Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel

Change Page: 12 > | Showing page 1 of 2, messages 1 to 60 of 73
Author Message
buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 1:28 PM
5
I recently spent a weekend in Fort Myers and Sanibel Island in Florida.  While growing up, my parents owned a home in Fort Myers, where they would spend the winter.  I spent enough time in the area that I have long considered it my second home.  After my father passed away in 1998, my mother decided there were too many memories and she sold the place.  This will be the first time I have been back in over a decade.
 
Because eating wasn't the main focus of the trip and it wasn't my usual gorgefest, I'm not going to do a typical trip report.  Here are some of the places I did eat at, though......
 
On the Saturday, I drove over to Sanibel and had breakfast at my old favorite place, The Sanibel Cafe
 
Located in the Tahitian Gardens shopping center, I was pleased to see it looked the same  Even though it is a small place, they do a nice job with the decorating and it is a very attractive place. 

Considering that Sanibel is one of the best places on earth for collecting sea shells, it is only fitting they have shells underneath the glass in the tables.

 
To drink, I started off with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and a fruit smoothie.

A big thumbs up for both!!!  Lots of things on the menu sounded good, but I went with the Sanibel style omelet, which means it comes with sauteed shimp and Havarti cheese.

The egg part of the omelet was extremely light and fluffy and considering I love shrimp and Havarti, this was an ideal breakfast for me.  When I first saw the omelet, I thought they may have just put all the shrimp on top of the omelet, but the inside

was loaded with shrimp, too.  The hash browns were nice and crispy, though it did seem weird to me that I came across a cold spot in the middle.
 
Two small pancakes came as a side with my omelet.

Instead of using syrup, I found the homemade raspberry jam was a perfect topping for the pancakes.
 
I was the first person in the door at 7:00AM and by the time I was leaving around 7:30, the place was mostly full.  I did see one couple sit down and then leave, huffing about not getting waited on.  But, they could not have been seated for anymore than 5 -7 minutes.  The service I received was excellent.  I was very pleased to see this place was just as good as I remember.
 
Sanibel Cafe
2007 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL
239-472-5323
 
  http://www.sanibelcafe.com/
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 03/9/09 1:36 PM>

ScreamingChicken
  • Total Posts : 4715
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 11/5/2004
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 1:53 PM
0
That omelette looks great, and like something not easily found here in the Midwest.

Brad
<message edited by Brad_Olson on Mon, 03/9/09 2:09 PM>

Rusty246
  • Total Posts : 2413
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/15/2003
  • Location: Newberry, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:01 PM
0
That omelet is to die for.  I was hoping that the website had a "recipe" section.  I like the way the omelet was cooked to the light brown stage.  I wonder if the shrimp on the inside was precooked??  I'd like a double order of those hash browns also.

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:07 PM
0
I wondered that too Rusty--they look just-perfect pink, like maybe they let them cook inside.  I'd have been all over anything with shrimp and havarti like a cheap suit.  That place looks lovely, Cliff.

Rusty246
  • Total Posts : 2413
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/15/2003
  • Location: Newberry, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:15 PM
0
Nancypalooza


I wondered that too Rusty--they look just-perfect pink, like maybe they let them cook inside.  I'd have been all over anything with shrimp and havarti like a cheap suit.  That place looks lovely, Cliff.


WHICH could be one reason that the omelet was cooked to a darker stage, darker=longer=perfectly cooked shrimp.    Well, just plain YUM!

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:16 PM
0
On Sunday morning, my breakfast destination was the Lighthouse Cafe,


also on Sanibel Island.  Since I arrived a few minutes before they opened at 7:00AM, I drove down to the beach and walked around.  There were some beachcombers looking for shells and I caught a few doing the "Sanibel Stoop".


 
I was the first in the door when they opened up.  No surprise that this place is decorated with a lighthouse theme.

After checking out the specials board,

I grabbed a table. 
 
What was really eye catching on the menu was that some of the benedict dishes came with a Key Lime Hollandaise sauce.  Man, that sounded good.  So, I decided on the Turkey Benedict on top of a croissant, with the Key Lime Hollandaise sauce.

