Time for good eats on Matlacha - a January, 2013 page update
Driving through the center of Matlacha along Pine Island Road, I’d suggest settling into a spicy bowl of Conch Chowder at Barnhill’s Seafood Spot, a modestly-priced, satisfying eatery where you’re right at home no matter where you’re from.
Crab Cakes, described as “fresh hand-picked Blue Crab straight from our boats, lump and claw meat with little to no filling,” are fresh plump patties served up with pride.
One look at the Blackened Grouper platter with its yummy collard greens side and I tuned in to the Louisiana Hot Sauce on the table: keep traveling along the Gulf Coast by swamp or highway and you’ll be swimming in Louisiana gumbo territory.
Most everything else on Barnhill’s menu speaks the patois of New Orleans/Southern style roadhouse cooking, from the fried green tomatoes to the shrimp and grits (on the breakfast menu). Next trip, I’ll try the Fried Gator Nuggets.
To bring some seafood home, stop into Barnhill’s seafood market next door, which features a display case piled high with cooked crab. While in Matlacha, walk around a bit: it’s just a short leap from cooking served up as the natives like it to the Old Florida vibe of colorful boutiques and galleries lining narrow Pine Island Road. Suddenly, the generic strip mall culture that threatens to take over much of the state seems to disappear.
Enjoy the trip.
This contribution comes from friend and fellow writer Susan Rand Brown who discovered this place on a visit to Matlacha in January, 2013 and said it’s a must see and eat joint. It’s located at 4601 Pine Island Road and though it has the feel of old time cooking was only opened last year. The first time I visited Matlacha I ate at the then newly opened Crackers over on Pine Island and it was outstanding. Haven’t checked it out lately but I’ll bet it’s still good, too.
© Copyright 2013: text Sue Harrison; photos Sue Harrison & Lee Brock for MyOldFlorida.com. Content this page from Susan Rand Brown.