February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour

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Davidsanders
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2019/05/15 00:32:41 (permalink)

February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour

Sunday, February 24th
 
 
With the looming threat of a strike in early March, the CSO headed down to Florida for the first year of a three-year residency in Naples, at Artis-Naples, the premier center for the Arts in Southwest Florida. The tour began with a concert in West Palm Beach, and I headed to Florida a day before the Orchestra’s official travel day.
 
My first stop was at TooJay’s, a deli I had heard about for a number of years. I frankly wasn’t very optimistic about what I would find, but it was actually pretty good.

 

 

 
I went with a pastrami sandwich, but I was beginning to wonder if they gave me corned beef instead. The rye bread was fresh and not hard, like some can be.

 
It was very tasty.

 
I had a half-order of mini-latkes, which I really enjoyed.

 

 
And a few pickles, which also were very good.

 
I finished off the meal with some raspberry and apricot rugalach.

 

 

 

 
 
TooJay’s Original Gourmet Deli
313 Royal Ponciana Way
West Palm Beach, Florida
https://www.toojays.com


 
After lunch and checking into the hotel I spent some time at the Starbucks in City Place, a small and very nice shopping district directly across the street from my hotel. Remember, this is February.

 

 
I love sitting outside for meals or drinking my iced tea, something I can only do in Chicago about two months a year or less. It was a lovely and relaxing afternoon.

 
 
CityPlace
700 South Rosemary Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida
http://www.cityplace.com



 
Dinner tonight was at a restaurant that I had read about on our tour last year, the Okeechobee Steak House, one of the oldest steakhouses in Florida, opened in 1947. I don’t go to steak houses very often anymore, but I’m glad I did.

 

 
An old-fashioned, rather dark place, with a busy bar area.

 
A typical steakhouse menu, with everything you could want, and more. The waiter even gave me his card, the first time that’s ever happened to me.

 

 
I started with an excellent shrimp cocktail.

 

 

 
The horseradish made for a wonderful cocktail sauce.

 
I also had a Caesar salad, which was first rate. I had thought about ordering the French onion soup as well, but the waiter talked me out of it.

 
Lots of parmesan cheese and excellent croutons.

 
Terrific rolls and butter.

 

 
I had the bone-in ribeye, which was fabulous.

 
Hardly a morsel left.

 
And very good and creamy mashed potatoes. It was a great meal.

 
Okeechobee Steak House
2854 Okeechobee Boulevard
West Palm Beach, Florida
http://www.okeesteakhouse.com



Much more to come.....
 
post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 01:52:53
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    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 01:02:08 (permalink)
    Monday, February 25th
     



    This was the view from my hotel room. It was a beautiful day.

     

     
    I started the day with a return to Loic Bakery, which I had found last year. It is a wonderful bakery.

     

     

     

     
    I didn’t have my usual butter croissant because they had a pistachio white chocolate croissant, which was insanely decadent.

     

     

     
    They also had baguettes coming out of the oven just at that moment. I’ve said before that there is nothing much better than freshly baked warm bread and butter.

     

     

     
     
    Bakery Loic
    480 Hibiscus, Unit 116
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    http://www.bakeryloic.com



    Sights around West Palm Beach and the waterfront. I walked around for quite a while.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    I also stopped at Ganache Bakery, which had a lot of good reports.

     

     

     

     

     
    I just had their mini key lime pie tartlet, which was good, but nothing special.

     

     
     
    Ganache Bakery Café
    120 S. Dixie Hwy, Suite 103
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    http://www.ganachebakerycafe.com
     
     
    I had a very nice lunch at Il Bellagio where I had gone last year as well. The weather was perfect for sitting outside.

     

     
    Very good fresh brewed iced tea. I had many refills.

     
    Wonderful warm bread.

     

     
    Oil and parmesan cheese for the bread.

     

     
    Another excellent Caesar salad.

     
    A pepperoni and peppers pizza. Not great, but pretty tasty.

