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Best of May: The top things we ate in SWFLA


May marked a milestone, with many people returning to in restaurant dining. Things are looking up! And we had so many good things this month, it was hard to pick our best.

Pita: Fast Fresh Mediterranean, East Naples

We ventured off the island for the month’s first pick for a unique eatery in East Naples, Pita: Fast Fresh Mediterranean. Housed in a former Taco Bell, there is room for dining inside, but we decided to take advantage of their drive through window on this day.

The “What the Falafel Bowl” ($7.99) is made with ground chickpeas, parsley, and traditional spices and is served on a turmeric and saffron rice, mixed lettuce, diced tomatoes, and topped off with the restaurant’s “white and hot” sauce. While the falafel is good, dry but less dry than most, the toppings paired with it to perfection. And the rice, a triumph.

More: ‘Watts for Dinner’: A seafood soiree at Marek's Marco Island

We also partook of the spinach pie ($7.79), featuring spinach and feta cheese wrapped in phyllo dough then topped with the white sauce. This dish is served with the same sides as the bowl.

The pie was by far the best thing we ate this outing. So crispy and delicious with a chorus of flavors that are pure Mediterranean. I will be back for more and I must place a “highly recommend” on this dish.

A close second would be Pita's loaded fries ($3.79). These potatoes are topped with olive oil, lemon juice, crumbled feta cheese and a hint of parsley. Yummers!

More: ‘Watts for Dinner’: Fast, fresh Mediterranean to go

Jackie’s Chinese Restaurant, Marco Island

Jackie’s Chinese Restaurant in Marco Town Center is always a solid performer. I love the eggrolls from Jackie’s. Always crispy. Huge! And delicious. This time around, I went with the shrimp egg roll ($1.50 each) and it did not disappoint. I’m likely never going back to the traditional egg roll ever again.

We also got the “Krab Rangoon” ($5.75), featuring the namesake and cream cheese wrapped in a deep-fried wonton. These triangles are heavenly. A great appetizer or dessert.

The shrimp with lobster sauce ($12.25), with bountiful shrimp, cabbage, onions and carrots – over Jackie’s amazing rice – was surprisingly good.

Also, exceptional, the “Moo Shu” vegetables ($11.25) which is supposed to come with pancakes. While we got the vegetables, the pancakes, which typically look like tortillas made of flour, were nowhere to be seen. However, we did get some extra Rangoon, which was probably the way Jackie’s does it.

Full review: 'Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Jackie's Chinese Restaurant

Davide, Marco Island

A longtime favorite restaurant for me is Davide Italian Cafe & Deli on Marco Island.

We started with the shrimp parmigiana ($12.95) featuring lightly fried and breaded shrimp in a tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese. A surprisingly great combination you might not expect.

We sampled two items, one hot and the other cold, from the panini section of the menu and two large pizzas. First the sandwiches.

On the hot side, we selected the “Melenzana Parmigiana” ($9.95) featuring breaded eggplant thinly sliced, lightly fried with a homemade tomato sauce topped with mozzarella cheese. So good! The bread was fresh and chewy, just like you’d expect. And the marinara! Davide’s has the best sauce. Light, yet packed with flavor.

On the cold side, we also had the “Freddi” ($10.95) featuring more of that yummy bread and grilled eggplant, sliced fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, arugula, caramelized onions and our homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing. This sandwich is so hearty, even without meat.

On the pizza front, we picked the “Quattro Formaggi” ($19.95) with tomato sauce and a blend of mozzarella cheese, gorgonzola cheese, parmigiano cheese and provolone cheese. A slice of this pizza is pure heaven. A thin and crispy crust with a beautiful layering technique. Just to look at it you’d never guess the complex, rich and amazing flavor. Bravo!

Our next pizza was the “Biancaneve” ($18.95), just bread and mozzarella cheese. No sauce, no bells or whistles. And yet it impresses. This dish lets the wonderful bread and the rich quality cheese shine.

Full review: ‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Quality and consistency – Davide’s does it again

Crabby Lady, Goodland

Crabby Lady in Goodland is a great place to find the true flavor of Goodland.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the fried pesto sticks ($7.99) and the firecracker shrimp ($9.99).

We also sampled the restaurant’s “Famous” seafood bisque ($7.99 for a bowl). Another unique dish. I usually don’t like seafood- based soups, but this one’s a real winner.

For my main entrée, I had the fettuccine alfredo ($14.99). You can add grilled or blackened chicken for $4 or blackened shrimp for $6. I added the latter and was surprised to get almost a dozen shrimp. That’s a good deal. Love the spices (tastes like a nice coating of Arthur Treachers). The sauce was thick and delicious. A real pleaser.

My partner in dine had the scallop dinner ($26.99). You can get them blackened, fried or sauteed. He chose blackened. His meal included a mix of vegetables and a baked potato. In addition to the scallops, the potato got a huge thumbs up.

Happy eating!

Full review: 'Watts for Dinner’: Crabby Lady – fine dining, Goodland-style

This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews. com.

More: Best of April: The top things we ate in SWFLA

If you go

Pita: Fast Fresh Mediterranean, East Naples

  • 2224 Tamiami Trail E., Naples 
  • 321-EAT-PITA / 321-328- 7482 
  • gopita.com

Davide Italian Cafe & Deli

  • Island Plaza, 688 Bald Eagle Dr. (NW Corner Bald Eagle and Collier Blvd.), Marco Island
  • 239-393-2233
  • davideitaliancafe.com

Jackie’s Chinese Restaurant

  • 1089 N. Collier Blvd.,
  • #425, Marco Island
  • 239-642-8148
  • https://jackies-chineserestaurant. business.site/

Crabby Lady

  • 123 Bayshore Way, Goodland
  • 239-500-2722
  • crabbylady.com