By Melanie Pagan
“Where can you go to get a good sandwich around here?” I imagine many first-timers on Sanibel wonder this. People who drive over the causeway onto Periwinkle Way are greeted by dozens of fancy dinner restaurants perfect for nights out, but it’s less common to find eateries that serve quick, quality food at a reasonable price all day long.
But it’s not impossible. In fact, if a Sanibel visitor were to ask me the aforementioned question, I would point them in the direction of Rosie’s Café & Grill – located in Palm Ridge Plaza, conveniently on the way to Bowman’s Beach (and even more conveniently, across the street from the TOTI offices.)
Here you’ll find all the classic lunch staples: soups, salads, sandwiches, etc., with most meals ranging between $8-13. But it’s the gourmet flavors infused into each bite of these selections that really make otherwise common menu items memorable.
Chicken Cobb salad with blue cheese dressing, and Buffalo chicken sandwich. Notice the homemade potato chips. If only I could photograph their crispy texture…
I have to be honest – I rarely get through an entire chicken sandwich at other restaurants before I toss a bite to the side for being too fatty or tough, but each time I delve into one at Rosie’s (I always order it spicy with their signature seasonings), I consume the entire thing before even realizing it. Each bite of chicken is always tender, hot but not too hot, with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and Kaiser roll to boot. And did I mention the sandwich comes with shoestring fries?
I was feeling gutsy on this particular visit to Rosie’s, and decided to try the Buffalo chicken sandwich instead of my usual order. Just as delicious as the spicy grilled version!
I seldom venture to other parts of the menu because the chicken is consistently that good, but everyone I dine with at Rosie’s orders a different signature item they absolutely swear by (I’ve once heard someone describe the tropical bouillabaisse as “heavenly.”)
A delicate rose can be found at all seating arrangements at Rosie’s.
If you’d like a different recommendation when dining in, you might get the chance to ask co-owners Irving Gavin or Joanne Fitzgerald yourself. The tight-knit staff often doubles in duties like hosting, serving, or scooping up frozen treats from their Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream bar, so the two can sometimes be spotted in the front-of-house. Don’t fret if they’re not, though, because each server seemingly knows menu items like the back of their hand.
A sample of blueberry cobbler ice cream from Royal Scoop Homemade Ice Cream, served exclusively at Rosie’s. Not pictured: actual chunks of pie crust inside.
So next time you’re headed back from the beach with the windows down, and your stomach starts to growl, stop and “smell the Rosie’s” at Palm Ridge Plaza … the aroma of their fresh food can be enough to lure you in.
Rosie’s Café & Grill
2330 Palm Ridge Rd., Sanibel
Open 8 am – 9 pm
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
Visit Rosie’s on Facebook