Nice long weekend has come to an end. Started out on Wednesday evening, typically a very busy evening with lots of folks coming into town to visit friends and family. Met up with 8 other good friends at Grille 116 in the Northdale area..the burbs about 10 miles north of Tampa. We had a great table in the lounge area...swanky place, very nice, upscale, reminded me a bit like South Beach in the Burbs....service was excellent. Meals here are all a la carte, consisting of Steaks, Seafood and some Pasta dishes. I had the Sea Scallops, three huge pan seared scallops atop a very creamy Risotto. All the dishes were excellent, and to end off the dinner, homemade doughnuts with different toppings like Chocolate, Strawberry and Caramel. It was a great way to start off the long holiday weekend, before heading home, it was a stop at the Green Iguana Westshore, never seen the place more crowded, but alot of fun.
Turkey day was held this year at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City with the family. We were so surprised by the excellent meal...a first for us to not cook. We had reservations, and only waited about 5 minutes to be seated...we had some of their famous Sangria to start us off...Thanksgiving Meal at the Columbia consisted of Vermont Turkey(all white meat breast), Sausage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes(with lumps), Mixed Veges, Sweet Potato, Cranberry Dressing, and Gravy...a HUGE portion, some of us couldn't finish it all. Very homemade, VERY delicious. Highly recommend if you don't want to cook, or clean and be served for Thanksgiving, the Columbia is a great choice. The meal even included a salad or soup, and dessert..Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Flan or Flan, and all drinks(coffee, teas, sodas)...all for only $20 per person.
We then strolled down 7th avenue in Ybor to the movies...it was a bit busy in the historic district this Holiday afternoon, but the movies were empty...saw the Fantastic Mr Fox.
Friday, had a nice bike ride from my home in South Tampa off Westshore Blvd to Ballast Point Pier/Bayshore Blvd. Beautiful day, in the 60s..we had lunch at the restaurant at the Pier, called Taste of Boston...good warm Clam Chowder, a HUGE Grouper Sandwich and Lobster Rolls, all very good. Friday evening, my musician buddy Rob was to play at Bellini's in Gulfport. A few of us stopped by La Fogota for dinner - excellent Brazilian style place, authentic, upscale decor, beautiful restaurant in Gulfport. We had the Churassco dinner which included all you can eat fresh carved variety of meats(Pork, Steak Diane, Sausages, Bacon wrapped Chicken, Prime Rib, and more)...it was excellent and included a salad, soups, side dishes bar as well. Rob didn't end up playing this evening, as there was another band booked, Bellini's is a great bar area, with an outdoor area as well with a nice waterfall...it was kinda chilly this evening, so we stayed in and relaxed a few hours, chomping on the great meals we enjoyed.
Saturday, we biked again, to the Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete, and then taking the Pinellas Trail over to the Grand Central District area for the annual Chili Cookoff....a fun time, tasted over a dozen different types of chiilis, relaxed at the Queenshead Restaurant listening to live music, and also on the 'Chill Lounge' set up in the area...beautiful day for biking yet again. Saturday afternoon a few of us gathered at my place, and watched USF stumble under Miami for a terrible upsetting football game...it was nice to turn the TV outside, and sit around and enjoy the cool evening watching football. Then up the street to CDB's Southside for some eats and wine.
Sunday went and met some friends at Hula Bay/Dukes, another winning sunny cool day. Then onto Christmas Tree shopping, ending up at Lowes, great trees, and great service.
Short week, work bring me to NYC for a few days, then playing in Manhattan for this upcoming weekend.