Foodie Weekend in St. Petersburg – Part 1

Cabin fever was kicking in pretty hard this spring. It’s been well over a year since I’ve traveled anywhere over an hour away due to the pandemic and I can’t even remember the last time I’ve spent a few nights in a hotel. When I plan vacations, I always pick the restaurants I want to eat at first, then everything else just falls into place. I’ve been following the St. Petersburg Foodies for a few years now, so I thought this might be a good time to reach out to them and see if they would be up for helping me plan a foodie weekend. My only requirements were that they choose a few places for me to visit that gives a nice overview of the food in St. Pete, from diner food to fine dining and a little in between. My only specific request was for Nash’s Hot Chicken. I’ve been dying for good Nashville Hot Chicken and I can’t find any great places for it over on the East coast, so I had to include them.

I left Vero at noon on Friday, May 21st and got to the hotel around 3pm. Traffic wasn’t too bad until I got to Tampa and Google GPS routed me on to I-4, which I try to avoid at all costs. My foodie weekend consists of 6 stops at different restaurants around the downtown area, so it’s going to be a full weekend of eating! Getting around St Pete wasn’t too difficult. I was able to drive to most places, but we did Uber to both dinners on Friday and Saturday nights due to the location and in case we had a little to much to drink!

Now let’s dive right in and see what all these cool places have to offer and what I had to eat!

Hollander Hotel

Front Entrance located off of 4th Ave N
King Room

I asked Kevin and Lori, owners of St. Petersburg Foodies for hotel recommendations. I was looking for something locally owned and right in the downtown area. They suggested a few different places, but I ended up choosing The Hollander. A few years ago I stayed at The Avalon, their sister hotel next door for a wedding in the area, so I figured this would be the best place due to it’s central downtown location and the free parking. I thought the price per night for a King room was also very reasonable. The rooms were clean, had cold A/C, and a ceiling fan. The bathroom was a bit small, but since it was only me staying there, that wasn’t an issue. I would definitely consider this hotel or The Avalon again when staying in the area.

Hollander Hotel St. Petersburg / Downtown
Address: 421 4th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 873-7900
https://hollanderhotel.com/


Teak

Located at the far end of the St Pete Pier, or known as the Pier Point, is a multi-story modern building that houses 3 different restaurants. The Driftwood Cafe, a more casual to-go style eatery located at ground level. Teak is the fine dining restaurant where we had dinner which is on the 4th floor, and on the roof top, Pier Teaki, is a modern take on a Tiki bar.
Inside of Teak, the views of downtown St Petersburg are absolutely spectacular!
Ultimate Wedge BLT – It’s made with iceberg lettuce, Applewood smoked bacon, red onion, tomato, grilled corn, and it’s topped with a buttermilk-bleu cheese dressing and a balsamic drizzle.
Tuna Tartare – Raw Ahi tuna is diced and set atop Tostones with guacamole, radish, crème fraiche, and cashews.
Fish N’ Chips – Lager battered Mahi filets are served with coleslaw, Tampa Bay spiced fries, and a malt vinegar aioli.
Grouper – A grouper filet is pan roasted and served with a citrus herb risotto, snapped green beans, and a mandarin citrus sauce.
Scallops – Six large scallops are Teak spiced and pan fried, then set atop a scallop shell with bacon jam, and succotash made of edamame, corn, pimentos, and red onion.
After dinner, we headed upstairs to Pier Teaki to catch this beautiful sunset! It was packed and quite windy, so we decided not to stay, but wanted to get this photo!

Kevin and Lori came at me with both barrels blazing with this fabulous first night dinner selection. This place is less than 1 year old and is located at the far end of the St. Petersburg Pier. We took an Uber to get as close as we could, but still had a 15 – 20 minute walk to get there. They do provide tram service from end to end of the pier so you can get around pretty easily if you don’t feel like walking the entire length of the pier. As you can see from the pictures above, this place has spectacular views from all sides. It’s surrounded by water, and you can even see Tampa in the far distance (not pictured). The food is considered fine dining and was just as amazing as the views. The most memorable dish of the night was the grouper. It had a wonderful crust on it and seasoning was on point!

