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Jan 5, 2007 04:48 PM

good eats in Naples FL.??

will be heading down there for a week/two weeks soon and wanted to know if any boston area hounds had some good recommendations?? have been down before but haven't really explored anything culinary wise.

most rests. seem to be chains, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, i was looking for some local flavor, i.e. cuban sands., floribbean etc.?? any ideas?? even good deli's, diners, coffee shops, rib joints, anything.

thanks in advance for the feedback.

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    1. got it. was hoping for some new england snowbird feedback which is why i posted it on the boston board. thanks for the heads up.

      1. An excellent seafood place "Randy's".


        and although it's a chain, I wish they would bring one to New England, I absolutely love Bone Fish Grill. Check out their website - it doesn't feel like a chain.

        If you love mexican, there is a really good one. It's a small chain but very good:

        Looking for a fun buffelo wing place - Buffelo Chips - crazy fun place.

        We go to bonita beach every year for a week so we know the area and eat out a lot.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lexpatti

          I'd have to second the call on Randy's. I just had a fried 'triple-tail' (am told it's a relative of yellowtail and hangs out near the stone crab pots, for what it's worth) sandwich with fries and slaw for lunch and thought it was outstandingly fresh and tasty. Possibly the best fish sandwich I've ever had. We've sampled a lot of places in the Olde Naples area and were shocked at the quality of the food, the friendliness of the staff and the reasonable price point. As Americans who spend most of our year in London, we get excited about a quality crab or fish shack experience. This one is worth a try, no doubt.

          1. re: lexpatti

            Thanks for the recs. We tried Cilantro Tamales (on the Tamiami Trail in Naples) last night and thought that the food was very fresh, seemed to be authentically prepared (based on my handful of trips to Mexico and a lifelong love of the genre) and the service efficient and polite. As far as the decor and general atmosphere were concerned, it was in a strip mall and looked like it had formerly been a pizza parlor. If you can look past that you'll get some worthwhile Mexican chow at reasonable prices. We've tried Meson Ole (on Hwy 41 just North of Olde Naples) and were very unimpressed with the dark, unoriginal decor (and the food was no better). I'd give that one a miss. Until we found Cilantro Tamales, we had pretty much written Naples off as a wasteland for Mexican food which is surprising considering the demographics.

            1. re: gwn400

              Have to try Flaco's next time you're in Naples. Very Good Mexican!

            2. re: lexpatti

              I am gunna need this gudie for my vacation.

            3. For a great (to me, the BEST) cuban sandwich, please visit Fernandez the Bull Cuban Cafe (family-owned) at 1265 South Airport Road, Naples; they marinate and roast their own pork. And ask for a small container of their homemade hot sauce to go with the sandwich, totally delicious. Another seafood place to consider is Tropical Reef on U.S. 41 North, not far from Randy's. Oh, Nemo's is also awesome for fresh seafood.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Val

                Spent last weekend in Naples and as usual picked up some good recs from fellow 'hounds. Just wanted to point out - to my dissapointment - the Cuban is only available for lunch at Fernandez the Bull. I got the roast pork dinner instead, which was good, but had really, really been looking forward to the sandwich. The service here was very gracious. And there was a party of 2 older Cuban (i think) couples who had the waitress show us their paella - it was gorgeous and I wish we had tried it (unfortunately it was after we had finished our dinner!). They said it is the best around - even better than anything they had tried in Miami, they made a point of telling us.

                Our first night we went to the Docks - was great to sit in the open air & check out the boats at the docks after. I, for some reason, got the most boring dish on the menu, but all my DCs had great meals (banana crust grouper was the highlight).

                The best meal of the trip was The USS Nemo. Had a sake flight with dinner (fun), everyone one of us LOVED our meals and the plates were practically licked clean. It was a great room too, loved it.

                We tried Pazzo on 5th too. Food was good, split 2 pastas and a salad, plus the crabcake to start (which was meaty and had a nice mango salsa on it); however the service was practically absent which was a real distraction for the meal (ie empty wine glasses, not even asking if we wanted another glass).

                For our happy hours we picked up snacks from Publix - gotta recommend their spinach dip - so good.

                We also went to Breakfast Bowling at Beacon Bowland, which was a bargain and a fun breakfast. $10 for b-fast, 3 strings and your shoes! Would be great for a family with kids.

              2. Naples Tomato for Italian (don't let the name put you off - it's terrific!), Chops for steaks and asian (high end), Truluck for seafood and Chrissy's Wild Side for breakfast!!!