Saturday, September 25, 2010

R.G.'s Motto - "You Cannot Afford to Not Eat With Us!"

I was heading south on Highland in Clearwater looking for someplace where I had never eaten. I decided to pull into the Publix shopping center on the corner of Highland and Belleair and see if there was anything in there. (The physical address is 1565 South Highland.) I stumbled upon a place with a sign in the window that said, "You Cannot Afford Not To Eat Here." I immediately parked and went to check it out!
I was not immediately greeted when I entered, but as soon as the waitress figured out I was there, she was very welcoming and friendly. I sat down and she asked me what I was having to drink. I told her iced tea and she questioned back, "unsweet, sweet, green-tea or raspberry?" I have never been given so many options on iced tea. This was great!

She asked me if I had ever been there and I told her no. She said that it didn't matter what I ordered, that it was all made there and it was all good. I told her it would take me a while as I always have such a hard time trying to find something to order. This is because I am always looking for something unique to tell you about. I do it all for you, baby! She informed me that the daily specials were $6.99 and were served with soup or salad, rolls and dessert. The dessert choices were bread pudding, rice pudding or ice cream. The puddings are home made. There were several different specials; moussaka, pastitsio, gryo and fries, liver and onions, as well as chicken fried steak. I was torn because she told me that the turkey wrap was the best turkey she has ever eaten. I wasn't in the mood for a wrap, though. The menu is filled with options from cold sandwiches, melts, wraps, New York style Grinders to Greek options as well as numerous entree salads. And they are open for breakfast too! There are 4 different benedicts on the menu. Eggs, Southern (sausage gravy), Philly (philly steak and sauteed onions) and Chesapeake Bay (Crab cake and imperial sauce.) I will have to go back and try their breakfast.
I finally decided to have one of the specials. I chose the moussaka, which is a Greek version of lasagna. I couldn't decide between the chicken lemon soup or the split pea, but I went with the split pea. That is the first time in my life I had split pea soup with potatoes in it.

I decided now would be as good a time as any to check out the restrooms. They were spotless and they smelled good. Not sure what kind of air freshener they were using, but it was so fresh and clean. The soap and towel dispenser were both momtion activated. I like that. Less things to touch and pick up funky germs!

Soon afterwards, my lunch was served. I was thrilled with the dinner rolls. They were actually toasted so they were nice and warm and the butter spread so easily on them. Yum! I could live on rolls. But, as my father tried to teach me - "Don't fill up on bread." Sorry, Daddy...I love bread!

Next was the decision of what to have for dessert. I was torn between the bread pudding and the rice pudding. I finally figured that since I make an awesome bread pudding (with rum sauce) I may as well get the rice pudding. "With whipped cream?" "Oh Yes!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Loon Fong - Chinese and Vietnamese Cuisine

I happened to stumble upon this hidden gem while traveling south on 49th Street. It is located at 8150 - 49th Street N. in Pinellas Park. I was quite curious about having Chinese and Vietnamese in the same place.

The restaurant was very deceiving from the outside. It didn't appear quite as large as it actually is. There were numerous tables of various sizes. You could have a very intimate dinner for two or a large dinner party! I arrived a little after two so most of the lunch rush was over.

I went to check out the bathrooms. They were clean, but there was not a place to hang your purse. This bothers me as I hate to set my bag on the floor of the bathroom, so I have to hold it the whole time I am in the restroom. Just one of those little pet peeves. I mean, really, how much does a hook cost?

The tables are set with chopsticks as well as a fork and spoon. I thought this was wonderful!

In order to give myself a little more time to browse the menu, I started out with the Spring Rolls.
[Shrimp, pork, mint leaves, lettuce, vermicelli and bean sprout wrapped in rice paper.] ( 2 for $3.50). I love the fresh Spring rolls that are not fried.

