Monday, September 12, 2011

Lisa's Cafe in Madeira Beach

Today we are celebrating Rob's Birthday Eve and he decided that he wanted to go to lunch. This is very abnormal, as he generally does not like to go out to lunch. (I know, opposites attract!) I LOVE lunch!

I gave him my stack of Groupons, Living Social and Crowd Savings Deals and told him to pick a spot. (May as well take him someplace which I had already paid!) He chose Lisa's Cafe. I was pretty excited, because secretly, I was hoping that was what he would select! We headed south down Gulf Boulevard and I had heard this place had great seafood. I was feeling like a burger, though, so I would have to wait and check out the menu.

I loved the tables outside, but it was still just a little too hot to sit out there. Next month it should be perfect! I am already looking forward to going back as I was told they light the tiki torches at night and I can just imagine how pretty it is. We went inside and sat in a comfortable booth by the bar. On the other side of the restaurant are more tables for larger parties.

There were several delicious sounding appetizers; such as crab mac and cheese ($9), freshly breaded onion rings ($6) and Maryland Style Super Lump Crabcakes ($9), but as soon as I saw Creme' Brulee' on the dessert menu, I knew I was holding out for that! Omigosh, I hadn't even ordered and I couldn't wait to have dessert. That is my favorite thing! Yum! Creme' Brulee'!

Of course I took my super long time decision making process to figure out what I was going to order. Rob had decided almost immediately that he was having the Combination seafood platter ($16). It included shrimp, filet of tilapia, crab cake, fries and coleslaw. I was tempted by the fish taco [fried tilapia with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers with tartar sauce inside a soft tortilla served with fries or coleslaw ($11), the black and blue burger [blackened burger with carmelized onions and blue cheese served with fries or coleslaw ($9)], or the club sandwich [turkey, ham, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise ($8). I finally decided to go with the club. She asked if I wanted white, wheat or rye (I picked rye) and toasted or bread. I love a toasted club!

Once our orders were placed, it didn't take long for them to be prepared. I went into the bathrooms (very clean!) and when I got back, our food was there. Well, I actually went and checked out the rest of the restaurant. Needless to say, the food arrived quickly.

I was absolutely thrilled with my club. And although I gave Rob a quarter of my sandwich, I did not get any of his lunch. Therefore, I must assume that it was too good to share! I only gave him part of my sandwich, though to make sure I had room for dessert!

Happily, I ordered my Creme' Brulee' and was super excited when it was delivered to the table. She gave us two spoons, in case I wanted to share. You know I shared! It is birthday eve, you know!

When the server brought our bill (I feel so bad that I can't remember her name as she took such good care of us) she also gave us coupons for a future visit. They have happy hour nightly from 3-6pm, as well as a Sunday Brunch from 9am-3pm with $6.99 Eggs Benedict and $1.95 mimosas.

Lisa's Cafe is located at 13331 Gulf Boulevard, just north of the John's Pass Bridge. Breakfast is served daily from 8am-11am; lunch daily from 11am-3pm and dinner is served Monday - Saturday from 3pm-10pm and Sunday 3pm-9pm. If you have any other questions, you can call them directly at 727-394-2833. Tell them Afternoon Delight sent ya!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Breakfast at the Pub on Indian Shores

We have guests in town and I was going to make breakfast for everyone, but they suggested that we go out for breakfast. [Not that I am a bad cook, the were trying to save me the hassle of cooking breakfast and dinner!] I was thinking of the local places that we could go to eat and someone said that Golden Corral has a buffet. Well, you know how I love my local businesses, so I would much rather go to one of those than a chain. (Not saying that anything is wrong with chains, I would just much rather support local business.) There are a lot of places that serve breakfast, but I wanted to show them how great it is to live in Florida. I decided to take them to The Pub on Indian Rocks Beach. I have been there for lunch, but had not been to the breakfast buffet. I thought it would be nice to sit on the water and watch the boats.

When we arrived at the Pub, we were immediately greeted and seated. Our table was inside right next to the window. We were close to being outside, without having to endure the Florida heat!

I was delightfully surprised at the buffet. The fruit looked so colorful and fresh! There was a wide variety of foods on the buffet as well. As I made my way down the line, I was presented with many options; scrambled eggs or western scrambled eggs, link sausage, sausage patties or bacon, potatoes or corned beef hash, french toast or pancakes. There were even Eggs Benedict on the buffet! Oh yes - and grits. As you will see from the next several photos - the options were numerous.

My plate had a little bit of everything! I love corned beef hash, but I hate to order it out - as I don't want to eat just hash. I had some french toast (okay, I had a pancake my second trip), some beautiful strawberries (and melon on my second trip), fresh pineapple, some bacon and sausage (sausage gravy on my second trip) and some western eggs.

You can find the buffet at the Pub every Saturday and Sunday from 8am - 1pm. The price is $11.95 for adults and $5.95 for children. You can go by boat or by car, as thereare 50 boat slips! Check their facebook page for specials. If we would've gone by boat, we could have had a free pitcher of beer!!

Stop in and tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Italian in Seminole at Sage's Restaurant

The fact that a restaurant has been within a 2 mile vicinity of my home(s) for the past 18 years and I have never gone there almost frightens me! How can a girl, who loves, food, loves local businesses and loves close to home not know about a wonderful eating establishment? I am almost sad that I was unaware of this great spot! I cannot say I did not know it was there, I have passed by it at thousands of times. I have WALKED right past it to pick up Chinese or on my way to Publix. I just never walked in the door!

I was working on trying to get a lot of stuff done around the house today, but my friend Mary called and said she wanted to go to lunch. I agreed under the condition that it was some place close so I could get home and get back to work. I suggested Sages, hoping that it wouldn't be disappointing.

We walked in and were immediately greeted. The restaurant was warm and inviting. The daily specials were a chicken philly served with potato salad ($5.95) or a pepperoni puff served with a salad ($5.95). Once we were seated, noticed on the table that they have $5.00 daily lunch deals. You can get soup and salad; pasta and meatball; 1/2 grinder with potato salad or coleslaw; mini cheese pizza or a small sage salad. (Salad choices include Greek, Antipasto, Caesar or veggie.) I was pretty convinced that I wanted the chicken philly, but I just LOVE a hot Italian sub and it seemed like the place to get one. When the waiter (super friendly, but cannot remember his name) took our order, I told him about my indecisiveness. He said that the Chicken Philly and Pepperoni Puff were equally good. Both made with homemade bread and very cheesy. I shouted in exuberance (okay, slight exaggeration) that I wanted the chicken Philly. Mary had already ordered the linguine with clams, but changed her mind to the chicken Philly as well. I told her that we could not order the same thing, because I wanted pictures of two different things, so I would order the pizza puff. The pizza puff was served with a salad. The salad was very nice and just the right size, with super fresh ingredients. I love crisp lettuce and red onions! Look at the brightness of that tomato. We we also served a basket of bread and butter. Yes, butter! Why does it seem like the past several restaurants where we have eaten, have given us margarine or substitute for the bread! I have my License to Cheat - Give me Butter!!!!

Shortly after we finished the salad, our lunch had arrived. Omigosh, it looked fabulous!!! I was wondering to myself, "could this be as good as it looks?"

Mary and I decided that we should split our lunches so that we could both taste both things. Of course I agreed, because the chicken Philly looked amazing!

What better than to have both of these for lunch. Once I started eating, I couldn't decide which one I liked better. Glad that we split them so I could eat both!

The lunch specials are served from 11:30-2pm. Sage's is Monday through Saturday from 11:30am - 9:00pm. They are located at 9388 in the Oakhurst Plaza. They also have a waide variety of grinders, salads, seafood dishes as well as house specialties. Beer and wine is available as well as a children's menu. Call them for the daily special 727-596-9000! Tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent ya!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Plaza Garibaldi Mexican Restaurant - Dunedin

I had spent the morning at D.lightfultouch Day Spa and Salon in Palm Harbor and was feeling a little bit hungry. I figured I would just drive south on Alternate 19 until something popped out at me! I passed several locations that I thought would be interesting, but I wasn't in the mood for Italian or deli, so I just kept driving. When I got into Dunedin, I remembered a little Mexican restaurant, El Zarape, which I used to frequent, and wondered if it was still there. I continued to 2020 Bayshore Drive, but there was no El Zarape. In it's location, is another Mexican restaurant named Plaza Garibaldi.