The lime taste in the sauce was delicate and subtle as it should be and I was very pleased with it.  The turkey was real turkey, rather than some turkey loaf lunch meat and the croissant was soft and fresh.  Excellent dish.  But, if I had it to do over again, I would have ordered a shrimp or crab benedict instead, since we were at the beach.  The tasty home fries included grilled onions.
 
As a side, I also got a side of fine corned beef hash.

And to go, a slice of Key Lime pie, which was just okay.

 
Two mornings, two excellent breakfasts!
 
Lighthouse Cafe
362 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel Island, FL
239-472-0303
 
http://www.lighthousecafe.com/
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 03/9/09 2:23 PM>

The Travelin Man
  • Total Posts : 3698
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/25/2003
  • Location: Central FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:33 PM
0
Wait a minute!!!

You had those breakfasts on SEPARATE mornings?

For the love of God, Man....are you feeling OK?

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:37 PM
0
TTM-
Don't worry, I plan on redeeming myself with plenty of pie photos, still to come!!!

Sundancer7
  • Total Posts : 13386
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/18/2001
  • Location: Knoxville, TN,
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:48 PM
0
buffetbuster


TTM-
Don't worry, I plan on redeeming myself with plenty of pie photos, still to come!!!

 
Why does that not surprise us.  After you saw TTM at his pie feast at Claudia Sanders, I knew you would have to attempt to top that
 
Sanibel is one of my favorite places although it is a bit difficult to reach.  I have stayed at the South Seas Plantation at the tip of the island many times.
 
I have eaten several times at the Bubble House.  Some say it is not as good as it use to be but I was there about a year ago and what I got was very good.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN 


seafarer john
  • Total Posts : 3481
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/24/2003
  • Location: New Paltz, NY
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 2:51 PM
0
I wish we'd known BB before we went to Sanibel. We had no idea where to go to eat and wound up in some of the worst tourist traps on the island. (Rainforest? Oh my god!!) The best I can say of our experience there was our visit to the Ding Darling preserve where the bird watching was great and the docents were truly helpful and informative. 

Cheers, John 

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:18 PM
0
I just have to say, I think that corned beef hash is one of the toughest things to photograph well.  I had a picture of some from the Sea Cow a couple weeks back and it looked like somebody's pancreas on a plate.  This one looks at least like food.
 
I would have never thought of turkey as the meat in a benedict but it looks wonderful.

Rusty246
  • Total Posts : 2413
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/15/2003
  • Location: Newberry, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:23 PM
0
It always looks like goetta to me. You can at least see some pink here.

Pancho
  • Total Posts : 915
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 10/20/2004
  • Location: Madison, WI
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:28 PM
0
Nancypalooza


I just have to say, I think that corned beef hash is one of the toughest things to photograph well.  I had a picture of some from the Sea Cow a couple weeks back and it looked like somebody's pancreas on a plate.  This one looks at least like food.
 
I would have never thought of turkey as the meat in a benedict but it looks wonderful.
Great looking breakfast fare....I'm still thinking that the shrimp were slightly cooked prior to the omelet. I will forever remember "pancreas on a plate". Thanks.



buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:28 PM
0
Nancypalooza


I just have to say, I think that corned beef hash is one of the toughest things to photograph well. 
I could not agree more.  Don't think I have ever had a photo of corned beef I was happy with.  Same with baked/bbq beans.


seafarer john
  • Total Posts : 3481
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/24/2003
  • Location: New Paltz, NY
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:36 PM
0
It helps if the corned beef has a well composed poached egg or two sitting on top...

Cheers, John 

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:42 PM
0
Maybe they invented putting eggs on CBH so it didn't look so dreadful.  ;)

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 3:47 PM
0
If I had time for a third breakfast, I would have checked out The Island Cow.  The place was packed, so they must be doing something right.  Anybody ever eaten here?

http://www.sanibelislandcow.com/index.php

leethebard
  • Total Posts : 6079
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/16/2007
  • Location: brick, NJ
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 4:25 PM
0
What an omelet!!! Didn't see New Jersey's famous "Old Barney" anong all those photos of great lighthouses.

