Oh, where to begin? This dining experience was a classic case of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly".
Struck with a nasty case of cabin fever on Saturday afternoon, we decided to make the 50 mile trek to St. Pete Beach to check out Jackie's despite dire and repetitious warnings of the Tampa Bay area being under a tornado watch. A girl's gotta eat, right...so what it if it means taking a little trip to Oz?
I was initially charmed by the warm and inviting interior of Jackie's in spite of the fact that our luck ran out when we were struck by a swordfish-nado immediately after we were seated. After a couple of glasses of Zin, UD said it didn't hurt anymore. All's well that ends well.
I loved the kitschy salt and pepper shakers (different on every table). We got ladybugs, which (almost) always signify good luck, right? Plus I find chefs who withhold salt and pepper to be arrogant and annoying. So far, so good.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon and Drizzled with Fig Cabernet Reduction tasted as fabulous as they looked, almost to the point of having an addictive quality.
It's a rare occasion when I can't find something positive to say about a liver pâté ...but this is one of those instances. While beautifully presented with chopped onion, capers and perfect little toast points, Jackie's "Famous" Chicken Liver Pâté failed to deliver on the palate. Rough and grainy in texture, it needed cream, shallots, butter, cognac...SOMETHING. It practically screamed the question...."What am I, chopped liver????". Yes, my friend. Sorry to have to break it to you. Still wondering how you rose to "fame".
I can only remember being served one worse Lobster Bisque in my entire life. While this generous bowlful of something actually looked the part, it tasted like absolutely nothing. Had I been blindfolded and been fed a spoonful, I probably would've guessed cream of potato (and a drab version of that). We left this virtually untouched.
My Blueberry Chipotle Pulled Pork Sliders on Freshly Baked Slider Rolls Topped with Asian Slaw were winners. Pork was moist and tender, buns were soft, blueberry chipotle sauce provided a nice ratio of sweet-to-heat and I liked the fresh crunch factor of the slaw topping.
Underdog chose less wisely with his Swordfish Napoleon. For starters, the swordfish tasted "fishy" and not particularly fresh. I always make it point to steer clear of menu "specials" because they almost always disappoint and leave me feeling like a resto threw a concoction together because they had some shiznit they needed to get rid of. The piece of swordfish was topped with cheese and a hearty slab of portobello mushroom. Sorry, but mushrooms do not compliment fish...nor does cheese (unless of course you have a hangover and need a McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich for medicinal purposes). Mashed potatoes tasted like they came right out of an Ore-Ida package and steamed veggies were....well, steamed veggies.
Since the potatoes were so uninspiring, the Mister ordered an additional sidecar of Potatoes Dauphine, which were equally unimpressive. Gray in color, slimy, not creamy and not good. No pic, but you can thank me for that.
There was not enough "good" to ever bring us back to Jackie's. Our waiter reeked of cigarette smoke. Service was slow and cuisine was hit and miss. Buh-bye.
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.