Goodland, Florida is a tiny, waterfront village on the Gulf of Mexico opposite Marco Island, and it’s all about serious fishing. A colorful trailer park sits on the water’s edge, as do many of the houses, which run the gamut from modest to quite nice indeed. Regardless of which kind of abode you spend your time in, if you’re staying in. Goodland, you’re probably a die-hard fisherperson! If your idea of a perfect vacation involves catching and gutting, then you’ll love it here. One of the highlights of Goodland? Sundays at Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant.
Stan’s is known for their rockin’ Sunday afternoon party, where people from all over come for beer, live music, dive-bar food, and more beer. The place stays packed from 1:00pm to 6:00pm, with the party crowd getting their groove on to a mix of country and classic rock music performed live by quite talented local bands. Your dress code? Cut off shorts, jeans and tank tops, t-shirts, golf shirts, straw cowboy hats, baseball caps, and anything Harley Davidson.
A police cruiser waits patiently across the small street, watching for the extremely drunk (of which there may be just a few). The officers are clearly used to the happy chaos in front of them, and appeared to be enjoying the people-watching as much as the rest of us.
If you were paying attention, you probably picked up that I said “dive bar”. Dive bar food is the most frustrating for us, as they generally don’t have anything that we can eat! They’re all full of yummy deep-fried food, fried in their nightmarishly cross-contaminated fryers. And there’s glutinous beer all over the bars, drink fixings out in the open where the madhouse of patrons stick their glutinous hands all over everything, making us curse our disease once again.
So, if you find yourself at Stan’s on a Sunday, here’s what you’ll see (note the outdoor drink and eat areas. Look with your eyes and don’t touch anything!)
But all is not lost: you can grab your drinks upstairs in the indoor bar,
which is quieter, and easier to make sure that your drink was prepared without beer-glutened fingers touching your ice. The bartender was quite nice about making sure my drinks were made cleanly. Then out I went to join the crowd!
A far as the menu goes, you can only have one thing: a basket of fresh, gulf peel’n’eat shrimp, hold the cross-contaminated fries. This is way better than the NOTHING that we’re used to getting at these kind of fine establishments.
Sadly, they were all out of shrimp by the late hour that I arrived there (not that I was expecting to be able to eat). The server did confirm to me that they were just chilled boiled shrimp, no seasoning, with a wedge of lemon on the side. But I still got my drink.