The Goblin Market is a restaurant located in historic downtown Mt. Dora, Florida.
Called warm, cozy, with a cottage-like atmosphere, The Goblin Market has been satisfying locals and tourists since 1996. As one customer remarked, “You feel like you are entering someone’s home.”
Owned by Vince and Janice Guzinsky, the intimate interior of the restaurant features book-lined dining rooms, a private shaded courtyard and a garden patio available all year.
Open for lunch, dinner and private gatherings, the restaurant offers a lively menu of soups, seafood, steaks and desserts, as well as a full-service lounge, low lighting and “new age” music to accentuate a unique and romantic atmosphere that promises casual dining for all who enter.
NOTE: The name of the restaurant invokes the 1862 poem by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894) entitled “Goblin Market” about two sisters, Laura and Lizzie who confront eerie goblin fruit peddlers whose wares sound delicious but are deadly to the taste.
The poem opens: “Morning and evening / Maids heard the goblins cry / “Come buy our orchard fruits / Come buy, come buy.”
The goblin’s offering of juicy produce included “apples and quinces, lemons and oranges, plump unpeck’d cherries, melons and raspberries, bloom-down-cheek’d peaches, swart-headed mulberries, wild free-born cranberries, crab-apples, dewberries, pine-apples, blackberries, apricots, strawberries, grapes fresh from the vine, pomegranates full and fine, dates and sharp bullaces, rare pears and greengages, damsons and bilberries, currants and gooseberries, bright-fire-like barberries, figs to fill your mouth, citrons from the South, sweet to tongue and sound to eye.”
As the succulent fruit list comes to an end, we hear the goblins say again, “Come buy, come buy.”
One sister, Laura gives into the lure of the goblins, but has no money. She trades a lock of her golden hair and gorges herself on goblin fruit. Soon Laura begins to waste away, but still yearns for the taste of more goblin fruit. But she no longer sees the goblins nor hears their voices so her sister, Lizzie who is still aware of the goblins (“I hear the fruit‑call but I dare not look”) takes a silver penny to the goblins to buy more fruit for her sister to relieve her suffering. But the goblins are offended by mere money and instead force the girl to eat their fruit. As she resists their advances, her body becomes covered with the goblin’s juicy droppings.
At last the evil people,
Worn out by her resistance,
Flung back her penny, kick’d their fruit
Along whichever road they took,
Not leaving root or stone or shoot;
Some writh’d into the ground,
Some div’d into the brook
With ring and ripple,
Some scudded on the gale without a sound,
Some vanish’d in the distance.
Heading home, Lizzie cries out to Laura:
Did you miss me?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me;
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin merchant men.
Laura kisses the juices off her sister’s face and recovers from the curse of the goblin fruit.
Years later, the two sisters, married with children, “Would talk about the haunted glen / The wicked, quaint fruit-merchant men / Their fruits like honey to the throat / But poison in the blood.”
For another restaurant with a Goblin theme check out Goblin’s Cove, an interesting eatery located Magaliesburg Country in South Africa.
The Goblin Market
330 Dora Drawdy Way
Mt Dora, FL 32757
Goblin Market (Website)