Language, please! Get those minds out of the gutter.
The name of Punta Gorda’s newest restaurant isn’t what you think. (The “FK” stands for “foster kids.”)
And it’s moving into the former Pizza Hut off Jones Loop Road, a prime travelers’ location beside Interstate 75.
The place with the eye-popping name and menu has a giddy color scheme, inside and out, also meant to attract attention.
“You can’t miss it. You can see it from the highway!” exulted the veteran commercial painter who’d just finished the job nobody else would take on. He’d spent two weeks singlehandedly painting over the old Pizza Hut in shrieking shades of yellow, green, pink and orange.
The newest eatery in Punta Gorda will give the Orlando store serious competition as the largest and most colorful of its founders’ four locations.
Doug Miller and partner Amy Eldridge of Naples opened their first FK Your Diet restaurant in Fort Myers in 2018, in a tiny space on South Tamiami Trail next to a barbershop and a massage parlor.
Their phenomenal growth — launching four stores in three years — would, Miller believes, have been even further along if it hadn’t been for the pandemic.
“But it gave us time to learn more about the restaurant industry,” he said. “And the thing we’re most proud of is creating four new business owners and helping them realize the American dream.”
After losing both parents as an infant and spending 12 years of his childhood navigating homes in the California foster care system, Miller made it his postretirement mission to give back to foster kids and their families.
FK Your Diet now donates 5% of revenue to local agencies like Every Child Initiative, Lutheran Services and Children’s Network of SWFL, and conducts year-round special initiatives for foster families. Since the beginning it has donated over $1 million to foster kids.
Some of Miller’s best childhood memories involve food, but not all of his foster moms were the best cooks.
In fact, he notes on the eateries’ website, “Nine out of ten days the meals were awful!”
It’s the dishes from those celestial tenth days that have found new life on FK Your Diet’s unabashedly over-the-top menu.
You’ve never seen rib-sticking comfort like this. “Ginormous” doesn’t even come close.
Breakfasts offer thin, crispy-edged pancakes bigger than your head. The mammoth Belly Buster Breakfast Burrito groans with a pound of chorizo, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, jalapeños, habaneros and pepper jack cheese. And of course there are biscuits piled high with sausage gravy.
You can order a matching milkshake for your pancakes, guaranteed to send you home for a nap.
And then there’s brunch.
Burgers can have an optional (and infamous) deep-fried “Doug” bun. Whole slabs of homemade meatloaf on Texas toast are the Lenn Sammi.
Even their two salads are on the hi-cal side, loaded with bacon, cheese and fried chicken. The healthiest thing here is avocado toast with a side of fresh fruit.
“We chose Punta Gorda for a number of reasons,” said Miller. “We get a lot of customers who come to our Fort Myers and Cape Coral locations from Punta Gorda.
“Being off the highway will be something new for us. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to get our message out to people who don’t know about it. But every time someone sees us, they learn about foster kids, which is important.”
FK Your Diet ($$) will open in February at 9100 Mac Drive, off Jones Loop Road by I-75, for daily breakfast and brunch, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.