Monday, May 12, 2014

Bern's Steakhouse!

This past Sunday I made it down to Fort Myers to see some relatives who live there, and it was a great, but long trip.  From where am currently at it's about a three hour drive down.  Decided to take the backroads and was blown away, almost literally, by amount of bugs which impact the windshield...  It was icky.

However, my main point of this post is my trip to Bern's Steakhouse, located in Tampa, FL.  Took a trip to St. Petersburg where went to visit another friend, but think they left the state and went up north as didn't see them home.  Didn't have their phone number so tried to drop in unannounced.

After leaving St Petersburg made my way to Tampa, and Bern's!

This place is known throughout the world, and people fly in specifically to eat here, then fly out.  I managed to arrive a little after five, and was unable to get a table.  There was still a line at the front desk.  However, was able to sit at the bar and was not disappointed!

From the outside it doesn't look like much, but the secret, with most everything, is what's on the inside.  Inside it's truly amazing.  One thing I was disappointed about is that they got rid of their live fish tank.  They used to have live fish and you could pick out a specific fish and they would cook that specific one up for you, after cleaning and all that happy jazz.

One of the key specialties here is their beef.  They take great pride, and care, of their beef.  It is dry aged for at least 30 days and kept in a special climate controlled room to age their beef in the best way possible.  It's also cooked over real wood, which is truly superb!

On this visit I had an 8 ounce filet mignon and it was just amazing!  Beyond amazing actually!  It came with a baked potato, some greens, and couple other yummy things.  For the price, and what we get, it's actually a really good value!  Not sure if could eat here often if lived in the area, but while sitting at the bar talked to a couple who actually did that, and they were quite happy!

After the scrumptious meal, have the option of going on a tour of the kitchen, and the wine cellar, both are amazing!

The kitchen is a well oiled machine, and each area has their own specialty, from salads to the grill, to dish cleaning, even a bar in the kitchen (for the dining room) where drinks are made and sent out.  There is even a specific meat carving station!  The tour is quick, efficient, and get a good idea of the whole process and what it takes to run such a great establishment!

The wine cellar...  OH MY GOODNESS!  If was drinking again would be in pure heaven.  This cellar is amazing!  The guy who gave me the tour said it was the largest of it's kind, in the world!  They have one at the restaurant, and a separate one which contains double amount of wine stored here.  They have bottles ranging all the way from present and back to 1815.  Their most expensive bottle of wine believe is about $40,000.00.  When people generally have these wines though, it's typically done upstairs in the Harry Waugh Desert room!

First came here about ten years ago, and now every time am in the area this is a must stop destination.  It truly is that wonderful!

Everyone I talked to here was easily approachable and very happy to talk and chat.  Talked with this one older lady (sorry, forget your name), for a good solid thirty minutes, was a very wonderful conversation!  She was there using a gift card she got for her birthday!  She taught me a long in our short thirty minutes in that it's still sinking in!

Will be going back one more time before leave the area, it's truly that good! People are amazing, booze is amazing, and of course, the food is drop dead gorgeous!

Also, must say RIP to the Roaring 20's Pizza place...  That was on my list to visit but they're no longer in operation..

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fast Mover...

It was a busy time for me, the last couple of weeks.  After picking up scooter from AF1 Racing (more on that later as it's not complete), took off and headed east.  My goal was to reach Orlando, FL fast as possible.  Only minor problem is that it was a busy time at the office and was putting in long hours to get tasks completed.

I had to cover about 1,100 miles prior to May 1st.  Started off doing an hour or two a day, bouncing between one truck stop and another.  This is actually a fairly nice way of doing it, though have to keep an eye on the house batteries as they tend to draw down with the refrigerator (runs on propane mostly), and lights/computer useage.  Have a couple of power inverters, to convert 12 Volts of Direct Current (V DC) into 120 Volts of Alternating Current (V AC).  Using these a lot draws down the battery faster as there is always some loss when converting any electricity from DC to AC, or vice versa.

Don't really recall all of the places where I stopped, but some of the highlights were:

Truck stop just east of downtown Houston. Loud, noisy, right next to I10 on ramp in the concrete jungle.  Icky but good for a day.

Truck stop just east of Mobile, AL.  Restaurant called Marci's Antique Club was near here, about 15 minutes away.  It was a wonderful little eatery, a lot of great character, and the food was pretty good too.

It was pretty mild, and mostly sunny, on the way east.  Didn't hit the real muggy weather until Mobile and Est.  When left Mobile to head east more, turned on the generator to run the roof mount AC unit.  This was necessary as humidity was just up there.  I was fortunate enough to miss the really horrible weather in the Florida panhandle.

One neat thing which happened... As was nearing destination, while on the Florida Turnpike, looked down at the odometer that was still reading ERR1 (always has), and had feeling to jab the buttons one more time..  This time the jabbing paid off and the odometer is now displaying real, honest to goodness numbers!  YAY

Had to make it to Orlando area due to the Business Development conference I attended.  It was located at the Florida Mall, where it was last year.  Very interesting and worthwhile!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Four Powerful Questions

Just attended a business building conference in Orlando, FL this weekend.  During one of the sessions four questions were presented to us.  I don't have my answers for these, just wanted to post them.

  1. If we were meeting 3 years from now, what has to have happened during that 3 year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
  2. What are the biggest dangers you'll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
  3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
  4. What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don't currently have in order to capture those opportunities?

I thought these were powerful questions about our own individual future.