Friday, June 16, 2017

Concettina's Kitchen in Largo for authentic Italian comfort food

I was so busy today that I missed lunch! I know, who does that?!?!  I was so tired and hungry that I decided to call in and place an order from a new Italian place that had opened. 

I called and ordered a meat pizza pot pie (filled with meatball, sausage, pepperoni and homemade tomato sauce and a layer of mozzarella cheese with a homemade pizza dough crust [$6.99]), a side of meatballs (3 to an order [$2.25]),  a New York Calzone (seasoned ricotta, mozzarella and one topping in a tender crust and brushed with olive oil [$8.99]).  As I was placing the order, I couldn't decide what topping I wanted in the calzone and when asked if the mushrooms are from a can, she replied that they were fresh! Nothing better than fresh mushrooms!

I had 20 minutes to get there and pick up my food. I was happily surprised at the shortness of wait time.

Unfortunately, I was soooooo tired and hungry that I forgot to even take pictures of the strip center so that you could see where it is!  But, it is on Ulmerton Road, on the big bend, just before it turns into Walsingham on the north side of the road. (That would be the right side if you are heading towards the beach.)

I arrived and the owner was super friendly and explained that they are still re-vamping the menu. They have removed all of the cold subs, as they are not "authentic Italian comfort food." Soups will be a seasonal item and daily pastas will be featured on Facebook.

She went and got my food from the kitchen and opened everything to show me!  The calzone was beautiful -- I couldn't wait to get home and devour it!!  I loved that she took the time to show me all of the items and make sure they were okay.

I drove home, faster than a speeding bullet, and grabbed some plates so that we could eat!
The calzone was huge - I mean - really big!!!  And, the best part was that there was actually a cup of sauce -- not a soufflé cup with a dab of sauce - but a correct amount of sauce for a calzone this size!!

 I have never seen a pizza pot pie and was excited when I saw this.  My husband inhaled - honestly - it was gone - the whole thing. When there were 2 bites left, he asked if I wanted a bite.  Um, yes!!  It was cheesey, heavenly, deliciousness!!!
 The meatballs were homemade.  They were not frozen meatballs that were just heated.  Very impressed,
 The side of bread that came with the order was ah-mazing!  Hot and delightful!

Concettina's Kitchen is located at 12543 Ulmerton Road in Largo. (Across from Botanical Gardens.)
I couldn't locate a menu anywhere online, but here is the email address. Maybe they can send you one!

When I left, she said that they were open til 8, which is different than there menu -- so I am not sure of the hours. I will post updates as I find out more information.

With all that being said -- go there - NOW!!! You will love it!

Tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent you!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Same Great Food in a New Location ~ Da Sesto Italiano Ristorante e Vino

I have always loved Da Sesto's Italian Restaurant, but honestly did not like the crowd or having to always wait for a table. (Yes, the food is that good.)   When I heard that they were opening a new location - right next door, I couldn't have been more excited.   I gave it a week or two for the excitement of the newness to die down and let the kinks get worked out.  I couldn't have been more pleased during my recent visit.

I happened to be driving north on 66th Street when I saw the sign and decided to make a frantic right turn! I was alone and it was too late to call anyone to meet me, but I was hungry and wanted to check out the new place!  It was one of the right place and lunch time kind of days!
There is a lot more parking than the other location and it looks very pleasing when you walk to the front door.

I entered and was thrilled to see the new restaurant. It was beautiful!!  The décor is fabulous and I could not wait to be seated so that I could start eating.  The hostess immediately greeted and sat me, giving me the lunch menu to scan my options.  Oh Lord, too many decisions!!!  I had looked at the menu over and over to try and figure out what I wanted -- but I wanted it all! Everything sounded so tasty.

My server asked me if I wanted some bread while I decided what I was going to have for lunch.

My father always told me when I was growing up "do not fill up on bread."  I could hear him say it as I ate every piece of bread.  It was warm. It was fresh. I couldn't help myself.
I told the waitress of the three choices to which I had narrowed it down and she said that the "Pappardella Mamma Angela" was very popular.  I decided to have that as it was the one I had picked out first before I changed my mind six times.  Normally when I have lunch with someone else, I know I am going to get to see at least two things and the pressure was on since I would only get to see and taste ONE thing!

The Pappardella Mamma Angela is pappardelle pasta served in white wine cream sauce with capers, mushrooms, ham, Italian sausage, and pancetta ($11).

I continued to peruse the menu as I already know I am going back for the Antipasto! 

