One of the first dining establishments I visited was a little family owned business located on Bayshore Boulevard at the foot of Gandy. Falge's had pretty good food at prices an Army Spec 4 could afford.
Eventually Falge's closed its doors and moved. When I say moved, I really mean moved. The entire building was uprooted and driven to a new location. There is some debate as to whether the building was moved once or twice, but the old Falge's was re-incarnated as a Pizza Hut before it finally closed its doors for good. Well, not quite for good.
The building, located in SOG City (South of Gandy), has found new life as Big Mo's Sports Bar at 6231 South Dale Mabry."
That was then and since "then" Big Mo is no mo. They closed their doors some time ago, but the building is still there and has found new life as Buckets Grill & Comfort Food. We read about them in today's edition of the Tampa Bay Times, and since we like to support SOG City eateries we decide to pay them a lunch time visit today.
According to the Times article, Buckets is hoping to draw a lot of customers from MacDill AFB but let me tell you one or three things: the food, service, and prices should even draw folks from north of Gandy.
Ne Ne greeted us as soon as we walked through the door. We beat the heavy lunch crowds, so we were invited to sit where we pleased and Ne Ne said she would be right with us...and, she was. We were presented with menus and our drink orders were taken. My bride, the Belle of Ballast Point, had a coke and I requested a bottle of Bud.
The menu lists salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, wings, seafood platters, and comfort foods. The Belle has never met a meat loaf that she could turn down, so she chose the Homemade Meat Loaf with mashed taters, gravy, and a side of mixed veggies. That was a serious slab of meat loaf, definitely not the child's portion, and the Bucket didn't skimp on the veg, either.
If I were still in the Air Force (I served in both the Army and later the Air Force), after polishing off that loaf, I'd have to tell the Commander to put the war on hold while I take an after lunch snooze. That dish was good and filling.
It has been years since I have ordered a country-fried steak, but I did just that today. Lindsey's Country Fried Steak with gravy and the ubiquitous mashed taters was heavenly. The steak was tender and crispy with savory white gravy. My side of collard greens was perfection in a bowl.
The Bucket serves up some simple but tasty food. It isn't fancy or pretentious and there is no way we could complain about the prices. Both plates of food, a coke, and two Buds came to an unbelievable $19.14. Our $5 gratuity for Ne Ne brought our total up to just $24.14 for all of that gut-bustin' goodness.