The Murder Mystery Dinner Train (owned and operated by Seminole Gulf Railway) offers a Unique Dining Experience where passengers enjoy our table side Murder Mystery Show and a Nostalgic Train Trip as our On-board Chef prepares a delicious Five Course Dinner. The train seats up to 208 people and operates year round, Wednesday through Sunday, and holds holiday events, like a Sweetheart Express for Valentine’s Day, a New Year’s Eve Gala, two traditional New England style Thanksgiving dinners, and Halloween Ghost Trains. The Murder Mystery Dinner Train also offers hotel Get-Away packages with special rates available only through the railroad.
Standard Times and Pricing per Person (through Nov. 1, 2015):
Wednesday Departing at 6:30 PM $73.00 (not including tax or gratuity)
Thursday Departing at 6:30 PM $73.00 (not including tax or gratuity)
Friday Departing at 6:30 PM $73.00 (not including tax or gratuity)
Saturday Departing at 6:30 PM $79.00 (not including tax or gratuity)
Sunday Departing at 5:30 PM $73.00 (not including tax or gratuity)
Group pricing available for groups of 24 or more people.
Hotel packages available with special pricing only through Seminole Gulf Railway.
At First Street Fitness in Fort Myers, you can save some money while shopping for your weekly grocery items.
Eating healthy isn't always easy, but with produce on hand like this it just got easier.
The bread baked at First Street Fitness gets rave reviews, so taste it yourself today.
When you have a long and hard day at work, a frozen meal from here makes for a perfect dinner solution.
Feeling hungry? Heat up a tasty and affordable TV dinner from here and enjoy the convenience of a quick meal.
If you're planning out your weekly meals, you will appreciate the assortment of snacks at First Street Fitness.
Don't get enough dairy in your diet? Dairy products from this store are sure to deliver all the nutrients you need.
If you're worried about your protein intake, you'll rest assured that great, delicious meats are available here.
Turn your kitchen into a gourmet chef's paradise with the great spices and seasonings.
Add a little bit of sweet goodness to all your baked goods for top-notch flavor and form. Pick up your staples at First Street Fitness.
Vinegar is a great way to add that extra zing of flavor, and oil goes quickly in the kitchen. Pick these up now and use today or save for later.
If you always seem to have one foot out the door, breakfast can be tricky. For a quick and easy solution, a box of cereal is right up your alley.
If you're looking for beverages that will handle all your hydration needs, look no further. This drink will refresh, renew, and refuel your energy.
From freshly baked pastas to packaged noodles, First Street Fitness has all of your pasta necessities.
Take a dive and swim away with some succulent fish. It's a great source of protein for your next meal!
Keep your energy and mood up all day long with a tasty coffee or refreshing tea from First Street Fitness.
You can never have enough canned goods stocked in your pantry. Pick some more up here.
Stay refreshed no matter where you are! Water is available at First Street Fitness.
At First Street Fitness, you won't have to worry about forgetting where you parked. There are plenty of parking spaces nearby for you to choose from.
With a promise of freshness and quality, First Street Fitness in Fort Myers makes it easy for you to prepare the foods you love with ingredients that taste great.
Here you can find a variety of tasty frozen food items, all of which make a great meal solution for busy families.
El Carlbe Latin Flavor serves up the most delicious freshly-baked bread in town. Head on over and pick up a loaf today.
These tasty and nutritious snacks will help you push through your long workday.
All the supplies you need to make a craveworthy dessert are here.
Both sugary and high-fiber cereals are delicious and this store carries them all.
Healthy eaters realize the importance of dairy in their diet. Make sure you're getting your fill of Vitamin D with dairy products from El Carlbe Latin Flavor.
While you're stopping in today, you'll love browsing their selection of terrific meats.
Even the simplest recipes call for oil and vinegar, so make sure you have plenty to go around.
When you have little time to prep lunch or dinner, cook up some canned goods from here and have a meal done in no time.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
If pasta is what you're in the mood for, swing by El Carlbe Latin Flavor and pick up some fresh noodles.
