Tallahassee is in the extreme north of Florida, and our next destination was in the far south. August 2 was cloudy and rainy in western Florida, which made it a good day to be confined to the car.
Everyone raves about Fort Myers Beach. As it was directly along our route, we planned to stop and see the area while grabbing something to eat. We arrived in Fort Myers Beach, starving, at exactly 6pm. Thanks again to Yelp, I located a place renowned for their Key Lime Pie, the must-eat food of Florida. This time, we kept our eyes peeled for Pete’s Time Out.
Pete’s is outside onside the boardwalk, apparently the standard in Fort Myers Beach. The patio is open, with small metal tables canopied with yellow and white umbrellas. A family of five sitting around one of the tables makes for a cramped dinner, something that is not new to us in our travels. The restaurant features live music consisting of two guys with a guitar. The singers were taking requests and a guy at the bar repeatedly asked for Bob Seger songs. Covering Bob Seger was a good choice for this duo as they sounded decent and kept the crowd entertained.
Being on the Gulf, most of the menu consisted of seafood. Pescatarians would be thrilled, but those who don’t eat seafood may struggle to find something to order. Having a fish allergy made dining here tricky. Doing research ahead of the trip paid off in this case and I knew what my options would be going in. M ate the mahi, which was flakey and well-seasoned. Sorry, no pictures of the fish. M hates it when I photograph his food. I had a chili-cheese dog minus the onions. The hot dog itself was plump and juicy, topped with a slightly spicy chili. The bun was soft, but held up to the chili well. The side of fries were hand-cut and crispy, with just the right amount of salt.
We had come to Pete’s for key lime pie, which did not disappoint. We shared three pieces between the five of us, which was more than enough. The crust was firm and crunchy. The creamy custard had a tart zip to it that was exactly what you should expect from key lime pie. The entire pie was covered in a sour lime syrup which was a bit much for the kids, but I really enjoyed it.
Pete’s Time Out is situated right on the boardwalk. We enjoyed people watching, even though it was getting late and was kind of dark. The beach was CROWDED. I snapped a quick and blurry picture after the crowd had moved on for some sort of show Two minutes later it was a wall to wall people once again.
As we travel the US, we have discovered the highly advertised “must-see places” typically don’t thrill us. We prefer off-the-beaten-path, out-of-the-way places. Not that Fort Myers wasn’t fun or kitchy, but this tourist-trap was far more crowded than Cocoa Beach or what we would find at Cape Hatteras later in this trip. It is fun to visit these places for a couple of hours, but we have no desire to spend days and days there. Regardless, we did take some time to explore the beach before leaving Fort Myers behind.