‘Watts for Dinner’: Idle hands find a home in Goodland

Will Watts
The view from our table at Stan's Idle Hour, Goodland.

It’s widely known that Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland is a place to have a good time. Live music? Check! Off-the-wall characters? Check! Plenty to drink? you betcha!

But what about the food? After all, that’s what I’m all about. As Stan’s gets ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend, we set out to answer that important question.

Fried catfish and sweet potato fries from Stan's Idle Hour, Goodland.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the conch fritters (six total) ($10), the best I’ve had outside the Conch Republic of Key West. They’re served with the smoothest tartar sauce around and they’re definitely not health food. 

Conch is a big part of the Bahamian diet. It’s eaten raw in salads, made into burgers, chowders, fritters and even gumbo.

For my main entree, I ordered the fried catfish ($10 as a sandwich) ($12 as a basket) with sweet potato fries. The meat was super white and missing that muddy taste that most catfish has, but that’s not a complaint. Heck no! The crust was crispy and golden brown. The inside was flakey, albeit a little oily. The sweet potato fries were amazing. Thinly cut and worth the extra $2 (instead of regular fries).

Conch fritters from Stan's Idle Hour, Goodland.
Fish tacos and onion rings from Stand Idle Hour, Goodland.
The Miami Vice from Stan's Idle Hour, Goodland.

The dish also came with the obligatory slaw. It was not as creamy as I usually like, but the addition of a little tartar sauce fixed that right up.

My partner in dine order the fish tacos (two for $13) with slaw and fries; add the aforementioned sweet potato fries or onion rings for $2 more, He went with the latter.

The crispy chunks of fish are served on flour tortillas with pico de gallo, cheddar cheese and slaw. They were quickly devoured.

The onion rings were masterful. a large greasy delight. Just what you want in an onion ring.

But between you and me, the star of the show was a little drink called the Miami Vice, a mix of piña colada and strawberry daiquiri. It’s a decadent way to drink your cares away. 

Stan Gober, may he rest in peace, no longer presides over the party. But the seeds he’s sewn continue to reap good times for all who wish to partake. And I imagine that’s just the way he intended it.

The 50th anniversary celebration will honor 35 years of Buzzard Queens, appointed royalty from the Mullet Fest, the one with the Buzzard Lope, a popular local dance and song.

So, let me just say, happy birthday to a Goodland icon. Here’s to 50 more.

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Stan’s Idle Hour

  • 221 Goodland Drive, Goodland
  • stansidlehour.net
  • 239-394-3041