For lunch I had the Bun Cha Gio Thit Nuong or Vermicelli with charbroiled pork and eggroll. I like to get the eggroll on this dish so that I can taste those too!
I told my waiter that I wanted to go ahead and order my dessert as I was so intrigued with this "milkshake." I couldn't wait to take a picture of it for all of my "Farmville" friends. It was made with guanabana, durian, jackfruit, pineapple and mung bean. ($2.50) But, he said that they were out of those. I ordered another dessert, but they were out of that one as well. Guess it was a sign that I didn't need dessert!
I am looking forward to my next trip back to this establishment. The waiter was very friendly and gracious. I love when the restaurant appreciates my business.

Caddy's On St. Pete Beach

There is almost nothing better than sitting outside in beautiful weather enjoying the view of the beach. This is not possible in a lot of places, but it can happen at Caddy's on Sunset Beach. Located at 9000 W. Gulf Boulevard, this beachfront restaurant is open 7 days a week from 8am til 10pm.

I was surprised that there were not a lot more people delighting in the beach and the weather on this fabulous weekend. I didn't think that we would find a table on this Sunday afternoon, but there were several empty tables. Good for me! I was almost hesitant to go there, as I did not want to wait for a table. They have a fabulous upstairs deck, but there is no food up there. I suggest you have lunch and then head upstairs to have a drink. What an awesome view.
I went to check out the bathrooms and I thought they would be dirty for being on the beach. They were clean, but very small! There was a bathroom attendant in there making sure that everything stayed tidy. Kudos to Caddy's for keeping a clean bathroom on the beach!

Once again, I was having trouble deciding what I wanted to order. The waitress told us that they were known for their barbecue, so I decided to have the smoked corned beef reuben. ($9.99) It was served with potato salad. (I could have picked baked beans, vegetables or cole slaw.) John decided to go with my suggestion (even though I was just kidding) and ordered the Coney Island Chili and Cheese Dog. The hot dog is 1/3 pound and topped with chili, mustard, chopped onions and shredded cheddar. ($8.49)

John also ordered a cup of the Pink Cadillac Chowder. (Lobster, crabs, clams and potatoes) ($3.99).

Our waitress was very attentive and refilled our iced teas throughout our meal. I was quite pleased with the service. Once it was time for us to get our bill, though; she could not be found! I couldn't believe that she would be so awesome until we were ready to go and then missing! We finally tracked her down and continued our cruise down the beach!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mid-Day Meal with Melanie Talking About Massage

Melanie Neumann and I drove around for a little while before deciding to eat at someplace with a view. We chose Jimmy Guana's on Indian Rocks Beach. It was really hot outside, but in the shade, it was very comfortable. Jimmy Guana's is right on the intercoastal, so the view was fabulous. I was a little jealous of the boats passing by as I knew that they were not going back to work after lunch!

First stop was the restroom. As I walked through the inside of the restaurant, I slowed my pace so as to enjoy the air conditioning for a little while longer. The inside of the restaurant is quite different from the outside. It looks very festive and fun! The bathroom doors were labelled with captains and mermaids. Sometimes I have to stand at the doors for a little while trying to figure out which one I am. This one took no time... I'm a mermaid!

Out of all of the restrooms I have been in the past two months, I must say this one is my favorite! I LOVE the sinks and the painting on the walls. I thought the dining room was festive, until I saw the bathroom. And, omigosh, the sink! The restroom was incredibly clean and well maintained. Yay! I was impressed. I figured I better get back outside. Melanie was probably wondering why I was gone for such an extended period of time; but I was enjoying the surroundings!

