Alligators, vibrant music, hula-hoops, and an arcade. It’s clear that FudPucker’s attempts to amaze its guest before they even sit down to eat. Food is the main ingredient in a restaurant, however. What about the food? Is it good; or is the stylish atmosphere on the outside a cover-up for the unedible taste inside?
Kids hula-hoop to the music; as families talk, at the outdoor bar, nearby. I see someone with a Louisville hat on (my favorite basketball team). I ask him “Are you from there or do you just like the way they play?” Our families begin chatting about the team, the coach and his son moving back. The atmosphere is so welcoming, that talking to a stranger seems like talking to a friend. After the conversation, I begin looking around at this 4-story backyard. The second floor has a play-area for kids. The alligators are two stories below. I move towards them and notice that I can buy animal food or take a picture with the alligators on the floor just above. My mom and I first go to feed the alligators. An easy task since they’re in a pond. After feeding, we stand back and attempt to take pictures of them alone. Deciding to be brave, I go pay to have my picture taking with one. As I’m standing in-line my cousins, aunts, and little brother flash by. They stop for a second to ask, “Are you really about to do that?” “Of Course,” I say. I ask them why they’re rushing. My 14 yr-old brother shouts, “Arcade!” The multi-storied restaurant is capped off with a massive arcade attached to it.
My family sits in wooden benches that have writing on them. Following the crowd, we take the provided marker and sign our names too. As a writer, the first thing I notice is the newspaper on the table. I begin reading it and realize it is also the menu.
As FudPucker’s is a tourist destination, the food prices are a little steep. Our appetizer of Fried Dill Pickles cost $8.99. However, the appetizer is large enough to feed seven. I look for fish. $14.99 for one (1) piece of fish and $17.99 for two (2) pieces of fish. Time to utilize my eating out, but saving a buck tips.
- First, look for the main meat on the appetizer menu. Once the meat is found simply add a side.
- Second, try looking for the meal as a sandwiched option
Both of the above tips help to lower the price significantly. I find the sandwich (which comes with fries) for only $10.99 (with cheese and onion) or $9.99 (without cheese and onion). I opt for the sandwich which I also request as a wrap.
The fish is to be fried. Our waitress makes a mistake on my order bringing out a sandwich instead of a wrap. I realize it and make nothing of it. She realizes it and volunteers to take it back. I politely say, “I’ll just eat the sandwich.” Accompanying the bun are crispy lettuce, smooth onion, juicy tomato, and savory cheese. I add a little mustard, close the buns, and take a bite. Juicy toppings, crispy outside, soft-flaky middle; divine.
Our waitress is a one-woman show. She takes orders from all nine of us. She messes up only a little on my order. She’s working by herself, refilling our drinks before they reach half-empty, and making sure we are comfortable. The Fried Pickles appetizer is brought out five minutes after our order is placed. We’re wiping our mouths and our main course is brought out. “She’s working hard for her tip,” I whisper to my sister. That tip is 18% gratuity (multiplied by three separate checks). As we begin packing left-overs, the manager comes over and personally shakes my hand. He ask me about the mistake in my meal. Shocking, as I made no fuss about it. He says that our waitress told him about the mistake. I reply, “It’s fine. It was only a wrap versus a sandwich and she did a lovely job.” Still, he insists on taking 50% off of my meal. My grand total for the meal is only $5.50 not including tip & tax.
FudPucker’s is now one of my favorite restaurants. The attractions outside of the restaurant make the experience of waiting an enjoyable one. The alligators are amazing to watch, feed and take pictures with. The arcade puts my brother and little cousins on “Cloud-9.” As a writer, the menu as a newspaper is an added attraction to the this fun, food place. Most importantly, the food is delicious!
FudPucker’s, more like FunPucker’s. It doesn’t get much better than that.
For more information, please visit: www.fudpucker.com