Unfried Sanibel Seafood?
January 2, 2019 9:49 AM   Subscribe

My wife, a shrimp-loving celiac sufferer (say that three times fast) is taking a last-minute trip to Sanibel Island next month. She is a bit discouraged that the local restaurants seem to be all about the breading and seeks places that are serious about eliminating cross-contamination.

She and her cohort will have cooking facilities so recommendations for fabulous markets (or any other don’t-miss Sanibeliana) are also welcome. Also, two party members are non-seafood people (yeah, I wonder about that too) so double bonus points for places that also have pedestrian Midwestern fare, e g, burgers or pizza. Thanks.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur to Travel & Transportation around Florida (5 answers total)
I unfortunately don't remember the name of the seafood place I ate at, so I can't help there. For the other stuff, there's a nice little supermarket called Bailey's General Store near the end of Periwinkle Way (the road that goes over the causeway). It's a small place with somewhat limited selection, though; we bought most of our groceries at the Publix in Fort Myers before going onto the island. (We had a 16-month old at the time, so our needs were perhaps more specific than yours.) For midwestern food, George and Wendy's is a restaurant owned by two people (George and Wendy, natch) who moved to Sanibel from Chicago and Buffalo, and they serve things like Beef on Weck from their old hometowns in addition to the normal seafood (which is good). There's also a place called Cheeburger! Cheeburger!, named after the old SNL sketch, which has good reviews. I haven't been yet, but I'm planning to try it next time I go to Sanibel.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:17 PM on January 2, 2019

Our favorite shrimp meals were at Doc Ford's for their Yucatan shrimp which is unbreaded and spicy and oh so tasty. Also the Clam Shack had gargantuan peel and eat shrimp. Any of the island grocery stores sold shrimp at their seafood counter at a lower cost and will steam them for free if you are willing to wait 10 minutes (we went to Publix in Ft. Myers just before entering the bridge to Sanibel.)

I actually joined the Facebook page for Sanibel Island where we got plenty of recommendations and helpful hints for our late September trip.
posted by IndigoOnTheGo at 1:20 PM on January 2, 2019

Best answer: I grew up on the southeast coast in great shrimp country. I don't have specific recommendations for Sanibel Island, but you should not eat shrimp at a place that doesn't let you choose how you want your shrimp cooked. Because if they have fried shrimp only, there's a decent chance they're serving pre-breaded, frozen, imported shrimp.

Just about anywhere in good shrimp country that isn't a fast food place will have a basic shrimp basket option on their menu and give you a choice of how you want them done (usually fried, broiled, grilled, blackened, etc).

I realize that doesn't exactly answer your question but if she's looking at places to eat on literally the gulf coast and they don't offer a however-you-like-it shrimp choice, she shouldn't eat shrimp from there. Don't travel 1500 miles to eat pond-raised shrimp from China.
posted by phunniemee at 3:07 PM on January 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

phunniemee got it right!
posted by patnok at 4:21 PM on January 2, 2019

I liked Timbers. They had simply prepared fish and I like that they have a fish market there too.
posted by shothotbot at 8:01 PM on January 2, 2019

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