     

     
     
    Il Bellagio
    City Place/Rosemary Square Plaza
    600 S. Rosemary Ave., Ste. 170
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    http://ilbellagio.com



     
    The Orchestra arrived in West Palm Beach this evening. I waited to have dinner with a few of my colleagues. We went to the chain Brio Tuscan Grille, which was pretty good.

     
    Three of my violinist colleagues, Wendy, Sue, and Flo.

     

     
    The bread was really great, but they were pretty stingy with it.

     
    My third Caesar salad in two days. I really enjoyed it.

     
    My spaghetti Bolognese was excellently prepared.

     
    Wendy had spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) and it was terrific.

     
    This was a belated birthday celebration for Sue and we shared a piece of tiramisu.

     
     
    Brio Tuscan Grille City Place
    550 S. Rosemary Ave.
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    https://brioitalian.com/city_place_west_palm_beach.html
     
     
    Much more to come.....
     
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 01:52:23
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    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 01:18:02 (permalink)
    Tuesday, February 26th
     
     
    I went back to Loic Bakery for breakfast this morning with my colleague Wendy.

     
    I had a butter croissant this morning, because I always like to try them. Even though the flavor was excellent and it was oozing with butter, the texture wasn’t what I remembered from last year, and it was a bit of a disappointment.

     
    I also had a raspberry almond croissant which was spectacular. I liked it even more than the pistachio from the day before.

     

     
    Wendy had the pistachio white chocolate croissant and she loved it.

     
    We were getting ready to leave when it turned out that they had baguettes coming out of the oven, so once again I ordered one, and once again the word sensational seems to be the description of choice.

     

     
     
    We had our rehearsal for the tour this morning with our first concert tonight. This is the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, a very good concert hall.

     

     

     
     
    After the rehearsal I went to the Grease Burger Bar, where I had gone last year, and which I had seen on a “best burgers” show. Once again I was able to sit outside.

     

     

     
    I didn’t have the meatloaf burger that had been featured on the show, but I did have a very good pepper crusted burger with Vermont cheddar and bacon.

     

     
    Very good coleslaw.

     
    Fabulous onion rings.

     
    An excellent Oreo shake.

     

     
    Good to the last drop.

     
     
    Grease Burger Bar
    213 Clematis Street
    West Palm Beach, Florida
    https://www.greasewpb.com



    Much more to come.....
     
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 01:51:51
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    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 01:40:36 (permalink)
    Wedneday, February 27th
     
     
    This morning’s breakfast was my third morning in a row at Loic Bakery.
     
    This morning I went with my colleagues Li-Kuo (violist) and Loren (cellist). They shared a raspberry almond croissant and a peach tart, the daily special.
     
    They also shared a ham and cheese special on a baguette, served with a lovely small salad.

     
    I had a raspberry croissant and the other daily special, a cinnamon apple muffin.

     
    We had to wait a little while, but the baguettes finally came out of the oven and the three of us shared that as well.

     
     
    The next stop on the tour was a concert tonight in Miami. I had rented a car for the entire trip, so my colleague Wendy and I drove to Miami, stopping along the way in Davie, Florida, to one of the locations of Shorty’s Bar-B-Q. Having grown up in Miami, Shorty’s was the barbecue I was most familiar with at that point in my life.

     
    Is it a chain when there are only four locations?

     

     
    I’m always amazed by the corn on the cob served in its own dish of melted butter (would you like some corn with your butter?).

     
    Wendy is excited to get the corn.

     
    We also had fried okra.

     
    We shared a pulled pork sandwich on garlic toast...

     

     
    ...and a half-slab of baby back ribs. Both meals came with fries and slaw. While the barbecue is not the style I love in the Carolinas it was quite good. The fries were just okay, the garlic toast was very good for a couple of bites until it cooled off. The slaw was good, nothing special.

     
    We also got a side of beans, which I really enjoyed. All in all it was a very good lunch.

