Pier 22 on the Downtown Bradenton Waterfront

June 22, 2015

IMG_4430.JPGBRADENTON – Florida is filled with waterfront restaurants, and one of the more delightful is Pier 22 in downtown Bradenton. Located in a handsome 1928 building, the sitting is historic, unfussy and unpretentious.

Breezes are usually plentiful, and the marina is filled with gorgeous cabin cruisers. Read more

Must Stop BBQ in Ellenton: Hickory Hollow

April 30, 2015

Hickory Hollow EllentonELLENTON – On Interstate 75, stop at the Ellenton exit on the Manatee River. Just about a half mile south on Route 301 is Hickory Hollow Bar-b-que, a great place to stop for local atmosphere, and of course, great bbq.

Thankfully, they do not accept checks or credit cards.

You can visit their site at It’s hilarious too; they say the head is “usually taken by local hoodlums” but returned.

A must stop.

Revolving St. Pete Beach Restaurant

April 7, 2015

11098184_455406561290208_340477217_nST. PETE BEACH – There are fewer and fewer revolving restaurants in the U.S. It is not an easy place to run a restaurant. The food has to usually be cooked elsewhere, the motors often break and the staff has to deal with a clientele that sorta wants to eat, but also wants to ride.

So it is with great appreciation that there is still a revolving restaurant in St. Pete Beach. The restaurant is atop the Grand Plaza Hotel, situated near the Sirata and capturing the best view on the Gulf Coast.

The food is good, and reasonably priced. They are in the midst of a renovation, which will open up a deck just below the revolving restaurant.

The hotel was originally a Holiday Inn, built in the early 1970s, and it has aged well, though it does need to go back to its roots as a wacky artifact of the Jetsons and Sputnik era, and stop trying to be something it is not. For instance, the portecochère has a look that is 1980s from the street side, but when you stand under it, its a grand concrete arch worthy of the TWA Flight Center.

As we visited Easter Sunday, workers were busy fixing the outdoor deck, and with a hoped for opening date of sometime in late spring, 2015.

And just to remind. The view is spectacular; you can see clear over to the Sunshine Skyway.

We are curious if any have any history they want to share on the hotel, including its time as a Holiday Inn. Please share below.

MIA’s Versailles, Icebox Top Airport Restaurants

May 1, 2014

MIAMI – Two Miami airport restaurants are some of the top airport restaurants in the world.

Icebox and Versailles are on Icebox-Cafe1-300x200The Daily Meal’s list of the 31 Best Airport Restaurants Around the World is the culmination of a six-month-long nomination process, wherein a preliminary list of more than 100 restaurants was measured against two categories (cuisine and style/décor/service).

Ice Box made a name on South Beach for its fresh ingredients and local sourcing, and carried that over to Miami Airport in 2010.

Below are the top 20.

  1. Porta Gaig (El Prat del Llobregat, Barcelona)
  2. Salt Lick BBQ (Austin-Bergstrom International Airport)
  3. Tortas Frontera (Chicago O’Hare International Airport)
  4. Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar (Amsterdam Airport Schiphol)
  5. Obrycki’s (Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport)
  6. Crust (LaGuardia Airport, New York City)
  7. Five Guys (Dulles International Airport, Washington, DC)
  8. Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda (LaGuardia Airport, New York City)
  9. Encounter (Los Angeles International Airport)
  10. Legal Sea Foods (Boston Logan International Airport)
  11. Pink’s Hot Dogs (Los Angeles International Airport)
  12.  Brasserie Flo (Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport)
  13. Plane Food (Heathrow Airport, London)
  14. Tagliare (LaGuardia Airport, New York City)
  15. Versailles Restaurant (Miami International Airport)
  16. Piquillo (John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City)
  17. Icebox Café (Miami International Airport)
  18. Union Jacks Bar (Gatwick Airport, London)
  19. Kim Choo’s Nonja Kitchen (Changi Airport Singapore)
  20. Airbräu Brauhaus (Munich Airport)

Florida ClandesDine Pop Up Dinner Jan. 26

December 30, 2012

ORLANDO – ClandesDine is a 5-course pop-up dinner with a secret menu by Chef Bryce Balluff taking place inside Cardboard Art Festival exhibit space on January 26, 2012.

The chef is Bryce Balluff. A Michelin-starred chef, he’s been at dozens of great restaurants in Florida.

