Sunday, October 25, 2009
I have driven by Three Birds Tavern (formerly know as Limey's Pub) dozens of times, but I had never taken the time to stop in and now I wish I hadn't waited so long. I picked a day when the weather was beautiful and I was thirsty for a cold pint. I knew things were looking good from the moment my family and I stepped onto the covered wrap-around porch at Three Birds Tavern. This is a beautiful, deep porch with plenty of room for tables and benches and a great view to watch traffic pass by. The ceiling of the porch offers plenty of fans for hotter weather, and a map of the London Underground adds a charming touch. Go around to the other side of the porch, and you can encounter the pool tables and the quintessential British red telephone booth. Also, if you like, off of the porch, there are more tables with plenty of trees for shade. We took a peek inside, just to see what it looked like, and it had a nice pub feel to it, but the porch was to be the place for us that day.
We stopped by at about three in the afternoon, and found it was surprisingly busy for that time of day, which was a good sign. Our friendly server brought us a list of beers and the menu. We were happy to see they offered Boddington's on tap because a lot of our favorite pubs have pulled that from their taps. Altogether, they offered a nice selection of international drafts. After receiving our drinks, we went ahead and ordered. As to be expected, I ordered the Shepard's Pie (my affinity for Shepard's Pie has been mentioned in earlier posts). The Shepard's Pie was good, but didn't have as much gravy as I would prefer in the meat portion. However, it was still good and satisfying and I would order it again. As for my family, they ordered the fish and chips and the chicken balti curry. The fish and chips were very good. As for the chicken balti curry, it was good, but again like the Shepard's Pie, a matter of preference. Our server kept the right balance of checking on us to make sure we had everything we needed, but not to the point of being obtrusive, for which we thank her for doing such a great job.
We look forward to coming back to Three Birds Tavern again, because they have an awesome business with a nice beer selection, good food, and a great atmosphere. Also, we need to check out some of the music groups that play here on the weekend. Cheers!
Three Birds Tavern
1492 4th Street North
St Petersburg, FL 33704
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I love Mazzaro's and I can never go there without going wild. This is a great Italian market. Inevitably, I go there with my list and I come out with more than I had ever planned to buy. The whole mood of the place contributes to a buying frenzy. You walk in the door and Italian music is playing in the background. There is cheese hanging from the ceiling and wine bottles abounding in every nook and cranny, and that doesn't even include the wine and cheese room, which are also amazing.
They have a good meat counter if you desire to cook yourself, or head in back and grab something from the deli, which has many good things to tempt you. Recently, I had the spaghetti pie, which I had never tried before, and I thought it was delicious. I had got some beef lasagna and turkey to go along with it, but the spaghetti pie was wonderful all by itself. Don't forget to peek around the case in back where they have fresh pasta, filled ravioli, filled manicotti, etc. Then there is the wonderful bakery where you can buy something to go or perhaps you want to buy something and enjoy it with your coffee at the coffee bar in Mazzaro's.
Also, I do not want to forget to mention the grocery aisle's where you can find your dried pasta, olive oil, chocolate, herbs, sauces, etc...... There are too many things to mention, so I suggest try it out for yourself, if you haven't already.
Mazzaro's Italian Market
2909 22nd Avenue North
St Petersburg, FL 33713
My family and I had an amazing brunch at Savannah's this last weekend. With cool weather finally here, Savannah's was the perfect spot to have that cozy brunch. Our waiter started us off with a nice, hot coffee while we looked over the menu. I am happy to say that they serve Kahwa Coffee here, because I just love that coffee.
Between us, we ordered a hamburger, the Low Country Omelet, and the Brioche French Toast. First, the hamburger was good and juicy and everything that a burger should be. The Low Country omelet was delicious and covered in a spicy crab and shrimp gravy and served with a biscuit that was light and airy. Finally, there was the Brioche French toast that was great with maple syrup and pecans.
Again, this was a nice relaxing place to have brunch and the service was very good.
1113 Central Avenue
St Petersburg, FL 33705
Saturday, October 10, 2009
400 Beach is a great new addition to the restaurant scene along Beach Drive in downtown St. Pete. The inside of the restaurant is huge with large windows overlooking the park with glimpses of the bay beyond the park. For our dining experience, we opted to sit outside, which I thought turned out to be a lovely choice.
