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Oct 10, 2007 03:43 PM

Cape Coral?North Ft. Myers

What's good?
I rarely see any posts on places in the Cape.
Are there any little known secrets for VERY casual dining in the Cape or North Ft. Myers...
What was that place on Hancock Bridge Pkwy, that somebody spoke of? I can't locate the post.
Just need ideas for inexpensive, fun, friendly places to dine.
The kids have all left the house, and I'm hanging up the apron!

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  1. Wow, I had my office in the Cape from 1983-2000, and pretty much all of the chef or family owned places that were especially good then withered in face of high rents / real estate costs and a market that mostly seemed to think that you had to go to Ft. Myers, Sanibel or Naples to get great "find" restaurants. Sorry to not be of much help!

    1. I think it's called Norman's or something with an N. It used to be a greek restaurant. but there's a few places on Hancock Bridge Pkwy. I live just around the corner. I hung up the apron a few months ago and got food poisoning three times since. I'm now dawning the apron again and sworn off restaurants altogether.....unless I know the chef. No, I didn't eat at Normans.....hope you have better luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Florida Realtor Chick

        The Hacock Bridge pkwy rest. about which i posted a while back on another thread is not Norman's nor was it Greek. it is "Ristorante Fabio" and it has been there for years (well-patronized).

      2. The last great place to eat in Cape Coral was the Dollar Bill Saloon. With that closed, there are no good fun places to eat. That was my favorite! Seriously, there is the: Twisted Conch on 47th Terrace has great entertainment,
        Siam Hut on DelPrado has great Thai food.
        Houlihans on CC Parkway has consistantly good food.
        Dinner Bell in downtown CC
        Leap'n Lizards near the CC bridge is always hopping.
        Mel's Diner on Pine Island Road has good food and is reasonable.
        Shrimp Shack has good shrimp.
        Rumrunners for lunch. Expensive but great view.
        The shops at Cape Harbour. Expensive but a nice way to spend some times looking through the shops and have lunch.
        Lots of new stuff on Pine Island Road that I haven't even tried yet.

        Beverly Saltonstall

        1 Reply
        1. re: YTBTravelLady

          I second Siam Hut on Del Prado. My parents used to live nearby and I used to go there frequently. It's been a few years since I've been back and I'm glad to hear it's still good.

        2. None of these are VERY CASUAL. They are casual, imo. (I think nice casual. no rubber thongs!) Ristorante Fabio on Hancock Bridge Pkwy. "Fabio's" for short.
          Here is the post to which you referred in OP:

          If you are in Fort Myers, try Java Moon Cafe on Daniels toward the airport (before 75, on the left as you head east on Daniels.. I recently had the outstanding burger. good service. fair prices for quality/amount.

          Matanza's Inn restaurant is good at the beach. The Cape has changed so much, I don't really know much there. Am interested in thread. Oh yeah, Mel's and Shrimp Shack. Mel's Rueben is awesome!

          Toward the beach, but oh, so, good: La Casita Authentic Mexican Restaurant (purple place). Carnitas yum! Dos Equis (DARK) in a pitcher! Going for years, and new owner in last year. still very good.
          15185 McGregor Blvd
          Fort Myers, FL 33908
          (239) 415-1050

          1. I'm headed that way today. From other links here, I'm giving the wood burning oven at Sasse's on Evans a try. Very near my hotel. Was thinking about Matanzas tomorrow night but might look further into La Casita. Been craving some good Mexican fare.

            6 Replies
            1. re: crewsweeper

              my bro-in-law built Sasse's oven. call ahead and see if they will do a Zuppa de Pesce for you. Bliss, I say!

              crewsweeper, also try "The Bar Association" downtown. 1611 Hendry. 239-334-8080.
              It is fun (the pom-tini in the adjacent bar --across the old Fort Myers patio--is nice). the food is tasty and generous. menu is off the beaten path -- e.g., goulash, stroganoff, some lamb shanks my sister said are fabulous -- (when the owner can get the ones that he likes in store), and some new orleans/creole dish (i can't recall which one -- a creole? jambalaya? maybe) that my husband loved. the owner is nice, too. very friendly place. perfect for drinks before heading to Sasse's.

              the stuffed grouper at matanzas is great, and also shrimp and scallop in garlic butter sauce over pasta.

              1. re: alkapal

                alkapal, et. al.

                In Ft Myers Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Tried Sasse's on Tuesday. Very nice but only 1 couple dining besides self. They still have their Zuppa, sounded great, but I went for the braised Osso Bucco and mushroom merlot risotto. The meat was literally falling off the bone. Wonderful flavors in the sauce. Plenty of marrow for those who enjoy that part. risotto was a bit too al dente for my taste and the merlot a bit over powering. Also the garni was a sprig of bright deep green rosemary. You could smell the aroma without even putting it up to your nose. But the overpowering flavor wrecked a bit of havoc with my monte 's. so I'd recommend a bit sturdier wine. They still have the gorgonzola salad witht he wedges of Estella gorgonzola. They gave me a "dinner" portion, smaller than the regular portion and I had gorgonzola and mesclin green for lunch the next day. Chocoholics don't miss the flourless chocolate cake. Had 2/3 of that for lunch too.

                Wednesday, tried Las Casitas. Loved the decor and the purple paint job. They havew pozole with avocado garni, I love good pozole and this was good,but too much lettuce on top. Salsa was a pico de gallo and a bit soupy but fresh ingredients. Went for the bistec mexicano over the carnitas. Stuffed. a reasonable good mexican restaurant, Not La Fiesta, but way above On The Border and Chicos. Speaking of which, i noticed that chico's world headquarters are in Ft Myers. But the only Chicos restaurant I saw was shuttered.

                Thanks all for the tips. I'll try the Bar association and Matanzas next time through in january.

                1. re: crewsweeper

                  crewsweeper, thanks for the report back. i fondly recall the gorgonzola wedge! Did you tell them you would be reviewing them for the chowhounds? It would be nice for them to know your take on their dishes!

                  Is this the La Fiesta in Naples that you like?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    No, alkapal, it's the one in Port Orange, south of Daytona. if you're every on that coast, give it a try.

                    1. re: crewsweeper

                      i'll keep it in mind, crewsweeper, thanks!

                  2. re: crewsweeper

                    Had a ghastly dinner twice this year at Matanzas. Over cooked fish, a cheese sauce that had to be Velveeta, mushy vegetables, rolls that were not thawed. On the other hand I had a fabulous grilled swordfish steak with a sauce of fresh basil, cilantro and garlic and stir fried veggies Saturday night at Salty Sam's. Marina's Parrot Key restaurant. We had a great table looking at the marina and could join the dancing and floor show after. Locals will take visitors to Salty Sam's as it is consistent and has that very tropical flavor. I had a very nice sauvignon blanc from NZ, Oyster Bay, with the swordfish. My boyfriends blackened scallops were perfect as well. To those who think its too touristy, you are missing out on a good meal and great fun.


                    However, if you want as casual as it gets: head to Bert's Bar in Matlacha. Just take Pine Island Road through the Cape until you get to Matlacha. Bert's is right before the bridge to Pine Island. It is a disreputable looking as it gets but the view behind is the Pine Island Sound. They have entertainment many nights and make home made chips. I wouldn't recommend drinking anything but beer here, but they are very proficient with the local fish and many boaters bring their catch.


                    My other rec for ultra casual is all the way out to the Sanibel/Captiva bridge. This Lazy Flamingo is great. Perfect oysters and never the mushy "farmed" kind. Excellent grouper sandwiches with the real thing again.