I am going to try something new on my blog. Our family loves to go out to restaurants and bars all the time. I thought it would be a nice thing to highlight the ones we love, for folks who live in South Florida or are traveling here and want something besides chain restaurants and generic tourist-trap beach bars with someone covering Jimmy Buffett. There are millions of people living in the cities in South Florida, coming from all over the world. It’s the hole-in-the-wall places and street food that really make this place great. I am not getting paid to promote these or anything, just showing some love for cities that I love.
I am not going to write any bad reviews, because (1) I’m not into bad karma, and (2) that’s not worth my time. If you read about a restaurant on my blog, it’s a five-out-of-five-stars for me and nothing less. Follow the links for full menus!
California Burritos food truck (usually stationed at the intersection of Colonial Boulevard and the Tamiami in Fort Myers)
I’m not a huge fan of fast food generally, but I love all the international food trucks we have around town. A perk of being surrounded with people from Latin and South America is they bring all of their delicious street food. It’s also ridiculously inexpensive for the quality. (Update: The owners saw this post and asked me to include a link to their website, which has a helpful map as to where you can find them, so here it is. Thanks to them for all the amazing food!)
This is their Cuban sandwich, which is big enough for my husband, daughter, and I to split. It’s legit the size of a dinner plate and about six inches tall.
Bangkok Thai (Fort Myers)
This is one of my favorite restaurants in town because of their pineapple curry duck. I love duck and often roast them at home. We use duck fat for frying fingerling potatoes in – you can’t eat like that all the time, but it tastes like heaven. Anyway, the combination of hot and creamy curry with chunks of pineapple is unreal.
Chuchi’s Spanish Cuisine (Cape Coral)
This is a great place to go both for tapas and full-size entrees. You can get lobster, grilled octopus, paella, and many other fabulous dishes with live music at night. They also serve tapas.
Lobster Lady Seafood Market and Bistro (Cape Coral)
This is seriously one of my favorite seafood restaurants of all time, and that’s saying a lot because I have lived in Northern and Southern California and both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. If you go during peak hours, there will be a line out the door and a crowd around the bar. That’s no problem… Just walk around the corner to the Big Ten Sports Bar and get yourself a beer and watch some golf while you wait. It is worth the wait! There is not a menu like this one anywhere.
On Wednesdays, they offer $10 bottles of house wines if you are there for a full meal. Yeah, you read that correctly. You can also buy a lobster the size of a small child if that’s your thing.
Fish Tale Grill and Merrick Seafood (Cape Coral)
This is my other favorite seafood restaurant and fishmonger. Excellent wine list too. (Yes, I always order sea bass when we go out, if it’s available. It tastes like candy and I love it.)
Aji Limon Peruvian Restaurant (two locations in Cape Coral, Naples, and Bonita Springs)
There are two Peruvian restaurants we frequent, and this is one of them. The people who run this place are extremely kind and make wonderful food.
Peruvian food is our favorite kind of food in town – we could both eat our weight in ceviche, I think.
Chicago Pizza (Cape Coral)
I am not a fan of New York-style pizza. Sorry not sorry. One of the things I hated about living on the Atlantic coast of Florida was New York-style pizza was literally your only option. The Gulf Coast side of Florida gets a lot of people from the Midwest, which means glorious, cheese-orgasm-on-a-plate Chicago pizza. There’s no shame in my game.
This place is pretty much a giant bar and they have cheap pitchers of beer to go with your pie. I have never seen this place not crowded, which is a testament to how amazing their food is. Everyone in the restaurant talks like they are long-lost friends. It’s a really lovely place to hang out and chat.
Okay, that is all for this installment!