Category Archives: Dining

My reviews of restaurants I’ve eaten at.

P. F. Changs

P. F. Changs
P. F. Changs

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to find decent Chinese food these days. Everywhere I look, all the Chinese places are counter-service or buffets, sometimes you just want a nice sit-down Chinese dinner, freshly made with quality ingredients.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this, so I’m pleased to say P. F. Changs satisfied my desire for a nice dinner. Although there was a short wait it was worth it.

The decor is subdued with lots of nice Chinese touches, tasteful and not too bright. Our waiter was great, attentive and pleasant, which is a big bonus for me. Nothing can put a pall on a dinner like bad service.

As for the food, I had the sweet & sour chicken – hold the bell peppers and my husband had honey shrimp. At the time they were running a couple’s meal, where you get an appetizer, soup, entrees and two mini desserts, a pretty good deal!


Atmosphere – Nicely decorated with subdued lighting. A little loud because it is a popular place to eat.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Service – Great service absolutely no complaints with the service.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – The food was good, not earth-shattering, but good.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary – P. F. Changs is a good chain restaurant, suitable for both dates and gatherings of friends.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon.

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou

The Cajun Cafe on the Bayou
The Cajun Cafe on the Bayou

Eating at the Cajun Cafe was unplanned and unexpected. Set way back from the road, the Cajun Cafe sits on a lake, with both indoor and outdoor seating right on the water. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but we thought we would try something a little different.

For this visit we decided to eat inside, the weather is still a little hot to eat out on the deck. The decor is not too fancy, the bar has an impressive collection of Mardi Gras beads decorating it.

Our waiter was pleasant but a little absent, he wasn’t bad, just not great. The menu has a nice selection, a lot of Cajun dishes (As you would expect), they also have quite an extensive beer list, if you like beer.

Beer Beer Beer
Beer Beer Beer

As for the food, well I’d call it delightful! I ordered a crawfish po boy, my husband had a stuffed pork dish and my dad who was eating with us, had the crab cakes. All 3 of us really enjoyed our dinners. My po boy was huge and just spicy enough, the crawdads were fried perfectly so they weren’t too chewy or dried out. My husband’s dish while slightly dry was absolutely delish.

I think the restaurant itself looks like an old Florida home, I found it to be quite charming. I would definitely eat here again despite the slightly average service time.

Mardi Gras Bar
Sunset on the Bayou
Sunset on the Bayou
Sunset on the Bayou

Atmosphere – The Cajun Cafe has a nice mix of old Florida and New Orleans but not too fancy.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Our waiter while polite was a little long between visits.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Food – The food was really yummy! I really enjoyed by po boy and would order it again in a heart beat.
Rating: ★★★★½

Summary – The Cajun Cafe would be a fun place to bring out of town guests, it has a fun attitude and great food.
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou on Urbanspoon.

Beak’s Old Florida

Beak's Old Florida
Beak’s Old Florida

Beak’s Old Florida is an interesting place, I noticed a lot of reviews that called it eclectic, there is no doubting that! Beak’s definitely has a lot of character and charm.

The atmosphere in Beak’s is friendly, our waiter was very attentive and nice we were very happy with the service. The interior is a bar with a few scattered tables, there is a large outside eating area for when the weather turns pleasant.

Beak’s has menu that mostly consists of bar staples – burgers, sandwiches, the normal appetizers but there are a few entrees as well.

The decor is, well like a garage sale threw up on everything. Weird things hang from every wall and every shelf but it some how there is a method to the madness. I really liked the old fashion jukebox in the corner, you just don’t see many of those these days!

Juke box at Beak's
Yes that’s a light up Santa next to the Juke box.

You are probably wondering how the food is by now, well I ordered a strange burrito chicken, spinach, onion thing, while not bad, it wasn’t really good. However the steak sandwich my husband ordered was really good, so we have a mix here. I’m willing to give Beak’s the benefit of the doubt here and say I just ordered badly, I should have picked something a little less weird.

So if you like bizarre interior decorating, bar food and darn good service I’d give Beak’s a chance, I’m planning on going again soon and sampling more of their menu.


Atmosphere – Beak’s decor can be sensory overload, stuff everywhere, but I like that.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Service – Our waiter was friendly, attentive and good-natured.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – The food was hit & miss, while my entree was kinda weird, I really liked my husband’s sandwich.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary – A cool bar with crazy decor, nice place to bring friends.
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Beak's Old Florida on Urbanspoon.

