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Road trip from Tampa to Asheville: Where 2 Eat????

I'll be making a road trip from Tampa to Asheville March 5th through March 9th and was looking for the best of the best to eat at in Asheville and anywhere along the drive up (or back). Looking for reasonably priced restaurants. Going to Truffle Fest, so the high end eats will be taken care of.
I am good for anything: road side, back woods, down home. Not much we don't or won't eat. I am also a Southern girl, so I am looking forward to some good Southern comfort food and some NC BBQ.

Feb 16, 2009
The Urban Eater in General South Archive

Tampa Recommendations

I'd take a short cab ride to South Howard Ave and there you will find a great selection of restaurants. 717 South for a cross of Italian and Pacific Rim, Water for Sushi (casual but good), Royal Thai, Ceviche for Tapas. Steer WAY clear of Bern's or Side Bern's, just not that good.

Jan 13, 2009
The Urban Eater in Florida

Squash Blossoms in Tampa Bay?

Okay, I've been there. I'm gonna scout today for blossoms. I'll keep everyone posted.
That sucks China Yuan wasn't good. They are normally awesome.

Jul 26, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Mi Mexico (full menu) on Armenia Ave in Tampa and Taco Nazo (The Taco Bus, tacos, burritos, ceviche) on Hillsborough Ave just east of 275.
100% authentic or at least they taste pretty damn close to the stuff I've had in Mexico.

Jul 06, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Squash Blossoms in Tampa Bay?

Where is Din Ho?

Jul 06, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Squash Blossoms in Tampa Bay?

Hmmmmm. I live in Seminole Heights, I'm right around the corner from that place. I thought it was new?

Jul 05, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Squash Blossoms in Tampa Bay?

Does anyone know or has anyone found a place to buy squash blossoms at or around Tampa Bay? This is perfect blossom weather and I am CRAVING blossom quesadillas.
Here's a pic: http://www.chow.com/assets/basics/pro...

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Jul 05, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Favorite restaurants in the Tampa Bay area...

Gotta Have 717 South (South Howard/ South Tampa) on the list and The Noho Bistro (N. Armenia just north of 275 in Tampa) and The Bungalow Bistro (N. Florida Ave just south of Hillsborough Ave in Tampa). Oh, and Acropolis for Greek (7th Ave Ybor) and The Fly Bar (Franklin Street/ Downtown Tampa). Fly is very good, but a little pricey. Great ambience for all.

Jun 27, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Foodies in St. Pete

Parkside Grill on Central just a few doors down from two other great places, The Kitchen and Bella Brava.
Parkside is really cheap. I was shocked at how cheap they were.

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Jun 27, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Arepas in Tampa?

Go to Armenia Ave in Tampa. Just south of Waters Ave, there are several Central American resturants that serve Arepas. They dot Armenia Ave for about 3 miles south. Plenty to choose from. One place I found on the Tampa Underbwelly Tour was called Hondurian Cafe, they were awesome.

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Jun 27, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

What's on your shopping list?

I made myself crave blue crab, so my shopping list now contains:
live Blue Crab
some kind of Pinot Grigios
maybe some red potaoes for a crab boil
and I think I need to hit up Byblos market b/c I am almost out of Harissa paste.

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 16, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Single dining in Tampa

Every place on South Howard is good for single dining. If you go on a weekend night, you may not be single when you leave. wink wink nudge nudge
They all have bars, if that is where you choose to sit.
Ceviches would be good if you wanted to meet people. Don't go to MacDinton's unless your are 24 or younger. It will just annoy you otherwise. Mangroves has great crab cakes. SideBern's is a to-be-seen spot but offers good food, love the Curry the Royal Thai Palace and it is dirt cheap.
http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 16, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries Tampa

Hmm. I'm a little torn.
I've eaten at Five Guys twice now. Burgers aren't the first thing I order on a menu, so a place totally dedicated to the American staple without infusing it with chemicals isn't something I would normally pop in to. But, alas, I went because my buddy at EatingTampa.com said I had to.
It was good. The fries were real potatoes cut fresh, just like Dad used to make. The burger (I got mine loaded) dripped with juices and the 5000 condiments I put on mine.
Was it earth shattering? No. I prefer the burgers at Pane Rustica, Noho Bistro, and The Bungalow Bistro better. Maybe it has something to do with Five Guys being a chain, maybe not. Maybe its just a decent burger with a great marketing team.

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 16, 2008
The Urban Eater in Chains

Frenchy's Grouper Sandwich--What makes it so Special?

