Our latest foray took us to Venice, Florida, a beachside community on the Gulf Coast just south of St. Pete. We arrived early and took in some of the downtown sights, including the Farmer's Market, several touristy shops and, after what seemed like a mile and a half walk westward, Venice Beach. It's a lovely town.
That's me dwarfed by some well-rooted members of the community.
By the time we returned to town center from the beach, having stopped briefly at a garage sale where I picked up a Porche cap which I needed to cover my bald head having left my Yankee cap at home along with my sunscreen, it was lunch time. Lunch time for me, that is, since controlling my diabetes requires me to eat at regular intervals.
Researching the local eateries, my girl had discovered that Jackson's American Grill had been highly rated by various sources. "Five Star," she told me. So, knowing I craved the occasional burgher, fries and milkshake combo, she had pre-ordained Jackson's as our lunchtime stop.
Jackson's American Grill
We arrived there at about ten after eleven when, it was evident, they were still in the midst of a brisk breakfast trade. And, to be totally honest, the breakfast plates that were flying by were filled with the most mouthwatering specimens of breakfast fare I have seen in some time. Unfortunately, we had eaten our breakfasts at home at around 6:30 AM, before we had headed out. So, a second breakfast seemed to go against our private code.
We inquired if it might be too early for lunch but were assured it wasn't. Service was very good - our server was a young lad named Will - as was our lunch. Among the shortcomings was the fact that shakes came in only one size. Ever carb-conscious, I usually prefer a small shake. Also, I chose not to go for the 8 oz burgher, opting instead for the 5 ouncer, but, though nicely presented with lettuce, tomato, bacon and a pickle, it was absolutely dwarfed by the bun which seemed more suitable for an 8 oz burger or larger. Too much unneccesary bread!
Another thing I'm forced to mention is the attendance of dogs. Among the people eating at tables out front on the street were several dog owners whose mutts were on their laps, in their arms, tied to their chairs, sniffing here and there, or otherwise preoccupied. In fairness, the entire town of Venice should be tagged as Dog Friendly. During our earlier trek to the beach, we had been passed by a girl runner, a look of "screw you" plastered on her smug face, who had been followed closely by her faithful, unleashed pit bull. Just down the road, we were confronted by a little old white-haired lady out walking her unleashed poodle. All through town, dogs were angrily confronting other dogs, as I detoured out into the street to avoid their little yelping matches. I understand the love people have for their pets - I still miss my two cats dearly - but, I would never subject friends or strangers to them against their will. Not so with the people of Venice. There's even a downtown dog wash. And, of course, people collecting for a new dog shelter were set up in the farmer's market. So, if you are not a dog person, I'd say Venice isn't a place for you.
Anyway, getting back to Jackson's American Grill, because of the mismatch between burgher and bun, I'm going to give it four stars. But, if I'm ever in the neighborhood, I'd love to try them for breakfast.