Mad Girl Eats Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa


Skippers Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd, Tampa, FL 33613.

Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America show, on the Travel Channel, intrigued me to try the star sandwich, the Blackened Grouper Reuben. So, I made my way to Tampa and found Skipper’s Smokehouse. It is quite a place. It looks like a big swamp shanty. Very VERY casual, relaxed wait staff, and southern-back-woods-Redneck-ishVille atmosphere.

Order up for the sandwich of choice, and the Smoked Gator Ribs shown on the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food. The sandwich came on marble rye, a beautiful piece of grouper perfectly seasoned with Cajun spice and blackened to the right degree. The swiss, sauce, and sauerkraut were the right combination to balance it to amazing-ness. Adam Richman moaned after his first bite, I moaned after my first bite. OMG…frightfully delish. Definitely on my top sandwich roster!

The Smoked Gator Ribs on the other hand, were not. Doused with bbq sauce, tiny portion, lacking smokiness…just not good all around. The server never came back to ask how the meal was. She would have found out. When only 2 bites are taken and leave the rest,  then ask for a box…wouldn’t you wonder what’s up? Anyway…

If you don’t mind lackadaisical service and shanty ambiance ( I thought was charming), the Blackened Grouper Reuben is worth the visit. Skip the Gator ribs and try the Cajun popcorn (crawfish tails), Smoked Fish Dip, or Key Lime Pie instead.  Restaurant, bar, music venue.

4.75 out of 5 points for Adam Richman’s sandwich pick.  3 out of 5 for everything else.

Mad Girl Eats Al’s Italian Beef in Chi


Al’s Italian Beef, 169 West Ontario St., Chicago, IL .. with more locations.

Another worthy choice for lunch in Chicago..or anytime, is Al’s Italian Beef with many locations throughout Chicagoland. This sandwich is one of my top 5 in the country and definitely worth a try. Like Chicago style pizza and hot dogs, Italian beef is also a Foodie’s battleground as to the best in this city. I pick Al’s! Every aspect I prefer, the roll, the meat, the au jus, giardinere, sweet peppers….it suits my taste buds and makes them dance. You must have the sandwich dipped, it’s the only proper way to eat it, dipped in the warm lovely seasoned beefy broth. If you don’t dip, then don’t bother…you miss the scrumptiousness of the entire experience. And eat it right away. You can also learn the Al’s leaning stance, like Adam Richman did. If standing at the counter to eat, you want to set your feet back a bit and lean into it as to not becoming a hot mess.  Want a kick? Add giardinere. Bonus!

imageSorry for the half eaten shot…I couldn’t resist digging in ASAP! As seen on Food Wars, Man vs Food, and Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich In America.

5 out of 5, never disappoints my happy place. A must stop when visiting Chicago. for menu and more locations.

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