I decided to stop, since there was a sign outside advertising margaritas! It's funny - that is the reason why I stopped and I didn't actually have one.

I was greeted as soon as I entered. It was about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and there were numerous other diners. Most were enjoying the margaritas! I looked around and it looked very clean. I ordered my iced tea and started perusing the menu. The waiter brought me the chips and salsas - regular and hot. I loved having the hot salsa in addition to the regular. What a nice touch, I thought to myself.

The waiter showed me the daily specials. I couldn't decide whether to have the $4.99 special or just have one of the regular lunches, which average $5.50. Ugh, I always have the hardest time trying to decide between a chimichanga ($5.75), a chili relleno ($5.50), tamales ($5.50) or fajitas ($6.99). [The chili relleno was made with a green chile.] I finally decided to go with the daily special, so I ordered the bowl tostado. My choices were shredded beef, ground beef or chicken. I opted for the shredded beef.

It didn't take very long for my friendly waiter to arrive with my lunch. Either that, or I was so absorbed in the conversation at the next table, that I didn't realize how much time had passed! Just kidding, I couldn't quite hear them!

Plaza Garibaldi is open 7 days a week, with specials every day. Oh, the Mexican beers are only $2.75 and served with an ice cold glass! Monday through Thursday, Buy one meal and get one half off with the purchase of two drinks and on Sundays, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal.

If you want to call them, their number is 727-330-7648. Tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent ya!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dairy Inn - It's not just for dessert!

I left Tanya Sharkey Photography just thrilled with the pictures of my pets, but I was so hungry that all I could think about was food. I had decided early in the morning that I was going to go to Dairy Inn and now I was just minutes away! I was definitely thinking burger, since they are "St. Pete's Best Hamburgers;" but the daily special of a Cuban sandwich, drink and side got my taste buds in a tizzy! I stared at the menu on the front of store for quite a while - even letting two people go ahead of me while I tossed around a few things in my head. The clam roll ($4.69) is listed as being a big favorite in New England. You can get the meal deal which comes with the roll, regular fries and a drink for only $2.00 more. There is a wide assortment of salads and I figured if I had a salad, I would not feel as guilty about the dessert. Salads include DI Salad ($4.49), chef salad (6.49), grilled chicken salad ($6.49), Philly steak salad ($6.49), antipasto salad ($6.49) and tuna salad ($5.49). I was also very intrigued with a real deal authentic Philly ($6.99) - includes onion, mushroom and peppers and choice of cheese; cheese whiz, provolone, white or yellow American or Swiss.

I finally decided to go with my original plan, which was a burger. I ordered the cheeseburger meal deal ($7.49) and upgraded to a small shake for another $1.00. There are more than 27 different flavors of shakes (they also have flavors of the week) and I finally went with basic boring strawberry. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but I was pressured to decide! Looking back, I should have gone with something more interesting such as watermelon or black cherry or even chocolate marshmallow!

I stepped aside and waited for my name to be called. There were quite a few people in line and waiting, but the lines moved very quickly. They know what they are doing!

Only a couple minutes had passed before she called my name. I felt like I had won the lottery when I heard my name called over the speaker! Omigosh, it looked so good. I couldn't wait to bite into that big burger!

Yes, I was very happy with my choice of meals!

I asked what the member special is for Local Shops1 and it is Buy One, Get One Free on an order of beignets. (3/$2.39). I whipped out my LS1 card and had dessert! (No, the shake was not dessert, it was my beverage!) Since there were 6, I had the second order of three packaged to go so I could bring them home!

Dairy Inn is located at 1201 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. in St. Petersburg. They are open Monday through Sunday from 7am - 10pm; Friday and Saturday from 7am-11pm and Sunday from 11:30am-10pm.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Viva "La Dolce Vita" at Pia's Trattoria in Gulfport

Gulfport, Florida, home of eclectic art; funky, cozy cottages; a gorgeous beach and Pia's Trattoria! Pia's is located at 3054 Beach Boulevard South. It is an adorable building with a fabulous garden area that you can't miss.

