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burgers&seafood in ft myers

  • l

We will be in ft myers in april and are are looking for the best burger & a good seafood house around the ft myers area

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  1. Not sure where you will be staying in Ft. Myers area, but if you're south try Doc's Beach House on Hickory Blvd on Bonita Beach. They have great burgers and it's on the beach. Just head south out of Ft. Myers Beach and just before you head inland, it's on the west side.
    There will probably be lots of opinions on good seafood, so I'll leave that alone,

    2 Replies
    1. re: grouper

      HORRIBLE BURGERS!! Doc's is not a place to spend a penny. I can not imagine why anyone would go there. Servers/managers are rude and the food is lousy. Beer is cold, but expensive and with their attitude - pack a cooler.

      1. re: WStampa

        I completely enjoy it and never had anything bad. NO during easter break, everywhere is bad, packed, a stressed. I go to Docs everytime I am in Ft. Myers. I'm not looking for gourmet, just great atmosphere, fun and relaxing and always got that.

        Sorry Wstampa

    2. Sunshine Seafood Cafe on Winkler and Gladiolus is very good with fish. I like it a lot. They often have triple tail on the menu, a great local fish that is not commercially available.

      Skip One is an old locals favorite. You can find this little dump by the hundreds of people milling around in the parking lot waiting for a seat. Grouper, grouper, grouper.

      Want to part with some $, then I'll suggest Truluck's in Naples. It has two or three other restaurants, but no way is this an industrial chain. Awesome fish preparations, including salmon with blue crab and jalapeno bearnaise. Wow.
      Hamburgers, well there are a few places, but I would never put Doc's on the list. I love to stop there for a beer after a day at the beach and the location is great, right on the Gulf. Food there is an afterthought, and not much of that.

      I had a great hamburger at Cheeseburger in Paradise at the corner of 41 and Daniels across from Bell Tower. Last time, it didn't seem as great. I think all restaurants are cutting corners these days.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LilMsFoodie

        Docs, Skip One I like. Docs seafood is good and a nice atmosphere.

      2. I know it is a chain, but I have been very impressed with the food, service and value at Bonefish Grill. I've had salmon there that was perfectly cooked as requested -- with a char but still not overdone in the middle, requiring a thick cut and the hottest part of the grill. Really like their "bang-bang" shrimp fried in a hot seasoning, and they do a rich, tasty corn chowder with crab. You'll need reservations or be prepared for a long wait -- they are very popular, and justifiably so.

        Another local spot is the Prawnbroker, absolutely not one of my favorites. A churn-em in, churn-em out operation, serving a lot of combination plates at prices higher than Bonefish.

        1. Try Bacchus for good seafood, and Blu for sushi.

          9 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            We like Cheeseburger Cheeseburger in Naples and Bonita, I'm not sure if you have them in Ft. Myers.

            1. re: Kathfootball

              There is a Cheeburger on Sanibel. The oldest in the area. None in Fort Myers. I do like Cheeseburger in Paradise, which is part of the Outback group. Just starting up, but they manage their restaurants well. Tropical party atmosphere, at least when it is crowded.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              ipse, i didn't know you traveled to fort myers. will i see you there in april, by any chance? (it's my hometown....).

              1. re: alkapal

                I had to go there recently for work.

                What a pain to get to. Fly into Tampa and then take a little hopper of a plane to Ft. Myers. Before boarding our little hopper of a plane, the gate agent asked, "how much do you weigh?"


                1. re: ipsedixit

                  flying from d.c to fort myers is a breeze, nonstop, direct on several airlines. i love getting decent bbq and seafood there.

                  1. re: alkapal

                    What do you recommend?

                    The closer to downtown the better.


                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      i'm assuming you're talking food and not flights? are you downtown for depositions or trial?

                      in north fort myers, just across the bridge from downtown on 41 ("new" 41 to us natives), there is a bbq place on the west side of the highway.
                      Rib City Grill‎
                      13181 N Cleveland Ave
                      Fort Myers, FL 33903
                      (239) 995-2593

                      i used to like sonny's bbq, but they aren't anywhere close now.

                      italian, i go to fabio's on hancock bridge parkway near orange grove boulevard in n. ft. myers, and get the specials from the whiteboard. cash only! sasse's is good, too, in fort myers proper, just off fowler street. my BIL built the italian brick oven there at sasse's.

