One finds such or similar superlatives again and again in American restaurants. We wanted to test the American gigantomania once and were drawn to the promises of the Lighthouse Café on Sanibel Island. The claim to serving the best breakfast in the world is emblazoned here - directly under the restaurant name on the doorstep. We are at half past eight in the morning at the gates of the rather inconspicuous looking café near the causeway that connects Sanibel Island to the mainland at Fort Myers. The parking lot in front of the cafe is overcrowded, and a lot of people are sitting and standing in front of the restaurant. "Do they all want to have breakfast there too?" I ask myself.
We don't let ourselves be deterred and enter the breakfast restaurant, which doesn't look much larger inside than outside. At the counter I say that we would like to have a table for two. The man looks at me kindly and says: "It will take about twenty minutes" and sends us back to the door. So I was right. The people in front of the restaurant are actually waiting to have breakfast there. "Well," I think to myself. "Perhaps this is a sign that the food is really particularly good?" This is often the case when there are queues in front of an American restaurant. And we sit on one of the banks under the veranda and watch the comings and goings of the restaurant guests. And more and more seem to be coming.
Slowly the people who have been waiting longer than we are disappearing and are being replaced by new ones waiting - a constant stream of breakfast guests. The Lighthouse Café apparently has no difficulty in finding customers. And finally it's our turn. We are called out loud: "Monika Fjusch" is heard from the loudspeaker above the door. Our surname Fuchs causes problems for all English speakers in the world, and most of the time we are simply renamed. But with a little imagination, we can guess that we are meant by that.
We are led to a tiny two-seater table in the corner of the adjoining room in the Lighthouse Café - just that we have enough space to store our bags and squeeze ourselves into the table. A menu is banged on the table and the question thrown at us: "Tea or Coffee?" A little intimidated, we choose tea and coffee, one for each of us, and also ask for a glass of orange juice. And then we study the menu.
It has it all. There are dishes that I have never heard of before: Turkey Benedict (poached eggs with turkey), Granola Nut Whole Wheat Hot cakes (hot pancakes made from brown flour with granola and nut), malted hot cakes (pancakes made from malt flour), a Hungry Fisherman (an omelet with shrimp, crab meat and mussels with an Alfredo sauce), ocean frittata (shrimp, mussels and crab meat with broccoli and fresh mushrooms under artichoke hearts and a sauce Alfredo) or a red sauce frittata (smoked sausage steamed with peppers, fresh mushrooms and sweet onions baked with a homemade marinara sauce and provolone cheese). Well, they're inventive, we have to admit that.
"Well," I think. "We're at the ocean, so I'm going to order a Hungry Fisherman." Petar chooses an omelet with mushrooms and cheese. In the meantime, we drink our thin coffee and the watery orange juice that have now landed on our table. What we get is:
Two lovingly put together breakfast plates on which the ingredients are difficult to determine. And it tastes exactly the same - overcooked, mushy under a liter of "sauce", hardly seasoned and with dried roasted potatoes.
Therefore, let it be said, American gigantomania is almost always to be treated with caution. But in tourist spots like Sanibel Island, it's still possible to attract enough customers to keep the business buzzing. Because I can not imagine that the people who live on the island, go breakfast here.
Do you already know:
- Sanibel Island Florida
- A restaurant on Sanibel Island where the locals eat
- Captiva Island Florida
- Recipes from all over the world
- Cooking in a motorhome or houseboat
- packing list for campers
Source: own research on site with the kind support of the journey through The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. Our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline