When the founders of The Pita Pit opened the doors to their first restaurant, they had high hopes of offering a lighter, healthier alternative to fast food. They traded in heavy sandwich bread and hamburger buns for lebanese pita and swapped out greasy burgers for fresh-grilled meats and crispy falafel. Flash-forward several years, and The Pita Pit has evolved into many, many locations across the continent, each of which offers that same fresh, healthful fare.
Patrons can completely customize their handhelds, starting with the pita itself—the light and fluffy dough comes in both white and wheat varieties. Next come the fillings such as chicken souvlaki, a simple schmear of hummus, or even ham and eggs, served all day long. After crowning the creation with fresh vegetables, premium cheeses, and homemade sauces, the pita stuffers transform the flatbread into a tight, mess-free roll. Though guests can customize sandwiches to meet their dietary needs, The Pita Pit offers a concise list of "resolution solution pitas". Made up of six pre-designed creations, the list denotes the healthful pitas' caloric value right on the menu.
At Yanos Restaurant, chefs glean inspiration from global pantries to plate dishes that have been lauded by Florida Weekly as “artful presentations comprised of first-rate ingredients.” Chefs augment the flavor of grilled duck breast with jicama slaw and black-bean puree and coat soft-shell crab in a crispy tempura batter. The wine list is equally broad in scope, with bottles hailing from Spain, South Africa, Germany, and Andromeda.
Yanos Restaurant’s sleek, wood-floor interior complements its contemporary fare: track lighting illuminates a Warhol-esque pop-art print of Marilyn Monroe and powder-blue and yellow walls. Outside, next to a palm-tree-lined cobblestone street, sturdy canvas umbrellas provide shelter from the elements.
“Fisherman Charley,” a wooden fisherman statue in a yellow rain slicker and hat, stands guard in front of Charley’s Boathouse Grill, where chefs have prepared steaks and seafood for more than four decades. The kitchen wet-ages Angus beef for four to six weeks before hand-cutting each steak, which is measured by ounces and seared to taste. Seafood such as locally caught grouper also fills the menu alongside snow crabs, teriyaki chicken breasts, and house-baked breads.
For special events, patrons sup on some of the most popular menu items inside a converted boathouse. Up to 70 people can also gather at the “hideaway,” which has back-bay views of Estero Bay, making it perfect for actually seeing the harbor seals you dressed in tuxedos.
With its huge grass-roofed patio, The Sandy Parrot looks as though it ought to have ocean waves lapping up against the surrounding sand. The echoes of the sea are even louder on the menu, which features a huge collection of grouper, crab, shrimp, tilapia, and mahi-mahi dishes rounded out by prime rib, sandwiches, and chicken. Preparations span the globe, drawing in such flavors as garlic teriyaki sauce, parmesan-laced lemon butter, and mango-papaya salsa. Live musicians take the restaurant's stage six nights a week, performing tributes to Motown and Elvis, hits from the '60s through the '90s, and sweeping arrangements of the dessert menu.
From sunup to sundown, the chefs hustle and bustle in Mama Redneck?s kitchen, making omelets, and breakfast potatoes, amid other homestyle southern fare. Barbecue pulled pork, and chicken breasts sizzle atop stoves and grills before hiding between slabs of bread or nestling onto plates. Patrons can journey to Mama Redneck?s to enjoy the restaurant's outdoor seating, pick up their meals, or sit tight while an employee flies over atop the restaurant's mascot pig.
Sasse’s talented chefs, who have earned praise from Florida Weekly, befriend lonesome bellies with a dinner menu of traditional Italian entrees and a palate-pleasing selection of wines. Diners can embark on gustatory expeditions with a salad of fresh tomatoes and homemade mozzarella cheese ($8). An entree of rigatoni pasta shares plate estate with italian sausage, crushed tomatoes, and garlic ($18), and braised osso buco is paired with milanese risotto ($29). Slow-braised short ribs arrive wingmanned by mashed potatoes ($20), and sautéed veal scaloppina champions prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms ($23). Braised lamb shank towers over servings of italian sausage and polenta with lentils ($24). Tantalizing desserts, such as the flourless chocolate cake ($6), bring a conclusion to meals more epic and sweet than candy-cane-flavored fireworks.