Dolphin Tiki Bar and Grill, Marco Island, Florida

After a great day at the Everglades Seafood Festival (see here), we all went to the beach and pool for a while before heading out for dinner. Marco was packed. I’ve never seen the beach so crowded, and there was talk of three-hour waits for tables at dinner. We decided to try Dolphin Tiki. For those who haven’t been there, it’s on the water behind a large apartment building. There two sections, a tiki with a bar and tables inside, as well as stools and a narrow counter around the outside edges facing into the tiki. Seating there is catch as catch can.

The other section is a patio with table seating, where reservations are available but hard to get.

It wasn’t promising. As we were walking toward the tiki, irritated couples were walking away saying “Three-hour wait.” Others turned back, but hope springs eternal. We walked up to the tiki and there before us were four unoccupied stools.

As usual, it was the patio that had the three-hour wait, while the tiki area was a free-for-all as diners finished and seats opened up.

We sat, waited a bit for the harried server to come by, ordered drinks, and surveyed the menu. I don’t know why I bothered. I knew I would order the blackened grouper sandwich with onion strings.

The grouper was, as always, fresh and nicely cooked, maybe not as large a piece as in the past, but then have you priced fish recently?

Nancy had the same sandwich with slaw.

The slaw was certainly a more healthful choice, but the onion strings at the Dolphin Tiki are a national treasure, light and flavorful. It’s very tough not to order them, too tough for me. You might be careful about ordering them after some boom boom shrimp and fries, especially if you plan to have a Mudslide for dessert. See here.

Doug and Emily both ordered from the dinner entree section of the menu. I couldn’t get pictures at that angle, and taking detailed notes in the limited space at the close of a long day had fallen outside my skill set. Take my word that they seemed delighted with their choices.

Dolphin Tiki is a great choice day or night. At lunch you get to enjoy the view of the water, and your chances of getting a seat on the patio skyrocket. The tiki is more lively, more fun, though, and either way you get the same delicious food.


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