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  • Post #121 - November 2nd, 2015, 11:24 am
    Post #121 - November 2nd, 2015, 11:24 am Post #121 - November 2nd, 2015, 11:24 am
    JeffB wrote:
    Regarding Gaspar's Grotto, the pirate themed 3:00 am bar in Ybor, I think you were misguided, Cynthia.


    Well, I'm certainly open to other suggestions, if devil crab is better somewhere else. Too bad that so large a group was guided to a less than stellar place. Sorry folks will be taking low opinions of the dish home with them, rather than knowing that it's just the place.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #122 - November 2nd, 2015, 12:56 pm
    Post #122 - November 2nd, 2015, 12:56 pm Post #122 - November 2nd, 2015, 12:56 pm
    I listed 3 places above that are all very, very good. Seabreeze would be #1 for me and I think Jeff agreed.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #123 - November 3rd, 2015, 7:14 am
    Post #123 - November 3rd, 2015, 7:14 am Post #123 - November 3rd, 2015, 7:14 am
    mhill95149 wrote:Eat at Bern's on Friday night. ... The steak was good but everything else was meh and I would not go there again for dinner.
    8 of our business group dined at Bern's on Friday night as well. 7 of the 8 all made the exact same comment, steak was good/ok, everything else was meh & 7 of 8 wouldn't go back. Common sentiment was that Bern's is too hyped for the quality one receives. That said, I'm back in Tampa this Sat night for business and might be a sucker who goes despite what my peers told me as I've never been.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #124 - November 3rd, 2015, 7:30 am
    Post #124 - November 3rd, 2015, 7:30 am Post #124 - November 3rd, 2015, 7:30 am
    Sweet Willie wrote:
    mhill95149 wrote:Eat at Bern's on Friday night. ... The steak was good but everything else was meh and I would not go there again for dinner.
    8 of our business group dined at Bern's on Friday night as well. 7 of the 8 all made the exact same comment, steak was good/ok, everything else was meh & 7 of 8 wouldn't go back. Common sentiment was that Bern's is too hyped for the quality one receives. That said, I'm back in Tampa this Sat night for business and might be a sucker who goes despite what my peers told me as I've never been.


    If you've never been, it's worth going for the service, the wine cellar tour and the desserts in the former cigar lounge. Don't go there expecting a steak anywhere near as good as you can get at some of our local steakhouses. I've found eating in the bar to be the best experience, unless you are there with a group, in which case a table is advised.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #125 - November 3rd, 2015, 9:19 am
    Post #125 - November 3rd, 2015, 9:19 am Post #125 - November 3rd, 2015, 9:19 am
    There's always been a weird local bias against Bern's as being too pretentious and expensive, which is dumb because it's always been cheap compared to the national chains that people seem to prefer, and it has completely unique bargains in several areas already noted. It's a quirky anachronism that's very specific and local. Or you could just go to Ruth's Chris #723B. It would be considered a treasure in Brooklyn or SF. And it sort of is in some quarters of Tampa and more so the national press. But folks in my hometown are pretty frugal and often can under-appreciate local flavor. They don't want to pay $100 for a good steak and a side of carrots cooked in a cloying amaretto glaze circa 1987. I'm fine with it, because I'm also enjoying heavily subsidized rare wine and caviar in a room with non-ironic carpeted walls.
  • Post #126 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:26 am
    Post #126 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:26 am Post #126 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:26 am
    stevez wrote: I've found eating in the bar to be the best experience, unless you are there with a group, in which case a table is advised.
    I'll be solo on Sat night so thanks for the heads up on dining at the bar.


    This past Sun night, we stayed at a Westshore area hotel, close to Dale Mabry. For lunch on Monday, we got two sandwiches to go from Mott & Hester Deli.

    I got a chance to chat with owner Ted Kelly who has owned the place for 20+ years. He cooks most of the meats in-house, like roast pork for his Cubans, roast beef, corned beef. He also gets fresh breads in daily.

    I had a rueben, excellent flavor but corned beef was a bit dry, I wish they used the entire brisket rather than just the 1st cut.

    Mrs Willie had a muffuletta on french bread. Excellent.

    If in area and looking for a good sandwich, I can suggest Mott & Hester.

    Mott & Hester Deli
    1155 S. Dale Mabry Hwy, Suite 10
    Tampa, FL 33629
    http://www.mottandhesterdeli.com/
    M-F 8am-7pm
    Sat 9am-4pm
    closed Sun
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #127 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:43 am
    Post #127 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:43 am Post #127 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:43 am
    Here is my go-to Bern's order when I'm just eating there with one other person--unless there's something on here that you hate/are allergic to/etc., I'd highly recommend not straying too far from this :). And by all means, sit at the bar if you are solo or +1--it's a much better experience.

    Start: Caviar or an order of the Traditional Bern's steak tartare--ORIGINAL RECIPE--you must specify this. The new recipe and all the variation recipes on the menu are bunk.

