staying in pine island.....need recommendations!
I'm taking my dad and son fishing in a couple of weeks and we're staying at the Tarpon Lodge by the marina. (All three of us are great foodies and we want to eat well!!) I can't figure whether their restaurant is good or not....and where else should we hit? Is the restaurant out at Cabbage Key good or a big tourist trap? Thanks!!
If you are a parrot head (as I am) you have to go to Cabbage Key to get the cheeseburger of legend from the Jimmy Buffet song. Just remember, the legend is that Jimmy had been stuck on his his boat longer than his supplies had held out. So when he arrived at Cabbage Key he had been living on canned beans for way too long, so the cheeseburger was paradise, but not because it was a great cheeseburger unto itself. Go, leave a buck on the wall, get the mediocre cheeseburger, go home and tell your friends you had a "Cheeseburger in Paradise"
I haven't been to Tarpon Lodge for a year or more but it was very good when I was there. The restaurant on Cabbage Key is fine for what it is. As long as you go on your own, and not with a horde of tourists who are served a minimal menu, it certainly worth time for lunch.
Bert's Bar might be off-putting from the road but the view from the back is spectacular. My rec for anything on Pine Island is to order simply.
The fishing can be spectacular. I'm sure you will be told some fish are closed for the season due to the cold weather die off. Best info on the web for fishing is the Bait Box on Sanibel. We fished under the causeway bridge yesterday (to Sanibel) and although we did not catch any, many 20" sheepshead were being caught. My consolation was when a bald eagle dove down not 10 ft away from me and snatched a fish and flew away. Water from the fish hit my face. Now that is fishing, up close and personal.
Read here from a few months ago about seafood shacks on Pine Island. There is a good one up near Bokeelia.
I'll try to think of some other places you might try. You can easily boat to Tween Waters which has Captiva House, a lovely restaurant and there are several places at South Seas, also on Captiva which you can access from their marina.
If you have not done so already, get yourself in the mood for your trip by reading Randy Wayne White novels.
Mangia Bene, LMF