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Sanibel/Captiva/Ft. Myers Florida

Sanibel/Captiva/Ft. Myers Florida
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  • Sanibel/Captiva/Ft. Myers Florida

    Post #1 - May 31st, 2008, 5:13 pm
    Post #1 - May 31st, 2008, 5:13 pm Post #1 - May 31st, 2008, 5:13 pm
    I'm taking a family trip next week to Florida (We're staying on Sanibel). It's not exactly going to be a culinary adventure - I have one uncle who only eats steak and one who only eats organic vegetarian food (it should be interesting). I'm sure that most of the time I won't have much say in the pick of restaurants (but I may end up doing a little cooking in our rented home), but I'd love to find a cute, little place where I may escape once or twice. Good food (great, if possible), not expensive, laid back atmosphere, good drinks (probably will need them).

    Any recos?
    FIG Catering, For Intimate Gatherings
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  • Post #2 - May 31st, 2008, 6:32 pm
    Post #2 - May 31st, 2008, 6:32 pm Post #2 - May 31st, 2008, 6:32 pm
    We used to vacation at South Seas Plantation on Captiva quite freqently. For high end dining in not a high end atmosphere, the Mad Hatter on Sanibel is the best. For decent food with a great atmosphere/location and spectacular sunsets, the Mucky Duck right on the beach on Captiva. We also always make a point of going into Ft. Meyers to one of the outdoor shacks under the bridge, ( don't recall ever seeing a name) for a Grouper Sandwich and a few ice cold beers. There are also smal places here under the bridge where we would buy Shrimp, crab and other fish practically right off the boat as we also tended to cook in a lot.
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #3 - May 31st, 2008, 8:34 pm
    Post #3 - May 31st, 2008, 8:34 pm Post #3 - May 31st, 2008, 8:34 pm
    It has been a while, but as a kid we would never go to Sanibel without at least one dinner and sunset at The Mucky Duck and one dinner at the Bubble Room on Captiva.

    The Bubble Room
    15001 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924
    (239) 472-5558
    http://www.bubbleroomrestaurant.com

    The Mucky Duck
    11546 Andy Rosse Lane
    Captiva Island, FL 33924
    (239) 472-3434
    http://www.muckyduck.com
  • Post #4 - June 1st, 2008, 10:16 am
    Post #4 - June 1st, 2008, 10:16 am Post #4 - June 1st, 2008, 10:16 am
    For a casual Florida bar check out Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar. I have not been but a friend told me that it is owned by the author Randy Wayne White who lives nearby and was a fishing guide for many years. He has written a bunch of adventure mystery novels set in Sanibel and the lead character is Doc Ford. I have read several books and since I lived in the area at one time found them enjoyable. This place is supposed to be a great florida beach bar with the mix of all the salty characters you need to get the local flavor. Sailor's, tourists, fishermen and locals. I would love to hear a post back about this place. The Mucky Duck is great but do not go for cocktails they only serve beer and wine. The sunset is awesome from there!! Doc Ford's has a website if you want to check it out. Good luck!!

    Thanks,

    Danny
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #5 - June 2nd, 2008, 7:56 am
    Post #5 - June 2nd, 2008, 7:56 am Post #5 - June 2nd, 2008, 7:56 am
    We have been down to Sanibel a few times, and the places we liked the most were

    Jacaranda

    www.jacarandaonsanibel.com

    McT's Shrimp House
    1523 Periwinkle Way
  • Post #6 - June 2nd, 2008, 10:58 am
    Post #6 - June 2nd, 2008, 10:58 am Post #6 - June 2nd, 2008, 10:58 am
    If you go to the Mucky Duck, be sure to ask for a table by a window.
  • Post #7 - June 3rd, 2008, 11:33 am
    Post #7 - June 3rd, 2008, 11:33 am Post #7 - June 3rd, 2008, 11:33 am
    We were in Captiva a few months ago and had a terrific dinner at Sunshine Seafood Cafe. Yes, I know the name sounds silly, but I have to say we had probably our best meal of a 5 day trip there. We sat out on their front porch on a warm spring night, enjoyed some wonderful seafood and a terrific bottle of Gary Farrell pinot noir. Things were a little hectic when we got there, but the servers definitely kept their heads and did not miss a beat.

