Category Archives: Dining

My reviews of restaurants I’ve eaten at.

Red Robin

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A new Red Robin opened up in the last few months at my local mall. I’ve never been to a Red Robin before so I was interested to give it a try.

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I ordered a burger with pepper jack cheese, a special sauce and onion straws, served with their bottomless steak fries. Dinner was a bit mixed, the burger itself was pretty good but I ended up removing all the onion straws because they were greasy and soggy.

The steak fries had seen better days, my husband and I both received very wilted fries. To their credit though, they quickly replaced our fries with fresh crisp ones. The new fries were quite good.

Our waitress was pleasant and accommodating. The restaurant decor is a little dark but very nice for a burger joint.


Atmosphere – Located in the Tyrone Square Mall. It is a nicely decorated, but a bit loud chain restaurant.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Our waitress was polite and solicitous.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – For a place that prides itself on gourmet burgers, I wasn’t that impressed.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Summary – If you are at the mall and don’t want to eat at the food court, this might be a more pleasant place to go.
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon.

Council Oak Steakhouse

The Council Oaks restaurant located inside the Hard Rock Casino. For a fairly expensive and highly reviewed restaurant, I really expected a lot more.

The décor was nice, a little bit dark but extremely loud. Our party had to raise our voices several times just to hear each other over the roar. We had two servers for some reason, neither one ever seemed to be around when we wanted something. My drink was never refilled.

As for the food, very disappointing. I had a $39 bone-in 10oz filet mignon, I ordered it medium. First of all, what the heck is with a “bone-in” filet? My guess would be to avant-garde. The part of my steak that was farthest from the bone was medium well, the part close to the bone was practically raw. Somehow they also managed to make it fatty. Ugh. Huge disappointment.

One of the other guests in my party, her steak was cooked to charcoal on one side, she had to carve it off. Of course the servers where no where to be found.

Everything is Ala-cart. Ok fine, but seriously $9 for french fries? Every side item was $9. I ordered the onion rings, trust me, they weren’t $9 good.

Oh but you may be saying to yourself, “Oh that Deirdre is all concerned with prices! She just can’t appreciate a good meal! Stick to reviewing McDonald’s!”

To which I say, I don’t like your attitude! I’ve had plenty of delicious meals at places like Bern’s. I know a good steak when I have one. This place is all pomp and no substance. They tout themselves as fancy but I think they come off as pretentious.


Atmosphere – Loud and dark, nice view of the kitchen though.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Despite having 2 waiters, we rarely saw either of them.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Food – Disappointing, especially for the price.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary – If you want to go someplace really nice for a special occasion, I’d suggest skipping this place and head over to Bern’s or even the Melting Pot, at least you can have a conversation there.
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Council Oak at The Hard Rock on Urbanspoon.

Joey Brooklyn’s Famous Pizza

Joey Brooklyn's PizzaEven though they are a little slow on the delivery Joey Brooklyn’s is worth the wait. So far I’ve tried pepperoni pizza, hot wings, chicken parm sandwich and calzones from them.

The pizza was big, greasy and delicious, just like you would expect for New York style pizza.

The chicken parmesan sandwich I wasn’t that great unfortunately, the chicken seems chopped up and tasted like pre-cooked chicken they covered with some sauce and cheese. I’m going to skip it next time I order.

It was a pepperoni calzone and I was surprised to see they put a ricotta-type cheese inside along with the regular mozzarella and it was really good.

The “hot” wings aren’t really that hot, I’d call them a solid medium which was the perfect spice-temp for me. Enough to make your lips tingle but you can wait to drink something till after your done eating your wings. If you like the vinegar style buffalo wings, these are for you.

I haven’t been inside so I can’t report on the restaurant itself, sorry!

I would definitely order from Joey’s again.

Joey Brooklyn's Famous Pizza on Urbanspoon

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The Winghouse

Winghouse
The WingHouse

Ah The Winghouse, now I know where to go when I want marginal service and sub-par food! My long search is over at last!

Sarcasm aside, my advice to married couples, skip it. The waitresses there know that they are going to get the best tips from the single guys table. Did I mention The Winghouse is a Hooters knock off? I think everyone but me knew that already.

The waitresses are all wearing tight, low-cut tee shirts and short shorts over tights. I didn’t realize that dinner would come with a close encounter of the cleavage kind.