FriedClamFanatic
  • Total Posts : 1496
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/14/2008
  • Location: west chester, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 6:01 PM
0
Looks great!

mar52
  • Total Posts : 7596
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/17/2005
  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 6:34 PM
0
I must admit to doing "The Sannibel Stoop" many years ago when staying in Port Charlotte.  

I've often wondered if the shells were placed on the beach by the Chamber of Commerce.

That omelet looks amazing.  I can feel the texture of biting through those shrimp just by looking at your great picture.

Loving everything Key Lime I'd have to have ordered something with the Hollandaise.  ust not Turkey, but that's me.

That Key Lime pie looks sad in that carton.  I still would love a piece.

aleximoon
  • Total Posts : 84
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/21/2008
  • Location: Fort Myers, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/9/09 7:09 PM
0
Everything looks great!  I live in Ft. Myers and have spent a lot of time out on Sanibel.  I've eated at the Lighthouse cafe on several occasions but have never been to the Sanibel Cafe.  I will have to check it out.

harriet1954
  • Total Posts : 1086
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/29/2003
  • Location: Edgewater Park, NJ
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 5:25 AM
0
leethebard


What an omelet!!! Didn't see New Jersey's famous "Old Barney" anong all those photos of great lighthouses.

 
Here, Lee, I took this one just for you in January. 
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/harriet1954/3317400874/in/set-72157614495649761/
 
BB, you don't know this, but Sanibel and basically the whole of Southwest Florida is just my idea of heaven on earth, and I want to get back there ASAP!!! I would LOVE to retire in that area. Can't WAIT to show this thread to Brian.
 
Was supposed to go to Sanibel - had a condo reserved and everything - and sadly, Hurricane Charley dashed our plans like you wouldn't believe.
 
One day...



AaronM
  • Total Posts : 196
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/12/2008
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 8:00 AM
0
Buffetbuster...do you happen to know if Mona Lisa Pizza still around? We used to eat there while on vacation when I was a kid. One large could easily feed my whole family. I remember it being really thick…like deep dish. Really good.

charlottesailor
  • Total Posts : 43
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/31/2007
  • Location: Ft Myers Beach, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 8:38 AM
0
Island Cow is worth a visit.  The food is always good, large portions of non chain type food.  Have been there for breakfast and lunch both meals are great.  Would go there more often but the bridge toll is a little off putting if your just going on the Island for a meal.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 9:18 AM
0
charlottesailor-
Thanks for the reply about Island Cow.  It sure looked like an interesting place and you couldn't help but notice how crowded they were.  The menu itself did look a little too cutsie for me.  Yeah, the toll for the Sanibel Causeway is now $6.00, which is double what I remember.  I didn't mind doing it for one weekend, especially since there were other things on the island I wanted to do.  But if I lived near there, that sure would prevent me from driving over just for breakfast.
 
AaronM-
Sorry, but I'm not familiar with Mona Lisa Pizza.  Can you tell me more about it and maybe that will refresh my memory.  Is it in Fort Myers or Sanibel? 
 
harriet1954-
Glad to read of another Sanibel lover and I'm sorry that Hurrican Charley ruined that trip.  Hopefully, you will get to go again soon.
 
This trip meant so much to me.  I have such fond memories of the house we used to live in and all the local sights.  But mostly, the area makes me think of my deceased dad.
 
aleximoon-
Always glad to hear from a local.  And I am looking forward to seeing what you think of some of the other places I dined.
 
Nancypalooza-
I thought the turkey would work well, because it would remind me somewhat of the Turkey Devonshires I love here in Pittsburgh.  But like I said, I should have gotten it with crabmeat.  I think I ate enough shrimp on this trip!
 
seafarer john-
Yeah, there are lots of bad tourist traps on Sanibel.  Sorry you didn't have a better experience.  I did visit Ding Darling and will have some photos later in the report.  What a great place!
 
Sundancer-
I thought about you on this trip when I was going through Ding Darling wildlife preserve.  There were some serious birdwatchers on duty.  Have you been there?

