Monday, June 28, 2010

Gulfport Cafe--Gulfport

Who wants to go back to Sal's Town Shore??...and the chorus chimes in YES!     
Remember Sal's?  He is no longer with us and the family has renamed it
Gulfport Cafe!

What a great neighborhood place.   Open for breakfast and lunch only but what a nice place to meet and greet in the morning.   It was fun to renew old friendships over coffee and review yesterday's events.  And who couldn't pass up the Breakfast Special of Two eggs, hash browns, home fries, tomato slices and toast for only $2.75!   I couldn't go through any drive by for that price!    The Omelets start at $3.95 for cheese and range to $5.75 for the Western.    English Muffins or homemade crumpets were an additional .65.  

The Lunch Menu appears to be complete at great prices also.   So glad that our condo is just around the easy to stroll down and enjoy a great meal in a clean, friendly restaurant!  

Loved all the little chackas!

Gulfport Cafe  is in a little nondescript strip mall..but try not missing it!   If you will be sorry.  

Sal's Town Shore on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 27, 2010


What a great lunch!!   I just love waterfront patio joints!   O'Maddys fits the bill for this one.   Right next to the Williams Pier in Gulfport...who could ask for anything more?

We started with   great appetizers including HURRICANE NUGGETS, JULIE’S CALAMARI SALAD, and BEER BATTERED ONION RINGS.   Rounds of beer and cocktails ensued.   

And on to lunch...the Black n Blue Salad, Crab Cake Sandwich, and the Grouper Sandwich.   Great fresh seafood, nice wait person who attended to everything we needed...and more!     All items were priced under $12 so the meal was worth the deal.  

The BEST part...the outdoor patio.   I love the friendliness of the staff.  They made us feel really comfortable and had us chatting with other guests before we left.   

Great Patio Dining!

O'Maddy's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sea Horse--St. Pete Beach

I have had too many friends recommend this diner...and it really is what I would call a diner.  Breakfast and Lunch and NO dinner show!  Sounds a little old fashioned, but Sea Horse has remained the best food on Pass a Grille Drive.  I must say I find the "locals" restaurants some of the best you can enjoy! 

Walked into the front door...packed as we expected since there was only one parking space on the side of the building.  That was our first "good sign" since bad restaurants are always empty!   But then again...that is just my personal observation.

Comfortable Casual Dining!

We began with the Smoked Fish Spread at 6.95.   Nice treat for an appetizer.   Next...on to the Cuban Black Bean soup.  Nicely done, but I though a dash of salt helped.  We all continued with the Grouper platter, the Bacon Cheeseburger and the Crab Cake sandwich.  All the sandwiches were accompanied with fries or Cole slaw.   I chose Cole slaw since I still am "lo carbing" and everyone else enjoyed the fries.  I didn't care for the Cole slaw...a little too "commercial", but the fries were pretty good. 

All in all...the Sea Horse remains a good value....and I need to hit the breakfast menu next time.  Good food...but a busy place...expect to wait for a table.   The locals know the drill!  

Sea Horse on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mountain Lodge--Gatlinburg

I had the best roasted chicken club today!! It was under six bucks.....and made with REAL HOME MADE wheat bread. Plate filled with chips. 

My vegetarian guest had the Pinto Bean bowl with corn bread, out of this world biscuits and rolls...lots of butter. Cole Slaw on the side for both of us. This WAS the epitome of real Southern food. And we were in Gatlinburg! 

Enjoyed the lunch..but wish that I had tried the daily meat loaf special with two sides...this choice under 7 bucks. They serve a daily lunch special every day. Open for early breakfast and close at 3PM.   No dinner show here....get here early for the fried chicken, scrambled eggs and mouth watering biscuits and gravy!  

Mountain Lodge is out on the east parkway...not near the "hub bub" of Gatlinburg and this is why the "locals" eat here.  Parking can be hard to aquire...but the effort is worth it.  When they say "homemade"...they mean it.   Cinnamon Rolls and Peach Cobbler will make you drive 50 miles to enjoy.  

Look for the Marquee heading out of Gatlinburg to Newport....on the left across from the banks.  

Mountain Lodge on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chez Guevara--Knoxville

What a Welcome!  As soon as we entered Front Door, a charming hostess jumped  to her feet to greet us.....warm, friendly but not gushing.  I had not been to Chez Guevara since the transformation from LaPaz.  And that has to be at least 15 years?....can't remember, but it has been a very long time.  

Being Father's Day, I was concerned about the three of us being seated promptly.  We were immediately escorted to the main dining room and all the great memories of LaPaz returned...including seeing staff members that were still present.  

The very colorful Dining Room has remained exactly the same....and as soon as they delivered the chips and salsa, I knew that we would be enjoying another incarnation of LaPaz.   Their verde salsa was just as remembered but I believe they have improved the red sauce with a more smoky chipolte  flavor.   The salsa was rich &  flavorful.   We all enjoyed the hotter version they make.  

We started with a carafe of margaritas.  That went quickly and we needed to order another carafe.   They were good...but I was a little taken back when we received our bill and the two carafes were $45.00.  A little pricey for me.  

