My wife and I enjoyed lunch at The Fire Restaurant in downtown Winter Haven recently. We had been there several times before so we had an idea of what to expect. The first thing we love about Fire is the location, right on Central Avenue. Street parking is not always available directly on Central, but spaces are always available a short walk away.
Our host greeted us with good cheer and seated us in a booth near the front of the restaurant. Our booth probably had less light than any seat in the restaurant – which made for some disappointing photos, I’m sorry to say, but we appreciated the romantic setting. They were playing some fun music, mostly pop hits from the 1950s and 1960s (think Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, etc.). Not too loud, so we could enjoy the music but still have an easy time talking.
Our server was also prompt and friendly. Simple beverage choices, Diet Coke for my wife and iced tea for myself. I haven’t sampled it, but Fire does have a full bar. We have only been there for lunch – the restaurant offers an expanded dinner menu with more options for appetizers, steaks, chicken, etc. However, the lunch menu has a lot to offer. There is also a soup of the day.
My wife ordered the chicken tender basket with french fries and coleslaw. I ordered a shrimp and chicken basket, also with fries and coleslaw. The fries are hand cut and made at the restaurant. The “baskets” were presented very nicely on plates rather than the plastic baskets I expected. We also had several choices for dipping sauces, I chose ranch and my wife chose honey mustard (mine also came with cocktail sauce for the shrimp). All the food was delicious, the chicken was thoroughly cooked but still tender (my wife said these might be the best chicken tenders she has ever had). The fries were excellent. Our only nitpick is that food at Fire tends to be a bit too salty for our taste. Otherwise, everything was outstanding, very well done. With tip, our total came to just under $33.
The Fire Restaurant is one more reason downtown Winter Haven is a fun place to spend time. They also have live music some evenings, check their Facebook page for schedules. Highly recommended for lunch or dinner!
If we have inspired you to visit Fire, or if you have already been and want to share your experience, please do so via the comments section below. And if you have Polk County restaurant tips, we would love to hear from you via our Contact Us page. Thanks for stopping by and happy eating!