    Sunshine Seafood Cafe
    14900 Captiva Dr.
    Captiva Island, FL
    239-472-6200
  • Post #8 - June 3rd, 2008, 9:33 pm
    Post #8 - June 3rd, 2008, 9:33 pm Post #8 - June 3rd, 2008, 9:33 pm
    The Bubble Room is like eating inside a shrunken, aspirational version of House on the Rock. It is either charming or off-putting, in that look-at-all-this-crazy-kitsch! kind of way. Myself, I thought it was pretty well done: I was charmed. I had a drink at the (tiny) bar, and returned later with my family to pick up slices of take-out cake, all of which were enormous and delicious. (Standouts I remember: red velvet, key lime & orange crunch.)

    The Mad Hatter is very, very expensive. The atmosphere is a step above casual. The food is just tremendous, though; it was one of the best meals I ate in 2007.

    What else... we had a meh dinner at Timbers, a fish place. I had a pretty solid breakfast at Amy's Over Easy Cafe, and had a good grouper sandwich at the Lazy Flamingo, though I think the thing to get there is the smoked fish platter. The guy next to me at the bar got it, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I'd missed an opportunity. Next time, I guess.


    The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market
    703 Tarpon Bay Rd
    Sanibel, FL 33957
    (239) 472-3128

    Amy's Over Easy Cafe
    630 Tarpon Bay Rd
    Sanibel, FL 33957
    (239) 472-2625

    Lazy Flamingo (#1)
    6520 Pine Ave
    Sanibel, FL 33957
    (239) 472-5353
  • Post #9 - November 22nd, 2010, 6:32 pm
    Post #9 - November 22nd, 2010, 6:32 pm Post #9 - November 22nd, 2010, 6:32 pm
    Mrs. D and I dined at the Mad Hatter last night and I can confirm it is still very good and still very expensive!
    Apps of crab cake (monumentally good says Mrs. D and she tries the crab cake everywhere) and goat cheese phyllo pillows were excellent renditions.

    Rack of lamb kinda tough but flavorful, says Mrs. D whose fave rack was one this summer in West Lafayette, IN. Sides were tasty said Mrs D but I forget what they were.

    Chef's special bouillabaise hit it out of the park - a rich broth of tomato, saffron and fennel with huge chunks of fresh seafood, i.e. lobster tail, grouper, tuna, shrimp. Proper aoli and crouton as well, with warm bread service accompanied by delicious butter and tapenade. Wine list was unusual but oenophiles will find a suitable pour - we had a SLO Pinot that complimented our dishes and wasn't too hard on the wallet.

    Espresso Creme Brulee desert and French press coffee service provided a perfect capper to the evening.

    We arrived in timefor sunset and were given a blanket to sit on at the beach along with our aperitfs. Delightful!

    Cheers, Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #10 - October 12th, 2012, 3:21 pm
    Post #10 - October 12th, 2012, 3:21 pm Post #10 - October 12th, 2012, 3:21 pm
    Bumping this thread (probably prematurely) in anticipation of a trip in March. Any more recent reports?
  • Post #11 - October 13th, 2012, 2:26 pm
    Post #11 - October 13th, 2012, 2:26 pm Post #11 - October 13th, 2012, 2:26 pm
    We're heading back for Thanksgiving (it's nice to have family living on the island!) so I will try to post when we are there.

    I can recommend Sweet Melissa's, as we dined there in March, which is one of the newer upscale places on Sanibel.

    The best crunchy grouper sandwich for the money, in my opinion, is from the Beachview Golf Course restaurant. This ubiquitous sandwich is available everywhere but I think for the money you can't beat Beachview's. Plus, for us, its a very short drive for takeout.

    For good pub grub, it's hard to beat Doc Ford's. The menu is varied and I honestly haven't had a bad meal there - ever.

    So far, we haven't found any decent pizza on the island.

    Pinocchio's has excellent ice cream and, thankfully, they have expanded a bit so there is a little bit of room to stand in line for your ice cream. My fave is the Sanibel Sand Dollar rendition...a house specialty.

    We don't eat out as much as other island visitors, so I don't have the latest "scoop."

