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Anyone remember Pueblo Village?

  • g

I was having nostalgic twinges for the great BBQ from this old tourist trap on Indian Rocks Beach. They had a nice deli and a real soda/malt shop (complete with a wall of loose candies in barrels!), and BBQ I still measure everything against.

Alas, it's gone now. I've heard since that the two brothers who owned the place were the only ones who had the recipe for their sauce ... even the cook who made it every day didn't know all the ingredients - evidently one of the brothers came to top off their "secrets". I'd love to think that isn't true, and that somebody out there somewhere has the recipe!

I was hoping anyone out there in Chowhound-land might remember the place. And I haven't given up hope of finding some way to duplicate those great childhood memories.

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  1. t
    Tandoori Girl

    I remember it. But I never had the BBQ. Sniff, sniff.

    Thanks for jogging my memory.

      1. I love you

        1. Born and raised in Tampa, Indian Rocks was the family get away. I remember staying at the Rainbow Cottages and going to the Pueblo Village to get BBQ and that awesome sasparilla from the oak keg against the wall (self serve, big doin's back then), and yes a stick of horehound candy. Just walking in on those old pine floors was pretty cool. And don't forget the cool merchandise in the store, and the "indian" sitting just inside the front door. Probably a condo now, too bad.

          1. I grew up in NRB and my Dad thought they had the best deli ever and we went once a week to get sliced ham and a wedge of danish blue. I loved walking around and looking at the stuff and getting a small bag of root beer barrels. Great memories. Thanks Juli

            1. I spent many a summer in IRB...and the adults always took us kids there. I remember the Indian, and the deli, and lots of toys in barrels! The grown-ups always got a Reuben on marbled rye. If I had known then what I do now, I'd have ordered it, there must have been a pound of corned beef on each sandwich! I miss that place. What about Tiki Gardens? And Trader Frank's? anybody remember those?!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Redheadb3

                I do remember Tiki Gardens, I used to order the poo-poo platter and giggle (I was 6 or 7) and they also sold a lot of polynesian dolls with big eyes and I always wanted one. Funny what you remember. Juli

              2. Sorry Gourmette, I don't have the original Pueblo Village BBQ recipie. Good luck finding it!

                I loved this place as a kid. I would buy that (now horrible) maple sugar candy and about 20 different flavored stick-candies! I loved that their roast beef sandwiches were round.

                And yes! I remember the Indian out front. :O) Good times.

                1. I do I do! I've thought about them so many times over the years. I grew up in Indian Rocks beach and would pick up roast beef sandwiches there throughout the summer. Then when I married and moved to TN we would bring our family to visit Grandma and Grandad, head over to the beach and then to Pueblo Village for the yummy sandwiches, yucky stick candy (but it was tradition) and amazing Saspirilla drinks all barefooted and sandy! How I miss those days!

                  1. My family (Pinellas natives) were just at IRB last week and lamenting the loss of this landmark. I sure wish I could take my son there and give him the same experiences. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Bear1101

                      I remember it, but not very well. I was pretty young the last time I was there. I remember staying at the beach and walking down with my cousins, but that's about it.

                      1. re: Bear1101

                        I grew up in Clearwater until 3rd grade then spent a year in Mass. We moved back after that to Largo and spent a month in a hotel on the beach while we bought a house. Pueblo Village ribs were a staple while we were there as were weekly trips to Gene's Lobster House. Loved their blue cheese dressing even as a kid. And I always loved Leverocks - not the recent versions, but the old original restaurant.

                        Lobster House
                        716 N US Highway 1, Tequesta, FL 33469

                        1. re: suemac

                          My mom was a waitress at Gene's Lobster House back in the 70's. Fun to look back.

                          Lobster House
                          716 N US Highway 1, Tequesta, FL 33469

                          1. re: juli5122

                            My brother worked at Gene's Lobster House in the 70's too.

                            1. re: hopebuilder

                              My mom's name at the time was Milly Sullivan it would have been like 72 or 73 maybe?

