4 palms (out of 5)
Where: 1896 South Patrick Drive, Indian Harbour Beach
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Info: Call 321-773-5341.
More: Daily combo specials are offered, almost all of which are priced at less than $6. Bring plenty of quarters for games; the children will be entertained for hours. Call ahead for pick up orders, usually ready in 10-15minutes.
It didn’t take long for Doubles to establish itself as a hometown favorite. Soon after it opened its doors 28 years ago local boy/owner Ray Featheroff had a hit. The formula for his success is simple: good food, good atmosphere, good prices and good service.
The restaurant is separated into five distinct sections giving us plenty of options of places to sit. Including:
•An open-air tiki bar for adults
•A large indoor large seating area with comfortable counter-height tables and chairs
•A game area with pool tables, pinball machines and Ms. Pac Man
•An indoor bar with booth and bar seating and plenty of flat-screen TVs, making it very popular during football season.
We settled down in the game area, which offers great pre-dinner entertainment for children. My son immediately took off for the pinball machine, which kept him entertained while we reviewed the menu.
The extensive menu offers something for everyone: 17 hoagies and wraps, 11 hot-grilled items, six types of salad, soups and chili, fries and nachos, six mini-meals for the childern, smoothies and frozen yogurts. Most of the menu is priced at less than $6.60, making a night out with the family affordable.
Craving hot wings, I went for the mild buffalo chicken wings (I’m a bit of a spicy wimp). Others in my group chose hot wings, the grilled chicken breast sandwich and meatball sub. We ordered the flame-grilled cheeseburger mini-meal for my preschooler.
Everything on the menu is customizable, which everyone took advantage of.
A few minutes after ordering we were called back to the counter to collect our food, then we dove right in.
Let’s start with the wings. My husband is very picky when it comes to buffalo wings; for him they have to be crispy and saucy. And these wings are both.
The hot wings pack a punch and the mild wings were plenty spicy for me. Both are served steaming hot and fresh. They come with the traditional side of blue cheese or ranch, celery and carrots. There was a wing left when we were done.
The grilled chicken sandwich was delicious; it’s served with provolone cheese, mayo, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles on a soft Kaiser roll. The flame-grilled flavor is noticeable but not overwhelming. A side of Doubles' famous racket-fries came with the sandwich. Usually delicious, on this night they were slightly overdone, making them too crunchy and dry.
The meatball sub was served on a white hoagie bun, my guests’ choice, with six meatballs, marinara sauce and melted provolone. The sauce has a sweetness to it, maybe slightly too much, and the meatballs aren’t homemade. If you’re looking for a true-blue replica of what you’ll find in Little Italy, this isn’t it. But nonetheless, it hit the spot.
As for the cheeseburger mini-meal, everyone knows how picky the preschool-set can be. But Doubles is quickly becoming one of my almost-4-year-old’s favorites. The fries were finished first, then it was on to a chicken wing from the wings basket, then he finished with the flame-grilled cheeseburger. All in all, a resounding seal of approval from a persnickety eater.
Doubles Beachside proves a casual, family-friendly restaurant can be affordable, fun and offer great-tasting food.