Nancy and I ate at the Snook Inn twice on this trip. We’d eaten there before many times (search “snook” for links to prior reviews), and we’ve enjoyed it more and more as we’ve explored the menu. In addition to very good food, the Snook Inn has lots of outdoor seating right on the water, which is an especially big selling point in COVID times.
Also important on this trip, all of the staff were masked, and we were seated at picnic tables that were well apart: even the most generously proportioned and back-loaded diners (to put it as graciously as I can) were no closer than four feet, sitting back to back from diners at other tables, and breathing opposite directions.
The Snook Inn was out first stop on our first full day in Florida on this trip to Marco Island. We went there for lunch in hopes of being assured an outside table, and wound up with one right on the water. It was the perfect place to watch the birds, the water traffic, the boats coming to dock at the Snook Inn, and a couple of old (i.e., even older than I) dockside fishermen, one with very thick, preternaturally blond hair that seemed curiously detached from his scalp.
I had memories of great smoked fish from my last Florida trip, so I ordered some smoked wahoo as an appetizer.
The smoked fish was delicious. It had a nice peppery bite, and an excellent smoke flavor. Nancy really liked the crackers, and I used one to try their hot sauce.
It had a very interesting blend, and the flavor was quite good, much better than other habanero-based sauces. All in all, it was a sensational start.
We each ordered the Famous Grouper Sandwich, blackened, with black beans and rice.
Florida is full of Famous Grouper Sandwiches, but this one really deserves fame. It’s a very generous sandwich, with the grouper extending far beyond the bun. The grouper itself is fresh and cooked just to doneness, with a nice light bit of caramelization. The Snook Inn blackened seasoning is well balanced. It’s a delicious sandwich.
The beans and rice also were very good, with nice bits of garlic and onion. It’s always good, and I get it so religiously that I’ve forgotten what other sides they offer. The Snook Inn has a salad bar in normal times, but in Covid times the salad bar has been replaced by a Caesar salad. Their Caesar salad, however, which (I’ll put this graciously, too) maintains the 1970s ethos of the salad bar. Nancy stuck with water, but I decided I was on vacation and had an Islamorada Channel Marker IPA. I can’t really explain the difference between vacation and every other day of retirement, but I stick with that approach.
There was live music as we ate lunch. The guitarist was talented, was in good voice, and his selections were just right for the setting. What a pleasant place to eat! There was a nice breeze and a bright sun, and we felt about as comfortable as you can get. And what good food! Head for Florida, to Marco Island, and to the Snook Inn.
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