    Enjoy your trip!
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #12 - October 16th, 2012, 11:40 am
    Post #12 - October 16th, 2012, 11:40 am Post #12 - October 16th, 2012, 11:40 am
    It's worth stopping in at the Thistle Lodge to soak in it's old Florida atmosphere. I've had some good dinners at their restaurant but you have to pick and choose. It's pricey. Sweet Melissa's is still supposed to be good but I haven't been. The Timbers is okay-not horrible, not great. The Bubble Room is worth a visit but I wouldn't eat dinner. Lunch is ok but you have the see the place to believe it. The Green Flash on Captiva is great for sunset cocktails. I've never dined there.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #13 - October 16th, 2012, 3:34 pm
    Post #13 - October 16th, 2012, 3:34 pm Post #13 - October 16th, 2012, 3:34 pm
    My parents spend each winter in Ft. Myers and I visit them every year. One of my favorite places was mentioned above: Doc Ford's - There is a location on Sanibel Island and in Ft. Myers. The Ft. Myers location is right on the water and has a multi-level deck. Last year, I had and amazing snapper that was wrapped in a banana leaf and coated with masa harina. It was like a fresh fish tamale.
    http://www.docfords.com/portal/index.asp

    We also always go to The Island Cow on Sanibel. I've heard the breakfast/brunch is good, but I've only been there for lunch. It's a casual place with pretty good fish.
    http://www.sanibelislandcow.com/udderly_great_food.php

    And, for ice cream, you can't beat Love Boat in Ft. Myers. It's a block away from my parent's condo, and a huge tempation for all of us. http://www.ultimateislandguide.com/fort-myers-beach/eat-drink/the-love-boat-ice-cream.html
  • Post #14 - October 27th, 2013, 8:15 pm
    Post #14 - October 27th, 2013, 8:15 pm Post #14 - October 27th, 2013, 8:15 pm
    Taking a R&R break to SW Florida for the first time ever...staying at Marriott right at the east side of the causeway to Sanibel, and I only want to eat good food! Any new recommendations on Sanibel and/or Ft Myers?

    Don't need expensive or fancy, just really good. Nice view would be a plus, especially at sunset.

    Thanks.
  • Post #15 - October 28th, 2013, 10:04 am
    Post #15 - October 28th, 2013, 10:04 am Post #15 - October 28th, 2013, 10:04 am
    The views are great at the Ft. Myers Doc Ford's. It's right under the causeway to Ft. Myers beach and has a multi-level deck. I enjoy watching the boats docking at the pier in front of the deck.
  • Post #16 - October 28th, 2013, 11:23 am
    Post #16 - October 28th, 2013, 11:23 am Post #16 - October 28th, 2013, 11:23 am
    Sangria Grill is the newest addition to Sanibel's culinary scene:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_R ... orida.html
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #17 - October 31st, 2013, 11:09 am
    Post #17 - October 31st, 2013, 11:09 am Post #17 - October 31st, 2013, 11:09 am
    I've always enjoyed Traders Restaurant on Sanibel. It's not new but a fun place to dine, as it's located inside a Pier One type store. http://www.traderssanibel.com/
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #18 - November 16th, 2013, 8:45 pm
    Post #18 - November 16th, 2013, 8:45 pm Post #18 - November 16th, 2013, 8:45 pm
    Just wanted to share our brief experiences in Fort Myers and Sanibel. Well, we didn't even eat on Sanibel but we did have drinks for sunset and the dinner at Mucky Duck. Really loud. I thought the food was fine, I had their signature grouper with butter and Worcestershire I think, it was tasty but rich. My husband had some sampler and didn't think anything was very good.

    We ate at Fresh Catch Bistro in Ft Myers Beach, their house specialty grouper crusted with pecans and dried cranberries was great. Again, the husband wasn't thrilled with his choice, I can't even remember what he ate. He had a chocolate mousse cake dessert that was not mousse-y at all, extremely dense like chocolate cheesecake...he wasn't thrilled about that either. We hit the Love Boat homemade ice cream shopping Ft Myers, it was certainly good but I was a little disappointed that the floors were pretty routine...cookies & cream, pralines, just not much original to try.

