Patriotic Restaurant Offers A Dining Experience Unlike Any Other

In Florida, we usually associate themed restaurants with tourist attractions, but this patriotic restaurant in Clearwater is completely different. In fact, the only thing cheesy in this unique theme restaurant is the macaroni.

Frankie’s Patriot BBQ is located at 6250 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater, FL 33760.

The restaurant was named in loving memory of the owner’s son, Corporal Frank R. Gross, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011. When you walk in, you will immediately realize this isn’t your ordinary barbecue restaurant. Almost every inch of the eatery is covered with military memorabilia and photographs

The restaurant was started by owner Craig Gross as a way to honor his son and other veterans and an almost therapeutic way to keep busy after losing his son.

Everyone is drawn in by the restaurant’s patriotic atmosphere and awesome purpose, but they keep coming back for the delicious barbecue.

The menu features ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and all of your other BBQ favorites. Don’t forget some homemade bread pudding or peanut butter pie for dessert. As all BBQ lovers know, sauces are very important. Luckily, Frankie’s Patriot BBQ has four mouthwatering homemade sauces to choose from.

Whether you’re a veteran or just a hungry civilian, stop by and check out this unique restaurant unlike any other in Florida.

 

Top 10 Burger Joints to Satisfy Your Craving

Chow down on the best burgers in St. Pete/Clearwater!

We’ve rounded up the top spots to sink your teeth into some of the juiciest burgers around. What makes a perfect burger? The flavor, freshness, toppings, and, of course, the atomsphere you indulge in. From classic American burgers to gourmet mashups, here’s your guide to the best burger joints in St. Pete/Clearwater.

1 Engine No. 9, St. Pete

Grab a table quickly in this shotgun-style restaurant, especially when the happy hour crowd starts trickling out of nearby bars. With a menu of gourmet burgers and TVs throughout the restaurant, Engine No. 9 is your go-to spot for watching the game with good food and good company.

2 Rococo Steak, St. Pete

An upscale steakhouse in St. Pete with an award-winning burger. Celebrity Food Network chef selected the Rococo Burger in the battle of the ‘Burg competition. What makes this burger so special? The patty is a blend of New York Strip in a 70/30 meat to fat ratio, grilled to your perfect temperature, dressed with bacon onion jam, rosemary aioli, heirloom tomato, and artisan lettuce, all in between a brioche bun.

3 BRGR Kitchen + Bar, Treasure Island

Located in Treasure Island Beach Resort, BRGR Kitchen + Bar offers a dining experience full of contemporary style and retro details. Enjoy a custom seasoned burger paired with house-made sauces and unique toppings while overlooking stunning views of the beach and surf.

4 FarmTable Kitchen, St. Pete

This farm to table restaurant is home to the famous Saint Petersburger, a true work of art crafted up with the freshest ingredients and grilled to perfection. The only thing you’ll need after indulging in this epic burger is a nap!

5 The Avenue Eat + Drink, St. Pete

This lively bar in downtown St. Pete is your go-to spot to enjoy craft cocktails, beer, and gourmet burgers in industrial digs. With an indoor and outdoor bar and patio, come here to watch the game, enjoy live music, and hang with friends.

6 El Cap, St. Pete

Open since 1964, this no-muss, no-fuss burger joint fills to the brim with hungry patrons happy to order burgers a la carte and beer by the pitcher. Wood paneling on the walls, yellow and red condiment bottles on the tables, and servers who get right down to business dictate the vibe.

7 Tarpon Tavern, Tarpon Springs

You might stumble upon the Tarpon Tavern if you go too far on your bike trip on the Pinellas Trail. You’re going to need a tall beer and one of their famous burgers, stat! This cozy low-light tavern situated in a 1920s-era building is the perfect spot to cool off and refuel.

8 Pete & Shorty’s, Clearwater & Pinellas Park

Calling all Iowa expats: This is your home away from home. Pete & Shorty’s is an Iowa bistro down to the posters and news clippings on the walls and the clientele around the bar. You don’t have to be from the Midwest to appreciate a homey experience while chowing down on their popular char-grilled burgers.

9 Biff Burger, St. Pete

A hangout for motorcycle enthusiasts, this local hot spot is family friendly and home to a classic all American menu. Biff Burger has a variety of burgers for anyone to choose from, from small and simple to giant knife and fork projects.

10 Sandbar Grill, Dunedin

You know something is a local secret when it looks like a shipping crate set up in a parking lot, but is still brimming with eager guests. Sandy folks coming from Honeymoon Island State Park stop here for a burger, cold beer, and a chill vibe.

