How can we be someplace and not tell you about the local breakfast spots? In 2012, we went to the Alva Diner which is about 5 miles west of Riverbend. It was here that we had a bacon and cheese omelet filled with what seemed like at least a half pound of heart healthy (NOT) really yummy and crispy bacon.
So on the Sunday, the 22nd, we found our way back to the diner. Being a Sunday, it was crowded so we had about a 20 minute wait. Yes, we had the omelet again but did it have as much bacon in it? Nope, it didn’t quite live up to our prior experience – it definitely had more (wonderfully crispy) bacon than your typical diner omelet, but not as much as we remembered. But it was good anyway, maybe better, the first time was a bit over the top and it sure wasn’t very heart healthy. BTW, if you are ever in the area, we heard that the broasted chicken that they serve for lunch or dinner is quite good – unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try it.
Another breakfast excursion (mainly because we were out of all breakfast supplies), landed us at the Log Cabin restaurant right in the center of Labelle. It is exactly what it says it is – a log cabin. Kind of cute in a rustic kind of way. We had heard that their smoked beef, pulled pork and ribs were really good. No, we didn’t have that for breakfast but the smokers must have been at full capacity – boy, did it smell good! Breakfast was pretty good, the usual standard fare.
After breakfast, we did take a short sightseeing ride around the area (the only sightseeing we did), stopping at the Franklin lock to watch the boats go through the locks – but no boats happened to be passing thru so we didn’t stay long. The photo on the right is a 180 degree wide-angle composition and the lock is not really curved. The right side of the photo is looking East toward Lake Okeechobee and the left side looking west toward Port Charlotte. Note the Franklin Lock COE campground on the opposite shore – its a small campground on a small island and is very difficult to get in there this time of year. Some sites there are big rig compatible but not all.
Just to interrupt the breakfast train of thought, we had planned on going over to the Edison estate to see the holiday lights and wanted to try out a restaurant in Fort Myers which had been recommended to us – the Elephant Bar but we never got there. Instead one night we ended up at the Log Cabin again for dinner.
Having been there for breakfast we knew what the interior decor was like, and we usually prefer a dimly lit kind of atmosphere (perhaps we were cave dwellers in a previous life) but the lighting was the same as it was in the morning and since it was dark outside it seemed almost bright enough to give you a headache. But we didn’t care, we were hungry and it was a short easy drive. Based on the waitress’ recommendation, I had a half rack of barbequed ribs served with 5 breaded shrimp with Texas toast, baked beans and a medley of corn and string beans and Rob had the Smoked Beef with Texas toast, baked beans and fries. What a pleasant surprise that everything was delicious! And they even throw in a complementary dish of ice cream for dessert. We ended up taking home leftovers which is always a good thing!
When we went to pick up our mail in the Riverbend office one day, a couple recommended another place in town – the Two Peas Cafe also in the main part of Labelle. Small, cute and most definitely very green! This place is known for their pies but unfortunately we never had an opportunity to try one. Breakfast was great! Perfectly scrambled eggs, home fries with a little bit of a spicy kick and biscuits with sausage gravy. We even got to meet both of the “peas” (the owners) who have been friends since they were kids. They were together so much one of their grandmothers would say that they were like “two peas in a pod” so when they opened their restaurant Two Peas seemed like a fitting name.
On Saturday, the 28th, we drove over to North Ft. Myers to see our friends, Bob and Chris. They have had a very busy year – they sold their house in RI, sold their beautiful catamaran sailboat which Bob built over a span of 12 years, endured the emotional and physical stress of Chris having three surgeries while they were still in RI over the summer. Since they will now be full time Floridians, they have bought a larger, beautiful 3 BR home in the Heron’s Glen complex and are in the process of selling their existing two BR house there. Whew, what a year they have had!
We went to dinner with them at a local restaurant, Bianca’s in North Fort Myers. We hadn’t seen them in about six months so we thoroughly enjoyed catching up on everything. Rob and I both had the Chicken Marisa – chicken sauteed in lemon and wine with sun dried tomatoes and topped with goat cheese. Delish! Nice place with great food! Thanks again Chris and Bob for a wonderful evening!
So that was the extent of our dining out experiences while at RiverBend. With everything going on, we really didn’t have time to go out much. Plus sometimes we were just too lazy!