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‘Watts for Dinner’: A fresh twist at Hammock Grill

Will Watts
Correspondent

We ventured off island (just barely) for a new dining experience, at least for us. Our next dining destination is the Hammock Bay Grill, located in the JW Marriott Marco Island’s country club and golf course inside Hammock Bay on Mainsail Drive.

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So, your first thought might be, isn’t this only for members. And the answer is no. Everyone’s welcome. But this is not a commercial establishment, in the sense that the grill does not actively solicit customers.

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon. Tables and a bar are poolside, along with giant TVs featuring the games of the day.  

Speaking of game day, you can have a pitcher of beer for $12 off the special Sunday Ticket menu, with special appetizers and entrees. We opted instead for the “Miami Vice” a frozen piña colada mixed with strawberry daiquiri (and a $14 apiece, a little steep; but it is a country club).

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For an appetizer, we picked an entrée from the Sunday ticket to share, the quarterback sliders ($16); four mini Angus burgers with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and crispy battered French fries. We were also provided with house-made potato chips and house-made onion dip.

Spoiler! The tiny burgers stole the show. Amazing! The buns were super soft and fresh; the meat was high end and very lean. A perfect dish for the game. The fries and chips only added to my joy. And we dipped both in the thick and creamy dip.

For my entrée, and from the main menu, under “hand helds,” I picked the classic club ($14); thinly sliced turkey breast, applewood bacon, lettuce, tomato and citrus mayo, on three slices of thick white toasted bread (quartered) and served with a pickle wedge.

Ok, the best classic club I’ve ever had come from the Ritz in New York (same company as the Marriott). This is my second favorite and the SpeakEasy on Marco Island has my third favorite.

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This sandwich was huge and delicious. And yes, I had to back half of it up for lunch the next day.

This entrée come with your choice of side: fries, chips or pasta salad. Since I tried the first two already, I selected the pasta salad. Very light mix (even though there’s nothing light about pasta).

My partner in dine selected “The Californian” ($15); blackened chicken with avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo and – wait for it – a fried egg – served on a naan. Huge! Fresh! Amazing! What a unique sandwich!

For his side, he picked fries, and two our amazement, it was thick-cut steak fries; just like mom used to make. Any meal from the same restaurant with two kinds of fries is a winner in my book.

While Hammock Grill may not be commercial, it is definitely appealing and worth a try. Go out of your way. You won’t be sorry.   

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

If you go

Hammock Bay Grill

  • 1370 Borghese Ln, Naples
  • 239-394-2511
  • marriott.com