Everglades City is one those out-of-the-way places that will not appeal to everyone. It sits off Highway 41 (Tamiami Trail) that connects Miami to Tampa, Florida. It is also one end of the Wilderness Waterway, the famous Everglades backcountry route that links Everglades City to Flamingo. It is a small town, really more of a village, that has thriving stone crab and other seafood businesses as well as a relatively short history. You can take boat and other watercraft tours, visit the charming museum, and generally spend 2-3 hours wandering about. We recently met with some friends at the Camellia Street Grill and couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant experience.
Inside dining is limited and I can see where bugs would be an issue the wrong part of the year. That was not a factor for us though and the outside area is terrific. The sense of colorful funk is immediate when you park and walk past the herb garden and other shrubs/plants festooned with yard sculptures.
You order inside, find a spot, and then your meal is served to you. The menu features seafood of course, but there is plenty to enjoy that is land-based and vegetarian selections. I think there were vegan, but I can’t be certain about that. My husband continues his quest for the best grouper sandwich so his choice was easy and one of the others thought that sounded good. I was in the mood for a burger and opted for the Philly cheese one with sauteed onions and melted provolone. The fourth in our party ordered one of the specials – spiced shrimp and cheese grits. This is not a fast food place, but the drinks were cold and the view over the Barron River was lovely. When our food arrived, it was excellant, although I have to admit I thought their french fries were a bit better than the onion rings (the onion rings were good, mind you, just not great). The carrot cake one person order was said to be delicious and if my husband and I hadn’t been utterly stuffed, we would have shared that or one of the other lucious sounding desserts.
If you are feeling adventurous, they do serve alligator although it is sauteed with herbs rather than fried as you find in most places. I can heartily recommend Camellia Street Grill as well as a leisurely few hours in Everglades City if you are looking for a pleasant way to pass a morning or afternoon.