drjimdolan's Profile

Title Last Reply

Please Critique my Port St Lucie (& Vicinity) List

Flagler Grill has new owners. We're waiting for it to open. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Riverwalk Cafe around the corner from Black Marlin.

Jul 14, 2012
drjimdolan in Florida

Stuart/Jensen Beach/Pt. St. Lucie area?

We live in Stuart. What are you looking for?

Jul 14, 2012
drjimdolan in Florida

Boston to Hyannis in the fall

Thanks for the recs. We'll be staying in Boston for three days at the W hotel and driving to the Cape early on Wednesday afternoon, so we'd be passing Tosca in time for a late lunch. Any fine dining suggestions for Boston?

Boston to Hyannis in the fall

We will be flying into Boston and driving to Hyannis in late October. Any places to eat along the way?
Any suggestions for our route? Thanks.

First visit to Sarasota and Tampa

I've eaten in them in Phoenix, Tampa, Palm Beach Gardens and a couple of other places. For mid-priced chains, they're pretty good and in my experience, consistent.

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Anything Good Around Downtown Tampa Open on Sundays?

And the Spanish Bean (garbanzo, potato and chorizo) soup with a basket of pan y mantequilla and a pitcher of Sangria. Near to heaven.

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Anything Good Around Downtown Tampa Open on Sundays?

Unfortunately for you, Mis en Place is not open on Sunday. It's hands down the best restaurant in the downtown area. O/w don't forget ol' faithful, Valencia Gardens or the Columbia.

-----
Valencia Garden Restaurant
811 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Lunch on drive from FT Myers to Marco Island?

If you want to step out of your dive mentality, Bricktops at the Waterside(/) shops on 41 is excellent.

-----
Bricktop's Restaurant
5555 Tamiami Trl N Ste 18, Naples, FL 34108

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Restaurants in St. Pete

I had a Cuban press sandwich there and my wife had picadillo. Both were very strange and not at all in the "Tampa" style. I always consider Valencia Gardens the gold standard for picadillo and the Columbia or Havana Village the same for a Cuban sandwich with classic Tampa Cuban bread (pan.) My sandwich was on some kind of "baked elsewhere" focaccia done on a pannini style press and the picdillo spicing was so far off I have no idea what they used. We don't plan to go back.

-----
Valencia Garden Restaurant
811 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

First time visitor to Haines City

Why?

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

First visit to Sarasota and Tampa

Beach Bistro is on Anna Maria, the next island north of Longboat. An exception to the chains in Tampa is Seasons 52 at Westshore Plaza. It's a chain in the vein of Houstons and is very good.

-----
Beach Bistro
6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Mar 03, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Best bbq side dishes in Tampa Bay

Collard greens at the Smokin' Rib Joint in Largo.

Feb 09, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

TAMPA Looking for creative cuisine with fresh local ingredients

Bern's Steakhouse. Come on. Bern's has it's own organic gardens and had them before Alice Waters did. It's got a fairly good little wine list too.

-----
Bern's Steakhouse
1002 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

Feb 09, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Driving from Santa Rosa Beach to Orlando

My family is fifth generation Florida Cracker. They were original settlers in Terra Ceia, my great-great grandfather married Madame Joe's niece and is buried in the Gilette Burying Ground. He's the Miguel of Miguel's Bay and Miguel's Island on the south shore of Tampa Bay. The family had a fish house in Palmetto early in the last century. One thing I do know is smoked mullet. Huttton's is genuine.

Feb 09, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Driving from Santa Rosa Beach to Orlando

Don't forget Hutton's Seafood for smoked mullet and deviled crab. It's a food wagon (and that's charitable) on the side of the road on 98 near Sopchoppy. The produce stand adjacent has great boiled peanuts. Can' get more Cracker than that.

Feb 09, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Driving from Santa Rosa Beach to Orlando

What's your route? It makes all the difference in the world. I hope your taking 90 instead of the interstate.

Feb 09, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Destin/Santa Rosa Beach Restaurants

Just to say you have, go to the "Red Door" in Grayton Beach. Wonderfully funky ambienc3 and pretty good food too. Avoid AJ's and the other stuff near Destin pass.

