It may be the only bingo hall in the world where you can order a Southern-style fish dinner with Abraham Lincoln playing "Walk the Line" on an accordion in the background.
First-timers stand out, but the regulars at the Dunedin-Palm Harbor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2550's Friday Night Fish & Shrimp Fry are quick to welcome every one.
"Is this your first time?" said an elderly woman who brings food to the table.
The response was yes.
"Oh," a big smile spread across her face. "You're gonna be ..."
She paused, looking for just the right word, but it didn't come. So she expounded, "Some people come every week. They make this their Friday."
It has all the makings of a backyard fish fry, but it's indoors past the dimly-lit bar, around the corner, past the pool table and in the bingo hall.
Order at the counter and take a seat at one of the plastic fold-out tables or in the other room at the bar. Someone will bring your food to you when it's ready.
The fish fillets are substantial portions, easily the size of an NFL football player's hand, and battered in a Southern-style cornmeal-based flour and deep fried to order.
The typical plate comes with a serving of Cajun-seasoned French fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce. Drinks can be ordered at the bar.
The cook said he easily goes through about 60 pounds of white fish a night.
While you wait, Abraham Lincoln — yes, that's his real name — plays classic oldies, like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers and Chubby Checker, in a way never heard before on an accordion.
"Even though it's rustic, it's the best fish," said a welcoming woman named Ann (or Anne?). "I come here every week."
Ann kindly retrieved condiments for some newcomers, even though she was a patron. Soon Abraham Lincoln played a song and she sung along. He lives in her condo, she explained.
"You'll have to come back," Ann said as she got up to leave around 6:30 p.m. "This is a fun place to spend a Friday night."
Want to Go?
- When: Every Friday night from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Where: Dunedin-Palm Harbor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2550, 360 Douglas Ave (across from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium).
- Parking: Plenty of parking available for free
- Menu: Single piece fish, $7; Double piece fish, $9; Combo (one fish and four shrimp), $10; All shrimp (10 shrimp), $10. All meals served with fries, slaw, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.
- Tips: Accepted
- Friday Fish Dinners in Dunedin
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