    Main: Steak of whatever persuasion. If you're there with another person and you have similar preferences for doneness, the Chateaubriand is excellent. Since I'm a medium in a family of bloody centers, I grew up ordering the 1" NY strip and taking half home for lunch the next day. People swear by the filet--I hate that cut so can't comment. Fish choices are actually really strong as well. But I'd stay away from the "fancy" dishes and stick to the steak or fish with choice of sauces (all are great).

    For the "choices" that come with your meal:
    Onion soup
    Salad with Cleopatra dressing
    Baked Potato--loaded

    Request kitchen tour and a trip to the dessert room.

    I'm completely ok with the fact that Bern's may be one of those things one grows up loving that may not thrill those who didn't. I also agree that if you stray too far from the original menu items, it's just another restaurant with a bit of a weirdness factor. But the meal that I noted above is about as close to "favorite" status for me as anything I've had anywhere. And it's remarkably consistent. I'm always really bummed when I go home and can't make it there.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #128 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:51 am
    Post #128 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:51 am Post #128 - November 3rd, 2015, 10:51 am
    I enjoyed my first dining experience at Bern's back in September and it pretty much lined up with what others who know the place well have posted here. Amazing selection of wines at reasonable prices (we had 2 that were both older than me), stellar old-skool service, very good steaks, affordable rare spirits in the Dessert Room and the rest . . . well, it's all fine, even if not life-changing. But, especially since I will traveling to the area regularly on business, I can definitely see going there again in the near future.

    The place I loved, which is right near the airport, is La Teresita, which I've now hit every time I've been in Tampa. Their Cuban Sandwiches are great, as are their soups, beans, hot lunch plates, etc. Thanks, boudreaulicious, for that most excellent tip. Oh, and I had a very nice deviled crab there, too.

    =R=

    La Teresita
    3248 W Columbus Dr
    Tampa, FL 33607
    (813) 879-9704
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #129 - November 8th, 2015, 5:32 pm
    Post #129 - November 8th, 2015, 5:32 pm Post #129 - November 8th, 2015, 5:32 pm
    There are a couple of things I love about Bern's

    - You can order exactly how much steak you want, and not have to pay extra to be forced to take leftovers. Ever since I had my gall bladder removed, I really can't eat more than 10-11 ounces of steak in a single sitting, and I appreciate that I can tell them that's how much I want on my plate once they finish trimming and cooking it. [And that I'm not stuck getting filet like at some steakhouses where the next smallest steaks are 16 or 24 ounces.]
    - Their wine prices are ridiculously low. The last couple of times we've been getting bottles of 35-40 year old French Rhones for less than $1/year. We're not wine snobs but even we realize how good these are.
    - The service is great if over the top, and the dessert room is a bit expensive but fun.

    If you say "is this the best morsel of steak you've ever tasted," those of you who got to a variety of steakhouses or are accomplished at home with a great butcher are going to say no. But is it the best steakhouse for an evening? For me, since I don't like the Gibson's celebrity style of place, it's the best I've been to although I still need to get to Peter Luger some day with some New Yorkers.

    Last time there, we got a small "Special Chateaubriand" - maybe about 28 ounces to split between us. My cousin goes for medium well, I go for medium, so it worked out well temperature wise, and the cut had a taste and texture which reminded both of us of being in Buenos Aires.

    La Teresita, I picked up from an LTH thread a long time ago, maybe 8-9 years ago. We stop twice a trip - first thing off the plane, last thing before the airport. I haven't found anyplace in Chicago which has the food, the funky counter atmosphere, and is open all night Fri/Sat.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #130 - November 8th, 2015, 10:38 pm
    Post #130 - November 8th, 2015, 10:38 pm Post #130 - November 8th, 2015, 10:38 pm
    Teresita: no place better at 4:00 am. I don't think what most folks are eating there to mop up booze is exceptional (Cubans and beans) but the cafe con leche is solid and the long-stewed dishes are sleepers. Carne con papas, boliche etc.
  • Post #131 - November 10th, 2015, 8:49 am
    Post #131 - November 10th, 2015, 8:49 am Post #131 - November 10th, 2015, 8:49 am
    Hawkers Asian Street Fare is opening a location in St Petersburg @ 1235 Central Ave.

    I had dined at the Jacksonville location of Hawkers, quite good:
    Roti Canai was terrific, good bread & excellent curry
    Chicken Satay was a bit light on spice but had really good flavor components
    Fish w/black bean sauce has delicious, make sure to order a side of rice with this as there is a lot of sauce.

    Lots of noodle & rice dishes that I wish I had time to explore.

    http://eathawkers.com/
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #132 - November 10th, 2015, 8:54 am
    Post #132 - November 10th, 2015, 8:54 am Post #132 - November 10th, 2015, 8:54 am
    Sweet Willie wrote:Hawkers Asian Street Fare is opening a location in St Petersburg @ 1235 Central Ave.

    I had dined at the Jacksonville location of Hawkers, quite good:
    Roti Canai was terrific, good bread & excellent curry
    Chicken Satay was a bit light on spice but had really good flavor components
    Fish w/black bean sauce has delicious, make sure to order a side of rice with this as there is a lot of sauce.