     
     
    Shorty’s Bar-B-Q
    5989 S. University Drive
    Davie, Florida
    http://shortys.com
     
     
    After lunch we drove to Miami Beach to the Cat Café. It’s a great place and the cats are all well cared for and available for adoption.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    I loved the big black and white in his own basket.

     
     
    The Cat Café South Beach
    1423 Washington Ave.
    Miami Beach, Florida
    http://catcafesobe.com
     
     
    After the Cat Café we went to a very strange place called Bacon Bitch. I love bacon, but this place was odd. The workers would yell out “hello bitches” when people walked in the door.

     

     
    The bacon was pretty good, but I predict that this place won’t be here next year when we’re back in Miami. I won’t be going back even if it is.

     
    The hash browns were also pretty good.

     
    The croissant on the other hand was bad. About two bites and we dumped it.

     
     
    Bacon Bitch
    860 Collins Ave.
    Miami Beach, Florida
    https://www.baconbitch.com
     
     
    The next stop was a quick walk down to the beach.

     







    The view from my hotel room.







    The concert hall is in walking distance of our hotel, which is always a plus. It’s a very good hall.



     

     
     
     
     
    Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
    1300 Biscayne Blvd.
    Miami, Florida
    https://www.arshtcenter.org
     
     
    Much more to come.....
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 01:51:27
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    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 02:25:02 (permalink)
    Thursday, February 28th
     
    Tonight was the third concert of the tour, our first of two concerts in Naples. Before leaving for the 2 1/2 hour drive I found a very good bakery near the hotel.

     

     
    There were many, many choices.

     

     
    I had a butter croissant, which was very good.

     
    I also got a chocolate croissant for Wendy, who was riding with me again.

     
    Something else with chocolate?

     
    And because they had a buy 3 get one free special, an apple tart. I didn’t eat them all!

     
     
    Granier Bakery
    1064 Brickell Ave.
    Miami, Florida
    https://granier-bakery-bakery.business.site




    It was (again) a beautiful day for a drive and the trip went quickly. This was the view from my room.

     
    Little porch outside my room.

     

     
     
     
    Lunch was at Skyline Chili. Oh, how I love this place.

     
    Regular four-way with onions.

     
    Double oyster crackers.

     
    Followed by a coney, with chili, mustard, onions, and cheese.

     
     
    Skyline Chili
    710 Ninth Street North
    Naples, Florida
    https://www.skylinechili.com
     
     
    After lunch I walked from the hotel down the path to the beach. What a perfectly beautiful day.

     

     

     

     
     
    I had a fairly early dinner because of the concert tonight. Brooks Burgers was voted the #2 burger in the country by Trip Advisor.

     

     
    I like the red booths, even though I ate outside.

     
    I didn’t understand the significance of the plane.

     
    Quite a large menu.

     

     
    The burger was very good, but #2 in the country? I don’t know. I really liked the onion rings.

     

     
    I liked the interesting coleslaw, with candied pecans and dried cranberries.

     
     
    Brooks Burgers
    330 9th Street South
    Naples, Florida
    https://brooksburgers.com
     
     
    Artis-Naples, the Naples Performing Arts Center. Although it doesn’t look like it, we played to a full house both concerts.

     

     

     
     
    Much more to come.....
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 02:29:00
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    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 02:54:37 (permalink)
    Friday, March 1st
     
     
    Today was the free day of the tour, and I had a long day of Roadfooding ahead of me. My first breakfast of the day was at Heavenly Biscuit, on Fort Myers Beach. Highly recommended, it’s a very small and interesting place.

     

     
    The specials looked good, although I normally don’t have biscuit sandwiches (except for bacon!)

     

     
    I had read about the pecan rolls and how wonderful they were. I wasn’t going to have one, because I wanted to save room for what was ahead of me. But when I saw them I couldn’t resist.

     
    I didn’t have the pecan roll, but maybe next year.

     
    I find this place really intriguing. Like the long walkway down to the one extra table for overflow seating.