Let us know what you think. Do you have a place we did not mention. Send us your list of favorite places. http://www.727magazine.com

List from http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/list/top-10-burger-joints-to-satisfy-your-craving

The Best City In America Is Actually Right Here In Florida

Dunedin is a small city in Pinellas County. At around 35,000 residents, it might be small, but it has so much to offer. With its celebrated Scottish roots, charming small-town vibe, and some of the best beaches in the country, Dunedin is not just one of the best cities in Florida. It might just be the best city in America.

This city is not just a safe, friendly place to raise a family, it’s also tons of fun. You can watch a Toronto Blue Jays spring training game, sample the brews at Florida’s oldest craft brewery, visit the renowned Dunedin Fine Arts Center, watch the annual Mardi Gras parade, and participate in the Highland Games (a tribute to Dunedin’s Scottish heritage). Dunedin has received praise as one of the best places to retire and one of the most walkable cities in the country. As if that weren’t enough, the gorgeous, unspoiled beaches of Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island often make lists of best beaches in the U.S. We love this town, and we know you will, too.

If you still don’t believe us, take a look at some of the charm and natural beauty of this city:

Downtown Dunedin

Honeymoon Island

Pinellas Trail

 

Cycle Brewing Takes Home ‘Top Brewer’ Award From RateBeer.com

We’ve reached a point where you can go almost anywhere in the States and grab yourself a good beer. As breweries continue to open at an unprecedented rate, finding a quality pint is easier than ever. But what if you’re looking for something better than good? RateBeer recently unveiled their winners for the best beer, best brewer, and best new brewery in every state. Here’s a look at some of the results:

California

  • Top Beer: AleSmith Speedway Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged
  • Top Brewer: Stone Brewing
  • Best New Brewery: Moonraker Brewing Company

Florida

  • Top Beer: Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Double Barrel Aged
  • Top Brewer: Cycle Brewing
  • Best New Brewery: Civil Society Brewing Co.

Illinois

  • Top Beer: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
  • Top Brewer: Pipeworks Brewing Company
  • Best New Brewery: Hubbard’s Cave Brewery

Massachusetts

  • Top Beer: Tree House King JJJuliusss
  • Top Brewer: Trillium Brewing Company
  • Best New Brewery: Castle Island Brewing Company

Michigan

  • Top Beer: Bell’s Black Note Stout
  • Top Brewer: Bell’s Brewery
  • Best New Brewery: Roak Brewing Co.

New Jersey

  • Top Beer: Kane A Night to End All Dawns
  • Top Brewer: Kane Brewing Company
  • Best New Brewery: Magnify Brewing Company

New York

  • Top Beer: Evil Twin Double Barrel Jesus
  • Top Brewer: Evil Twin Brewing
  • Best New Brewery: Suarez Family Brewery

Texas

  • Top Beer: Jester King Atrial Rubicite
  • Top Brewer: Jester King Brewery
  • Best New Brewery: Eureka Heights Brew Co.

Vermont

  • Top Beer: Hill Farmstead Damon
  • Top Brewer: Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • Best New Brewery: Foam Brewers

Virginia

  • Top Beer: Lickinghole Creek Great Commander
  • Top Brewer: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
  • Best New Brewery: The Veil Brewing Company

Click here to see the full list. 

Explore Florida’s Ten Best Bike Trails

With plenty of sunshine, natural beauty, and unique landscapes, Florida has a variety of trails perfect for a leisurely bike ride. Discover some of the most diverse and scenic trails found in the Sunshine State.

1. Shark Valley Trail, Everglades

The king of trails in Florida, here you can bike with and around alligators in addition to a variety of birds and turtles. A paved loop spanning 15 miles, Shark Valley is one of most unique and memorable trails in the Sunshine State.

2. Withlacoochee State Trail, Dunnellon

A massive 46-mile trail, Withlacoochee gives riders an option to explore Withlacoochee State Forest, Floral City, and Inverness. Here you can ride along Withlacoochee River and miles of natural lands on a wide asphalt-paved trail.

3. Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, Pinellas County

Linking fantastic parks, coastal areas, and residential areas, the Pinellas Trail is 38-mile’s alongside some of the most scenic landscapes in Florida. Cruise through Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, and Honeymoon Island State Park for a peaceful and pleasant ride.

4. Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail

Explore quiet wooded areas and winding hills in this 16-mile trail, where bike enthusiasts can ride through Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and Lochloosa Wildlife Management area. For a scenic pit stop, hike the nearby Paynes Prairie trail to the gorgeous overlook.

5. The Lake Trail, Palm Beach

Perfect for a family ride, bike alongside the mansions of millionaires at this picturesque trail where you will cruise past private docks on the Intracoastal, historical buildings, and the Henry Flagler Museum.

