Wishing you all a very Happy New Year filled with good food and good friends to enjoy it with.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
This month's Great Escape proved to be a real challenge. Here in the Tampa Bay area we've been deluged with rain....monsoon type rain. Frankly I'm sick of it. So we were all looking forward to our escape and the restaurant we were headed to was Joe's Crab Shack in Clearwater. Alas we never made it. Our four couples headed out in two cars around the same time and it soon became apparent that the weather was against us. Seasoned Floridian drivers, we're not cowed by a little rain....but this was ridiculous. So about twenty minutes into our trip with only ten feet of visibility in front of us I called it "Abort" "Abort" "Abort" - we're not going to Clearwater in this mess. We texted the others and let them know we were getting off in Brandon and would head to Leroy Selmons on the Causeway if they wanted to find us. They were farther ahead and ended up near the Int'l Mall at a place called Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. LEROY SELMON'S, 11310 Causeway Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511
WHEN DIETARY RESTRICTIONS GET IN THE WAY Our dining out group gets together for the company as much as the food. We enjoy taking turns selecting the restaurant and discovering one that the group will enjoy. Through the years we haven't had too many bad experiences. How do we pick them? There are quite a few sites devoted to restaurants. Urbanspoon, Yelp, Trip Adviser, etc. Sometimes we search by type of food. Sometimes by neighborhood. We read the reviews and make a judgement call and take a leap of faith that it will be a good experience. We're rarely disappointed but if we are we take it with a sense of humor and a more satisfying dessert. Live and learn, eh? This past year it seemed that more than half of us were on some kind of diet or another and while that posed a challenge at first, we somehow managed to find restaurants that accommodated everyone's dietary restrictions. There's lo fat, lo carb, gluten free, paleo, weight watchers, etc. So how do you pick a restaurant that can satisfy the dietary needs of eight people? Here are some tips for selecting one that everyone will enjoy. First of all, know your group and understand their particular dietary restrictions and tastes. I wouldn't select a restaurant that sold only fish if I knew there was someone in the group that hated fish. Second, search by the particular diet name. For example, a search for "gluten free" served up over 300 options in Tampa Bay, an astonishing number I thought. We're seeing that more and more restaurants are featuring special diet offerings on their menus in an effort to attract more people. Libby's in Sarasota for example, had a section on their menu called "Simply Grilled Gluten Free" much to the delight of our gluten challenged friend.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
There are all kinds of escapes and/or reasons to do so. Yesterday I needed to escape from my thoughts and fears over hubby's back surgery....scary stuff as any of you who've been through this can attest to. I sought solace first in the hospital's serene little chapel and then in the cafeteria, which was a pleasant surprise.
Hubby is doing fine thank God, and since I'm staying by his side for the duration I figured I would make some observations about the food here at Brandon Hospital.
Nobody likes hospital food right? It always sucks, has no taste, who needs it...sneak me in a juicy burger or a big deli sandwich while the nurse isn't looking, eh?
But i have to report that things have improved greatly. Check out this restaurant quality menu!
For dinner hubby had beef pot roast, mashed potatoes and mixed veggies while I partook of the grilled salmon with mango salsa, rice pilaf and green beans. Both were quite delicious.
Today for lunch I had a cheeseburger and fries that was superior to many I've had at neighborhood restaurants.
And here's the thing --- it's very reasonably priced. Call me wacky but I know people who drive to Ikea for a bargain breakfast. My tip to anyone with a limited dining out budget is to drop by the hospital and dream up some reason to be there (I guess you'd need a patient's or doctor's name?) and head over to the Tower B Cafeteria.
Mention that you're a senior for an additional discount and for example, you can get a very good burger with a ton of fries for under $3.00 - I'm not kidding!
There's a salad bar, soups, and a variety of hot and cold foods. You can take it to go and sit outside on a bench overlooking a lake - al fresco hospital food - who'd a thunk it? And oh yeah, don't forget there's free parking.
We're home now and hubby is doing very well. We're grateful for how beautifully the staff at Brandon Hospital treated us - highly professional and also warm and friendly. His private room was spacious and sitting on the edge of his tray table when we arrived was an artfully folded towel shaped like an animal - just like they give you on cruise ships! Quite amazing that they go the extra mile to put a smile on your face. I hope you never have reason to stay at any hospital, but if you do or are visiting a loved one, don't forget to grab a bite to eat while you're there.