Feb 09, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Tampa/Clearwater for spring training

We live at Sailfish Point and I drive to Tampa frequently. If you go the back way, through Okeechobee and Arcadia via SR 70, which is the most direct route your prospects are bleak. There's a Chili's in Arcadia and that's it. Eat in Stuart before you go. The area in Tampa up West Shore from GS Field to the mall has tons of good places. There's a Season's 52, a Ruth's Chris, Shula's, and many more. There's also great Cuban/Spanish on Columbus Drive, specifically, La Teresita.

Feb 04, 2011
drjimdolan in Florida

Eats in Duluth

We did do Minneapolis this weekend and stayed at the W. Wow, what a scene! Thought I was in South Beach. Manny's was as it has been, awesome. Now, I'm gonna say this cautiously, but Fugaise was "OK." I was anticipating a little higher level of gastronomy -- but Chef Don was great and the service was fine. I know I'm gonna put somebody's panties in a twist, but I bet Don has to cook to the locals taste which -- ok guys, no brickbats -- runs to the bland. Chef Don was very personable, so we're gonna try it again and this time I'm gonna tell him ahead of time to pull out the stops and wow us. I bet he would take the ball and run.

Oct 13, 2008
drjimdolan in Great Lakes

Eats in Duluth

OK. So two weeks has turned into six. Observations so far.
There is plenty of beer battered walleye. "Grandmas" calls itself on one billboard "Walleye's World." Every other bar and grill I've visited has its version. Not a grouper sandwich by a long shot, but not bad either.
Almost everything is crazy bland. Is there a ban on cumin up here? Blind fold me and I couldn't tell you if I was eating chili or not. And salt must be considered sacred since they apparently are afraid to use it.
New Scenic Cafe is very good. A bit rustic, but great chow. Service is OK. Wine list the same. Nokomis is a close second, again with a weak wine list. Bring your own.
Hell's Kitchen Sunday brunch was worth it for the theatrics.
Sarah's Table? Fuhgidaboutit. Awful.
Mount Royal Fine Foods is a great place for high end cheeses and other pinic-y stuff.
Vanilla Bean in Two Harbors for breakfast is a great start for the Lakeshore drive. Great French Toast.
Semi-chain Blackwoods B&G is not bad, but they're a little challenged to understand the difference between rare and medium. Bellisio's is good for wine by the glass and appetizers, o/w its about equal to Olive Garden. 301 in the Sheraton -- stay away -- the night we went it was horrible and the waitstaff completely inept.
Best surprise so far is Caribou Coffee. Blows Starbucks away. Depth Charge with four shots every morning. I'm awake now!
Heading to MSP this weekend with reservations at Fugaise. Really looking forward to that.
As far as the comments about Keys food, you're right. Pierre's and Morada Bay in Isla are great and not dives as is Lazy Days. Beyond that and you're starting to have to reach deep. Fine dining is definately an hour and a half north in Miami.
More from the Northwoods later.

Oct 10, 2008
drjimdolan in Great Lakes

Eats in Duluth

I'm doing a two week assignment in Duluth, MN. My home is in Islamorada, the Keys (right, why the hell am I going to Duluth when everyone wants to come here?) and we dine frequently in Miami at China Grill, Micheles, Chef Allens, etc.. I'm struggling to find high end chow on-line in Duluth. I am not eating beer-battered walleye! Any suggestions fellow Chowhounds? We may do the drive on the lake shore on the weekend.

Sep 08, 2008
drjimdolan in Great Lakes

Martin County/Stuart trip this week

It always was. We loved hanging out at the bar until we could get a table. It actually got better after season, but Stuart's grown so much that probably isn't the case anymore. We were down there often enough that we were "known by name" regulars. One of the great sauces was a banana rum sauce. We couldn't get the recipe, but finally reproduced it best with banana baby food and Bacardi Anejo rum. The kids took to ordering the sauce by the moniker "Gerber and Anejo." The waiters got a kick out of that.

Mar 27, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

Kendall Area Recs Needed

Check further down the booard. I've listed our Upper Keys favorites often before.

Mar 24, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

St. Johns River (rte 17,19), rte 1 toward key west

Keehir, Buzzards Roost has new management and reports are sketchy. I think its OK, but as is always the case in these transitions, time will tell. Other options in Key Largo are Hobo's and for Cuban, Denny's in "downtown" Key Largo just before the highway splits at the CVS.

