Best of March: Here are the top things we ate in SWFLA

Will Watts

In March, we visited four restaurants, from Marco Island to Isles of Capri and East Naples, and back to Marco again. And the choices run the gamut, from the very health, like Summer Day and Kareem’s, to the tempting, like the Marco Island Brewery and Uncle Micky’s Pizza.

It was a great month for eating and finding balance!   

Summer Day Market & Café, Marco Island

Summer Day Market & Café in Marco Town Center Mall is a unique treasure for Marco Island, offering healthy food items from the store and café, along with a wide selection of smoothies.

If you haven’t been in a while, Summer Day could use your support. Not only is a pandemic going on, but the mall is currently undergoing a remodel, which makes it a less than appealing visit for some. This remodel has been long and drawn out, and instead of focusing on certain parts of the mall, then moving on, it is basically affecting every square foot of the mall simultaneously. But the remodel is much needed and sorely overdue.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: There’s nothing simple about Osteria Capri

We took home two sandwiches to share, the tuna salad and the veggie (all offerings can also be wraps).

The first features albacore tuna mixed with Vegenaise, carrots, onion and celery; served with lettuce, tomato, red onion and sprouts. We picked whole grain bread over wheat; the tuna is piled high and the veggies are amazing. Great taste! I did add some pickles from home.

The veggie came with mixed greens, hummus, tomatoes, red onions, shredded carrots, avocado, cucumbers, sprouts, lettuce and organic goddess dressing. I expected the tuna to be my favorite, but oh no. It was the veggie by far. So, so good! The dressing and the terrific blend of veggies is superb! I highly recommend this dish.

We paired the sandwiches with a fresh vegetarian split pea soup. OMG! Was a terrific blend. If you think it’s not split pea without ham, I challenge you to try this soup. You won’t regret it. The café’s organic soups are made in house daily.

If you’re looking for a treat, there’s a variety of organic and natural fruit smoothies and acai superfood smoothies. We selected the acai bowl, with creamy frozen ice-creamy acai, topped with fresh fruit, strawberries and granola. It really hits the spot. If you’re wondering, we’ve also sampled the smoothies and they stand apart from others. You can tell they are more naturally inclined.

Summer Day Café offers great food that’s good for you. Whether you’re looking for a snack, meal or healthy ingredients for your own kitchen, you’ll find it all right here.

Full review:‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Naturally good – Summer Day Market & Café

Uncle Micky’s Pizza, Isles of Capri

This was my first visit to Uncle Micky’s Pizza on Isles of Capri. As a result of the pandemic, the eatery is now located inside the Capri Fish House.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the crab stuffed mushrooms. Amazing! These mushrooms were huge and completely stuffed. And the sauce was amazing. I highly recommend this dish.

We ordered a couple of pizzas (prices vary, you can have personal, 12” or 16.” The “Classy Capri” features goat cheese, spinach, fig and balsamic. Props for an original idea. This pizza is sweet and delicious with a nice chewy crust, like you’d expect from a true Italian pie shop.

We also got the “Miamia” featuring spinach, artichoke hearts, black olives, fresh tomato and garlic. Yum! A great and unique pie for veggie lovers.

We also order an entrée to share from the fried baskets section of the menu. The grouper fingers were a nice crispy delicacy.

Uncle Micky’s Pizza delivers on the Isles of Capri. You can dine in the tiki hut for Capri Fish House, or pickup from anywhere, like we did. A new discovery, with the same friendly staff you know, from Capri Fish House.

Full review:‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Unique pies from Uncle Micky’s Pizza

Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen, East Naples

Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen in East Naples, adjacent to 21 Spices by Chief Asif, serves “inspired Mediterranean cuisine,” and according to the restaurant’s website, Kareem is the Arabic word for “Generous.” And let me tell you, we ate generously this night.

First there’s the lemon lentil soup. It features spinach, potato, lemon and cilantro. This was one of the best lentil soups I’ve ever eaten. So hearty!

I also partook of the roasted beet salad featuring arugula, orange slices, feta cheese, pine nuts, pomegranates, scallions and an awakening lemon dressing. This dish was both a work of art, a pleasure to behold, and a symphony of healthy and delicious flavors. No two bites were the same.

Then there was the Rachid’s okra stew featuring roasted baby okra in tomato sauce and a coriander reduction and Lebanese spices, served with Lebanese rice. OMG! Such an amazing and inspired blend of flavors. You must try this dish.

Even better: The stuffed vegetables, which featured a grilled pepper and a zucchini, filled with bourghol, tomato sauce, yogurt sauce, nuts and mint. A beautiful dish to behold. Kareem’s really cares about the appearance of food, even when it’s takeout.

Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen has great service, a beautiful restaurant and food that, before now, was very difficult to find in our neck of the woods. Beautiful, inspired creations that are worth taking a picture of and posting on social media!

Full review:‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Kareem’s food artists create masterpieces

Marco Island Brewery

Despite ongoing construction and a pandemic, the Marco Island Brewery in Marco Town Center continues to survive and (at least on this day), thrive.

If you are taking your food to go, like we did, it’s safe to order a salad with a meat component. Why “safe” you ask? I ordered the blackened mahi Caesar salad, featuring the namesake fish over Romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan cheese and a creamy dressing. The staff for packed the mahi in a separate container. You wouldn’t believe how many restaurants put the meat on top, just like when you’re dining in. I had crisp lettuce for the first time in a long while. Also, the side of garlic bread that came with this salad was heavenly.

Golden fried seafood was on my during this visit and the Brewery delivered with the fried shrimp basket, featuring beer-battered and “golden fried” shrimp, and the fried scallops basket. Both dishes came with fries and cole slaw. The subjects of both baskets were fried to perfection and mighty good eatin.’

Then there’s the fried grouper tacos featuring fried gulf grouper on a warm flour tortilla, with lettuce, cheese and a “secret sauce.” This meal comes with pico de gallo and chips or rice and beans; we picked the latter. Another golden brown masterpiece.

Oh! And if you like a nice marinara, may I also suggest the mozzarella sticks for your appetizer. Great sauce!

Happy eating!

Full review:‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Enjoy some March madness at the Marco Brewery

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

More:Hey Marco Island, looking for a place to eat?

If you go

Summer Day Market & Café

  • 1069 N. Collier Blvd., Unit 216, Marco Island (in Marco Town Center Mall)
  • 239-394-8361
  • summerdaymarket.com

Uncle Micky’s Pizza

  • 203 Capri Blvd., Isles of Capri (Capri Fish House)
  • 239-970-0457
  • unclemickyspizza.com

Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen

  • 4270 Tamiami Trail East, Ste. 18, Naples
  • 239-315-4167
  • kareemskitchen.com

Marco Island Brewery

  • Marco Town Center, 1089 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-970-0461
  • marcoislandbrewery.com