‘Watts for Dinner’: Stan’s of Goodland – Great fun, spectacular seafood and libations

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is as unique as the community it sits in, Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland.

The restaurant and entertainment venue is unique in that it remains family owned (it opened in 1969). It’s home to the Sunday FUN-day, the Mullet Festival and the Buzzard Lope dance.

We don’t usually discuss drinks in this column, but this week is an exception. Sitting on the bay on a breezy late afternoon, the libations beckon.

We had the “Frozen Mudslide” ($13) featuring Stoli vanilla, Kahlua and Baileys. This is an awesome drink! One of the best I’ve ever had. And unlike many frozen drinks at some places, this one is strong. The occasional drinker can get buzzed on just one. I highly recommend this drink!

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We also ordered two appetizers, the mozzarella sticks ($7.50), you get five sticks and marinara for dipping, and the popcorn shrimp with cocktail sauce ($7.50). Both were solid performers. The shrimp were very crispy and delish!

For his main entrée, my dining companion had the soft-shell crab platter ($21). It’s a beautiful dish. You can have waffle fries, sweet potato fries or rice and beans and slaw. The fresh crab looked amazing, lightly fried and fragrant. It earned high marks. I highly recommend this dish. It’s a don’t miss.

I had skipped lunch and decided to fulfil a craving during this early evening meal, selecting the tuna salad sandwich ($10).

The bread was toasted and the sandwich came with lettuce, onion and tomato on the side. And it really hit the spot. A Goldilocks sandwich … it was just right. Not too much or too little of anything. You might be saying, but it’s just tuna. Well, tuna can be tricky! Simple demands perfection. Nobody wants to mess up a tuna salad sandwich.

It’s been a while since we last visited Stan’s. But I recall some standout dishes from that visit. For example,  the conch fritters, the best I’ve had outside the Conch Republic of Key West. They’re served with the smoothest tartar sauce around. Then there’s the fried catfish as a sandwich or a basket with sweet potato fries. The meat is super white and missing that muddy taste that most catfish have! The crust was crispy and golden brown. The inside was flakey, albeit a little oily. The sweet potato fries were amazing. Not to mention the fish tacos with slaw and fries. Yum! The onion rings are masterful. a large greasy delight. Just what you want in an onion ring.

To sum it up, Stan’s is a great place for fresh seafood!

But between you and me, we’ll end how we started, with a drink! The Miami Vice, a mix of piña colada and strawberry daiquiri, is a decadent way to drink your cares away. Happy eating (and drinking)!

Prices indicate time of visit and may vary. 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 Harbor Place North, Goodland