Saturday, February 7, 2015

J. Dawg's List of the Best of Fort Myers Beach

One of the benefits of staying put for an extended period of time at Fort Myers Beach is that I got to spend time exploring and sampling what the local area had to offer.  I got to live a little bit like a local resident and eat where the locals eat.  Here's a picture story of what I consider to be some of the best of Fort Myers Beach.  Its based on my tastes and preferences.  Its also sort of a scrapbook that shows how I spent some of my time. 

The best beach bar is Nemo's on the Beach.  Its just a small yellow building on the beach without a sign but its always busy.  The views are great because you pretty much sit almost on the beach under palm trees.  Just show up in your swim suit.  It also got great food and drinks that are very reasonably priced.  There are TV's and a bar inside for watching sports and live music every afternoon.  The Cottage, which is just a few steps down the beach, is a close second to Nemo's.

Nemo's on the Beach
Best happy hour appetizer is Shrimp Mancini at Nemos.  Lightly breaded fresh gulf shrimp, deep fried, and tossed with some Boom Boom sauce.  Its a meal that will leave you wanting more and can be had for just $6 between 3pm and 6pm.  When Anne was out, my go-to dinner out was a Shrimp Mancini with a House Salad for a total $12.  I had to bike a mile over the bridge to get it but it was worth it every time.

Shrimp Mancini
Friday night is still pizza night for me.  I sampled a few pizza places and the best I ate was the Margherita Pizza at Ray's Pizza.  Its thin crust New York style pizza with Ray's homemade crust and sauce.  Ray's is family run and most do takeout or delivery.  But if you eat at Ray's, you get to have Ray and his family dote on you while you eat to make sure you've got everything you need.  They do a great job making you feel special.

Ray's Margherita Pizza

One of the best lunches is a gyro at Plaka in Times Square.  It's a Greek restaurant, and for $9 you get a large gyro stuffed with meat, tomatoes, onions, and tzatsiki sauce served on warm pita bread.  Yum.  I ate several during my stay.  It was my go to lunch.

Gyro Lunch

The best seafood is the fresh gulf shrimp at Trico's.  It's not frozen or from somewhere in Indonesia.  It's caught right out in the waters off Fort Myers.  The shrimp boats unload at Trico's so it's fresh every day.  You get to choose the size, they'll cook it (with seasoning) for you right their is the store, and ice it down for the trip home.  Peel and eat with some cocktail sauce.  They're very addictive.  We ate a pound each week.

I felt the best sports bar is The Bayside Grille on San Carlos Blvd.  It has lots of big TV's and is usually always crowded with locals, especially during happy hour.  The $1.50 draft beers may be one of the reasons  The food is very good and reasonably priced.  They also have great specials each day.  The "Sammich" is a unique combo sandwich and will feed you for two meals.

Bayside Grille
A Sammich Special
Not really on Fort Myers Beach, but the best deserts are the cakes at The Bubble Room on Captiva Island.  Very much worth the drive.

The best way to spend a Sunday afternoon is having lunch and dancing on the deck at Doc Fords Rum Bar at Fort Myers Beach.  The food is great, the water views are idyllic, and the live music and dancing is free.  Its a great way to spend 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon.

The Deck at Doc Fords

Dancing to Deb and the Dynamics

The best and only Mexican food I had was at Mr. Tequila on Estero Blvd.  In fact, its the only Mexican food to be had on Fort Myers Beach.  Its across the street from the beach, but the outside sitting is shaded and very nice.  The lunch specials are very reasonable.  The Margheritas are really good and come in three sizes.  My picture shows a small.

Wife's with a Burrito Supreme lunch special
That's my list.  I'm sure Fort Myers Beach has a best hamburger, best ice cream, best chicken wings, and best coffee shop.  I just don't eat that food.  And there are lots of places in Fort Myers and further down the beach that I didn't get to.  But, I did my best to eat my way through Fort Myers Beach and, as English poet George Herbet wrote, "Living well is the best revenge".;)

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