Gayles Diner

It’s our fourth anniversary for Tampa Bay Breakfasts! Here’s how we look today. (That’s a Marek and Ivo head-butting in progress you’re seeing here.)

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Here’s what we looked like four years ago this week. (Which was a year and a half before Ivo hired onto the team.)

Gloomy day here in Tampa Bay. It’ll clear up. We have faith in the weatherman. The lovely Don Cesar on the horizon there. Boys were all about the big castle, wonder who lives there.

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We parked next to this loader. It’s seen better days. I’ve always loved derelict equipment like this. Isn’t that odd? Ivo loves it, too.

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Ivo looking for his first tetanus shot, while Marek dismounts from Driftercoaster (our new name for the car) in a most inelegant fashion. Why just get out of the car when you can get out of the car butt-first?

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Lovely boys. It’s a good thing they look like their mother.

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They’re worth two portraits this morning. That’s how lovely they are.

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This morning we were going to go to Gayle’s Diner, but I’m strongly thinking about going across the street instead. Anything called a “megacenter” has to be awesome.

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Here we are at Gayles at 455 75th Ave St Pete Beach, FL. Already from the outside we can say, this is our kind of place.

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Both boys insisted on sitting at the counter. Ivo’s first time, and it’s a bit perilous. He’s about a mile off the ground. I don’t usually get nervous about his safety, but in this case I sat close and was ready to yell at him if he fell off and got seriously injured.

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Marek immediately placed his order. His new thing: Home fries and bacon. And also some eggs, please.

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Coffee for everyone, please, ma’am.

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An old, but apparently still in-use milkshake machine. An “I almost got away with it” book about a local guy (I went to school with a guy who ended up on that show, too. The key word for the show is “almost.”) I like a place where the staff keep emergency bottles of beer on the counter, just in case.

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The menu: Short but just right, all the right parts in all the right places.

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And breakfast came licketysplit fast. We were still goofin’, and here’s a forklift of chow. Ivo was already sawing on the pancakes before the plate stopped moving.

Notice the daughter of the proprietress, setting up coffee filters. Marek asked me how he could get a job like that.

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Arial view of breakfast. This is what we’d look like if the U.S. Geological Survey were to do this blog.

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Good breakfast, upon which the boys descended with vigor. Coffee making the rounds in the diner, which is small and cozy. This is an obvious family affair that has a warm vibe.

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Family portrait. This is what we’d look like if I also had a 9 year old daughter.

Notice how Ivo can’t even see over the counter? He still was able to take care of business. He’s a pro.

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Here’s a milestone for this year. Marek using a fork and knife. He’s like European aristocracy this morning. Which is an improvement from his usual fingers and belching.

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This look on Ivo’s face? It’s because, very likely, out of camera range he’s squeezing syrup on the floor behind his back.

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A bit pricey-feeling on the bill. A Jackson covers it, but barely.

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Ivo raised his hand first so he got the job.

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The folks behind us just laughed at this, when he ran off with the cash. But he showed everyone that he knows what he’s doing.

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After we left Gayle’s, we headed straight to the beach. We played in the sand, in the water, we got sunburns, Marek picked up a 6yo girl but forgot to get her number, everything boys are supposed to do at the beach.

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Apples for snacks on the way home. Notice how the Scion FR-S is a family car?

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Great greasy-spoon diner with serious and sincere mom-n-pop chops. Price seemed a little high, but the chow was good and plenty of it. Everyone’s friendly and there seemed to be a lot of regulars. We all had a great time at Gayle’s and are pleased to give a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four and a half pancake rating.

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