Saturday, December 10, 2011

San's Pizzeria, Tampa(Westchase), FL

In the neighborhood, my family and I stopped in at San's Pizzeria to have some pizza. San's is a casual pizza joint and you can order a slice to go or sit down at a table or booth to enjoy your meal. Besides pizza you can also enjoy pasta, a Philly cheese steak, and wings, among other things. However, we were there to try the pizza, so that is what we ordered. Those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that we love to eat a basic cheese pizza and sometimes we will get fresh basil on top if they have it, which they did here. So after getting a glass of wine and a putting in our pizza order, we had a bit of a wait. The wait wasn't too long, but pushing close to the limit. The pizza arrived and we were impressed. It was a nice tender and crispy crust with a good sauce and we loved the melted cheese topped with basil. A good place to enjoy great pizza in a very casual environment.

13048 Race Track Road
Tampa, FL 33626

San's Pizzeria (Westchase) on Urbanspoon

Burger 21 - Tampa(Westchase), FL

After observing that Burger 21 has been the talk of the town forever, I decided it was time to pay a visit. When I first arrived there, I had a bit of a let down because I didn't realize that it was barely removed from being a fast food joint and it is part of a franchise with another location in Carrollwood. Instead of being seated, you place your order at the cash register and you are given a number that you insert into a placeholder, then your food is brought to you. I didn't let it faze me too much, though. We ordered our food, paid, and then grabbed a spot at the stools at the counter. While waiting for our food, I went to grab some ketchup. If you want something other than the usual to cover your sandwich with or dip your fries in, they had ordinary ketchup, mango ketchup, chipotle mayo, a spicy ketchup, among others.

The first thing to arrive was our chocolate shake and root beer float that we watched them make, while sitting at the counter. They were yummy and just the right thing to go along with our burgers. The next thing to come out were our basket of fries. They were good, but not the greatest and although we skipped the small and medium fries and ordered the basket, I thought it was rather small. One thing I wasn't happy about was that they brought the fries out to us before our burgers were done, so that by the time our burgers arrived, our fries were just about gone. For burgers, we tried "The Cheesy Burger," with cheddar cheese, minus the vegetables. The other burger we tried was "The Shroom," which was covered in crimini mushrooms, fontina cheese, and garlic butter. Both of the burgers were delicious and I loved the soft and toasted brioche bun that they were both served on. Both burgers were cooked as ordered and they were juicy and just awesome. A great burger alternative to mainstream fast food.

9664 West Linebaugh Avenue
Tampa, FL 33626

Burger 21 on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five Bucks Drinkery - downtown St Petersburg, FL

The Five Bucks Drinkery is located right in the heart of downtown St Petersburg on Central Avenue. The name of this little spot says it all, in that nothing is over five dollars, which is great when you are on a budget. When I went there with my family, it was a bit quiet, and we were able to take our pick of seating at one of the bar tables inside. We ordered a couple of beers and were disappointed when our beers arrived in plastic glasses, which is part of their whole money saving theme. However, we did learn later on that you can get your beer in a real glass, but you have to ask, which we did after the first drink. For food we ordered some burger, fries, and tots. Each item is priced separately, which is probably what keeps the costs under five dollars. The burger was ok, but nothing exciting. Even so, this is not a bad place to hang out and have inexpensive drinks and food, especially when on a budget.

247 Central Avenue
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Five Bucks Drinkery on Urbanspoon

Sweet Divas Chocolates - downtown St Petersburg, FL

Sweet Divas is a wonderful addition to downtown St Petersburg, and I have already been there a number of times to partake of their delicious chocolate. I was told that they get their chocolate from Belgium that they use to make their chocolates, maybe that is why they taste so good. Not only do they have chocolate, they have an assortment of yummy cupcakes. There is a vanilla cupcake that I especially love that is covered with fudge frosting that has shavings of white chocolate all over it. Then, there is the muffins and if you come on the weekends, I believe they have some sort of muffin and mimosa special. Oops, did I forget to mention that they serve wine and champagne here? If you want to skip the wine, they serve coffee and tea. Finally, they have artisan ice cream that is out of this world. Sweet Divas is just off of Beach Drive on Fourth Avenue and you don't want to miss it!

400 Beach Drive NE
St Petersburg, FL 33701

Sweet Divas Chocolates on Urbanspoon

Ohana Cafe - Palm Harbor, FL

One Friday evening, my family and I headed over to Ohana Cafe in Palm Harbor to hear a friend, Rebecca Zapen sing. It was quite a hike over to Palm Harbor, but it was well worth it. The Ohana Cafe has a Hawaiian influenced theme going on and you will see that reflected in their food, as well as, the Hawaiian Hula dance that happens between the music performance on Friday and Saturday nights. We were lucky to get the last remaining table on the patio, so we could see the Hula dance and the music. As this was a chilly December evening in Florida, we were glad there was a covering over the patio, along with some gas heaters.

We were given a wine list that had quite a few organic wine offerings on the menu. After choosing drinks, we looked at the menu, which featured a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options, along with options for meat eaters. We decided to order the Hawaii 5-0, which is a buffalo patty served on Ciabatta with cheese and a variety of toppings. Also, we ordered the Ohana's Kalua Chicken and cabbage served over rice and the very veggie omelette with home fries. The burger was delicious, but we didn't like the veggie straws that were served along with it. I liked the Ohana's Kalua Chicken with Chicken and cabbage, but I did add a little sriracha sauce to kick it up a little. The veggie omelette was very good, but on the small side. For dessert, we had to try the popover, which was covered with macadamia nut sauce. This was very good, and a great way to end the meal. I enjoyed our experience and it was nice to have a large selection of healthy dining options.

306 Orange Street North
Palm Harbor, FL 34683

Ohana Cafe on Urbanspoon

Laughing Cat Bar - Ybor(Tampa), FL

One Friday afternoon, my family and I decided to head to Laughing Cat Bistro for lunch. This restaurant is a friendly little place located just off the main drag in Ybor. Nothing fancy, just great food. We were quickly seated at a table and given a description of the wines. Then our server told us we had a choice of dining from the lunch buffet or from the dinner menu. I took a quick peek at the lunch buffet, which looked really good, and was very reasonable priced, but I decided I wanted to order from the dinner menu.

While waiting for our wines, we looked over the menu. We decided to start with an Eggplant Rollatini, which was eggplant wrapped around ricotta cheese and covered with a lovely tomato sauce. For our entrees, we chose the penne alla vodka and the farfalle al granchio, which was a crab and cream based sauce. While waiting for our food to come out, we were served with a huge basket of bread. Then, our appetizers and entrees came out and they were huge, but more importantly, delicious. The eggplant appetizer was great and by the time we were done with that, we were already full. Then the entrees arrived and they were just as good, but we could barely make a dent after the appetizer. However, this was fine as we had leftovers for lunch the next day. All during our meal the service was very attentive and we never lacked for anything. I would have liked to try dessert, but did I mention I was full?

1811 North 15th Street
Tampa, FL 33605

Laughing Cat on Urbanspoon