Friday, August 30, 2013

Nicole at Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille, Lakeland, Florida

Nicole- Your friendly Harry's bartender
We all love to celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday.  We can't always make it to New Orleans. Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille gives us the food, drinks and fun we want to experience without the long car ride to Louisiana.  

The motto at Harry's is: 
"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulerwhich means "Let the Good Times Roll."  

A Florida only restaurant, Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille has five locations throughout the state.  As a Florida girl, I have eaten at all of them: Tallahassee, St. Augustine, Ocala, Gainesville and Lakeland.  

Kettle One Dirty Martini with blue cheese stuffed olives
It is hard to resist the delicious fresh bread and garlic butter they provide customers!

The Lakeland location has something very special going on...a talented bartender, named Nicole.

Nicole has always lived in Lakeland and takes pride in her bartending position at Harry's.  

She has been a bartender for Harry's for over two years and worked at Harry's for over three years.

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: "I have to say I really love a good Kettle One dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives."

Mouth-watering Cajun dishes available in Lakeland
Q: What makes Harry's in Lakeland so special?
A: "The location is ideal. Located in downtown Lakeland, there is plenty to do around the restaurant.  

Also, it is across the street from the Historic Terrace Hotel.  This gives hotel visitors the opportunity to just walk over for a quality, Cajun food and drinks."

Try a draft beer with your jambalaya. 
Q: Why do you love bartending?
A: "Since I have only lived in Lakeland, I really enjoy meeting travelers from other cities and states.  

Just tonight we had an attorney from New York City here on business and even a construction manager in town from Ft. Meyers.

I have small kids so being able to have adult conversations while working is so terrific. The schedule works out perfectly so that I can spend the day with my children then come to work at night.  

Also, surprisingly bartending is a great workout! I am constantly lifting and moving around.

Q: What is an ingredient you love to use?
A: "Mint because it makes drinks taste very fresh." 

Fresh Mojito martini with mint. 

Q: What is one of your favorite drinks to make?
A: "Definitely a mudtini...who can resist chocolate milk, syrup and vodka!

Q: What do you toast to?
A: "A date night with my wonderful husband!

Pomegranate martinis made fresh just for you. 

Harry's has many drink specials including:

Happy Hour every day from 2pm-7pm

Monday- 1/2 off all bottles of wine

Tuesday- Fat Tuesday- 1/2 off all drinks all day

Wednesday- 1/2 off martinis all day

Harry's Seafood Bar & Grill is open from 11 am- 10 pm from Sunday to Thursday.  And open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Visit Nicole at Harry's on Wednesday and Sundays. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 2013- Scott Clark at The Mullet Hole Tavern

The Mullet Hole Tavern has only been open a few weeks and it is already receiving rave reviews for their local, fresh seafood and their delicious cocktails.  

Red wine & Homemade Buffalo Mozzarella are a great combo!
Not only do they serve local seafood but everywhere you look, you are surrounded by historic Crystal River memorabilia.  

Scott is without a doubt, an asset to The Mullet Hole Tavern. He greets you with a smile as soon as you walk in the door. Plus, he is very talented at making unique cocktails! 

Q: How long have you worked here?
A: "Since they opened a few weeks ago. I have really enjoyed the customers and the nice work environment."  

The signature Mullet Dip and white wine

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: "I love a good Pilsner beer. Pilsner is a pale lager.  My favorite is German-style Pilsner because it has a more earthy taste."

Q: What are some of your favorite drink recipes?
A: "I love to make martinis.  We offer a wide variety of martinis here at Mullet Hole. Some of my favorites to make are a quality dirty gin martini and the red mullet."

Q: How long have you been bartending?

A: "For over 10 years.  I really love being able to meet new people and experiment with recipes."

Q: Where are you from?
A: "Akron, Ohio.  I moved to Florida because of family but it has been a good decision.  I really love motorcycle rides so the weather is ideal for me!"

Q: What do you think makes The Mullet Hole Tavern unique?
A: "The atmosphere is awesome.  The owners really put a lot of thought into it when they designed it.  It is a completely local feel. The owner grew up in Crystal River and wanted to give back to the community by opening the restaurant. Also, we have over 12 scotches available!"

Q: Do you have a favorite ingredient?
A: "I really like using vodka.  It is really versatile for making fun, different drinks.  You can pretty much add any flavor or mixer to it and it can turn out delicious."

