‘Watts for Dinner’: Island Chicken, Jersey Mike’s open their doors

Will Watts

Our next dining destinations are the newly opened Island Chicken on Marco Island and Jersey Mike’s in East Naples.  

Island Chicken

This is a carry out restaurant. And the menu is simple. The only meat is chicken. And it comes one way, as deep-fried fingers. As a sign on the wall explains: “Island Chicken fingers are the most glorious incarnation of handheld fried chicken. They’re heftier than nuggets, simpler than wings, ideologically purer than boneless wings.”

It’s hard to argue with that logic. The fingers are huge all-white meat chicken fried to a golden brown. But they don’t come alone, you can have slaw, Texas toast or crinkle-cut fries. And let me tell you, these are some of the best fries around. Salted to perfection!

There’s the “Island Combo” ($10.99). It comes with four chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, one island sauce, Texas toast and a 20 oz. fountain drink. If you prefer less, there’s “The Wave” with three fingers ($9.99) instead; or if you want more, there’s “The Beach” which comes with six fingers and an extra sauce. You can also choose “The Sandwich Combo” ($9.99) which features three fingers on a brioche bun with lettuce. There’s also a children’s combo with two fingers and comes with a 12 oz. drink, milk or apple juice.

Extra fingers are $1.99 each. Coleslaw, fries or toast can be substituted for one another. And for dessert, there’s an iced brownie ($2.59). And if you’re looking to feed a family, “Sand Buckets” will deliver you 25, 50- 75 or 100 fingers.

Best of luck, Island Chicken. This looks like a recipe for success.  

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Cocomo’s Grill – Fresh air, ‘Drunken’ shrimp and more

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Ready for a taste of New Jersey that isn’t pizza? Jersey Mike’s is the latest Southwest Florida challenger to the Subway on every corner.

Unlike Subway, which usually is staffed with one or two people, there were like six people behind the counter on this day.

Everything on the menu is assigned a number for quick reference. You can have it as a wrap, a mini (actually a regular-sized sandwich but more bun-like) a regular submarine or a giant submarine sandwich.    

You can select from three different types of breads, white, wheat or rosemary parmesan.

Naples:‘Watts for Dinner’: AZN is Asian food with a twist (and a Z)

We shared a “#10, Tuna Fish” ($14.99 for the giant, four servings) on the rosemary parm (delish and crunchy). Mike’s makes the tuna salad on site with freshly chopped celery, mayo and a dash of pepper. We took it Mike’s Way, as recommended.

What is Mike’s Way? Sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, salt and spices and “The Juice” —a mixture of red wine vinegar and olive oil. So good!

We also had a “#14, The Veggie” ($7.25 for the regular, two servings). It features layers of Swiss and provolone cheese, green bell peppers and all the veggie toppings you want.

While the ordering takes a little time to adjust too, the end product is high quality for a sandwich shop. Another great addition to the neighborhood. Happy eating!

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

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

Island Chicken

  • 905 N Collier Blvd, Marco Island
  • 239-228-2100
  • myislandchicken.com

Jersey Mike’s Subs

  • 5040 Tamiami Trail E Suite 200, Naples,
  • 239-359-6077
  • jerseymikes.com/13203/naples-fl