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TripAdvisor names Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille best ‘Everyday Eats’ restaurant in the country

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Jul 27, 2021

The front of the Doc Ford's restaurant on Fort Myers Beach. NATHAN MAYBERG

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on Fort Myers Beach has won the 2021 TripAdvisor award for best “Everyday Eats” in the nation. The restaurant beat out the competition of fancy establishments from Miami Beach to Las Vegas, New York City, Tennessee, Maine and Alaska in the competitive category.

“We strive to be No. 1,” Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille co-owner Marty Harrity said.

TripAdvisor is considered the go-to website for reviews of restaurants. According to its website, it is the world’s largest travel guidance platform, reaching hundreds of millions of people each month. There are more than 887 million reviews and opinions of nearly 8 million businesses, including restaurants and hotels in 22 languages.

According to TripAdvisor, the 2021 Best of the Best Restaurants Awards are calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings for restaurants on TripAdvisor collected for each award subcategory, as well as an additional editorial process.

Harrity said the ranking is “great news.” Harrity is also a managing partner of The Whale and Dixie Fish Co., which are both ranked in the top 10 on TripAdvisor for restaurants on Fort Myers Beach. The Whale earned a TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award for 2021.

“We’ve been fortunate,” Harrity said. “We’ve got great food and we know what customer service is about.” Harrity said it’s important for the restaurant to ensure “everybody has a good experience.”

Harrity said business this summer at the Fort Myers Beach restaurants has been “great for everybody compared to last year and 2019. We need to keep it going.”

The restaurant attracts visitors from all over with license plates hailing from as far away as California over the weekend. Word travels quickly when you are the top “Everyday Eats” in the nation. The parking lot was full on both Friday and Sunday as the restaurant enjoyed a full house.

Cape Coral residents were among those heading to the restaurant. Anabel and D.J. Prieto made their first trip to the establishment. They had the rib-eye steak and shrimp cerviche. Ms. Prieto said the shrimp cerviche was “really good” and Mr. Prieto said the steak was “very good.” The drinks also drew high compliments from the couple.

Lourdes Gonzalez, of Cape Coral, said she goes often to Doc Ford’s with her husband Frank.

“The food is very good and I am a very picky eater,” Ms. Gonzalez said. “They do a great job with everything,” she said.

“They do an outstanding job with the shrimp,” Mr. Gonzalez said.