Q: What do you toast to?

A: "I toast to a good day out on the bike!" 

Scorpion Tails will give you a tasty kick. They are great with a lite beer.

The Mullet Hole Tavern is located in downtown Crystal River, Florida. They are opened all seven days of the week.  Just make sure you make a reservation if visiting on a Friday or Saturday evening.  

Call 352-564-0902.

Like them on Facebook! 

Visit their website to view the menu.

Mullet Hole Tavern on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 2013- Kaylie Duncan at Pure Country Bar and Grill

June Bartender of the Month- Kaylie Duncan

Pure Country Bar and Grill is the new country hot spot in Crystal River, Florida.  It features a country atmosphere with mouth-watering barbecue. 

Kaylie started working at Pure Country the first night they opened.  She is a country girl through and through with superb bartending skills.  

Pair a Crown and Coke with Steak Tips

Born and raised in Citrus County, she loves being able to wear boots and belt buckles to work.

The first time Kaylie served me, I was impressed.  As soon as we sat at the bar, she asked us what we wanted.  She kept an eye out so we never had to tell her we needed refills. Pure Country is lucky to have Kaylie.

One of Kaylie's favorite songs is one you will definitely hear at Pure Country- "Kick It In the Sticks" by Brantley Gilbert:

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Crown and Red Bull.

Q: What is one of your favorite drink recipes?
A: I really love making Long Island Ice Teas.  There are so many different ingredients, it truly is an art to make a delicious one!

Q: How long have you been a bartender?
A: Five years.  My first bartending job was at ClawDaddy's.  Ray Bass, the owner of ClawDaddy's and Pure Country, has always been a terrific boss.  I still work at ClawDaddy's a few nights a week as well.  Both atmospheres are relaxed. They are both locals favorite spots.

Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Inverness. I have always lived in Citrus County.  I just love it here! I don't know why anyone would ever want to leave.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: As much as I love bartending, I know I can't bartend for the rest of my life.  In a few years, I plan on attending radiation school.  I look forward to having a career in the medical field.

The girls at Pure Country Bar and Grill

Q: What do you think makes Pure Country Bar and Grill so special?
A: The newly remodeled country atmosphere is awesome! The barbecue is really delicious. The location is great because we will be able to have big country events out in the back, such as mudding.

Q: Do you have a favorite ingredient?
A: I have found that Peach Schnapps is an easy addition to a drink recipe. It adds a lot of flavor!

Q: What do you like to toast to?
A: I love toasting to girls night out! Having a night away from the boys makes me really appreciate my friendships!

Visit Kaylie at Pure Country on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Pure Country offers $1 drafts and 2-4-1 wells every day from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM.   Every Wednesday, ladies can drink for free from 9:00 PM to 12:00 AM.  

Check out their menu:

Pure Country Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 2013- Josh at Ike's Old Florida Kitchen

Withlacoochie River
Enjoy a strawberry daiquiri and a view of the 
Withlacoochie River at Ike's

Take a turn from US Hwy 19 onto Follow That Dream Parkway. You will discover a hidden treasure on the Withlacoochie River with a very talented bartender- Joshua Simmons at Ike's Old Florida Kitchen.

Ike's provides customers quality drinks and delicious food not to mention an incredible view of the river. Visit Ike's for a true Old Florida experience.
Pan seared scallops with fresh mango salsa available at Ike's 
The historic restaurant was first built in 1924 as the Izaak Walton Lodge.  It hosted many celebrities and even a president or two. In 1961, Elvis filmed the movie Follow That Dream on the beaches of Yankeetown.  Check out the video to see Elvis singing the official "Follow That Dream" song.

Tom Petty's uncle was involved in the production of the film. Tom, 11 years old at the time, met Elvis.  After his meeting, Tom swapped his slingshot for this friend's Elvis records-the beginning of the dream of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Josh serves up delicious drinks at Ike's

Originally from Crystal River, Florida, Josh has been working at Ike's Old Florida Kitchen for a few years now.  He recently graduated from University of South Florida, with a degree in Economics.  Josh started his bartending career in 2009 during his summers off from college.  

You better stop by to see him this summer because he is starting his graduate degree this fall in either New York, Boston or Tampa to do like Elvis did and "Follow That Dream."

