‘Watts for Dinner’: Bahama Breeze offers a taste of the Caribbean

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is the rare stop at a chain restaurant. To make the cut, the place must be top notch. Fort Myers has the only Bahama Breeze Island Grille in Southwest Florida. You’d have to travel to Tampa or the other coast to find the next closest one. But exclusivity is not enough. As you read on, you’ll see; this restaurant serves it up with style.

The place is huge and features indoor and outdoor seating and an open kitchen; not to mention the amazing Caribbean-inspired food.

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Things got off to an appetizing start with the skillet-simmered jerk shrimp ($12.29) featuring large shrimp in a garlic-thyme butter and served with warm Cuban bread. The shrimp are incredible, and you’ll use every bit of the bread to soak up the sauce and leave that little cast-iron skillet it’s served in bone dry. I highly recommend this dish.

We also sampled the yuca cheese sticks ($5.99) served with a sriracha aioli and a cilantro crema. You get six crispy fried yuca stuffed with melted mozzarella cheese. We also tried the conch fritters ($6.29) served with a citrus-mustard sauce. Both taste great, but neither compare to the jerk shrimp.

For my main entrée, I selected the shrimp and mahi with lemongrass sauce ($12.29). This Thai-inspired dish features sautéed mahi mahi, shrimp, mushrooms, bok choy, and bell peppers in a coconut lemongrass sauce served over white rice. So good and so good for you.

My dining companion had the salmon tostada salad ($14.99), featuring a beautifully grilled salmon on fresh greens with a tomato, corn and black bean salsa, served with avocado, chimichurri, an “Island” vinaigrette and crisp tortilla with melted cheese on it. Everything about this dish was beautiful. And it won rave reviews. Our compliments to the chef.

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We also carried out a couple of dishes for the following night. I picked the calypso shrimp linguine ($15.49), featuring sautéed shrimp with garlic, scallions, tomatoes and a hint of spice and cream. Pasta is always great takeaway and this one did not disappoint. I love Bahama Breeze shrimp and I haven’t met a pasta I didn’t like.

My partner in dine took home the “Tequila Sunburn” glazed salmon ($18.99) featuring grilled salmon with the restaurant’s “Tequila Sunburn” glaze and topped with pineapple-mango salsa. It’s served with cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. The potatoes won this night, but the dish featured a solid salmon, even if the glaze was a tad bit oversold.

If you’re hankering for Island-inspired cuisine, make a date with Bahama Breeze. Also, make a reservation. This place gets packed. Happy eating!

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Bahama Breeze Island Grille

  • 14701 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers
  • bahamabreeze.com
  • 239-454-9234