Old Northeastern Tavern

This neighborhood restaurant seems like  a well-kept secret.  Located on 7th Ave. N. and 2nd Street N. in St. Petersburg, this restaurant is a unique change from the normal chain restaurants along 4th Street. It’s more expansive than it looks at first glance because you might not notice it has more than one dining room. it offers booths with nice floral arrangements on each table. The atmosphere is inviting and reminiscent of a northern local favorite. The menu is limited, but very interesting. Their recipes offer combinations of the traditional sandwiches like ham and cheese to more exotic choices like quesadillas. Take a walk on the wild side and try something new! It might surprise you. The price ($8.00 to $15.00 for an entree) is cheap for the quality of food. They serve alcohol and I think it is more bar-like at night. The service is also good and they give you all you need without hassling you. It is a great place to bring friends for a nice lunch. They only drawback is that the parking is only along the street and it could be sparse during busy hours.

Salt Rock Grill and Trivia about Largo Narrows

July 26, 2009

Everyone knows the food at  Salt Rock Grill is delicious; but don’t miss  the  natural atmosphere. It’s worth giving up air conditioning.  We ate on the Patio about a month ago and watched as a boat pulled up to the restaurant’s dock and two couples hopped off. The sky was that deep blue just before sunset and a warm orange light made everything glow. I felt like I was part of a photo shoot for Architectural Digest or Gourmet Magazine, the scene was  so idyllic. The evening we were there, a school of dolphin swam up and down the Intracoastal Waterway along The Largo Narrows. The Largo Narrows is a mangrove tract that Pinellas County purchased around 1984 to save it from development.  I remember this story because I worked for the Evening Independent in 1984.  At the time, I covered Indian Rocks Beach and the Town of Belleair. Patsy  Pressley (she wrote the story I linked to) covered Largo. We worked in the same one-room news bureau. I’m glad the county commissioners were forward thinking enough to save this environmentally sensitive land so I could enjoy it 25 years later!

Parasailing

This post is from Hilary, my beach sports correspondent!

Yesterday, I went parasailing with my 5 friends, and it was a blast! For most of us, this was our first time, and we were a combination of nervous and excited. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, and I didn’t really understand how they took off and landed us without hurting us. We agreed to meet at 10:45 to head out around 11. Of course, when we finally got out there, on the boat, it was a little later than that, but it wasn’t a problem. My friend Iman’s hotel the Dolphin Beach Resort has a parasailing company that works in front of their hotel on the beach, so we went to that one. We had to sign waivers, and once that was done we waded about knee deep into the water to get on to the boat, which was waiting in the water. They instructed us to sit in pairs of 2 since each ride consisted of 2 people. Dylan and Courtney were first, and they got lifejackets on and sat in harnesses and went to sit on the back of the boat, where there was a landing area. They had to sit on their butts and then away the boat went. There was a pulley system that either let out or brought in the rope connected to the 2 seats and parachute. When they came back down, they landed gracefully in the same place they took off from. Erica and I were next, and not as scared since we saw how it worked. The whole process was smooth, and we didn’t even touch the water, which was nice. Once we were up there, it was like we were just sitting in a swing-chair in the sky. We could see up and down the coast and across the bay. The ride was very gentle and I could barely tell we were moving. Landing was no issue either. Lastly, Iman and Emily went up. They said they saw a turtle while they were up there. Overall the experience was fun, not scary at all, and the weather was beautiful. It made for a nice day and a fun experience!

-Hilary

Wish You Were Here!

On July 8th, I took a whirlwind tour of 13 Tampa attractions compliments of TAP – Downtown Tampa Attractions Association.  Our attraction “ambassadors” all were happy to brag about their little corner of  fun. What a dedicated bunch! It was great to see Tampa’s attractions all in one day and it reminded me of all the cool things we have to do here. The following picture gallery shows scenes from some of our stops: Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa Theatre, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Plant Museum, Tampa Museum of Art, Hyde Park Village, Tampa History Museum, The Florida Aquarium, American Victory Ship, Riverwalk, Yacht Starship and Splitsville! Yes, we did ALL that in one day! But I don’t recommend it. Plan to stay a couple of days if you’re going to do all this!

Look at all the stuff we did in one day in Tampa!+

Look at all the stuff we did in one day in Tampa!+

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Boca Ciega neighborhood fireworks!

Every year I join other neighbors to watch the fireworks show of three beach communities. From our vantage point on Sunset Drive, in St. Petersburg, near the Treasure Island Bridge, we can see fireworks from St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island and Madeira Beach. Last night there was a great breeze, perfect for shooting fireworks, boating, and barbecuing by the Bay. Here are a few pictures – the quality isn’t great because they were taken with an iPhone at about 9:00 p.m. Actually, they are pretty good considering these are phone photos!

Dockside is real Florida seafood dining

Life on the Pinellas Beaches slows down in June and July. As a local, I love it because the traffic lightens up and the beach becomes that lazy summer vacation spot I remember from my childhood. This week the temperatures have been cool because we’ve had steady rain that just might bring us out of our long drought. I hope so! My pool is over-flowing anyway. This is also a good time to go to local seafood restaurants. I went to Sea Critters on the Intracoastal Waterway side of Pass-A-Grille recently. It’s one of the few places where boaters can pull up along the dock (although, I didn’t pull up in my boat :-0). It looks like an old Florida fishing cottage from the outside. The theme is continued inside with picnic tables covered with plastic tablecloths. The day I went, I sat outside on the deck (as I said, the temps have been cooler than normal). A young couple at the table across the aisle ate while their adorable two-year-old played nearby. No one at this restaurant expected him to sit still in a chair! My husband had the crab cakes – nice and light ($18.99). I had the Seafood Pasta ($19.99). The food was yummy and there was enough to bring home for lunch the next day. No doubt about it, seafood on the waterfront tastes better. Pass – A- Grille has several good restaurants to sample. I think I’ll try the new pizza place next time I’m out this way.