This Sunday morning was chilly for Southwest Florida — the perfect excuse to throw on a sweater and jeans and go exploring. We decided to check out the nearby town of Matlacha, which we’d driven by a few months back on our visit to Pine Island.
Matlacha is a tiny fishing town, with an adorable little touristy area that looks like something out of a Dr. Suess book. It’s a place where the locals are Florida born-and-raised, most of whom wear white knee-high rubber boots for wading into the shallow waters. The shops are quirky art stores, where you can find beach signs, Mexican-style ceramics, and local art. It’s a town with its own slightly-off-kilter sense of style. The perfect place to escape from the strip malls and condos and chain restaurants for a bit.
We tried the brand-new Blue Dog Bar and Grill for breakfast. It’s decorated in a fish-camp style, with a neat map mural across the bar top. We asked about mimosas, which weren’t on the menu (yet), and our server brought us champagne splits and orange juice in a make-your-own-mimosa style that was kind of fun. It was really more of a mimosa-and-a-half, depending on your ratio. And then other people walked by and saw our mimosas and started ordering them! They ran out of champagne before we finished our meal; we started a trend, and we think they should name it after us. The Smith-mosa? Jason and Erin’s Make-Your-Own Mimosas?
My omelette — goat cheese, peppers, and mushrooms — was fresh and delicious, and Jason enjoyed the mullet (and the accompanying bad puns). There were plenty of tvs for watching football, and a couple of good beers on tap too, we noticed. They are still ironing out the kinks with service and food times, as you’d expect from restaurant open only a few days, but we really enjoyed it. A unique little spot that we’ll visit again soon.
We did a little peeking around the shops, tasted some really tempting homemade fudge, and hopped in the car to head back for a Sunday afternoon nap. Matlacha was the perfect little morning escape, only about 20 minutes from our house, and I’m glad we (finally) got to know it a little more.