Mar 21, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

Bonefish Grill

If you're somewhere that doesn't afford availability to really fresh fish then it's not all that bad. They basically take relatively fresh fish and serve it with different sauces. Beware of "altenative names" for fish, especially grouper and snapper that may or not be what you think you are getting. We do love the Bang-Bang Shrimp. All in all, its better than Red Lobster, but it ain't our local places down here where the day boat just off loaded.

Mar 20, 2007
drjimdolan in Chains

Best seafood in upper keys

Buzzards Roost has changed management. Latest reports are less than stellar.

Mar 20, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

Martin County/Stuart trip this week

Black Marlin still open? Anyone know?

Mar 19, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

St. Johns River (rte 17,19), rte 1 toward key west

Geez, Keehir! You are a glutton for punishment. That's the whole dadgum state! Having said that, I'd stay on SR 19 to the turnpike. Particularly the stretch just before you get to the Turnpike, which is incredible, but it's pretty much open country. Your other option from the turnpike, is to go down US 27 to Lake Okechobee, then east to WPB. Haven't made that run much so I'm unfamiliar with watering holes. In the northern stretch, Cracker's BarBQ in the Mandarin/Fruit Cove area has super ribs and 'cue. Blackwater is a good thought. You'll be close to Lake Weir as you are east of Ocala, and Gator Joe's is a fish camp cum hamburger joint suspended over the water where the locals eat. Ma Barker had a shoot-out there. Don't know much about Howie-in-the Hills. There is a winery (Lakeridge) just as you hit the Turnpike that's kind of fun. We make the Turnpike run back to the Keys when we go to see the kids at UF, and it's a long stretch of road. All the stuff it passes in Orlando is chain stuff. The Tiki Hut at the airport in Ft. Pierce is worth a side trip -- one of the best burgers in the state. In Jenson Beach, Conchy Joe's is right on the ICW and has good food in a funky shack on the water. Ask for the corner table over the water, and you can feed the saltwater catfish by tossing crackers over the railing. In Stuart, Black Marlin (in the old town) was a regular night time hang out for us when we kept the boat there. Mates, captains, boat owners milling, telling lies, and a great bar. Fish came off the boat that day. From there, its WPB, Boca and Lauderdale -- none particularly known for down home cookin' -- until the Turnpike dumps into US1 in Florida city. AJ's at the end of Card Sound is OK, kind of a biker place, but OK. If you go there, you'll head into the Keys via CR905. Now you're in our world, the Upper Keys. Right as you come back onto US1, to your left on Garden Cove, is Buzzards Roost. Best Yellowtail ceviche in the world, and great fish sandwiches. Back on US1 heading south, in Key Largo, is Mrs. Mac's, an institution. Beyond that, in Islamorada from north to south, is Morada Bay Beach Cafe (outrageous sunsets) on the Bayside, adjacent to World Wide Sportsman, then Lazy Days, oceanside, just before you leave Upper Matecumbe. Finally, as you come onto Lower Matecumbe, is the Hungry Tarpon at Robbie's Marina. Another favorite. Tell Holly we sent you, then hand feed the tarpon at the marina. From there, there are a few places in Marathon and finally on to Cayo Hueso. Take some snacks and a cooler! You'll need them!

Mar 19, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

St. Augustine - help, please

A1A Aleworks is VERY inconsistent. I'd avoid it. Had tuna once there that was either bonita or a week old, non-sushi grade. For the classic fried shrimp it's Schooner's, O'Steens or Barnacle Bills. We alternated between the three every time we came in from a day offshore fishing when we had the boat there. With a cold brew you can't go wrong at any of them.

Mar 19, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida

Key West Help Needed

We just took a day trip down there from Islamorada. Spring Breakers were in full force. Definately avoid Duval. Also avoid Michaels (off Duval) where we ate on a recommendation. Food was acceptable but way overpriced for the quality. Cafe Marquesa, Louie's are our other favorites. As for Key Lime pie, it's Blonde Giraffe (several locations) hands down. We also enjoy the big open air bar / restaurant in the corner of the marina at A&B/Galleon Marina. The peel and eat shrimp were excellent (both reds and pinks) and the drinks were a healthy pour.

Mar 19, 2007
drjimdolan in Florida