BY Keyser Saucey
As soon as I walk through the door of Spice Club in San Carlos Park the thick smell of fragrant Indian food hits me. Garam masala, turmeric, coriander join in the party of spices that immediately makes my mouth water. Indian food is a favorite of mine and I’ve come for my first visit to Spice Club on an empty stomach.
Located near the intersection of Constitution Blvd and U.S. 41 S in San Carlos Park, Spice Club reopened after a change in ownership in November of 2017. The current owner, Suman Chaniyil, also owns India’s Grill in Fort Myers.
The menu at Spice club is comprehensive, covering the gamut of Southern Indian Cuisine for the novice and expert alike. All dishes can be adjusted for spice to taste, turning up the heat for those so inclined. The menu is also well-priced; you can grab the weekday lunch buffet for $10.99 and the dinner entrées average at about $15 a head.
I opted for a vegetarian appetizer, selecting the Mixed Vegetable Platter. Among other items, the platter includes a vegetable spring roll and a Samosa, a potato stuffed pastry with a deep-fried flaky crust. It also features Pakoda, a variety of battered vegetables, and a thin, crispy piece of bread called a Pappad. Three accompanying sauces are served alongside this generously portioned appetizer. The Mixed Vegetable platter is tasty and super user-friendly to those just starting their foray into Indian cuisine.
Another widely-loved Indian dish is the Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve had this dish at nearly every Indian restaurant in the area, and the Chicken Tikka Masala at Spice Club is my new favorite. The creamy tomato sauce with aromatic Indian spices is essentially a pool with tender chicken pieces swimming in it. The more sauce that I have to dip my naan bread in, the better in my opinion. This is the sort of sauce that you pack up and take home with you, even if you only have a couple pieces of chicken left. I’m not embarrassed to admit that that’s exactly what I did.
For my final selection, I chose the Tandoori Mixed Grill. It’s an awesome value and allows you to sample a wide variety of options from the Tandoori/Grill menu.
This dish includes Chicken Tikka, Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Bariyali, Malai Kebab, Lamb Boti Kebab, and Tandoori Shrimp. Each item is charred beautifully, giving the buttery meat a crunchy finish. The chicken selections are varied in flavor, and each more delicious than the last. But the lamb is the standout on the plate. This succulent, herby piece of meat just fell apart as I was eating it. Truly delicious.
5/5. Spice Club earns all 5 Saucey’s, the laid-back atmosphere is comfortable and family friendly, while still being a great date night option. The food is diverse and cooked perfectly.
The staff is friendly and helpful with any questions that you might have. On top of all of that, the dishes are served family style with generous portions and great prices. I think I might find myself there again before the week’s out.
18011 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 1
Fort Myers, FL 33908
Lunch Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM (Buffet); Sunday 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Dinner Hours: 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM Daily
Phone: (239) 454-5400
Keyser Saucey is a psuedonym for Naples Herald and Lee Herald’s food critic. Keyser’s trips to area restaurants are unannounced and anonymous, and are paid for by the company. Yes, the staff is very jealous.
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