a Big Mac."
  It's a sweltering, hot day (97 degrees F).  Waves of heat shimmer off the pavement as I get out of my car and enter the Zellwood Country Diner (just north of Orlando).  Before I head to the counter, I chat with the owner, Paul Moon.  I ask him how business is, with gas prices being so high.  He says yes, there has been a real drop in business in the last year; it's a tough economy now for everyone.  Paul is a quiet spoken, friendly person who puts his heart into this diner. 
 Over at the counter, I meet Dave Klix, who is just starting to eat his meal.   Dave's a trucker, been driving a big rig for 43 years, all across America.  He comes here whenever he can.  He has seen diners and cafes closing down all over America.  He prefers places like this instead of a big "chain" restaurant.  Dave says the food here is always great and it's cooked to order (cooked the way you tell them).   He likes these "mom and pop" kind of businesses; you can't find them often any more.
 "Great hamburger, Sherry!  'Course, I taught her everything she knows," jokes one man as he leaves with a smile.  Everybody is relaxed here. I talk to some of the waitresses (Nicole, Tanya, Sue, Chris), and all of them say that business was very busy ("slammed" said one) two years ago, and now it has really slowed down.   They genuinely like working here.  Everybody at this diner seems to take pride in doing a great job. 
  My patty melt arrives (burger with cheese and grilled onions, pressed between bread and then grilled some more) and it is cooked just the way I ordered it:  medium rare. This makes me smile.  I'm glad it's still here, this genuine American diner.  It is the kind of place where you can talk across the room to the cook. And yes, the food is passed through the hole in the wall "window" from the kitchen to the waitresses.  Just like in the movies.   But, unlike a movie, I don't want to see a "fade out."  I hope to not see "The End" for the Zellwood Diner.  It's a part of America that is struggling to stay alive. (by Jackie Reed, Florida correspondent)