                      not close to downtown...but....the lazy flamingo is good for seafood, http://www.lazyflamingo.com/ and there is another non-trendy place under the bridge to the beach, matanzas inn (love the stuffed grouper) i repeat: not trendy, but good. http://www.matanzasrestaurant.com/ind...

                      i don't know about seafood downtown, as things have changed so much. the veranda is downtown, and is a bit down at the heels. but you'll be in good company with the other lawyers at lunch.

                      lil ms. foodie is up on all the new places, trendy spots, good food, and i enjoy "eating out" vicariously with her posts. maybe start a downtown fort myers thread. (but it is in such upheaval due to "re-development"). to tell the truth, i don't eat out a lot when i'm there because i stay with my elderly mom, and do lots of cooking for her, and also eat fresh fried fish or venison at my nephew's, and wood-grilled steaks or ribs at my sister's house.....

                      for reuben sandwiches, i like mel's diner, on pine island road. also on s. cleveland avenue, just past colonial on the right as you head south. on colonial, shrimp shack used to be pretty good, but it isn't the same quality as it used to be...

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Mels and Reubens are just meant to be. When I go out to lunch I prefer Mels just to get the reuben.

                        Grouper reubens are great too. I make them at home now and then. Really good!

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Are you staying at the new hotel near the Lee Co. courts? Hotel Indigo. Very nice moderate from the Four Season's chain. Brand new. They have a restaurant that is supposed to be ok. Not much else DT. If you have time to burn, you might try Delicious Things. You can search here for various reviews of DT Fort Myers. Some are recent.

                        The Veranda is within walking distance. Order simply and you might be ok there. Lots of people love it. Great bar full of lawyers and judges, if you haven't had your fill.

                        Down the street is The Edison. Food ok, not great.

              2. I am definately going to try Sunshine and Skip one, I had lost all hope for non-chain seafood in fort Myers. My family took us out to Mickormich and Schmidts (sorry sp?) in Naples tonight and I had a nice piece of salmon, thank god I didnt have to pay for it though.

                The only thing I've ever eaten at The Beached Whale is raw oysters but a good friend swears the burgers there are great. Anyone ever tried them?
                Truthfully, I havent tried much else on FM beach except The Beached Whale for beer and oysters and Chloe's.....(depressing sigh)

                3 Replies
                1. re: chopslick

                  I haven't been to Beached Whale this season but they always had great fried grouper.

                  1. re: RevrendAndy

                    the owner of the Beached Whale also is an owner of Doc Ford's Rum Bar. They are opening a second location in the old Bridge location on the bay side of the Fort Myers Beach bridge. I'm looking forward to that, it is a great location

                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                      The Beached Whale has absolutely the BEST buffalo shrimp app. I have been known to hazard Mantanza's Pass in the height of season for them. They are fresh, lightly breaded and fried just right.
                      Someone opened the top floor of the restaurant across from Times Square...anyone been inside yet?

                2. If you are in the Bell Tower area, The Blue Pointe facing the theaters is a great burger and seafood house. Let Doug, Terri or Ryan know Jean sent you.
                  1/2 lb burgers and huge variety of seafood and steaks, you can dine patio or inside.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: MartiniGenie

                    I used to love Blue Pointe but a visit about two weeks ago was very disappointing. There were very few people there, and it was the peak of season. I am thinking they may be the next to go in Bell Tower. I do not expect Cru to make it and Johnny Rockets has closed. (Not that I would miss that but it did fill a niche). LMF

                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                      I am soooo with you Lil about Blue Point. The last few times we went it was so slow I was nervous to order oysters. Didnt think they would be as fresh as they should be.
                      I wont even try Cru. I have heard to many poor things about it and I really hold your opinion high when it comes to food so thats one place that will not get my money.

                      1. re: Suzie

                        the new lighter, small-plates, cheaper "cru" just got a good write-up from jean leboeuf in the fort myers' news press last week.

                        doing a search, this is the only recent review i found online: http://www.news-press.com/article/200...
                        but it is not the one i recall just reading, where four diners were involved, and the prices were mentioned.

                        i *thought* it was a jean leboeuf review.....