The interior of the restaurant is absolutely wonderful! You can dine outside in the garden or in one of the rooms inside. Our party was seated in one of the private rooms. If you look at the photo of the room, the lamp and the mirror were both brought from Italy. The mirror is gorgeous.

The other room was just as beautiful. I would love to have my family all dine together in this room. It was very homey and welcoming. Pia's is a very relaxed atmosphere and I could see spending a lot of time in this room. We actually stayed in our "room" for quite a while and were not rushed and were able to enjoy our meals and the company of friends.

The main dining room is very nice and cozy. I would love to come here on a date and share some wine and pasta!

As you know, if the restroom is nice and clean, the kitchen probably is as well. This is the nicest bathroom I have seen in a while! The restroom itself is very large; that is a pleasant change from being crammed into stalls in most restaurants.

Before we even placed our orders, bread and a plate of dipping oil were delivered to the table. The bread was warm, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I could have just eaten that! The oil was filled with spices and herbs. I think a couple people had dipped into this before I had a chance to take the photo!

I was undecided as to what to order as the menu was filled with many dishes that sounded simply amazing; from the Antipasto Misto to the homemade cannoli. Since there were several of us dining, I knew I would get the opportunity to see several entrees.

Ester Venouziou and Joey Goodrich both ordered the "Salmone di Capri" [smoked salmon with horseradish cream cheese spread, sprinkled with a lemon pesto and served with grilled Italian garlic focaccia bread] ($10.50).

Jobi Harris first ordered the calamari (which is served authenic Italian - not fried, but sauteed in a lemon butter garlic sauce); but then decided to have one of the panini sandwiches. I am going to return to try the calamari as this is one of the few places that I know that does not fry it. The "tomaso" was Jobi's choice. This panini is turkey,gorgonzola cheese, arugula and tomatoes. ($10.50)

Finally, I ordered the "Insalata Pia." [A large bowl of greensalad with tomatoes including imprted Italian Mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese topped with a "salsa verde" dressing.

The desserts are fresh baked daily and I really wanted to taste one, but I was so full after the bread and salad. My next visit, I will limit my bread and definitely enjoy dessert.

When I was walking out, I noticed a whole new room that I had not seen before. The bar area is just as beautiful as the rest of the restaurant.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lunch at the almost famous - Ted Peters in South Pasadena

I think I can say that many people have heard of Ted Peters Smoked Fish. It is almost famous around here; a family owned institution that has been in the same location in South Pasadena(1350 Pasadena Avenue South) for 56 years.

It's a small place--with picnic tables set outside and a few tables inside.

Most of the time it is packed and hard to find a table, but we hit it at just the right time before the crowd arrived! Within 15 minutes every table was full.

The menu isn't very large, so it didn't take long to figure out what to order. Since they are famous for their smoked fish, we had to start with that! It is served with just enough crackers for the serving. ($6.29) We were told by people who ordered at another table that they no longer give crackers for takeout orders. So, if you plan on picking up some fishspread to take home, to a party or to the beach, make sure you pick up some crackers too!

I had to try one of their burgers. I haven't been there in years, but I remembered them having really good burgers. I must say that I was a little disenchanted with the price of the burger. The plain burger is $5.29, cheeseburger is $6.29 and lettuce and tomato are 50 cents. I thought it would be served with something, but what you see is what I received. Live and learn ~ as they say.

We also ordered the mahi-mahi dinner ($14.99) which was served with German potato salad, colesalw, bread and butter, pickle, tomato, sweet onion, lemon. Our server must have forgot about the bread and butter as we did not get any with the meal. By the time she came back around we were already done eating and did not need it. She gave us the check, I asked for some more iced tea and when she brought back the change, she didn't have my iced tea and I didn't want to wait for it.

We decided to go and check out the smokehouse next door. If you just want to pick up some smoked fish, just go there. You don't have to go into the restaurant.

Ted Peter's is a cash only establishment. Click here to see the video from Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives.