A Fish Fry & Winghouse

A friend of mine invited me to a fish fry last weekend. He is an avid fisherman and didn’t have room left in his freezer from all of the fish he had caught so it was time to cook some of it up to make room for more. Whatever the reason for it, I love good fried fish so I was definitely going.

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Interesting root growth at O’Leno State Park

A pavilion at O’Leno State Park was rented and invites were sent. Since it was an outdoor event I decided to bring my dog Tucker with me. I knew he would enjoy not only the ride out but the change of scenery. Not mention there was an enite population of squirrels and lizrds that hadn’t met his wrath yet.

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If you ever have the opportunity to visit O’Leno I would recommend going. It is a little bit of a trip from Gainesville (about an hour from my house) but not too far to make the trip bothersome. And the scenery is great. It located off of US 441 north of High Springs and is next to the Santa Fe River. In fact there is a swimming area and plenty of spots for fishing as well. And some very scenic spots that you may not see in other areas of Florida.

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I mention the fish fry even though no craft beer was consumed there to get to the following point.

The friend mentioned above is the male half of the Loverbirds couple I have mentioned in a previous post. While there I noticed a sign indicating an impending marriage between him and his lady-love. After talking to his better half I was informed that their nuptuals were in fact happening very soon. So I decided that a proper send-off for my friend was in order.

I arranged a short notice bachelor party for him this week. Most of us in attendance have been to more than our share of these and in all honestly we’re a little old for the girl popping out of the cake routine. I figured just an opportunity for us to get together, BS, eat and drink a few beers was really all we needed. But seeing a pretty girl wouldn’t hurt any either. We may be older but we ain’t dead.

Winghouse bar

So I figured Winghouse would be a good place for us to go. They have enough variety of food that it should fit most peoples needs. They have about a dozen beers on tap and quite a few more in bottles. They also have a liquor license so shots are available as well as some mixed drinks. And there are plenty of flat screen tvs around so any sporting event we might have a particular interest in would be available for us to look at.

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The boys night out being photo bombed in the background.

If you have never been to Winghouse, it is very similar in concept to the popular Hooters chain of restaurants. Winghouse is not as nationally known as Hooters and outside of Florida and Texas I am unaware of any locations, but that doesn’t mean they won’t expand in the future. The main draw (foodwise) are the wings, which explains the name, but they also have other foods (burgers, sandwiches, fries, salads and other delicious selections. The wing sauces are pretty good and they have enough variety to satisfy most palettes, and you can mix the sauces to your liking. And considering that the only two Hooters restaurants near Gainesville havve closed, it’s really nice to have Winghouse in town.

I mentioned beers on tap above and they do have a few craft beers in that mix. Though I have not seen any changes in their draft selection in a while, they do have at least one local (Swamp Head) as well as a couple of others (at the Gainesville location Sam Adams, Fat Tire, Magic Hat, Goose Island, and Blue Moon – please don’t pick up the Blue Moon controversy here).

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And like Hooters, Winghouse employs young women as their wait staff, clad in garments that hug their figures very closely. But they also have a great attitude and a friendly disposition.

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Sorry… I spaced out there for a moment.

One of my friends was in the hospital a while back so I bought him one of the Winghouse calendars and asked one of the waitresses who worked there and made it into the calendar (Kendall pictured below) if I could take her picture for him. She not only posed for the pic but as I recall wrote a little get well note in the calendar for him.

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Kendall with the signed calendar

When Swamp Head Brewery was at their original location, I used to stop by Winghouse almost on a weekly basis as they were on the way back. Since Swamp Head has moved I don’t make it by Winghouse as frequently, but that doesn’t lessen my opinion of their food or service.

This visit was another good example.

We sat around philosophying, drinking back cold drinks and eating. I motioned the waitress over and whispered that my friend was getting hitched and I wondered if there was anything they can do for the occasion. I know for birthdays they will usually gather the wait staff around the individual and sing and clap a little birthday ditty. She said she would see what she could do.

After a bit the waitress walked out with two large scoops of ice cream, each topped with a marachino cherry, and both with chocolate drizzled over them. She said this desert is called “The last strange pair of boobies you will ever see!”

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That kind of fun humor is the atmosphere you usually find at Winghouse. The food is good, the service is good and the scenery is great.

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