Of plenty of guys will be thrilled with the scantily clad waitresses hocking their tee shirts and calendars on every wall but this married woman was unimpressed.

The service was slooooooooow, our Amazonian waitress really seemed to favor that tables with rowdy single men, on the plus side we had plenty time to look over the menu and decide what we wanted before we got our drink menu in, not that placing our dinner order at the same time as our drink order was taken.

Apparently the cooks had to go out back and wrestle some chickens to the ground to make our dinner, I’m beginning to think they had to go to dig up garden the garden to make my onion rings. Did I mention that anything you may want is probably an extra charge?

Anyway, years later when we got our food my dinner, a buffalo sandwich was ok. My husband was totally disappointed with his burger. He also got wings to share, the wings started out ok but I noticed the more of he buffalo sauce I ate the less I liked them.

The sauce starts vinegary with a slight sweetness, after a few minutes the sweetness seems to get stronger and stronger until all I could taste was the sweetness, it became cloying.


Atmosphere – Noisy and full of drunks.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Service – Well from the looks of it the table full of guys next to us got excellent, waitress leaning over to show her cleavage service. My husband and I were almost ignored.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Food – Mine was adequate, my husband’s was bland.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Summary – Great place for drunken men, not so great for couples.
Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Winghouse on Urbanspoon.

Crowley’s Pub

Crowley's Downtown
Crowley’s Downtown

Crowley’s Pub came well reviewed and surprisingly lived up to the hype.

A small restaurant/pub on Central Ave in downtown St. Pete, there is ample seating outside on the sidewalk and inside is cozy with a full bar.

Crowley’s is kinda Irish-themed, featuring a couple of Irish & English dishes, like Shepard’s (Crowley’s) Pie, bangers & mash, and fish & chips. Although there are plenty of American bar standards, including hamburgers and other sandwiches.

My husband and I shared a Ruben eggroll appetizer which was served with a 1000 island dipping sauce. The eggrolls were quite tasty and original.

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries w/ honey!

For my entree I got a turkey & bacon spinach wrap that came with sweet potato fries. The fries, I gotta say were totally delightful, they were drizzled with honey which gave them the perfect amount of sweetness. The wrap was generous, fresh and delicious.

My husband ordered the chicken pot pie and he enjoyed it and would order it again. The pot pie wasn’t served in a pie crust like you might expect, but was good none-the-less.

The interior was decorated up for Christmas, all that was missing was a roaring fire. On a side note, there is seating outside on the sidewalk as well as bar seating and table seating on the inside.


Atmosphere – The atmosphere was a pleasant pub setting with seating available outside on the sidewalk.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Our waiter was pleasant and gave good recommendations. We liked him.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – The food was tasty and I loved the sweet potato fries.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary – Crowley’s is a great little pub.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Crowley's Downtown on Urbanspoon.

Smokey Bones

Smokey Bones
Smokey Bones

Smokey Bones is a combination sports bar & restaurant. If you want a nice quiet dinner definitely don’t eat at the high-tops in the bar area.

I’m not a big lover of the high-top, my legs are too short and it starts to hurt after a while.

When I walked in I immediately smelled the BBQ wood. Just to be contrary I ordered the tenderloin steak with broccoli and cinnamon apples, to my surprise the steak was cooked perfectly (medium of course), the broccoli was fresh and steamed nicely, it tasted extra yummy dipped in the butter/pepper sauce that came with the steak. I saved the apples for last, they were crisp, tart and cinna-delious!

My husband ordered the baby back ribs, I was lucky enough to get a few of those ribs, purely for scientific reasons. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone done, meaty and nicely spiced. My hubby sure seemed happy with his ribby choice.

The place was packed and we had to sit in the bar area. The bar area seems a lot louder than the other parts of the restaurant, there are lots of tvs and sports enthusiasts. The service was a little slow which could be expected on such a busy day. By the time we left the line was out the door for seating.


Atmosphere – Well unfortunately it was getting busy and we didn’t get to sit in the dining area, not loving the bar loudness.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Service – Service was alright, it there was a Rays game and it was pretty busy.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Food – The food was pretty yummy! I was surprised at how good it was for a chain restaurant.
Rating: ★★★★½

Summary – I think I would have given this better marks if we had been able to sit in a quieter area, I’m willing to try it again.
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill on Urbanspoon.