Monday, July 18, 2011

Beach Snoballs - Treasure Island, FL

One very, very hot day, my family and I went to Beach Snoballs to see how they were different from ordinary snow cones. I had heard all about them and how they served New Orleans style snoballs, and how they were softer than ordinary snow cones, but I couldn't really understand it, until I tried it. So, we found ourselves standing outside Beach Snoballs order window, and a huge sign of flavors before us. One flavor that popped out at me was shark's blood, but I moved on to other flavors. Finally, I opted for mango and ice cream flavors, with a bit of New Orleans cream on top. From the window, I watched as the machine shaved the ice from the ice block into the cup. Next, the two flavors were added. Finally, a bit of New Orleans cream, otherwise known as condensed milk, was drizzled on top. That was one yummy treat, and the New Orleans cream added a nice richness to the flavor, but it would be just as delicious without the cream. So, how were snoballs compared to a regular snow cone? I rather thought they were a step above snow cones because the shaved ice was super soft versus the ice chips that are in snow cones. I look forward to coming back and trying different flavors.

10927 Gulf Blvd
Treasure Island, FL 33706

Beach Snoballs on Urbanspoon

Larry's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream - St Pete Beach

In the mood for ice cream or gelato? My family and I sure were one hot and sunny afternoon, so we made the trek over to Larry's. After walking in the door, I realized I had too many choices before me in the ice cream and gelato cases, not to mention the soft serve ice cream. Before I began to panic, I spied baked goods on the counter in the form of pies and cake. Ah, apple pie was before me, and that threw my confusion out the door. Give me apple pie warmed up with vanilla ice cream on top and I am in heaven. I guess the rest of us were feeling one too many choices before us, because it was a traditional soft serve vanilla and chocolate twist in a homemade waffle cone for the rest of the party. Yes, the waffle cones are made there and if you grab a table inside to enjoy your ice cream you can watch them as they make the waffle cones right there on the spot, and they smell good, too. What a delightful place to grab a cold and sweet treat!

Larry's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream
6595 Gulf Blvd
St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Larry's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dockside Dave's - Madeira Beach/St Pete Beach, FL

Whatever location you go to of Dockside Dave's, you'll find locals and tourists alike. Dockside Dave's serves up a nice selection of simple food in a laid back atmosphere, but their specialty is their locally caught black grouper. My family and I have been going to Dockside Dave's on a recommendation, since moving to Florida eight years ago. To be honest, we have never tried anything but the grouper because we go there when we are specifically in a grouper sort of a mood. There are a number of ways to get your grouper fix as they prepare it 5 different ways, and you can get it in a salad, sandwich, entree, or in a pasta dish.

Most recently, we tried our grouper three different ways. We ordered a country fried grouper sandwich, a chargrilled grouper entree, and a batter fried grouper entree. The sandwich comes by itself and sides are extra. However, while the sandwich does come by itself, it is huge. I am talking about a piece of grouper that is easily twice the size of the bun and it is definitely an entree size piece of fish. In fact, I have been at some other places where I have ordered grouper and haven't gotten the amount of fish I get in that one sandwich. Same for the entrees, huge pieces of grouper and with the entree and you get a choice of two sides with your entrees. In all three dishes, the grouper was excellent. It is fresh and that really shows when you take a bite and it has always been my experience at Dockside Dave's that one gets great tasting fish. As long as they keep doing what they are doing, this is one I will continue to come back to enjoy.

14701 Gulf Blvd
Madeira Beach, FL 33708
7141 Gulf Blvd
St Pete Beach, FL 33706

Dockside Dave's on Urbanspoon

Dockside Dave's on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tupelo Honey Cafe - Asheville, NC

On a recent trip to Asheville, my family and I stopped for breakfast at the Tupelo Honey Cafe on the recommendation of a friend. Judging by the huge crowd we saw every time we walked by Tupelo's, this is obviously a favorite dining spot in Asheville. Tupelo's serves lunch and dinner, but we stopped for breakfast because I especially wanted to try the sweet potato pancakes. Pancakes are my favorite breakfast food, so anytime I hear of an interesting twist on the original, I just have to try it. On the morning we stopped in, there was a bit of a wait for a table, but we were able to get instant seating at the bar. This turned out to be an interesting spot to sit because we could see a fair amount of the action going on in the kitchen. A quick look at the menu, and we were ready to order.

As I already mentioned, it was the sweet potato pancakes for me. In addition, we ordered an omelette with cheddar cheese, onions, cilantro jalepeno pesto and all of this was served with home fries. As if the pancakes weren't already enough for our sweet tooth, we ordered the Boondock Beignets. While waiting for our food we enjoyed our coffee and a delicious glass of peach nectar, along with complimentary biscuits served with Tupelo honey. After a short wait, breakfast arrived. The omelette was very good and what really made it was the cilantro jalepeno pesto. The beignets were equally delicious sprinkled in cinnamon sugar with a touch of honey drizzled on top. However, the star of the show was the sweet potato pancakes, which words cannot describe, mmmmmmm. If you ever get the chance to dine at Tupelo's for breakfast, this is really something to try. On a final note, as busy as Tupelo's was, we had excellent service throughout and our server was good about stopping by to make sure we had everything we needed.

12 College Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Tupelo Honey Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 2, 2011

French Broad Chocolate Lounge - Asheville, NC

The word chocolate is in the name, need I say more? If you live in Asheville, or are visiting Asheville, this is a must place to stop. Located around the corner from a bunch of other restaurants, French Broad Chocolate is easy to miss, unless you are looking for it. Inside, the scent of chocolate is a feast for the senses, along with the chocolate, chocolate desserts, and other sweet concoctions that fill the the display cases. There is constantly a line, but it thankfully moves quickly. Place your order and they will give you a card to take to your table so they know where to bring your order. While the place is small and intimate, there are plenty of comfy spots to sit.

They serve wine and beer, along with coffee drinks and others, but a glass of wine was in order. We had to try the liquid truffles, which is a ganache-based, hot sipping chocolate. There are several flavors of this and we decided to try the pure dark. This is very rich and decadent and a little goes along way. Along with this we tried the lavender creme brulee and a blackberry trifle. They used a torch on the spot to make the crunchy top for the creme brulee and it was everything a creme brulee should be. The blackberry trifle was heaven with a hint of lemon in the mascarpone cream and I did not leave a bite behind, as it was so good. This is a must stop spot for a sweet fix.

10 South Lexington
Asheville, NC 28801

French Broad Chocolate Lounge on Urbanspoon