Monday, August 13, 2007

Treasure Island beaches and an Ybor City weekend!

Friday I did what is now becoming a bit of a routine, but a good routine, seeing my friend Rob from the band Buffalo Strange play solo at The Hut on John's Pass, Madeira Beach. This time I ordered the Black n Blue burger, and the burger just seemed to be a bit tough. My friend Debi advised me last time that her burger was also a bit tough. The mellow tunes kept us happy, it was very warm, we haven't had the typical afternoon thunderstorms in about a week to cool things off during the day, but there were plenty of fans blowing in this LARGE tiki hut on the water. After taking Debi home, John and I wanted Ice Cream, and found the Dairy Inn, located on MLK Blvd(9th Street) near 11th Avenue in St. Pete. Kind of like Dairy Joy in South Tampa, a walk up window with soft serve ice cream cones and sundaes, with a few covered tables. There is a video game room in the back with a few 'old school' video games. Lisa and Brian gave us a shout to join them at their Beach Condo they had for the weekend on Treasure Island, so we ventured back out there. It was nice overlooking the WIDE white, sandy beaches of Treasure Island in the evening from the condo. For a late night snack, we venured out to Monster Slice Pizza on St. Pete Beach, for some very good, very thin and crispy pizza. They were loaded with toppings, and plenty of cheese.

Saturday, John and I ventured back to Treasure Island, and brought our bikes. We saw a bike/walking path behind the condo along the beach, and wanted to bike it today. To our surprise it only went about 6 blocks to the north of the condo, and about 10 blocks to the south. I would have thought it to be much longer, and span the entire Treasure Island beach behind all the hotels, motels and condo areas. What was nice was you can bike or walk to a few good places for a cool drink and maybe catch a band or guitarist(runs behind Bilmar Resort, Thunderbird Resort, and many mom and pop type motels as well as two Public Beach areas for Treasure Island with restrooms and snacks). For lunch by the pool at the condo, we headed to ABC liquor for refreshments and The Floridian for Cubans. I have heard about The Floridian(located on the causeway heading to Treasure Island), and how famous their Cuban Sandwiches are, and no doubt, some of the best. Piled high ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, mustard and pickle slices.
Saturday night, we cleaned up and headed to Ybor City for dinner. Italian was on my mind, and there is no better than The Laughing Cat on the corner of 8th Ave and 15th Street. The dark skies, and rain kept most of the crowds away this evening in Ybor, so we were able to be seated promptly. The menu is huge, as is the portions. It is best to split most of the items, they are that big. I had the Salmon with Mussels, very Large portion of Salmon, with about 8 HUGE mussles in their shell around the Salmon in a light tomato/garlic, white wine sauce. The others had Chicken Fettuccine with huge chucks of chicken, and Farfalle diMare, loaded with Seafood and Boe Tie pasta in a Vodka Sauce. Everything is FRESH, and can be made to order. For fun we then ventured out to the area of Ybor what is quickly becoming known 'gaYbor' district(bordered by 9th ave and 6th Ave and 12th street to 16th Street). Lounge 7-14, G. Bar, Flirt, MC Film Festival, and soon the new location of Wranglers are all in this area. I dont venture to these type places much, but Lounge 7-14 was actually very cool, we played darts, and there was some great rock and commercial tunes/videos playing. G.Bar was just opening when we went so there was no cover, and you can play pool there for free, so we did just that until the crowds started filling up(around 11:30). We then headed to Wranglers, only to find out they are closed until there new location opens up soon. A quick drink in Green Iguana, which used to be my favorite hang out in Ybor, was barely holding a crowd, and the people there this evening seemed a little sleazy(two very heavy set women, with barely any clothes on, pole dancing in front of the band and making out together). Its difficult to listen to a live band, when there is dance/hip-hop blaring from the room next door, they should place a thick curtain between the two rooms. We went back to Lounge 7-14, which had become filled, and very smokey(seems they need a filter to get rid of the smoke that quickly fills up this lounge when more than a few people are puffing on some smokes).
All in all, and nice weekend to get out to Tampa's beaches, and explore the Tampa's historic district.

No comments: