Crazy weekend gone by, and Good Crazy weekend!! Weather cleared up and it was sunny and warm, a few regular afternoon storms throughout the area, but not like the deluge of rain we had been getting during the week. Friday my buddy had some friends in town from Greenville, SC who were all staying at the Westin on Harbour Island downtown Tampa. They wanted something to do for Happy Hour, so I suggested the Water Taxi Cocktail Cruise - meeting Captain Cliff at the dock in from of Cafe Dufrain on harbour Island, they took there wine and drinks on board and headed up to Ricks on the River, about a 25 minute boat road around downtown Tampa, up the Hillsborough River. Having some appetizers and drinks, with a live band outside in this very very casual place on the River, I met up with them and drove them back downtown to Fly Bar on Franklin Street. We got a nice table outside, and enjoyed some wines, and beers from around the world...for eats it was the Mushroom Risotto, a large bowl of Cheesey Risotto, and Mushrooms, thick in consistency, very very tasty and filling. The plate of Nachos with Ropa Vieja was enough for 4 or 5, piled high with delicious topping. Ahi Tuna sampler, a cucumber salad, and some thinly sliced Salmon with Citrus rounded up our small plates here at Fly...service was impeccable, it was a great few hours. Afterwards we walked over to Raw Bar, where a friend was having her birthday party...very dark and loungy, this place is in Skypoint on Ashley Drive..some expensive cocktails, groovy lounge tunes, it was a very comfortable and pretty place to be, so to get a taste of the opposite, we went to The Hubb on Franklin Street..cheap, strong drinks...and a juke box with all kinds of tunes, to go along with all kinds of clientele in this Tampa one of a kind bar. It was a short few blocks back to Harbour Island downtown and we ended the night at Jackson's..with two DJ's spinning, a very busy LARGE outdoor area overlooking the water and downtown Skyline.
Saturday after we headed over to the Gulf Beaches...Pass-a-Grille--one of my favorites. An easy ride from Tampa(about 30 min), and plenty of parking right along the beach. The water and company was perfect, we walked down to the Beachside restaurant for some live music and entertainment..floated in the warm Gulf waters for hours...then had some cocktails on the rooftop of the Hurricane, and had some dinner in Stormy's, on the second floor of the Hurricane. The food is just ok, my Grouper Sandwich , which they had been known for, was very tough, dry, and over cooked(grilled)..the "Build your own salads" was just a large pile of Romaine, with very large portion of Flounder on one(also dry and bland), and Chicken on the other, dressing came on the side in a bowl. The Stuffed Flounder Entrees looked good, but again the fish was dry, as if left under a heat lamp, and the Asparagus stalks, although very large, were cold and soggy. There are many other choices to eat at Pass-a-Grille, I felt like I was in a tourist trap for dinner...save Hurricane for rooftop drinks and sunsets...eat elsewhere on the island.
Saturday night, we were all invited to a friends private birthday party at Channelside in downtown Tampa. We waited for everyone and had some pre-party cocktails at Splitsville...the place was hopping, bowling, DJ, happy crowd, I like this upscale place, there is just so much going on...we then ventured to a place I never knew existed, seems there is a nightclub in the Channelside Movie theater fro private events..they actually turned a Theater into a Three level nightclub. FUN! Then we moved across the street to Club Aja...a good crowd, with danceable tunes in this multi level upscale Club...a quick taxi ride about a mile north to Ybor City, and we ended the evening with throwing Frozen Vodka Shots(after we drank the vodka of course) against the brick wall behind us at Club Czar...good DJ's playing here this evening, and the final spot was G. Bar.