There are numerous seating options at the new location.  You can sit at the wine bar, the Antipasto bar, a booth, a table -- or wait til the end and I will show you my favorite!

Okay, here she comes with my lunch.  As she placed it in front of me, I was already drooling. It smelled so good and I couldn't wait to get my fork into it!!

  Needless to say, I filled up on bread and could not finish my lunch.  My husband was very happy, though, when I returned home with leftovers. Although he did give me a hard time about not bringing him his own lasagna. (Sorry, honey.)

I walked around the restaurant and fell in love!  I love this huge table for a big party.  I love sitting at a high top table, but it's usually for 2 or 4.  I need a party - a big party - to go to lunch with me next time so we can sit at the big table!

 For those that remember the former location, there are still tables that are hidden away for a more private dining experience.
THIS is my other favorite table. (I can have two favorites.)  I want to go here with 3 other friends and sit in the big circle booth!! 

DaSesto Italiano Ristorante e Vino is located at 7201 66th Street North in Pinellas Park. They are open Monday through Thursday from 11am til 1pm, Friday from 11am to 11pm, and Saturday from 4pm to 11pm.  They are closed Sunday, but are available for private parties.  If you have any questions, they can be reached at 727 209 2695. 

Special Note:  Localshops1's Top Local Chef was last weekend in St. Petersburg and DaSesto's won the popular vote with their dish.  I was there for that and it was delicious!! Most definitely a winner!

Stop in for lunch or dinner.  You won't be sorry!
Tell them that Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent you.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Striptease menu at WingHouse

One of the perks of being a food blogger is being invited to private invitation only tastings like this one that happened last week at Ker's Winghouse.  I've always enjoyed Ker's wings but seldom deviate very far from wings while I am there.  I am glad that I had the opportunity to taste some new menu items featured in the limited edition "Striptease Menu" as I will definitely be eating more than wings during future visits to the Winghouse!

I like the inside décor of WingHouse.  It's more than a bar but not overwhelming.  This location (as is the case with all of the ones I have been in) is very clean.  When people leave, things of not stay on the table very long before the table is cleaned and ready for someone else.  [Pet Peeve - tables of dirty plates waiting to be removed and cleaned.]
Our evening started with the new Flip Flop Wines.  Four fizzy flavors are offered: fizzy chill red, fizzy crisp white, fizzy moscato, or fizzy pink moscato.  I was quite apprehensive to drinking canned wine, but they were not bad! The fizzy crisp white was surprisingly quite tasty.
Moving on to the appetizers!  We were given three things to try. Cheesy broccoli bites, fully loaded fresh potato chips and the shrimp and chicken combo.
First up, cheesy broccoli bites. Breaded and fried bites filled with creamy cheese and tender broccoli. As the menu states - they are like broccoli cheese soup in a bite!
Next we have the fully loaded fresh potato chips.  These chips are house-made fresh and flash fried to perfection. The chips are covered with blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, jalapenos, and hot sauce. They are served with a creamy ranch dip and Winghouse cheese sauce.
These were great, but personally - just give me the chips and blue cheese and I am a super happy camper!

Out of the three, this one was my favorite. Shrimp and chicken combo. I love this because it is one less decision I have to make.  Do I want chicken or shrimp? BOTH!  These bad boys are made with a blend of Winghouse seasonings and served with ranch dressing.
Just give me those and a can of wine and leave me alone!!  No, really - let's keep tasting more food!

Here's a review:

The next items served are sandwiches.  We were given the Strip Cheese, Stripclub, and bacon ranch chicken wrap.  All sandwiches are served with a dill pickle and chips.

The "Strip Cheese" consists of layers of fried chicken strips, pepperjack cheese, bacon, and tomatoes on marble rye.   This sandwich seemed to win the consensus of most of the bloggers there.  (Not me. I liked it, but I will save my favorite until last.)
"StripClub" is made with strips of gilled chicken topped with swiss cheese, sliced ham, crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato with the Winghouse signature sauce.  This one was really good too, but still not my favorite!
Finally, the bacon ranch chicken wrap. This wrap contains chunks of fried chicken, bacon, zesty ranch, tomatoes, and cheese wrapped in a chipotle wrap.  I think it may have been the wrap itself that made me fall in love with this sandwich, or they way it was grilled. Not sure, but this is my favorite!

Could these possibly be anything else?  YES! Dessert!!
Deep fried twinkies are now on the menu!! (Limited time, so hurry in and try them.)
The twinkies are deep fried and drizzled with a delicious raspberry drizzle.
 The StripTease menu is available at all 29 Florida WingHouse locations.