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 9:29 AM
0
Whaaaat?  There is no such thing as 'enough shrimp' if it's good, but that's just me.  I don't know if you've ever been to Blackstone's in Beaufort here but they do a really nice crabcake benedict.  I don't know why I never thought past pork or seafood but it makes sense.

Also, I lost my dad in 98 as well, real close to this time of year.  I like the way he springs back up in my life from time to time.  'Course I kind of secretly think that the reason I hang around here sometimes is that I miss the sound of cranky old men.  Which may actually have some truth to it.

AaronM
  • Total Posts : 196
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/12/2008
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 9:31 AM
0
It might be gone, but I found this address for it.

Mona Lisa Pizzeria & Deli of Sanibel
2440 Palm Ridge Road
33957 Sanibel, Florida

It was probablly the mid-late 1990's the last time I was there. I remeber you had to walk upstairs...to get to it. Not sure if it was on the second floor or if the building was on "stilts." They made really good deep dish pizza with loads of toppings/cheese.

Sadly, I can't find much about it online. Perhaps it is gone.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 9:35 AM
0
Nancypalooza
  
'Course I kind of secretly think that the reason I hang around here sometimes is that I miss the sound of cranky old men. 
Oh, we have PLENTY of that!!!  In fact, I am well on the way myself!!!


AaronM
  • Total Posts : 196
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/12/2008
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 9:36 AM
0
I found the building on Google Maps street view...but I can't tell if it is still there.

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 9:56 AM
0
buffetbuster


In fact, I am well on the way myself!!!

Oh honey, me too.  I hear Dad coming out of my mouth all the time.  I just have to laugh.


buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 10:30 AM
0
One of the things I was particularly curious about was whether you can find good Southern cooking in the Fort Myers area.  To answer this question and to try and eat my own weight in pie, I had lunch on Saturday at Flora and Ella's

in La Belle.
 
From what I read online and in the Stern's 1992 Roadfood book, I was expecting Flora and Ella's to be a run down country shack.  When I pulled up, I was surprised to see a big modern building,

surrounded by motorcycles.  Do bikers know the best places to eat pie?  I will soon find out.  
 
Since it was just a few minutes before noon, the place was very crowded.  I was seated at a small table right in the middle of the main dining room.  I made sure I sat facing the direction that gave me the best view of this.
 
There is a little bit about the history of the restaurant on the front of the menu,

but there is no way this building goes back to 1933.
 
For an entree, I ran into an unusual predicament.  Do I order the dish they are most famous for, fried chicken?  Do I go for the dish that I am particularly fond of, chicken & dumplings?  Or do I try an interesting item, that I have never had before, Hoppin John?

Once I saw that dumplings could be ordered as a side, that made the decision easier and I went with the fried chicken.


The skin was highly seasoned, but lacked the crunchiness that I like.  The meat was somewhat juicy, but the chicken itself didn't have great flavor.  This was good fried chicken but nothing special.
 
The dumplings were a disappointment.

Lots of gravy, very little dumplings.  But, things get better from here.  My side of collard greens were wonderful.

Deep, earthy flavor to these greens.
 
The little stand on my table called them heavenly pies, as this pie angel reinforces. 

I had very high hopes and I was not disappointed.  Other than the bikers, who had their own seating area in the back, almost everyone else eating was a senior citizen.  Not that there was anything wrong with that, but everytime a waitress would ask a table near me if they were having pie, they always said no.  So when the waitress read off the list and I told her I was having a slice of butterscoth and a slice of strawberry, everyone turned out to see who the pig was.  Several of the men at nearby tables even starting playfully teasing me about it.  I just sat there and smiled.  The filling on the butterscotch was ultradense, which contrasted nicely with the light as air meringue.

Very good pie, but the strawberry pie was fantastic! 
 
The strawberries sure tasted fresh.  Held in by a rugged crust and by a Cool Whip topping, I loved this pie.
 
The menu at Flora and Ella's has all kinds of country classics on it, but I would 100% come back for the pie alone!
 
