Friday, March 31, 2017


Lying in bed yesterday morning with the newspaper, a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee and a hot momma by my side I came across an ad announcing a grand opening special: a four course dinner for two with a bottle of wine for just $45. A deal like that could not be passed up, so I called Bellissimo Italian Eatery in Largo and made reservations for that very evening.

We were promptly seated and our affable server, Paul, presented menus, took our coupon, and explained our choices: basically anything on the menu running $16.99 or less, and there were many items to choose from. We requested a very adequate bottle of Cabernet and placed our order for two bowls of soup, our choice of salad dressings, and our entrees. All of this plus dessert for just $45? We were very impressed.

It came as no surprise to my bride that my choice for an entree was a tad more than $16.99, but Paul said there would be no problem and an additional $4 would cover my food upgrade. We settled in and enjoyed sipping our wine and nibbling on a very warm loaf of bread while awaiting the rest of our food.

The soup course consisted of a mildly spicy Pasta Fagioli for me and a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup for my dining companion. Both were excellent!

The salads consisted of fresh mixed greens. I neglected taking a photo since I felt that if you have seen one salad you pretty much know what they look like. I suppose you could say the same thing about the soup, but what the heck!

My entree soon arrived and all I could mutter was, "Is this the child's plate?" Paul chuckled and said the other half of my meal would be out shortly.

This huge serving of Pescatori could have fed me and a couple of children. Clams, fish, shrimp, calamari, and mussels were placed atop linguini swimming in a piquant fra diavolo sauce. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the seafood cooked to perfection - not raw and not over done. This dish was worth the $4 up charge.

My bride, the Belle of Gulf Boulevard, was equally delighted with her choice of The Trio: Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, and Fettuccini Alfredo.

Said she, "The fettuccini Alfredo was rich, creamy and one of the best I have ever had. The chicken was tender, juicy, and the lasagna was good, but could have used a little more sauce." But still, a really great trio.

Rounding out our Bellissimo dining adventure were the two included house made Cannolis.

Even without the special pricing we could have easily gotten out of Bellissimo for under a hundred dollars. Before our bill was presented I asked Paul to give me the cost of dinner without the discount. He seemed surprised by this request but I explained that we provide a gratuity based upon the full price, not the discount, because the effort of service would be the same either way. Apparently we are in the minority since few people tip in that manner. To them, I have one word: Cheap!

Bellissimo Italian Eatery & Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Do Your Taste Buds And The Environment A Favor

One of the first things I saw on-line this morning was a Facebook page for Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach. The ad read: "Lots of fresh lionfish in today! $26.99/ lb filleted and cleaned." The ad could just as easily said, "Git your crusty old butt down here ASAP and git some of these delights while the gittin' is good!"

The Belle of Gulf Boulevard and I hopped in our trusty Chevy and hightailed it down to Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach arriving a tad past their 10 o'clock opening. The charming Cory greeted us as we walked in to this compact seafood grocery. Almost immediately we spied the target of our desires in the ample display case.

Lionfish is similar in taste to hogfish, sweet, mild with a light buttery taste. We have been wanting to try lionfish for some time now, but since they have been considered trash fish there are very few venues that offer this delicacy. Also, there are not many commercial fishermen who target this fish. They can be caught with hook and line, but are most often speared by divers.

Lionfish are characterized by conspicuous warning coloration with red, white, creamy, or black bands, showy pectoral fins, and venomous spiky fin rays. This is an invasive species capable of reducing the number of juvenile native fish on any given reef by approximately 79% in just 5 weeks.

The Belle and I decided to do our part in eradicating this aquatic menace by requesting a couple of pounds of lionfish fillets. Cory invited us to join her at the back room cleaning station as she deftly dealt with these devils of the briny deep.

As I mentioned, Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach is a relatively small store, but they have a very impressive selection of seafood choices, many of which were harvested by Cory or her brothers depending on whose turn it was to watch the shop or go diving. Cory drew the short straw on this day while her brothers were out on and in the water.

Key West Shrimp Co Mad Beach has now become our source for seafood. If you are in the vicinity of 215 150th Avenue, Madeira Beach, stop in and give them a try.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Roosting At The Roost

Northern style chicken and homemade comfort food seemed to beckon us like the Sirens' call to the Argonauts. Rather than plugging our ears with wax, we accepted the call and drove our trusty Chevy from the levy to The Roost at 7141 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach.

The Roost is right at the corner of Gulf Boulevard and 72nd Avenue. There is parking on 72nd and behind the building. My bride and I tied Gussie the Chevy to the hitching post on 72nd and walked past the outdoor seating area to the front door.

Leonard greeted us and invited us to sit where we pleased in a near empty dinning room. The hour was early so we had Leonard pretty much to ourselves. He took our drink orders, a couple bottles of Stella. There are menus on the tables and menu boards scattered throughout.

The veggie menu changes from day to day. Sadly for me we arrived on a no collards day so I had to make do with coleslaw, cauliflower bake, and ginger carrots. The Belle of Gulf Boulevard chose a macaroni salad and cheesy potatoes.

