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Monday, April 18, 2016

Food Truck Craziness at Food Truck Wars

Food Truck Wars was an event held in Fort Myers, FL.

It was estimated close to 20,000 attended the event that day. Read More

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Craft Beer/Food Pairings of Note In Southwest Florida

Craft Beer is in it's infancy in Southwest Florida. At most, craft brew has been on the map in Southwest Florida for less than half a decade.

Of note are some of the food pairings on a weekly basis with these beers.  Read More

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Thursday Night Craft Beer/Food Pairing at Fort Myers Brewing Company

is a craft brewer in Fort Myers, FL. As with most craft brewers, the proprietor, Rob Whyte, started as a home brewer in 1990 in San Diego, CA. Many years later, the owner of his home brew shop invited him over to taste beer from his brewery, Oceanside Ale Works. Rob ended up interning there for 6 years before moving to Southwest Florida in 2012 and started FMBC. It was the first craft brewery in Lee County and one of the first in Southwest Florida. At present they are probably the brewery with the largest capacity in the area, brewing 80 barrels a week. Since there are 31 gallons of beer in a barrel, and 8 pints/gallon, that's a lot of pints of beer. Approximately 30% of their output is allotted to the tasting room on premises. As such, they have a very loyal following.

They have quite a selection of beers that have been Awarded many accolades

on tap

in the tasting room.

On Thursday nights they have a wonderful craft beer/food pairing with up to 5 different food trucks.

These events are very well attended.

There can be up to 5 food trucks that come Thursdays to pair with the beer.

Porkin Out BBQ was there

with of course, BBQ fare.

was in attendence with a number of menu items.

Having lived in New Orleans, I was anxious to try Sizzle's version of a shrimp Po Boy.

Not being anything like what I had eaten in Louisiana, I was disappointed.

There was even a hot dog vendor if you were so inclined.

Two of the trucks in attendance that night had food of note.

Organically Twisted had a number of good items on their Menu.

I saw a twisted tofu go out the door.

This was marinated organic sprouted tofu, micro sprouts, sliced rainbow carrots and radishes,  finished with a ginger sweet-spicy glaze. Yum, Yum

My dining companions (DC's) and I ordered a beautiful salad to share, curry in a hurry.

Aesthetically beautiful, the salad was a mixture of curried chicken salad, blend of organic cherry tomatoes, sweet grapes and rainbow carrots, served with mixed greens and sunflower sprouts. Very, very nice.

had some really great offerings.

My DC's and i ordered the Korean BBQ tacos,

and the Pad Thai Burger.

Both of these items were most remarkable.

Thursday nights at Fort Myers Brewing Company are wonderful community events. They are well attended and the food and craft beer parings can be exceptional. This is a must do event in Southwest Florida. Just make sure you bring a chair!

Fort Myers Brewing Company
12811 Commerce Lakes Drive STE 27
Fort Myers, FL 33913

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dinner at 1500 South

1500 South  (1500)

is a restaurant in Naples, FL in Naples Bay Resort The restaurant is owned by chef Art Smith. Chef Smith owns a number of Restaurants and has numerous Cookbooks in print. His Bio is very impressive listing many high profile chef positions and coveted awards in the food industry. His Chef De Cuisine, Dagan Stocks, is also very Well Heeled culinarily.

My dining companion (DC) and I went to 1500 for dinner that day.

As you enter 1500,

the restaurant is very commodious, nicely designed and has plenty of light. The restaurant has a very nice bar

and dining area.

There is even outside seating if you choose.

The restaurant has an open air kitchen, which I think is great.

Open air kitchens are generally underutilized in restaurants. I think that when diners see the kitchen staff at work, this really helps them connect more readily with the chefs and the food that is being served to them. The Japanese have been using this concept most successfully for years in their Teppanyaki restaurants.

DC and I tried a number of items off the Menu of 1500.

Rosemary biscuits were brought to the table.

Flavorful but texturally, not very good. Very chewy, not flaky as DC and I prefer. A harbinger of things to come we asked ourselves? Sometimes first impressions are accurate and sometimes they are not. In this case, the latter was very much true.

Roasted duck risotto was brought to the table.

This was incredibly delicious. Roasted duck Confit was served with Canaroli rice, roasted Morels, Miner's Lettuce, and Ramp gel.

It got even better, with Hoecakes, sort of a cornmeal flatbread, with slow braised oxtail, caramelized onions, Gorgonzola Dolce and arugula. Heaven.

 Chef Smith's signature fried chicken was brought to the table.

Their chicken is brined for 24 hours, soaked in buttermilk for 24 hours, then single dredged and fried. Very, very, very good. It also comes with in house made hot sauce. It is a mixture of Fresno and De Arbol chilies among other ingredients.

DC and I ordered roasted vegetables.

Tricolor cauliflower, baby peppers, celery root, heirloom carrots and Portobello mushrooms were seasoned with Saba and Parmigiano Reggiano. This dish fell a bit flat flavor wise but a smattering of salt was an easy fix. Problem solved!

We ended up with a couple desserts.

Blood Orange Sorbet, and 63% Cacao and pistachio Gelato.

Very nice.

Creme Brulee finished the meal.

This was served with strawberry/balsamic sorbet, shaved white chocolate and mixed berries. Excellent!

The decor of the restaurant is bright and pleasant, the service good and the food most remarkable.

Because of Chef Smith, there will be some very bright culinary searchlights emanating from this establishment. With the husbandry of the Chef de Cuisine, this will be a very successful restaurant and a welcome addition to an ever growing armamentaruim of superior cuisine in Southwest Florida.

It's a wrap for another post on Forks. 

1500 South
1500 5th Avenue S.
Naples, FL 34102