Flora and Ella's
550 Hickpoochee Ave.
La Belle, FL
863-675-2891
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 03/10/09 10:43 AM>

CajunKing
  • Total Posts : 6317
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/6/2006
  • Location: Live at Saint Clair
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 1:18 PM
0
BB
 
Sorry to hear the chicken wasnt up to your snuff, in the south you should have went with the Hoppin John.
 
Those pies look great, good to hear all the seniors didnt want pie, saved more for you! 
 
You are right about the newer building, the restaurant used to located on Bridge St by the river.  It was moved to the new location sometime after 2002, by Ella's daughter Irene and her husband.
 
Ella died in 1998, Flora passed in 2002.
 

mar52
  • Total Posts : 7596
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/17/2005
  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 1:19 PM
0
Lovely report.  The picture of the chicken makes me want some right now.  Not so with the dumplings.  They look like boiled bisquit dough.  (I happen to love boiled bisquit dough but like lots of it)

As for the pie I would have had one piece there and one to go.



buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 1:21 PM
0
CK-
Thanks as always for the information.  It wasn't that the chicken was bad, it just wasn't as good as I had seen others rave about it.  Next time, it will be the Hoppin' John!
 
mar52-
As good as those pies were, it was awful tempting to get one to go. 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 03/10/09 1:22 PM>

ken8038
  • Total Posts : 1559
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/4/2004
  • Location: scotch plains, NJ
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 1:30 PM
0
Buffetbuster: Thanks for this vicarious trip to Sanibel. My wife and I honeymooned there in (OMG!) 1981.
 
I'm sure there weren't all these fabulous places to eat there back then. In fact, as I recall, most nights we drove over to Fort Myers to eat and have a drink or two because the options on the Island were so bad.
 
But we loved the scenery and of course the shelling. A centerpiece of our kitchen for all these years has always been a big glass display jar filled with small shells we gathered at Sanibel.
 
We had planned to go back for our 25th, but as we've learned over 25 years of kids and other stuff, sh*t happens and we had to put it off. But we do still plan to get back.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 2:01 PM
0
ken8038-
Glad to hear this brought back good memories for you.  Do you remember where on Sanibel you stayed during your honeymoon?  We had some similar shell displays in my parents house.  I hope you get to go back to Sanibel soon.

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 2:04 PM
0
I was going to say, I bet you would have liked the Hoppin' John.  There seems to be a high correlation between good greens and good hoppin' john.  Those pies are amazing.

sk bob
  • Total Posts : 1801
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 12/29/2005
  • Location: South Daytona, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/10/09 8:18 PM
0
I love shrimp
I love omelets
 never the two shall meet

cavandre
  • Total Posts : 1597
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/14/2008
  • Location: Melbourne, FL
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 7:10 AM
0
Buffetbuster,
 
Not sure if the report is over, but just wondering if you got a chance to stop into Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille ( http://www.docfordssanibel.com/ ) on Sanibel? We spent last Memorial Day weekend on Captiva & had a nice afternoon break at Doc's.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 12:54 PM
0
Looking for a taste of old Fort Myers, I had lunch on the Sunday at the Farmer's Market Restaurant

in the downtown area.  The outside sign made me think this could be the place in Fort Myers I was seeking for good Southern food.

 
When you walk in the front door, there is a take-out register and some counter seats to the right.  But the rest of the seating was at regular tables and I selected a table in the corner.  My waitress walked over and accused me of hiding from her.  All the waitresses here are real pros and look like they have been here forever.  The patrons were an interesting mix of locals dressed in their Sunday best and farmers in ball caps fueling up for the day.
 
The type written menu is nothing fancy,

with a few additions hand written on the back.  I placed my order and the waitress told me good choices.  I started on the bread.

The dinner roll was extremely soft, warm and yeasty, yet still took a backseat to the fantastic cornbread biscuit.  The great bread was a good sign as was the fresh sweet tea.

 
Here is my plate, with meatloaf, macaroni & cheese, green beans and squash casserole. 

The meatloaf was a fine slice of hearty comfort food and the squash casserole

was quite good, also.  The disappointment was the mac & cheese.  I just did not care for the cheese taste at all.  No big deal, because the green beans,

bathed in pork juice, were incredibly flavorful and reminded me of my grandmother's.
 
