Thank you. That looks perfect and really is convenient. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Since we will be at a large family wedding in Sarasota, we won't have many opportunities to find our own little foodie places. Thanks again. rlc
Same question re lunch not miles from the Tampa airport, heading for Sarasota.
Thanks, I'll check it out.
I like the look of Muss and Turners. However, we are in town only on May 4. Their web site indicates they may not be open. Do you know anything about their schedule? Thanks
that was fast, thanks
We will be in the Smyrna area for one night and are looking for good food in a somewhat casual atmosphere. Both the Horseradish Grill and the Blue Ridge Grill look good. However, I always get nervous when I see an online menu without prices. Is the Blue Ridge comparable to the Horseradish Grill?
Would the Buckhead Diner be comparable in dining experience to the two above?
How much of a drive is it from Smyrna to Buckhead?
Are there places in Smyrna comparable to the Horseradish or Blue Ridge Grill?
And, why, why, do I keep wanting to put the y before the m in Smyrna?
Thank you in advance, rlc
Thank all of you for your responses. I realize that the location was very restrictive. I've sent all of this to my sister-in-law. I would personally choose Middle Grounds and then a sunset drink at The Hurricane, or perhaps just a walk on the beach.
My wife and I had such a wonderful time when we were in your area in February. It was a first visit for us. We got great recommendations from the board and enjoyed ourselves for a week. We will return.
Whoops! Xin Loi. It's St. Pete's Beach. I got confused somewhere along the line. My wife and I were in your general area last February. We stayed on Treasure Island, and ate for a week from there north along the water. Absolutely loved it.
I agree, Treasure Island is not that far. But, sigh, I'm dealing with a wonderful, sweet sister-in-law who seems very nervous about driving from Sarasota, meeting old school friends from Ohio for dinner, and then driving back that night. She seems to have decided that St. Pete's Beach is as far as she can go.
Is there any good seafood you might recommend on St. Pete's Beach? Again, sorry about my mistake.
A relative from Sarasota is meeting four Ohio friends in the St. Pete Island for one evening. She wants good seafood, moderate pricing (say, average $20 entrees), with a good water view. From going through the board it seems there are a few places which fit the good seafood/moderate pricing--Cafe Luna, perhaps Sea Critters. I can't seem to determine what the view is from these two.
Is Crabby Bills a chain? I have an aversion to chains but I am occasionally proved wrong.
I thought Middle Grounds Grill would fit, but it is apparently on Treasure Island and not St. Pete.
Okay, I would not concern myself with the distance but my sister-in-law worries about driving up and back at night. I was in your area last February, stayed on Treasure Island, and ate from there to Tarpon Springs, loved it all, especially Frenchy's on the beach (pardon me if I got the name wrong). I will definitely be back.
The Hurricane seems to have a great view. However, I see few comments on the food.
Are there others on St. Pete you would recommend? I hope I've given you sufficient information. It is a bit difficult when you are looking for someone else. Thank you, rlc
Middle Grounds Grill
I went to Grand Central Oyster many years ago. I had oysters from six or more regions/countries. They all had slightly different tastes, slightly more sweet, more salty, different texture, and so on. Such fun. I miss those business trips to NYC and all the great food there. rlc
My wife and I just returned from a relatively unplanned trip to the Clearwater/St. Pete area. Chowhound provided some great suggestions for fresh, local, casual seafood.
Wednesday, Jan 20, we landed in Sanford, picked up our rental car, and immediately drove to Rick & Lee's Oyster Bar. We split a dozen raw oysters, one fried oyster platter and one fried shrimp platter. The raw was outstanding, and we should have ordered the bucket. The fried platters were good, fresh, but somehow not quite on the same scale as the raw. Fries and slaw were decent. The atmosphere was good neighborhood divey, and our server was delightful.
Arrived at our Treasure Island hotel, that evening. Got lost a bit getting there, tired, but felt like we should go out. The only place close by was Middle Grounds Grill. Had not read about it. Sat in the bar and each had an excellent Key West Chowder. AND, it happened to be half-price wine bottle night. Two bottles of Cake Bread later, we felt much more relaxed. Great bar, wonderful service.