6. Nature Coast Trail, Fanning Springs

Offering 32 miles of paved bike trails, this high-quality trail in North Florida provides stunning views of the Suwannee River near Fanning Springs State Park and Chiefland as you retrace the historic route where trains eventually replaced the steamship.

7. Legacy Trail, Venice

Beginning in Palmer Ranches and running through Sarasota, Oscar Scherer State Park, and downtown Venice, the highlights of this enjoyable 11-mile trail include the Venetian Waterway Park, Intracoastal Waterway, and Casperson Beach.

8. Sanibel Island Bike Trails

With 22 miles of pristine trails, bikers will enjoy exploring nearby Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge for its diverse bird watching in addition to cruising alongside Sanibel’s lighthouse, beaches, and quaint roadside attractions.

9. Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail

Tree-lined and away from traffic noise, this trail is full of natural landscapes. Here you’ll find stunning pine flatwoods, wetlands, and hardwood uplands in addition to a variety of wildlife such as hawks, wild turkey, and turtles.

10. West Orange Trail, Winter Garden

Locals love the West Orange Trail, as it runs through urban and suburban sections of Orange County. A highlight includes the route from old Winter Garden to the trailhead at Killarney Station with many interesting sites along the way.

The Site of a Gold Digging Conquistador’s Bloody Landing in St. Pete

Panfilo de Narvaez Set Sail from Cuba on March 4th, 1528, with five ships, 400 men, 12 women, 80 horses, and a pack of greyhounds to explore the new world, but thanks to his greed he would never make it home.

Narvaez’s ship was tossed off course by a hurricane, and ended up in Florida’s Boca Ciega Bay. Although they were unfamiliar with the area, when Narvaez and his men went ashore they soon found a village that had belonged to the native Tocobaga. All of the Tocobaga had fled the village, and Narvaez and his men searched their empty homes. When searching the area Narvaez found a gold rattle that would prove to be his downfall.

Despite being in a strange and dangerous land, Narvaez followed his lust for gold and chose to head inland in search of more. Soon the party encountered the Tocobaga chief who showed Narvaez the dead Spanish bodies that had been washed ashore during the storm. The Tocobaga had wrapped the dead in deer skin, which offended the fiercely Christian Narvaez. In response, Narvaez chopped off the chief’s nose and fed the chief’s mother to his greyhounds.

As Narvaez’s party moved northward, into present day Tallahassee, they ran into the Apalachee tribe. After Narvaez insulted the Apalachee chief and then tried to kill the tribe, he was driven back by the Apalachee. Narvaez and his party made the decision to build rafts and sail to Mexico, but the explorer never made it there.

In the end only four members of the initial landing party survived, but the site of their calamitous arrival is still remembered with a memorial sign among the remaining burial mounds of the Tocobaga which give the site its name.

Executive Rappels Down St. Petersburg’s Tallest Building to Support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) announced today that the WellCare Community Foundation donated $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay to support the organization’s second annual Over the Edge fundraiser held April 30 in downtown St. Petersburg. The fundraiser assists in realizing the organization’s mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring professional mentors to help put them on a path to success.

“WellCare is committed to supporting community-based organizations that fill important social service gaps because much of what affects a person’s health happens outside the doctor’s office,” said Blair Todt, WellCare’s chief legal and administrative officer, and president of the WellCare Community Foundation. “We are proud to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bayand the work they do to help children succeed.”

Mentoring is linked to higher educational attainment, better behaviors and personal development growth, according to theMentoring Effect, a report by the National Mentoring Partnership. Yet, the report found that approximately one in three young people do not have mentors, a rate that is even higher for at-risk youth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay is part of the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring network and pairs youth, or “Littles,” with screened volunteer mentors, or “Bigs,” and monitors these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their time in the program.

In 2015, nearly 3,000 children were paired with mentors in Hillsborough, Citrus, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando and Sumtercounties. In 2015, the organization reported that 97 percent of the children in the program were promoted to the next grade level, and 99 percent stayed out of the juvenile justice system.

Pamme Lyons-Taylor, WellCare’s vice president of advocacy and community-based programming, sits on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. She and her husband Joel both participated in Over the Edge, which features individuals who raise more than $1,250 rappelling down Priatek Plaza, the tallest building in St. Petersburg. The fundraising target is significant as it equals the cost for a Big/Little to be matched for an entire year.

“I wanted to do something bold, to inspire my team to be bold,” said Lyons-Taylor, who didn’t hesitate at the top, but admitted there were a few tense moments on the way down.

“I kept saying, ‘I got this. The rigging is fine. I’m fine,’ ” she said. “It was very windy. I was bouncing everywhere and have bruises from hitting the building. But it was also very peaceful up so high and alone. It was a thrilling experience.”

And, along with the bruises, she now has bragging rights.

