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imthedecidah's Profile

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Foodies coming to St. Petersburg, FL.. Help!

I too am heading into St. Pete for a one to two night stay - would like hotel and food recommendations for solo visitor. I thought about staying out at beach (PCI), but it looks like all the nightlife and restaurants are in town.

May 03, 2011
imthedecidah in Florida

Key West - Masshole's Take

Have spent two weeks over Christmas and New Years' in Key West sampling the chow - good stuff, pricey for what it is (slightly above average food), but worth the nickel b/c the atmosphere is worth the premium - I thought I'd log a report: The best find for us has been a new fish market located on Eaton Street along with The Paradise Cafe on same street (around Grinell cross street), Louis Backyard and Pepe's Steakhouse. Paradise Cafe has great sandwiches - always ask for "toasted" as they are way too overstuffed to manage in the un-pressed state (plus the cuban bread taste better with a little hardness to the bite). They also have good cuban coffee, but its really the sammys that are worth the trip (they deliver also). Louis Backyard was a very nice spot for dinner - request Stacy and table 41 if you think of it - nice outside w/sound of the waves lapping the shore to go with the good seafood and reasonable wine list. Pepe's is well worth the trip - steaks were just OK, but the scene is worth the price of admission x2 - great drinks (fresh squeezed juices) and very, very reasonable prices (my mom and I split the pork chop smothered steak for two - much better than splitting a doughnut!). As for markets, the Eaton Street Fish Market was our saviour since we came down here avec la grand famiglia and wanted to utilize the gourmet kitchen our private house rental afforded. The proprietors, Andrea and Sean, kept us healthy and happy in fresh black grouper, yellow tail and "devil's on horseback" (ie, a key west pink prawn bathed in horseradish and wrapped in bacon). On NYE they prepared Stone Crabs for us and cracked them also - great with champagne! Also, don't visit w/o buying the smoked fish dip - great on Carrs crackers - which they also sell. Fausto's Market was another good local market - open "everyday" - that's full of good wines, meats, produce and the nice little gourmet goodies that accompany a lovingly prepared meal. The best Key Lime Pie we found was at the Blond Giraffe, but most of the pie places down by the wharf area had great stuff also (we preferred the merrang topping to the whipped cream). As for sunsets - again go to Louis Backyard - they have a great bar called the Afterdeck - one the water, which is uncrowded compared to Mallory Square and serves good stiff drinks. One other place worth visiting was Schooner Wharf - down and dirty bar and barfood. Can't wait to return!

Jan 02, 2008
imthedecidah in Florida

Key West Christmas/New Years

Heading to Key West for a multi-generation family Christmas/New Year and hoped to get some great recommendations from the FLA board on 10 -12 evening destinations (for cocktails & meals) - as well as any favorite breakfast/lunch "must visits".

Best local gourmet market to provision house?

I am sure the reservation books are filling, so please help a Boston Hound find the right places to enjoy while visiting.

- Also, anyone know of a good boat rental agency on Key West?

Dec 10, 2007
imthedecidah in Florida

Sage Menu Recommendations

In follow up to my Sage visit (cod cake, lobster gnochi, smoke duck ...and hamachi sashimi b/c I couldn't resist seeing if it was like Mario's Essca in NYC) BTW, no rabbit, nor short rib...

I guess I am looking for something Italian with more robust flavors than what I found at Sage: the cod cake on smoked tomato juis was interesting, but the fish cake really lacked punch - it was more a mashed potato-like vehicle for the sauce with all taste of cod long blended out. The lobster gnochi stood up to the recommendations here, on Chow, and was tasty. However, my smoked duck was a major disappointment - especially since I asked our server, on one of the two times he visited our table, what he thought really showcased the chef's style. Skip the sashimi - tasted like mandarin orange slices from a can.

Having said all that, I think it would be a fine place to eat at the bar - maybe just a pasta dish and salad next time. The wine list is nice and has some good values.

Anyone have a restaurant recommendation for the type of Italian cooking that reduces the true ingridiances' flavors down into a robust "stick to your ribs" and satisfying meal?

Sage Menu Recommendations

Going to Sage for 1st time - I've searched boards - aside from Rabbit, gnochii and short rib any recommendations?

Legal's Test Kitchen Any Good??

All I can say is that LTK serves it purpose in the newest part of southie, offering a pleasant place to meet for a drink in a very barren part of southie - Salvatore's is next door and they have a "quieter" bar - a great place to have a quite man's drink or two and watch sports on the huge flat screens w/o loud massholes. My wife and I live in the complex and often find its just easier to head downstairs for a drink, some edimame and grilled fish than to try and cook at home - since trips to the grocery are quite a time commitment. At LTK, I recommend staying away from all of the "sauced" items... they all taste the same w/the addition of the ethnic master spice added to the base sauce (truly, I believe LTK uses the same sauce base for each dish) - plus these dishes are usually over sauced and heavy/thick tasting in the mouth. Its also hard to believe that the oysters are not better since we are across the street from the Boston Fish Pier - like everyother posting, if you want shellfish go to Neptune or B&G - back to LTK, stay with the grilled fish, request a light EVO basting. If you want a great salad - go to Salvatore's - both their salad offerings are excellent and large enough to share. Both have decent wine lists by the glass.