The Flight Line Cafe at Gilbert Field (KGIF)
I was not intending to do a $300 burger flight this day. I had a CFI reinstatement checkride scheduled here for the next day and was merely doing a “dry run” to make sure I could get in and out of the field with familiarity. I’m glad I did, because I “accidentally” discovered a very well kept secret (from me anyway), The Flight Line Cafe.
I’ve been flying out of Central Florida for 35 years and this was my first time ever to KGIF. I know you seaplane pilots are shaking your head but no, I have never been down there to get my seaplane rating from Brown’s either, obviously.
I’m really sorry I missed it all these years, now.
New Club, New Planes
I recently got check out in the planes for Van Anda Aviation by my friend, Elias Delgado, who is also teaching at SIMCOM. Elias has been a great friend and great person to know recently. He walked my resume in to SIMCOM, and indeed walked me in to meet the director of training. Whaddya know, I now have a part time instructor position at SIMCOM.
The take off from KORL was a bit of a challenge, as I was number 14 in line behind a bunch of “Dove Flight” corporate jets, mostly Citations. Textron/Cessna was a sponsor for the Special Olympics held in Orlando that weekend, and had engaged the cooperation with a few hundred of their owners to fly the athletes in and out on corporate jets. Quite a show.
The flight over was extended, not only by the delay getting off the ground but also because of a new “preferred” departure procedure from KORL. Formerly I would have just gone runway heading off of RWY 25 and turned left at the Universal Towers to go direct to KGIF. Now, they sent me northbound until I was clear of the class D, which is exactly five miles. Then I started working my way to the southwest. I found out the next morning that if they aren’t busy, they will still let you go straight out, but it is still not the “preferred” departure.
To make matters worse, I was limited to 2500′ by a scattered layer and my new route of flight took me right over the Disney TFR, which extends up to 3500′. More deviations.
The Flight Line Cafe
The FBO is on the north side of runway 5/23. The Cafe is inside the FBO, to the left, and is very roomy as you can see in the following pictures. Fairly new, very clean and shiny. Attractive and a nice place to sit and enjoy a meal.
The actual cost ended up being more than $300 but I blame high fuel prices and that blame rests squarely on the current administration IMHO
- Aircraft Rental: 2.3 Hobbs * $145 = 333.50
- Restaurant bill: $18
- Total: $351.50
- Total flight time 2.5
I was not introduced to the owner, but “Jimmy”, one of the waiters, tried to tell me as much about the place as he could. He was doing great until he messed up my order. I said no onions on my cheeseburger and it came with sliced onions on top. No big deal, I took them off and he apologized profusely. Really, I am not going to make a stink out of something small like that at a restaurant these days – it’s hard to find people that want to work any more! So I took his picture and thanked him for being there, and being helpful.
My lunch, a very juicy and messy cheeseburger, was awesome. It was delivered quickly along with a diet Pepsi. “Jimmy” was friendly and very helpful. The theme of the place is definitely aviation, and you can see your plane out the windows in case you are a nervous type like me.
Orlando approach took me up to the south end of Lake Apopka, and brought me in from the Northwest. There were still some departures from the Dove Flight ramp but I was allowed to land immediately. I think I had to follow one guy in a 206 on final but no big deal at all.
Great lunch, I recommend this place. Notice: They are closed on Mondays.
Back to $300 Burgers