     
    There are about six tables inside, and six outside.

     
    The pecan roll, with the icing on the side.

     
    I was too miserly with the icing, not wanting to overdo it. What was I thinking?

     

     
    I ordered a biscuit and a side of bacon, but it came with the bacon on the biscuit, and while it tasted very, very good, I felt that the grease of the bacon compromised the integrity of the structure of the biscuit. Yes, really.

     
    This was really terrific.

     
    The bacon grease-soaked bottom of the biscuit.

     
     
    Heavenly Biscuit
    110 Mango Street
    Fort Myers Beach, Florida
    https://www.facebook.com/Heavenly-Biscuit-1615445412016627/
     
     
    Breakfast stop no. 2 this morning was CRaVE.

     

     

     

     
    Crave was a recommendation from The ChiTownDiner. He specifically recommended the bacon, so naturally I ordered it. With a biscuit, of course. The bacon was excellent, but the biscuit was cold. I asked the waitress if they were supposed to be served cold and she said they normally warm them up in an oven. She offered to warm it up again, but then asked if she could put it on the grill.

     

     

     
    I don’t particularly like biscuits grilled, but it tasted very good, and very buttery.

     

     
     
    CRaVE
    12901 McGreggor Blvd.
    Fort Myers, Florida
    http://cravemenu.com


    Breakfast stops nos. 3 and 4 were two donut shops in Fort Myers that had been recommend to me. Both were okay, but I didn’t really find them special. I got one donut in each place and only ate about half of each.

     
    There probably would have been a larger selection if I had been there earlier in the day.

     

     

     
    I had a chocolate cake donut with chocolate icing.

     

     
     
    Divine Donuts
    9131 College Parkway, Suite 145
    Fort Myers, Florida
    https://www.mydivinedonuts.com


    Bennett’s had some interesting varieties, but at this point I wasn’t particularly hungry, and still had one more breakfast place to go.

     

     

     
    The glazed donut was huge.

     
    I really didn’t like this much and only had a few bites before dumping it.

     
     
    Bennett’s Fresh Roast
    2011 Bayside Parkway
    Fort Myers, Florida
    https://www.bennettsfreshroast.com
     
     
    The fifth and final breakfast stop of the morning was at the Farmers Market Restaurant. One of the most highly recommended restaurants in Fort Myers on Roadfood.com, I got here at 10:29, with breakfast service ending at 10:30.

     

     
    I love the decorations.

     
    I managed to get a seat at the counter and still get an order of biscuits. Two biscuits to the order, I really wasn’t expecting much, but they were great. Fresh and hot and perfect, and $1.64 for the order.

     

     
    After the five breakfast stops I drove around for a little while, planning on going for a walk, but I couldn’t find a spot I wanted to walk, so I drove around some more. I went back to the Farmers Market Restaurant for lunch.



     

     
    The menu is enormous.

     
    I had read and heard about the meat and three lunches here, and after the wonderful biscuits, I was definitely looking forward to it. I ordered the fried chicken (white meat), mashed potatoes, collards and steamed cabbage. Lunch came with a corn muffin and a dinner roll. I liked both, although I liked the dinner roll more. Neither was as good as the biscuits.

     

     
    I was told the fried chicken would take about 35 minutes, which was fine, but it arrived after about 15 minutes or so. It was pretty dark on the outside, the skin was nice and crunchy and juicy, but the chicken was pretty dry and overly chewy. I wondered if it had been put back in the fryer for a second time or something. It was pretty disappointing.

     
    The sides were good, especially the mashed potatoes. The cabbage and collards both had big chunks of fatty looking meat, which I decided not to try.

     

     

     

     
    I also ordered a slice of coconut cream pie, which had a meringue topping. I didn’t eat much of it. I didn’t love the crust, although the filling was very good. As I was in line to pay my bill I saw the display case of pies and realized I should have ordered the fresh strawberry pie, which I had read raves about, and which isn’t always available. All in all the meal was a bit disappointing after all the raves.