While we were on our way out, we noticed that the gentleman in the picture was Luke, who prepared our food that night!!! Of course pictures had to be taken with him! If you are on a banner of any size, I am stopping to get my picture with you!!

The other mangers were gathering around to see why there was so much noise (cackling!)
For your enjoyment... here are the MEN of WingHouse!

There is also a small merchandise store off to the side. The picture of the whole store didn't turn out, but the picture of this shirt tells all!

Go and check out the new menu.  There are 29 locations throughout Florida.  Several locations have ordering online and some have delivery services!

Be sure to like Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight on Facebook and Instagram for fantastic food pictures of locally owned restaurants throughout Tampa Bay.

**I was invited on behalf of the Tampa Bay Bloggers and Ker's Winghouse to review their new Striptease menu and in exchange was given a swag bag.  All reviews and opinions in this post are my own.** 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Tavern at Bayboro - it's not just for students!!

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the Tavern at Bayboro is not just for students!  Three of us were debating where to have lunch and someone said, "I heard the grouper is really good at The Tavern at USF."  I said, "Who is a student so that we can go?"  Honestly, no idea that it was open to the public!! 

There is limited parking.  I was just about to go park on the street when I saw an open space close to the building. (No, not the one in the picture!) 

We went and sat down at a table around the corner awaiting service.  We didn't know that you have to go inside and place your order, then they bring it to you!  We sat there for a while before I finally decided to go check out the inside.
The inside was full of customers waiting to place their orders and people waiting to pick up their to go orders.   I had my heart set on the grouper and when I heard the cashier tell the people in front of my that they were out of grouper, I almost cried!! 
Thankfully, when it was my turn to order, I told her that I was so sad that they were out of grouper because I really wanted the "Crunchy grouper."  She said, "Oh, I have two orders of that!" Happy dance!!!  Next thing I see, is a man walking with a big fish ready to clean it!!  Can you say, "FRESH?"  Wow.
 He proceeded to clean the fish while I stood there amazed!  One of the people that I was with was not enjoying seeing the freshness of the fish - but I loved it!!
We went outside with our drinks. (Side-note:  there is a squeeze bottle of simple syrup so that you can make sweet tea without having to worry about the sugar not dissolving!!  I LOVE this!)
It was gorgeous sitting outside and taking in the scenery.

There is a coffee shop located here, too - but I didn't go in there.
Shortly after, our orders started arriving.  First up is the blackened grouper sandwich ($10) with fries ($2).

 Next is the chef salad. [garden salad with slice turkey, ham, and provolone. $9]  This looked so good, that I had a split second wishing that I had ordered that!
 At that moment of wishing I had ordered the salad - this was placed in front of me!!!! OH MY GOSH!  It was huge and looked delightful.  The crunchy grouper sandwich (breaded with cornflake crisps and sliced almonds. $10) (fries $2)
 There are different events throughout the month.  Check the board for those happenings.
 There are numerous tables for outside dining.  There are a couple places inside, but on a day like today - it was fabulous to be outdoors.  There are accommodations for a large party, but remember that everyone has to go inside to order and it could take a little while.  Trust me, though --it's worth it!

The Tavern at Bayboro is located at 120 - 6th Avenue South in St. Petersburg.  They are open Monday through Saturday from 11am til 11pm.  Summer hours are coming, though  - so check before you go to make sure they are open. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mexican Market serves great food ~ Las palamos in Largo.

I've driven by this place thousands of times. I have been in the parking lot at other restaurants and have never entered this market.  I finally decided to pop in yesterday and I am so glad that I did!!
Upon entering the market, I wasn't sure if I was really going to get cooked food!  But keep walking - you won't be disappointed in the food. 

Let me first say that this is no frills. You are not going to get table service and someone is not going to be at your beck and call.   Proceed to the counter and order your food.  There are not menus describing every item. There are boards on the wall. 

 Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, soups and salads.

We ordered our food and then went to the coolers to select beverages ~
and sat down at one of the tables inside. There is also counter seating and one table outside.

My friend ordered the carnitas burrito with a side of chips and salsa. ($6)
                    It looks very unassuming, but it is full of flavor and packed with goodness.
I ordered the carnitas quesadilla with chips and salsa. ($6). Don't let the picture fool you - this thing is huge!  It was so tasty -- I think I could eat one of these every day!
Las palamos is located at 1300 East Bay Drive in Largo.  They can be reached at 727-581-1050.  Check it out - it is one of Largo's hidden gems.  Tell them Tampa Bay Afternoon Delight sent ya!