A fine roster of desserts, with a half dozen pies available.  The banana cream pie was
 
thicker than what I am used to, but still had good banana flavor.  Even better though, was the piece of pineapple upside down cake.

I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for places that serve good pineapple upside down cake.
 
Right next door to the restaurant is the actual State Farmer's Market.

If you go to Fort Myers and don't eat here, you must have some kind of Death Wish!!!
 
Farmer's Market Restaurant
2736 Edison Avenue
Fort Myers, FL
239-334-1687
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 03/11/09 1:24 PM>

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 1:10 PM
0
Awesome Cliff--the menu and the food all look really similar to the North Carolina Farmers' Market restaurants, of which the Moose Cafe is one.  Sad to hear that about the mac and cheese though.  The squash casserole, on first glance, might belong in that other thread, you know?  :)

ken8038
  • Total Posts : 1559
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/4/2004
  • Location: scotch plains, NJ
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 1:12 PM
0
<<Do you remember where on Sanibel you stayed during your honeymoon? >.

Sorry, I don't, and I even asked my wife. I'm sure we have pix stashed away in some old photo album, but that will have to wait until I feel like climbing over boxes in the attic.

It wasn't one of the well known places, it was an efficiency apartment in a small complex that someone had recommended to us for it's low key atmosphere, nice people, and proximity to the water, all of which turned out to be true. It's probably now been replaced by a luxury condo or something.

We did collectively manage to recall the names of two places on the Island that we ate at. One was a standard-issue- of-the- era Fern bar (remember that term?) called McT's, and the other was called the Machalaca Oyster House or something like that. Neither was very good and probably led to our decision to head back to the mainland for future dinners. 

Thanks again, I'm enjoying the additions to the report.

CajunKing
  • Total Posts : 6317
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/6/2006
  • Location: Live at Saint Clair
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 1:24 PM
0
BB

Now I know that we must be related.  I LOVE Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

That banana cream pie looked heavenly

mar52
  • Total Posts : 7596
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/17/2005
  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 2:41 PM
0
I understand having the sides in their individual bowls but I sure miss the look of a plate full of comfort food.

The macaroni looks like it came out of a can but that pie looks heavenly.  Was it as light as it looks or does your description of thicker mean what I would call dense?  Were there anyfresh bananas in it?  I need fresh bananas!



buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 2:57 PM
0
I'm glad you asked me that Mar52, because I was a little surprised by the complete absence of any bananas in the pie.  It was nothing but banana filling.  While it was dense, it was not nearly as much as the butterscotch pie from the day before.

To compare the two Southern lunches I had, the desserts were better at Flora & Ella's, but the rest of the meals were clearly better at Farmer's Market Restaurant.  I was hoping that I would love one of these two places nough to write a formal review for the site, but both of them came up just shy. 

CK-
I think pineapple upside down cake is one of those things that just about everyone's mother made and that makes it such a comforting dessert to eat.  I wish more restaurants carried it.

Nancypalooza-
There is something about the textures of these dishes that makes it difficult to get a good shot.  The camera loves things with strong definite lines and these dishes (corned beef hash & squash casserole) don't have that!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 03/11/09 3:03 PM>

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Wed, 03/11/09 8:41 PM
0
No, I gotcha.  It would make a fine new Olympic sport.  ;)

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 8:41 AM
0
I really need to finish up a couple of other reports before I go starting others.....
 
A couple of stops for snacks were made.  On Saturday, I stopped at the Skyline Chili,

located in a shopping center on busy Hwy 41 in Fort Myers.  With all the times I have been to Cincy, I have never been to a Skyline Chili.  Too busy eating at the independents, like Blue Ash Chili, Price Hill Chili and especially Camp Washington Chili.  The inside was very clean and decorated with banners and photos from the Cincy area.

I asked the waitress if there were that many retirees from SW Ohio in Fort Myers and she promptly pointed out a half dozen sitting around the room.  Good for them that they can get chili down here.  If I lived in SE Florida, I would certainly visit Primanti Brothers.
 
