No, itās not Cathyās Rum Cakes. These are crab cakes. Cakes on the savory end
of the ācakeā spectrum.
Made with Baltimore style jumbo lump crab meat.
Made with minimal filler.
Made with a hint of secret seasoning and Old Bay.
Blake is from the Baltimore āburbs. He started helping his dad in the kitchen
when he was 5. He worked for two well-known Baltimore seafood
restaurants. He visited St Pete, fell in love with it and moved here a few
What to Get
It actually says on the menu, underneath āBlakeās Cakesā, āthis
is what you came forā.
Perfectly blended, so that the freshness and flavor of the crab
shines through. Just the bare minimums
of seasonings and bindings to make the cake.
Perfection in a little golden ball.
The perfect complement to the crab cakes are the French Fries. These fries lightly dusted with Old Bay are on my top 5 French Fry list, which was unexpected. In a restaurant focused on crab cakes, it would be easy to āgo easyā on the sides.Ā But it is clear that Blake has artfully crafted every single item he puts on his menu to the delight of my taste buds.Ā And Blakeās Yum Yum sauce (homemade Siracha mayo) was perfect on the fries.Ā
What To Know If You Go
They do sometimes sell out, so call if youāre coming late in
the day or coming from a distance.
They also donāt stay open very late. Blake has a life. As he should.
The place is very small.
You wonāt be having your large birthday party here. The size also means that it is easy to miss
in the strip center if youāre not paying attention. Put the address in your GPS and believe it
when it says āyou have arrivedā. You
My mom and I started dining at Red Mesa for over ten years
ago. We used to go for the Sunset Menu, which
is a fixed price & set selection menu available from 4-6 pm Mondays through
Fridays. I still love that menu option and the pricing is very attractive. However, the Sunset Menu is very popular so
this can be a very busy time slot! The
only thing missing from it is dessert.
Which you can always add if you have room in your waistband.
One of these days Iām going to make it for weekend brunch.
Why You Should Go
Black bean soup
One food that makes my heart go pitter-patter Is guacamole. And
Red Mesa Restaurant has 4 variations of guacamole. There’s a traditional
guacamole made with fresh avocado, onion jalapeno, cilantro and lime. And a guacamole
made with blue crab. If you’re feeling a bit spicy, you can choose the chorizo
and corn guacamole or the Chipotle chili guacamole.
Or if you’re like me and can’t decide? Opt for the guacamole sampler where you get a
choice of 3.
Guacamole love aside, the fundido is why youāre really here.Ā I fell in love with Queso Funddo at a Rick Bayless restaurant, so Iām always looking for one to match that experience.Ā Red Mesaās Chorizo Fundido never disappoints and is itself a meal.Ā It seriously just melts in your mouth.
Red Mesa doesn’t overwhelm you with a million choices for dessert. There are usually only a handful and I’ve had every one of them. While they are all delicious, if you have to choose here are my recommendations, in order: the guava empanada, the chocolate spoon cake, the churros and the creme brulee cheesecake.Ā Of course, if they ever have flan, get it.
The Red Mesa Restaurant Family
Red Mesa Restaurant is one of 3 Red Mesa dining experiences. The others include Red Mesa Cantina and Red Mesa Mercado.Ā These other two include more expansive menus and both larger restaurants with more outside dining space. If you have been to either one and would like to let us know what you thought, please leave your feedback in the comments section below.
Noteworthy: At one time the restaurant did not have a hard liquor license so all drinks including margaritas were made with wine. That has now changed and the menu for drinks includes an assortment of tequilas and spirits such scotch, whiskey, rum, vodka and gin.
Red Mesa Restaurant is located at 4912 4th St N in St Petersburg. Phone 727-527-8728.
Have you ever had two different people tell you that you
should meet someone, and then you met that someone in a totally random
That happened to me in early December, and thatās how I came
to learn about Craft Kafe. The someone (Keith)
turned out to be an invaluable source of food recommendations, second only to
my friend (and sometimes-guest) Rita.
So far Keith is batting 1000.
Still, Iām sort of surprised that I didnāt just sense
somehow that Craft Kafe existed. It is
the sort of place I pine for when Iām not in New Zealand. Which is 11 months
out of the year.
