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I'm (Kinda Sorta) Wild about Harry's


Hogfish Harry's

hogfishharrys.com

600 Neapolitan Way, Naples, FL

As someone who loves food and worked in the music and entertainment industry for twenty-five years, names matter. Band names, restaurant names; they put out there what you want the public to initially consider. I realize there are exceptions to every rule. No one EVER (including them) thought that when the Butthole Surfers named themselves, they would ever have a number one radio hit, but they did. The 90s were very weird.


When my daughter was born, I was given some advice that I've thought about ever since. Now, I'll admit that the advice was probably a little bit unintentionally sexist, but I don't think it was bad advice either way. I was told "When you name your child, imagine saying that name as if they were the President or CEO." I understand that it's a 10000% subjective answer and I imagine at some point we are going to have a President Maverick or President Butterfly, but it stuck with me.


This is why when Lawrence off Immokalee, a friend of a friend who despite his terrible taste of loving this website reached out to me and suggested we go to Hogfish Harry's, I was apprehensive but curious. The place has a pretty big online following, but honestly, I was having a hard time with the name.

This apprehension didn't abate when we pulled into the

Park Shore Resort. I'm not trying to sound elitist here; Lord knows I stayed in PLENTY of Motel 6s and Super 8s (Holiday Inns were too fancy for my parents) along I-95 on my annual pilgrimages to Century Village West Palm Beach, but this is Naples and while clean and well-kept, the place looked like it hadn't been updated since the Carter Administration.


Once you walk through the lobby and you're on your way to the actual restaurant, it's a little bit like walking through some sort of portal. You come across this large walking bridge overseeing this perfectly lovely lake (Definitely with Koi. Big Koi is very strong here.)

It's the definition of the word pleasant. Your pleasantness is interrupted for just a brief second with the "small tourist middle of nowhere beach town" sign that announces you have reached Hogfish Harry's." Then you step inside and you're back in the land of the pleasant. Let's be honest: There are very few places in the world with a proper name possessive that have reached world renown. That's why saying a business is called "Jerry's House of Burgers" is some sort of go to SNL joke. If you can imagine Bob Odenkirk as the proprietor of the establishment, at best you can expect a broken tv, an outdated jukebox and one working toilet.

Hogfish Harry's is legitimately a nice place to have a meal. Very classic beach, but with a little more upscale feel (that means a lot of white and blue). The server behind the bar (let's go with Christine. No clue if that's her name, but people in this town are obsessed with an intimate first name basis with their server, so Christine it is..or maybe Kristin) was busting her butt and clearly was understaffed, so she like every other person in the service business, should be given a major pass for not falling over backwards to take our order.

After my traditional Hendrick's martini up with a twist, Lawrence of Immokalee and I jumped into the menu. In discussions with "Christine" or "Kristin" surprisingly she steered us towards the red snapper and didn't rant and rave over the hogfish. Odd, but we took her advice (if you ask for advice, please take it seriously, otherwise you're just annoying the server who you have shown you don't trust).


We started with the wings, the fried green tomatoes (a personal favorite) and the coconut shrimp, a favorite of Lawrence off Immokalee. Oddly, all of them were the exact same color. I have never ordered food by color, but I once fancied girl at a festival and offered her hummus, carrots, cheese doodles and cheddar cheese. I was known as "the guy who hit on a girl by offering her orange food."



None of these were terrible. I mean, fried food is all delicious, but none of them were particularly noteworthy either. Good, solid fare that went nicely with my well-prepared martini. Forgive the 1000 random words about nothing and 17 about the appetizers, but they were just perfectly acceptable and fine. Wings had a nice sweet dipping sauce, the fried green tomatoes were zesty enough (ZESTY!) and the coconut shrimp was perfectly enjoyable. I added another 22 words. Cool.


For our mains we chose the highly praised red-snapper and the hogfish. I mean you don't go to Pizzeria Uno and order the steak, amirite?

The hogfish was...ok. It kinda reminded me of a white, slightly milder salmon. Kinda meaty, kinda flaky. Not bad, but definitely not worthy of an eponymously named shrine. The red snapper on the other hand?

It was great. Light, mild, the soft sauce blended perfectly with the flavor of the fish. One of the better non-grouper, non-tripletail pieces of fish I have had in SWFL.


I'm no marketing genius,but I have an idea. Red Snapper Harry's anyone?

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