Unfortunately, I was unimpressed by the food.  The 5-Way chili

seemed to lack the strong flavor of the other places up north I have visited and was too watery.  The coneys

were also lifeless and bland, although they sure don't cheat you on the amount of cheese you are given.  I still plan on trying a Skyline Chili in Cincy one day.
 
After the chili, I needed a palate cleanser and drove the 25 miles down to Bonita Springs for an ice cream place I read that was being given high marks.  The name of the place is Royal Scoop.

Located on an out of the way side street, the place was absolutely mobbed.  They have a decent sized parking lot and people were still having to park on the street and down the road.  It took a while to wind through the long line, which gave me plenty of time to check out the available flavors.

I ended up with a scoop of peppermint stick over top a scoop of the black raspberry.

I can't remember the last time I had such good ice cream.  The black raspberry was especially very fresh tasting, not overly sweet and with a hard texture.  Still, it was very light on the tongue.  BTW, sorry about the bad photo.  Since the place was so crowded, there were no seats, so I had to eat (and take pictures) in the car.
 
The ice cream was so good, I had to go back the next day.  Not nearly as many people in the middle of the afternoon.

This time, it was a scoop of mint chocolate chip over top the black cherry.

I didn't get the burst of flavor in the cherry like I did with the raspberry, but this was still really top notch ice cream.  The larger than usual misshapen chocolate chunks in the mint ice cream was another highlight.
 
If I lived in Fort Myers, I would definitely drive down here at least once a week.
 
Royal Scoop
15 8th Street
Bonita Springs, FL
239-992-2000
 
http://www.royalscoop.com/
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 03/16/09 8:47 AM>

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 10:27 AM
0
Oh I love a good raspberry, and a good mint.  I'm glad you're an adventurous flavor-mixer.  I'm thinking cake batter might be a southern thing--it's nearly ubiquitous around here and I don't recall ever seeing anything like that from Chris/Amy/Stephen's ice cream tour last summer.

mar52
  • Total Posts : 7596
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/17/2005
  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 12:01 PM
0
Ice cream is my downfall.

I love ice cream with a good dense base, texture and flavor that makes me shout out YUM!

That looks like it fits the bill.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 1:14 PM
0
Nancypalooza


Oh I love a good raspberry, and a good mint.  I'm glad you're an adventurous flavor-mixer. 
Although I have no problem mixing any flavors, I wish I was more adventurous.  I seem to stick to the mint and fruit flavors.  Cake batter just doesn't sound appealing at all.


buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 1:34 PM
0
Of course, I couldn't go to Florida without trying a couple of seafood restaurants.  One of the ones that was recommended by posters here on Roadfood was Shrimp Shack, so I ate there on Friday night.
 
As it turns out, it was located just two minutes from where I used to live, although the restaurant opened after I had left.  Even though it was a Friday night, the place was empty.  The place was decorated with a Jimmy Buffet/shrimp shack theme and several of the murals on the walls were amusing.

 
Lately, I have really been craving buffalo shrimp, so I made that my appetizer.

Not nearly as hot as it looks, the sauce worked really well with the fresh tasting shrimp.  Fried shrimp was the main entree choice.


A delicate, lighter than usual breading, this was good but nothing special.  All of the sides, especially the hard hushpuppies were below average or worse.   This place wasn't bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here again.
 
Shrimp Shack
1400 Colonial Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL
239-237-5100

 
The last meal before I flew home on Sunday was at Skip One Seafoods.


A nondescript box-like building south of the city on Hwy 41, the emphasis here is more on the food than the decor.  Still, I did get a kick out of this mural on the side wall.

 
When you walk in the front door, the first thing you see is the cases with the fresh seafood for sale.



The menu

has a fine list of seafood, but I was happy to see my old friend Buffalo Shrimp on the menu again.

There was less sauce on this dish, but it was actually hotter, more flavorful and with a heavy, rugged crunch.  Big thumbs up!  The surprisingly spicy conch chowder was also a winner.

 
Three different types of grouper sandwiches are available, but I settled on the fried.

