‘Watts for Dinner’: Hooked on fresh fish? Let Pinchers reel you in

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is Pinchers on Marco Island. The restaurant offers “Florida seafood. Florida style.” And they must be doing something right, they have locations all over Southwest Florida – Fort Myers, Bonita, Cape Coral and Naples – and scattered throughout Florida, including Key West.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the grouper nuggets ($17), flash-fried bites of local grouper served with a side of “Boom Boom” sauce. This fish had a bit of a muddy flavor, kind of like catfish. But the breading was done excellent, and the dipping sauce was the great equalizer.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Marco Island Brewery is crafty in more than just beer

For my main entrée, I selected the “Famous Fish & Chips ($16). The fish is Alaskan Pollock served with two sides. The name suggests fries (or chips), but you can pick anything. I went with the serving suggestions of slaw and fries.

The fish featured a similar delicious breading, like the nuggets but the chips were the star of this show. Very crisp and cooked extra well. And such a generous portion! The slaw was a little dry, but I fixed that by injecting some tartar sauce into it – you can get a squeeze bottle for the table. A solid performer.

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Ciao Bella! That’s amore

My dining companion went with the mahi mahi ($20). You can get it fried, grilled, broiled or blackened. He chose the latter. Fort his sides, he picked the “locally grown” green beans and the garlic mashed potatoes. The beans won high praise, with their garlicy goodness. The potatoes were a little on the sweet side, but still good. The fish was a little dry, but otherwise came as desired.

We kept seeing hordes of children come accompanied by just a couple adults per pack. We speculated that Pinchers “kids eat free” policy have groups of vacationers taking turns taking all the kids in their party to this restaurant.; while everyone else goes their separate ways, child free. A solid and economical plan, if true. “Guess what kids? You get to eat at Pinchers again!”

More:‘Watts for Dinner’: Paradise Seafood & Gourmet Market – a true island experience

One final note, our server had a lot of tables. She was super busy. And fast! She kept a smile on her face, was super polite and very helpful. We never went without. So, kudos to Sophia! Your one of the best servers we’ve experienced.

Prices vary location to location, but you can find menus online under the “locations” tab. And just wait until you see their drink specials! 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


  • 591 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-970-5391
  • pinchersusa.com