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Bubba’s a part of inaugural Restaurant Week

By Staff | Oct 2, 2012

Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon will be part of Restaurant Week, beginning this Friday, Oct. 5. In a special promotion by the Lee County Visitors & Convention Bureau, it will be one of 30 restaurants throughout Lee County participating, and at press time, the only one in Cape Coral.

“The purpose of Restaurant Week is to gain exposure for the VCB, participating restaurants and Lee County, while promoting sustainable and local foods and produce,” said Tamara Pigott, executive director of the VCB at a recent press conference.

“Restaurant Week features deliciously local and sustainable culinary celebrations involving local chefs and a wide variety of area restaurants.

“Special three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences are available, along with wine tastings paired with live music, exclusive cooking demonstrations, tours and classes. These are just a few examples of what happens when you combine amazing food with the perfect location.”

Between Oct. 5 and 14, visitors and residents of Lee County will have the chance to experience a unique way of getting to know the culinary industry at some of their favorite local eateries.

“When people come to work and play down here, they want to enjoy all we’ve got – especially in our restaurant industry,” said Ben Nelson, Bonita Springs mayor and owner of Survey Cafe. “We have such great restaurants around here, and Restaurant Week is such a great way to boast that. I think all of our county’s cities should join us in this special event. The economy is back It’s back, and people are here.”

Participating eateries during Restaurant Week will include:

– Cape Coral: Bubba’s Roadhouse Saloon

– North Fort Myers: 3 Fishermen

– Pine Island: Tarpon Lodge.

– Downtown Fort Myers: The Wisteria Tea Room, Yanos, The Twisted Vine.

– Fort Myers Beach: Matanzas Inn Restaurant, Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Chloe’s Fresh Seafood and Steaks, Shoals Restaurant and Wine Bar, Bayfront Bistro, Flippers on the Bay

– Sanibel: The Blue Giraffe, The Timbers, Matzaluna, Traditions on the Beach, Sweet Melissa’s, The Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant,

– Fort Myers: Artisan Gelato, Blue Window French Bistro, The Melting Pot, DaRuMa, University Grill, The Prawnbroker, 3 Fishermen, Rabbit Run Farm, Sunshine Grill, Bistro 41, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and LaMotta’s Italian Restaurant

– Bonita Springs: Survey Cafe, A Table Apart.

At Bubba’s the menu includes:

Course 1

Choice of Bubba’s Famous Roadhouse Salad (hand tossed at the table),Caesar Salad or homemade Soup of the Day.

All are served with our fresh baked jalapeos cornbread muffins.

Course 2

Choice of: Bubba’s Sirloin (11 oz. “The steak that pays the rent”), 1/2 rack of their award-winning BBQ Baby Back Ribs & Grilled Chicken Breast or Fresh Atlantic Salmon, grilled to perfection over a true wood burning grill.

All of the above include choice of Baked Potato, Baked Sweet Potato, Garlic Smashed Potato, Bubba Fries, Green Beans or Black Beans & Rice.

Course 3

Choice of: Double Layer Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake or Key Lime Pie.

Its $15.99 per person, said Jay Johnson owner of Bubba’s.

You may now him as part of a local restaurant owner family. His father is Bernard Johnson, owner of Bert’s on Matlacha.

Is there a real Bubba, he was asked?

“Everybody is a Bubba, or someone they know a Bubba, and they can relate to,” he said.

Bubba’s is one of the few locally owned and operated concept restaurants in Cape Coral and have been here for 20 years, he said.

“It’s always good to work with the VCB because they are able to give us exposure we can’t gain as an independent business,” he said.

He describes Bubba’s as a genuine roadhouse that focuses on “just good food.”

“We do that by hand cutting our steaks daily and in using the freshest products available.”

What is the restaurants most popular offering? “Hands down a Bubba Sirloin, an 11-ounce sirloin steak hand-cut on the premise,” he said. “That’s the steak that President Jimmy Carter had when he was here for dinner in 2008.

“That was fun, he was a very nice person, regardless of politics, very generous with the staff and made a point to say hello to everyone that wanted to talk to him, walked around the dining room and said hello.”

The Roadhouse was originally located on Cape Coral Parkway, then moved to Pine Island Road closer to Pine Island.

“It puts us in to the center of town, and the city has been coming this way, which is great to see,” he said.

Bubba’s has a rustic, casual atmosphere, with peanut shells on the floor in the dining room.

“Everyone has a great time,” he said.

It has a casual, conformable bar, with trivia on large TVs. It also has the NFL package and attracts lots of sports fans.

“We also have our own steak sauce – Bubba’s Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce, in addition to a propriety brand of steak seasoning,” he said. “Steak and the seasoning can be taken home. That’s through our butcher shop, we sell all our hand-cut meats.”

One of the newer things added is a catering service as well.

“Full service, with a grill we can take to the site and cook on sites. We do birthday parties, weddings and corporate events.”

Entertainment is on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in the bar – entertainment varies and every Thursday they have karaoke.

They also have a service called the Grub Cab, for home deliveries.

“We’ve had a good summer,” Johnson said of the local economy.

Bubba’s Roadhouse & Saloon is located at 2121 Southwest Pine Island Road, and you can visit bubbasroadhouse.net.

Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 282-5520.

Beach Bulletin Editor Melissa Schneider contributed to this story.