Friday, October 2, 2015

Jake's Cantina offers quick and enjoyable Mexican food on Indian Rocks Beach

During the past few years,  I have driven by Jake's Cantina hundreds of times. I never stopped because I honestly did not think it would be good.  


Today, I stopped and I have found my new "go-to" place for a shredded beef burrito!  Upon entering, you are greeted by friendly servers who are ready to prepare your meal.
(Note: I took this photo on the way out just incase you think I am fibbing about being greeted!)

There are three steps to the ordering process:
1. Pick what you want (tacos, soft tacos, burrito, naked burrito, tostadas, nachos, or quesadilla
2. Select what you want on it (veggie only, Mexican chicken, roast pork, ground beef, shredded beef (+$1), grilled shrimp (+$2) or grilled mahi (+$2)
3. Top it or stuff it.  Decide which of the 20 items available that you want!

In addition, they offer a wet burrito and pork tamales.

I ordered the shredded beef (+$1) burrito ($8). Paid for my order while they finished making it and took my food to a table.

Yes, Jake's Cantina is in the original Crabby Bill's family of restaurants. Along with IRB Sushi, Lulu's Oyster Bar, Sea Breeze Island Grill, and Ready, Set, Yo.

The dining area is larger than I thought it would be. There are five booths, a round table and two tables for four. 
There is also a counter space at the window so you can sit and people-watch.

The restaurant had quite a few full tables when I got there, and I knew it had to be good!
While I was gathering my things to leave, Manny (the manager) came over to take my tray. He informed me that catering is available and if you need 20 burritos or a huge plate of nachos, they can do it for you.
Another thing to note is the daily special.  I wish it would have been Wednesday, as that is BOGO burrito day! 
Monday - quesadilla $5
Tuesday - Wet burrito $5
Wednesday - 2 for 1 burritos
Thursday - 2 for 1 Mexican Pizza
Friday - Tostada platter $5
Saturday - $2 taco
Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11am - 9pm and Friday/Saturday from 11am-11pm.
Still have questions?  Call 727-595-6777 or visit their facebook page or website.
Tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent you!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

True Indian Tastes at Desi By Nature

Talk about finding a hidden gem!  If you are a fan of Indian food - or if you have never eaten Indian food, this is the place to go.  Desi by Nature is in a non-descript strip center on Fowler Avenue in Tampa. 

The lunch concept is fantastic. Order what you want, as much as you want, and as many times as you want for one low price!  It's simple - you are given a menu with the food choices and a description. Order what you want, and order it again, and again, or try something different.
We worked our way right down the menu and tasted everything! Yes, we were stuffed.

Bhel Puri is puffed rice mixed with onions, cilantro, mint, and tamarind chutney. I thought this sounded very strange, but it was very delicious.

Samosas are seasoned potato turnovers that are fried to perfection. 

The gem is on the inside!

Next up - chicken kabobs marinated in yogurt and spices, and cooked in a clay oven.
It's time to move on to the entrees!  Chloe bhature is curried chickpeas and puffy white flour bread.  Hours later and I am still thinking about this bread. Wow!
Tender pieces of chicken in a creamy fenugreek sauce is Methi chicken.
Yes, we are still eating and there is more food yet to come!  I was dining with a group of people - do not even begin to think that I could have eaten all of this by myself!!

Butter chicken is simmered in a smooth tomato gravy, tempered with fresh cream and butter.
Somehow I missed snapping  a photo of the yellow lentils, but I can assure you that they were scrumptious.  One of my favorite dishes of the day (just by a smidge) was the saag paneer. Spinach studded with cubes of cottage cheese.  I heard someone say that the cheese was homemade too, but I didn't verify that.

Of course, we are our fill of naan. Plain and garlic. 
I need more garlic naan now!

Dessert is reminiscent of rice pudding, but it is made with vermicelli and cooked in whole milk with saffron, almonds and raisins.

My drink choice was Mango lassi which is a yogurt based drink with mango and a dash of cardamom. ($3).  This was heavenly!

Desi by Nature is an unparalleled Indian Restaurant.  The owners are warm and welcoming, the servers are attentive and everything is clean!
Desi by Nature is located at 1251 East Fowler Avenue.  The lunch price is $9.95 (unbelievable) Monday through Friday and $12.95 on Saturday and Sunday.  Desi is open every day except Tuesday for lunch from 11:30-3:00 and dinner starting at 5pm.

Questions, call 813-972-7400. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for reading! Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Tasty Seafood Sandwiches and more at J & K Trappman's Seafood Shack

If you have headed north on Seminole Boulevard, just past 110th Avenue, you've probably seen this sign.   All these years I thought it was just a seafood market.  Boy, was I wrong!!

