Friday, February 17, 2012
Man Eating Gator
Growing up in the sunshine state, I've eaten gator meat before. However, it's been years and all I really remember is the old joke, "tastes like chicken". The first page of Gator Bites menu is dedicated to the prehistoric looking creature.
The meat is cubed and prepared blackened, fried, buffalo style, marinated and grilled. If you haven't tried gator and have a bigger party, try the sampler platter ($19.95). Otherwise you can buy the bites in 1/3 pound servings ($7.95). Friends in my party were ordering more traditional menu items like fish and chips, burgers and seafood. The Florida Grouper Reuben looked tempting but I could not eat at a restaurant named Gator Bites, without having alligator.
I settled on the Gator Nachos ($11.95) thinking it might be a good way to get my friends into the gator game. After all, everything tastes good drenched in cheese, right? The nachos were piled high and smelled delicious. First thing I did was pick a chunk of blackened meat off the top. Forget the chicken reference; it had more of the flavor and texture of a tasty, moist pork chop.
I was keenly aware of being watched but continued digging in with enthusiasm, as the first hand tentatively reached across the table. Finally, someone broke the seal and decided to give the gator a go. Of those who followed suit, all gave the dish a thumbs up.
Gator Bites also serves creative Croc-Tails ($8) like the Florida Sunburn and Swamp Juice. Much thought has been given to this menu, decor and souvenirs. It's got great character with some Florida kitsch. Gator Bites is a "must stop" for a casual meal with your northern guests, on the way to Sanibel Island (20321 Summerlin Road, in the Publix plaza).