Florida is a very popular tourist destination, but there is one town a lot of people do not think about when vacationing here. And that town is St. Petersburg. I happen to write a ton of reviews for the different restaurants around St. Petersburg, so you will have to bear with me if they seem to be a bit formulaic. Every good food reviewer knows to categorize their findings into three major points, hence the amount of restaurants that I will be reviewing. Even if you do not end up liking one of these restaurants, it never hurts to be able to recommend a place to one of yours friends if the opportunity ever arises.
Callaloo is first, and it is located near Jordan Park in St. Petersburg. There are a lot of things that I love about this restaurant and want to mention. It may not really be one of their entrees, but the jalapeno cornbread at Callaloo is so amazing. It is unfortunate that I can’t order it as an entree, because I definitely would. Instead, I just order it with my shrimp and grits (the next best thing on the menu).
I see a lot of other customers ordering the spare ribs, and have never heard any major complaints before. In fact, that actually sounds really good right now. If you are unfamiliar with Southern cuisine, then I will give you a quick rundown. It generally involves a lot of barbecue and frying, and you can expect corn and mashed potatoes in the produce department of it. There are a lot of fried chicken, short ribs, and biscuits. With gravy on them.
You can expect to see all of these and more when eating at Callaloo. If you were going to review a restaurant, what is the most important aspect of it that you would look for? If I had to rank them, it would be quality of the food, price, and finally atmosphere. The atmosphere part combines a few different other parts, as well. Let’s get right into the food, then.
Bringing my friends here can be challenging at times, because they are overwhelmed by the choices on the menu so it makes them indecisive. Fortunately for me (and everyone else in the restaurant who wants to order their food at some point too), the waiters are extraordinarily open and helpful. You can ask them what their favorite dish is from each section (salads, BBQ, etc) and they will be able to give you both a personal recommendation and know exactly what the other customers prefer. A lot of them enjoy the chicken fried steak, and I would order it but the spare ribs are so much better in my opinion.
Then there is the affordable prices on all of Callaloo’s menu. Not only do you get a lot of food (I will take leftovers home more often than not), but you also don’t have to pay very much for what you get. There is a noticeable difference between eating at a Chinese buffet that’s ultra cheap because everything is frozen, and eating at a restaurant where the management recognizes that we customers are all also tax-paying citizens as well.
I appreciate the extra thought that Callaloo puts in. Reminds me of a small, family-owned restaurant but a popular one nonetheless. Everyone who eats here regularly will have a smile on their face, no matter what time of day it is or how busy the restaurants itself is. After eating here for a couple of years, it is no longer a surprise to me that this restaurant is the subject of so many amazing online reviews.
This St. Petersburg restaurant may not serve brisket spring rolls, but they have a big selection. If I am bringing a picky eater with me somewhere, then I go to Brick & Mortar so I can avoid any unnecessary tension. The truffle fries should appeal to everyone of any age and taste, but if you do not like them then that just means there is more for me instead. Brick & Mortar is found near the Williams Park in St. Petersburg, so if you took your food to go then you could sit on a bench there and eat it. Conversely, you could go for a jog and then work up and appetite, only to whet it at Brick & Mortar.
Whatever the context, you will certainly enjoy your meal. I appreciate that you also have outdoor seating options in addition to the interior, even though the interior is really well decorated. There are plenty of windows, so it’s filled with a nice natural light during the day. If you want to know more, you will have to research the different dishes on Yelp and Google. There are more than enough great reviews to keep you busy for a while.
The Mill is located on the other side of Williams Park in St. Petersburg. This time you’ll be eating on the east side of the park. When you’re eating at The Mill, make sure to order the watermelon bruschetta. It is to die for, and I think that everyone should try it. What this restaurant does to set itself apart from the St. Petersburg competition is being very sanitary.
Servers are regularly wiping down tables, and the bathrooms are somehow immaculate. I wasn’t even sure that was possible before coming here. Those of you who are familiar with nearby towns will see that The Mill is not too far from some great hood cleaners, in Tampa. Tampa Hood Cleaning Pros work with a lot of local restaurants, and I have seen them in action.
I have a buddy who works for them, so he’s always telling me the ins and outs of it. If you want to click now, their website is https://tampahoodcleaningpros.com/. Don’t wait too long, or someone will book your spot instead of you. Cleanliness is something that I see mentioned a lot in positive reviews for St. Petersburg restaurants, as it can make or break your experience at a restaurant.