Peter eats and drinks: Random thoughts about food and dining

in Uncategorized by

I can’t think of a bigger dick move than the one by the operators of the new Fred Fleming’s to open across the street from Luckie B’s, which occupies the building where Fred Fleming’s once operated.  I mean, do there really need to be two Bar-B-Que joints within a block of each other?  Couldn’t the new Fred Fleming’s have opened up somewhere else down the road?

Anyone else notice that a Dunkin’ Donuts will be opening on Fourth Street and Eleventh Avenue North?  Never been a big fan of Dunkin’, but it’s a good sign for that section of Fourth Street that a major corporate entity is going on there.  I think that will provide some stability for a section of the city perceived to be transitional.

Another force for good on Fourth Street is Tour de France owner Matt McCellan, who is an outspoken critic of the human eyesores on Fourth Street who wave their distracting signs for local restaurants, such as Westshore Pizza.

In other words, avoid Fred Flemings and Westshore Pizza.

In case you’ve ever wondered why restaurant websites suck, Andrew Sullivan has a thread discussing the issue, including a link to the cartoon below which pretty much nails the answer.

In case you need some examples of local restaurant website which suck, look no further than Steve Westphal’s empire.  I didn’t think it was possible to cram so much shit into a website.

(Oh, and don’t get me started about my last visit to 400 Beach Drive and the waitress who cut a birthday cake before we could sing to the celebrant or see her blow out the candles.)

I wonder if the Times‘ Laura Reiley will be taking part in the Association of Food Journalists’ upcoming panel on how to deal and interact with bloggers. The description of AFJ’s Restaurant Critic Panel scheduled for October 7:

Restaurant criticism revisited. We will discuss the ins and outs of restaurant criticism for today’s media environment. Who is reviewing? What are they bringing to the table? We’ll consider the new wave of restaurant coverage, starring a cohort of experienced restaurant critics — both staffers and freelancers. How do we work with and manage a small army of critics/writers/bloggers providing restaurant coverage for our wide world of publications? And how do we, as critics and publications, retain our authority and reputation?

Victorino Matus offers a must-read, tracing how America went from “a brown-spirits nation” to the vodka-swilling one we find ourselves in today, with the help of Absolut advertising and product placement:

Dr. No serves Agent 007 a vodka martini, famously “shaken, not stirred,” and the vodka of preference is Smirnoff. It’s a strange way to make the cocktail, according to Jason Wilson, drinks columnist for the Washington Post: “A martini should always be stirred,” he writes. “That’s the only way you can achieve that silky smooth texture and dry martini clearness…a shaken martini is a weaker drink.” And don’t get him started on vodka substituting for gin: “There simply is no such thing as a vodka martini. The martini is certainly more of a broad concept than a specific recipe, but the one constant must be gin and vermouth. Beyond correctness, vodka and vermouth is just a terrible match.” Nevertheless, the drink caught on, and by 1967, vodka had overtaken gin as the most popular white spirit in America.

For a little online dessert, be sure to check out Rick Mereki’s must-see gastronomical version of MOVE.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.