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Kind of a hole in the wall, but it has become somewhat of a tradition that when I go up to the Tampa office, I to go to lunch with colleagues at Guadalajara, a really EXCELLENT Mexican restaurant.
Here’s the address off the menu, just for Chris.
There are two seating areas, both of which have a stained glass ceiling.
Authentically groovy decor… although, it does look as though someone hasn’t de-decorated since Valentine’s Day!
Someone who doesn’t even list Sanibel as a place to which he has ever traveled should not be editing an article about a Sanibel eating establishment on Trip Advisor. Referring to the style of food as “home cooking” does not constitute subjectivity. It means it’s not haute cuisine. I was there, I should know. You were not.
Aside from the excellent food served, the tables at The Sanibel Cafe might be this establishment’s best feature. The tables are glass-topped and filled with shells! Many of them are fossilized artifacts from long-ago eras, sitting side-by-side with their modern day counterparts. Featured above: a fossil junonia sitting next to one we would all seriously consider going to jail for! (Just kidding, Richard… seriously, I’M JUST KIDDING!).
Both of the owners, Ken and the aforementioned Richard, are very friendly and welcoming, and seem to enjoy walking the floor to socialize with their guests. On this day, I ordered the Cafe Wafles Supreme; a HUGE waffle with a ham steak underneath and rasins and apples on top. It was delicious! Chris got the Blue Bull sandwich, and I think Tootie got the ribs.
As our meal was winding down, Anne and Al strolled in! They took a window booth right behind ours so we could converse a bit. Under the auspices of going out to have a smoke, Chris ducked into a nearby shop and purchased a starfish necklace that Tootie had been coveting. It looks lovely on her!
The interior is decorated with containers full of Sanibel booty – sea shells! I like the syrup pitcher and salt and pepper shakers full of shells the best. The seating is comfortable.
You can watch the chefs hustling and bustling around to create your meal.
A peek out the window at the newly improved Tahitian Gardens breezy porches.
It’s “season” in southwest Florida, and especially on Sanibel Island. This means all the snowbirds are in residence, and there are lots of vacationers as well. Eating establishments tend to be crowded, and the wait tends to be long. However, it was late enough in the afternoon that most of the lunch crowd was starting to clear out of The Sanibel Cafe
The Sanibel Cafe is located in the newly-renovated Tahitian Gardens shopping plaza on Periwinkle Way. Gone is the “tropical pink” that made Tahitian Gardens instantly recognizable from the road, but you can still find it. The Sanibel Cafe is all cozy and snug in the southwestern corner of the plaza. The food is good and the atmosphere is casual yet interesting.
For dinner this fine evening, we’d settled upon all meeting up at The Hungry Heron. Gary, Tootie, Chris and I arrived a wee bit late; Anne, Al and Kim were already seated. Kim brought along her friends Connie and Daryl, who were delightful dinner companions. The majority ordered the garlic crusted grouper, which was delicious, and came with a HUGE baked Yukon Gold potato, as well as grilled vegetables. Chris and I were really impressed with the veggies (as usual, I picked out all the onions, but there were plenty of carrots, red and green bell pepper slivers, yellow squash, etc. to keep me happy). The menu at The Hungry Heron goes on forever and ever; at one point, before I’d looked at the specials menu, I was considering another dish which was number 176, and only halfway through the menu!
Had dinner here on Tuesday night. There’s an outdoor collection of restaurants called “Bay Street” at the International Mall in Tampa. Lots and lots of restaurants there. The food was good, but the portions were ridiculous. One order of rice can feed a small third world nation!