Grabbing A Bite Between Casts In High Springs

Mural celebrating High Springs railroad past. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

End of the Line

The Great Outdoors Restaurant and Spins: Sweet & Savory are very different, but both are a great option for grabbing a bite to eat when fishing the Santa Fe River in High Springs, Florida.

by Polly Dean

January 2021

Photos by Polly Dean.

Though High Springs is a relatively small town in Alachua County, just 20 minutes west of Gainesville, it is a destination worthy of a visit, if only for its myriad of unique offerings. Besides the nearby Santa Fe River that beckons anglers to its clear spring-fed waters, it is a destination that attracts snorkelists, divers, paddlers and swimmers to the steady 72-degree waters year-round.

            Accommodations and restaurants aren’t especially plentiful, but what are available are top-notch without the high-dollar price-tag. Spins: Sweet & Savory, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. is the place to grab a sweet treat or a mid-day meal, but it was also the perfect place to stop for a satisfying sandwich, side and dessert when getting off the water without the need to first grab a shower and clean up.

On The Fly South Editor Jimmy Jacobs placing his order at Spins. Photo by Polly Dean.

            Traditionally called kurtoskalacs, or chimney cakes, the restaurant’s spins are the official dessert of Hungary. The sweet bread crispy outside is freshly baked with a light and fluffy dough inside. Cylinder shaped with a hollow center, like a chimney, the delicious sweet bread is the basis of the restaurant’s yummy sandwiches and sweet treats. The sweet spins range from cinnamon sugar, to Biscoff cookie butter to Nutella. Their savory flavors run from cheddar and herb, to jalapeno to black olive. Sandwiches are filled with anything from chicken salad, to shrimp salad to veggies and curried apple egg salad. The variety of spins are truly a delicacy for the taste buds.

Sandwiches and desserts at Spins are traditional Hungarian style.

            The Great Outdoors Restaurant was our go-to spot just about every evening in High Springs. With a varied and enticing menu of delicious food, a full bar, local brews, and outdoor or indoor dining with plenty of atmosphere to spare, it delivered on all counts. Sports were on the various televisions, live music filled the patio, and a warm and cozy outdoor fireplace was a favorite spot for enjoying a cocktail and swapping fishing stories.

Sangria, appetizer and entre at Great Outdoors. Photos by Jimmy Jacobs.

            The Great Outdoors offers hand-selected steaks, fresh seafood, homemade soups and decadent desserts. Hand-crafted cocktails, local beers and fine wines complete the dining experience. Bands perform on the patio Wednesdays through Sundays, and there’s never a cover charge.

The author by the fire in the Great Outdoors patio bar. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

            High Springs may be small in size but it’s large in personality and charm, and the dining options there help greatly in fulfilling this attribute.

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