Category Archives: Dining

My reviews of restaurants I’ve eaten at.

Queenshead Eurobar

Queenshead
Queenshead

I wanted to like this place but I’m afraid it’s just not my cup of tea.

Located on Central Ave West of downtown, the Queenshead is certainly an interesting place. The decor is lovely, there is a large eating area outside with odd bed-like seating along with regular tables and chairs.

The inside is quirky and eclectic usually things I really enjoy. However where they fall short for me is the food and the pricing.

Outside decor
Outside decor

Picture this, a glass of unsweetened ice that never gets a refill despite my subtle hints for $3.25. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty expensive for some water that sat with a teabag in it for a while. The entrées weren’t quite as bad price-wise but they suffer from delusions of grandeur.  They seem to be trying to take English pub staples like fish & chips, bangers & mash and even the humble Shepard’s Pie and raise them to haute cuisine. Unfortunately it just wasn’t that good.

I ordered the fish and chips, which has now been transformed into “sea salt and vinegar fries, minted peas, malt vinegar reduction“. Now that sounds pretty good, too bad it was just kinda weird. The chips, or french fries in America were actually kind of tasty but only luke-warm. How ever the fish wasn’t what I was expecting at all, it was sweet and the reduction made it even sweeter. Not really what I think of for fish & chips, maybe that’s what they are going for, but it’s not what I like.

My husband ordered the bangers, while he said the dish tasted alright it was a very small meal. Both of us left the Queenshead feeling quite a bit less than satisfied.


Atmosphere – The decor is very nice, there is interesting art on the walls and the outdoor seating is pretty cool.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Service – While the bartender/waiter was polite, he wasn’t attentive.
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Food – Trying too hard to be “fancy” and the portions are smallish.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary – If you want an interesting place to have a drink you might like it. If you want a filling meal of typical English pub food skip it.
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Queens Head Restaurant and Eurobar on Urbanspoon.

Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe's Crab Shack
Eat at Joe’s

Joe’s Crab Shack is an interesting place. It has a nice outside seating area with a wraparound deck and even an outdoor play ground for kid dumping.

Joe’s is the kinda place where the employees do dances to songs and someone is usually yelling something on the PA system. Joe’s is loud and fun. Not the place to have quiet conversations.

Joe’s offers mainly seafood, especially of the steamed variety. Their big push is the steamer meal combos, which offer usually a crab, a couple veggies and a seasoning theme.

Joe's Classic
Joe’s Classic Steampot

I tried the Joe’s Classic Steampot, which had Dungeness and Snow crabs, along with boiled shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes.  Obviously the steampot is just for show, while tasty the potatoes weren’t very warm and I’ve never eaten a cob of corn where the kernels where so tiny!

The crab in the pot was quite yummy though and the sausage was also quite good. My husband had a large shrimp platter which he enjoyed.

So while the meal wasn’t the best it was still a fun place to try, I liked it when all the wait staff started dancing & clapping in time together when a certain song came on, even the women behind the bar were dancing. There was a girl going table to table making balloon animals for tips. The whole place has a very festive attitude which I enjoyed.

Balloon love

My bib


Atmosphere – If you are in the mood for some fun, this lively atmosphere is for you.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Service – Service was pretty good.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – The crab was good but the veggies need work.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Summary – If you just are in the mood for some fun and don’t mind a little noise, Joe’s is a great place to take friends have a drink and eat some crustaceans.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Joe's Crab Shack on Urbanspoon.

The Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory
Cheesecake Factory

Well! What a throughly delightful dinner I just had! We were at the International Mall in Tampa and decided to grab a bite.

While already quite crowded by 5pm on a Saturday the wait wasn’t too horrible. We had a nice table with a good view of the interior, which was a strange blending of styles.

To say the menu is eclectic is a gross understatement. The menu itself is like a paperback book, be prepared to be overwhelmed with choices! I ordered the chicken tortillas and my husband got the fettuccine with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes.

While we waited for our dinners we were brought fresh bread and butter, quite tasty. Our dinners were great and we both enjoyed them a lot. My tortillas were served with little sweet corn cakes and beans it was delicious and quite filling.