When you need a quick meal after a long day of work, a TV dinner from here is sure to fill you up in a jiffy.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
Whether you're hitting the gym or just running errands, water keeps your energy up and your body moving. Make sure to hit the shelves at El Carlbe Latin Flavor for some hydration while you're on the move.
Find a large array of bold and flavorful coffees and teas at El Carlbe Latin Flavor and sip your way through tasty goodness.
You can't beat the health benefits of fresh fish, so find a few you like and get to cooking!
You can't find a better selection of spices and seasonings than the one here.
At El Carlbe Latin Flavor, you can easily find parking in the lot next door.
For the best French onion soup in town, slurp up the fare at P. F. Chang's China Bistro — everything here is served with sky-high ratings, so enjoy eating your way through the menu.
Gluten-free? Not a problem. P. F. Chang's China Bistro is serving up delicious dishes with and without gluten.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at P. F. Chang's China Bistro.
Take note that the restaurant can get a bit loud, so vocal cords and eardrums should be in tip-top shape.
P. F. Chang's China Bistro offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties.
Bring the P. F. Chang's China Bistro's great food to your place.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
With meters and potential tickets, you'll thank us for our onsite parking!
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Who s hungry for great grub at a reasonable rate? P. F. Chang's China Bistro s yummy creations will leave a mark in your memory but not a dent in your pocketbook.
For all-star French fare that will keep you coming back for more, plan a trip to P. F. Chang's China Bistro.
If you're seeking France-inspired fare, look no further than the highly-rated P. F. Chang's China Bistro.
For an upscale take on traditional Chinese cuisine, look no further than P. F. Chang's China Bistro.
So if you're a fan of great food, be sure to swing by P. F. Chang's China Bistro for some of the tastiest Chinese in town.
Load up on toppings or opt for a simple slice of cheese at Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto, Fort Myers' classic pizza venue.
Enjoy Italian at its best and choose from specialty pastas and pizzas just the way you like them.
Feel satisfied but not stuffed with Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto's gluten-free and low-fat alternatives.
This pizzeria also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Take the kids along too — this pizzeria is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love.
Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto offers an affordable happy hour.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto.
Free wireless Internet is also available at Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto.
Those with sensitive ears may want to stay away from this pizzeria, though, as it can get quite loud.
Save a seat for man's best friend — this is a dog-friendly pizzeria.
If you want to skip the weekday crowds, visit the pizzeria over the weekend (and keep the pizzeria's no-reservation rule in mind).
It's been too long since you've had a great meal at home. Order takeout or delivery from this pizzeria and enjoy!
The pizzeria has catering services as well.
Drivers can make use of the parking lots near Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto.
Cyclists will love the spacious bike racks outside of Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto.
There's no doubt about it. Nick and Stella Pizza Perfecto out-serves its competitors for the best slice of pizza around.
Blu Sushi's got sushi down to a T (eat your way through the A+ reviews), and fans will agree that this trendy joint serves the best under-the-sea fare in town.
A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this sushi spot has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal.
Parents appreciate this sushi spot's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, Blu Sushi can seat both large and small groups.
For comfortable outdoor service, Blu Sushi sets up a seasonal patio.
Wifi is on the house at Blu Sushi, so you can stay connected on your mobile device.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the sushi spot can get noisy.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at Blu Sushi.
Impress the guests at your next gathering by calling in Blu Sushi for catering.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this sushi spot.
Drivers will embrace the parking lot located next door to Blu Sushi.
Blu Sushi makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
Meals at Blu Sushi are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
So when you're in the mood for a hip spot with highly-rated food, grab some sushi at Blu Sushi.
Share something different with your friends over sushi at Blu Sushi.
Blu Sushi is serving up some of the most highly-rated sushi in all of Fort Myers.
Blu Sushi serves up traditional and signature rolls, so swing by today and enjoy a variety of sushi.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of