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Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

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chicago burbs
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185 posts
151 reviews
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Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

I went here when it first opened under the previous owners for breakfast & really enjoyed it. My next few experiences were not so good. I'm all about 2nd chances-especially when the new owner is a chef! I have a healthcare background so I'm all about cleanliness. I like water views- but there has to be more than that for me to want to return.

We arrived about 4:15 today. We had a rather funny beginning to our dining experience here as a septic truck was parked out front doing their thing-needless to say the parking lot smelled nasty. Thankfully, once inside...& then outside again on the lovely screened porch, there were only pleasant odors!! (The septic truck was gone by the time we left).

Our arrival time was perfect as we were able to partake in Happy Hour ($1 off Beer & Wine), lunch & dinner!! Our server, Tony, was the personable & attentive! We chose Sweet Chili Grouper Fingers ($14) & Buffalo Shrimp ($10.50) for our appetizers. Both were perfectly lightly fried & had ideal seasoning (Grouper Fingers had wonderful dipping sauce & the good sized shrimp were covered in excellent buffalo sauce).

For soup, you can order Clam Chowder (Goodland White) , (Red) Conch Chowder OR a combination of both, which is what my hubby did. He never had Conch Chowder before & really enjoyed this combo!

My entree was Key Largo Blackened Grouper ($25) & it was incredible! I ordered Steak Fries for the side & they were wonderful also! These were not your typical steak fries! I have to add that the food is presented beautifully!

By the time we left, all of the tables closest to the water were full. I noticed the fabulous server, Tony, running drinks out to the pier where patrons who were waiting for their food were having cocktails.

The atmosphere is wonderful! There is a wide water view of the 10,000 islands, lots of wildlife including pelicans, other birds & crabs climbing on the outside of the screened porch! Also, there was a yellow & blue parrot hanging out in the parking lot on the railing that could be seen on the screened porch. Apparently, a bar patron brings his parrot along & the parrot is happy to hang out outside! Upon leaving, I said hello & goodbye to the parrot & the parrot responded hello & goodbye!

I'm picky when it comes to liking a restaurant & this place really had it all! Also, the women's bathroom was spotless & thoughtfully had a 2nd mirror which was full length.

I agree with the other poster that said to make reservations for this place to ensure you can dine here & ideally be seated directly next to the screen where you can feel the island breeze & enjoy the views the best!

Knoxville
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11. Re: Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

MR- we were there many years ago for the opening week of Marker 8, and they have always had outdoor seating. We always get a table near the water, and have never had a problem doing so.

We also ride up on the boat many days while out on the water. Unless things have changed since June, you can still do this. In my opinion, it's the best way to get to Marker 8 1/2!!:)

London, United...
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12. Re: Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

It's not a difficult drive. You follow San Marco until you see the Goodland Bridge, and take the little slip road off to the right. Don't go over the bridge. then you keep going passing Little Bar and Stan's. it's not far from there, but my advice is to go in daylight. You can pinpoint it on a map of Marco on line.

chicago burbs
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13. Re: Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

Less than 10 minutes to Goodland from Marco. Hope you all enjoy it! I can only drink 2 glasses of wine myself. Marcomamma-interesting that it is a normal occurrence for the local to bring his parrot to Marker 8. Cool! I love that the locals can drive golf carts on Goodland too! I wish you could do that on Marco! Oh well, maybe by the time I retire I can get a cute little convertible electric car!

Knoxville
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14. Re: Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

Yeah, the parrot is outside of either Marker 8 1/2 or Little Bar about 70% of the time. The owner is really nice and has allowed us to have pics with the parrot safely and feed him french fries (he like sweet potato fries)!! My daughter LOVES that bird and makes it her mission to find him whenever we're in Goodland - not too difficult, since the owner apparently LOVES two restaurants down there!!!:)

15. Re: Marker 8.5 - Dining at its finest!!

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