Hellas Restaurant and Bakery storefronts
Tarpon Springs, Florida is known for its Greek community founded in both the sponge diving business and restaurants and shops. One of the best restaurants is Hellas Restaurant and the joining Hellas Bakery. The businesses are on the main commercial street in the town, Dodecanese Boulevard.
We really enjoyed our meal at the restaurant. The “flamed” cheese was a real treat, and yes it was served in flames! I had a beef gyro, Sher had a Veggie Pita, and we both shared a huge Greek salad. This restaurant was very comfortable and the staff was delightful. We were there early afternoon when there were few other patrons.
After our meal we went next door to the Hellas Bakery. There were a lot of people in the bakery, but the line moved fairly quickly. Yes, we indulged and picked up some sweet bakery goods for an evening snack back at the RV park.
Delicious Greek Salad
We would highly recommend stopping for a meal at the Hellas Restaurant. Tarpon Springs is about 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg, and is home to the highest percentage population of Greeks in the country. After you eat at Hellas, be sure to check out the Sponge Docks and local Fish Shoppes.
Buddy and Diane
Today was kind of a mixed bag. We are at the Florida Flywheelers grounds in preparation for the big show that starts next Wednesday. We set up our tables yesterday, and today we needed to make a run to town to get some food and some table cloths for our display tables.
We went through Avon Park and on down US 27 to Sebring. There we did our shopping. We stayed in the WinnDixie parking lot and had a light lunch. By the time we were ready to leave it was getting on into the afternoon.
We drove back to the Orange Box Cafe in Frostproof and had supper. The seafood buffet was quite tasty. After we got done with supper we decided to stick around and listen to the local entertainer Buddy. (See our post on his show here.) Tonight he had his singing partner Diane Pari, with him. Diane is a mother of 5, grandmother of one, and an accomplished singer/songwriter. We heard a couple of her songs that she wrote. She is a great singer and she and Buddy were great singing duets.
Diane Pari, singer/songwriter
Then it was back to our spot at the Flywheelers grounds. We had to get by the deputy at the gate by showing our parking sticker and armbands to get in the grounds. Thus today came to a close, with an overnight low of 36 expected. Seriously? Is this really Florida in February?
Dining room at the Parthenon
While strolling down Dodecanese Blvd. at the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs recently we went by the Parthenon Restaurant. The manager was out front standing by the menu board and began to tell us about the restaurant offerings. He did a good job, because we decided to go in and have a bite of lunch.
Sher had the Greek salad and I had the butter cooked pasta with grilled chicken strips and both came with peta bread. The meals were very good and the portions were quite substantial, to say the least! This was the first time that I have ever needed a leftover box for a pasta meal.
The Parthenon is located at 751 Dodecanese Blvd. just past Athens Street in the Sponge Dock district of Tarpon Springs. This is a good establishment to get an authentic Greek meal.
Greek Salad at Parthenon Restaurant
L to R: Nicole, cook Robert, and Libby in front of the salad bar with the Antique store in background
During our travels this winter in Florida we have been blessed to know a couple of couples who we met last year in Ohio during festivals. We have been in contact with them at some of the flea markets we have attended. They told us about a small local cafe near our next event.
The Orange Box Cafe is a favorite of the local residents, and our friends have been here before. The cafe is not only a restaurant, but also a produce store and antique store as well. There is live music on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday nights.
All six of us had supper there last night. The salad bar is small, but has fresh ingredients including marvelous home made cole slaw. The soup of the day was potato and it was delicious.
Sher and our friends ready to enjoy supper
Sher enjoyed the soup and salad bar and I had the same plus the evening special: meatloaf and mashed potatoes. The serving of meatloaf was huge and very tasty. The slice was about 2 inches thick and covered half of the plate, smothered in gravy. One of our party made a special request on the preparation of a Reuben sandwich. No problem with that, the cook will prepare about anything you want.
The service was excellent and we had fun talking with the waitresses. We enjoyed the meal and the company. In addition, this place has a large parking lot for truckers, and they also had six sites suitable for RV’s. So we stayed there overnight and were able to plug into the electric service at the picnic shelter for no charge. This is one of those interesting places you find when you are on the road.
Nice parking spot at the Orange Box Cafe. No charge but be courteous and patronize the cafe.
Nice sidewalk, sand, but not next to the water.
Today Sher and I headed over to Hudson, Florida in hopes of going to an auction nearby. The auction was not what we expected, and we were glad we got there early as we did not waste any time there. That is when we headed on to Hudson. We had yet to see the Gulf since we have been in Florida this winter. We found a great little “beach” in a city park. Note the quotes around beach. The sand was there, however it stopped at the sidewalk before the water!
The bar at Sam’s Beach Bar
Right next to the sidewalk was a cute establishment named Sam’s Beach Bar. What the heck, let’s see what was on the menu. Things looked good, so we were seated out on the patio. The sun was out, the temperatrue was in the mid 70’s, and there was a very nice breeze.
Open air patio in the background at Sam’s
I ordered the 1/2 pound burger, topped with fixin’s including a great slab of cheddar cheese. It came with a good serving of seasoned fries. Sher had a side of fries and a large bowl of freshly made cole slaw. Tasty, tasty, tasty! We really enjoyed the meal. It was also fun sitting on the patio. We kept wondering how the place kept all the seagulls from attacking everyone’s food. There were tons of those birds, but they would not fly over the open patio at all.
Burger with all the fixin’s and seasoned fries: it doesn’t get any better!
Delicious freshly made cole slaw
Sam’s Beach Bar is worth your visit if you get to Hudson, Florida. (Hudson is north of Clearwater on Highway 19.) The parking was a city owned lot, pay your $2 and you are good ‘from dawn until dusk’ as the sign says. The view over the water was calm and peaceful, as was our meal at Sam’s.