THIS is NOT my Mom…but it IS Spoto’s Restaurant!
(It’s also NOT my photo. Thanks Google! I forgot my camera…)
I’m Florida right now and my Mom & Dad met me for dinner tonight. They came by my lovely hotel here in Clearwater (uh…it’s a Holiday Inn) and we drove to a nice little secluded restaurant in a little town called Dunedin (and don’t ask me how to pronounce it. I get it wrong EVERY time! It sounds like a moon orbiting a small, uninhabited planet in the next Star Wars movie…). But before we get to the restaurant, let’s talk about Dunedin, shall we?
Apparently, my parents used to hang in this sleepy little village many, many years ago (like…3 or 4) and now the whole area has completely changed! It is SO different, that they have picked up entire roads and somehow MOVED them somewhere else! And they also have torn down entire buildings (or cottages…whichever) and made them into giant, expensive condos that overlook the water! You want education? Go look somewhere else people. Because what was once a school building is now an apartment complex! It’s ALL different in Dunedin and hopefully all for the better. But whatever. I digress. It is pretty amazing the changes they have made in Dunedin. Well….that’s according to my parents. My Mom couldn’t believe all of the changes (“Look Al! That old house that used to be there isn’t there anymore!”) and my Dad was perplexed by how they moved an entire road to face an entirely different direction! How the hell does THAT work? (Sorry Dad…had to throw that in there!)
So…back to the restaurant.
My parents LOVE this little restaurant called Spoto’s. It’s a quaint little restaurant off Main Street here in Dunedin. It’s got a nice bar area, plenty of ambience and wonderful food. It’s a steakhouse du jour for the area (so I’m told) and MY prime rib was very tasty! I had the rib with a baked potato and a salad and we had calamari for a appetizer with bread and wine and…OH YEAH!!! Vinegar & Dressing!
Okay…there is a backstory to the vinegar and dressing. And here it is…my Dad can’t eat preservatives. If he does, he breaks out into this giant, human rash that looks like he’s been laying around in a strawberry patch all day. It’s kinda yucky and it hurts and he makes life miserable for anyone around him whenever this stuff starts to gnaw at him. It’s itchy as hell and I don’t blame him for being irritable. Anyway, the vinegar and dressing that Spoto’s serves is apparently the ONLY vinegar and dressing that doesn’t have him breaking out into this rash. Don’t know how he does it, but Mr. Spoto has figured out a way to make this magical oil that my Dad loves and can eat JOYOUSLY without having to deal with a bad case of the heeby-jeebies! So THANK YOU Mr. Spoto! Your steaks are great and your restaurant is lovely…but it’s your VINEGAR that keeps us comin’ back!
So my Mom…in an attempt to STEAL the secret recipe for her own use at home, called “Spoto’s” tonight after our dinner to see if, after years of trying to figure out the recipe, they would finally cave in and give it to her. The following is the email I received once she got done with the phone call…
Alan: the website for Spoto’s is: www.spotossteakjoint2.com.
It may not have 2 s’s between Spoto’s and steak. Try it and see what works if you want it for your blog. I guess there is another one in Tampa Bay, but Mr. Spoto stays at the original restaurant in Dunedin. I called the restaurant to find out what vinegar and dressing dad used and Mr. Spoto answered. Very Italian. Nice accent. Love………mom
And that was ALL she wrote! Sooooo…did Mr. Spoto give up the recipe or what??? C’MON MOM! You can’t leave us hangin’!!! Do you know the secret ingredient or what????
THIS JUST IN! An email from Mom after reading this…
Yes, he did. Said we could add any ingredient we wanted, and listed the ones in his and how much of each. You could have gotten a history on the restaurant last night. The first time we went, they gave us a little flyer with pictures of the original Spoto’s and the history. Mr Stewart is called “Hey, Spoto!” He is most usually in Dunedin instead of Tampa, because he mostly developed #2.
Also, about the roads that disappeared. Dad doesn’t ask directions, even from a Tom -Tom!!! After we dropped you off, he told me to return it because it was defective. I told him the only thing defective was his eternal refusal to LISTEN TO ME!! We got home ok and still love each other, so the night turned out ok and we are still married…..Love
Well…thank goodness for THAT! I will now sleep better…