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Base Camp: The Don (St. Pete Beach)

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I know I've been absent from this board for a bit (lurking, actually), but I'm hoping y'all will overlook that and help me out anyway with a locals question...

SO and I are taking a long weekend break at the Don over Memorial Day. We live in Tampa, but spend woefully little time at the beach or in St. Pete. So--I'm looking for ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple of locals who still don't know their way around over there.

Drinks and wine are a major plus; neither of us eats meat, but seafood is great; any cuisine is also great, exotic and spicy are welcome. I've heard the brunch at the Don is a must--is it? I think we'd like at least one "nice" dinner, but otherwise, fanciness is not necessary.

I look forward to your thoughts, thank you!

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  1. Hi Miss E!
    You are going to have a wonderful weekend. I live on Treasure Island so here are my favorite local recs:
    Walk to the beach bar at the BonAire for cheeseburgers. Can be hard to find a place to sit, and the service ain't all that, but the burgers are worth it.
    Breakfast at Beverly's. Across the street is the Frog Pond, which also has a great rep, but the quantity there is way too huge, and the Benedicts and croissants at Beverly's beat out FP in my opinion.
    Best seafood and fine dining is at Middlegrounds on Treasure Island. They have a good wine selection, and get their fish of the day, no matter what it is you cannot go wrong. Also, sit in the bar instead of the restaurant, for great people watching and live music.

    Some of my other go to places:
    Cuban sandwiches at the Floridian on TI.
    Italian at Verducci's, pizza at Vito & Michael's. These two are next door to each other on Blind Pass Road, on the northern end of SPB.
    Bar hopping at the bridge between TI & SPB: Salty Rim and Sea Hags. Both have good food and live music.
    If you're in the mood, take in a movie on Corey Ave (down the street from Beverly's) at the old time movie theatre. Bonus: they sell beer and wine!

    Other folks here like the Pearl, Mad Fish, Snappers. I haven't been in a long time to these, so you're on your own. But remember Mem Day will be busy busy so make reservations first if you can.

    P.S. Any of the dining at the Don will be great. We don't do brunch anymore, too much food,(but of course if you could go upstairs and collapse afterwards that might be the way to go!) but we've had memorable dinners at both the Maritana (up up upscale) and the Sea Porch (their poolside resto).

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Great list Joan, and I totally agree on the Frog Pond/Beverly's note. I would just like to add a couple more.
      Agave for Mexican it is right down the Street from the Don
      Nori Thai for sushi it right next to Vito and Michaels that Joan mentioned, try the kimchee roll it so good.

      Have a great time, and there is a guy that drives a glorified golf cart up in down the beach and gives free rides if you have too many margaritas ;)

      1. Thanks so much, julie and joan, these are great ideas! We've heard about Middle Grounds for years, so maybe we'll finally make it over there.And we're already booked for the Sea Porch one night. As for the other places, they ALL sound good--how many meals can we eat in 2 1/2 days??

        2 Replies
        1. re: Miss E

          Was that a rhetorical question? ;-)

          1. re: Mild Bill

            Ha, not exactly! On a recent trip we squeezed in a second dinner, lol. So it can happen!

        2. Miss E, I am not a local, but spent a week there in March. The link is to the places I ate at. Enjoy your time. Oh and +1 on the Floridian for a cuban, I forgot to put that one in my post.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838921