Pair up the Stump Knocker Pale Ale 
with the Ike's cheeseburger with bacon

Q: What is one of your favorite drinks?
A: "I love craft beers.  One of my favorites, we have on tap here, the Swamp Head Stump Knocker Pale Ale."

Q: What is a popular drink served at Ike's Old Florida Kitchen?
A: "Many people love our traditional straight up vodka or gin martinis. I make a lot dirty martinis and gibsons."

grouper reuben, ike's old florida
Try a straight up vodka martini 
with this grouper reuben sandwich
Q: What do you think makes Ike's Old Florida Kitchen so special?
A: "The ambiance, the history and the view.  You just can't compete with what we offer here for a true Old Florida experience. Also, we provide guests with a boat tour on the Withlacoochie River."  

Q: Is there an ingredient you like to use?
A: "Grenadine.  It is a great ingredient to use because it is both sweet and tart.  It also adds a lot of color.  Interestingly enough, grenadine was originally prepared from pomegranate juice, sugar and water."

Josh serving up the Ike's River Brew

Q: What is a drink that you serve that most would not know of?
A: "The Ike's River Brew. The beer is one of a kind and you can only find it here and at Neon Leon's Zydeco Steakhouse in Homosassa, Florida.  

It was a beer that the legendary Leon Wilkeson from the
leon wilkeson, lynard skynard
Leon Wilkeson from Lynard Skynard
Lynard Skynard Band
 created years ago.  Originally, it was called Rock and Roll beer, featuring rock legends to include Elvis and others.  The owner of Ike's and Neon Leons, Mitch Simmons, is Wilkeson's nephew. He was able to ask Miller Coors to provide it as a draft for the two locations." 

Q: What is your cure for a hangover?
A: What works the best for me is a homemade Bloody Mary. We offer a delicious one here at Ike's.

Q: What do you toast to?
A: I toast to friends.  I look forward to toasting to all of the new friends I will meet when I start my graduate degree this Fall!

Look for the Follow That Dream sign

Visit Ike's Old Florida Kitchen website or Facebook page. They are open Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 am- 9:00 pm.  You can make reservations by calling (352) 447-4899. Find Josh bartending Thursday through Sunday.

Ike's Old Florida Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Information from Wikipedia.
Leon Wilkeson photo courtesy of Pure Southern Rock.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 2013- Shelly, Plantation West 82 Bar and Grill

dirty martini
Dirty Martini made by Shelly
Every Thursday night, I put on my heels, a favorite dress and head to Plantation on Crystal River.  

They  host a magnificent $5 martini night at their West 82 Bar & Grill.  

The drinks are spectacular.  The ambiance is classy and the view of the river is one of the best in town. I always order the dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives.  It is by far the best one I have ever had! 

Located directly on the Crystal River, if you feel the urge to sit by the river while drinking your martini, they will even provide you with a plastic martini glass! Or if you are on the boat, fishing, scalloping or swimming with the manatees stop by their tiki bar.
Crystal River, FL
One of the best views of Crystal River!

But not just anyone can make a good martini.  Plantation is fortunate enough to have a talented, experienced bartender- Shelly.  Not only is Shelly a tremendous bartender, she is passionate about Plantation.
Plantation on Crystal River
Shelly works Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Plantation on Crystal River
"After owning and operating my own business it was hard to find a place that shared my standards for great service. Then I found Plantation."

Shelly has been a Florida girl the last twenty years and a Plantation girl the last two years.  She grew up outside of Albany and does not miss the snow! 

"I fell in love with the water and people in Crystal River."

Plantation on Crystal River
Plantation serves a variety of handmade cocktails.
Q: What is one of the most popular drinks served at Plantation?
A: "The Plantation Punch- Captain Morgan, Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, mango, orange and passion fruit rum, a splash of orange juice and pineapple juice, a splash of grenadine, and topped with Myer's Original Dark Rum floater.  It is a favorite at the tiki bar especially during the summer."

Q: How long have you been a bartender?
A: "For six years. When my husband and I owned a restaurant, I really began to appreciate the art of bartending.  I started concocting my own special recipes.  Now, at Plantation, I use my experiences to make the best drinks for our customers."

