Potpourri Naples Style by Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett

As I stated in my last article in future articles, I will write something about food in Naples be it a restaurant recommendation or a food store or it could even be one of my old stand-by favorite recipes. I am constantly asked after living in the City of Naples for forty-eight years to recommend something that has to do with food.

Last week I was with a good friend of mine and he was among the many desperately trying to get a vaccination shot for him and his wife to no avail. The conversation eventually got around to food and he asked me if I had tried any new dining spots because he wanted a change from the old reliable favorites that he dined at. I asked him if he had tried The Lake Park Diner. He answered that he wasn’t much of a diner fan. I started laughing and said well, it’s really not a diner. His response was, well what is it? I did my absolute best to explain that the name is misleading. It is a very different kind of restaurant that has diner mannerisms if indeed a restaurant could have them then this one does.

The only way I can explain is by taking you on a virtual tour. When you park and walk to the entrance you enter a wide walkway. There are many tables to the left and some to the right but 90% of the space is covered but outdoors. The first thing you see is a gigantic menu board and most likely the people in front of you and in front of them are staring at it. They have salads and bowls, and a myriad of other items which are unbelievably creative. One of them is the organic chicken which is either rotisserie or buttermilk fried and I’m just giving you a slight hint of what you are in store for by putting that Buttermilk Fried Chicken menu item in this article. Here is the definition: organic chicken, served with southern hot honey sauce, Napa cabbage apple slaw, and gooey raclette mac & cheese.

You are going to have to pull up the entire menu online and I guarantee you will find at least one item you will like but most likely a lot more which makes it so difficult to choose. We have been back there three times and can’t wait to go again. You just take a table, go up and order, get a number card which you place on your table and the servers will bring your drinks and your entrees or appetizers. At the end of the meal a server will come by to take your order for a real old-fashioned milkshake, only with some amazing ingenuity built into the ingredients. Anyway, I finally convinced my friend to go there, because I just couldn’t do The Lake Park Diner any justice with my explanation. No reservations, but you really don’t need them. The tables turn fast. Another reason it’s great is because of the social distancing and the tables being outside. Absolutely worth a try!

Naples of course is booming. Where others across the country are struggling, our real estate is selling at a record pace and every day, I hear stories of two and three bidders on a new listing. I am truly saddened by what’s going on around us in the world but remain thankful to be in Naples Florida.

We have some young friends in the Buffalo New York area who because of New York shutting down again have lost their business that they worked so hard to build. Of course, they’re not alone and my heart goes out to all that have been affected. I am and will remain the eternal optimist that we will get back to what we call “normal” in the near future.  Stay safe!    e-mail me at mayornaples@gmail.com

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