Our little island is blessed with many world class resorts and luxurious spas where we humans can play a little and pamper ourselves a lot. But what about our four legged friends? Where do Marco's canine residents and visitors go for some R&R and a little sprucing up? Why Critter Café of course!Critter Café is Marco Island's fi ve star doggie resort, spa and specialty store, where they offer luxury boarding, doggie daycare and complete doggie spa services in a relaxed loving environment, along with a well stocked store offering tempting organic bakery treats, specialty foods, toys and gifts. Boarding with all the Comforts of HomeCritter Café owners, Lisa and Kevin Howard, and their capable staff aim to love and care for each doggie visitor as if they were their own, doing everything in their power to make their stay as happy and comfortable as possible. If the guests like to socialize with other dogs there are two playrooms available (one for large dogs, and one for small) where they can participate in group play, while those who prefer a quieter time can remain in their private guest room, which is bright and spacious and comes complete with a comfy fl eece bed. Each resident will also receive several long walks each day (the fi rst one being at 10pm at night) and lots of one-on-one playtime with the staff - they'll even get a bedtime belly rub! Doggie DaycareAnd, if you can't be with your dog all the time, half and full day daycare at Critter Café provides a great opportunity for him or her to socialize with other dogs and get some exercise and stimulation in your absence. It also offers families who bring their dog on vacation with them a safe and guilt-free way to accommodate their pet while they go to the beach for the day, play golf, go fi shing or take part in any of the other great activities available on Marco that may not be dog friendly.A Grooming Experience your Pet will LoveAnd if you want your dog to look, feel and smell their best, then Critter Café is the place to bring them. Grooming includes a refreshing bubble bath, hand dry, brush and fl uff, ear cleaning, nail trim and fi nish-ing scissor cut. Cat and bunny grooming is also available.... I wonder if they could be persuaded to cater for kids and husbands too!Healthy Foods, Tasty Treats & Doggie Accessories GaloreCritter Café's store specializes in healthy, all-natural nutrition, homemade bakery treats (which really do look good enough for humans to eat), frozen raw food (which I have to admit doesn't look quite so appetizing!), yummy chews, natural supplements and all of the best holistic and organic dog and cat food. And if you want your pet to be the best dressed dog in town they have a great variety of collars, leashes and clothing as well as beds, food bowls, toys and gifts. What more could any dog ask?Critter Café is located at 810 Bald Eagle Drive. Call 239.389.8488 for more information and reservations.
Tucked away in Pelican Plaza at the opposite end to Porky's is a relatively small store bursting with loads of specialty food products, the best selection of fresh fi sh and seafood on Marco Island and plenty of advice. The owners of Paradise Seafood, Scott, Nancy, Bill and Chrissie Young, have designed the store and its range of products to be appealing to anyone who is a lover of quality ingredients, especially fresh seafood. Marco has plenty of restau-rants and some of them specialize in seafood but if you would like to cook at your condo, rental or timeshare a visit to Paradise Seafood is a must.Here's the dish... you choose the fi shHaving a distinguished culinary background, Chef Scott has put together a range of around a dozen prepared seafood dishes that will ensure that even a novice will be able to produce a wonderful fresh fi sh entrée with ease. Although I love to cook all kinds of fi sh any which way possible, I was running short of time and ideas recently so I decided to try Paradise Seafood's mahi and grouper en papillote. Both were really superb and absolutely idiot-proof. With Scott's advice on what was most suitable, I chose my fi sh from the huge variety in the showcase. He then took it back into the large on-site kitchen and in around 5 minutes he had worked his magic, adding seasoning, fresh vegetables and cannellini beans and sealing it all in a parchment bag ready to go in the oven. He gave me explicit instructions and, after just 15 minutes cooking, we had a freshly cooked complete entrée that any of Marco's fi nest restaurants would be proud of.Other prepared dishes that I can personally recommend are the crab cakes - full of crab and light on fi ller - and a delightful cioppino fi sh poaching sauce.If you're comfortable with cooking fi sh...Paradise Seafood have a wide selection of fresh seafood, most of which is delivered daily, and they can source almost any fi sh you want. If you're going to