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New Year's Day Recs (Hillsborough & Pinellas)

It's my turn to plan the date. Turns out that it's going to be on NY's Day. Any recs for a dining experience in Pinellas or Hillsborough that can accommodate us on the holiday? I'd even be open to a good dining cruise. Thanks!

Dec 30, 2009
yumtothetum in Florida

Reviews of Saint Larry's in Palm Harbor?

Bumping this back up to see if any new experiences have surfaced.

Dec 31, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

The Black Pearl in Dunedin

I'm sorry to hear of a bad experience at The Black Pearl. I was the previous poster who commented that the prices were reasonable for the quality of the food (and service). I visited on a weekday evening, pretty late. We were one of two tables, and the service was impeccable, as it should have been. I won't go into the food again, but it was phenomenal -- there's just no comparison to the quaint, quirky-upscale environ of this place in the area.

There's no excuse for a restaurant to gear up for a big holiday only to create subpar experiences, but it does happen.

I'd keep them on your list for 2007, even if not on the special holiday you've previously chosen.

Dec 31, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Help Me Build a Contemporary Picnic Menu

Beyond the meat, I have never really enjoyed picnic food. So, for an upcoming park picnic for about 50 people, I'd like to put the traditional macaroni salad and deviled eggs aside and modernize things a bit. Here's the trick: I want to keep some of the traditional favorites by name, but just change up the ingredients and prep. So there might still be potato salad; it just won't look creamy white and mushy.

We're good on the meats; it's the sides I could use your help with. Any ideas and recipes?

Dec 30, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

Vietnamese in Central Pinellas?

Thanks. I've explored a couple Pinellas Park locations, and they're great. I've been looking for something closer to home, though. Really surprised and disappointed there aren't any options any further north than PP in Pinellas.

Oct 16, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Vietnamese in Central Pinellas?

Looking for a good Vietnamese restaurant in the Dunedin/Clearwater/Safety Harbor/Palm Harbor area. Please post any recs. Thanks!

Oct 13, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Vietnamese in North St. Pete, Largo, Clearwater or Pinellas Park?

Thumbs up to Pho Quyen! Been twice since this thread...love it.

Sep 18, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Reviews of Saint Larry's in Palm Harbor?

We stopped in this hidden restaurant a few weeks ago to take a look around after visiting an office nearby. Seems like a surprising little gem in northern Pinellas, based on ambience and menu offerings alone. Before we try it, I thought I'd check here for recommendations or warnings. Been there?

Sep 18, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Great Chinese Take-Out in Central Pinellas

Looking for a great Chinese delivery or take-out spot near Dunedin. We've tried so many, it seems, but nothing has blown us away. Any suggestions?

Sep 15, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Taste of Clearwater--Ever Been?

Is there a Taste of Tampa? If so, when is it? What is the biggest "Taste of..." in the area? I had thought it was Taste of Pinellas, but maybe not.

Sep 15, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Any Chowhound-worthy places in North Pinellas or Pasco counties?

I'll second the Benedetto's rec. It's really one of the few options for upscale, non-chain dining, and I enjoyed it. There's a live piano player, friendly manager and pretty good food.

Sep 15, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Vietnamese in North St. Pete, Largo, Clearwater or Pinellas Park?

Looking for a good Vietnamese sit-down spot as close to Ulmerton and 275 as possible (for a work lunch). Any of the areas mentioned in the title would work. Most of us are Vietnamese newbies, so a menu with good variety would be great.

Sep 01, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Good places for breakfast & biscuits in Tampa/St Pete?

Have you tried Cracker Barrel's? Albeit one of the biggest breakfast chains in the country, they still manage to bake up some of the best biscuits.

Sep 01, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

ANy one tried Wildfish or Catch 23 yet

We've been to both and liked both only OK. We probably would return to Catch 23 before Wild Fish, but only because of the atmosphere.

I felt that Catch 23 was overpriced, and the service was mediocre. The food was good, above average, but you can find better.

Wild Fish has an awkward dining layout, which was really distracting since we sat at a half booth facing the outdoor bar. The wine list is only so-so, and the food has a huge Caribbean flair, so there's a lot of sweet mixed into the savory (not my thing). If sweet 'n' savory IS your thing, you'll probably like it. I think Wild Fish may be a tad less expensive than Catch 23.

Sep 01, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Does anyone know when the next season of Top Chef begins?

That far away? :-( It's the best food competition show I've seen.

Aug 27, 2006
yumtothetum in Food Media & News

Do you ever eat from a non-professional cook selling from the back of their van?

