It was Cinco de Mayo. And Taco Tuesday. Margarita Martes, too. So naturally we craved fish camp fare: fried clam strips, hush puppies, broiled shrimp and the like. So, while Phase 1 of Florida's Grand Reopening wreaked havoc at restaurants, I pulled up to Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen in Winter Park to satisfy the craving.
The phone was off the hook, so I had to pop my head into the restaurant to let the masked hostess know I was here for my curbside pickup. As I walked back to my car, a friendly server had my order ready.
- Photo via Reel Fish Coastal/Instagram
- The 'Fish Camp Classic'
Ten minutes later, I was home and digging into fried clams, broiled scallops, Florida shrimp and Atlantic cod. I popped those peppery pups into my mouth and scooped up a forkful or two of collards with it, too. Honestly, I was happy to see Reel Fish still serving – Winter Park Fish Co. just down the road has been closed throughout the pandemic.
Fred Thimm, owner of Reel Fish, says they've survived on takeout and delivery the past two months, but only via "draconian and unsustainable methods to reduce overhead." Thimm adds, "Guests have inspired us with their loyalty and support." Viva la nueva normal.
(Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen and Bar, 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407- 543-3474, reelfishcoastal.com)
This story appears in the May 13, 2020, print edition of Orlando Weekly. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider supporting this free publication with a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.