Watts for Dinner: Stonewall’s takes me back to college

Will Watts

From the moment you step inside Stonewall’s you get a sense of the familiar. The decorations, the smiling faces and the food choices. It reminds me of the “popular” campus eatery. So, for this week’s dining adventure, we are headed back to college.

The side Cesar salad at Stonewall's, Marco Island.

First stop is the electronic menu board, two flat screen TV’s with dinner options and photos of the food. There’s also a chalk board with the soups and specials. And if you still want more, you can order anything off the lunch menu – hard copies can be provided.

Stop number two, ordering at the register. All entrees come with a soup, salad or additional side. There’s a handy little placard with your options. Order and pay and proceed to your table. From this point forward, you will be served.

I don’t mind standing in line to order. And even as indecisive as I am, it’s good not to have to wait for a waiter. You are the master of your domain. The only issue I have with paying up front is you must decide on a gratuity amount before you know anything about the food or service. Good for regulars, I suppose. Tragic for newbies.

The chicken puttanesca at Stonewall's, Marco Island.

At least you pick a percent and the machine does the math. And you electronically sign the receipt with your finger. Handy. No paper! Yes!

We decided to share a pulled-pork flatbread and chose cole slaw as the side – as it is an entrée. I was expecting square; I got round. It looked like a small pizza. But let’s face it, flatbreads and pizzas are cousins after all.

The pulled pork was amazing and would make a fantastic sandwich. The crust was very crisp. I highly recommend Stonewall’s flatbreads.

For my main dish, I picked the meatloaf special. It was served with brown gravy and it was two medium-sized medallions. It came with mashed potatoes and broccoli. For my additional side, I took the Cesar salad.

The pulled pork flatbread and cole slaw at Stonewalls, Marco Island.

There was nothing wrong with the flavor and I ate every morsel. But it felt more like Salisbury steak than meatloaf. I need ketchup, bread crumbs, etcetera, otherwise.

My partner in dine picked the chicken puttanesca. Winner! Winner! Big chunks of all-white meat, loads of veggies and a very tasty, tomato-y sauce. My compliments to the chef.

Some other nice features. You are handed plastic cups at the beginning and the drinks are unlimited. There’s tea, a soda fountain and a juice bar. Select tables have flat screens. And any manner of dress is appropriate, as long as you’re dressed.

The meatloaf special with mashed potatoes and broccoli at Stonewall's, Marco Island.

Stonewalls. Good food, casual dining and a friendly atmosphere – not to mention a walk down memory lane.

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551 S Collier Blvd., Marco Island