Find out more at Cardboard Art Festival.

Flavor Palm Beach Begins

September 2, 2012

PALM BEACH – The fifth-annual month-long dining event held each September is breathing new life into its program, starting with a newly formed partnership with Share Our Strength, one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit organizations. Flavor Palm Beach has also launched a head turning photo campaign featuring local familiar faces, and changed the format of the kick off events.

Flavor is proud to announce its new partnership with Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that is ending childhood hunger in America. The organization’s highest priority is to make sure that every child in America gets the nutritious food he or she needs to learn, grow, and thrive, – Flavor Palm Beach is helping reach that goal. As an activist for the organization, Flavor will be donating all event proceeds to SOS.

To help continue to entice residents to dine out all month while offering restaurants a creative platform to present their food, Flavor Palm Beach introduces a new program with local kick off parties replacing the one central event of years past. The premiere event on August 29, which will serve as Flavor’s kickoff event and the launch of the new program, will be relocated from Downtown Waterfront to local restaurant Top of the Point also in downtown. Flavor will host weekly Meet the Chef events every Wednesday in September, each time highlighting a different restaurant in the county starting with Sept 5th at III Forks and Cantina Laredo at Midtown in Palm Beach Gardens, Sept 12th at the Historic Sundy House in Boca Raton, and a finale at PB Catch on Sept 26th, tickets and more information are available on the company’s website. The evenings will include small bites, an evening signature beverage, silent auction and more.

The photo campaign features familiar local faces telling the story of why they love Flavor Palm Beach. LILA Photo shot the campaign which features James Beard award nominated chefs Clay Conley and Zach Bell, world famous collage artist Bruce Helander, award winning food journalist Jan Norris, some adorable babies with a tongue in cheek reason and many more. The campaign has already worked with over 1500 new fans on the Facebook page.

Flavor Palm Beach invites foodies to take advantage of extraordinarily priced three-course lunches and dinners from Palm Beach County’s best restaurants. The three-course lunch is priced at $20 and the three-course dinner is $30/$35per person. September is your chance to discover new restaurants and enjoy all your favorites at a discounted price! Almost 50 restaurants include Café Boulud, Renato’s, III Forks Steakhouse, Capital Grille, PB Catch, Pistache French Bistro, Ruth’s Chris, Talay Thai, Café Chardonnay, Flagler Steakhouse, 3800 Ocean, Charley’s Crab, The Sundy House, Vic and Angelos, Sundy House, Imoto, The Office, Top of the Point, The Italian Restaurant at The Beakers, Rosso Italia, Patio Delray, The Restaurant at the Four Seasons, The Leopard Lounge at the Chesterfield Hotel. City Oyster, Josef’s Table, Red the Steakhouse, and many more. For a complete list, menus and reservations visit

For more information on Flavor Palm Beach, visit Learn more about Share Our Strength at

Flavor Palm Beach
4521 PGA Blvd
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418

Pomona Bistro and Wine Bar on Citrus Square Sarasota

July 29, 2012

SARASOTA – The restaurant Pomona is a cozy, urbane restaurant just north of Fruitville Road in downtown Sarasota. The young, well-dressed crowd at the restaurant favors its unfussy service and straightforward meals presented without pretense. Read more

Darby’s Sandwich Shop, Lincoln Road

June 28, 2012

MIAMI BEACH – An old view of Lincoln Road. Anyone for Darby’s Sandwich Shop? For anyone interested in Florida’s retro restaurants, visit the Flickr site:

If you remember anything great about Darby’s, leave a bit of history below.


Remembering Lum’s in Fort Lauderdale, Miami

January 10, 2012

history of dining chain

FORT LAUDERDALE – Lum’s was once a chain of family restaurants in the U.S. It’s first location was in Miami, but the chain grew in Florida. Here, a photo of a location in Fort Lauderdale, from the Florida Memory Flickr page.

Who wouldn’t like world famous hot dogs, steamed in beer?

Gradually, the chain expanded across the states and into Europe. It failed, but memories survive.

Randy’s Key Lime Pie

January 5, 2012


NAPLES – This Key Lime pie was made by Randy’s Fishmarket Restaurant in Naples and sold in grocery stores. Tasty but not too tart, it has a crumbly Graham cracker crust.

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