     

     
     
    Farmers Market Restaurant
    2736 Edison Ave.
    Fort Myers, Florida
    http://farmersmarketrestaurant.com/web/

     
    Dinner tonight was a return to Café Milano, where I had gone last year. It turned out that I sat at the same outside table and ordered exactly the same thing I had last year.
    I saw this cute kittie in a shop window on the walk from my car to the restaurant.

     

     

     

     
    Fresh bread and olives in oil are brought to the table soon after you sit down.

     

     
    Parmesan and oil.

     

     
    An olive appetizer.

     
    A wonderful Caesar salad.


    Tagliatelle Bolognese. Everything was first rate and I really enjoyed it. A great dinner.

     

     
     
    Café Milano
    800 5th Ave. South
    Naples, Florida
    https://www.caffemilano.com
     
     
    Much more to come.....
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/16 00:28:47
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    leethebard
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 04:37:32 (permalink)
    What a thorough and enjoyable report. Really enjoyed it. Agree with your comment that the best meal can be hot out of the oven bread and butter. I can make a meal of that...oh and some wine!
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    buffetbuster
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 07:12:36 (permalink)
    David-
    It seems you were up all night posting this!
     
    Great photos and report.  I am a huge fan of Crave.  This place needs to be reviewed here on Roadfood.  Next time in the Fort Myers area, Heavenly Biscuits will be right at the top of our list!
    #8
    phlmaestro
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 07:50:56 (permalink)
    Great report! Welcome back from strike.
     
    That bone-in ribeye really does look fantastic.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 08:16:52 (permalink)
    If you could only get a fresh Loic baguette on the table next to an Okeechobee ribeye!
     
    ChiBears15 will undoubtedly be transfixed by those salads...
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    will_work_4_bbq
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 08:26:14 (permalink)
    Great report!!
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 10:36:37 (permalink)
    Davidsanders
     
     
     
    After the Cat Café we went to a very strange place called Bacon Bitch. I love bacon, but this place was odd. The workers would yell out “hello bitches” when people walked in the door.

     

     
    The bacon was pretty good, but I predict that this place won’t be here next year when we’re back in Miami. I won’t be going back even if it is.

     
    The hash browns were also pretty good.

     
    The croissant on the other hand was bad. About two bites and we dumped it.

     
     
    Bacon Bitch
    860 Collins Ave.
    Miami Beach, Florida
    https://www.baconbitch.com
     

     
    What are these people thinking?
     
    Does life imitate art?
     

     
    Or are they trying to rip off these people who claim to put the "F.U." in fun?
     
    Too bad, their food looks rather tasty.
     
    #12
    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 11:20:03 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    David-
    It seems you were up all night posting this!
     
    Great photos and report.  I am a huge fan of Crave.  This place needs to be reviewed here on Roadfood.  Next time in the Fort Myers area, Heavenly Biscuits will be right at the top of our list!


    Cliff, it was a pretty late night, and I hope to get it done today.
     
    I'm sure you will love Heavenly Biscuits. Let's hope you're in Fort Myers when Farmers Market has strawberry pie
    I'm also sure Crave is great, given that you and Gregg both rave about it. Sometimes my choice to just have biscuits and bacon for breakfast on my trips limits my ability to really give a place a fair try. But if I have a full breakfast, especially at more than one place, the chances of getting through the rest of the day are very slim. 
    #13
    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 11:50:35 (permalink)
    Saturday, March 2nd
     
    This evening was our second concert in Naples and the last concert of the tour. There had originally been a rehearsal scheduled in the morning, but it had been canceled long ago, because we would have already played the same program on the tour a couple of times. That left a good portion of the day available for more Roadfooding. This morning my colleague Li-Kuo joined me. We started at Farmers Market Restaurant, for a couple of biscuits, some bacon and some strawberry pie!

     

     
    We didn’t follow the advice of the sign in the background.

     
    We shared an order of bacon and each had an order of biscuits.