Good chow can be found just about anywhere, so I never turn my nose up. Our favorite Mexican in LA was found at "taco trucks," which were exactly that: mobile trucks that parked to sell burritos, tacos and the like.

Aug 19, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

What do you cook when you don't know everyone's palate?

<<it is such an easy menu, much of it can be made in advance which is great if you have a few glasses of wine and completely forget how to cook... I'm often guilty of that>> You sold me! Taking note! :-)

Aug 17, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

I will eat just about anything except...

Egg yolks -- hate the texture, hate the taste so much it'd be like a Fear Factor challenge for me to eat them

Avocado/Guacamole -- this is one of those foods I WISHED I liked, but just don't...never have

Aug 17, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Okay, thanks. I'm not over there often, but we'll definitely try it out the next time we are.

Aug 17, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

What do you cook when you don't know everyone's palate?

I'm glad you brought this up. An alternative, to allow for more baking space, is subbing the rounds out with French bread.

Aug 17, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

For those that do not like Chocolate ... what's your dessert of choice?

I also don't like chocolate, but I will gravitate toward peach cobblers or any non-caramel apple tart dessert, particularly those with a soft pastry instead of something crunchy or flaky. My favorite, to date, was a sweet apple pastry-type dessert at World Cafe on Main in Santa Monica, on the border of Venice.

Aug 16, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

What do you cook when you don't know everyone's palate?

I think the build-your-own idea is marvelous for this type of situation. I've wanted to have a build-your-own pizza party where everyone brings a topping, but never thought to do it for times when I would be cooking.

Trying to think of more build-your-owns...tacos and desserts (mentioned) are great. I'm thinking burritos as well...

Aug 16, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

What do you cook when you don't know everyone's palate?

What is/are your fallback, tried-and-true, everyone-loves-it menu item(s)? When we entertain, we usually have a good idea of palates, but there is the occasion when someone says they just don't care what we serve or when I can't find out their dislikes.

Here's my generic please 'em menu:

strawberry salad (on fresh spinach with almonds)
chicken dish (usually baked, like a piccata)
meatless pasta (e.g., mushrooms, tomatoes, olive oil, spinach)
some kind of steamed veggie
bread
dessert can be anything from sorbet to a cake

Curious about your choices, since I'm looking for more creative alternatives to my main dishes.

Aug 16, 2006
yumtothetum in General Topics

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Has anyone tried Algusto Mexican Restaurant on W. Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa? Someone dropped off a menu with me today. They actually have carne asada on the menu.

Aug 16, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Tried La Cabana del Tio yesterday afternoon. Very good! I ordered a steak taco, a chicken taco and menudo. The tacos were simple -- just tortilla, meat, lime wedge and a container of salsa in the classic style -- but the tortillas tasted fresh (the women were in full view pounding out the next batches of tortillas) and the steak, in particular, was delish.

FYI, tacos are only a buck-fifty each.

I didn't see burritos or enchiladas on the menu -- anyone know if they serve them here?

As for the menudo, it was the best I've had in a very long time. (Like El Gallo, though, no hominy, unfortunately.) A little spicy, very flavorful, lots of meat. Only complaint: It was $9!!

Not a fancy place -- in fact, I'd even call it rather filthy and a true hole-in-the-wall. However, the food was great, and the taste of fresh tortillas is bar none.

Aug 14, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Maria, I'm very happy you've found a Mexican restaurant you love. Caramba's certainly wasn't it for me, though, as mentioned at length above. If you're talking higher-end, though, I did enjoy Red Mesa in St. Pete. A little bit Mexican, a little bit Southwest, and very good. It allows diners to get away from enchiladas and tacos a bit, if you so choose, and explore some of the dishes you mentioned.

Aug 11, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Six Tables, Dunedin

Such a shame. It's a great concept...was hoping the food AND menu would live up to the uniqueness.

Aug 10, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

How's the food on StarShip Yacht Dinner Cruises? (Tampa)

Just saw your replies! Thanks for the feedback. We chose The Black Pearl in Dunedin instead and were happy. Maybe if we get cheap or free tix on the StarShip we'll try it. :)

Aug 10, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Glad to hear a success story!

Do they have menudo on their menu? Also, what kind of tamales do they serve (e.g., pork, chicken)?

Thanks for mentioning the cash-only caveat. I had a feeling. Will be going soon!

Aug 10, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida

Ex-Californians: Great Mexican Restaurants in Tampa Bay?

Yep, 1709 Drew. 3 small blocks west of Keene. If you wind up there today, please let us know how you liked it.

Aug 09, 2006
yumtothetum in Florida