Preacher’s BBQ

Real pit bbq!
Real pit BBQ!

Preacher’s BBQ, as you open your car door you can smell it, smokey, woody goodness, oh yeah, that’s real pit BBQ!

Preacher’s is a  small place on 4th St and one of the few places in the area with real BBQ. The restaurant itself is a take-out place but there are a couple tables if you just can’t wait!

Preacher’s has the normal BBQ menu fare – ribs, chicken, pulled pork, etc but they also have burgers and to my surprise turkey legs (the daily special).

My husband and I have eaten there twice already since their recent opening and both times we were delighted. I’ve tried the pulled pork sandwich, which was, well smokey and flavorful and the

Preacher's BBQ
RAR! My carnivore side is escaping

smoked turkey leg which made me feel like Henry the VIII! All the yumminess, without have to go to a Ren Faire!

My husband has tried the ribs and the chopped brisket, the big smile on his face makes me think he enjoyed both throughly.

Oh did I mention the fresh cakes and pies? All local made!


Atmosphere – Preacher’s is a take-out place with only a couple tables, nothing fancy.
Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Service – Preacher’s is family owned and everyone behind the counter is friendly and welcoming.
Rating: ★★★★½

Food – The food was oh so good! Make sure you try the sauce!
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary – Take-out food that will have you licking your fingers.
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Preacher's BBQ on Urbanspoon.

Bowled

Bowled Restaurant
Bowled Restaurant

Bowled is an interesting restaurant with an interesting concept, you guessed it! Everything is served in bowls, even meatloaf.

Bowled is set back from the road a bit in a strip mall but the distinct sign makes it easy to spot. The atmosphere inside is laid back but still subdued.

I had the Mexican Italian Lasagna, which was pretty tasty. It mixed the flavors of the two different cultures quite well. The servings were quite ample so you won’t walk away hungry.

My husband had the Chicken Piccata Bowl which is served over a bed of orzo pasta. My husband enjoyed his meal and would definitely order it again.

Dining area
Dining area

My father also dined with us that night and had the Bowled Meatloaf which has a chipotle bbq sauce. He liked it so much he had his leftovers for breakfast.


Atmosphere – If you are looking for a quiet dinner, I’d say it would be a good place to bring a date.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Our waiter was pleasant and attentive.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – The food was tasty and I like the presentation.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary – While not spectacular, Bowled is a nice place to grab a pleasant dinner.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

3451 4th Street North
St Petersburg, FL 33704-1307
(727) 895-2695

Bowled Restaurant on Urbanspoon.

Carrabbas

Carrabbas
Carrabbas

Well we went to the Carrabbas on 4th tonight and had a lovely dinner. We got there before the rush and didn’t have to wait for a table which is nice!

I haven’t been to a Carrabbas in a while, not since the Star Trek movie premiere (Shout out to Todd!). I usually have really good meals there and tonight was no exception.

As usual I ordered the Chicken Bryan and my husband ordered the Veal Picatta (I know, poor baby cows! 🙁  Ah well!). We also had salads and bread with our entrées.

Chicken Bryan
Chicken Bryan

In my humble opinion, you can tell that a restaurant give a care about your dinner when they serve your salad in a cold bowl. It sounds picky but I’ve gotten salads in hot bowls and it really makes the lettuce wilt and the dressing go all oily (That’s my new technical term for it). ANYWAY, the salad was good and the table bread with the little plate of herbs and olive was yummy as well.

Our main courses were as usual quite good, although one odd thing, the Picatta didn’t have capers, when asked the waiter commented that they don’t put capers on unless you specifically ask for them, weird! My Chicken Bryan was delicious as always.

Aside from the capers and my tea being a bit bitter I had a lovely dinner there tonight!


Atmosphere – Nothing too fancy, the main focus of the room seems to be the open kitchen, it can be a little loud from nearby conversations.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Our waiter was attentive and responsive.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – The food was up to their usual standards of tastiness.
Rating: ★★★★½

Summary – Despite being part of a chain, Carrabbas still maintains a high level of quality and professionalism. A nice place to take your family.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Carrabba's Italian Grill on Urbanspoon.