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Shipping Up To Bost...Bonita Springs

Lansdowne Street

24851 S Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs, FL

Ever since Athens and Troy starting beating each other up and sending wooden horses in sneak attacks, there have been rivalries amongst cities and/or states. One thing I have noticed about this rivalry is very often, the city that receives the most animus has no idea that there is such extreme disdain for them, sometimes not even being aware of the rivalry at all. San Franciscans demonstrate incredible disdain for Los Angeles. The typical Angeleno response is "San Fran? Nice place, a little dirty, fun to go drink wine not too far from there." The same goes for Florida and California. When I moved to Florida from Los Angeles, I was met with a constant barrage of how terrible California is in every way shape and form. The reaction to Florida in California is usually "too much humidity and what's up with that Florida Man thing." The same goes for New York and Boston. A New Yorker in Boston is pariah number one. I was walking around Hyannis in Cape Cod one day and amongst the sea of Sox jersies and Pats and Bruins hats, strode a brave man with his two sons wearing an Alex Rodriguez jersey. With the grief this man received, you would have thought he personally beat up each of his heckler's mother (say hello to your mother for me). Yet if you remove the Sawx and the Pats from the conversation, most New Yorkers thoughts about Boston are "Lots of history, a little cold and I think I have a cousin who lives somewhere up there...and I'll admit New England clam chowder is better than Manhattan" With this in mind, I ended up in Bonita Springs (yes, our first NOT NAPLES restaurant) at a Boston themed bar called Lansdowne Street (For those of you who aren't baseball fans, that's the street where home runs land outside of Fenway. For those of you who ARE baseball fans, let us weep at the greed).

Indoors, Lansdowne Street is a perfectly fine sports-ish bar, complete with the classic northeast touches of polished wood. Definitely a local spot that was a mix of retirees, younger transplants and The Punishers motorcycle gang complete with their leathers. I mean, who doesn't love a good biker bar? TVs are on the ceiling, etc. Outside is where it's a little more interesting. It's got a long bar with a ton of outdoor high tops and large tables lining the patio, with a large amount in the shade. Perfectly pleasant place to hang out, have a berer, watch a game, etc.

I bellied up to the bar and immediately felt like Steve Martin's character in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It was about 2 inches too low, so it was literally impossible to fold your arms on the bar and just relax and stare at a TV, or have a conversation with the bartender, or whatever.

A barstool should be something you can sit in for hours without having to figure out what to do with your hands!

The beer list is pretty decent. Alongside the typical too many IPA craft beer list (remember when these used to be called microbrews?) they did have a few fairly uncommon European lagers in Kronenbourg and Carlsberg, so I ordered me a Kronenbourg and set myself to the menu. Most of the food listed is pretty standard, though for a bar, I found it a little bit sandwich heavy. Ok, a LOT sandwich heavy. Honestly, unless I'm having Vietnamese, I leave the sandwiches to the local deli. I was told the lobster roll was the thing to get here, so I ordered that along with a spinach cheese dip and a Greek salad (hey, I eat salad sometimes)

Kudos to the server for telling me how much the lobster roll was in advance as it was listed as Market Price on the menu. I'm not one for caring much about my dining out costs, but it's very respectable that they care about their customers enough to share.

The lobster roll was decent. Not a huge portion, it wasn't slathered in mayo and the lobster was definitely fresh. The bread was toasted in the traditional style, so authenticity was not an issue. I will confess, I'm more of a crab than a lobster person, but a good lobster roll on occasion can reach deliciousness.

The cheese dip was pretty tasty, served with a pita, tortilla hybrid. Then again, it's cheese dip (cue cheese/underwear metaphor). Where things were a little off was the Greek Salad. Again, it's a salad, so this isn't the peak of culinary crafting, but I'm very particular about my Greek salad. All the veggies and fixin's were fine, but the dressing..was...sweet. Part of the joy of a good greek salad is the zestiness of the vinegar mixed with the pungentness of the feta. A sweet Greek salad with sweet dressing is more like a salad with Greek ingredients. It's like casting Don Swayze when you want Patrick, Clint Howard when you want Ron, or Eric Roberts when you want Julia.

All in all, it's a perfectly fine place to sit, have some pub grub and a beer and watch a game (probably not a Yankee game though), just bring a phone book so your comfy at the bar.

Because I started this site as a positive ode to food, and Rule 21 is about food and politics not mixing, I thought twice about mentioning this, but I feel it's necessary to really understand the place. The wait staff, albeit very nice, attentive and conversationally interesting, wear shirts that advertise the bar on the front, but all have certain political messages on the back, including some with vulgarity or implied vulgarity that may or may not have to do with NASCAR. I just think that in this day and age of divisiveness and anger on all sides of the spectrum, you're just going to make someone who thinks differently than you do feel unwelcome, and potentially hurt your business. Pictures of politicians who visited your bar, fine, but regardless of your beliefs, I don't think it's appropriate to have messaging while dining. I'll defend the owners right to do it, after all it's a private business, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, or patronize a place like that. At the end of the day, we are all Americans, and shouldn't we all be able to sit down, have a bite and a beer and forget about the outside world for a meal?

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