Ah, yes, Frenchy's.
I kind of agree with dantampa, Frenchy's once offered a glorious Grouper sandwich. It's still pretty good, a thick piece of real grouper covered in beer batter or blackened, served on a toasted bun with tomato, lettuce, onions, lemon wedges and tarter on the side.
Nowadays, the draw to Frenchy's is sitting on the pristine beaches of Clearwater, leisurely sipping on a Margarita in your bathing suit (some should cover more than they do), watching the glorious Gulf of Mexico sunsets.
My Hubby and I visit Frenchy's about once a year, for the nostalgia really. The oysters on the 1/2 shelf are very fresh, the she-crab soup is always good, and the Grouper sandwiches remind us of when we first started dating.
He lived directly across the street from the beachside Frenchy's during the late eighties and took me to Frenchy's on one of our beginner dates because he learned of my love for Grouper sandwiches.
The orignal Frenchy's always seems to hold their food at a higher calibur, affording the beach location to focus on the tourists.
As for those that do not have the privlige of feasting on Grouper daily; it is a firm, mild bottom-feeder fish, that gets quite large in size (the largest can exceed 300 lbs and are prohibted from being fished) and puts up a good fight before being caught by fishman.
I do love Grouper. It is my favorite fish, but I think that is due to the fact that I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico and ate weekly at little fishman dive shacks, peeling boiled shrimp that was being hauled from the boats and cracking blue crab caught from traps sitting just off the docks.
You should certainly have the expereince of Frenchy's and the famous Grouper sandwiches. The views are beautiful, if nothing else. Except for the damn tourists in banana hamocks. When is that trend going to die, for christ's sake.
http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 16, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

El Taconazo?

Nope, it's still El Taconazo. Who would Rico be? The new owner's name is Renee.

Apr 12, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

El Taconazo?

Carnitas is a braised pork, not boiled. Sometimes, it is then quick fried in its own fat, making it a confit. Traditionally, it is only slow braised.

Apr 12, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Ten best things to eat in New Orleans

Akay, akay, akay.
I live in Tampa, but N.O. is my FAVORITE city in the entire world and I visit as often as possible. Here's my go:
Mother's: black ham, eggs, grits, and biscuit breakfast
Bayonna: Garlic Soup or anything
Acme: raw oysters (they were the best last time I visited, may have changed by now)
Irene's: Escargot
Central Grocery: Muffelatta
Willie Mae's: Fried Chicken (LOVE< LOVE< LOVE)
Lil' Dizzy's: mac & cheese
Mulate's: fried gator tail

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in New Orleans

Ten best things to eat in New Orleans

Did Uglesich's re-open????? It was closed in August (post-storm).

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in New Orleans

Best Tampa 2008 Spots

So, there is a thread a ways down from 2007!!!! A lot has changed since then. What's say we start a new one????

Where have you been eating at lately Tampa?

I love me some Taco Bus, Grass Roots is always good for a body-feel-good-meal, I constantly crave Acropolis in Ybor, The Bungalow Bistro has been awesome lately (the Chicken Roulade is great), I had an amazing Duck Confit Salad at The Noho Bistro, Pach's Place served some great Eggs Benidict a few weeks ago, and Carrollwood Deli and Cafe served some of the best Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwiches I have ever had.

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Come on Tampa!!!!

Mise en Place?????????? WHHHHHATTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!
Um, no sir.

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Come on Tampa!!!!

Good list Rshally, but I'd like to add my two cents:

Sandwiches: Good list but add: Bungalow Bistro and The Noho Bistro

Mexican: Mi Mexico (for traditional, don't expect a beautiful establishment) and The Taco Bus (awesome authentic tacos). Miguels is some of the worst food in Tampa.

Italian: Good choices. At Bella's ONLY get the pizzas, everything else is just bla.

Steaks: try the ridizio at The Brasilian Grille on Armenia

BBQ: I am aghast at your choices. Big John's BBQ is the ONLY good BBQ in Tampa

Sushi: Have to try Ichiban

Waterfront: Frenchy's! For the atmosphere and the She Crab Soup

Mediterranean: Great Choices

Cuban/ Spanish: Pipo's, West Tampa Sandwich Shop, Ceviche's

Pizza: Ybor Pizza & Subs

Thai: Good Choices

Seafood: St. Bart's closed. Ummmm, The Wharf, The Crab Shack, Mangroves is good

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Come on Tampa!!!!

Hit up Acropolis on 7th ave during your next Ybor visit. I reviewed it for New Heights Mag and have gone back at least 30 times since then. It is always great.

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Come on Tampa!!!!

Spartaco was sold, as was Vino E Pasta (same owners). I was so upset, I hope the food remains just as good.

Mise en Place = Yucky

http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Come on Tampa!!!!

Hey! What about the Tampa Underbelly Tour (Tampa Tribune)????????? Not one place had been reviewed on either trip.
You have a piont, but that is changing. Check out the new Tampa Tribune Flavor section every Wednesday. You may be surprised.
http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida

Ceviche/Bella Brava

Haven't tried Bella Brava. I just don't get to that side of the Bay. I've eaten at Ceviche's on Howard a few times. Everything is generally very good, but do not order the duck breast. They attempted a sweet wine chocolate sauce that tasted like Hershey's cocoa powder and sugar. It was unforgivable. Sad, the duck was cooked perfectly.
http://www.culinarysherpas.com/

Apr 09, 2008
The Urban Eater in Florida