                        1. re: alkapal

                          We haven't been to Cru in a long, long time - actually since before it closed the first time. Usually when we're near Bell Tower, we pop into Bacchus. Actually my daughter and I went there on Mother's Day (I know, I know. I make it a point not to go out on any "special" day), but we were headed to a movie. I had the petite paella, which is a nice, small lunch portion paella. My daughter had a grilled chicken sandwich with Shannon's truffle fries. They're the only french fries I let myself have these days and in my humble opinion, worth every calorie. Much later on, half filled with horrid "butter" coated movie popcorn (seemed like a good idea at the time) and therefore not very hungry, we decided to head downtown to H2 for a few apps and a glass of wine, but surprisingly, H2 was closed. They are usually open 7 days a week, so I don't know if they were closed just because it was Mother's Day, closed seasonally on Sunday, or something more permanent. I hope not, because Harold has really put his heart into H2 since Harold's closed / was killed by downtown redevelopment. We decided to try Delicious Things on First Street. had the Sea Bass (again, I know, I know... but it was the only thing that appealed to me on the very limited menu) . It was really disappointing. It was topped with a few grape tomotos and covered with a slab of mozzarella cheese, which was neither melted nor pleasant to eat. After I removed the slab on top, the fish was relatively edible, The vegetables underneath were meh and the pesto risotto served on the side was undercooked, hard and dry. My husband had the pork, which he said was "okay". My daughter had the salmon and I couldn''t tell you how it was cooked. Not browned enough to have been sauteed, but with some browning around the edges so as not to have been poached. She rarely has met a piece of salmon she doesn't like, but this was flavorless mush. Took the leftovers to her chihuahua, and he wouldn't eat it. He will eat anything... She picked at the veggies. The hubby decided to have a creme brulee, which was oddly grainly and off tasting. We won't be back. I am looking forward to trying the resto at the Indigo. Some friends of ours have dined there and said they had a great dinner but I have no details.
                          As far as burgers, again, back to Bacchus. While not a traditional burger, they have a "lambburger" that is really excellent. I always have it medium-rare and it has been consistantly good.
                          Finally - Alkapal - I didn't know that Mel's Diner even served reubens. A good reuben is one of life's finer little things for me, so I will certainly have to go check it out. I don't think I have ever eaten anything but breakfast there.

                          1. re: Mothership

                            Mels has just a classic simple great Reuben! Not fancy, not gourmet, just good a simple. It is the only place I will get one out, other than a grouper reuben or when I make them at home.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              "Classic, simple, great rueben" - Heaven. Thank you.

                            2. re: Mothership

                              mel's on pine island road in cape coral is where i had the superb reuben! their other location on s. cleveland is slipping a bit, imo. ask for extra crispy fries! ;-).

                              ps, anyone, how is shrimp shack on colonial these days? the last time i went to shrimp shack at the cape, it was disappointing. i think the one on colonial has always been better than the cape location, though, but as i mentioned upthread, it doesn't match its good old heyday of a few years back.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Pine Island for me too had a couple of friends there.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I don't generally go to the Shrimp Shack on Colonial. Instead we head to the one on Metro at Daniels. Last time we were there it was still pretty good. Fish was fresh, but of course you know they serve "white fish" now with grouper as an up-price option. My husband and I got one of each last time and the grouper didn't have that good grouper taste (that I am sure you are familiar with, since I believe you are from Fort Myers?) Anyway, it's still a good place to get some fresh, piping hot fried fish or shrimp, but not quite what it used to be. Do you remember the days when all red grouper was caught and released because black grouper was considered to be the only one worth eating? My Dad built the Fort Myers Beach Marina way back when and we used to have snook all the time fresh off the boat. Oooo yum - nice fried snook. Now there's some good eatin'. Sorry - I digressed...
                                  And next time I am out in the Cape, I will be sure to hit Mels on Pine Island Road. Thanks.

                                  1. re: Mothership

                                    Snook, is a fave by me for sure. When we first moved here, yes, red, why red with nematodes, no way, only black. Well red is just as good. I caught 6 last time off shore and had many bags which I have now ate all. I still love it fresh by I just gave my friend a recipe for his last night which he made and called this am to tell me how amazing it was. Nothing special mind you. But sometimes we forget about the easy recipes that are so good.

                                    It was grouper with just lemon, olive oil, and oregano dried. Then topped with a small topping of fresh tomatoes, capers, garlic, olives, onions and white wine. Just sauteed over medium heat. Nothing more. Some fresh basil at the end, s/p. Grilled and topped with a dollop of the tomato mix. The tomato broke down and got nice and sauce, but still firm enough. He served his over mashed potatoes and grilled eggplant.

                                    Fresh fish is by far the best. Snook I only get now and then but love it.

