Food is a Love - Hate Relationship, 
I Love Good Food and Hate Bad 


This is the place of no return where the rubber meets the road and probably it was the rubbery chicken that met the road and got run over when someone got sick over it.  These chains and independents for various reasons failed to open their doors one day.  Only four things kill a restaurant.    

  •  Lack of good food.  (Taste, consistency, excitement, competitive, different, and not updated) 
  •  Lack of good management. (Hours, staff, offerings, service, speed , efficiency)
  •  Lack of good location.  (In the midst of the Barrio, Rikers Island, Mars, Transylvania)
  •  Lack of customers. (Usually due to the first three)

The Roadhouse - (2) Died of Boredom
Average food, mid price range, service average, not competitive enough, lost their "mojo", seemed like a clone of Lone star.  Lots of competition for one grade lower meat.

Steak and Ale - (2)  Their places were like old dusty english castles
Just stalled or is it staled out, boring, dark, gloomy. No excitement. With no competition used to be a top place.  Just too competitive a market and the economy didn't help.  They also took away their salad bars and other nice things and one day…

Bennigan's -  (3)   Few if any changes or upgrading, lost in the shuffle
People found other places to socialize. Another Chili's, Applebees, Ruby Tuesdays, cult copycats.

Shells Corporate - (4)  Financially managed a disaster by bean counters
Expensive operation, out of Business. Some franchised independents around in Tampa Bay. Not Corporate. GONE

Crispers - (2?) Bad locations, parking, too little too late
Salad place owned by Publix, really an experiment, bad location, no parking on a main street, I heard food was good,
but no traffic is a killer. 

Local Bistros -  The Lobster Pot, Lincoln Bistro, Hammerheads, NOVO,  Elements
These were smaller scale, intimate decent good places, no traffic, tourist trade dependent, none existent, basically the slow season became year round and the oil crisis added many more. Some of these places were great eateries but high cost locations or competition killed them.


The Egg Platters: (2)  What can I say about the "dirtiest place we hit on the tour". I'll borrow from my limited German... "Fursheistenhousen"?  which translates I think into "Where is the shithouse" ?  Two locations equally filthy finally closed.  One was next to a Rally gas station and I decided after filling my car with gas and getting the Rally car wash, I would grab a fast lunch. I went to the men's room, opened the door and almost threw up. 

I have no way to explain the condition of the toilets, stalls, graffiti, dirt and stench and stuff smeared on the walls...other than to say I have seen cleaner facilities in some third world countries.  

I mentioned to our waitress that they should check the men's room. She said she would tell the manager. We left. On the way out I looked in again. No difference. This one needed a call to the Board of Health. Closed two weeks later.


Fuddruckers won this one hands down, with making Hamburger complexity a work of art. By the time you got through the maze of  stands you weren't hungry anymore, and a bad location, high prices for hamburgers and poof they are gone. I will not miss them one visit and I was sold on not going back. They posted a message. I guess they restructured elsewhere.      

RATING: THEY CLOSED UP, GONE IN OUR AREA , not missed and their burgers sucked.



"pssghetti's".  The name infers a kid might like it. Eating out fills the requirements of our most primal urge, the consumption of food. It should be a fun, healthy, experience. When a friend told me they were going there for a family thing, I suggested elsewhere from what I had experienced and heard from others.  

No one listened and I found out a day later the rush for Tums was on. Two got sick from the same dish. It might of been nothing more than incompetent cooking, at a rush time. Hey, I warned them, people are afraid to say something. Something wasn’t right, so I went by myself. I called the shot on this one. I gave them three months. That bad and with the road construction fifty feet from the front door, in my best Brooklyn Italian “fo-get-bout it"

Tampa Bay is my pet, I love to cook, I love eating good food with others and getting involved is my mantra, I look at food not only as a critic but as a consumer. Because we are not really in control of what we eat all the time, we end up eating out and at the mercy of the God's.  In some places the nether God's like Colitus and Diarearus on the payroll preparing their fare, thats not fair to the consumer. 

This is the classic "theme over quality" approach to dining  and like Disney, one trip and it's over. You know the spiel, (you get the greeting)  the history of the guest chef aka hired gun, (Hells Kitchen) the tour (Through the market) and two hundred fifty plus reviews on site blogs and it barely scratches a two out of five?   Ratings have to be skewed, so I throw out (Delete) the overly wonderful (Usually shilled) top few and the really bad bottom experiences (Always blamed on competition) and you still get a two.

Instead of putting this on the REST IN PEACE page, I leave it here as a reminder to all that just because a celebrity Chef is involved doesn’t mean he’s cooking for you. And they used the name and reputation of a pretty tough cook to impress, Gordon knows the business, but they never followed his lead and failed.

If Gordon Ramsey was there, I would suspect bodies getting thrown out of the kitchen. Something was amiss after seeing the sign out front for a promo of Hell's Kitchen.

Not exactly the game plan. Gordon is not cooking there. A guest Chef well qualified in his own right and a finalist on Hell's Kitchen, was recruited to teach the staff and promote some good charitable work in Clearwater.  This is commendable and more places should be doing it.

We expected at their pricing, good quality, good service and cleanliness.  In return a nice looking store,  but the food was brutal, service was bad and indigestion soon followed.  They are gone now, even though with a bad winter up north and we have lots of tourists.  

I wondered if they would have survived the slow seasons if they didn’t improve the food and its delivery. That many complaints of cold food is simply bad front end management of the servers, or food not prepared right and not under the heat lamps.   I guessed right,  a week after I wrote this they closed.


Two-time contestant and finalist on Hell’s Kitchen Chef Robert Hesse brings his world class skills to Pssghetti’s in Clearwater.  Thats what all the ads read.  Hesse is in town through April, working with the staff on charity events and bringing his signature flair to the dishes served to customers of pssghetti’s.

In purist Italian, "Datsa Nice-a".  In reality they must have forgotten everything he showed them.  He needs to train a good sous chef.  Like Hienrick Himmler,  graduate of Gestapo Cookenzie Class Four.   Check the stuff going out. Thats what a senior chef does in a restaurant or the sous chefs, or even the manager.  This place has gotten a lot of bad reviews by everyday people who are not specialists or critics and many who think Chef Boy-ar dee is a genius. They are not that hard to satisfy and the reviews have been, well embarrassing.

Hint to manager at your next job;  If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t send it out. The place basically has gone to H*ll's Kitchen.  The problem might be they aren't learning anything from him. He is quite a talented chef but if the team that is supposed to be there permanently doesn't learn, they go back to the old ways.

They did not make it failed. CLOSED - One other restaurant, a nautical sports bar moved in and failed too  -  Finally the location became a Cody’s Steak House moving from their position in the  mall behind them into this larger location but only one Cody’s do we go to, this is not that one and we will try it out to be fair. The place simply went to Hell…..  

copyright 2019