The four of us had landed in the Land of the Free for a few golf rounds and some beach time under the Florida Sun. Upon arrival, however, we were short on supplies, so our first meal would have to be out there in the danger zone. Bahama Breeze Island Grille was thus selected.
Bahama Breeze is an Carribean-inspired restaurant chain, owned by Darden (Olive Gargen, Longhorns Steakhouse). Bahama Breeze is specialized in island fare, including seafood, chicken, steaks, and of course, tropical drinks. The Fort Myers location is one of 43 franchise across the United States, with almost half of them being situated in the Sunshine State.
We elected to sit on the patio, which seemed a safer bet in these uncertain times. It was also a bit of a condition set by Ms. Waffle to grant me the green light for the trip.
The patio was busy but not overcrowded, which allowed for our server to be promptly with us to take our drink orders.
I went for the Mojito Cubano ($8.49). It is made with Bacardi Superior Rum, sugarcane juice, fresh lime and mint. Garnished with a sugarcane stick, it was a simply made but well made drink. Refreshing! Perfect to start the weeklong hostilities.
Meanwhile, BMac had doubts about his frozen margarita, which had an orange hue. It tasted limey and tequilaey, but he had a hard time getting over the colour. In both cases, they certainly didn’t skimp on the booze.
The food menu is meant to bring you all over the Antilles, and, presumably, the surrounding area. You’ll find Empanadas and Tostones, Bahamian Seafood Chowder and Cuban Black Bean Soup, Tacos and Tostada. But also Burgers, Fried Chicken, Steak and Ribs. Also, lots of Jerk on the menu.
Speaking of which, I decided to try their new Jerk Shrimp Pineapple Bowl ($17.49). Sautéed shrimp, diced pineapples and sweet peppers tossed in a jerk pineapple glaze. Served on white rice in a fresh-cut pineapple bowl.
Of course, it didn’t quite look like the promo picture. I mean, I am not one to complain, but compare and contrast I can do.
It certainly wasn’t as full. And the glaze was obscuring the colours, everything was kind of brownish.
But using the carved pineapple is a fun novelty idea. Flavour wise, it tasted good. Some hint of spices, fresh pineapple. The rice was fluffy. The sauce was working well with the pineapple and the peppers. The shrimp were cooked well, not rubbery.
If you are looking for a jerk flavour that packs a punch, you’ll be disapointed. Let’s say it is jerk-inspired, very mild and a tad sweet. It needed more kick.
On the table, two hot sauses. The classic Tabasco, I thought, wouldn’t work.
But since Jerk is coming from Jamaica, it seemed to me that this Walkerswood Seriously Hot Jamaican Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce would do the trick.
Not quite in the Jerk palette, but it worked with the dish. Hot pepppers, cane vinegar and cane sugar made for an interesting combination. I have never heard of cane vinegar before, to be honest. It did the trick.
All in all, it was an agreable dinner. It was nice to be outside in the warm evening of Florida. The mood on the patio was festive but not crazy. Our server Noah was attentive and efficient.
We were off to a good start.