Great experience at “Ford’s Garage,” a garage-themed restaurant!

Horns blow from the hanging car!

Gas pump nozzle and a real tire for a ladies room sink!

This car had smoke coming out the back and the tires spin!

What a surprise to see a restaurant with cars, tires, gas pumps and door handles made from gas pump nozzles! And, the food was fantastic! I can recommend the Cali burger for sure!!

Ford’s Garage is located on Causeway Blvd in Brandon, Fl. A fun place to visit.

Best Maryland crab cakes around!

While at the beach at Pass-A-Grille on St Pete’s Beach, we ate lunch at The Brass Monkey. Since I am originally from Md., the “Monkey crab balls” looked interesting. I was NOT disappointed. They were delicious and reminded me of the best part of living in Md…blue crabs!!

The owners are from Maryland, so they know how to make a Maryland crab cake!!

Head over to St Pete’s Beach for a fun day in the sun and enjoy a great meal on the balcony at The Brass Monkey!

Maryland flag and Blue Crabs – true Marylanders

O’Brien’s Irish Pub & Grill

With our last name being MCLAUGHLIN we like to search out true IRISH pubs and we definitely found the real deal at O’Brien’s – Irish Pub & Grill in Brandon, Fl.  The food was good, the service excellent and it’s an all around neighborhood pub where you can meet new friends or enjoy a ‘pint’ with old ones! This is a Veteran owned establishment serving veterans and veteran organizations around the Tampa Bay area.

So, stop in and say HELLO and have some ‘fish and chips’ while you are out Christmas shopping and support local restaurants with such great community ties! They have already started their count down until St. Patrick’s Day!!!  – it’s 89 days from today 12/17/18!

Address: 701 W Lumsden Rd, Brandon, Fl. 33511

Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen

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Tibby’s is the most ‘fun’ place to enjoy New Orleans culture and food! Along SR60 in Brandon, Florida sits a unique, colorful New Orleans restaurant. From the time you enter you feel like you are actually in New Orleans! The food is great, service wonderful and the pictures and artifacts are straight from New Orleans. Some pieces are salvaged from the destruction by Katrina. These pictures don’t do the restaurant justice. You have to visit to appreciate the décor. Menu includes dishes like Muffaletta spring rolls, Alligator Street Tacos, Rita’s Lemon Chicken, and of course etouffe, shrimp creole with red beans and rice! Yum

Tibby’s is located at 1721 W Brandon Blvd., Brandon, Fl.  33511

 

Blu Mangrove

20180223_113317The Blu Mangrove is one of my favorite places to sit on the outside patio with friends while enjoying a warm Florida afternoon.  The Marina sits on the Manatee River and you can come by land or water, as dockside parking is available. Happy Hour is everyday starting at 11am ’til 6pm.

20180223_114845A favorite appetizer for me is the Ahi Tuna Wonton cups! The wonton cups are filled with seaweed salad, ahi tuna and topped with ginger and wasabi. 3 cups will run about $14.00.

20180223_114850Add an order of Doc’s Fish spread with tortilla chips for $10.00 and you have a meal!

Dinners are a little pricey, however; the presentation and taste are exquisite!

Have fun in the sun in Florida and visit these great hidden gems! Blu Mangrove is located at 102 Riviera Way, Palmetto, Fl. 34221, in the Riviera Dunes Marina.

Mr. & Mrs. Crab

Mr.Mrs.Crab,BradentonIf you have never been to a seafood ‘boil’ restaurant you might wonder why your food comes out of the kitchen in a bag, and the contents emptied onto a platter at your table…well, that’s just how it’s done! Mr. & Mrs. Crab, on Cortez Blvd in Bradenton offers the true feeling of a low-country-boil with all the seasonings and spice of Louisiana.  low country boil

If you like spicy, get the hot or even the mild sauce for a ‘bite’. Prices are comparable to other seafood restaurants around the area. An order of 1-cluster of snow crabs (1/2 lb) $12.95, 1/2 lb. scallops $13.95, a couple potatoes, a quarter ear of corn and some hush puppies for $4.95, total cost approximately $30.00. We had a few laughs while trying to eat with all the sauce, but our server promptly supplied us with bibs so the sauce didn’t get all over us! If you don’t like getting messy you can opt for a take out order that consists of 4 blue crabs, sausage, potatoes and corn in the spicy Cajun sauce for $27.99.

Our server was extremely pleasant and the Manager, “Dollar”, was very accommodating. This was definitely a pace I will return.

crabs in bag

Mr. & Mrs. Crab, 497 Cortez Blvd. Bradenton, Fl.

Ferraro’s Italian Grille

img_5452967260397.jpgFerraro’s Italian Grille in Parrish is a “family oriented Italian Restaurant. Eat in or take out. My friend had the Manicotti and was very pleased, I had the Salmone al Limone and it was fantastic! Reasonable prices, Vegetarian and Gluten Free options as well. The portions were large enough to take home for next day’s lunch. Visit their website for menu lunch specials and more.  Located: 8348 US Hwy 301 N, Parrish, Fl

 

Sea Hut-Crab Trap

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(Picture above from the Crab Trap’s website)

Being a native Marylander I am always looking for fresh seafood restaurants. The Sea Hut now called Crab Trap located in Palmetto has just what I like. Their family recipes originated from the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland and the Crab Salad is full of lump blue crab! The atmosphere is that of Old Florida which is another favorite of mine. Prices are reasonable and the staff is friendly. Easy to find, just off Hwy 19 and lots of parking. The bar overlooks the water and they have a comfortable sitting area should you have to wait for a table. They also have a small outdoor area to sit and enjoy a cocktail before dinner. A nice place to bring friends and family for lunch or dinner.

The inside aquarium is a nice touch!

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Jaxx Playbook Sports Bar & Grill

20171229_1514421034822108.jpgJaxx Playbook Sports Bar & Grill in Palmetto is just what you have been looking for in a “neighborhood sports bar”. Come in for a few beers and watch a game, shoot some pool, and socialize. The owner, Garrett, with me in this picture, is very accommodating for special events and parties. Me and my friends stopped in one evening and I had an appetizer “The Steal,” which is 3 burger sliders and they were great and only $6.95! My friends had “The Home Run,” an Italian sub for $8.49, and “The Power Play,” a Reuben sandwich for $9.49. Get the play on words? After all this is a Sports Bar! As you can see, this is a great place to relax, have some fun and it is easy on the wallet.

Located: 1035 Hasko Road, Palmetto, Fl 34221  Tel: 941-479-7816