     
    The bacon was very good.

     
    The biscuits really are excellent.

     
    We made the mistake of sharing one piece of this extraordinary pie.

     
    Li-Kuo immediately said that if (when) we come back next year we’ll each have to get our own piece.

     
     
    Our next stop was a return to Skip One Seafoods, where we had gone last year.

     

     

     
    We were both excited about being back.

     

     
    I know some people who would be bankrupt if this was really true.

     
    Like last year, we both got the fried shrimp platter, with fries and slaw. While the shrimp were very good, they were much smaller than last year, without the tail, and with a very light breading.

     
    This was the order from last year, big and plump, with the tail on, and with a very substantial breading. This year was a bit of a disappointment. The fries were okay, the slaw was good.

     
    We shared a piece of key lime pie, which was not very good at all, and we left most of it.

     
     
    Skip One Seafoods
    15820 S. Tamiami Trail
    Fort Myers, Florida
    http://skipone41.com



     
    Later in the afternoon, after taking another walk to the beach, and sitting outside at a Starbucks, I went for my second lunch (or was it my first dinner?). It was my first visit to Steamers of Naples, although I had been given one of their lobster rolls last year. It was much better getting it fresh and eating it right away! Located in a strip mall, it’s pretty small, and I was really glad to be able to get a table outside. Quite a number of people started arriving soon after I had gotten my meal.

     

     
    I loved this lobster roll, the slaw was very good, and the onion rings were absolutely wonderful.

     
    My one very minor complaint was that the bun was way too small for all the lobster meat. Better that than the other way around!

     
    Fantastic.

     
     
    Steamers of Naples
    5317 Airport Pulling Road North
    Naples, Floridahttps://www.facebook.com/SteamersofNaples/



     
    Dinner tonight was a return to Skyline Chili. It seems like I just can’t get enough of it.

     

     
    Another regular four-way with onions.

     
    And another coney with chili, cheese, mustard, and onions.

     
     
    Much more to come.....
     
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 12:47:36
    #14
    buffetbuster
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 12:24:40 (permalink)
    The strawberry pie at Farmer's Market Restaurant really is that good.  I can't imagine what ugliness would come out of me if I was forced to ever share it...
    #15
    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 12:48:37 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
    The strawberry pie at Farmer's Market Restaurant really is that good.  I can't imagine what ugliness would come out of me if I was forced to ever share it...


    I completely understand and agree. I wouldn't have if I hadn't had it for myself.
    #16
    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 13:25:00 (permalink)
    Sunday, March 3rd
     
     
    The Orchestra left Florida to go back home this morning, but I stayed on for an extra day. My first stop of the day was back to Heavenly Biscuits.

     
    Great signs.

     
    Especially this one.

     
    This time I ordered the biscuits separately from the bacon, and both were fantastic.

     

     

     

     
     
    If I hadn’t been disappointed by Skip One yesterday I probably would have gone back. Instead, I decided to try the other Fort Myers seafood restaurant highly recommended by Roadfooders, Cape Cod Fish Co. I really enjoyed it.

     

     

     
    Having read that there could be long lines, I arrived just before they opened, and was able to sit outside on their covered patio.

     
    The waitress told me that the lobster roll is the most popular item on the menu, but I wanted the shrimp. Maybe next year?

     
    The shrimp were really terrific, and the hand cut fries were great, so much better than the fries at Skip One.

     
    I really loved these shrimp.

     
     
    Cape Cod Fish Company
    15501 Old McGregor Blvd.
    Fort Myers, Florida
    http://www.capecodfishco.com/home.html
     
     
    Lunch was followed by two desserts. First was Love Boat Ice Cream, which I have heard about since our first trip to Naples, but never had time to get there. Today was the day.

     
    An enormous menu.

     
    I had a taste of their pistachio, but it was too sweet for me, so I went with my old standby cookies and cream. It was really good, and very creamy. And it was a very large (one) scoop.

