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Some friends and I were staying in Panama City Beach, FL for the Ironman race. We were going to go out to dinner with some friends of one of my friends. They suggested a place called Uncle Ernie’s. They said it was really good and the prices were reasonable.
It was Halloween and the servers were all in costumes. Our server was dressed in a karate uniform. It was hard to make a choice as there were so many things on the menu that looked good. I asked the waiter for his recommendations. He said a lot people like the catch of the day. He suggested a few different kinds of fish. I chose the grouper. Then I had to decide how to have it cooked. I chose grilled. The prices were a little higher than my friends had anticipated. I guess reasonable prices means different things to different people. But the prices weren’t outrageous. While we waited for our food, we enjoyed watching the water at sunset. It was a beautiful view. Our food came in a decent amount of time. OMG, my grouper was so good! I had never had grouper before so I don’t know if that is how it always is. I am guessing it was their preparation. It was wonderful. My buddy Shannon wanted to try it, so I gave him a sample, and then he wished he has ordered it too. The service was excellent, and the food was great. The prices were a little higher than I would have liked to pay. I might eat here again if I make back to Panama City.

There was an ad for this place on the map from a campground we were staying at. There was no address listed, just a phone number. I tried to call them, but the cell service signal I was getting at the campground was too weak. I drove into town, and found another pizza place called Ina’s Pizzeria. But the girl at Ina’s said that it was too late for them to make me a pizza. They closed at 9pm, and it was currently 8:40pm. So I left. I drove through town looking to see what else was around. I tried calling Lombardo’s Pizzeria again, and thsi time I got them. I asked what time they closed. They said 9pm. I asked if they could still make me a pizza, and they said yes. I told them what I wanted and I got directions. I drove there. They are located just out of town to the west. I arrived at Lombardo’s Pizzeria. I waited for my pizza and I was out the door about 9pm. Why Ina’s couldn’t do it, I have no idea. Maybe they just didn’t want to. The pizza at Lombardo’s was excellent! I came back a couple more times for subs. Their subs were great also. The people who worked there were very friendly. Next time we are in this area, I will happily return to Lombardo’s Pizza Plus.
Lombardos Pizza Plus is located at 7845 State Hwy 5, Saint Johnsville, NY. Phone: 518-568-7111

We found the Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant listed on a map for the campground we were staying at St. Johnsville, NY. The ad mentioned breakfast, so we drove into town. There aren’t many restaurant choices in St. Johnsville unfortunately. It was 9am, and was going to be a warm day. But being only 9am, it wasn’t very warm yet. Still, we parked our car right in front of the restaurant so we could keep an eye on our dog in the car. Even though it wasn’t that warm out yet, the sun was still shining. We rolled all the windows down about halfway, and put a sunscreen under the windshield to help keep the car cool. I often take naps in my car like this during my noon lunch hour at work. The plan was to go in, order breakfast to go. We would be checking on the dog, and my wife would have likely walked the dog and given her water in the collapsible bowl that we always carry, while we waited for the food. We don’t like leaving the dog in the car very long. We walked into the Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant and almost immediately this chunky guy in a dirty shirt came out from the back carrying food and said gruffly “What you are doing is unsafe!” He was very rude about it. I think he might have been the owner or manager. I explained that we were planning to order breakfast to go. He then refused to serve us while the dog was in the car. I wish I had thought to say something like, hey if you are so concerned, you won’t mind us bringing the dog inside. I am guessing he would have said we couldn’t. I was just shocked about what a rude jerk this guy was. I didn’t even try explain any further about our plans and that the dog wouldn’t be in the car very long. The guy was such a jerk, that I didn’t want to eat there now anyway. I found out there was a McDonalds down the road. We drove there and went through the drive-through. Our dog Issa enjoyed bits of our breakfast sandwiches and hash browns. My wife and I are both dog people. We have both had dogs all our lives, and know how to take care of them. Our dog is a part of our family. But like I said, the guy was such a jerk, that I didn’t want to eat there anymore. If we come back to this area again, we will not be eating at Grandma’s Kitchen restaurant due to that jackass!

My wife and I were camping nearby. I told her I would go get a pizza. I drove into St. Johnsville and arrived at Ina’s Pizzeria about 8:40pm. I was told that they closed promptly at 9pm and couldn’t make me a pizza. Huh? How long does it take to make a pizza. I was not impressed! I left there, drove through town a bit to see what else was there. I found I had a weak cell phone signal now, which I didn’t seem to have at the campground, and called Lombardo’s Pizzeria for which I had a phone number, but no address. I asked what time they closed. They said 9pm. I asked if they could still make me a pizza, and they said yes. I told them what I wanted and I got directions. My pizza was done a little while after I got there, and I was out the door by 9pm. Apparently it doesn’t take that long to make a pizza. So I would love to tell you how the food at Ina’s Pizzeria is, but I can’t. All I can tell you they close promptly at 9pm and are apparently very slow at making pizzas. On the other hand, Lombardo’s Pizzeria makes a great pizza, and have a very friendly staff! They have very good subs too. Go to Lombardo’s Pizzeria instead. Lombardos Pizza Plus is located at 7845 State Hwy 5, Saint Johnsville, NY. Phone: 518-568-7111

On our recent trip to North Carolina, we found ourselves staying in Black Mountain, NC. While Orbitz said it was 20 miles away from our primary destination, it was actually a 55 mile drive. Anyway, we stayed in Black Mountain. We were looking for some place to eat. I read good reviews of a Mexican place, but being in North Carolina, I wasn’t in the mood for Mexican food. Maybe if I were in California or Arizona or some place like that. But being in North Carolina, we wanted to try the local food. We thought BBQ would be good. We both love good BBQ and enjoy trying different places around the country. I found several BBQ places in Black Mountain listed on the internet. The larger place was called Phil’s Bar-B-Que Pit. I read online reviews for Phil’s and they were mixed. From some of the descriptions, it reminded me of a place in the Adirondacks called Tail O’ the Pup, which wasn’t that good.
There was another place close to our motel called State Street BBQ that had almost no online reviews. We decided to try it. We walked over from our motel. It was 7pm on a Friday night, and they closed at 7:30pm which I thought was kind of early. But most of the stores in Black Mountain were already closed. I only saw one person working there, but there might have been more in the back. She was very nice. I asked what she recommended and she said the beef brisket. So I got the beef brisket. My wife got the chicken. Plus we also got two sides. I got the potato salad and the baked beans. My wife got the greens. The food came quickly. They also included hushpuppies. The meat was not already covered in BBQ sauce, but there were several different types of BBQ sauce in squeeze bottles on the table. We tried them all and they were all delicious. The potato salad was great, and the baked beans were good. The meat was excellent with the different BBQ sauces. I wasn’t brave enough to try the greens as I don’t like most dark green type vegetables. The hushpuppies were good. I even ate my wife’s as she is not a fan of hushpuppies. The prices were reasonable. And they offer both Coke and Pepsi products which was nice. I would definitely eat here again if we ever get back to this area.
State Street BBQ is located at 400 E State St # C, Black Mountain, NC 28711. Their phone number is 828-664-1446.

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