It’s been somewhat quiet here lately and that’s because life has gotten hectic! Work has been busy, leaving little time for me to dedicate to kitchen fun. However, our family took a much needed getaway where we headed south for Spring Break. Our destination? Marco Island, Florida. It was a wonderful time where we relaxed, took in as much warmth and sun that we could and more importantly, had our fair share of culinary adventures! Here’s one of the gorgeous sunsets we enjoyed during our stay…
One of the first things I love doing when I’m visiting a new travel destination is to hit the grocery stores. There, I can find some great food items to take home with me as souvenirs. Since we rented a vacation home for a week, we stocked up on some daily snacks and a few meal items. While there, I came across these seasoning packets that captured the tropical vibe evident in the area cuisine.
I also picked up some more treats to bring home for friends so they can get a taste of my travels. Key lime is well known in Florida so these key lime cookies, key lime salt water taffy and key lime juice were a must to bring back home.
Another popular treat are these coconut patties. There are a few different flavors and chose the popular Pina Colada flavor that are drenched in dark chocolate.
Meal planning is something I also enjoy figuring out before going on vacation. We typically ate most of our breakfasts and lunches at our rental home to take advantage of the pool. But for dinners, we splurged at local restaurants to enjoy the area ambiance.
Our first meal was after our flight in, where we stopped at Dolly’s Produce Patch. This is a place my in-laws remembered fondly from their previous trips to Florida. It’s a great spot right off the expressway from the airport, located in Bonita Springs. This is a no-frills spot that made me feel like I was eating at an old friend’s house. The best part of Dolly’s Produce Patch is their baked goods – pies especially. We left with a key lime pie to enjoy for dinner later that night, which made for a perfect dessert to kick off our Florida stay.
The next place we tried out was Tommy Bahama Restaurant, located in downtown Naples. Although this is a chain restaurant, there is no location in Chicago. And what better place to enjoy Tommy Bahama than a tropical area?! The restaurant specializes in American fare with a tropical twist. I loved my lunch -Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad- and plan on recreating it soon so I can enjoy it again!