Best Places to Eat in Spring Hill, Florida 2015 Edition by Fred Moutran Part 4

publix sub photo

Fish

My original fish fry favorite closed last year. There has been no word as far as I know if they will come back. So for a new option we have The Jersey Cafe for an All You Can Eat Fish Fry. For a regular dinner, BeckyJack’s Food Shack is awesome. They may be a little out of the way, and typically very crowded, but it is certainly worth the inconvenience. You may recall me raving about this place last year. They are still one of the best places in town. Also, as for closer options, check out the catfish at Cracker Barrell. I feel like I am cheating recommending so many chains, but sometimes they can prove to be one of the better options. They usually get that big for a reason.

Subs and sandwiches

Of course, anyone living in Florida knows how good Publix subs can be. It is not exactly eating out, as you are buying from a supermarket and bringing it somewhere, but it is still among the best sub options in town. For more specific options, Philly’s Best has the best Cheesesteak in town. Rookies and Beef O’ Brady’s have Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches that are really good. Rookies is the better of the two, but some people swear by Beef’s overall. For hot sandwiches in general, Susie’s Grill has plenty of excellent choices. The Mega Melt is one of my personal favorites in town. Roast beef, ham, and two types of cheeses are piled heavily on a grilled sandwich. They also have really good fish sandwiches and chicken parmesan sandwiches as well, among several other great choices.

Family Restaurant

If you want a place you can take the entire family and be able to satisfy all of them in an environment that is good for children of all ages, then there a few top options in town. Susie’s Grill, as mentioned earlier, has plenty of options to satisfy just about anyone. I covered their sandwiches before. However, they have plenty of great entrees as well. They have an entree version of the Chicken Parmesan that I would certainly recommend. They also do good fish. There is really plenty of varied options to choose from.

Photo by shelnew19

Best Places to Eat in Spring Hill, Florida 2015 Edition by Fred Moutran Part 3

Beef O'Brady's chicken wings photo

Wings

There is so much variation here, even down to different sauces at the same place being vastly different that I will just list places and recommended sauce/flavor. This is in no real order. Beef O’ Brady’s has a really good Blackened Dry Rub. Another really good Dry Rub is at Karma with their Jersey Dry Rub. Rookies has a Garlic Parmesan wing that certainly worth checking out. The wing bar at Winn Dixie on Four Corners has a really good crispy breaded wing called the Magnum Breaded Wing. For just overall Buffalo Wings, I would probably go with either Rookies or Karma. If it was not already obvious, I eat a lot wings.

Barbecue

I would put my vote towards Texas Roadhouse if we were just talking ribs. They have very tender, fall off the bone baby backs. There really are only a couple of other options in town for barbecue in general though. Without going too far out of the way, there is Sonny’s, Bigun’s Bar-B-Q, and Dickey’s. I have yet to try Dickey’s as it is a little far from my usual dining radius and so I cannot really judge them. Sonny’s is great is you just want to stuff yourself. They have plenty of All-You-Can-Eat options that cater to most anyone’s taste in barbecue. Bigun’s is better for those who want a more traditional barbecue experience. Whereas Sonny’s just supplies several sauces in squeeze bottles to choose from, Bigun’s serves theirs with sauce as most places do. So the preference comes down to what you look for in your dining experience. Do you want choice and quantity or less options but a higher quality meal? That is the difference between Sonny’s and Bigun’s. As for Dickey’s I will have that review up when I get to check them out.

Photo by izik

Best Places to Eat in Spring Hill, Florida 2015 Edition by Fred Moutran Part 2

Outback Steakhouse in California

Outback Steakhouse in California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continuing from yesterday, here is part two of our revised list of the best places to eat in Spring Hill for 2015.

Pizza

This one can be very hard to keep up with lately, as so many places close or go through changes in quality or have other issues that affect their status. They can change seemingly from week to week. That being said, right now, the clear winner is Rocco’s Pizza. The are one of the places in town that produce a pizza with a crispy crust. They use a good quality sauce, which is the downfall of many pizza places these days as budgets get cut and sacrifices are made to the quality of materials. Rocco’s Pizza does not suffer from these shortcomings.

For another option, there is Pizza Villa on State Road 50. They are one of the longest-lasting pizza places in town and for good reason. They have long been one of the favorites in the area because they have consistently made a top-quality pizza for years. You cannot argue with those results. Consistency like that is hard to come by.

Steak

There are not a lot of options for steak in Spring Hill, but the options we do have make up in quality what the town’s offerings lack in diversity. Texas Roadhouse is my favorite here. For a truly satisfying meal for someone of any appetite, go on a Wednesday, order the steak and shrimp special. If memory serves, the steak is a sirloin. Then get that with a side of ribs. It will run close to twenty dollars, when you get steak, shrimp and ribs for that price, it is worth the cost. Also, some of the discount cards that raise funds for the local schools have a deal for free appetizers there. The card has paid for itself already in free cheese fries from there.

Of course, there is also always Outback Steakhouse. They do not run as many deals as Texas Roadhouse, but the food is still quite good. There are many excellent choices on their menu, but personally, I am fond of the prime rib. It is hard to find a more tender and juicy cut of meat without driving to Tampa.

Best Places to Eat in Spring Hill, Florida 2015 Edition by Fred Moutran Part 1

pizza photo

Last year, I wrote a list of the best places to eat in Spring Hill, Fl. Much has changed in a year. Places have closed for various reasons. Some closed due to the owner’s passing away, some just were not making ends meet, and some for other reasons. Other places experienced a change in quality for better or worse. Then there were new places I discovered along the way. I have considered revising this list several times as a result. Finally, so much has changed by this point that I felt I had to make the adjustment. So here is the brand new version of the list for 2015, broken down by type of food in no real order. This time around, I will try to give a couple options when possible in case of further changes. Keep in mind these are solely my opinions and your experience may differ.

