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Holiday Gift Baskets - Around the World

December 16, 2016
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Everyone loves a good gift basket. As we continue through the holiday season, you may be thinking of what to get good friends, family members and co-workers. With such a wonderful amount of shops and eateries dotting the isle of Fort Myers Beach, why not stop into a few of them to pack up a very special gift basket? Last week we touched base on ideas for a "Naughty or Nice" basket. The week before that, it was "Sweet Treats." This week, it's all about the tastes of the world. We'll conclude the segment with one more theme next week, just before Christmas.

This week's theme:?Around the World.

One doesn't have to travel the world to get a taste of what other cultures and societies have to offer globally. Our little seven-mile island is very fortunate to be dotted with an array of restaurants that offer savory selections from all over the world. Gift certificates to some of these places would be the perfect addition to any gift basket. With so many dining establishments right here on the island, you barely have to leave your front yard for tastes of other lands.

Going South of the Border

It's just to our south, but Mexican food is just so dang good, many of us are sure enjoy these flavors regularly. Luckily there are a few great Mexican cafs scattered throughout the island. Along the north end, enjoy Mr. Tequila, at 1661 Estero Blvd. (239233-8228). With authentic Mexican food and a great happy hour drink menu, this place has it all.

A little further down you'll find the Charros Brothers, at 2801 Estero Blvd. (239-765-0212). The newer kids on the block, these guys pack a punch of flavor in their meals, offering traditional Mexican lunch and dinner creations, and daily specials.

Heading south, swing into Skye's Mexican and More (239-463-7707), in the Santini Marina Plaza, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, using the freshest, most flavorful ingredients. A full bar finishes off this eatery's offerings.

For those willing to travel off the island, you can't go wrong when visiting La Casita, the little purple building in front of the K-Mart Plaza, at 15185 McGregor Blvd. (239-415-1050). Fresh salsa starts your meal, and the freshness continues through throughout the rest of it.

A taste of the Orient

Whether you're looking for a sit-down Asian meal or one with fire and flair, we have it, and gift certificates are available to add to your gift basket collection.

Lin's Garden, at 2943 Estero Blvd. (239-463-0890), offers a take-out or dine-in buffet experience, with a great selection of Chinese dishes, including traditional General Tso's, beef and broccoli, and all the favorites.

Travel east a bit to swing into Osaka Japanese Steakhouse, at 16078 San Carlos Blvd. (239-489-2414) and enjoy dinner and a show with a meal at the hibachi. Or order from the freshly rolled sushi menu. Dine in or take out.

Visiting the Mediterranean

Enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean with Greek and Italian eateries of the island. Plaka, in Times Square (239-463-4707), and its sister cafe, Plaka II, at 15271 McGregor Blvd. (239-689-1211), serve up traditional Greek flavors, many with a modern twist.

The all-new Terra Nostra, now at 15880 San Carlos Blvd. (239-590-8147), is a name synonymous with fine Italian dining. Chef Anthony Grandepiogga will do everything in his power to make your dining experience memorable, serving up amazing Italian dishes of young and old.

If European-style dining is something your gift-basket recipient enjoys (hey, who doesn't!), a gift certificate to the Tuckaway Bagel and Wafel Caf is the perfect addition to the collection. Comfortably nestled at 1740 Estero Blvd. (239-463-5398), Tuckaway features a pet-friendly, European-style gourmet coffee shop with Lavazza espresso, steamed bagel sandwiches, authentic Liege wafels and real fruit smoothies. It's a great place to sit, sip and watch the world go by.

From Deutschland, with love

The island of Fort Myers Beach has a great selection of German eateries, as well. The Schnitzel House in the Indian Creek Plaza (239-437-8664), offers home-cooked German delicacies, from Bratwurst and Spaetzle to Goulash, and, of course, Schnitzle.

Head down to Heidi's Bistro at 2943 Estero Blvd. (239-765-8844), for traditional German dishes and fresh bakery. Enjoy lunch specials, a daily happy hour of German beer on tap, and fresh-baked breads and sweets. Surely your hand-crafted gift basket would look even more spectacular with a few fresh-baked goodies within it!

All-American flavor

We live in America. We breathe, eat and sleep in America. There's nothing wrong with going all-American with this gift basket. Plenty of fantastic all-American island restaurants offer gift certificates for your basket of goodness. Whether it's the tastes of Parrot Key, Bootleggers, the Yucatan Beach Stand, S.O.B., Nervous Nellie's, Pierside Grill, Castaway's, South Beach Grill, the Island View, Flipper's, Bayfront Bistro or any other savory island selection, your recipient is sure to enjoy them all.



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