Tag Archive | florida

Travel Destination: Clearwater Florida USA

If you are looking for a cheap beach vacation in the US, don’t forget about Clearwater beach in Florida. I read an article in a tourist magazine that said that Clearwater Beach was named one of the best beaches in the US. I have to agree. I have been to a lot of different beaches and everything in the experience receives a rating. I look at the beach access, cleanliness of the beach, beach traffic/parking, beach hotel costs, and the quality of area restaurants. On a trip to visit some friends that live near Tampa, I took my Nana for a short vacation last December to Clearwater.

There are hotels within the $70 – 100 range that are not beachfront hotels but the beach is walking distance. To save some money, we picked an ocean view hotel. The hotel did not have beach access, but we could sit on their patio which overlooked the ocean. We were a less than 5 minute walk from the beach. So I was able to head out to the beach and put my feet in the water. Another plus was that the hotel parking was free. So many times, parking is $20 – 30 range at the nice hotels. And there are plenty of affordable restaurants in the area that are walking distance from the hotels that are along the beach.

The beach itself, the main attraction, was so pretty. I went out several times just to lay on the beach with my eyes closed listening to the waves. I went at dusk to watch the sun set. The sense of tranquility that I felt was from the best type of stress reliever.

Clearwater beach is accessible by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater small regional airport (abbreviation PIE) or Tampa international airport. We used a low cost air carrier Allegiant Air that flew from Greenville, SC into PIE. Using a flight special, the ticket price was $150. I do not know if you have the option of using a carrier like Allegiant Air, but if possible fly into PIE because smaller airports mean less hassle getting in and out. Just to give you an idea of how small the airport was- walking outside to the rental car parking lot was like walking outside of Wal-Mart to your car. There are no parking garages here.

Overall, the beach, surrounding area, hotel accommodations, and total trip cost made this an enjoyable, relaxing beach vacation.

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Post Corner Pizza and Restaurant

I chose this restaurant because it was walking distance from the hotel where I was staying in Clearwater Beach. This place serves diner food with some Greek and Italian dishes that cost just a little bit above regular diner prices. I suppose location is the reason for the slightly higher prices because it is located on Gulfview directly across from the beach.

I ordered Gyro platter which consisted of Gyro, French fries, and a small Greek salad. It cost $12.25. That was more than I wanted to pay, but I was hungry and did not feel like driving anywhere. The gyro was standard. I was not overly impressed but I was not disappointed either. Of all the varieties of French fries, my least favorite is the steak fry cut. And this is what they served. Needless to say, I ate them but I did not ENJOY them. The Greek salad was good mainly because of the Feta cheese. Love Feta.

I ordered cheesecake ($5.25/slice) for dessert. The cheesecake was rich and creamy as it is supposed to be. I was happy about that because it was a satisfying end to my meal.

Overall: This is a good diner choice if you are staying in Clearwater Beach. I don’t know if I would make a special trip for it.

 

Post Corner Pizza and Restaurant

431 Gulfview Blvd Clearwater Beach FL

Open 7 days 8:00 am –  11:00pm

 

****sorry no pictures****

Miami Airport Hilton

I stayed at the Miami Hilton Airport location. As for the room, it met my standards for a Hilton location. Immaculate clean room, comfortable bed, and relaxing good pressure shower head. Internet was $13 a day. Valet parking was $20 a day.

I was in town for business. It was raining and I did not feel like leaving the hotel to eat.
First of all, food at the hotel was very, very expensive. I chose this hotel because the per night rate was lower than the Marriott. But I think I ended up spending more on food here than I would have at another location.

Maybe I am being cheap, but I thought the Room service surcharges were outrageous: $5 delivery fee and 22% service charge.

Dinner
None of the entrees appealed to me so I ordered a few things appetizers. I had wings, yucca fries, and key lime pie. The wings were average. I did not like the buffalo sauce that came with them and I was glad it was on the side. It tasted like half a bottle of Texas Pete mixed with a stick of butter. As a result it left a greasy film in my mouth- not an appetizing feeling. The yucca fries were not good to me. It was mashed yucca in the shape of cheese sticks and fried to a crisp. My problem with this was that the yucca was over fried. The fries were so saturated with grease, that it made my stomach upset.
The bright side to this meal was the key lime pie. It was a 1 part tart, 1 part creamy, and 2 parts sweet. A delectable combination.
As you can see in the picture, I ate all the wings, key lime pie, left the hot sauce, and most of the yucca. I am used to eating fried food, but when there is too much grease, it does not sit well in my stomach.

Breakfast
I had the buffet because I figured that would be the best bargain for the money. The buffet had a lot of tasty choices but no bacon >cue my
sad face and sad music<. What is a breakfast without bacon?!?! I decided on the breakfast potatoes with chorizo, made-on-demand omelet,

some fruit, cheese, and pastries. The fruit was big and pretty, but not very sweet. The omelet was as tasty as I imagined it would be when I
chose the ingredients. The breakfast potatoes with chorizo were okay but needed salt and ketchup.

Everything was okay, not spectacular.The quality of of the customer service was on par with what I would expect from a Hilton. If I had had another option for food, I would have taken it. But since I was at the hotel and it was a distance to downtown, I had to make do with what I had. And although I was disappointed with the food, I did not complain because I ate it (I was too hungry to complain and have to wait for another order).

Jamaica Kitchen

Guy Fieri talked about this Jamaican restaurant in Miami Florida on Diners Drive Ins and Dives (http://www.foodnetwork.com/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/index.html). Of course I knew the next time I was in MIA, I was going to check it out. The food looked so good on TV.

When I got there, I was surprised that it was smaller than I expected. From the outside, it looked like an unassuming little store next to a Winn Dixie. Unless you know ahead of time, you would not think it was a restaurant. They had retail items like a mini Jamaican Wal-mart in addition to serving food. I wondered how did Guy get his camera crew in there to record the episode. Once I got over the size of the location, I was like a kid in a candy store in overload (see picture).

I got a menu but really wanted one of everything. I ordered curried oxtails (comes with rice and beans, plantain), curry chicken patties, rum cake, and ginger beer. Everything was DELICIOUS. It was just like I imagined it would be. The oxtail meat was falling off of the bones. The pastry dough of the patty was light and flakey. The patty filling was finely minced and full of balanced spicy flavor. To top it off, while I was eating, the owners/cooks came out of the kitchen and stood near the entrance. I approached them and said that I found out about the place from Triple D. They were really nice and friendly. I wanted to ask for a picture, but was too shy (that is saying a lot about me). I told them that I wish they had a restaurant that was closer to where I lived.

This is my type of comfort food and the next time I am in Miami, I am definitely going to eat here.
http://www.jamaicakitchen.com/