“The more you get to know Pamme, our board member from WellCare, the better you understand her commitment to children in need,” said Stephen Koch, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. “I am so impressed that both she and her husband rappelled down the side of the tallest building in St. Petersburg to support our mentoring programs. We really appreciate their spirit of adventure, and on behalf of the children we serve, thank them for their ‘whatever it takes’ attitude.”

“We also sincerely appreciate the $5,000 donation from the WellCare Community Foundation,” added Koch. “Our Over the Edge event would not be possible without this type of generous support.”

For information on how to become a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay go to www.bbbstampabay.org.

Visor Cam Makes The St. Petersburg IndyCar Course Feel Like A Tunnel Of Insanity

Maybe it’s because all of the tracks near me are set in the middle of a cow pasture, but in-car videos of street courses always just feel surreal, like some special Mario Kart level. Here’s an in-car video from practice for last weekend’s IndyCar race in St. Petersburg that shows just how tight that circuit is.

We’re onboard Ryan Hunter-Reay’s helmet for this view, and it’s totally insane. While the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg course opens up to a lovely park-like setting near the pits, the rest of the course feels like a crazy gauntlet on beast mode, especially in an über-fast IndyCar.

Hitting the walls is not fun, as IndyCar driver Will Power found out after colliding with one during a Friday practice session. One of the Pirelli World Challenge GT Cup Porsches actually moved the wall when he collided with one during another race from this weekend, however, these IndyCars tend to break apart on the hard concrete barriers.

That’s what makes these street courses all the more incredible to watch. The track limits are defined by walls you really don’t want to hit, and it takes an incredible amount of skill and concentration to use all of the track necessary to put down a fast lap while keeping out of those ultra-close walls.

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Clearwater Human Rights Center Exposes Abuses Worldwide

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being embraced this week with a new appreciation by the regional representative of a prominent business. The reason? The impressive new United for Human Rights center on Fort Harrison Avenue in his hometown of Clearwater, Florida.

After watching several public service announcements, each illustrating one of the 30 rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and The Story of Human Rights documentary, the man spoke of how the presentation conveys a sense of one’s own responsibility to make sure that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights isn’t just “words on paper.”

“The Church of Scientology has made a great contribution to the community and the city,” he said. “I am so happy to see how your dream has materialized into this.”

He is one of a steady stream of visitors touring the new center each day, seven days a week. Some come out of curiosity, some with concerns about rights abuses in certain areas of the world, while others sign up as volunteers or to partner with the organization.

And the impact rolls out in unexpected ways. Case in point: a volunteer came to pick up a stack of human rights booklets—she wanted to hand them out around town. Not long after that, a man called in. After taking one of the booklets and reading it cover-to-cover, he realized there was something he could do to address a personal issue that was troubling him. He set an appointment to come to the center the following day.

After visiting the center, a priest, active in veterans’ affairs in the Tampa Bay area shared the United for Human Rights educational materials with colleagues. He wants to work with UHR to educate veterans on their rights and introduce them to this and other humanitarian programs represented in the six new centers.

A local event producer who decided to distribute What are Human Rights booklets at a major festival she is organizing for the Christmas season also is bringing copies to a rally organized to encourage Hispanic residents to vote.

The center is open seven days a week and is part of a complex of centers dedicated to making the humanitarian programs sponsored by the Church of Scientology available to the community including an Information Center that provides a wealth of information on Dianetics, Scientology and the Church’s Founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

There are six new facilities including the United for Human Rights, each dedicated to helping with the pressing issues that impact Clearwater and the Greater Tampa Bay area:

  • A museum and operations center for Citizens Commission on Human Rights, the world’s leading mental health watchdog group since 1969, responsible for helping to enact some 181 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive psychiatric practices. Its Clearwater information center features the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death museum.
  • A new home for the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, whose international Truth About Drugs program has reached 260 million people worldwide. The program is committed to eradicating drug abuse and providing meaningful drug education to young people.
  • The Criminon Florida headquarters stands as a starting point in carrying out the mission of addressing the causes of criminality and restoring offenders’ self-respect through effective character-building programs.
  • A building dedicated to The Way to Happiness, the nonreligious moral code written by L. Ron Hubbard. Published in 112 languages, the 21 precepts have brought calm to communities torn by violence, peace to areas ravaged by civil strife, and self-respect to millions. The new Clearwater office will provide the moral compass needed locally.
  • The new downtown home of the Church’s Volunteer Ministers, part of a global movement active in 120 nations—the world’s largest independent relief force. Scientologists volunteer more than 200,000 hours a year in the Tampa Bay area alone, living by the Volunteer Ministers motto that no matter the challenge, “Something can be done about it.”