Christmas at Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida presents a whole world of possibilities to all who travel there.
Just the eateries alone are as diverse as the most ethnic of big city neighborhoods.
You can experience fish and chips and Irish dancers at the Ragland Road Pub. Of course there is always plenty of Guinness flowing and talented folk singers from the Emerald Isle on the stage to delight.
If you’re feeling like taking in a Cuban floor show then Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s award winning restaurant Bongo’s is the place to be. For passers by the smell of freshly baked empanadas fill the air.
This past summer a barbecue restaurant was added to the mix by the name of the Polite Pig.
There you can order a butcher block board for two that includes pork shoulder, smoked chicken and ribs, as well as two generous sides. If bourbon is what you fancy you may want to experiment with a whisky flight starting at $25 that will include a tasting of Woodford Reserve, Basel Hayden, and Four Roses Single Barrel.
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For anyone craving American fare the fast food style D-Luxe Burger offers not only the juiciest burgers I have had to date, but also some of the best onion rings that can be found.
My favorite experience on our most recent visit was having drinks and appetizers on the roof top deck of Paddlefish. The recently renovated river boat allows you to be seated high enough to take in every thing that sparkles below.
Don’t let the holidays pass you by without visiting the always enchanting and now very upscale Disney Springs.
Patti is co-creator of http://www.GiveRemarkableService.com with husband James Poling. They have vast knowledge in the hospitality industry at forty plus years each.
In the eclectic water front town of Gulfport where my husband and I reside there is long time and legendary bar & grill named O’Maddy’s.
It is not at all unusual to see every table and bar stool filled with happy and well fed patrons any day or night of the week.
O’Maddy’s is one of those little “pots of gold” that possesses the perfect combination of great food, service, and location.
On our most recent visit my husband and I were thrilled to see that Kayleen, one of our favorite bartenders in all of Tampa Bay was on duty. Her winning smile, warm personality and desire to serve always makes us feel right at home.
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As it was the Friday after Thanksgiving and a college football game day we couldn’t resist ordering the beer battered onion rings served with a homemade horseradish sauce along side an ice cold draft beer. My husband and I also enjoyed an incredible sandwich called The Scotty that is pastrami stacked high on grilled marble rye bread with Swiss cheese and coleslaw and accompanied by a homemade thousand island dressing.
As if everything described above wasn’t already more than enough we opted for the Irish chips that are ripple cut fried Yukon gold potatoes served with brown gravy and topped with bacon, blue cheese crumbles, & a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
O’Maddy’s talented kitchen staff is directed by Chef Wade who elevates what some would expect as typical pub fare by including creative daily specials such as fried catfish over creamy polenta with collard greens topped with spicy tomato jam.
There are also lighter offerings such as a blackened salmon filet on top of a salad of baby spinach tossed in infused olive oil with sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, candied pecans and Gorgonzola cheese.
As always we enjoyed ourselves immensely and noticed the usual line beginning to form at the door as we took a short but much needed walk back to our home.
As I am born on St. Patrick’s Day I must admit that I do have an affinity for all things Irish, but even if the successful and well respected owner of O’Maddy’s, Joe Guenther, didn’t have a shamrock as the focal point of his logo I would remain a loyal patron of his for years to come.
Patti is the co-creator of the hospitality training site Give Remarkable Service along with her husband Jim. Patti can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our fantastically delicious looking home page is the grilled swordfish brushed with a tropically inspired barbecue sauce on a bed of mushroom garlic risotto that is garnished with a mango chutney and a wild orchid. This beautiful dish was prepared at Snappers on St. Pete Beach.
Local fisherman and talented restaurateur Dan Casey has been at his Gulf Boulevard prime location for over twenty years.
Every resort on the beach including the Trade Winds Island Grand, Sirata, Alden, and the Don Cesar feel confident in sending their guests to Dan’s restaurant to experience great food at a great value.
Snapper’s is so consistently busy with local patrons and visitors alike that they have no need to take reservations. You can be certain there is always a line of foodies on a short wait to get inside.
The building is beautifully landscaped with lush tropical plants and illuminated by nicely spaced tall tiki torches.