    We craved stone crabs, and only Pincher's--a local chain of maybe 5 places-- had them. The large ones were $8/hot or cold, we had one of each. They had several varieties of fried shrimp which were quite good, and the king crab while to local, was good too. Our last night we went to the Prawnbroker in FtMyers, not what I'd call a real foodie destination but have to say it was our favorite meal of the weekend. I had a crab crusted sea bass that was a huge moist delicious piece. Hugest portion of the weekend for the least money. Hubby loved his steak. We also tried their shrimp bisque, which was very tasty but really REALLY thick...like a dipping sauce more than soup. Tasted great, but we were unable to finish any of our food.

    Not what I'd call a foodie destination in general, but we wouldn't refuse to go back or anything! And really never saw a ton of chains.
  • Post #19 - November 27th, 2013, 6:34 am
    Post #19 - November 27th, 2013, 6:34 am Post #19 - November 27th, 2013, 6:34 am
    Another new dining option has come across the causeway to Sanibel - Blue Coyote Supper Club. Original location in Fort Myers, the latest iteration resides in the former clubhouse restaurant area of the Beachview Golf Club at Donax and Beachview Roads.

    While my go-to crunchy grouper option went away with the Beachview clubhouse demise, I am quite happy with Blue Coyote's eclectic cuisine offerings. A little American, a little Spanish, a little Caribbean - and heavy on the seafood, as one may expect. On the spendy side, the environment echoes its namesake - large prints and original paintings of the Blue Coyote character developed by an artist whose name escapes me at the moment. The artwork is priced as marked.

    They made me a top-notch Manhattan, my seafood stew (scallops, shrimp, penne pasta, tomato-saffron broth) was well-executed and properly seasoned and one dining compaion's signature pork chop dish was also a highlight. Sea Bass entree featured a large, perfectly cooked piece of fish but the sides didn't sing, according to Mrs. Davooda.

    The Davooda boys were content with a cheeseburger and chicken strips from the limited children's menu, though the younger lad enjoyed a cup of potato-leek soup that he said "lacked salt." He's learning!

    Blue Coyote Supper Club is a solid option to Sweet Melissa's and Il Cielo for higher-end dining on the island, but doesn't quite match Thistle Lodge.

    Davooda
    Life is a garden, Dude - DIG IT!
    -- anonymous Colorado snowboarder whizzing past me March 2010
  • Post #20 - November 27th, 2013, 10:31 am
    Post #20 - November 27th, 2013, 10:31 am Post #20 - November 27th, 2013, 10:31 am
    My favorite place in Ft. Myers is Cru, in the Bell Tower Shops. The food is cutting edge and if you order from the small plates menu it's reasonable, especially happy hour.

    http://eatcru.com/
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #21 - February 14th, 2015, 11:56 pm
    Post #21 - February 14th, 2015, 11:56 pm Post #21 - February 14th, 2015, 11:56 pm
    Any latest?
  • Post #22 - February 15th, 2015, 4:54 pm
    Post #22 - February 15th, 2015, 4:54 pm Post #22 - February 15th, 2015, 4:54 pm
    Sorry but nothing new to report.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #23 - April 28th, 2019, 6:38 am
    Post #23 - April 28th, 2019, 6:38 am Post #23 - April 28th, 2019, 6:38 am
    We recently spent a week on Sanibel and got good use of this post so I thought I add some updates.

    We had a very nice lunch at Sweet Melissa's--I would have liked to get there for dinner but we never got around to it. The burger with bacon jam was excellent (actually couldn't taste the jam that much but perfect medium rare burger).

    I would definitely skip the Bubble Room (or just go for cake if you have young kids who are impressed by the enormous wedges of layer cake). The food was not very good. Daveco_hen's description is absolutely perfect. My daughter was not that impressed with the decor and it's a little worn around the edges.

    The Bubble Room is like eating inside a shrunken, aspirational version of House on the Rock. It is either charming or off-putting, in that look-at-all-this-crazy-kitsch! kind of way.


    We at Doc Ford's 3 times, because it's very kid friendly (our daughter loved the peel and eat shrimp varieties). Also ,we loved the Yucatan shrimp and shrimp and grits. The tuna appetizer over a bed of noodles was a bit of a mess but taste was solid. Some of the other dishes we tried were just so-so (lobster roll, lime panko-crusted Grouper sandwich), maybe due to poor ordering choices.

    We thought Timbers was pretty average--typical island/coast seafood place but nothing special. Probably not a place we'd go back to.

    Bailey's and Jerry's market's/grocery stores both had nice seafood counters and we stopped at each several times.

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