We all know one of the best things about being a full-time Neapolitan is the great restaurant deals you can only get during the summer months. (More on that here.) And while a lot of them focus on early dinners, The Continental, located on Third Street South in downtown Naples, acknowledges that some of us like to slip away from the office once in a while on slow summer afternoons.
Enter their daily 2 for $14 Lunch Special—which truly lives up to its name. Jesse and I recently stopped by to give it a try and see how this Date Night at… spot that we visited (and loved) shortly after its opening would stack up during the daytime.
As much as I adore The Continental’s patio area, it was way, way too hot to sit out there and still have any hope of being presentable when we returned to the office afterwards. So indoors we went to a nice corner table by the window where we still had a great view of said patio. Perfect.
Our server, Adam, gave us a rundown of the lunch offerings, which we were surprised to find were quite substantial for the price. For $14 per person, we each chose a salad and an entrée. I opted for the Continental Salad with Meyer lemon vinaigrette and the eggs Benedict, sans ham. As a non-red meat eater, my options were limited to just that entrée.
Jesse chose the heirloom tomatoes with buttermilk ranch dressing and the Continental Burger, which came with the highest endorsement possible from our server. The words “best burger ever” were definitely spoken, so it had a lot to live up to—and it did. It certainly wasn’t the fanciest burger you’ve seen, but that’s part of its appeal. It’s a non-fussy, back-to-basics cheeseburger that shines thanks to its high-quality beef, fluffy bun and subtle seasoning.
My eggs Benedict were well done, too—I find a lot of hollandaise sauce is too heavy on the lemon, but this one was just right. Plus, the portions were not so much that we felt doomed for an afternoon of unproductive food comas upon arrival back at work.
Dessert isn’t included in the lunch special, but as a native Floridian, it’s my self-assigned responsibility to sample any and all Key lime pies I come across. The Key lime blackberry pie was the right balance of tart and sweet, though the blackberry flavor was very subtle.
Another tip: If you’re planning on making an afternoon of it, go on a Monday as The Continental hosts Speakeasy Mondays—you’ll get half off all cocktails when you speak the code word posted on their Facebook page. It’s hard to say no to hand-crafted, ’20s-inspired concoctions, especially when they’re so unique and drinkable. We got the Continental Innovation—Death’s Door Gin, Cocchi Americano Bianco, Carpano Bianco and grapefruit bitters served over an ice sphere—and the Follow the White Rabbit (my favorite!)—Smirnoff Citrus vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, pickled blackberries and raspberry/rosemary shrub that the bartender, Barry, was making right in front of us. The cocktail list is ever-growing, he told us, so Naples will never run out of new, creative cocktails to sip.
1205 Third St. S., Naples
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