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Feb 27, 2013 07:58 AM

What's good in Fort Myers (Gateway area)?

Heading down in a couple weeks for some Spring Training, looking for decent breakfast, lunch and dinner spots within 20 minutes of the ballpark.

Great burgers, pizza, BBQ, seafood, Italian, Chinese or Sushi are all welcome.

Nothing requiring dressing up as there's no room in the carryon for nice clothes.


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  1. 20 minutes from the ball park during spring training means about a block away (G). prepare for huge traffic. Most of the restaurants near by are dreadful IMO. There is some hope however.

    Two Meatballs in the Kitchen. Not my kind of place but everyone else seems to love it. ginormous portions...lots of fat patrons.

    Drive a little south of the airport to Gulf Coast town center. Tons of restaurants, although mainly large chains: pf changs, carabbas, red robin, ale house, etc. etc. but also there is a very good sushi place: Blu Sushi.

    A clean shirt and shoes is all that is required anywhere around here.

    For breakfast I guess there is Cracker Barrel if you want something heavy. Good bagel shop on Daniels near Fiddlesticks light.

    Lots of good buzz about a Gastro Pub near the park called Fat Katz.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LilMsFoodie

      I believe 2 meatballs is now Fancy's Southern Cafe with a very interesting menu that includes chicken and waffles.

      1. re: Bumstead

        Fancy's is in the old Two Meatballs location. Two Meatballs expanded and took over the abandoned Java Moon building next door.

        The Chicken Waffle fad hopefully will die soon. Excessively fatty food in the Paula Deen tradition.

    2. this showed up in our local paper: two places I've recommended plus one I didn't think of but is excellent:

      7 Replies
      1. re: LilMsFoodie

        Thanks very much for the suggestions! I've got a couple weeks before I head down, all recommendations are appreciated.

        1. re: L2k

          Any more ideas? Leaving Tuesday, need dinner after the games.


          1. re: L2k

            Drive down Daniels to the Bell Tower shopping plaza. There are several restaurants there that are quite good.

            1. Mad Urban Fresh. This is a funky food bar totally chef run. Limited menu, small selection of good wines at wood prices. We wanted his steak frites one night. He pulled out a huge cut of beef and proceeded to cut and trim our steaks on the spot. Fries are done the proper french way. He has amazing flat breads and tartines. This is not dressy in any is my favorite in town right now. No reservations. This is just north of the Bell Tower, across from a mexican place, Cantina Laredo and next to an Outback.

            In the mall itself (it's an outdoor strolling entertainment mall, not one of those monster things) you have several choices: Cru would be the most formal but you can go right from the park there. Bistro 41 is also very good and quite reliable.
            BluePointe has an oyster bar and specializes in northern and great lakes fish rather than the florida kind. I love their parmesan crusted lemon sole. There is also DaRuMa, a japanese teppanki steak house and sushi bar.

            The mob scene at the Jet Blue Park would preclude anything nearby unless you already have reservations.

            You might also hunt up a crazy place called "The Hut" out in the Buckingham area. I've heard very good reports but I think they shut down pretty early.

            1. re: LilMsFoodie

              The Hut is definitely worth a visit. The grounds are beautiful and a great place for drinks on a sunny afternoon. The food is forgettable. My SO had a pasta alfredo dish that was very salty and over cooked. Can't remember what I ordered, only that I was disappointed.
              I found it very Florida that they offer 26 kinds of beer but then look at the menu and it's Bud, Bud Lite, Miller, Miller Lite, Coors Lite, etc etc. I finally settled on a Corona.

              1. re: Bumstead

                Dagwood, when did you go to the hut. I was told they had new owners and new chef and the bar is supposed to be hopping. If it is in the last 5 months your advice could be valid.


                1. re: LilMsFoodie

                  I've been there several times since they reopened. New owner also owns Buckingham Blues bar just down the road. The last time I was there on a Sunday afternoon they had a band. It's a great place but you'll be disappointed if you go there for the food.
                  To nitpick a bit the bar itself is a let down. The lush grounds and wooden ramps lead you in to a nondescript Formica topped bar. I assume the bulk of the funds (rightly) went into the grounds and the bar itself can be redone later.
                  Even still it is a unique destination and a place I bring visitors when the weather is nice.

            2. re: L2k

              We just returned from there and enjoyed Kenwood Grille in Ft. Myers. Local place. Grinds their own hamburg and makes homemade potato chips. They serve lunch and dinner and have outdoor seating options.

        2. So here's what we did:

          Tried to go to Fancy's at 6PM on a weeknight, wait was over an hour. Went nextdoor to 2 Meatballs, same thing. So ended up at Fat Katz (on Daniels) which was pretty good. Best meal we had was at Cantina Laredo (off of 41) with a big group on Saturday night. "Chedders", near the airport was also pretty good.

          And I enjoyed my semi-annual visit to Waffle House, wish they had them up here. My hosts were put off by some of the traditions there (no names on a list, just move down the chairs until it's your turn), but loved the food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: L2k

            Cantina Laredo is a great Mexican place...lots of hounds dis here, so much so that I stopped recommending it. We go often for their chiles rellenos with picadillo stuffing.

            Really don't think you missed much with Fancy's but I am not a fan of fried southern food. They do have decent fried green tomatoes though.

            You were here during the biggest crush week of the year or at least the second biggest. Waits everywhere. Reservations a must at the better places and some suspend them when it is so crazy.

            Did you know the original owner of the Waffle House also bought the Ritz Carlton chain of hotels. Of course, Marriott owns the name now!

          2. The original comment has been removed