Best of June: The top things we ate in SWFL

Will Watts

Time to take a look back at the best things we ate in June; a hot month in more ways than one.

“The CEO,” a double Wagyu and brisket blend burger from BurgerFi.


Closed for most of 2019, the BurgerFi nearest Marco Island on Tamiami Trail reopened its doors.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: BurgerFi is back

I recommend the bacon cheeseburger, featuring double natural angus beef, double bacon and double American cheese. I added mayo, lettuce, tomato and onions (you can have them raw or cooked). You also have your choice of mayo, ketchup and mustard from the dispenser.

The “Cry + Fry” a blend of hand-cut fries and double-battered onion rings from BurgerFi.

Oh! How I missed you BurgerFi. Very tasty; one of my favorite burgers. BurgerFi claims to use only the top one percent of natural angus beef. While I can’t personally attest to that; the beef tastes top notch.

There’s also “The CEO,” a double Wagyu and brisket blend burger with homemade candied bacon-tomato jam, truffle aioli and aged Swiss cheese. Yum!

And if you are like me, and have trouble choosing between onion rings and French fries, BurgerFi is right there with you, offering the “Cry + Fry” a blend of hand-cut fries and double-battered onion rings.

The shrimp scampi from Old Marco Pub, Marco Island.

Old Marco Pub

Located in Olde Marco, the aptly named Old Marco Pub feature a huge bar, dining room and live music, it is a true testament of everything Islanders want in an establishment.

Among their soups du jour is an amazing chicken vegetable featuring big chunks of white meat and assorted vegetables. The soup was so hearty it could have been a meal.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Old Marco Pub come hungry, leave happy

I also recommend the shrimp scampi, with extra-large shrimp sautéed and featuring garlic, butter and white wine over pasta. The pub won my heart with this dish because sitting right there in my plate was pasta al dente. After years of suffering soggy spaghetti (from some otherwise great restaurants), I finally found someone who knows how to cook it just like I like it. It’s enough to make one tear up. Next time, I’m just going to order double pasta, and sit back and carb load.

Then there’s the chicken Sorrentino; chicken topped with eggplant, spinach, garlic, fresh mozzarella and vodka sauce served with pasta ala vodka.

Artistic and layered, so complicated and yet so simple. This dish integrates a lot of my favorite ingredients into one stellar and successful dish. My dining companion, who may be more critical than me, the food critic, gave it very high marks.

Texas Roadhouse

You’ll need an appetite the size of the state when you visit Texas Roadhouse.

Introducing the “Cactus Blossom;” a Texas-sized onion, golden-fried and served with Cajun horseradish sauce for dipping. If you are a fan of Outback Steakhouse, and the blooming onion, then you’ll love this dish too.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Everything is bigger at Texas Roadhouse

Personally, I’m not a fan of horseradish, Cajun or otherwise, so the waiter brought us some mayonnaise, ranch and blue cheese dressing. I tried it with each and delighted in every bite.

I also recommend the fried catfish: U.S. farm-raised catfish, lightly breaded in cornmeal, deep-fried, and served with Creole mustard sauce.

Fried catfish and seasoned rice from Texas Roadhouse.

The catfish was crispy and some of the best I’ve ever had. The corn meal crust is thin and evenly distributed and there’s no muddy taste to the catfish. I exchanged the Creole mustard sauce for some good old-fashioned tar tar sauce.

Also, you can’t go wrong with the steak filet medallions, three (9 oz. total) tender filets topped with Peppercorn sauce and served over seasoned rice, as his main entrée. Even though he ordered the meat well done, and it was cooked to perfection, it remained tender and juicy. That rarely happens.

Waffle House

Simply amazing. You won’t find a lot of gimmicky food on the menu; what you will find is consistency and a time-tested menu.

A bacon, sausage and cheese omelet with has browns covered in cheese and chili from Waffle House, Naples.

I highly recommend the omelets. No one does them better. And let’s talk about the hash browns; covered with cheese and topped with chili; that’s how I like them. Consistency is important to this chain. They work hard to make sure that when you enter a Waffle House anywhere, you will have the same great experience again and again.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Top 5 road trip restaurants

More:Looking for a place to eat on Marco Island?

If you go


  • 12712 Tamiami Trail East
  • Naples, FL 34113
  • 239-331-3606 
  • burgerfi.com

The Old Marco Pub

  • 1105 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island
  • 239-642-9700
  • www.oldmarcopub.com

Texas Roadhouse

  • 6815 Collier Blvd., Naples
  • 239-417-1111 
  • Texasroadhouse.com

Waffle House

  • 824 Tollhouse Drive, Naples
  • 239-455-3433
  • wafflehouse.com