Teak
Address: 800 2nd Ave NE 4th Floor, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 513-8325
https://teakstpete.com/


2nd & Second

Front Entrance off 2nd Ave N and 2nd St N
The dining room has many seating options from booths, bar, high tops, and a few tables too.
Old Fashioned Donut French Toast – 2 donuts are split in half, dipped in egg and fried till golden brown and drizzled with Boston cream and espresso dust.
Tijuana Omelet – The omelet is stuffed with avocado, tomato, caramelized onion, and topped with queso fresco. Fresh fruit and an English muffin were my side choices.
Philly Brown – A take on a Philly Cheesesteak, they fold shaved ribeye and caramelized onions into the hash browns, then top it with a cheddar cheese sauce.

Kicking things off for my full day of eating on Saturday morning is the only diner located in Downtown St. Pete! I browsed the menu before heading over and they had one dish on the menu that caught my eye. When I was a kid, I have memories of going over to grandpa’s house and grabbing an old fashioned donut from the freezer and taking a bite, even when it’s still frozen. That rich doughy flavor is what I remember most, so I had to try the Old Fashioned Donut French toast. With the Boston cream sauce over the top, it was a match made in heaven! Up next I ordered the Mexican inspired omelet called the Tijuana. It’s served with “plain jane” hash browns and choice of toast. Since I’m always looking for something unique, I decided to “Upgrade” my hash browns to the Philly Brown. Shaved ribeye and caramelized onions are folded between the two layers of hash browns and topped with the “liquid gold” cheddar cheese. They were so good, but I had to stop myself from eating more since I had 3 more stops later that day!

2nd & Second
Address: 201 2nd Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 440-4700
https://2ndandsecond.com/


Nash’s Hot Chicken

Front Entrance
Dining Room
From Left to Right: Early Bird – Nash’s hot tenders, cream cheese, peppered bacon, strawberry jam, on a steamed Martin’s bun. The “OG” Nashville Hot – Nash’s hot tenders, creamy coleslaw, sweet heat pickles, on a steamed Martin’s bun.
From Left to Right: Cluck Norris – Nash’s hot tenders, smoked gouda, mac & cheese, sweet heat pickles, BBQ baked beans, on a steamed Martin’s bun. Southern Bird – Nash’s hot tenders, pimento cheese, peppered bacon, sweet heat pickles, on a steamed Martin’s bun.
Sides are: BBQ baked beans, mac & cheese, and bacon braised collards.
Beignet – Filled with Boston cream and topped with powdered sugar

I’ve been on a quest to find the best Nashville Hot Chicken outside of Nashville and I’ve not found any good options anywhere on the Treasure Coast. When I was planning this foodie weekend, I already knew I had to pay these guys a visit! All of their hot chicken is made with oversize chicken tenders and they offer a spice level from 1 – 4. If you are a bit more adventurous, then ask them about spice levels 5 & 6. These are not usually advertised since these are not for the faint of heart. I’ve heard level 6 uses ghost pepper, which is one of the hottest peppers in the world. I LOVE spicy, but I decided to go with spice level #4 as to not numb out my taste buds for the rest of the day. My two favorites were the Early Bird and the Cluck Norris. I first had hesitations about the Early Bird, with the cream cheese and strawberry jam, but the combination of creamy, spicy and sweet really paired well together. The Cluck Norris was my early pick when I first checked out the menu before my visit. It was an explosion of flavor and definitely lived up to my expectations!

Nash’s Hot Chicken
Address: 905 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Phone: (727) 285-3994
http://nashschicken.com/

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2

Written by Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller, aka “The Treasure Coast Foodie” and “The Foodie Guy” is big on organic everything and very particular about his butter. He has reviewed over 250+ local restaurants in the last 6 years! His food photos are devoured by 10’s of thousands each month on his website treasurecoastfoodie.com. As a Google Maps Local Guide, he has submitted over 2,500 photos that have been viewed over 38 million times. His foodie tribe is over 25,000 on the Treasure Coast and his Foodie Meetups & Chef’s Table Dining Experience events are some of the Top Culinary experiences in the area!

5 Comments

  1. What a fantastic review and excellent food pictures that almost leaves a taste in your mouth. Very professionally done, and leaves you with wanting to see more. Can’t wait to see your reviews of the remaining restaurants you visited. Great job, and thank you for stimulating my taste buds.