Thursday, we went to Frenchy's Rockaway Grill. Wow, what a wonderful meal, and what a view. We each had had a bowl of seacrab soup. This may be one of the best soups/chowders I have ever had. Also had conch fritters--quite good. Then split a Super Grouper sandwich. Just wonderful, but too stuffed.
Friday, lunch at Waltz. I had hesitated due to several Chowhound comments regarding staff attitudes. We were lucky, and had wonderful service. We each had conch chowder, perfect for a very foggy day. We split an order of fried oysters--light, delicate tasting. Also split a quite good piece of key lime pie. Walked around John's Pass after wards and listened to music outside at the Bamboo Beach Bar & Grill.
Friday evening--Keegans. Shecrab soup very good, but not quite as flavorful as Frenchy's. Grouper sandwich actually better, somehow sweeter than Frenchy's. A fun, very casual cafe with great staff.
Saturday, our Sarasota relatives arrived. Back to Frenchy's. Long afternoon wait this time, not as good a table, very loud. Nevertheless, soup and grouper were as good as ever. And waiting with a beach view is not a bad wait. Lots of cute toddlers playing in the sand.
Sunday, had planned brunch at St. Pete Hyatt. Changed plans to stay more casual. Guppy's provided excelled lobster bisque, sampler with tuna, shrimp, oyster. MC had crab burger, quite good but compare with Baltimore.
Monday--only bad meal of the trip. Drove to Tarpon Springs. One of our group didn't care for Greek food. Planned on Rusty Belly, did not know it was closed on Monday. Counter person in connected seafood store recommended Paul's Shrimp House. Chowder so-so, grouper sandwich thin, overcooked, and much too battered. Did get good pastry at a Greek bakery afterwards.
Enjoyed walking around the Tarpon Springs area. Full of tourists, just like us, but fun.
Tuesday AM, back to Keegans. Wanted Frenchy's, but tight schedule, had to drive back to Sanford for plane. MC had oyster poboy, and pronounced it almost as good as Old Thyme Grocery in Lafayette, La. I had outstanding charred octopus, followed by an interesting Grouper Ruben. I'm not sure the grouper can stand up to Ruben dressings. Still, very interesting taste. Wonderful, friendly service.
Tuesday evening, back to Sanford, walked around historic district. Had a beer in the Alley, reminded me of places in Fells Point, Baltimore. Dinner in Two Blondes and A Shrimp. Went for the she crab soup, and they were out. Had good fried green tomatoes, and raw oysters. Good food, great staff.
Early, early Wed AM, fly back to KY to wet, gray weather. Great trip.
Great trip. Would go back in a heartbeat. rlc
My wife and I need a quick R&R. Normally that means a two hour trip to to Louisville or Nashville. We find good food in each, ranging from great bar food to rather good upscale offerings.
It occurred to me this morning that our small local airport recently added roundtrip flights to Orlando. All I know about Orlando is what I gleaned from this morning on this board. We both love food, but oddly enough don't get that excited about Chinese or Indian. Hmm, though my favorite Louisville place is asian fusion or however it is defined these days.
Anyway, Lee & Ricks sounds like a definite stop (we are both originally from Louisiana, and love good, local seafood).
Old School Coffee Stop sounds like fun, but the link didn't connect. Is it still available?
The Ravenous Pig sounds very interesting. I'll try to find their menu online to get a better idea of what they offer.
Does Sunshine Bakery offer conch stew? Also, for bbq, is it Bubbalous, Cecil's ,or the Smokehouse?
Is Sanford as interesting as the Heather McPherson column would suggest?
Urban Deli sounds like fun. We use to love Louie's Bookstore Cafe in Baltimore.
The only reference I saw re burgers was Johnny's Filling Station. Are there other great neighborhood burger/beer places?
Any great bar food specials/wine nights/live blues or jazz?
This idea just came up this morning, so we don't yet have a hotel. Nevertheless, we will rent a local car and don't mind driving if the food is interesting, or sometimes just if the drive/view is worthwhile.
Okay, I go on much too long. Hopefully I've provided enough info to give you a vague idea of our interests. I've never considered myself as knowing enough to be a foodie, but have been known to spend several weeks planning our trips back from Ky to La, rarely going the direct route.
Thanks guys. I enjoyed reading through the board today. Now I have to get back to work.