Cheesecake
30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake

Although I was already pushing full I decided to shove full, because what is a trip to the Cheesecake Factory without a slice of cheesecake?  So my husband and I decided to split a piece of the “30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake” & and a coffee.

To say this cheesecake was good is like saying that diamonds are kinda hard. Pure nirvana. I said to my husband if I was on death row, this is what I want for my last meal.

While pricey, the slice was huge, no wait – HUGE, that’s more like it. We couldn’t finish it between us. It seemed almost like a sin to leave any behind but I was about to explode or slip into a sugar coma.


Atmosphere – Lots of seating but a little noisy. The decor is interesting but not overwhelming.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Our waitress was pleasant and quite efficient.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Food – OMG Good!
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary – What can I say, I loved the food, the cheesecake was unearthly.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon.

The Floridian

The Floridian
The Floridian

Over on Treasure Island is a little restaurant called the Floridian. They feature authentic Cuban sandwiches. Most of their menu consists of sandwiches, although they do have black beans & rice. They also sell beer if you want.

I had the famous Cuban, pressed of course and a Tampa favorite the “deviled crab“. If you aren’t familiar with the deviled crab it’s a blue crab mixed with various seasonings, spices and vegetables, then it’s surrounded by a kind of dough then fried. Of course a deviled crab must be smothered in hot sauce.

The Cuban sandwich was pretty good, it really was quite authentic! It reminded me of the Cuban sandwiches I used to get over in Ybor City. The deviled crab was tasty but a bit mushier than I would have liked. So far the Columbia has the best deviled crab that I’ve tasted in Pinellas County.


Atmosphere – Most of the seating is outside, so if it’s hot or cold out it might be unpleasant.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Service – Service was alright.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Food – Pretty good for a tiny little spot.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary – If you just want a quick spot to grab a bite the Floridian is a nice place to grab a bite while you are out at the beach.
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Floridian on Urbanspoon.

Popeye’s Chicken

Yumtacular!

I love chicken. I REALLY love fried chicken. It’s a weakness of mine.

I’ve got to say of all the fried chicken places I’ve tried (KFC, Churches & Popeye’s) I like Popeye’s the best.

The chicken is usually tender and juicy and I love the spicy chicken. However today I had a dry old spicy breast that was a disappointment. They ran out of spicy and only had 1 dried out piece of chicken-jerky, in stark contrast the original was crispy and delicious.

I’m sure if we had decided to wait the 11 minutes it would have taken for the next batch of spicy it would have been just as good. But being on a lunch hour has major draw-backs.

They also have great biscuits and sides! I like the cajun gravy on the mashed potatoes.


Atmosphere – It’s a fast food joint, decor is pretty blah. All the tables were covered in crumbs.
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Service – Service was typical fast food. Special orders are scary and confusing.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Food – YUMMY! Aside from the one dried out breast, every time I go to Popeye’s I leave happy.
Rating: ★★★★★

Summary – If you want darn good fried chicken, I’d chose Popeye’s over all the other chain restaurants, just make sure you ask for a fresh piece!
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon.

4th St. Shrimp Store

4th St. Shrimp Store

The 4th St. Shrimp Store is a restaurant located just North of St. Pete’s downtown. Unsurprisingly they have a mostly seafood menu.

I have been here for both lunch and dinner. They atmosphere is laid-back, you come in and seat-yourself.  There is a bar and some interesting decor.

The food is a bit up and down. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s just so-so. I got a shrimp po-boy yesterday, which was pretty plain, it didn’t even have condiments on it.

My husband seemed to enjoy his fried shrimp and clam basket.  My onion rings were pretty good.

So overall, not a bad place, just not exceptional.


Atmosphere – Very casual, with an eclectic decor.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Service – Most of the time the waitresses have been fairly attentive.
Rating: ★★★½☆

Food – Seafood not really worth writing home about, but filling.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary – If you want a relaxed atmosphere where you can take friends, you could do worse.
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Fourth Street Shrimp Store on Urbanspoon.