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

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A Perfect, Warm, night for a Christmas Boat Show!

It doesn’t get much better than this! A clear, warm night in Apollo Beach, Fl., watching the Christmas-decorated boats show off their creativity. Crowds gathered to join in the fun. If you plan to go next year, I would definitely suggest going early as we did. We sat on the outside terrace and enjoyed the view, food and a few cocktails with friends.

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Christmas Boat Show at Circles, Apollo Beach, Fl

Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Tampa, Fl.

Cooper's Hawk Winery, Tampa2Visit Cooper’s Hawk Winery in Tampa, Fl. and find an array of wines to fit anyone’s pallet. The wines are amazing, service is impeccable, food is fantastic, and prices are reasonable!

A great way to spend an evening whether meeting new friends at the wine bar or having a delicious meal in the dining room.

When I was there, I tried the ‘flight’ which was a wonderful way of tasting different types of wine and then deciding which one I liked the best. I also joined their Wine Club which is designed to help explore, share and pair wines with remarkable food. Each month you have the option of picking up your favorite bottle of wine or having it shipped directly to your door! How easy is that!

Cooper's Hawk Winery, Tampa

 

 

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.

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

“Be Wined, Dined & Dazzled” says The Capital Grille in Sarasota

Their LOGO says it all! The Capital Grille is a fantastic place to celebrate a special occasion and we did! Not only Valentine’s Day, but yesterday was our Anniversary as well, so we made it very special with great friends and an absolutely wonderful dinner.  Their website boasts over 350 labels of wine and I believe it as we passed by the wine when we entered the restaurant!

logo_capitalgrilleFrom the very beginning of our night, Tina our server, made sure we felt special. On our table was confetti to welcome and make things look festive, then Tina brought us an Anniversary card from The Capital Grille. Their specialty is steaks and our steaks were prepared just like each of us had ordered and oh so tender and the cocktails were amazing. At the end of our dinner, we were served a platter with Happy Anniversary written in chocolate and a sampler of several desserts! It was a beautiful night and The Capital Grille “Wined, Dined and Dazzled” us! A little pricey for an every night dinner but for a special occasion THIS is the way to go! A fine dining experience…

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