If you live in St. Pete and don't know about Harvey's, you have been hanging out with the wrong people. And, if you don't "frequent" Harvey's ... you will never be considered a true 'burger.
I will admit it ... I love Harvey's.
When I order a grouper sandwich and fries it's usually because I have been thinking about it for hours (or days). Perfect bun, fresh lettuce and tomato, fresh grouper and unbelievably delicious fries.
I tell you this because it just so happened that Debbie and I were talking about the food and atmosphere when Jimmy, Harvey's manager since the dawn of time, came up to say hello. He asked me if I had seen the recent review in the Times.
"I didn't see it, Jim ... was it a good one?"
Jimmy shrugged."Not sure. I think it was good. She said a lot of great things but gave it two stars."
"Two stars? Is she crazy?"
Jimmy laughed. "Well ... you take a look and tell me what you think. Anyway, I don't think our average customer makes their decision based on reviews. When they talk about going out to eat, they go through all the restaurants up and down Fourth and eventually say, 'Oh Hell ... Let's just go to Harvey's' ... I'm thinking that should be our tagline."
It wasn't bad and it wasn't good. Fact is, it wasn't much of anything. It lacked substance ... something Harvey's has never lacked. To me, Harvey's is like Saturday Night Live. Each season, some of the main characters move on but you know when you tune in, you're gonna be entertained because there's a great comfort in the same format. The elevated red railed bar still has a lot of the same characters (behind the bar and in front). Eighty year olds share war stories with 30 year olds, Drinks are still affordable, the menu doesn't really change much except for Sundays when the brunch is to die for and the food is always good.
It's like everything that has substance, it's what's on the inside that counts.