Craft Kafe just has āitā.
And you can tell by the loyal patrons showing up again and again.
Itās an easy shot from Gulfport (just head up 58th
St and hang a left on Central) or from Treasure Island (head down Gulf Blvd to
Central, hang a left and head to 6653 Central Avenue.
Everything weāve had was delicious. Check out the our pics and their website for
Oh and super bonus for some of you? Itās gluten-free.
The food at Chili Verde is awesome. Awesome as in I think about it even when I am not there. Awesome in that I think about it even when I have leftovers in my fridge.
Awesome in that I check my leftover container multiple times to make sure no one in the household is stealing bites. (Or worse, eating all of it!)
Just go knowing there’s no memorable atmosphere, no famous chef, no killer margaritas and no hour-long wait. Just authentic food you may never forget.
How I Found It
Ironically, my journey to Chili Verde started at VIP Lounge in Treasure Island.Ā After yet another trip to VIP where the wait was an hour or more in the middle of a weekday afternoon, Terry and I took to Yelp and Google. We were starving and we wanted Mexican. Now. Ā Deciding that both Agave and Chili Verde sounded like solid options, we let the direction the car was already headed make the decision for us. Chili Verde it was.
We drove onward, me chattering on about how it must be new because I drive that way all the time and I couldnāt place it.Ā Ā We arrived at the appointed location and turned left intoā¦a former gas station?
You know what Iām talking about. Ā Once a gas station in appearance, always a gas station in appearance. And not what I was expecting. Ā But my stomach, 170+ reviews on Yelp and almost 700 ā yes, seven hundred ā reviews on Google with an average rating of 4 1/2 stars suggested we give it a shot.
My Trifecta – Enchiladas Verdes made with ground beef, steak and chicken quesadilla and those beans!
And what a shot it was. Ā I had the Enchiladas Verdes made with ground beef. I love enchiladas ā chicken enchiladas, cheese enchiladas, spinach enchiladas, seafood enchiladas ā you get the idea. Ā If you love enchiladas youāve probably tried them every way imaginable. Ā Enchiladas to me always seem decadent. Ā Lots of cheese, usually.
The Enchiladas Verde
Chili Verdeās Enchiladas Verde are different.Ā Maybe it is the delicate corn tortillas that seem as though they were made seconds before moving on to the their enchilada destination.Ā Maybe it is the generous smothering of the light verde sauce. Maybe it is the delicate unmelted grated cheese on top of the mound of shredded lettuce piled on top. Ā After almost a dozen servings of this same dish, Iām still not sure. Ā But trust me, itās good.
Accompanying the enchiladas are rice and beans.Ā Iām not a huge rice fan, but I usually end up eating it all.
Now for the beans. Ā I love beans. Ā Whole, refried, churro-style, black, pinto, you name it. Ā These are quite decadent and I have taken to ordering an extra side. Ā I want to know and donāt want to know how theyāre prepared. Iām afraid my nutritionist might not approveā¦
Close-up of the enchilada goodness
Equally delicious but definitely heavier and more filling are their quesadillas. Ā We usually get the steak-chicken combo, and get an extra to take home nosh on.
This is the combo steak-chicken quesadilla with everything
Steak combo quesadilla – In case the first photo didn’t snag you
The tacos are little bits heaven. Ā Traditional Mexican street tacos with tortilla, meat, onions and cilantro. Ā If you want tomatoes, lettuce etc you can ask for it American style.
They’re sold individually, but I bet you can’t eat just one. Ā Order 3 and try the Barbacoa. Ā It is truly moist, flavorful and tender.
In 2018 St Pete Foodies included Chili Verde as a notable newcomer on its list of the 10 best St Petersburg restaurants list. Ā Since my personal favorites Red Mesa Restaurant and VIP LoungeĀ are on that list I knew they were on to something. Ā But I was already on to Chili Verde. Ā And so were a couple of my friends! When I was so gracious to share my Chili Verde discovery with a couple fo so-called friends, guess what? They already knew.
My dream at present is to make it there some day before 10 am, so I can try the Chilaquiles.
I don’t believe the Cydesdales are real
Chili Verde, 2801 22nd Ave N, St Petersburg, Fl 33713-4248. Ā They’re open late.