Q: Hello. There was an article on a restaurant near or on MLK (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fort Myers) that had fresh perch. I tried to search for previous editions without success. Hope you can tell me. – Kate M.
A: Hi Kate, I can’t find such an article either. I don’t think the story came from me. My memory is not what it used to be, but I think (* I hope *) that I would remember writing a pole piece. That said, I might be able to help you out, if you’re willing to step away from MLK a bit. And if you’re okay with walleye, which is part of the same family of freshwater perch and is much easier to find on local menus.
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If you’re a perch fan, head to the Blue Pointe Oyster Bar at the Bell Tower Shops in southern Fort Myers. The restaurant offers grilled, grilled or charred perch with blue cheese coleslaw and a choice of sides for lunch ($ 16.95) and dinner ($ 31.95).
If you’re ok with walleye and don’t mind heading north to Caloosahatchee, then check out Anchor In Bar & Grill in North Fort Myers, where walleye is served fried, pan-seared, or grilled, with a soup or salad, steamed vegetables and potato of your choice for $ 21.
South of the river, Stillwater Grille in southern Fort Myers offers pan-seared Minnesota walleye in a lemon-dill sauce for $ 26 with rice. Closer to MLK, the Deep Down South BBQ food truck is one of the few places where you can find freshwater sea bream, which looks a bit like the southern version of perch. The truck serves it with two sides and garlic toast for $ 11.99, but be sure to call ahead and make sure the sea bream is in stock.
If “fresh” is your sticking point, may I recommend giving up perch and walleye altogether. Our Gulf fish will undoubtedly be much fresher. Grouper and snapper are caught in the waters just off our coasts. For some of the world’s freshest groupers and snappers, check out Island Seafood Market on Matlacha, which has its own fleet of fishing boats.
PS: My colleague Michael Braun pointed out Hook Seafood & Wings. The fast food franchise at 3315 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. lists something called “ocean perch” on its menu. According to inlandseafood.com, sea perch is also known as redfish, pink fish, and red sea bream.
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Jean Le Boeuf is the pseudonym used by a lover of local cuisine who dines in restaurants anonymously and without warning, with meals paid for by The News-Press. Send an email to JLB at [email protected]; follow the review on facebook.com/jeanleboeufswfl or @JeanLeBoeuf on Twitter and Instagram.