Bagels

There is really only one option in my mind here. New York Gourmet Bagels at the corner of Spring Hill Dr. and Mariner Blvd. is the place to go for a bagel. I recommend getting a roast beef or pastrami bagel sandwich.

Italian

There are a few solid options here. The two best that stand out above the pack though have to be Nina’s Cucina and Rocco’s Pizza. Nina’s Cucina is located on Kass Circle. They encourage getting reservations before going as seating is limited. Rocco’s Pizza is a recent addition to this list, having taken over the location from one of my previous favorites, Mario’s Pizza. Rocco’s is located in the plaza with the Target on U.S. 19. For Nina’s I my favorite was the Chicken Alfredo, and for Rocco’s their Veal Parmesan has been my favorite so far.

Photo by The Pizza Review

Beach Bash 2014: Zombie Invasion

The annual Beach Bash event was held recently at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. However, this year’s event had a bit of a twist. The zombie apocalypse had invaded! Check out the video, from NatureCoast.tv for a glimpse into the zombie infested fun that was Beach Bash 2014: Zombie Invasion.

Come See the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs


This video, by YouTube user Kris551000, does a great job in displaying the sights one can take in at the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. There are plenty of excellent restaurants that achieve acclaim from all over the country. It is a great place to stroll by the water and do some light shopping. Of course, it is really something to behold if you can make it during the annual Epiphany celebration. The event makes headlines across the area every year. There is plenty to do and see there, if you are in the Tampa Bay Area, you really should check it out.

Historic Tampa Bay: Pinellas County Origins Part 4

tarpon springs florida photo

In the early 1920s, a real estate boom led to economic prosperity in the area. Expansion of cities and development of public works projects such as major bridges became the driving factors in economic growth for a few years. When the real estate boom ended in 1926, the region was hit hard economically. This would prove to be step one in a double whammy as The Great Depression would come just three years later. St. Petersburg would default on bonds the city offered during this time. The area began to stabilize as World War 2 drew closer, but the war slowed growth to near standstill.  However, this was not enough to stop the incorporation of St. Pete Beach in 1943. In the years following World War 2, economic growth picked back up and another boom period began.

Another batch of city incorporations between the late 1940s into the mid 1950s finished shaping Pinellas County as we know it today. Madeira Beach joined the ranks in 1947 with Indian Shores following two years later. North Redington Beach incorporated in 1953, and Redington Shores along with Indian Rocks Beach followed three years after that. By this time the foundation for what we know today as Pinellas County was set in place. In the years that followed, changes in county government structure and the founding of major attractions such as the Dali Museum have been the primary formative events in the county’s history.

Photo by State Library and Archives of Florida

Historic Tampa Bay: Pinellas County Origins Part 4

clearwater florida photo

A year after that, the community formerly known as Clear Water Harbor, was officially incorporated as Clearwater. The following year, St. Petersburg, named after St. Petersburg, Russia, followed suit and incorporated as well. St. Petersburg was named after the city’s Russian counterpart due to the Orange Belt Railroad company owner, Peter Demens, who brought the railroad to the region and was one of the city’s founders. The year after the city of St. Petersburg incorporated, the first bank opened in the city.

In 1894, the newspaper then known as the Hillsborough Times moved to St. Petersburg to become the St. Petersburg Times. Of Course, we now know this institution as the Tampa Bay Times. Five years later, in 1899, Dunedin incorporated. At the turn of the century, the first hotel on St. Petersburg’s beach opened its doors. Tourism had become a major industry in the area around this time, as we cover in our article on Tampa’s origins.

In 1907, a “Declaration of Independence” was published, beginning a push to create an independent county on the western side of the peninsula that creates Tampa Bay. It would take another five years to realize this goal, as Pinellas County officially split off from Hillsborough County to become its own entity in 1912. During the period in between, the City of Gulfport incorporated in 1910. A year after the formation of Pinellas County, in 1913, Pinellas Park incorporated. In 1916, Oldsmar followed and incorporated as well.

Tomorrow, November 11, 2014, we shall conclude our series on the historical origins of Pinellas County, Florida. Be sure to check back then to catch the conclusion.

Photo by Boston Public Library

Historic Tampa Bay: Pinellas County Origins Part 3

English: Bayside Bridge, Pinellas County, Florida

English: Bayside Bridge, Pinellas County, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In between purchasing the territory and officially recognizing it as a state, however, the U.S. would be thrust into the Second Seminole War. American officials attempted to relocate the Seminole Tribe, which led to retaliatory attacks, escalating into all out war. The violent exchange lasted several years, with the end result being the relocation of surviving Seminoles into a reservation in southern Florida. This also led to the Armed Occupation Act, allowing for land grants in unsettled portions of the soon-to-be state.

In the late 1850s, a community built up in what is now Clearwater. A public school was established in 1855, and by 1859, Clear Water Harbor, which would later become modern day Clearwater, was officially established as the first community in what would become Pinellas County. In the region’s formative years, what would become Pinellas County was originally part of Hillsborough County. This meant that these early communities were recognized by Hillsborough authorities.

Between 1861 and 1865, the American Civil War cut a bloody trail across the country. We have covered the impact of the war on a few occasions in other articles. Check our article on the history of the Brooksville Raid, as well as the histories of Tampa and Pasco County for more information.

The American Medical Society played a large part in expanding the population of what would become Pinellas County in 1885, as at a conference in New Orleans, they highly endorsed the area for its climate, which they saw as having great health benefits. In 1887, the first officially incorporated city in what would become Pinellas County was formally recognized. That city, Tarpon Springs. Fishing became dominant industry in the region during this time, greatly aided by the formation of Tampa Bay Ice Company three years later.