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Columbus, Ohio – 1. Special Occasion Dinner & 2. Yummy, not pricey by Westerville

Thank you!!

Sep 30, 2014
Chow Harbor in Great Lakes

Columbus, Ohio – 1. Special Occasion Dinner & 2. Yummy, not pricey by Westerville

I’m originally from Westerville but I became a Tampa Bay local/chowhound 20 years ago. So, I'm no longer in touch with the best places. We're food lovers with a wide range of tastes.

1. My mother is turning 80 and we want to take my folks out for a spectacular meal. (No price barriers for this one – unless the French Laundry moved into town….)

I remember The Refectory, Lindeys & Mitchells Ocean Club as some of my best meals there. Are these still good choices?? Any other suggestions would be appreciated!

2. My parents are foodies, but don’t get out as often anymore. Are there any new-ish special places in or near Westerville they should try? They already frequent Cap City Diner, Hunan House & The Wine Bistro

Thank you!!

Sep 19, 2014
Chow Harbor in Great Lakes

Reno Visit - Foodie Birthday Dinner & More

I'm back at home after 2 days in Reno, 7 days at Burning Man and 2 days in South Lake Tahoe. Thanks again for all of your great advice! We made it to Campo, El Tumi, 775 Gastropub and Zagol. Details below.

CAMPO - Birthday Dinner:
Ambiance is great (we sat outside - which got cold for this Florida crowd - but it was a great spot.)

Pickle Plate - These might be too spicy for most diners, but we loved them.

Crunchy Pig Parts - A miss for us - Not interesting or well-seasoned.

Salumi & Cheese Grand tasting - I could live on this - Yum & Yum & Yum (except for the pate which was under seasoned -- which I bet is the same as the inside mixture in the crispy pig parts.)

Kale Salad as great as previously reported - with lots of acid/lemon to keep it bright.

Robolitta (sp??) - White Bean Soup - OK, not great. The woman that had it was too polite to say anything but it was clear she was not overwhelmed.

Cannelloni Special - Super ground veal filling and a simple very fresh tomato sauce (I wanted more of this!) The fresh pasta was drying out a touch, but this was still a stellar dish.

Scallop Special was also a hit.

Trio of desserts were too sweet for my taste, which is not unusual (I preferred my glass of tawny port :)

The wine and beer selection was small but good.

Service was very good.

Overall, this was a GREAT meal. In fact, I would like to do it all over again!

ZAGOL: Ethiopian Lunch
Our group of 4 shared 2 beef dishes, 1 lamb dish and greens (Gomen). They all went over very well. Ambiance is nice and service is good (a little slow for American standards, but normal for the rest of the world.)

EL TUMI: Peruvian Dinner
We had high hopes for this place since the food in Peru was so stunning. It did not live up to our expectations. However, it was solid decent food at very reasonable prices. The couple we were with were very happy (they have never been to Peru.)

We were disappointed off the bat that they did not have any quinoa dishes (we ate quinoa soup in at least 10 restaurants around Peru - it was always different and always delicious.)

And, they were out of the antichuchos (beef hearts). - We were looking forward to having them again.

2 people got Beef Encebollado which was tasty but cannot be prepared at different temperatures since their beef is sliced so thin.

1 person got Chicken with the yellow cream sauce that is often found in Peru (Huarancia??? sp??) This was filling and delicious.

The biggest hit was the Ceviche Mixto.

They do not serve beer or wine.

The service was good. The ambiance was not great (but we care more about the food...)

This was a worthwhile meal, once my expectations were managed.

775 GASTROPUB: Lunch
Ambiance was good - especially for a mall! We sat on the patio.

GREAT beer selection.

Venison burger was great
Curried Mussels over rice noodles were yummy
Sauteed spinach with bacon was bacon heavy - so it was perfect.

I don't remember what the rest of the orders were - I'm going to blame that on the GREAT beer selection ;)

Thanks again and happy eating!!

Sep 04, 2013
Chow Harbor in Southwest

Reno Visit - Foodie Birthday Dinner & More

$5K - WOW! He must have had a large group camp (or served food to other Burners on the playa). We only have 7 people coming from Tampa Bay and 4 meeting us from San Francisco. I'm guessing our bill will be substantially lower.

Aug 20, 2013
Chow Harbor in Southwest

Reno Visit - Foodie Birthday Dinner & More

Thanks Steve!

I REALLY appreciate all of your suggestions and info. I'm looking forward to some lovely meals in Reno. - And, if you or any other Reno chowhounds are ever in the Tampa Bay area, please let me know!

Under normal circumstances I would book Rawr for an inventive meal. But, since I'll be camping at Burning Man for 7 nights following this meal, I'm going for a big plate of steaming hot cooked food :)

So, I'm down to Campo & LaVecchia for my birthday dinner options. It sounds like both are good options?? t's time for me to print menus and get really hungry!