Q: What do you think makes Plantation on Crystal River special?
A: "The resort has a genuine enthusiasm to please the guests.  Within the past few years, I have seen how patrons grow to love the resort more and more.  All the staff is like a family.  We work together to be a top team for our customers."

plantation on crystal river
Get there before 6pm (Monday- Thursday)
for delicious early bird specials.
Shown : Grilled Skewer Shrimp
Q: Do you have favorite ingredient?
A: "Yes! I love making drinks with mango.  Visitors love a good cocktail with mango, especially after swimming with the manatees and boating all day."

Q: What is a drink that most would not know of?
A: "I make a drink called the Southern Cucumber.  It is a whisky drink with lemonade and cucumbers.  It is very refreshing!"

plantation on crystal river
Order the Fresh Pecan Encrusted Mahi
served with asparagus off of the dinner
menu to help prevent a hang over.

Q: What is a suggested hangover cure?
A: "The newest cure according to scientists is asparagus.  Apparently, you can either eat it before, during or after for results. We have many dinner menu items that include asparagus."

Q: What do you toast to?
A: "I toast to relationships and success. I could toast to my happiness every day!"

Make sure you stop by Plantation on Crystal River for custom made drinks by Shelly.  You can find her there Thursdays for martini night. And working the tiki bar Fridays and Saturdays. You won't be disappointed!

Find West 82 and Plantation on Crystal River on Facebook!

Plantation Room on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 2013- Morgan Cook, ClawDaddy's, Crystal River, Florida

“Morgan of ClawDaddy’s is about as cool as a bucket of ice” Ray Bass, owner of ClawDaddy’s, said one lazy spring afternoon. 

Morgan who is the bartender at ClawDaddy’s in Crystal River is a down home girl where according to her- nothing is cooler than country. 

Growing up in Floral City as a sixth generation cattle farmer you are more likely to see her sipping a Bud Light Platinum than any one of the shots or mixed drinks she is serving up Thursday through Monday at ClawDaddy’s in Crystal River.

1.  How long have you worked for ClawDaddy’s?
“Two years”

2. What is your favorite drink?
“Bud Light Platinum”

3. What are some of your favorite drink recipes?
“I love making Georgia Peaches, Johnny Vegas Shots, or Vegas Bombs”

4.  How long have you been a bartender?
“Year and a half”

5. Where are you from?
Floral City, where I am a sixth generation cattle farmer”

6. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
“On a cattle farm raising cattle and growing Tifton hay”

7. How did you end up bartending?
“I was working for a doctor and was tired of sitting behind a desk”

8. What do you think makes ClawDaddy’s special?
“The food is good. It’s a fun atmosphere with free wifi and everyone is friends”

9.  Do you have a favorite ingredient?
“Peach Schnapps! If I can add Peach Schapps then it’s going in”

10. Do you have a hangover cure?
“Sure do, don’t stop drinking!”

11.  What do you toast to?
“Friends and memories”

Again, you can find Morgan behind the bar of ClawDaddy’s, on US 19 in Crystal River, Thursday through Monday. Make sure to tell her you want one of her famous Johnny Vegas shots! 

Claw Daddy's Raw Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

February Bartender of the Month- Brittany Kellner, Lollygaggers, Crystal River, FL

Q: What is your name?
Brittany serving me a drink at Lollygaggers
A: Brittany Kellner

Q: Since it is February, what is a drink you recommend for February 14th:
A: Victoria's Secret- a pink drink composed of vodka, melon liquor, sprite/zero, maraschino cherry

Q: Where are you from?
A: Crystal River, Florida

Q: How old are you?
A: I graduated high school in 2007.

Q: Tell me about yourself.
A: I love cosmetology. I have a massage and hair license.  But I love being a bartender.  It is so much fun and...well... the money is pretty good too.  Before I moved back to Crystal River, I was a Coyote.  You know...I worked at Coyote Ugly in Tampa. I love to bartend!

Q: What hours do you work?
A: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays 10-5 and a server on Friday nights. Come visit me!

Q: How long have you worked at Lollygaggers in Crystal River?
A: 1 year, 3 months or so.

Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Rumrunner.

Q: How long have you been a bar tender?
A: About 4 years.  I was with one of my girlfriends a lot and she seemed to be living pretty happily.  So I asked her what she was doing and she got me the position as a bartender.

Q: What do you toast to?
A: Good health! So many people in my family are unhealthy so we always toast to healthiness! So drink a Bloody Mary!

Lollygaggers Hours:
Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Lollygaggers Sports Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon