When they moved from Michigan to Florida, the owners of Jim's Coney Island left behind the cold weather, but didn't forget a recipe for the Great Lake State's much-loved Coney Island hot dog. At their Cape Coral eatery, they recreate the tasty dog seven days a week using Michigan-made hot dogs—which are specially seasoned and made with their natural skin casing—piled high with mounds of chili, mustard, and onions. Chefs also pay tribute to other cities' signature dishes, such as a philly cheesesteak and a classic new york reuben, while also preparing gooey calzones, hot wings slathered in four types of sauces, and hand-tossed pizzas made with butter, butter cheese, garlic butter, or garlic-salt flavored crusts. The menu's all-day breakfast invites diners to enjoy fluffy three-egg omelets and sweet french toast platters at any hour of the day.
For a classic slice of Americana, customers need only to cross the threshold of Mel's Diner. Hungry diners can pull up to the counter or at a table to order from a menu of classic diner food. And this kitchen takes care in crafting every meal. The crew roast turkeys and smokes ribs in house and uses their very own hands to bread fish and patty burgers. A locally sourced menu of fresh grouper, salmon, New York strip steak, and natural chicken breast offers a variety of flavorful protein options. The eatery sates morning appetites as well, with fluffy just-baked biscuits covered in housemade gravy instead of yesterday's coffee.
Putting a more inviting twist on The Godfather's famous quote, Donanthony's offers diners a "meal they can't refuse" with their menu of Italian classics and artisan delights. Traditional pizzas layered in thick pepperoni, fried ravioli, and oven-roasted subs share the menu with white and gourmet pies, such as the cheesesteak and bacon double cheeseburger pizza, and cheesecakes, fried zeppoles, and tiramisu line the dessert menu. Now with two locations in Cape Coral, Donanthony's offers carryout and delivery on all of their items, or invites guests to dine in and savor their sauce amidst three TVs and walls lined with posters of Italian icons.
Owners Ines Josupeit and chef James King join culinary forces at Table 209, a bistro tucked into the historical buildings and sunny harbor walk of Punta Gorda. James brings his 20 years of experience working in kitchens throughout San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland to the restaurant, cobbling fresh seafood, prime meats, and seasonal ingredients into innovative gourmet dishes. Every Monday night, Ines grabs the culinary baton, pulling from her own German heritage to simmer up an authentic menu of traditional German sausages and potato pancakes. Out in the dining room, local artwork festoons the walls, as guests sit around white tablecloths, illuminated by flickering candles that stop passing cavemen dead in their tracks. Outside in the patio, glimmering strands of hanging lights cascade above rows of tabletops and lush plants.
If a slew of blue-ribbon awards from the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Inc. isn't enough to prove the worthiness of Ice Cream Club's cold treats, perhaps its huge menu of more than 100 ice creams and 25 hard-packed yogurts is. Cones brim with premium flavors such as bear claw, caramel caribou, and garbage can, as well as 20 ice creams with no sugar added. The key to the ice-cream-making process is twofold: all of the ice cream is made in Florida using primarily locally sourced ingredients, and the pasteurization process is performed at a colder temperature and slower pace, lending a slightly caramelized taste to each batch.
Geo's authentic Italian menu delivers an extensive selection of hand-tossed pizzas, hot subs, pasta, and other classic Italian entrees. A thin and crispy disk delivers eight meat and veggie toppings including pepperoni, meatballs, green peppers, and black olives on the Geo’s special pizza ($20–$23). Midday munchers can nosh on subs ($9 each) stuffed with eggplant, Italian sausage, or chicken parmigiana. Challenge gender binaries by feeding baby boys a pink vodka sauce in the prosciutto-laden penne vodka ($11 for lunch, $14 for dinner). Shrimp scampi represents one of many seafood options in a sophisticated lemon, garlic, and wine sauce ($14 for lunch, $20 for dinner), and creamy veal chesapeake unifies competing menu sections with a tasty veal medallion and crabmeat truce ($14 for lunch, $20 for dinner).