Once you’ve entered the softly lit dining room you’ll observe the popular Blue Ahi Tuna or a generous basket of Ipswich hand breaded fried clams being served by one of Snappers very experienced and professional waitstaff.
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If you are not a seafood lover and don’t choose to try the grouper stuffed with back-fin blue crab with shrimp and bay scallops topped with a champagne sauce, you may want to order the perfectly prepared 16 ounce Ribeye or the Chicken Portobello and sundried tomato penne pasta dish. Snappers is also very sensitive with special dietary restrictions.
All dinners are served with a salad of simple greens that is drizzled with a house dressing made daily and fresh hummus with a flatbread toasted with a mist of olive oil and a dash of cumin.
The early bird special is from 4:oo to 5:30 during this season and several menu options are offered at a reduced rate. The dinners include the house salad or coleslaw that I spoke of earlier as well as a little wedge of key lime pie.
Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful restaurant on your next visit to St. Pete Beach.
The Wagyu and Wine special offered by The Capital Grille Restaurant located within Tampa’s renowned International Plaza is one of the best values around from now through November 19th.
For a mere $25 while being served in the lounge anytime of the day or night one can enjoy the spectaular Caymus Napa Valley 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon by Chuck Wagner and one of three specialty Wagyu Burgers. You also have the option of selecting the Emmolo, Napa Valley, 2013 Merlot by Jenny Wagner or the Belle Glos Las Alturas, Santa Lucia Highlands, 2016 Pinot Noir by Joe Wagner.
On a recent visit my husband ordered the Wagyu Bacon Cheeseburger served on a black and white sesame seed bun and topped with Candied Applewood smoked bacon and subtle Vermont Cheddar Cheese. This delicious burger was accompanied by Truffle Fries that were nice and crispy with a generous toss of garlic Parmesan cheese and truffle oil.
Our bartender Lauren was friendly, attentive, and professional. Both she and the manager on duty Ashlee Breneman were very welcoming and made us feel right at home while taking in the rather stately ambiance that Capital Grille’s everywhere have become well known for. If you’re a resident of Tampa Bay or even a visitor making a shopping stop while in town consider taking advantage of the Wagyu and Wine special offer at The Capital Grille in the International Plaza. You’ll be thrilled that you did.
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Patricia Abate & her husband James Poling reside in the Tampa Bay area. They are forty year veterans in the hospitality industry and co-creators of Give Remarkable Service an online training program for hotel & restaurant owners, managers, & staff. They are proud to highlight the remarkable restaurant offerings in their paradise like community.
As the co-creator of Give Remarkable Service and a forty year veteran to the hospitality industry I will be posting a weekly blog that will feature some of the finest eateries and watering holes in Tampa Bays’ paradise like dining mecca.
To Christen this new site I have chosen to spotlight The Central Avenue Oyster Bar. Located in trendy downtown St. Pete this favorite of mine and many locals alike has a New York style cosmopolitan vibe with a very welcoming spirit.
The impressive bar runs the full length of the establishment with a well stocked selection of the finest bourbons, whiskeys, vodkas, and rums. The Oyster Bar also offers a great selection of locally brewed craft beers. On our most recent visits our friendly and knowledgeable bartenders Corie and Ali pointed us in the direction of the Apalachicola Gulf Oysters. They were served with the traditional accompaniments of fresh lemon wedges, horseradish, cocktail, and mignonette sauce. These jewels of the sea are offered every Wednesday all day for only $1 each.
Being a lover of Amber Ale’s I ordered the Big Storm which is a Tampa Bay brew. My husband ordered a toasted lager named Blue Point and the Reef Donkey on the second time around which is an American Pale Ale.
In addition to the oysters and beer we ordered a tender filet mignon sandwich on a lightly toasted hoagie roll with a delicate horseradish cream sauce that was garnished with ribbons of Arugula and a few banana peppers. The hand cut shoestring fries were the perfect side for this delightful lunch which we joyfully shared.
Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily and you can catch your favorite sporting event or even The Food Network on a few well placed TV’s.
Next time in and believe me it will be soon we may want to try the Bayou Gumbo with Andouille Sausage or the Florida Lobster Roll.
If you are an oyster lover or even if you’re not don’t hesitate to give this remarkable restaurant a try.