dd gathering placeHaving a meeting at Beacon Executive Suites in the Villas area of South Ft. Myers, the Discriminating Diner decided to try The Gathering Place within the Beacon Executive Suites.  My dining partner and I arrived at 1:00 and found the restaurant quite easily once inside the Beacon Executive Suites, as there are signs indicating the directions all over the place.

Once finding it, we were welcomed and invited to sit any place we like. There are tables, both large – seating a group of 6 to 8 and small – seating 2 to 4. The décor is warm and welcoming, truly indicating the restaurant is a family operation. You almost have the feel that you are in a friend’s home, as myself and my dining partner had never been there before, but were welcomed as though we were old friends. We liked that very much! Menus were on the table and while we were looking them over our waiter came over and took our drink order, two unsweet teas.

We noticed they were open for breakfast and lunch, with breakfast from 6:30am to 11:00am and lunch from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Their lunch menu ranges from sandwiches, salads, soups and a section called “Mrs. Anita’s Taste of Belize” which included dishes that were of a Belize fare. Anita’s Stewed Chicken with Beans and Rice ($7.50) and Anita’s Pulled Pork with Beans and Rice ($7.50) to mention two of the items listed there. We were not too hungry so we were looking for something slightly lighter. My dining partner decided upon the Roast Beef Club which had Roast Beef, Turkey, Bacon, Provolone Cheese, 1000 Island Dressing on French Bread, ($6.75). I decided upon the Italian which has Man, Salami & Provolone Cheese with Roasted Onions & Mushrooms, Black Olives, House Dressing & House Mayo on French Bread, ($6.25). Both were served with a Dill Pickle Spear. I inquired about the soup of the day, which was Navy Bean and Ham Soup. I ordered a cup of that, ($2.25).

It did not take long to get the cup of soup. It was truly served in a large coffee cup, nice touch! The soup was hot and beyond delicious!! This was a soup that truly was created in the kitchen of The Gathering Place!! The flavor was what I would expect if my mom had made the soup, flavorful, lots of navy beans and ham and did I mention very flavorful!! Just the right amount and hot, no lukewarm soup here, nice and piping hot, the way soup is made to be eaten. I enjoyed every bit of it! As I was finishing my wonderful cup of soup, our sandwiches came out! A large size to me, which is a good thing!! They both looked delicious, making both of us want to dive right in and see if the flavor was as good as the look. Let me tell you, YES, the flavor matches the look!! Both sandwiches had been toasted, and toasted to perfection we must say! The French bread was nice and hot, good crunch to it, cheese nice melted and the middle of each sandwich was nicely cool, so that the lettuce that was on each was not soft and mushy but still crisp and flavorful!! We were impressed not only with the presentation and the portion but with the way it was made and most importantly the way they both tasted!! Bravo to the chef and staff of The Gathering Place!

While we were enjoying our meals, we noticed the Chef working with a head of lettuce, yes you read that right, a full head of lettuce rather than opening a bag of lettuce that we have seen at some many other places! So we saw fresh ingredients being used and to us, that is of the utmost of importance when it comes to good and delicious foods, fresh ingredients. In looking around, we notice some delicious looking pastries and cookies. We asked if they were homemade as they truly looked like wonderful delights that were made by Grandma and we were told that each morning the pastries and muffins were made as well as the cookies! Well done we say, well done!

The Gathering Place has a wide array of breakfast items, everything from Breakfast Burritos and Breakfast Sandwiches to more traditional fare from Waffles, Scrambled Eggs with lots of different additions! Scrambled egg plates come with a choice of beans or potatoes + Jonny Cake! Average Breakfast price ranges from $3.00 (Scramble – Bacon, Egg & Cheese) to $7.00 (Breakfast Fajitas). Lunch prices are from $5.00 (Tuna Salad on a Croissant) to $7.00 (The Roast Beef). Salad prices range from $6.00 (House Salad) to $7.25 (Specialty Salads including Turkey, Roast Beef or Southwestern Chicken). The prices are very reasonable for the portions you receive and the flavor is well worth the price!!!

You can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thegatheringplace Look them up, like them and then take the time to find them on Beacon Manor Drive inside the Beacon Executive Suites. You will feel like an old friend the minute you walk in until the time you leave and the food you will experience will all be made with love homemade!!! Be sure and find this unknown gem here in the Fort Myers area, it will quickly be the place that you bring those that are truly special to you!! I know my dining partner and I will be heading back to try some more of the delights prepared and served by The Gathering Place!!! Let them know you heard about them on What’s Up Southwest Florida!!!

On a final note, they do Party Platters and the do Catering as well, looking to bring that home cooked feel to your next event, we are certain The Gathering Place can make that happen for you!


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