We are south of I-10 and heading home again on that ribbon of highway that leads straight to Tampa. Gus, my faithful gun-metal gray pick-up, has rolled along this stretch of I-75 many times, so we just sit back and enjoy the road signs advertising all that central Florida has to offer: Cheesy resorts and amusement parks, burger doodles, the containment compound for the Rick Scotties (The Villages, if you have to ask), the T&A cultural establishments, and...oh,wait! We just blew past a sign hawking a seafood grill.
My bride and I were on our way home after a pleasant, albeit frigid, couple of days on Tybee Island meeting friends and enjoying the island's Restaurant Week. We had been on the road for several hours and were getting just a tad hungry. We wanted something a little more substantial than a grease burger, so that seafood grill sounded good. But, where the heck is it? A few miles farther down the road we saw another sign, "Wahoo Seafood Grill Exit 390 to the left, Easy exit and return."
I told my navigator to keep her eyes peeled for exit 390. She told me not to get all lathered up, because we just passed exit 495. Damn! We're not even close. It turns out the 390 is one of the exits to Gainesville, and we had a way to go. So we cranked up the tunes and tried not to get killed in the madness that is south-bound I-75 traffic.
Finally exit 390! We took the off ramp and came to a stop light. My navigator hollered, "Don't turn left!" Pointing, she exclaimed, "There's the Wahoo, just ahead on the right." Traffic was light, so I was able to make a lane change without causing an accident, and I turned right, then across the roadway, and down an embankment to the Wahoo. I have no idea where a left turn would have taken us, but it wouldn't have been where we wanted to go. "Holy crap, we made it," I muttered as we pulled in to the parking lot.
The Wahoo, 3833 NW 97th Boulevard, appears to be either new or newly remodeled, with clean stylish decor exuding southern charm. But, enough with the decor, already. We needs a couple of medicinal beers. Upon entering, we were escorted to a booth by the hostess who said our server would be with us soon. Soon was a long time coming, and if my bride hadn't scouted around for one, we probably never would have gotten a beer, or anything else for that matter.
We did get our beers, a couple of Yuenglings, and our food orders were taken.
My bride, who doubles as the trip navigator, had the absolutely divine house-made, Zagat rated, 1/2 pound burger with cheddar cheese, and a side of fries. She wouldn't share that juicy burger, but the fries that I was able to purloin were really good.
One of my favorite foods from the swamps and bogs is crawfish, so I chose the 1 pound serving of the best mudbugs that I can remember since a stop at Billy Goat Hill, Louisiana some years ago. I decided I needed some vegetation to go along with these freshwater crustaceans, so I added a serving of cold kale salad. The crawfish were savory and delicious, and the kale was an interesting salad with a light sesame oil dressing. Very healthful, I am sure.
I can't say I would drive to Gainesville for a meal at the Wahoo, but since it was on our way, it wasn't bad. Some of their prices for seafood buckets seemed more than a little high, especially compared to some we had recently experienced in Savannah.
Our food and beers came to $36.95 and we added 20% for our server. I should clarify that the service we received was good after the hostess bothered telling anyone that they had a table.