Since 1987, St. Pete Bagel Co.'s bakers have crafted New York–style bagels and both old-fashioned and yeast-raised donuts every morning. Rabbi Uriel Rivkin presides over each day's batch of certified-kosher dough rings bedecked with salt, onions, and poppy seeds, which share space with sandwiches and assorted spreads on the café menu. Fluffy and sweet specialty donuts such as PB&J, red velvet, and strawberry-glazed bike tire join coffee and espresso drinks for maximum donut slam-dunks. Around the shop, wood and leather stools seat diners, who can pass the time by admiring colorful flora and photos of bagels snapped at the food pyramid’s class reunion.
Surf & Turf Market's curated selection of gourmet groceries includes grain-fed USDA Prime cuts of beef, fresh-daily seafood catches, and prepared entrees and deli-style sides. Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico and other famous swimming pools includes fresh and frozen mahi-mahi, king crab, and conch. Hormone-free chicken, grain-fed pork, and hand-made sausages line up in the meat and poultry case, ready to form dinner alliances with legions of potato and pasta salads. The store also organic wines and dairy, frozen food items, and imported cheeses.
Thirsty Marlin reels in fresh seafood to craft creative, flavorful dishes served in a festive and tropical atmosphere. Take in the toe-tapping notes of live music Thursday through Sunday nights at the Palm Harbor location, or on Thursday night at the Largo location. Peruse the vast menu. Succulent starters present an innovative take on comfort fare, such as the lobster quesadillas ($10.99) and the grouper nuggets, served fried or buffalo-style ($9.99). Ask the sauce-laden rumba's ribs for a dance ($18.79), or spear some sushi after 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The Thirsty Marlin roll ($10.95) quenches the sushi desires of gilled and ungilled beings alike with a medley of shrimp tempura, crab meat, and veggies in a savory eel sauce. Top off your meal pouch with homemade Marlin fried cheesecake ($6.99), refreshingly devoid of fish and bursting with a chocolate-covered Oreo crust.
Mo’ Ziki piles beef, lamb, and chicken into pitas and wraps for a menu replete with modern fast-prep Greek fare. Midday and evening patrons pair their choice of grilled chicken or steak with red-pepper hummus or spicy feta, adding panache with the lemon-avocado or kalamata-olive sauces. Dinnertime diners tip back imported Mythos brews or domestic Bud Lights as they warm up with pita wedges wed to an original blend of melted cheeses and spices. Whole-wheat pitas bulging with beef, cucumbers, and lemon-avocado sauce starlight the entree lineup, with guests chewing toward to the finish line so chefs can drape golden chocolate-chip medals around their necks.
When Popeyes first opened in a New Orleans suburb in 1972, it wasn't exactly an instant hit. Known back then as Chicken on the Run, it experienced several months of lackluster sales. Not ready to give up, founder Alvin Copeland Sr. changed his recipe from traditional southern fried chicken to the native spicy New Orleans?style chicken. He then gave his eatery a similarly spicy new moniker: Popeyes, named after "Popeye" Doyle, the hardboiled detective in the hit movie The French Connection.
A little more than a decade later, the popular chain had opened its 500th restaurant, expanded to Canada, and added its fluffy buttermilk biscuits to the menu. It also introduced the country to crawfish, which?much like draping beads over everything from trees to the local alligator population?had been beloved by Louisianans for decades.
Nowadays, patrons can dig into the Louisiana favorites that made Popeyes famous, including breaded seafood, po' boys, and sides like mashed potatoes and red beans and rice. Of course, the main event is still spicy or mild chicken that marinates for 12 hours before being hand-battered, hand-breaded, and fried.
Like tributaries merging to form a mighty river of marinara sauce, three friends and lifelong Italian restaurant owners joined forces to create Uncle Frank's Italian Restaurant, bringing along their best recipes with them. They make their pizza and pasta sauces daily, slathering them onto doughy crusts bound for fire-crackling ovens where they transform into New York-style pies. They prepare proteins such as chicken in the gamut of Italian styles, slathering the poultry with mushrooms and wine to create a marsala or coating it with breading and parmesan cheese to produce a parmigiana.