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My Tallahassee Quest Has Begun – Barnaby’s Family Inn

May 17, 2008

So I have decided that I want to begin to check out all the local establishments that native Tallahasseeians talk so much. For those of you who know me well, you know that I eat very healthy so this will be a little difficult and may require more workouts to be added, but I want to truly experience the city God has placed me in. I have begun to research some places that locals claim to be the “best” in Tallahassee so I can try them for myself. So tonight it began…

Brenda and I took the kids to Barnaby’s Family Inn. I was told by some that it was a local classic, and that it is family friendly. The Liles clan, numbering five now, loaded up for a night at a classic. When we pulled in we were talking in the parking a lot to our kids that we had not been here before, to which a lady responded, “Order anything it is all great!” She went on to tell us she had moved to South Carolina, but makes trips back to Tally just for Barnaby’s. Let’s just say my expectations went through the roof! As we entered it was apparent we were out of place. A sign told us to be seated, fill out our menu card, and take it to the cashier. Kinda different, but hey now problem for us. We dodged tons of kids running around, and found a table. Let me let you know this place is not like Chucky Cheese where kids running around is to be expected. It was a normal restaurant setting, but kids definitely ruled the roost. We filled out our menu; I took it to the counter and then was told I had to go to another counter to order drinks. We ordered a couple of pizzas and then waited. I took the girls to the game room only to find out that half the games did not work, and the other half either involved killing mutants, killing terrorists, or running over stuff in cars. Not exactly allowed for my 7 and 5 year old so back to the table we went.

The man on the microphone, who obviously did not know he did not need to place the microphone into his mouth for it to work, called our number and it was pizza time. The pizza had a great taste, but the crust on the bottom was very “crunchy.” Okay lets be honest it was hard. Flavor was great but the bottom was a downer. The pizza is cut into little squares instead of normal slices, but that did not bother me either.

Will I go back? Sure. I will not recommend it for a romantic dinner, one you need to talk through, or one if you expect the calmness of a normal restaurant. I saw a couple of sandwiches that looked amazing and the next time I will probably try one of those. It is the perfect place for a little league team, or a bunch of guys wanting to grab a pie and watch a game.


So now I am on the lookout for the next Tallahassee local classic. I would love some recommendations, but here are the guidelines:

1.      No national chains. There can be more than one, but local only.

2.      No bars. I don’t care how good the drinks specials are. I will go to a sports bar if the food is good.

3.      No places where the waitresses attire is the main draw. Don’t give me that line about how good the wings are! I will be taking my family most of the time.


I am on the lookout for the best bbq, burgers, seafood, pizza, or whatever specials there are out there in Tally. Let me know!!!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2008 7:33 pm

    Try Crystal River,on W.Tenn. &Ocala(?)(I know the Tennessee part is right but not sure bout Ocala)they have awesome seafood & service.Also the children are behaving,maybe an occasional cryin’ baby I’ll let ya know ’bout the location if you guys wanna try it.

  2. ALLY permalink
    July 3, 2008 4:03 pm


  3. October 14, 2008 11:37 am

    My name is Jessika!

  4. Todd permalink
    October 31, 2008 9:56 pm

    Barnaby’s is pretty much the best “original” Tallahassee has to offer (even though I think it was part of a chain at one point — check the photos in the “history” section of this website “” ). I hope you went back. I went to high school and college in Tallahassee and make sure to make a trip to Barnaby’s every time I am in town. Sometimes the pizza cooks overcook the pizza, but generally the crust should be fairly crisp but a little chewy. You can also request a “pizza cut” instead of the squares or get your pizza “par baked”, so you can finish the baking and eating at home.

    For other restaurants, I’d recommend the Catfish Pad, Gordo’s and (although it’s a chain) Sonny’s for BBQ. And, if you like oysters, cross your fingers for Posey’s in St. Marks to re-open.

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