Just off the Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda nestled between a Chevrolet dealership and a Lincoln dealership, the peckish peruser will be lucky enough to stumble across a local favorite known as Phil's 41. This establishment has been around for six years and has consistently attracted a diverse and growing crowd of regulars. Some guests that Phil is most happy to have hosted include Troy Landry from television's Swamp People, and Bill Wood and Carly Wegner, hosts of the Fox4 Morning Blend Show. Recipient of many appreciation certificates, it's obvious that Phil is happily immersed in his community. Some of these awards include a community service award from the local fire station, a business patron membership of Friends of Punta Gorda Library, a Certificate of Appreciation from the coast guard for promoting boating safety awareness, and a certificate of appreciation from the local police department. Most recently, they hosted the tip-a-cop event wherein police officers act as waiters and waitresses in order to raise money for the special olympics.
The building itself is an inviting affair being broken up into a large open room that feels expansive because of the walls that don't reach the high ceiling, all done in a comforting yellow tone, and a separate barroom. The architecture is Spanish Revival with arches and tan stucco which creates a very welcoming ambiance. Phil himself carries this ambiance all the way, keeping multiple galleries of photographs of "Phil's Friends" on his website featuring dozens and dozens of customers all with big grins. This is the eighth establishment Phil has owned, and he is well aware of how important customer service is. It's no surprise to find out the most satisfying element of this job for him is interacting with people and seeing them happy. This approach to business has sadly become less than standard in the modern age of automated express service, and Phil's 41 is a welcome return to such endearing traditionalism.
Phil's 41 isn't just about good service or taking part in the community. They also are proud of their variety and quality of food offerings. Known for having the best crab cakes in the area, they also offer salmon cakes, fresh mussels, clams vino bianco, escargot sofia, and artichokes Toscana, and that's just their appetizers. Phil was born in Italy and moved to America at age 13, and many of his menu options come directly from his homeland, such as the Pasta Bolognese, or the Eggplant Parmigiana or the Spaghetti and Meatballs, not to mention the Lobster Ravioli and the seafood pasta with mussels, scallops and shrimp sauteed in garlic cream sauce on a bed of linguine.
They also have a selection of dishes which can be served with chicken or veal including Piccata, Florentine, Parmigiana, Marsala, or Francese, each one being served on a bed of spaghetti, only differentiated by the preparation of the meat and the ingredients of the sauce.
For those who are in the mood for something more along the lines of comfort food, Phil's offers a fine selection of such dishes including liver and onion, turkey breast sandwich, or roast beef sandwich, all served with mashed potatoes and gravy. They also have a selection of classic burgers prepared in popular fashion such as the mushroom burger, the bacon burger, and the fried onion burger, all served with french fries or sweet potato fries.
So if you're ever on the Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda make sure to treat yourself to something special and stop in at Phil's 41 for an unforgettable meal.