Will Boat for Food Blog Series: A Culinary Adventure around Useppa Island
PART 1: The PINK ELEPHANT
Because Useppa Island is a bridge-less island anchored by the Useppa Island Club, we frequently are asked if there is anywhere to dine besides the (wonderful) Collier Inn, the center of socializing and dining within the Club. After all, variety is important to all the senses.
Since the island is home to boaters, naturally, we decided to discover just how many restaurants are accessible within a 20 minute boat ride and, to report what we found. Keep in mind that boating out for dining is not like the 20 minute commute to a restaurant at home. There is little or no traffic, no traffic lights or speed police and, best of all: It’s A Boat Ride!
This is the first in our series of attempting to be food bloggers. We know, they say anyone can blog but we never thought that it could be us! What better way to start then by boating our way to food discoveries.
First on our list-The Pink Elephant in Boca Grande, Florida. The Pink, as it is known, is part of the terrificGasparilla Inn complex, anchored by the century-old Inn, a beach club, spa, tennis and golf club. The Pink is the casual side of dining, located just off the Intracoastal Waterway, and convenient to the docks where guides pick up their fares to go tarpon fishing in the Pass.
Boat it docked, time for a drink! Usually, for me, its liquor on the rocks, or perhaps a beer with lunch. But this day calls for something special. The server recommends the watermelon mojito. I’m afraid my voice might go up an octave or two if I drink one of those but I say “what the Hey!” we are writing a blog-I don’t have to speak. Well, this beauty was extra special, better than any mojito I had in Havana last year. Even better, in about 5 minutes I knew I had consumed an alcoholic beverage.
We are in for lunch, and the place is not too busy. Then, the morning tarpon charters return and it gets half crowded. The bar is full of lawyers, all in fishing regalia. And what are they were worried about? The sharks chasing their catch. What a turn-around for lawyers!
TIME TO EAT
So, I am a burger guy, burgers here, there anywhere, it doesn’t matter. Just GIVE ME A BURGER! But, I have to admit, I have had The Pink Burger before. It is beyond words. So, since I could not write about it (beyond words, right?) I went for the BLT, like one I never had. But how wrong can you go with some crisp Pig? Take a look at this. It was on some kind of health grainy bread, toasted, with avocado and other delights. So I get my grain and veggies for the day too.
Mary, of course, has to have the salad. Here it is, the Caesar with shrimp scampi. None better.
Best of all, the wait staff is polite, cheerful and fun. Along with impeccable service and great food, what more could you ask for? Oh yea-it was 13 minutes dock to dock, well within our 20 minute goal.
Tell ’em Mary & Brian from Useppa sent ya!
Stay tuned for next week’s post on boating for food around Useppa Island!