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Indian Rocks to John's Pass-Help!

I am going to be travelling to this area next week. I am looking for the following:

1. Good LOCAL chow restaurants (no chains preferably)--nothing fancy!
2. Ice cream shops
3. Coffee shops

I'd like to stick to the towns from Indian Rocks to John's Pass (including John's Pass), but if you want to throw in a few from Clearwater or St. Pete that's OK.

Thanks!

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  1. i had a cuban at the tacky turtle one time when we stayed at the IRB RV park - it was quite tasty, and as i recall they had ice cream -- a neat little place, and i do mean little.

    http://www.tackyturtle.com/

    other than that, we usually go to gators at johns pass, lots mediocre fried food at best, but a fun bustling atmosphere if you just want apps and drinks. there are several seafood spots at john's pass on both sides of the water but none of them were outstanding as i recall -- ironic considering that they have boats coming in regularly with fresh seafood all along those docks.

    i'm not local to the west coast, and we're going to ft. desoto next weekend so i need to find some spots on tierra verde.....considering billy's and the sandbar. (has to be withing biking distance of ft desoto)

    6 Replies
    1. re: hitachino

      had lunch at Billy's today and was not very impressed

      1. re: hitachino

        hitachino, this is the second time I've tried posting this, so hopefully here goes:
        You've got to give Crazy Conch Cafe a try. Located in the small shopping center at the entrance to Billy's, upstairs. Delicious food - try the crabcake and the blue cheese chips. Note: I think they're closed Sun and Mon, so plan accordingly!
        http://www.crazyconch.com/

        1. re: joan

          O that looks good! I'm going to have to put that on my list too )

          1. re: Conanoe

            It's really good and worth the drive to Tierre Verde!

          2. re: joan

            ok, thanks -- we're going to be there sat, sun and mon --- and judging by this:

            http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/southe...

            i don't think we're going to get out much on saturday (RV, no car, bicycles) :{

            crazy conch is closed on sun & monday so we'll probably just bicycle over and make do with billy's or something like that on sunday.

          3. re: hitachino

            Mi sister-in-law likes the TT also but recently told me that it is no more. I have not been out there to confirm this but I thought I would give a warning.

            John

          4. There is a good homemade candy/ice cream shop on Gulf Blvd in Madeira Beach, a real classic that's been there for years, called the Candy Kitchen.

            There are three fancy places on your route that I won't tell you about, but you might like Villa Gallace, a mom-and-pop Italian place in IRB:

            http://villagallace.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: joan

              Joan: I should have said "doesn't have to be fancy"...you can suggest the fancy ones, too. I already know about Salt Rock.
              I am also interested in good pizza, fried seafood, seafood with a view, etc.
              Thanks again.

              1. re: CookingGirl

                I figured you knew about Salt Rock! (Although lately I've read some not-so-good about them here on Chowhounds :(

                Just so I don't leave you all teased up, the two others are Lobster Pot and Wine Cellar. Wine Cellar is sort of the old standard - Continental menu, but you can always count on them for quality and great service. Lobster Pot is kind of funky/fancy. Famous for both types of lobsters, Maine and Florida crawfish, as well as true American Red Snapper. They have a fabulous chowder too, they bring out the Myer's rum to pour on top. I haven't been there in ages, but they are the real deal.

            2. There is a good place for breakfast in North Redington Beach and it is called the Frog pond. BIG portions. Here is a link to a review on it:

              http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/01/Wee...

              John

              1. Original's Pizza on Treasure island has good pizza and subs. Take out only, there is also an Original's on Madiera Beach that has tables you can sit at. There is also a new Amish ice cream shop on Madiera Beach that advertises home made ice cream. I have not been
                there yet, but it looks good. Also good little coffee shop on Madiera Beach on same street as post office. Sorry I don't know any names of streets! Try the Sea Horse on Pass a Grille for breakfast or lunch. Lot's of local history. It has been open for ever. They have a good grouper sandwich.

                1. For a good Reuben sandwich at a beach dive where you can dine in your bikini on a picnic bench in the sand overlooking the Gulf, go to Caddy's in Treasure Island. It's the best Reuben I've had in the area, and Caddy's is probably my favorite beach bar in Pinellas County.

                  For ice cream, we love the hominess of Scoops, on Gulf Blvd. on St. Pete Beach. You can get the Working Cow brand ice cream at other venues too, but we just love the family that owns this little place, who have a penchant for shooting photos of their guests and tacking them all over the walls. Oh yeah, the ice cream is really good, too!

                  If you're willing to head across the bridge to the St. Pete area, you MUST go to Ted Peter's on South Pasadena. This 40+ year old cash-only local institution is one of the few places left in the area where you can experience classic smoked mullet and other smoked fish. I personally like their old fashioned cheese burgers. While you're at it, after lunch hit the Florida Groves winery for free tastings of their refreshingly unique fruit wines.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: laurie

                    I agree with Laurie 110% on the Ted Peter's recommendation. I did not put it down because it was outside the requested area but WELL worth the extra drive.

                    John