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Ft. Myers Trip Report -- 3/14

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Just back from another week in Ft. Myers, visiting my mom and her companion and my uncle and aunt. Here are some of my impressions:

Fancy's (N/W of Daniels and Fiddlesticks) -- Southern food, which I really liked. My uncle got a chicken-fried steak which was immense, crispy and good. I got the crab cakes, two good ones with even better very crispy fried green tomatoes, along with a corn relish. Almost all mains come with a choice of two sides, some very hot mac'n'cheese, I had some mashed potatoes and gravy, some spicy cole slaw, green beans, etc. One of our group had the pork ribs which were tasty, another the meat loaf. I loved this place -- big portions, good food -- but my mom didn't -- noisy, the A/C too cold. We had an issue: they added a "charge" for a party of 6 but didn't verbalize it, so my uncle and I both added normal tips on top. He caught it a day later and a call to the owner/manager resulted in them reimbursing the additional tips to our cards (I trust). I'd go back, especially for that chicken-fried steak.

Our final dinner was at Nomiki's Plakka, a Greek place in a minimall on McGregor, west of where Daniels passes Bell Towers. Their chicken-rice lemon soup was great. I had the pork souvlaki, two skewers of small chunks of meat that were tender and tasty, particularly when dipped in the garlicky tzazicky sauce or herbed oil served with the pita (which was warm and tender). My uncle enjoyed his greek chicken chop suey, which made another lunch, another guest liked his stuffed grape leaves, and my mom's companion liked his shawarma salad. Small, family-run place, which was packed when we arrived at 7 and does a carry-out business as well.

We had a Saturday night dinner at Reuben's BBQ and Catering. I loved this place in February, when I had lunch there with my mom. The others in our party really liked it this time -- the baby back ribs, the "Q" sandwich with pulled pork, onion strings, and bleu cheese, the meat loaf. I had the brisket, which I asked to be "untrimmed," with the bark and fat left on -- big mistake, way too much fat on some of the slices and no crispy, flavorful bark. Arvy, Reuben's wife, wasn't there this time and she was missed. The bread pudding dessert is a winner, served very hot with a bit of chocolate and some currants and a caramel sauce. I like their assortment of sauces -- a regular and a sweet and a spicy and a habanero-pineapple served on request. And their raised yeast rolls served with entrees are excellent. Very good place, I'll be back.

I won't be back to a seafood chain in Bell Towers. I don't even remember the name -- it is next to Grimaldi's -- but I was unimpressed. My New England seafood chowder had some gnarly bits of shrimp tails or other inedible hard items. My parmesan sole (small portion) was good. I guess my dissatisfaction was in comparison with Bonefish Grille, which I really like. I found the prices for the smaller portions to be equivalent to Bonefish's large, their seafood chowder a pale comparison to Bonefish's wonderful corn and crab chowder. But I may be outvoted -- my mom (and others) spoke about being crammed into Bonefish's tables and hurried in and out, but at this place I was crammed into a booth against a window (three on my side, two on the other). Bottom line, I'd choose Bonefish any time (don't have them here in L.A. and i can't even remember this chain's name.

Had a good casual meal at Pizza 2000, off Daniels just west (south side) of 41. 14-inch pizzas with a tasty charred crust for low teens. Two pizzas for three left mucho leftovers, and I liked my sausage, mushroom, and ricotta pizza for dinner and the next night's snack.

Finally, a word of praise for Olde Hickory, where my mom has a condo. Clubhouse has really good food -- a big burger cooked properly to order, medium-rare with a char; a crunchy grouper that is crispy on the outside and flaky within; a huge club sandwich good for two meals; and excellent soups. Good service and a challenging golf course, too -- not long, but it ate me up.

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  1. Thanks for the review, nosh. This was helpful and interesting. I wish we could get more reviews like this.

    1. Seafood restaurant at Bell Towers is Blue Pointe Oyster Bar and Grill.

      1. Anytime we are in Fort Myers or Naples, we always go to Randy's Fishmarket on the Tamiami Trail. Not fancy, but amazing fish and stone crabs (when in season.) The sauted tripletail sandwich is our favorite.