    Lots of noodle & rice dishes that I wish I had time to explore.

    http://eathawkers.com/


    Wow. Thanks for this! it's on the list for my next visit.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #133 - November 10th, 2015, 8:54 am
    Post #133 - November 10th, 2015, 8:54 am Post #133 - November 10th, 2015, 8:54 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:Finally, I like the Devil Crabs at Alessi Bakery--again, no "eat-in" but they are cheap and delicious. And the baked goods aren't too shabby either!

    Alessi Bakery - West Tampa
    2909 W Cypress Street
    Tampa, FL 33609
    813-879-4544
    http://alessibakery.com/our-story
    JeffB wrote:Alessi is always good.


    My first devil crab was at Tropicana years ago, really liked it. 2nd was at Brocato's a couple weeks ago, a big step up from Tropicana.

    Based upon the above, I went to Alessi for a devil crab this past Saturday, the best, wow! Flavor was terrific as was the crab.

    Jen, what do you mean by no "eat-in" at Alessi, there is a separate eating area as well as tables out front.

    Alessi had boxes of Sicilian style pizza which looked delicious, too bad I was full.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #134 - November 10th, 2015, 9:00 am
    Post #134 - November 10th, 2015, 9:00 am Post #134 - November 10th, 2015, 9:00 am
    It's been years since I was last at Alessi--like probably over 10! I didn't remember there being a dining area inside--I know there are tables outside but I'm not big on outdoor dining in the lovely humid swamp that is usually Tampa!!. The indoor part may be new(er) or it may be my memory sux--except for the DC of course, which I remember being delicious!!!

    So glad you enjoyed and thanks for the update! I'll be down there in a couple of weeks and will be sure to stop in to refresh my memory :)
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on November 10th, 2015, 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #135 - November 10th, 2015, 9:02 am
    Post #135 - November 10th, 2015, 9:02 am Post #135 - November 10th, 2015, 9:02 am
    Cynthia wrote:
    Sweet Willie wrote:I looked at the menu for Ulele as I was intrigued by your description of garlic bathed oysters. I didn't see that on the menu but did chargrilled oysters.


    The garlic-bathed oysters were also chargrilled -- so probably the same thing. Didn't mention it in the original post, but they also brew their own craft beer.

    Stopped by Ulele for some eats. Really nice setting and good looking restaurant. The beer I had was very tasty, not quite a sour beer but some nice tartness from fruit used.

    The chargrilled oysters were done perfectly so that the oysters were not overcooked and were handled carefully as there was still some oyster liquor present. The amount of garlic overwhelmed most of the oyster taste, when I go back I'll ask for light on the garlic.

    Also tried the Pulpo Carpaccio Shaved octopus with a spicy piri piri sauce, green and red chiles. The chiles were Thai chilies so some very hot heat. A well done, refreshing dish.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #136 - April 6th, 2016, 12:15 pm
    Post #136 - April 6th, 2016, 12:15 pm Post #136 - April 6th, 2016, 12:15 pm
    Just in...developers bought and closed overnight the 80+ year old Tampa landmark, The Colonnade. With its beautiful Bayshore Blvd view of Tampa Bay and comforting menu of broiled and fried seafood (most of which was, almost certainly frozen but still well-prepared), there are many Tampa natives mourning the loss. One of the very last of my childhood favorites gone. Sad that no one was given any notice whatsoever to get in one last time. Bummer.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #137 - December 3rd, 2018, 8:27 am
    Post #137 - December 3rd, 2018, 8:27 am Post #137 - December 3rd, 2018, 8:27 am
    BTB wrote:A little off Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island on 107th Ave. is a great little German restaurant called Cafe Berlin. It is a tiny, little place, but is one of the local's favorites.

    I was looking forward to trying Cafe Berlin but after numerous searches, my friend who lives in Treasure Island was unable to find any listings for a Cafe Berlin. Our alternate was to have dinner at German Bistro 2. While they don't have any German beers on tap, they do have a decent beer selection. The special pork schnitzel with a mushroom cheese sauce was easily the best rendition of a schnitzel I've ever tried, too bad it wasn't my dish :D I enjoyed the currywurst, good sausages, and enjoyable but after trying my friend's schnitzel I'd suggest going with one of their specials as opposed to what I had.
    German Bistro 2
    1300 E Bay Dr
    Largo, FL 3377
    (727) 216-6519

    I hadn't had cracked conch for awhile so asked my friend to search for cracked conch places in the Treasure Island area (where he lives), cracked conch isn't as easy to find as one would think, he found Mid Peninsula.
    The cracked conch was really good, big succulent pieces fried to perfection, the fried oysters were even better though, simply excellent.
    Mid Peninsula Seafood
    400 49th St S
    St. Petersburg, FL 33707
    (727) 327-8309
    Monday - Saturday 11:00am - 9:00pm, Closed Sundays
    https://www.midpeninsulaseafood.com/

    Lastly before my flight home, I stopped by Alessi Bakery for a devil crab and pressed Cuban sandwich, certainly a great way to end my Tampa/St Pete weekend.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.

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