Island Bar and Grill

Local Places, Local Faces

Let’s go on an adventure.  To Ozello.  A wonderful windy drive in a sports car or motorcycle.  And a beautiful view.  While we are on our adventure, let’s stop for a late lunch.  Normally, we’d stop at Pecks Old Port Cove.  Yum!  But this time we were with friends Paul and Sue—in their van—and they like to try obscure bars and restaurants.  Kind of like that show on the Food Network “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives”.  So we went to the Island Bar and Grill on Ozello Trail.  Fun!

Island Bar and Grill

Now a reporter would have got the whole story about this place.  But I’m just an observer.  So here’s what I observed. Crazy fun décor.  A very cool tiki bar in the middle of a former convenience store.  Friendly server, cook, and kitchen guy.

Island Bar and Grill

Let’s go on an adventure.  To Ozello.  A wonderful windy drive in a sports car or motorcycle.  And a beautiful view.  While we are on our adventure, let’s stop for a late lunch.  Normally, we’d stop at Pecks Old Port Cove.  Yum!  But this time we were with friends Paul and Sue—in their van—and they like to try obscure bars and restaurants.  Kind of like that show on the Food Network “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives”.  So we went to the Island Bar and Grill on Ozello Trail.  Fun!

Terry had wings.  Yum!  He loved them–especially since they were dry rub.  I had jalapeño poppers.  Double Yum! Both Sue and I also got the deep-fried fish sandwich.  (I can feel my arteries clogging!) Paul had the shrimp basket—fried, of course.  And island bar beer is only $1.00 all the time.  Seriously.  They even have free wireless.

Island Bar and Grill

So my advice, next time you are looking for a culinary adventure and a fun drive, stop at Island Bar and Grill.  Maybe Guy Fieri will be there!


Fishing Tournaments in Old Homosassa

Homosassa River
County Boat Ramp on the Homosassa River

Besides great restaurants and bars, Old Homosassa is known for its fishing.  Living within a mile of Old Homosassa, we visit MacRae’s and Homosassa Riverside Resort quite often.  Terry, Maggie, and I also enjoy riding our bikes to the county boat ramps and watching anglers setting out in their boats. 

This is the season for fishing tournaments, the weather is great and the fish are biting, even if you don’t choose to be in one, it’s fun to watch the anglers set out plus there are usually special events besides fishing.

The 7thannual m-m-m-Mel Tillis and Friends Fishing tournament was held successfully last weekend with net proceeds donated to the Shriners Hospitals For Children.   

There are two big fishing tournaments coming up in Old Homosassa.  The first is on April 27th and 28th. The Citrus County Builders Association’s 18th Annual Family Fishing Tournament held in conjunction with and The Annual Aaron Monier Youth Tournament sponsored by Youth Partner Coastal Conservation Association-Citrus hosted by the Homosassa Riverside Resort.   A portion of the proceeds benefit the Aaron A Weaver Chapter 776 Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The second is the 29th Annual Cobia Big Fish Tournament at MacRae’s of Homosassa on June 8th and 9th. Terry actually took part in this a few years ago.  There are a crazy amount of boats, all headed out to get that big fish.  Some of the proceeds from this tournament go to Homosassa Elementary, Citrus Abuse Shelter Association, Citrus United Basket, Boys & Girls Club, area servicemen overseas, Daystar Life Center, Homosassa Baptist Church, and their scholarship fund for Central Florida Community College.

Fishing Tournaments
2011 Annual Big Fish Tournament

We intend to be there taking photos of the tournaments and supporting these worthy causes.  Check it out!


The Great Chicken Wing Quest

I really try to put a positive spin on all my adventures, especially ones I do for the Chronicle Online.  If you read my post last week, you may have thought that it was rather bland.  I’m not a restaurant critic so I try to keep my personal opinions to myself—at least on the Chronicle!

My Chronicle Online Blog post was about our quest for the best chicken wing place in Citrus County.  Our first stop was the Cove Pub and Grub in Inverness.  I had been to the Cove many years ago, before they built the new one.  I remember having a great time. 

On this visit we went there with two other couples.  We’d had a fun day of checking out Lake Pana and all its fish camps, bars and restaurants.  The Cove was supposed to be the highlight of the tour.  We got there about 3 pm and we were practically the only ones in the place.  The server acted like she was doing us a favor by waiting on us.  We may have been on the loud side because we were all very happy, but hey, this is a bar!  Not fine dining. 

Most of us ordered wings, fries, and beer.  How hard can that be?  It took forever for the food to come out, there wasn’t much there, and it really wasn’t all that great.  When another group of six came in, they were seated right next to us.  Really?  This place is huge. 

Quest for the Perfect Chicken Wing Place
The Cove

We  joked with the other group (they had cake so we wanted to be friends).  One of the women resembled Paula Deen so everyone started calling her that and she was funny until she suddenly asked me my political affilitation.  When I replied, this woman turned UGLY!  I’m not putting her picture here because I’m afraid she’ll track me down and set fire to Perfect.   I have fears. 

A few weeks later Terry and I went to Lollygaggers on 19 just south of Crystal River.  We’ve been there a few times and it’s a really nice sports bar with a lot of TVs.  Although we made sure we went after the lunch rush, the place was slammed.  And there was only one server besides the bartender.  She told us that they stay busy until 3 pm.  Although it was crazy in there, the server was pleasant and quickly took our orders.  It took a while for our wings to show up but I expected that since that’s got to be a little kitchen!  The wings were really good and our one order of fries was huge.  I would go back there again—just a little later in the day. 

Quest for the Perfect Chicken Wing Place
Yum, Wings at Lollygagers
Quest for the Perfect Chicken Wing Place

Last Thursday we finally made it to Coaches in downtown Inverness.  We have walked by this restaurant many times but never went in because the windows are all black–I really couldn’t tell what was in there.  But once we went through the doors, we were pleasantly surprised.  It’s very light and bright, has two pool tables, and 40 beers on draft!  And our server, Christine, was great.  There weren’t many other diners but we didn’t get there until about 2 pm.  I’m assuming most of their customers are from the courthouse and local businesses and lunch hour was long over.  Christine noticed my camera right away and after we had eaten our wings and drank our beer, we told her about the blog.  She was so sweet and let me take her picture.  In the future, when we are downtown Inverness, we will be going to Coaches.  And I think I’ll be taking Andrew, our future son-in-law, when he’s here in a few weeks.  40 BEERS ON DRAFT!

Quest for the Perfect Chicken Wing Place
Quest for the Perfect Chicken Wing Place
Christine, Best Server Ever!

And the quest continues…..