By CHRIS SHERMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 8, 2001
Fast food salads try to go uptown at Wendy's. New Puckish salad tosses chicken, oranges, almonds and noodles with romaine, iceberg and baby redleaf.
Not mesclun but only $4 at the drive-through. Other new wave salads use the little grape tomatoes Florida pioneered.
Changing names, shifting tides on St. Pete Beach:
Snapper's Sea Grille (5895 Gulf Blvd.; (727) 367-3550) now flies cobalt blue, mahogany and other hip colors in a big, handsome remake. Seafood menu ranges from fried to flashy, like tuna with blueberry teriyaki sauce and eye-popping presentation.
New shingle in Pass-A-Grille is Eighth Ave. Fish House & Grille (109 Eighth Ave.; (727) 363-7434) at the old Lighted Tree. Gulf-rim menu includes salads, sandwiches and seafood with modern twists such as tempura lobster and mussels in coconut curry. Prices run $5.95 to $16.95.
The Grille also gets a helping of Cuban at Asado Cafe (118 Eighth Ave.; (727) 368-0246). Thanks to owners' Cuban and Thai influences, Asado has lemongrass chicken and Thai shrimp as well as pressed media noches and ropa vieja, priced $4.95 to $13.95.
Helping of onion straws. My conscience won't let me order onion rings outright more than once a year, so I'm thrilled when a steak or slab of meatloaf arrives with an unbidden garnish of wispy crispy onion straws on top. Beats those big fat gobbers. Only thing better is fresh fried sweet potato chips.
-- CHRIS SHERMAN, Times food critic