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In 2017, Joey D’s brought their brand of Italian food to Marco Island, after several years and locations on the mainland. After a brief stint as 701 Bistro, the longtime Porky’s location at Bald Eagle Drive became another Joey D’s, but the inside of the establishment is unrecognizable.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the “Joey D’s Bangin’ Shrimp,” five jumbo shrimps, battered and deep fried, tossed in a spicy, creamy sauce.

The dish was crispy and delish but was missing something. I’ve had similar dishes at other restaurants that have come atop a bed of lettuce or cabbage, or with slaw; which brings balance. The shrimp were nice, but lonely.

For my main entrée, I had the pasta Bolognese, beef and sausage sautéed with onions, garlic, herbs and spices and served with a marina sauce. This dish comes with your choice of pasta: spaghetti, angel hair or linguini. I had the latter.

The pasta was completely covered in the sauce, meat mix. I like to sample some of the pasta plain, just to get an idea of the quality absent the other ingredients. The sauce had an exceptional taste. After a few bites, I added pepper and parmesan cheese from a shaker at the table. Call me a snob, but I do prefer fresh cheese that has not been ground into a fine power and left in a shaker. The cheese added some texture, but little taste.

My partner in dine had the chicken Philly, which comes with your choice of cheese and toppings. It was a good chicken sandwich, but not like any Philly I’ve ever seen. Instead of shaved or sliced chicken, this sandwich came with big meat chucks. That is likely to appeal to some; but given the name, it is more likely to be ordered by someone who is expecting something different.

I point these things out to educate readers before they order. Not to pass judgement. Upscale, middle of the road and fast food restaurants all come with different expectations. When you look at the décor of Joey D’s, it’s nicer than some upscale places. The menu has offerings that appeals to carry outs, delivering, the sports bar scene and some nicer Italian dishes as well. So, it’s challenging to match expectations with performance.

Here’s what I tell you for sure, from the service with a joke and a smile and the festive bar scene on a weekend afternoon, you’re sure to have a good time.

More: ‘Watts for Dinner’: Lely Skillets lives up to established brand

More: ‘Watts for Dinner’: Lely Skillets lives up to established brand

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

  • Joey D’s
  • 701 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island
  • 239-389-5639
  • www.joeydsnaples.com/marco-island 
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