                                    1. re: Mothership

                                      mothership, oh yes, i grew up on fried snook! these days, my nephew is the sports fisherman, now that he's retired from the fort myers fire department. he is the one who brings home the fresh grouper. can one still buy snook?

                                      if your dad built the fort myers beach marina, he probably knew my dad, who was a lee county commissioner in the 60's (from district "1" -- north fort myers), and helped develop cape coral, and dedicated that bridge in 1964 with connie mack, jr. back in that day, the best fish shack around town that i recall most vividly was the one in downtown, near the "charles chip" potato chip place and hart's dairy distribution center -- near the "v" intersection where anderson avenue intersects with thompson street. it was just a little masonry (or wooden) shack, painted white, with a take-out window, and run by african-americans, if i recall. there was certainly integration at that take-out window -- and some good snook and hushpuppies -- also smoked mullet, iirc. do you remember the cuban sandwiches at the snack house downtown?

                                      what's happening down at the beach these days for good, fresh seafood that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

                                      ps, mothership, if you ever have a hankering for great stromboli (and i do mean great!) and delicious ny style pizza, in punta gorda there's a place called monty's. it used to be closer to nfm on 41 before charley, but charley decimated their stand-alone restaurant. now it is in a little strip mall, but the pizza is better than ever, in my opinion. my brother-in-law travels back and forth to arcadia to take care of his cows up there, and goes through punta gorda especially to pick up monty's stromboli! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617667 <my brother-in-law's father used to run fishing expeditions out of punta gorda/charlotte harbor, and sometimes tampa bay, with ernest hemingway. lots of romance back in the old florida days.>

                                      i honestly think it is worth a little trip up to monty's -- because in addition to the good food, you can see what has been done post-charley.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Well, sadly you cannot buy snook, as it is strictly a game fish. And I have NO luck, ever, off my dock catching any. I am at the mercy of more talented fishermen. (Didn't get talent that from my parents).
                                        And sadly also, yes I do remember when there was no Cape Coral and remember watching from across the river as Cape Coral came into being. (Sad to be old enough to remember, not about the Cape...). I am sure my Dad knew yours. He knew everyone. He also built the old boat works that used to be on Hickey Creek downtown. We were all about the boats and fishing and more importantly, eating fish all the time.
                                        I thought I was the only one who remembered the fish place downtown. What a shabby little place with absolutely the very best fried fish, fried shrimp and great fries. And mmmm smoked mullet. I grew up going down there with my Mom to pick up fish. Often it smelled so good we would sit right there in the car and eat it piping hot out of hand. Also - there used to be a great little seafood market just to the south of where the park downtown is now. It was right where the sailing school would later be. They always had really nice fresh seafood and real, true blue crab claws that I could eat by the bushel full. The best that I have found now, is Skip One Seafood on US 41 South. Good fresh fish - raw or prepared.
                                        I fondly remember the Snack House and every time I am downtown and see the spot where it used to be, I crave either the cuban or their patty melt. I recall it in it's glorious greasy deliciousness.
                                        Actually, I rarely go to the beach, but for take out, there used to be a great little place just before you cross the first bridge - right there by where the charter boats are on the right-hand side. Not the Mantanzas Pass Bridge, but the one before that. Last time I was down that way, I picked up some fabulous smoked mullet there and some fresh snapper. Don't know if it is still there - the turn-over / close down situatioin here moves very quickly here these days. I miss the days of going out on the boat and stopping on the way home at Hickory BBQ. I have to guess that you are familiar with their pork sandwiches and little jars of the Best BBQ sauce in history ( I could drink a bottle of it right now). And ooh, the coconut cream pies. I still yearn for one. We ate there the last day they were open and I could just cry. Wish I had the recipe for the pie :( . Even my Portuguese husband misses it.
                                        I am up for a drive for some good stromboli and my daughter's boyfriend lives for the stuff. I will certainly make a trek up to Punta Gorda. Thanks for the recommendation. And thanks for the trip down culinary memory lane...

                                        1. re: Mothership

                                          hickory bbq, yes i remember it in all its glory. why is it so hard to find great seafood and bbq in fort myers, i wonder? hey, btw, pick up some "pat's ho-made" bbq sauce at publix; it's pretty darn good.

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            Had it, not too bad. I try new ones all the time. I very often just use publix brand, plain sauce and doctor it up. I love so many different sauces I like to never do the same thing. Bourbon with orange and honey one time, Ginger, garlic another, Spicy with chipoltes another time. So I have fun making my own.