                      2. I was wracking my brain trying to remember the name of this place. We lived in St. Petersburg and would eat/shop here a few times a year. I recall the old plank floors that were already mentioned and the barrels of candy. The thing I recall most vividly about Pueblo Village was my brother and I each getting an allotted amount of candy. On the way home I would challenge him to a race, using his candy, to see who could eat it the fastest. Thanks for the memories. I'd give just about anything to see the condos that have taken over replaced by fun (albeit cheesy) family places like this!

                        1. I remember it! Seems like it was briefly a steak restaurant in the late '90s shortly before it disappeared. Can't remember the name, though...it's hell getting old. Seems like it might have been associated with Guppy's, though...or maybe Keegan's.

                          I remember Tiki Gardens, too...it was so cool! :) While not on the beach, The Kapok Tree was craptacularly magnificent in its day, as well. I miss all those guys...as well as the original Pappa's in Tarpon Springs.

                          As long as I'm waxing nostalgic, I don't want to forget Beach Nutts on the south end of Treasure Island (I think...may have been St. Pete Beach) or The Brown Derby (looked like a big pirate ship...remember??) on Madeira. The Bamboo Beer Garden in John's Pass was an icon, too. Time marches on, I guess...but it's still a little sad.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: sweet_polly

                            Yes great memories. Pueblo and Tiki. Kapok Tree is still there just not a restaurant. Pick up some guitar strings there. The ballroom and garden are still used for parties.

                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              Yeah...I know. Still not the same, though. *sniff*

                            2. re: sweet_polly

                              Oh those were the days! We'd take our northern cousins who were down for their beach vacation, to The Kapok Tree for dinner. They were so sunburnt that they could hardly enjoy it.
                              I remember Tiki Gardens and putt putt golf too.

                              Anyone remember Ted Peter's Smoked Mullet in St. Pete? I think they are still going strong. My favorite when I get down to FL! Lot's of beach memories! Very nostalgic!

                              1. re: hopebuilder

                                The St. Pete Times published the Kapok Tree's Coconut Shrimp w/ Grand Marnier dipping sauce recipe in the late '80s (only a couple of years before they closed). These babies rawk...best coconut shrimp I have ever had. I still have the original newspaper clipping and serve them to our dinner guests from time to time (always with rave reviews). :)

                                1. re: sweet_polly

                                  Sweet Polly, I have like 10 of the Kapok Punch glasses and the recipes for it and the corn fritters. We should get the Tampa Bay Hounds together and do a Kapok dinner--relish tray and all!!

                                  1. re: monadelmar

                                    OMG...how fun would that be? I love it! I'd almost forgotten about the relish tray. lol

                              2. re: sweet_polly

                                Yes! The Brown Derby, Tiki Gardens, The Kapok Tree, Pappa's! I miss that area so much it hurts.

                                1. re: sweet_polly

                                  i worked at the Brown Derby as a cocktail waitress when I was just out of high school. They had great prime rib.

                                2. I remember Pueblo Village very well. When my wife and I were first married we would drive up the beaches and stop and Pueblo Village for one of their delicious ham and swiss on rye. Never have had a better sandwich. It was large and we would wash it down with a cold Lowenbrau (the real stuff from Germany). It was very small then (around 1964) and didn't have much but the delli. We never had the bbq but often think about our visits there. That was old Florida, before the condos.

                                  1. wow blast from the past. I still remember the Brandy Alexanders from the Brown Derby is was my first achoholic drink. Does anyone remember the Sand Dollar on 34th st South? I grew up eating there as a kid and learned to try new foods because of it

                                    1. We grew up on I.R.B. We are trying to find and recreate the sauce on Pueblo Village's Wheel Sandwiches, Somebody out there must know what else was in there besides real butter, could the little green flecks been dill weed? I have re-engineered the cucumbers in sour cream., but no luck on the wheel sandwich spread. Help! Does anyone remember Beach Park? Later became The Hofbrauhaus, now its the Pub. How about The Gulf Grille, or Dale's Desoto Bar? That's really going back. Smoked mullet.....wow