1. Archive


(ran GB edition)

A brief sampler of recommended restaurants, grouped by the kind of dining they offer. The restaurants are selected by the news staff of the Times, without regard to advertising. For days and hours of operation, call the restaurant.

DOGWATER. The gag here is on other gimmicky theme bars as well as the customers. Dinner is served in dog food bowls. Honest. But the food was as good as the joke; nothing special, just everyday grub done well. Lap up the food, but beer comes in regulation glasses.

_ 8300 Bay Pines Blvd., St. Petersburg, 347-6190. Beer and wine.

FRENCHY'S SALTWATER CAFE and FRENCHY'S CAFE AND OYSTER BAR. Neither tiny fish house has a water view or fancy decor but both are full of beach locals and atmosphere. Menu is seafood, fresh and affordable. Peanut butter pie is a great finish.

_ 416 Poinsettia Ave., Clearwater, 461-6295; and 41 Baymont Street, Clearwater, 446-3607. Beer, wine.

HURRICANE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT. The triple-decker beach spot is an entertainment complex for varied tastes. Restaurant, disco and rooftop drinkery can be Babel on the beach but it's still a landmark and fun. Although there are pasta dishes and seafood entrees, best eating is conch fritters and grouper sandwiches. Treat your eyes to a Pass-a-Grille sunset and your ears to late-night jazz and you'll leave well-nourished.

_ 807 Gulf Way, St. Pete Beach, 360-9558. Six Full bars. Non-smoking section available.

LONNI'S SANDWICHES, ETC. Take-out shops with a difference (with seat-

ing at the downtown St. Petersburg shop), Lonni's key ingredient is no secret: Minnesota wild rice. Rice is used in custom baked bread, in salads, in rice pudding and in soup. Menu includes hefty sandwiches, salads and muffins with a number of vegetarian options.

_ 1153 Main St., Dunedin, 734-0121, 33 N Garden Ave., Clearwater, 441-8044; 133 First St. NE, St. Petersburg 894-1944. No alcohol.

THE SEA HORSE. This 50-year-old building is as much a Pass-a-Grille landmark as the Merry Pier. Good breakfasts, great burgers, friendly service, paneled walls, outdoor seats and a sea breeze: the quintessential beach restaurant for fisherfolk, repair crews, yachting types and anyone in shorts.

_ 800 Pass-A-Grille Way, St. Pete Beach, 360-1734. Beer, wine. No reservations. No credit cards.

TED PETERS FAMOUS SMOKED FISH. Outdoor tables (and the indoor fireplace) have been a roadside landmark so long it now looks out on six lanes of traffic. The charm however is in the food: smoked Florida mullet, mackerel, salmon and terrific hamburgers served with no pretense. Beware the Tuesday closing.

_ 1350 Pasadena Ave. S, South Pasadena, 381-7931. Beer. No credit cards.

WOODY'S WATERFRONT. Spicy french fries, beach-side view of Blind Pass, and outdoor seating make this perfect for come-as-you-are sunsets, hot afternoon coolers or fun family meals. Burgers, hot dogs and grouper sandwiches are up to beach-bar standards and there's often live music in the air.

_ 7308 Sunset Way, St. Pete Beach, 360-9165. No credit cards. No reservations. Full bar.