This was our first time dining at 400 Beach, and we opted to go for drinks and appetizers. The restaurant has a good choice of beers with over 20 beers on draft and a large selection of bottled beers. There is also a nice selection of wines by the glass. I decided to go with the Tucher beer for my meal and my husband selected a glass of the Oyster Bay Pinot Noir. On their list of starters, the restaurant offers soup by the cup or bowl. My husband and I ordered a bowl of the Beachside Clam Chowder and the Island Seafood Chili. We thought both of these were really yummy and the seafood chili really had a nice little kick. We also tried the Cajun Fried Rock Shrimp that was served in a cup of lettuce in a stemmed glass with capers on top, which was real tasty. And finally, we had the Artichoke Fondue with crab and served with blue corn tortilla chips and the was scrumptious. As if this wasn't all enough, they serve cheese bread along with the meal. Although we ordered appetizers, this turned out to be quite the substantial meal and the appetizers are more than sufficient for two to share.
Although we did not order from the dinner menu, we did notice that they offer a wide choice of entrees from sea and land. Also, they offer a selection of Beach Baskets for the budget conscious diner, which I feel is important in today's economy and I am glad the restaurant seems to realize this, too.
Finally, I cannot close without giving a special thanks to our server David G. He was very courteous and attentive throughout our meal and always made sure we had drinks on hand. Thanks David G.!
400 Beach Seafood & Tap House
400 Beach Drive NE
St Petersburg, FL 33701
Monday, October 5, 2009
I have been to the Parkshore Grill in St Pete a few times for dinner or for drinks and appetizers. My family and I generally like to grab a sidewalk table. There you will find a pleasant view of the water, or if it is evening the trees in the park across the road are prettily lit up with blue lights.
My favorite thing about the menu here is the simplicity of the food. For dinner, we have tried the roasted chicken with sun dried tomatoes which I thought went lovely with a glass of white wine. A few times we have gone there for appetizers and we love the butter poached garlic shrimp. Make sure you get some bread to go along with the shrimp because the butter and garlic sauce along with the red chili is great for dipping your bread. The jumbo lump blue crab cakes are good and the tomato jam they serve with the crab cakes are delicious. For dessert, we love the creme brulee, which is a favorite of my husband and I. Anywhere we see creme brulee on the menu, we will invariably order it.
Finally, I notice there are a number of comments regarding service at Parkshore Grill. It would be nice to see a few more smiles or more cheer. Overall, my experience there has been positive and I will still keep going back, but a smile will make a good place seem even better. Cheers!
300 Beach Drive NE, #104
St Petersburg, FL 33701
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I cannot finish my trip to Europe without talking about Rome. When heading to Italy, our main destination in mind was Rome. This is the place we had missed the last time we visited Italy, and we felt Italy could not be complete without visiting Rome. Not that there weren't other places we wanted to see in Italy, because there are other places, but the history of Rome called us.
There was so much to see in Rome, but there were especially three sights in Rome that my family couldn't leave Rome without seeing. First, there was the Colosseum with the adjoining Arch of Constantine and the Acropolis, which was my son's choice. Then there was St. Peter's Square in the Vatican City. The size of the columns in St. Peter's square are absolutely amazing. And then there is the Pantheon that was built as temple to all the gods of ancient Rome, and rebuilt in the second century Rome A.D. (According to Wikipedia) Since the 7th century, the Pantheon has been used as a Roman Catholic church. The Pantheon was my pick for Rome.
And then of course, there were the other usual tourist places that we all had to see. There is Trevi Fountain and the tradition of throwing a coin over your shoulder to ensure a return trip to Rome. My family and I all threw a coin over our shoulder, so I guess we have to go back again someday;). Of course, if you follow the legend further, two coins promise romance and three coins marriage. Right next to Trevi Fountain are the Spanish steps. I have to mention that both the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are covered in tourists. Also, when traveling in Rome, make sure you keep your water bottle after drinking because around this area and all over Rome there are natural spring water fountains that are here and all over Rome that you will see tourists refilling.
So, the sights mentioned above were visited along with many other sights in Rome, which abound around every corner. A tip for travelers is take a trip south of the river when traveling in Rome to get away from the center of the tourist attractions. South of the river, you will still find tourists, but not as many and you will find restaurants that are frequented by tourists and locals alike. In the center of Rome, you have all of the main tourist attractions, and you will not escape from the restaurants that are tourist traps, for the most part. South of the river is like a breath of fresh air and you can wander through twisting alleyways a grab whatever romantic spot you can find. And of course, there was the gelato, again.......
I don't think there is too much more I can say about Rome, just because Rome is larger than words. Even with all the tourists buzzing everywhere, the history of the place supersedes that and amazes one. Another tip, take a hotel near the main train station in Rome. One can walk to many of the sights from there or take a five or ten minute train ride and get off at the other main tourist attractions. This way, when you arrive in Rome it is easy to drop off your luggage and get around and it also makes departing Rome easy to. With this, I end my trip to Rome.........