Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mister Five -You Just Can't Cook this Good at Home for $5!

“Where do you'all go for good food?,” I asked a Courthouse Collier County Deputy. He said “We all go to Mister Five, great food, huge plates. It’s a steal at $5 . Order two items, eat one for a big lunch, take the other home for dinner-biggest and best food for $10 a day”. He was well fed and happy- proof is in the pudding! Mr. Five is an intimate 50's style white diner, across from Home Depot on Airport Road, just down the street from the Courthouse. Mister Five’s been busy since its December opening!

My quartet of hungry diners tried, and couldn’t finish our $25 worth of breakfast and lunch items. Like a family diner in the ‘50’s,the servers, in attractive uniforms, are friendly.

Elayne and Nikki
Kids love the $5 Black and White Pancakes, with white chocolate chips in the batter of the half foot diameter pair of fluffy pancakes, with a generous criss crossing of chocolate syrup, served with bacon (2.50), two eggs any style ($2), and sausage ($2.50).

The Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes are huge, fluffy, bursting with jelly goodness, with PB&J sandwiched between two large pancakes, each with peanut butter and crunchy bits of peanuts in the batter. Add Canadian bacon or two sausages for $2.50.

You’re a late riser, don’t worry, breakfast is served all day long.. Combined with the lunch menu, there are 55 items, with 3 daily specials.

Eating light? Try the $5 Cape Cod Cranberry salad, with chopped Romaine lettuce, cranraisins, sliced apples, nuts, tomato and onions, finished with a cranberry balsamic vinaigrette. Nice!

My favorite, the $5 Fried Fish Sandwich features Basa, the delicious slightly sweet succulent fish that many restaurants have allegedly been selling for years as “Grouper.” Crisply fried with Mr. Five’s spices, put on a toasted bun, it’s my favorite, crispy on the outside, moist and tasty with a delicate texture!

Spicy Ranch and Bacon Chicken, $5, is an herbed and lightly fried piece of tender chicken breast, topped with a mildly (to some, moderately) spicy ranch dressing, served on a toasted French bun with sliced tomato and fresh lettuce. A hot sandwich, with a little kick to it. Very filling for $5!

One of my companions said “I’ve never seen such an imaginative menu in a restaurant this small." There's BBQ Chicken, Italian Salami and hot peppers with provolone, Meatball subs, Chicken Jalapeno Quesadilla, and Grilled chicken Paillard.
The $5 Philly Cheese steak sandwich has tender thinly sliced seared steak and cooked onions, served on a toasted long soft French style bun (hoagie), drenched with soft yellow cheese. The side is Loaded Fries, served piping hot, covered with the same bright yellow cheese, and chunks of crisp thick bacon. Tasty! Now, I’m used to my family's Philly steaks with a white cheese (provolone, Mozzarella?). Anthony, Chef Daniel Johns, and a Google search assure me that there’s an equal Cheez Whiz or Velveeta type “yellow cheese” camp that has been doing it this way for decades.

You can get an order of just the Cheezy Loaded fries, topped with the Cheez Wiz gooey cheese, with hunks of bacon, for $5. The filling Hamburger sub, yep, $5, has two patties on a hoagie roll, with lettuce, tomato, and ketchup, mayo, mustard, or whatever else you desire. The burgers are made fresh each day, not frozen for 3 months and then defrosted, McD's and other chains' style.

Specials of the day have included $5 Kobe Beef Sliders, (They sold out fast!)Last week were Prime Rib subs for $5, and the meat alone costs that at Publix. Caterers have their sources, buy in bulk-you benefit. The Basa Puttanesca has the same tender grouper-quality you’d pay $25 for dinner if you were on 5th Ave South. It’s a no brainer for the quality, and at 1/5th the price, you can’t beat it!

And desserts? I loved the Cannoli Poppers! Four mini cannoli for $3, are piped with the tenderest Ricotta cheese, custard light, wrapped in crisp shells. Anthony’s been to Italy, and makes the best.

Anthony is one of the brightest chefs to have come up with this idea, and make it win-win for him and customers alike. And he’s just 23! Wait till the Mister Five franchises start rolling out, and put McD’s out of business! How’d he come up with the idea? He said, “I don’t want to pay $8-14 for lunch. I asked myself, what would be a price I’d love to pay, and $5 was just right.” It is. The customers come from East Naples to Port Royal, driving everything from fix-me-ups, to Bentleys.

One woman said, "It’s a very clean place. My whole family can afford it. We often have some to take home for another meal!"

A mother with kids summed it up, “ This is better than fast food. You just can’t cook this much good food at home for $5, or even $10 a plate. There’s no way. I order, take out, and have lunch or dinner for my family for less than I can cook, and it’s all cooked fresh!”
Owner Anthony Chinaglia, Chef Daniel Johns.
For express pickup, call 20” ahead. Local delivery for orders >$35, place order before 10:30. Hours 7 days a week-7:30 am till 2:30 pm, dinner is 5-9 pm. 1716 Airport Road South, Naples. across from Home Depot 262-1555


Steve said...

Ivan - I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I read this post when it first came out and put it on my list of places to go the next time I was in that part of town. Well, I was down there yesterday and enjoyed a wonderful meal. The special yesterday was a very nice rack of lamb, which amazingly enough was $5.00. This was a great find and if it hadn't been for your blog I would have missed it. They tell me they're going to start opening for dinner in the next week or so and I'm looking forward to that as well.

This was the second of your reviews that caused me to dine at a restaurant would not have crossed my radar if not for your blog. Thanks for all the time you put into this.

Ivan Seligman said...


Thank you for the positive comments. It's fun sifting through SW Florida's restaurants, to find and share the goodies like Mr. Five, and give a heads up on the spotty, or the over rated spots.

I have time to write on perhaps 30% of the places I try.

If you find a gem I've not yet covered, do let me know.

Thank you,


Unknown said...

Hi Ivan,
I discovered "Mister Five" thanks to your blog and took my husband and daughter with me there for lunch today. The food is just as great as the prices, Elayne and Angie are just as pleasant as can be, and the restaurant is cozy and impeccably clean. I can't wait to take my son and my in-laws, as I know they will enjoy it as much as we did.
Keep up the great work with your blog!

Angela chinaglia said...

Dear Ivan
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Your blog-AN INSATIABLE APPETITE has graced and honored Mr$5's with the most fantastic people. We are blessed with your talents.
Warm Regards
The Chinaglia Family