I was extremely impressed that I could order all dark meat chicken since I am not a fan of breast meat. The Belle prefers white, so we were both pleased with our choices and the fact that there was no up-charge. She got two delightfully crispy breasts and I got three divine thighs.

The chicken, both breasts and thighs, was crunchy on the outside and moist and delicious on the inside. The Roost employs a fast, pressure-fried method of cooking chicken that uses very little oil. 

The veggies were good and the biscuits were hot, light and fluffy; the beer was cold and the service was efficient. We certainly can't complain about the prices. Our total bill including four beers came to a mere $49.47.

In addition to an adequate selection of beer and wine, the Roost has a full liquor bar, and a decent sized outdoor seating area.

The Roost Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Another Trump Appointed Pile Of Poop

The once great United States of America has again shown the world what useless looks like. Rex Tillerson, Trump's choice to start a third world war, has had to take a break from his duties because he needs a widdle nappy-poo. Tillerson is apparently too pooped to poop. Sad!

This is in stark contrast to the tenure of Secretary of State Clinton. In February 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Asia, visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China. She continued to travel heavily in her first months in office, often getting very enthusiastic responses by engaging with the local populace.

In early March 2009, Clinton made her first trip as secretary to Israel. On March 5, Clinton attended the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels. In August 2009, Clinton embarked on her longest trip yet, to a number of stops in Africa. In October 2009, Clinton's intervention – including juggling conversations on two mobile phones while sitting in a limousine – overcame last-minute snags and saved the signing of an historic Turkish–Armenian accord that established diplomatic relations and opened the border between the two long-hostile nations.

On the same trip, Clinton visited the Middle East, in an effort to restart the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. In November 2009, Secretary Clinton led the U.S. delegation at the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In December 2009, Clinton attended the Copenhagen United Nations Climate Change Conference, where she pushed forward a last-minute proposal of significant new amounts of foreign aid to help developing countries deal with the effects of global warming.

That dear readers was just an abridged description of Secretary Clinton's first year as Secretary of State, and includes a time-out for surgery to repair a right elbow fracture caused by a fall in the State Department basement. The painful injury and recuperation caused her to miss two foreign trips.

Now our new Secretary of State Limp-dick Pusswad has to take a break because he is so exhausted after barely a month and a half on the job. On his maiden Asian tour Tillerson spent almost 2 1/2 hours with Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida including a dinner, and another hour with Prime Minister Abe. But his meetings with Yun and Hwang of South Korea were each confined to about an hour, without a lunch or dinner gathering. Seoul officials said the US side opted not to have a meal together, citing the secretary’s “fatigue.”

Here we have another Trump appointed piece of useless garbage. Tillerson would rather start a nuclear war with North Korea than negotiate a peaceful resolution because ... he is too fucking tired. Sad!

Editor's note: I wrote this. It is not a "copy and paste." But you may.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Our Roasted Chicken Dinner

Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

  2          each  lemons -- cut into slices
16          ounces  chicken breast half -- with skin and ribs
12          ounces  chicken thighs -- with skin and bone
  4          tablespoons  olive oil -- for drizzling
  4          tablespoons  salt and pepper -- divided
  1          tablespoon  paprika -- divided
  1          pound  new potatoes -- any larger ones halved
  4          each  carrots -- sliced in half lengthwise
10          each  fresh thyme
  2          each  fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large baking sheet with sides, cover with foil, add half the lemon slices to half of the sheet and arrange the chicken skin-side up over them.

Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.

Hit the chicken with a few dashes of paprika, then move on to the other half of the sheet.

Add the potatoes and carrots cut-side down to the empty half of the sheet, top with the thyme and rosemary, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Over the portion of the baking sheet with the chicken, add the remaining lemon slices and season again with salt, pepper and paprika.

Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Discard the rosemary, thyme and lemon slices.

Remove the chicken and veggies from the sheet and serve.

Start to Finish Time: 1:30
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : I used one breast half and two thighs.

Monday, March 6, 2017

How About Goulash For Dinner?

Gulf Boulevard Goulash

  1              large  eggplant -- cut in 1" cubes
  10            ounces  cherry tomatoes -- sliced in half
  4              ounces  roasted red peppers -- cut in 1" pieces
  1/2           cup  red onion -- thinly sliced - use mandolin
  12            ounces  andouille sausage -- sliced 1/2" thick
  4              tablespoons  olive oil
  1              teaspoon  dried oregano
  1/2           teaspoon  sea salt
  1/4           teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Toss eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and sausage in a large baking tray.

Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with oregano, salt and pepper.

Stir to coat.

Roast for 45 minutes.

Divide between two bowls and serve.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

US v Canada

I am going to share with you, dear readers, two photo images. The first comes to us from our neighbor to the north, Canada.

This image is that of the cute tushie of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. This image has caused quite the twitter amongst many women ... and maybe some men folk ... around the world.

Back here in the used-to-be-good-ole USA, we are stuck with this ass.