Thursday, March 14, 2013

You've totally redeemed yourself!

I feel guilty about spouting my love for all of those big business chains yesterday.  I'm a local girl who loves local things too so I thought I'd move the spotlight away from big businesses and shine it on small businesses that I L-O-V-E. 

But first, a word of advice.

The absolute worst food pairing.  Red bell pepper and Cuban coffee.  Get out of my mouth. 

Another word of advice....fresh citrus.  All day.  My teeth are going to erode at 40 with so much citric acid coming their way.

Rachel's Favorite Places (in Tampa that don't make billions of dollars.)

My neighborhood is a pot of gold when it comes to restaurants/places to shop.  We only leave for all you can eat salad and Target. 

1.  Health Mutt-Seminole Heights

A local pet market where the ownership is the bees knees.  Luke was always itchy and looked mangier than usual before they moved into our hood.  Kendra, the owner, is a super sleuth and thought Luke might be allergic to grain so we moved him to a grain free food.  Done and done.  Now Luke is just mangy looking and not itchy.  He's our little "Pig-Pen".  A cloud of dust follows him around.  Everyone that works there is so sweet and they don't say you are crazy when you are whispering sweet nothings into your pup's ears while giving him a bath. 

Photo from Kendra-Yelp

We tried their dog wash for the first time yesterday and fell in love.  Maybe bath time won't be a quarterly event anymore because it isn't painful for everyone involved.  Doesn't he look so happy?

2. Stephanno's Pizza-Seminole Heights

This is the pizza place that resides behind out house which is too convenient for my skinny jeans.  The smell of baking pizza everyday? Thanks, but no thanks.  Their pizza isn't my fancy though, I come here (sometimes multiple times a week, gulp) due to the most amazing bread I've ever had.  It's the best.  They run out pretty much daily so if I don't want to cry myself to sleep, I have to order it before 6pm.  They put whatever you want on it and usually I get grilled veggies.  Just ask for a foccacia sandwich (they have eggplant, chicken parm, Philly cheese steak, meatball, turkey, whatever, it doesn't matter, it could be sliced deodorant and it would taste good on this bread).  Their California Cobb salad is also a favorite.  Get it without boiled egg and I won't throw up.

3. Mermaid Lounge-Seminole Heights

Our new spot.  Also everyone else's new spot.  It has been crazytown the past couple of times we've been there but it's so fun.  We can walk there and work off some calories before indulging in their incredible array of craft beers and wicked amazing truffle fries.  Right across the street from a crack hotel (which means we are a walkable distance from the crack hotel- sorry Mom) so the people watching can be entertaining but you are sure to find someone to talk to that will keep your interest.  True story- the first time we went, I found a gold mermaid charm on the floor. 

image from 83 Degrees Media

There is so much more but I don't want to overwhelm anyone. 

I told Luke that his Dad was coming home today and he thinks he is going to wait on the porch all day for him. 

"Nobody knows....the trouble I've seen..."

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