Locals having fun on Sanibel

What do the locals do when the mobs of tourists are gone?  We play! 

I have been out to eat every evening this week.  Last night was happy hour with my Zonta friends at Traders.  The night before was happy hour with political club friends at Traders.  And the night before that was happy hour with Gulf Pines neighborhood friends at Traders.

Traders, Traders, Traders.  One of the reasons we locals choose Traders for these gatherings is size.  This restaurant is big enough that it can handle several large tables and still have many smaller tables available.  The service is friendly and very professional.
Swimming is a fun way to work off
restaurant food calories.

Another reason is the happy hour food and drink – all high-quality and good value.  The happy hour menu is called the “light menu,” but many of the options on it are not light.  Still, the portion sizes are under control, and that’s good for those who dine out night after night.

That menu, and the regular menu, offer many choices.  Still, I’ve dined at Traders so often that sometimes I fear I have the menu memorized.  No surprises there.  So I’m happy when the chef adds something new.

The chef, Michael Patnode, has been on the job for a long time, but he never seems to burn out.  He has a newish sous chef now, and as a result, flatbreads have been added to the “light” menu.  I like the shrimp, artichoke, spinach, and Andouille flatbread.  The barbequed pork flatbread is too sweet for me, but my friend Nancy loves it, and she’s a gourmande.

I was early for happy hour yesterday, so I ducked into the shop to look around.  That’s right, Traders is a restaurant AND a shop.  I’d been looking for a certain kind of top that involves long-sleeved lace over a tank top, and voila!  There it was:  a slinky, large-scale lace of soft black cotton, over a graceful, shimmery camisole.  There was no size marked on the tags, so I had to try it on.  It fit beautifully!  And so I bought it.

I could have paid for it with my points (but I didn’t).  Traders has a VIP card (cost: $25) which allows us regulars to accumulate points, which can later be used to purchase dinner or items from the shop.  I wore the new acquisition to dinner.

Tonight, we will finally stay home for a steak dinner.  That means Tom cooks part of the meal – on the grill.  I’ll do French-style puréed potatoes and steamed green beans.  The steaks were specially priced, and I won’t tell you where, so I don’t have to compete with you to get them.

Then tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  We’re taking mom out to eat at the Jacaranda.  More about that later . . . . The fun continues.

We are most looking forward to returning to Bleu Rendez-Vous on Thursday, when we will check out the early prix fixe dinners with our German friends, Arnold and Mareen.


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