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

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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“Pinchers” Crab Shack

20180208_115619277211571.jpgEAT CRAB GET PINCHED at Pinchers Crab Shack in Lakewood Ranch. This is not the typical crab shack with picnic tables and crabs by the dozen sprawled across the table. Pinchers takes a different approach, by selling a single crab for $7.00 each,    6 for $37.00 or 12 for $70.00! Growing up in Maryland, I don’t think I ever saw an option on the menu to buy a ‘single’ crab. Instead, I opted for a few appetizers to get my crab ‘fix’. The Crab Rangoon was fantastic; Seared Ahi Tuna was wonderful; and the Crab Dip was divine. All three apps for less than a dozen crabs!  If you care to take some seafood home with you, they also have a seafood market.

It was a warm day so we sat outside and enjoyed the sunny weather.  20180208_115642875224453.jpgIt was a great afternoon and we will definitely be back.

 

 

 

 

Ferraro’s Italian Grille

img_5452967260397.jpgFerraro’s Italian Grille in Parrish is a “family oriented Italian Restaurant. Eat in or take out. My friend had the Manicotti and was very pleased, I had the Salmone al Limone and it was fantastic! Reasonable prices, Vegetarian and Gluten Free options as well. The portions were large enough to take home for next day’s lunch. Visit their website for menu lunch specials and more.  Located: 8348 US Hwy 301 N, Parrish, Fl