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Are there any Peruvian-Chinese (chifa) in Tampa?

I too was struck by the cool looking Castillo's. However, my wife and I went there for lunch and found it to be slighly below-average cuban. Also, somehow, it was just not as charming to eat at as it is to look at. That whole area just seems like it should have more good places to eat than it does. At the end of the day, I just always go to the Noho Cafe for lunch in that immediate area.

Mar 24, 2010
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Are there any Peruvian-Chinese (chifa) in Tampa?

It is north of Kennedy. I have seen it a few times but never had the time to stop and go in. I think that the sign for it is painted on the side of the building. I would love for someone to go and try it. I am not even sure what the food would be like.

Mar 04, 2010
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Tampa lunch recs

Also very close are Pizzaiolo Bavarra (514 Franklin St.) which is brick oven euro-style pizza and L'Eden (500 Tampa St.) which is simple French (salads, crepes, etc.) Both are very good and are tied with Bamboozled for "places that I like downtown."

Oct 12, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Good INdian Food IN Jax

I live in Tampa but used to travel up to Jax for meetings. There is a place called Cilantro a bit south of the city that was very good. Luckily for me it was near the client site so I could go and fill up once a month without much driving. I really liked the gobi manchurian.

Sep 18, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Tampa - The Lime

I concur with the above comments. It is a good wine/beer bar. When it is not too crowded I really like drinking there. The simple cocktails are fine but I have not ordered anything too fancy. The food can be pretty good. I have had some things that I really liked and I work with a guy who loves lunching there. That being said, there are some strange things on the menu so if it sounds odd, don't order it.

Sep 15, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Any Yakitori, Yakiniku, Izikiya and great Iraqi / Iranian / Middle-eastern in Tampa Bay, Florida?

I do not think that there are any places in the Bay that serve exactly what you are looking for. It took me and my wife a while to get used to it but this is not a "big city" area when it comes to eating.
That being said, Kaisen Sushi is Izakaya style and being the only good sushi place in the area is worth a trip for you. It is located at Dale Mabry and Bearss so it is a bit of a haul.
The only Korean restaurant that I know of it Sa Ri One on Cypress. I am not sure what their full menu is but I do not think that they do skewers of grilled meats. I do not even know if I have seen any place that has the little grills in the tables since I moved here.
I do not have the faintest idea what Iraqi home cooking consists of. Byblos Cafe at MacDill and Bay-to-Bay is Lebanese and pretty good.
I really hope that you get some better responses than mine because I too would love to eat any of the foods you asked for.
Lastly, if you are looking for interesting places to take your parents, you might need switch cuisines. There is plently of cuban food down here as well as some good mexican. Also, there are a couple of pretty good dim sum places.
Good luck!

Sep 09, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Tampa - Hidden Gems?

I am not sure how these posts have gone on for so long without mentioning Acapulco. It is in the back of the grocery store at MacDill and Cypress. The standard menu is pretty short - tacos and sopes with a choice of meats for each. However, they are made on the spot by the two women who work there and they are awesome. There are often specials but you have to ask. I have been in there when a crew of 10-12 mexican workers come in that have somehow pre-ordered and seen them been served plates of all sorts of other good looking stuff. Also, I had a beef stew on Saturday that was out of this world. The broth itself was amazing and brought me back to traveling in mexico and stopping in some of the little places on the way.
In any case, well worth trying if you are in the area.

Sep 08, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

[TAMPA] Jai Ho (Report)

I am not sure how long this place has been here because I have driven that stretch of Fowler many times going to the other indian restaurants in the area but I had honestly never noticed it. However, based on the recommendations on this board, my wife and I went last night and were very impressed. The menu has a lot of stuff that I have not seen at other restaurants including an explanation of indian-chinese cooking which they feature on the last page of the menu. We split the vegetable manchurian and I had the lamb kebab. Both were top notch. I also had something called a bullet naan which had hot peppers baked into it. The waiter laughed at me when I ordered it but I was up for the challenge. Very hot but yummy. My wife ordered chicken tikka masala (I know) which did not have as nuanced as flavor profile as the other dishes. Not bad (and there is a lot of bad ctm in Tampa) but not as good as the other dishes. The setting is not as fancy as Cilantro and more in line with the Taj but that is really my last concern when looking for indian. It is a bit of a haul from south tampa but we will be back. I really want to try the lunch buffet since you all have given it the thumbs up.

Sep 08, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Marrakesh Restaurant (Tampa)

My wife and I went here on Sunday night and were amazed at how good it was. Both of us really only know Moroccan from eating out in Paris when we were younger but the food here stacked up with our memories. We started with the eggplant dish described in the original post. I had a tajine and my wife had the couscous with chicken (or maybe game hen). Both were excellent and I actually ate my plate clean, which is a rarity. We had the mint tea and chocolate/hazelnut thing for dessert. One of the onwers came out to chat during desert. He and his wife are French and Moroccan respectively. Not sure how they ended up in the bay area but they are serious restaurantuers who are very into the quality of the food and overall experience. He said that the menu will be growing as they get the kitchen and the staff up to speed and that at some point soon they will be open for lunch. At the moment they are open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner. As mentioned above, it is not cheap but the quality is high enough that it seems justified. Even the service staff, which is usually the weak link in Tampa dining experiences, was good.

Sep 08, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Tampa Salad Restaurants

I know that this is not strictly a chowhoundish question but this group certainly pays attention to where they eat so here it goes...

When I lived in New York there were a ton of places where you would grab a bowl of greens (spinach, lettuce or mixed greens) and then point to what else you wanted in it and what dressing and then the guy behind the counter would put it together, shake it up and hand it back to you. It worked very well for controlling what you ate and was a lot easier than asking for a named salad less this and that at a deli.

It seems like a pretty easy concept and there were three of them in the WFC when I worked there so it not a unique franchise. Are there any places like that down here that you all know of?


Sep 03, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida

Pacci's pizza Tampa!

I have to agree on Paci's. We have been going there almost weekly for a few months and have been very happy. Moving down from New York to Tampa, I felt the pizza at Sally O'Neal's and Cappy's did not really cut it. The folks at Paci's know how to make a great pizza. Also, they have gelato.

Aug 30, 2009
OlHungryBastard in Florida