Spring training is almost upon us — pitchers and catchers report report to camps roughly one month from now, during the last week of February.
Around here, the beginning of baseball season means a slew of fans and spring breakers will migrate down from the North and Midwest, and they will be looking for places to eat, drink and sleep during their stay in Pinellas County.
Here's a list of five places to eat while in Clearwater for Philadelphia Phillies spring training.
1. Lenny's Restaurant. Every spring training day meal should begin at Lenny's, the Clearwater landmark located a long fly ball away from Bright House Field on U.S. 19 North. The renowned breakfast place has been serving breakfast and lunch to Phillies fans and players for more than 50 years. Bring a hearty appetite; Lenny's is famous for its generous portions.
2. The Original Boardwalk Grill and Bar. If you happen to be staying on Clearwater Beach, you'll want to check out this new addition to the area dining scene. The stylish sports/beach bar, located in the Publix plaza on Island Estates, boasts mouth-watering wings and delicious pizza, along with plenty of brand-new flat screens perfect for watching whatever baseball team you root for.
3. Green Organix. Trying to eat healthy when you're away from the ballpark? Try this downtown Clearwater cafe that specializes in gluten-free foods and caters to vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers alike. Located in the west end of the Cleveland Street District, its outdoor seating provides an ideal view of spring training sunsets.
4. Bascom's Chop House. Looking for a fine dining spot with easy access to cities surrounding Clearwater? Bascom's is an ideal place to take your non-baseball- loving significant other for a meal that is sure to please. Specializing in surf 'n' turf, steaks and of course chops, Bascom's makes for a great place to dine before or after an area baseball game. It's located on Ulmerton Road convenient to Interstate 275.
5. Wings and things: What would a trip to Clearwater be without visiting a wing joint? There is certainly no shortage of options available, including the original Hooters, Ker's WingHouse, Buffalo Wild Wings and Cooters on the Beach. Check out our recent "Best Wings in Clearwater" poll for other suggestions.
Enjoy the baseball, and the food!
*updated 12:07 p.m. Feb. 18, 2012.