It took me a few minutes to decide what I wanted to order. I have the hardest time sometimes trying to find something unique for you! (You know I do it all for you, baby!) Melanie knew almost immediately that she was going to have the grouper sandwich. I finally decided to have the jerk chicken sandwich with Swiss cheese. The sauce on the side was quite yummy!
Our waitress, Susan, was very friendly and she kept my iced tea full! I hate looking around for the server to give me more to drink. She always stayed within our sight.
Once we had our food and were no longer starving, we started talking about Melanie's business, Tampabay Massage Therapy and Wellness Center. Melanie is a licensed massage therapist specializing in neuromuscular therapy and prenatal massage. She is also a Doula. Yes, I had to ask what that is. A Doula's role is one of physical and emotional support to the mother. Doulas are trained in massage, breathing and other comfort measures to help the mother cope with the labor. She stays by the side of the expectant mother throughout the labor.
I was very intrigued with the services Melanie provides. Not only does she perform prenatal massage and hot towel foot exfoliation, but she also does 3D/4D Ultrasound. This amazing technology lets you see their little fingers and toes, lips and nose. I can't believe that you can even see eyelashes! You can schedule a gender party/baby shower!
Melanie's services are not only for expectant mothers. She offers a Swedish/relaxation massage, a neuromuscular/deep tissue massage, bamboo fusion as well as a detox foot bath. Melanie's signature massage combines Swedish, deep tissue, neuromuscular, stretching and myofascial release techniques to provide the ultimate relaxation massage! The bamboo fusion massage uses handcrafter pieces of bamboo that have been rounded and shaped for massage. They are kept hydrated with a light natural oil and heated. If you have ever had hot stone therapy, I was told this will impress you much more.
One of my favorite features of Tampabay Massage Therapy and Wellness Center is the Couple's massage lessons. In this 90 minute session, you and your partner will learn how to massage each other. With guidance from the massage therapists, you will give each other a 40 minute massage. I think this is phenomenal! What better gift for a birthday, holiday or Valentine's Day than something that is going to benefit both of you?! And if you have ever had someone give you a bad massage, you know this is just an awesome service.
There is a great event coming up on September 15th - The Mini Spa Sampler Day. This occasion is for you to sample the services without a big committment. For $25 in advance or $30 at the door you will receive a glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage, appetizers and your choice of three services; chair massage, hand or foot refexology, scalp massage, facial or reiki. Stay a while and visit with them. Tour the spa, see all the services and products that are available to you. This is a wonderful opportunity to try something new for a fraction of the cost. You can call Tampabay Massage Therapy and Wellness Center at 727-215-3862 or email Melanie.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chiropractic is HEALTH insurance. Premiums small, Dividends large!

Dr. Theresa Hartley and I did not decide where to have lunch until we got in the car and headed west. Bascom's Chop House had a sign outside offering business lunch daily specials, so we decided to stop there. It is very impressive walking into the massive wood doors to enter the restaurant.

We arrived shortly after 1, so the lunch rush was over. We were taken to the very back of the restaurant by the kitchen and seated at the back table in the corner. We couldn't figure out why we were being hidden, perhaps we were not in business attire. Our waitress, Devin, told us the lunch specials, but didn't tell us the prices of those specials. (That is a personal pet peeve.)

After reviewing the menu, I decided to have the beef tenderloin tips served with mashed potatoes. I told Devin that I would like them rare, but she said that since they were precooked, they are served medium. Ugh, cancel that! I like my meat rare! I decided to go with the Seared Maine Diver Scallops served with a warm baby spinach medley and port wine demi glaze.($10.95) Dr. Hartley ordered the Ahi Tuna Wrap. (chopped spring greens, celery, tuna with homemade pine nut wasabi relish sauce.) ($9.95)

After we placed our orders, I went to check out the restrooms. Of course I found the bar first! The bar area was very nice. It looked like a great place to sit and have a martini. I wouldn't have minded hanging out here for a while! I continued on my quest to find the restrooms and I was amazed at the beauty when I found them! The cleanliness of the bathroom was astounding! I loved the fact that the hook was high and that it looked strong enough to hold any size bag you carry or even a coat!

When I got back to the table, Dr. Hartley and I were discussing the common misconception that Chiropractors are used only when you are hurt or in an accident. (I shared this view as well.) But, it is the complete opposite. If you take care of your body and keep your nerves and spine aligned, the body takes care of itself. Chiropractic works by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. For your body to remain healthy, your nervous sytem must function well. For your nervous system to function well, it must remain free of interference. By restoring spinal function with Chiropractic adjustments, nerve interfernce by misaligned vertabrae is removed, thus allowing optimal nervous system function and improved health. [Think back to the song - the knee bone is connected to the...]

