About Us

Over thirty years ago Carlos Gomes and his wife Maria decided to open a restaurant in Central Florida. carlos
Both immigrants from Portugal, they ventured into the restaurant business with one stead-fast belief that good, home cooked food had the power to create kinship and community. In 1980 they had the opportunity to put that theory to the test with their first restaurant- the Country House on West Hwy 50 in Winter Garden.

The Country House quickly became a success and a popular establishment in the area. In 1990, Carlos and Maria expanded their scope to include nighttime dining and opened L.J. Grunts Restaurant in Clermont. Their devotion to wholesome, made-from-scratch food at reasonable prices and hard work became well known throughout the county, and both restaurants thrived.

In 1992 misfortune struck when Carlos discovered that he needed bypass surgery. The family (including his wife, sister, son, daughter, and son-in-law) came together to run the restaurants while Carlos recuperated. The prognosis, however, was not good and the doctors recommended that Carlos get out of the restaurant industry. The following year Carlos sold both restaurants.

Three years later, with his health stabilized and that old desire to bring folks around the table intact, Carlos decided to open a small diner in Ocoee, FL.

and the story continues







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