Friday, April 27, 2012

The Hangar Restaurant--St. Petersburg

After a great afternoon at the Dali, it was time for supper.  I love being able to walk in downtown St. beautiful.  The group suggested The Hanger we walked over.  

Arrived around 6PM and there were lots of tables available.  We chose a high top in the bar where the runway was visible.   Nice quiet area but it was very cold in the restaurant and I don't notice that often.  

View of the Bar from our Lounge Table
Our server was on the spot...but we wanted to enjoy our beverages and chat about the Dali.  Soon, our server was suggesting entrée items and they all sounded great.   We decided on salads and more drinks.  

The House Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing

The Caesar Salad
Salads were very well presented...crisp, fresh and the accompanying bread was very good.  

Mussel Bowl featuring Smoked bacon, Blue cheese and Ale
Grilled Salmon with Polenta and Artichokes

I was feeling very adventuresome and had my server surprise me with their choice.  They presented a nice chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and topped with a very nice cream sauce.  

Grilled Chicken was Roasted Asparagus

The entire experience was good...but very predictable.  Nothing stellar, but good. The Hangar Restaurant would be a place to return for a burger and a beer. 

The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Habana Cafe--Gulfport

One of my dining goals in St. Pete this year was the Habana Cafe.  I have been wanting to eat here for a number of years.   The reason not for stopping sooner is the crowded parking.  The restaurant sits on a major thru street and it is busy, busy.    We were driving by and there was an empty parking spot right in front!!   Time to get in there before the spot was gone.  

Habana Cafe is a busy place since they also have a cigar lounge in the back.  You do NOT have to walk through there if you are sensitive.  So glad that Florida like Tennessee is now non smoking in restaurants.  

The first floor was packed but we were escorted to the balcony for an immediate table. 

The Nightly Special Menu
Our server was a pleasant and attentive person.  She immediately returned to the table with drinks, etc.   We chatted about the menu and my friend wanted the Cuban Sandwich.  It looked very good.   I was in an adventurous mood and asked my server to surprise me with their choice. 

Spanish Salad
Iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green olives, feta cheese, and Parmesan cheese with our special salad dressing

And for my surprise!


 The Habana Cafe's Sampler Platter turned into one of my favorite meals in the whole area!   In the top left was sautéed chicken with a creamy dill sauce.  (This was also featured in the Daily Special Menu above).  Wonderful flavor.   Next, on the top right, was the roast pork with the traditional Mojo sauce.  The bottom left was the shrimp in a nice butter/caper sauce.  Rice and freshly chopped onion for the black beans in the center finished off the perfect Cuban meal.    My server finished off the treat with Cream Cheese Flan......and all of this was only $16.95!    Can't wait to try this restaurant again....and soon.  

Fun Place and Great Food

Habana Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lee's Crab Trap II--Ellenton

While running around like a tourist we stopped in Ellenton to visit in the shops etc.  I did ask one shop keeper for a lunch recommendation and she said Lee's Crab Trap.  It was easy to find since it was right off 75 @ Memphis Road.  We pulled in about 12:30 and the place was quiet.  

Our server seated us at an indoor waterside table.  Quite nice, but a heavy touristy interior.  

Our server stopped by the table for drinks and was prompt on the return to the table.  He told us about the daily specials on the docket.  We decided on the Oyster Stew, Salad, and I asked the server to surprise me with my entreé.  He returned to the table with crab cakes, Cole slaw and sweet potato wedges. 

Nice stew with lots of oysters
Crab Cakes with Sweet Potato fries

Our lunch was a real bargain...tasty and fresh.   My crab cakes were full of crab but a little on the dry side.  A little more butter, a splash of Tabasco  in the sauté pan would have suited my palette.  Lee's is the kind of place I would return to again for more exploration of the menu. 

The Daily Specials

And a final Word of Warning!

Lee's Crab Trap II on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parkshore Grille--St. Petersburg

Parkshore's Valet Parking is a convenient.  Christen had taken our reservation by email a month earlier and when we approached the Host Stand, they were ready for our 12:30 PM Easter Buffet seating.  

Our Server, Matt immediately greeted us and took our drink order.  Neither of us had been to Parkshore Grill before, so it was time to review the extensive menu. 