Dr. Theresa Hartley opened her office at 2647 Ulmerton Road in Feathersound on August 2, 2010. She is almost celebrating her one month anniversary! Previously, her office was located in Port St. Lucie inside Gold's Gym. She is very familiar with sport injuries and has treated many celebrities. Due to privacy laws, I cannot tell you who they were, but I can tell you that she has adjusted a Mets player, a Pro-Golfer on the PGA tour and a Power Lifter who is number one in his age group!

Her passion in Chiropractics is Family Wellness Care. We started talking about a baby's birth and how traumatic that is for the baby. You want to make sure that the nervous system is functioning properly from the day the baby is born. Especially if it is a very long labor, there can be serious misalignments in the newborn. This can manifest, for example, into the baby only wanting to nurse on one side. Just as a medical doctor can do reflex tests to see if the baby has proper reflexes, there are tests a Chiropractor can do to see if the body is aligned properly, since the baby cannot tell you!

We talked about scoliosis and how there are so many things - nonsurgically- that you can do to reduce pain and curvature. And, the old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Think about this; when you get a headache, is it because your body is lacking tylenol? No, it is because something is wrong with your body. A symptom is an indicator of a problem that needs to be fixed.

We stopped talking for a few minutes when our food was served. You could tell we were both hungry! My scallops looked amazing and I couldn't wait to take my first bite. I would have loved to have had some bread to soak up that port wine sauce. Yum!

I was so entranced with my food that I was not paying any attention to the tuna wrap. I am very glad that I did not order that sandwich. I almost said I wanted to get that, but when Dr. Theresa said she was ordering it, I had to order something different. I do it all for you, baby! I wanted to make sure that I had pictures of at least two things so you can get ideas about the type of food served.

The Ahi Tuna Wrap was not at all what I expected. Dr. Hartley did not finish the sandwich, so I am guessing it was not what she thought it would be either.

After we ate, we continued talking about the importance of preventative healthcare and doing everything you can to stay healthy. This lunch with Dr. Hartley was very timely as she has a coupon coming out this week on Crowdsavings. She told me what the "deal" is and I know you all think I am going to spill my guts, but I am going to keep this one a secret. You wouldn't believe me if I told you! It is amazing!!!! Join now to make sure you don't miss it!!

If you have any questions about Chiroporactic Care, call Dr. Theresa Hartley at 727-623-0992 or visit the website.

On The Beach Doing Good Things!

Having lunch on the beach feels like you are on vacation even when you are not! As you are driving to Screwie Louies on Maderia Beach you see the most interesting sights and see beautiful sandy beaches. You can dine inside or outside as well as bar seating inside and out.

We sat outside and enjoyed the great breeze Mother Nature had to offer! Tricia decided to have the pulled pork sandwich with potato salad ($5.99) while I had Screwie Louie's Shrimp ($7.99).

And if seeing a beautiful beach isn't enough, I also got to have lunch with one of the most amazing and generous women that you will ever meet - Tricia Garner! Tricia is very actively involved in the community raising awareness for children with disabilities. Once you spend any amount of time with her, you are compelled to do anything that you can to help her and the children!

Tricia and her family used to raise money for their daughter's suit therapy by selling things at the local flea market. They realized that many families needed this assistance and wanted to help them as well. After praying, the family decided to start a non-profit charity to raise money for local children to cover therapy costs and items needed to improve their quality of life. Christine Mary's Charities was born!

They work diligently to raise money three ways: thrift store sales, fundraisers and donations from individuals and businesses. They are always looking for volunteers to help sort things as well as work in the thrift store. If you can spare even an hour, please call 727-259-1364. Please visit their facebook page and click "like" to be advised of all happenings with the charity and the thrift store.

Currently they are in need of Campbells soup labels/points, Box tops for education and My Coke Rewards to help the local school for children with disabilities. Also, they will take your used ink and toner cartridges.