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.

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