Our drinks arrived immediately and we decided on the Easter Buffet for $50.00 per person.  We had choices for appetizer, soup or salad, entreé, and dessert.  Sounded great, so we chose that special option.  

Shrimp Appetizer
Oysters on the Hall Shell

Our appetizers were delicious!

Spring Green Pea Soup
Lovely Greens with Spiced Pecans & Dried Cranberries

And it was time for our entreés.  We waited....waited...and waited.  Meanwhile, dining guests around us were enjoying their food and drink.   We waited...ordered another round of drinks.  Fortunately, we were deep in conversation and the time did fly by, but after all....we were getting ready to be served.  Matt returned to our table and informed us that my chicken entreé was not ready and he apologized.  He guaranteed us that the wait would be no longer than 8 or 9 minutes.  It took just about that amount of time. 

Sea Scallops with Risotto and Tomato Relish

My long delayed Roast Chicken with Sweet Potato

My dining companion and great friend tells me the Scallops were perfect....and they did look delicious.  My Chicken was OK but really had the overtone of being roasted at a different time and reheated for my enjoyment.  I didn't enjoy it ......just wasn't what I would have expected with this level of dining.  

Our desserts arrived and also were a little disappointing.   The carrot cake obviously had been sitting somewhere for a while...not sure but I believe the liquid once was ice cream.  My chocolate panna cotta and a little "dry".  

The Carrot Cake in a pool of something

The Chocolate Panna Cotta....very ordinary

Matt returned to our table to apologize.  Most people that were seated at our time had finished their meals and had left.  He advised us that he would speak to the management about our less than stellar dining experience.  After returning to the table, he gave us a 20% discount on the total bill.  His offer was satisfactory..but I would have expected a little a full refund on the chicken!  

Here is the ticket from the Easter Buffett and
notice the check was closed out at 2:37..two hours and 17 minutes
after our arrival.     Sorry Parkshore, you need to do better than this!

Parkshore Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tangelo's Grille--Gulfport

This was my first time visit to Tangelo's in Gulfport.  From what I have heard, this is their new location, heavy in a Bohemian overtone.  

I must confess...I was in search of for a WiFi connection so I walked in and was seated immediately.  Nice surrounding.  

Bright and Cheery Interior.  

My server appeared and offered some of their Draft Specials...after all, it is Florida and 83F outside.  I left Tennessee at 55F so the difference was wonderful. 

One of the first things that caught me eye was The Pumpkin Fritters with a Carib dipping sauce.  I love this place already!  

Spicy and SO Jamaican in flavor...YUM!
I finished all my fritters and draft while enjoying the internet.  On to the main lunch special featured today....Mojo Chicken Breast @  $6.50.  It was a marinated grilled chicken breast with  garlic mayo, Swiss cheese & sliced cherry peppers.   Good sandwich for sure.    I would return on my next visit to Gulfport.      

Colorful....and very friendly place to enjoy. 

Tangelo's Grille on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ming Tree--Knoxville

Ming Tree is very OUT of our way...but so convenient when motoring to McGee/Tyson Airport.  They are just across the busy Alcoa Highway.  

My last visit was more than a year ago and I looked forward to a return visit.  This recent experience was OK...but nothing stellar.  With today's visit, I didn't see any Asian employees...most appeared to be Mexican or local Alcoaians. 

The traditional choices for Asian food it to have the Hot/Sour Soup and an Egg Roll.  Our server delivered right on schedule..but my...the soup was lacking on all fronts.  Temperature wise, it was fine the the "hot" and the "sour" just simply missing.  The soup lacked any sense of flavor.   The egg roll remained very institutional in appearance..almost appearing factory made.  Flavor was minimal. 

Hot/Sour Soup

Egg Roll

Orange Beef

Kung Pao Chicken
On to our entreés...which were Kung Pao Chicken and Orange Beef.  The Chicken was very good.  We both enjoyed the flavors.  And on to the Orange Beef.  No orange flavor....not spicy at all and the beef was large chunks of tough beef.  I did manage to chew through it all but I must say this would have to be my last trip to the Ming Tree.  

Ming Tree on Urbanspoon