Pelican Bend Restaurant and Marina, Isles of Capri, Florida

Scott and Nora left, alas, and Nancy and I wandered lonely as a cloud* over to the Isles of Capri, the next island(s) north of Marco Island, for our last lunch of our Marco trip. We wound up at Pelican Bend. It’s a nice, casual place by the water, just what you want in Florida.

There’s a large screened open area overlooking the marina with semi-rustic decor and more license tags on the walls than the law allows. (I am an inveterate license tag game player.)

Without shifting, I was able to find every state except Oregon (c’mon Oregon, step it up!) plus Cuba — but not DC.

Nancy and I sat down at a well spaced table, and I ordered a Channel Marker IPA by Islamorada Beer Company. It was very good as, indeed, each of the other Channel Marker IPAs I’d had on our trip. It’s a great beach IPA.

I ordered the  seafood chowder to start.

It arrived piping hot and thick with seafood, potatoes, celery, and onion. It had been made with much more broth than cream, so there was none of the heaviness that so often mars chowder.  It was very good, perhaps a bit under-seasoned, but very good.

We both ordered hogfish sandwiches.  

The sandwiches came with lots of fish, lots of pickles and onion, and some beautiful and delicious tomatoes. And there was a nice chunky tartar sauce that isn’t really necessary. The fish was super-fresh and flavorful. Love that hogfish! Again, the sandwiches were just a touch under-seasoned, but maybe that’s me. They certainly were delicious.

Pelican Bend offers a choice of slaw, fries, or applesauce with a sandwich. Nancy and I both chose slaw and found it slightly overdressed but very fresh and well seasoned. The slaw hit the right note.

Pelican Bend hit a lot of right notes — the setting, the food, the price, and the service. The waiter cum bartender, Matt, was very friendly and provided that relaxed but prompt and responsive service that you want. 

What a nice lunch. You really should give Pelican Bend a try. It’s a lovely change of pace from Marco. Do go there.


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*That’s a poetic reference. It’s Wordsworth, but I always think it’s Emily Dickinson. I was reminded of Emily Dickinson recently, and of the main thing I remember of her poetry: all of her poems can be sung either — according to your mood — to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas or Folsom Prison Blues. Try it with this.

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