Monday, June 1, 2009

Downtown Tampa for Happy Hour, A Rays Game, and Taste of Pinellas

Nice weekend, with no rain, and what seemed to be a reprieve from the humidity, nice dry air!

Started Happy Hour on Friday evening at Taps, from 5pm-7pm they have 1/2 off all drafts and $4 house wines. I tried a few different ales, like the Salty Dog with a hint of Blueberry, and actual Blueberry's in the beer...and some Hefe Weizen's....apps were very tasty here, the three dips with Warm Pita bread included generous portions of Hummus, White Bean and a Jalapeno infused Black Bean dip..we needed more Pita bread and they gladly obliged...also are a variety of tasty Bruschetta for sampling as well. It was then onto Boss Hogs, a kind of Sport Bar on Franklin Street, there was some live acoustic music...the food is just OK here, i think the BBQ pork and chicken sandwich's turned out best, the wings are kind of small and they were chewey...we did try the inside out wings, tossed in a blue cheese sauce, with buffalo sauce for dipping. It was then onto the Hubb for a stiff one and interesting people watching....a .25 cent trolley ride got us to Channelside where we tried to get into a new place next to Banana Joe's only to be told we had to enter all the way at the other end at Maragaria Mama's...I did not want to walk thru three bars to get to the new establishment, so we ditched that...then to Stumps where they wanted $5 cover...we just wanted a cold beer, and they pointed to the outside bar in the courtyard...we ditched that, and had a chilly one at Tinas Tapas...good bartender, and some good people watching at the bar. I'M not a big fan at Channelside..seems like its just a pre-fab place with a few bars, too many rules and covers to get in and just check out some places, and bouncers with bigger heads than anything else....I do like the Splitsville, Thai Tani and IMAX theater there, and thats prob the only reason for going to Channelside. It was thena cab back towards home at a stop at the Green Iguana Westshore, where a GREAT band, Category 3, was playing all kins of covers, from Genesis, to Van Halen, to RUSH, and Led Zeppelin....stuff you dont normally hear, and they were really really good...and entertaining. Cant wait till they come back this side of Tampa Bay again, im now a follower of Category 3.

Saturday, after a great breakfast at First Watch in downtown Tampa, we walked over to the Rays store on Tampa Street, and purchased some tickets to the Minnesota/Tampa Bay game this afternoon...$16 seats which included a concert by 3 Doors Down...good game, we hit over 10 strike outs so free pizza for everyone from Papa Johns, and the concert was really need to be on the Field to enjoy it, since Tropicana Field is so large, the acoustics are HORRIBLE!! Not a place for live music....

Sunday, we biked over to the Taste of Pinellas, along Coffee Pot Blvd and the waterfront in downtown St. Pete. For over 20 years this festival that benefits all childrens hospital has brought tens of thousands to the beautiful Vinoy Park in downtown St. Pete, for waterfront tastings of lots of Pinellas County restaurant fare...we had Red Mesa Steak with Chimichuri and Fish Tacos...great!...also BBQ Pork sandwich's and a Chicken Wrap from some other places, and Virgin Mojitos...always good stuff....there was an excellent Frisbee Dog Show, with some amazing Border Collies...and the music was more hard rock from local bands, until KC and the Sunshine Band closed the weekend long venue. Dinner on Sunday was at Hula Bay along the waterfront in Tampa...another great band playing at the lower level Duke's...and as usual the Mahi Mahi Tacos, and Burgers were winners....

Work takes me to Johnstown, PA for the week..


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