I stopped in today to get some smoked mullet ($5.99 lb).  Once I was there, I decided to go ahead and have lunch.  I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of things that you could order. Yes, there is a $2.99 fried tilapia sandwich, or $3.99 for a grilled tilapia sandwich.  The fish sandwich selections also include grouper ($9.99) [grilled $10.99], smoked salmon ($4.99), and seared tuna ($7.99).  There us also a shrimp Poboy ($6.99), fried chicken sandwich ($2.99 or $3.99 grilled), and an Angus beef burger ($5.99).

As always, I couldn't decide because the other side of the menu shows the different way that you can order shrimp. Order them by the 1/2 pound ($6.99) or full pound ($13.99) and have them prepared fried, buffalo, steamed with garlic butter and seasonings, or grilled.

Sides are available as well. French fries ($1.50), coleslaw ($1.50) or 4 hushpuppies for a dollar.

I ordered the fried chicken sandwich and a half pound of buffalo shrimp and went outside to the picnic tables.
Soon after, my food was ready!
The anticipation of what's inside!!
The fried food was delicious!  The batter - or breading - was soooo  light, that it was hard to tell that there was anything there. I hate having to pick off mounds of batter or breading!!

J & K Trappman's Seafood Shack is a great place to purchase seafood.  Shrimp, whole fish, mussels, and a whole bunch more!

Plus, they have everything right there that you might need to cook it!

J & K Trappman's Seafood is opening from 9am to 9pm Monday through Saturday. Grill hours are 11am to 8:30 pm.

Bottled beer is also available.
Wave goodbye to the man who prepared your food! (Not actually sure if he was in there or not!)
Any additional questions, give them a call 727-392-2700.  Tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent you!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Goodness Gracious - there's a gyro!

I have driven by this restaurant at least a thousand times.  Today, I stopped - and I am glad that I did.

Athenian Gyros and Chicken has been serving food over 30 years in Pinellas Park.

Upon entering, I was immediately greeted and welcomed.  My thoughts were to have a Greek salad, but once I saw the gyro meat rotating in the back, I knew I had to have a gyro.  The meal included fries and a drink for $8.99.

I selected a booth and within a few minutes, my food was ready. 
I didn't even have that much time to look at all of the trinkets that were for sale in the store!

Hot, fresh, crispy fries.  The gyro looks a little messy - and it was - messily delicious!  A few of the pieces of meat were nice and crispy. You know it is not out of a package when the pieces are all different sizes and different crispness.  And, yes, that is freshmade tzaziki sauce!
While I was eating, another couple came in.  They were asked if it was there first time there and the man replied that they come from Orlando for their doctors appointments and everytime they come over, they stop in there for food.  I thought to myself, "I LIVE in this city and have never been here and they drive from Orlando to eat here!"  (They come for the appointments, but could really eat anywhere!)

The inside of the restaurant was very clean.  There are several booths and tables, but nothing really for a large party.  I would get it to go for a large group. 

Athenian Gyros and Chicken is located at 5320 Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park.   They are open Monday through Sunday from 11am until 9pm. Questions or call ahead orders - 727-544-5740.  Visit the website for more information.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Quick and Delicious Thai Food at Largo Mall

The corner are adjacent to Albertson's grocery store at Largo Mall has housed a lot of restaurants over the past years, but I hope this one is here to stay!


Wanh's Thai To Go is a take-out restaurant, but has 5 tables if you choose to dine in.  I have been here several times, for both dine in and take out service and have not been disappointed. The service is quick, the people are friendly, and the food is fresh and good!

The restaurant and bathroom are very clean.  My rule of thumb is that if the bathroom is clean, the kitchen most likely is too.  Since I doubt you want to see the actual bathroom, I will show you the décor!

Lunch specials are either $6.95 or $7.95 and include a spring roll and soup if you dine in.  There are 17 lunch specials, which means a lot of choices!

Pad Thai ($6.95)

Panang Curry ($6.95)
Being a take-out restaurant, I must say that they specialize in packaging the food.  The one time that I ordered take out, I was leary about what it would look like when I arrived home.
(I can't remember the name of the noodle dish)

I was pleasantly surprised that the entrées were in foil in the box.  This kept the juices intact and not all over the box.
Dessert choices include Thai sticks ($3.95), lynchee nut ($2.95), and fried banana ($3.95).  I have not tried any of these yet, but I will on my next visit. 
Wahn's Thai To Go is located at 10500 Ulmerton Road, Suite 756 and can be reached at 727-400-6881.  They are open Monday through Friday from 11:00am - 3:00 pm and from 4:00pm - 9:30pm.  Saturday, they are open from 11:00am - 9:30pm and on Sunday, from 3:00pm - 9:30pm.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Great food at an unexpected place!!! All American Sports Pub at Liberty Lanes in Largo

I have driven up and down Starkey Road a billion times (ok, that is an exaggeration) and I did not even know there was a bowling alley back there! Yes, just north of 102nd at 115th Avenue!  Perhaps at some point in my life, I knew it was there - but I am not a bowler. The thought of going there just for food had NEVER even crossed my mind. Until now.
I entered the restaurant/lounge area and was immediately impressed with the number of televisions (10, yes 10).  I thought, "Wow, this is a great place to watch a game!" But, admittedly, I was still not thinking about food. 
I saw down and picked up a menu.  I was amazed at the amount of food and the choices I had to make. I was informed by Robin ~ cook extraordinaire (she said that she was not a chef, but had been cooking since she was 8) that everything (except one thing) is home made.  Right down to the stock for the chicken noodle soup! "No way," I exclaimed. 
When I said there was a lot of choices on the menu, I meant it! There are five different salads (chicken, spinach, Caesar, taco, dinner) ranging in price from $4.29 to $7.99.  Not in the mood for a salad, then pick from one of eight different burgers.(ranging from $3.99 to $7.29)  There is another option of a Statue of Liberty burger that is too massive to even describe for $24.99
Still not seeing anything that suites your fancy?  Continue through the menu to find 15 different sandwiches, wraps and more!  I am just going to show you this page, because it is fabulous!

With all of those options, you would think that was it for the menu, but No - the options continue. PIZZA! Fresh baked pizza in either 7" personal or 16" sizes.
If you have the liberty of having a beer with your lunch, there are a ton of choices, too!
Since the chicken soup was homemade, I had to try it. I am always searching for a good chicken noodle soup.
A cup of soup is $2.69 and a bowl is $3.69.  If you are not into chicken noodle, there is also tomato soup or homemade chili.
I quickly decided on the sriracha aioli burger.  1/3 pound burger smothered in caramelized onions, fire roasted sweet peppers, provolone cheese, and finished off with fresh-made sriracha aioli sauce. ($5.99).  You can add French fries, tater tots or fried chips for 99 cents or add onion rings or $2.59
When I finished my burger, dessert was suggested.  WHAT? If I would have known that a fresh brownie sundae was even an option, I wouldn't have eaten that burger!!  I will just have to save that for next time!
The All American Sports Pub at Liberty Lanes is open 7 days a week from 8am til 10pm. (Later on Friday and Saturday nights.)  Breakfast is served daily.  This is a great place for a large group of people as the tables can be rearranged to seat a big group.  There is ample bar seating as well. 
For guests 12 and younger, there is a kids menu.
Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 3-6 with $1.00 domestic drafts.
Liberty Lanes  is located at 11401 Starkey Road in Largo.  You can call ahead for orders to go 727-397-3947.  Click HERE to see the entire menu. And, like them on Facebook.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Big Breakfast on Sunday at the Hollander

This really isn't a lunch, but it is also something that you should not miss. Besides, it goes until noon, so you technically have breakfast for lunch!

 On Saturday and Sunday mornings, The Hollander Hotel offers a breakfast buffet which starts at 8am and ends at noon.  The buffet options include: scrambled eggs, cheese scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, fresh fruit,  homemade muffins (which are always different), an omelet station and home fries.  Today's muffin selection included a mocha muffin or a carrot oat muffin. 
Sundays also includes biscuits and gravy, while Saturdays French toast is available. 

An assortment of fresh fruit is always a welcome! I love when the fruit is already cut into bite sized pieces and I do not have to do any of the work.

I spent some time chatting with Mac while he prepared my made to order omelet.  He is normally the pastry chef (yep, he made the muffins); but on the weekends he is the omelet chef. 
My omelet had a little bit of everything and it was delicious. Topped with some salsa, and I was good to go! On the way back to the table, I grabbed a biscuit and sausage gravy and some bacon.
But, the fun doesn't stop there!  Not only can you pick and choose your breakfast items, but you can also build your own bloody mary!!!   ($6)

The Hollander Hotel is located at 421 - 4th Avenue North. The Taphouse at the Hollander is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7am until 10:30am.  Questions, call 727-873-7900

If you would like to see and read more lunch at the Hollander - check out a previous blog post. (Although the post is 2 years old and some things have changed, the high quality of the food remains the same.)