Our server was attentive and helps us order our entrees.   We three ordered the Puebla, ($10.95) a chicken dish with mole, The Cozumel, ($10.95) a pork verde burrito,  spinach enchilada, and a chili relleno.    I chose the Zapnins,  ($11.95) a deep fried chimi with King Crab.  We all were pleased with the flavors but the presentation was disheveled.   The plates arrived quickly from the kitchen, but looked a little messy. 

King Crab Chimi with Rice & Frijoles

All in all, the food was good...but not what I would call exceptional Mexican cuisine.  I would go back for lunch, if I was in the area...but unfortunately, they are not open for lunch.   


Chez Guevara on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 14, 2010


Plunging to a new level of pedestrian!     

Ordered THE ZENSATION®............sorry but it didn't even tickle my taste buds.  The description from the web site....Chicken Fingerz with mixed greens, red cabbage, carrots and crispy wonton strips, topped with Asian slaw and drizzled with a honey sesame glaze. Served with Citrus Vinaigrette and a tasty veggie egg roll.  That sounds sooooo good!

I didn't get that.....I got spit out factory salad greens.....clumps of Asian slaw, too many carrots for consumption, soggy wontons, honey sesame glaze that was ALL sesame oil and the citrus vinaigrette that was...the only word I can think of was "icky".    Tasty veggie egg roll was only in their dreams.   Just remember at  Zaxby...tasty equates to mediorce.  

I just remembered why I don't do fast was expensive and I recall dining in "cloth" napkin restaurants for just a few pennies more.   Never again....will I darken their door.  

Celebrity endorsements only go to prove that they will say anything as a media whore.   They are PAID to read scripts.  

Zaxby's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pottery House Cafe & Grille--Pigeon Forge, TN

I am not one to seek out dining in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN  area.   During the spring and summer season, the tourist business makes the trip very slow.  One of my clients requested that I come to the area, so I made the trip.   After finishing our meeting, she suggested that we go to her favorite restaurant.   I asked where...and she told me Pottery House Cafe & Grille.   I had never heard of this place since it is in the heart of Pigeon Forge, the outlet shopping mecca of East Tennessee.

My first though....there won't be any place to park.   We drove to the restaurant and in front of us was our parking place...right in front of the restaurant.   After looking at the building, I was impressed.   Very beautiful architecture.  This building originally was the showroom of prominent potter and craftsman Douglas Ferguson.  This residence has been carefully renovated to maintain its architectural integrity and significance.  The Old Mill along with other features draw a large tourist  crowd and the attraction is very nice.

The Entrance

The Entrance is a beautiful park like setting....very comfortable with large shade trees and well manicured plantings.

Now getting on to the food.  We were promptly greeted and requested a table on their beautiful patio.   It was a little warm and humid, but the shade trees provided a luxurious setting.     We proceeded with the Lunch Menu.   Dinner is served from 4 until 9PM. 

I had to try the Quiche du jour which was the traditional Quiche Lorraine.  My dining companion choose the tomato soup and half club sandwich.   The very first thing I noticed when our food arrived was the aroma of the tomato was heavenly scented.  Thick and rich.   The club sandwich featured Layers of Ham & Turkey with Apple Smoked Bacon, Swiss & American on their home made Multi Grain Bread.   Quite a treat.    The Quiche on the other hand was nice...but the crust was a little industrial.   It just didn't appear to be made on premises.   The flavors of the filling were good...and the side salad with full of flavor.  

Tomato Soup with Half Club

Quiche Lorraine with House Salad

When we entered the restaurant, the front counter displayed their dessert choices of the day.   I was a little put off on their display method.   All the desserts were covered in plastic...looked like the cafeteria food at an elementary school.  They need to work on this.   

All in all, the food and ambiance was comfortable.   I liked the food but I wouldn't make a special trip to return unless I was in the area.   The Lunch Menu was a value and they also feature a children menu.  Beer & Wine also available.  

Pottery House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Casa Don Gallo--West Knoxville

The Entrance

I have enjoyed a few lunches and dinners at Casa Don Gallo.   The reason is good food and very moderate costs!   Today's experience was no exception.  

Most of the times for lunch, it has been quiet and enjoyable.   Today was the exception since school is out.   The place was packed with mothers and their children.  Very the point I though I was in the sixth row of the West Hills Elementary school bus.  That didn't deter my enjoyment.  

Nice Chips and Good Salsa

The serving staff is very prompt even when "slammed" with customers.  My server was quick, charming with all guests even though some were being very demanding.   He deserved a medal for his tack and valor.  

Huevos Rancheros
My lunch plate of Huevos Rancheros was delivered very quickly.  I was a little disappointed the eggs were over cooked.  I enjoy this dish with the eggs "sunny side" up.  But that didn't detract from the flavor. The Rancheros "sauce" was flavorful, but I needed to add a couple of dashes of salt.   Rice and beans were served as a modest portion but for the Lunch Special price of $6.54 including tax.  I find it to be  very reasonable for a West Knoxville lunch.   

Casa Don Gallo has a very cheery interior.   Nicely decorated and very welcoming.   I enjoy this place...and will continue to patronize this friendly restaurant.  

Casa Don Gallo on Urbanspoon