Lean, firm and very fresh, this was a wonderful sandwich.
 
Skip One Seafoods would be my go to place for seafood in Fort Myers.  And not just because the owner is a Steeler fan from New Brighton, PA.

 
Skip One Seafoods
15820 S. Tamiami Trail
Fort Myers, FL
239-482-0433
 
Thanks again to everyone for reading my trip report! 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 03/16/09 2:01 PM>

Nancypalooza
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/17/2004
  • Location: Columbia, SC
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 1:46 PM
0
What is it with the cute shrimp murals over there?  Huh.  I don't think I've ever tried buffalo shrimp. 

CajunKing
  • Total Posts : 6317
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/6/2006
  • Location: Live at Saint Clair
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 2:56 PM
0
I will have to get you to a skyline here in Cincy.

The buffalo shrimp looked good, and I love the murals

ScreamingChicken
  • Total Posts : 4715
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 11/5/2004
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 4:17 PM
0
Skip One is my kind of place!  It looks like most of the hot food is fried with a few grilled items thrown in; is this the case?

If you'd headed west from Manitowoc during your recent WI visit you would've wound up in Appleton, hometown of Rocky Bleier.

Brad

janicks
  • Total Posts : 72
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 10/23/2002
  • Location: Huntington, IN
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/16/09 9:28 PM
0
I am in FortMyers this week for vacation so we went today to the Lighthouse in Sanibel and I tried the eggs benidict on the croissant it was wonderful .Hubby had the smoked sausage with eggs and potatoes. I talked to the owner and told him about this trip report.  he was very happy to hear his place was on Roadfood!!
But the real kicker is I didn't read your last post until after dinner because the first dinner I have every year for this vacation is Skip One!! My favorite of all the places we have tried.Oh NO.. I said I wasn't going to tell another soul about this place because we waited 55 minutes to have dinner.It was well worth it!!I will be sure to try the ice cream place, but tomorrow we go to Cape Coral and its ou friends choice.But we will be back to Skip One at least 1 more time this week

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Tue, 03/17/09 9:14 AM
0
Brad Olsen-
Needless to say, I love Rocky Bleier!  Skip One does seem to have much fried seafood on their menu, but it is certainly a place to get fresh seafood done just about anyway you want.

janicks-
It sounds like you are having a great time down there.  Sorry if I let the cat out of the bag on Skip One Seafoods, although I am glad to hear you like it as much as I do.  How crowded was Lighthouse Cafe?  I remember they can get mobbed during the season, which is one of the reasons I was there when they opened.  If you get to the ice cream place, please report back and let us know how it was.

i95
  • Total Posts : 2500
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/14/2003
  • Location: Sin City, VA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Fri, 03/20/09 10:35 AM
0
buffetbuster
To drink, I started off with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and a fruit smoothie.

 
buffetbuster, who are you kidding? I know a Pork Smoothie when I see one and that strawberry isn't fooling anyone.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




Ahi Mpls.
  • Total Posts : 922
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/9/2008
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Fri, 03/20/09 10:55 AM
0
  how in the world did you get the oj to stay halfway up the straw?!!  spooky....

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Fri, 03/20/09 11:01 AM
0
i95-
You are on to me.  I was so disappointed they don't have the liver smoothie anymore.

AHI MPLS-
That must have been really, really pulpy orange juice.


janicks
  • Total Posts : 72
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 10/23/2002
  • Location: Huntington, IN
Re:Weekend in Fort Myers/Sanibel - Mon, 03/23/09 9:49 PM
0
Okay Cliff and friends, tonight is our 8th and last night in FT.Mters and we didn't make it to the ice cream place.We did eat at Skip One 5 nights.One night we went to the Fish House on Bonita Beach rd. Not as good as Skip One. Very busy!!But not great.Also, an Italian place in Coconut Point Mall it was very good but cannot remember its name.Also at California Pizza its a chain but needed a change from seafood. We had lunch at the Farmers Market and we loved it.Thanks Bufffetbuster for all the tips.Great trip report.

Change Page: 12 > | Showing page 1 of 2, messages 1 to 60 of 73