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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dinner Report: Hofbrau Beer Garden, Pier Park in PCB...

On Friday night my son had planned for us to check out a place called Pineapple Willy's near his apartment on Panama City Beach. We made the critical mistake of starting late and if the unbearable tourist traffic wasn't the first clue, the fact that we could not park in the regular or overflow parking lots was enough to convince us to move along.And we were glad we did. We drove down the road to a wonderful development called Pier Park. The mall portion of the place is a cut & paste of The Shoppes at La Cantera. Having never been myself, I can only take my son's word for it.The part I liked was closer to the beach and was full of bright and colorful buildings that to me, looked like a modern version of Main Street USA at Disney. I especially loved the fact that they had a carousel and little slingshot bouncy things for the toddlers. How cool is that?There was a wide selection of places to eat at but we opted for a German place called Hofbrau Beer Garden.If you have ever been to Germany or seen it on the Travel Network (as opposed to The History Channel), you immediately recognize the communal seating on long tables and the group participation in the entertainment. Its tough for even a reserved person like me to not be sucked into the clapping and laughing and yes, even Chicken Dancing that takes place during the eating of the vittles.My wife ordered the Fish & Frites and she was very happy with it. There was nothing bland about it at all. Not too spicy for her tastes, but certainly not bland. And I don't think it was fried at all. It was breaded, but there was no fried texture to it.My son and I both ordered some other fish plate - the name escapes me several days later and the online menu didn't offer a clue - but it was good. The fish was lightly breaded and highly seasoned giving it an almost Cajun kick to it. Had I known yellow squash would have been included with the vegetables I would have probably asked for something else, but surprisingly, it was all very, very good. Okay, I ate the zucchini but not the rest of the squash. We all were very satisfied with the food and my son and I each sampled a beer. He had the Hofbrau Original and I went with the Dunkel, the darker variety. Good stuff.To cap off the evening, we went into a club across the street called Tootsies where the house band was putting on a great show. The crowd is encouraged to participate because just up the road in Nashville, TN, the folks at the original Tootsies Orchid Lounge are watching a live feed from the PCB lounge. It was all quite cool, and with so many tourists and older folks, my wife and I didn't feel out of place.

I'm not sure how Pier Park pans out during the off season, but for our visit, the place was pretty sweet.


Rich said...

Super Dave - good review on the Hofbrau House. The musicians in your video are none other than Terry Cavanagh and Catie Offerman....from New Braunfels, TX. They're spending part of their summer at the HB Haus. http://www.terrycavanagh.com/

Dave said...

none other than Terry Cavanagh and Catie Offerman....from New Braunfels, TX

This explains a lot. They went nuts over a table of folks from Texas - if they said they were from New Braunfels, I missed it.

So I guess they are not Father and Daughter as my son thought but rather, Teacher and Student.

Thanks for the info!

brenty said...

I miss the grouper I'd get at Capt Andersen and going to Spinnikers II. Are these places still there?

Anonymous said...

Capt Andersen's and Spinnikers are still here, and still AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you the bad news:

A popular local country singer has died after an early morning traffic crash on County Road 388 at Burnt Mill Creek.

Billy Pierson, a regular performer at Tootsies Orchid Lounge in Panama City Beach, apparently ran off highway 388 early this morning.

He was thrown from his truck and killed.

His death has left a void at Tootsies as his friends and family mourn the loss.

Tootsies owner, Al Ross said "He was the type of guy that he would not let you not like him. You had to or he would just keep on until you did."

His death comes just as the 46 year old was about to make his way into the Nashville country music scene.

"He was leaving Sunday to go up to Nashville, to play and get him so more exposure...he needed to be a top entertainer, because he had all the ingredients," added Ross.

Pierson was the first performer hired when tootsies opened in Panama City Beach.

Ross said, "He looked great, he talked great and we hired him right there, and he was the first guy that we ever hired for Tootsies down there."

Just a couple of months ago Pierson reached a personal milestone in his music career.

"He said I want my picture down there at Tootsies, and I said well baby I'm going to do whatever I can to get it there because you've been doing a great job for us...I'll tell you how much we think of him we put his picture right beside the lady that started Tootsies...that's what he was most proud of. He loved it and it made him so happy."

Ross says Pierson leaves behind a legacy as a great entertainer, but more importantly as great guy.

"Do we replace him right away, no! We can't..."We got a picture right there our wall right there in front of the stage we're not going to forget him. He's going to be in our hearts forever," added Ross.

Tootsies plans on honoring Pierson tonight.

There's no word on funeral arrangements yet.

Dave said...

Wow, what a tragic loss. Only saw the guy perform once and he was outstanding. My son goes to Tootsies fairly often and always enjoyed the performances.

Sorry to hear about this.

Anonymous said...

Hey this is Catie Offerman, the fiddle player from the Hofbrau! I just stumbled acorss this site. This is great. I laughed watching the video!
I'm so glad you guys could come out to the show. We had a blast!!

Dave said...

Thanks for the comment. We really enjoyed the show!

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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