Monday, January 31, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Located in the Largo Public Library, this satellite site of R.G.'s Restaurant of Clearwater is a great little spot for a snack, breakfast, lunch or early dinner. If you have a county cooperative library card, you can pick up a book or dvd and get a cup of coffee and a scone. The breakfast choices include pancakes and waffles, breakfast sandwiches and bisquit and gravy. At lunch, they bring in a "hot" special that varies from meatloaf to stuffed peppers and includes one side and a salad, all for $6.95. It's a great deal. R.G.'s offers soups and salads too, I had both and they were fresh and tasty. Recently renovated, this cafe is a cozy spot to sit and read or meet a friend. The coffee is good and the atmosphere is very friendly.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, FL
Gatsby's is part of the Historic Grayl Hotel which is reminiscent of the boutique hotels I stayed in during my travels in Europe. It was built in 1922 and a quick trip inside (we chose to sit outside on this lovely afternoon) takes you on a little time travel excursion. The bar looks like a great place to hang, advertising several trendy drinks I want to try. The lunch menu is comprised of sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza. I labored over the menu, which is plain site of anyone driving by, ending up with the pulled pork wrap (wet.) This good and plenty sandwich was stuffed with well seasoned meat and slaw, peppered with caribbean flavors and kidney beans. I enjoyed the macaroni salad, but not the potato salad that accompanied it. There was plenty of food for a noon meal. The prices were normal for this stretch of Beach Drive, appetizers start at $5.95 and entrees from $7.95. Dinner offers steaks and seafood, as well as pastas and classic American dishes, such as meatloaf, with a new twist. Dinner prices range from $8.95 to $29.95. The wait staff is among the friendliest in downtown and is one of the reasons I wanted to stop in. Someone always greets me as I walk by the hostess station. Make no mistake about it, the owners of this unique restaurant want you there and expect you to stay a while.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Meet 2 hear the beat st. pete
written by guest SK
Even on a too cool
Wednesday night, St. Pete downtown was the “in” place to be. The new Dali museum setting for a thank you buffet for docents, volunteers, staff and invited guests was a feast for the eyes.
The building mirrors the soaring grace and imagination of Dali; a perfect home for his works. Then on to the Vinoy to see and hear Rick Gee’s newest venue located in the downstairs ballroom with great acoustics and enough seating to hold a few hundred. It was close to full.
Tonite's show on stage, 'The Duke Meets Jobim', with Violinist Rebecca Zapen and renowned bassist John Lamb with solid back ups on sax, drums and piano. They moved smoothly from the breathy rhythms of Bossa Nova to the cool sounds of the Duke; “the Girl from Ipanema” meets “Satin Doll.” John Lamb is a virtuoso performer bassist who performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra for more than ten years. He was, as always, mellow and in the groove, and Rick even joined the group on flute for one number. We found Rebecca’s voice and take on the music a bit too country, or 50’s girl band, without the sexy off-beat of Jobim, but John and the backup group more than held their own. Entree fee was $20 with wine and beer available for purchase.
See Rick Gee's Jazz Jamm website for more details including next month's venue, John Lamb’s CD 'Conversations North of the Border' release party on February 18, 2011.
Friday, January 14, 2011
1908 4th St N or 2420 66th St N, St Petersburg, FL
This blog actually started because of Carrabbas and Panera. These were two of my crutch restaurants that I relied on for familiar and consistent service. One of my son's friend recently asked me why I hadn't reviewed Panera for the blog. He loves their macaroni and cheese (as does my son and the rest of our family) made with Vermont white cheddar cheese. A zingy, but fattening treat for the boys. My standby meal at Panera is breakfast and more often than not, coffee. I know its upscale fast food, but the price and quality keep bringing in the customers, as does the free wireless (in limited doses during lunch 11:30-1:30) and the cozy feel of the place. The acoustic perfume (piped in classical music) is almost as good as the smell of baked goods. Although to be honest I don't know how much is baked on the premises. Breakfast sandwiches start at $2.95 and go up to $3.95. A piping hot souffle will set you back $3.95 and coffee starts at $1.59. The best deal of all is to bring your own travel cup for a "coffee refill" for a buck. This economic choice reduces paper cup waste too. Their hazelnut coffee, when executed properly, is the best and the other varieties are satisfying with half and half in ample supply. I stopped in McDonalds the other day since getting out at Panera meant getting rained on. A coffee (which that day wasn't up to par) and an Egg McMuffin cost me the same as a breakfast sandwich and coffee at Panera. I have to say, if given the choice again, I might forsake my hairdo.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I returned to Munch's Restaurant as promised to try their famous Munch Burger. I've been trying get there on a Tuesday to try the also famous fried chicken, but unfortunately, haven't been able to do so yet. I made it on a Wednesday instead, which turned out fine since I was treated to that day's special, Munch's Cuban sandwich. My husband and I split the sandwich and a lip smacking cheeseburger. Order your burger any way you like, with or without cheese, dressed in lettuce, tomato, onion and something a little different, relish. Of course, ketchup, mayo and mustard are available too. We enjoyed the sandwich with the homemade chips that accompany it and added fries to the burger for a little more pocket change. The Cuban sandwich was full of delicious meats, piled high on authentic Cuban bread. The whole lot was pressed into crunchy submission and had just the right mustard/mayo component. The burger was a good sized portion, juicy and flavorful. Prices for lunch are less than $10 and who knows? You may find something fabulous in the "Sundries" section started by one of the legendary owners years ago. Munch's is a classic experience for locals and visitors alike, and worth the trip to Southeast St. Pete. Testing burgers is something Java and I take seriously, look for our article on the best burgers in St. Petersburg coming soon. We will be looking for your input on this!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Marketplace Express is all about location. It's situated across the street from the St. Petersburg Fine Arts Museum and snuggled into a multi-million dollar condo facing the harbor. If you are strolling on Beach Drive or going to the museum or the Chihuily gallery, this is a nice place to stop for a coffee. Take a load off and enjoy your beverage and/or snack inside or outside the shop. They serve a variety of sandwiches and pastries in the under $10 range. Coffee is $1.59 for a small, with refills costing $0.98. It's proximity to so many downtown features, events, and attractions make this a popular spot. Outdoor seating allows for people watching and such. Inside are high top tables to sit with friends or on your own. Classical music is piped in creating a very nice ambience. The movie theater at Baywalk is just a stone's throw from this location, making it a wonderful meeting place before or after the show.