     
     
    Love Boat Ice Cream
    16229 San Carlos Blvd.
    Fort Myers, Florida
    http://www.loveboaticecream.com
     
     
     
    For my second dessert I went back to Farmers Market Restaurant for another slice of that fabulous strawberry pie.

     
    I’ve been told by those who know that this pie is not always available in February. I feel very lucky that I was able to experience it and hope it will be there when I’m back next year.

     

     

     
     
    Tonight was my last night in Florida before heading back to Chicago tomorrow. I had dinner with my former colleague Louise, who retired from the CSO in 2015 after more than 42 years. She was vacationing with her sister Barb on Sanibel Island. We went to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. My family used to go to Sanibel when I was a child, about 6 to 8 or 9 years old. I hadn’t been back since long before the bridge was built, and I remember having to take the ferry over to the island.

     

     
    I had the fried shrimp, and they were as good as any I had had on the trip.

     

     
    The other dishes ordered were a salmon special...

     
    ...peel and eat shrimp...

     
    ...and a really big mixed green salad.

     
     
    Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille
    2500 Island Inn Road
    Sanibel, Florida
    https://www.docfords.com/sanibel-island/
     
     
    After dinner we went to a small park on the Gulf to look at the sunset, which had already passed, but the view was still spectacular.

     

     

     
     
    We went to a convenience store across the street from the park and had a scoop of ice cream for dessert. It was Edy’s, and it was good. I had cookies and cream again.

     
     
    More to come.....
    post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/05/15 13:53:34
    #17
    Davidsanders
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 13:59:44 (permalink)
    Monday, March 4th
     
     


    My last day in Naples, the flight leaving this afternoon, with contract negotiations all day tomorrow. I found a new-to-me bakery, Tony’s Off Third, which was really great. I’ll definitely be back next year. It’s also in a new-to-me part of the city which I’ll try to explore a bit next year as well.

     
    Lots and lots of good looking selections.

     

     
    A first rate croissant.

     
    A very good mixed fruit scone.

     

     
    I didn’t go here.

     
     
    Last meal in Naples was my third visit to Skyline Chili. It was a really good day.

     

     

     

     
     
    I really enjoyed this short trip, and I loved being in Florida in February. Here is the summary of my report, such that it is.
     
    My favorites (in no particular order):
    Okeechobee Steak House
    Loic Bakery
    Skyline Chili
    Heavenly Biscuit
    Farmers Market Restaurant (for the biscuits and pie) Café Milano
    Steamers of Naples
    Cape Cod Fish Company
    Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille
     
    Runners up:
    Tony’s Off Third Bakery
     
    Very good:
    Toojay’s Original Deli Il Bellagio
    Grease Burger Bar Shorty’s Bar-B-Q Granier Bakery Brooks Burgers
    Love Boat Ice Cream Skip One Seafoods Brio Tuscan Restaurant
     
    Good:
    Ganache Bakery Café
    CRaVE
    Farmers Market Restaurant (for the fried chicken lunch)
     
    A disappointment:
    Bacon Bitch
    Divine Donuts Bennett’s Fresh Roast
    #18
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 18:38:14 (permalink)
    Nice work, David!  You had some real winners and I was glad to see a lot of shrimp and bacon.
    #19
    leethebard
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/15 19:06:57 (permalink)
    That mixed fruit scone looks perfect!!
    #20
    cavandre
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/16 09:13:19 (permalink)
    As a total aside, Doc Ford's is named after the main character in the mysteries written by Randy Wayne White, who is also part owner of the place. He can often be found writing his next book at a corner table in the restaurant. 
    #21
    ann peeples
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/19 12:30:30 (permalink)
    Another spectacular report, David!
     
    #22
    pnwchef
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    Re: February 2019 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Florida Tour 2019/05/20 09:45:08 (permalink)
    Wonderful report David! I could almost taste the hot baguette with melted butter. Your right there is nothing more satisfying.....Thanks for taking the time.......pnwchef
    #23
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