Places to Visit Near Tropicana: Capt. Johnny’s Gulf Seafood

Capt. Johnny’s. 16980 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, Florida. PG photo

In the 1930’s, a Finnish commercial fisherman named Lindquist came to south Florida. He and his wife found a piece of land in Fort Myers near the causeway to Sanibel Island.  They built a small house on that property and they raised 6 children. When the youngest, John, was 6 months old, his father died.  Mrs. Lindquist fed her children by shucking oysters at $1.00 per gallon. She lived into her ’90;s

Fast forward to 2012, and Capt. Johnny has retired as a commercial fisherman. His daughter Amanda, the mother of four children, greeted us when we stopped at the family’s roadside fish market “Capt. Johnny’s Gulf Seafood.”  They are located near Tropicana at 16980 McGregor Blvd, opposite the Tanger Mall.

Amanda greets Eileen

Every morning fishermen stop by and drop off the latest catch. Today she has beautiful fresh red snapper and black grouper. She also has pink gulf shrimp, oysters, stone crab claws, lobsters, and jumbo scallops.  Sometimes Amanda offers lump crab cakes and fish spreads.

Amanda can’t say what will show up each day.  She has large ice chests that keep the cut fish perfect.  Her fish is the freshest and best we have seen down here. They are open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.  You can call to place an order (239 851 2688) or you can just drive in.

Last night we had the black grouper.  It was ¾ pound and was about one inch thick. Eileen butterflied it into two half inch slices.   —PG

RECIPE:  By Eileen Goldfinger

Preheat oven at 425 degrees.

FISH:  Eileen sautéed the grouper in a non stick pan, She used a tablespoon of Smart Balance margarine and 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then she seasoned with a pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and some paprika.

She sautéed the fish filets on both sides until they turned brown.  Then she took the fish out of the pan and placed it in an oven-proof tray in the oven for 15 minutes.

SAUCE:   In the same sautée pan, while the fish is cooking in the oven, she added a minced clove of garlic, one tsp. of minced jalapeno pepper, and a small diced onion.  Add ¼ cup white wine and cook on low to medium heat until the onion wilts.  Then cook the sauce for five minutes more and turn it off.

Finally, Eileen removed the fish from the oven and poured the sauce over it.

Serves two