A blog with restaurant reviews would not be the same without my all time most favorite restaurant ever: Doc Ford’s Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille.
Doc Ford’s is THE place to go if you are looking for amazing down-home Floribbean (Caribbean/Floridian) cooking with a unique atmosphere. Doc Ford’s is based on the marine biologist Doc Ford in Randy Wayne White’s bestselling historical fiction and is located on Sanibel Island at the intersection of Sanibel-Captiva Road and Rabbit Road (just before you get to the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge). The interior has an Old Florida decor with stuffed fish decorating the walls and dark wood panelling along the ceiling. Across from the Restaurant is the Oyster Bar – the PERFECT location for your rehearsal dinner or even a small reception. Trust me, I know – we had our reception there after Matt and I were married.
The best part of Doc Ford’s is the people. Marty, the owner, and his wife are often at the restaurant, relaxing with the locals and watching the game on TV. Chef Greg makes his rounds to see if food is up to par, and Dan helps you plan your event from start to finish. When Matt and I were married, all I had to do was drop off the table decorations, menus, table names, and a vague drawing of where we wanted everyone to sit. Doc Ford’s took over. We showed up the next day post-nuptials and everything had been done for us!
And of course, I can’t forget the food. The food at Doc Ford’s is simply amazing. I’ve tried so many items on their menu that it would take a while to describe just how good each dish was. Having a buffet at our wedding was the best decision I made. I’ll give you a few hints on what you simply must order when you go out there (you may need to make several trips): Bayamo Black Bean Dip, Tomlinson’s Taquitos, Captiva Style Crab Cakes, Conch Chowder, Achoate Grilled Grouper (amazing), Banana Leaf Snapper (best dish on the menu, by far), Campeche Fish Tacos (I think I order this every other time I go – and I substitute veggies for the black beans and rice – amazing!), Panko Fried Shrimp, and Polynesian Chicken. Their salads and sandwiches aren’t too bad, either!
Once you’ve experienced Doc Ford’s for yourself, I guarantee you’ll want to make another trip out there. The atmosphere and food make it the best bar and grill in southwest Florida. And here’s a hint: I’ve heard they are opening one up on Ft Myers Beach. Can’t wait! (www.docfordssanibel.com docfordssanibel.wordpress.com)