This is my contribution to Weekend Cooking, a meme hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.
On Halloween, we trekked down to Tampa airport to pick up our daughter, Steph, coming for a visit from Delaware. We planned on spending our birthdays together but she had to go home the day before mine. Boo hoo! I miss my baby girl already but we did have a fun time. A week ago yesterday we schlepped to the airport once again to drop her off for her mid morning flight home. When we got almost back to Podunk , TBG asked me if I wanted to stop for lunch at this "quaint" place he had heard about. Alrighty! Birthday dining a day early! Hmmmmmmm ...
We pulled into the swanky parking lot bare grass just off the road to a little place called Pudgee's. Yes, Pudgee's!! Although spelled weirdly different than the norm, I like it. Luncheon dining outside in the glorious Florida sunshine overlooking a fine view cars whizzing up and down the county highway, geez, does it get any better than that?
I suppose you want to see pictures or not. . . . well, guess what. I'm showing them anyway. The first is the front of the fine establishment that is Pudgee's. You can even have your photo taken in the midst of a box of french fries. Who wouldn't want such a fine memento? Alas, we passed on that golden opportunity.
We did have a lovely chat with the owner, John, who was most friendly and didn't mind posing for a photo. He told us he and his family would travel miles and miles to try out a restaurant and kiddingly named themselves the Pudgee family.
So, when he retired, he wanted to set up his own eatery and his mother-in-law is the one who told him to name it Pudgee's. Great choice! And the rest is history, so they say.
Obviously, there is no inside dining room! But the outdoor tables were covered with the finest linen red checked plastic. We decided to go with a basic hot dog and an order of cheese fries which I have to admit were both very tasty. John makes his own relish along with numerous hot dog sauces such as his meaty "coney" sauce or his Greek sauce and a red onion sauce that sounds really good. "The onions are simmered until plump and tender with a light tangy red sauce."
If just a plain hot dog isn't adventurous enough for you, Pudgee's also cooks up Italian sausage Chicago style on crusty French bread with the option of adding either green peppers and onions or giardiniera/hot peppers to it. Polish sausage, Italian roast beef, and several different 100% Angus burgers round out the menu. A lot of the selections come with Pudgee's homemade cole slaw. Next time ( oh, yes, there will be a next time!) I'm going to try the Polish sausage or maybe the Italian roast beef. I think the Chili cheese fry burger might be a little over the top for me.
Oh, by the way, before you think TBG is a big cheapskate, he did take me to Ruby Tuesdays for a "real" birthday dinner.
So next time you're in Florida craving a tasty hot dog, burger or sausage with fries and find yourself lost andmiles from civilization in Podunk, stop in at Pudgee's. There are lots of choices and the prices are very reasonable. Maybe a "Florida swamp dog" complete with sauerkraut would be to your liking!