Aug 20, 2013
Chow Harbor in Southwest

Reno Visit - Foodie Birthday Dinner & More

Thank you, thank you! I'm getting hungry just looking through your links!

And, we do hydrate when we're out there. Especially coming from Florida. (We are not used to dry conditions!)

Prepping for Burning Man is 1 part pragmatism 1 part whimsey with a dash of each - weather related anxiety & bike purchase anxiety.

Pragmatism = Schematics for shade structures, etc... and lists and lists of items needed from different places (you cannot buy anything except ice and coffee there, so you need to be prepared. That gets tricky from a distance...

Whimsey = Digging though the back of the closets and Halloween boxes and trying to decide between the bowler hat, the tutu and angel wings. Prepping our "gift/project". And, getting enough glow wire to light up yourself and your bike so the mutant vehicles and other bikers can see you at night.

LBNL, you hope for very few sandstorms and PRAY you can find you and your crew 6 decent used bikes in Reno...

You really should check it out. It is an extraordinary experience. And, we have traveled allot...

Aug 18, 2013
Chow Harbor in Southwest

Reno Visit - Foodie Birthday Dinner & More

I'll be in town from Florida prepping for Burning Man for a couple of days. I want a special place for my birthday (and other non-special-occasion options). I'm an adventurous eater and lean toward ANY Asian - or French, but I love almost anything that's well-prepared (except BBQ - unless its a proper churrascaria.) The only place I have been in Reno was an Ethiopian place we were happy to trip over a couple of years back.

After reading through allot of posts I was thinking of the following as some good birthday options. All suggestions appreciated!

Sezmu - Was my first choice - But, now I see it may be closed?? Heart-break... Has it re-opened?
La Vecchia
LuLous is under consideration, but seems really pricey.

Also, is El Tumi still around and yummy? We LOVED the food in Peru!

Is the Ethiopian place still there?

Thinking about Naan & Kabab or 775 Gastropub to round things out?

We will probably get some to go items from 5th Street Bakehouse on the way out of town.

Aug 17, 2013
Chow Harbor in Southwest

Tarpon Springs Greek?

I agree about Costas! Our Greek friends took us there the first few times we went. And Rusty Bellies is good for non Greek (although I had spotty service last time I was there. I will still return. Everybody deserves a second chance.)

Jan 23, 2013
Chow Harbor in Florida

St. Pete/Gulfport

Yes, Oystercatchers is in Tampa.

Mar 21, 2012
Chow Harbor in Florida

St. Pete/Gulfport

I like Oystercatchers and Don Cesar and I also heard Sand Pearl has a great brunch

Mar 17, 2012
Chow Harbor in Florida

GF in Clearwater/Safey Harbor Area

I'm a Safety Harbor resident and also a big fan of Laziz & Carmel. If you don't mind driving a little further from home, try Rice. It's a Korean place up on Hillsborough Ave. They have GREAT grill at the table marinated short ribs. If you cook the meat for a while it starts to caramelize. They will also cook the ribs for you in the kitchen. Yummy!! It comes with lettuce wraps and a miso paste that you put on the lettuce. LBNL you also get a wide array of other sides that you can put in your wraps or eat alone. It includes lots of great picked stuff, Kim Chee, dried shrimp, veggie dishes, tofu, marinated black beans. Plus, you get my 2 favorite sides custard and mushroom soup (I often mix them together) You have to reserve a charcoal table. They are much better then the electric grills.

Mar 17, 2012
Chow Harbor in Florida

Saint Petersburg key lime pie

The best Key Lime Pie I ever had was at the Don CeSar. The Sea Porch used to have it with a chocolate crust. YUM. But, I haven't been out there in ages, so I'm not sure it it's the same.

Mar 17, 2012
Chow Harbor in Florida

sushi in St Petersburg or St Pete's Beach

I agree that Osaka is really good. But, I hear word that Kinjo (near Tyrone Mall) is better. I'm going next week. But my friend is first generation from Japan and it's her favorite.

Jun 08, 2009
Chow Harbor in Florida

Orlando Business Dinner

I love Vito's Chop House. I've done a group meal there and the food and staff were superb.

Jun 08, 2009
Chow Harbor in Florida

Anniversary weekend in st pete, dinner recs?

The fine dining at the Don is good (I haven't personally eaten there in a couple of years, but they still have a good reputation).

Other great options are in downtown St. Pete. You might consider Bella Brava, Z Grille, Cafe Alma, etc..

Jun 08, 2009
Chow Harbor in Florida

Finds in Clearwater/Dunedin/Bellair area

No doubt, my favorite is Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor. The food is spot on. The people are great and the place is a work of art.

I also like:
Fine Dining:
Cafe Ponte, although they are not as great as they used to be...
Z Grille - although the chef is testy/inflexible - DT St. Pete
6 Tables of Dunedin
Island Way Grill - Clearwater Beach
Oystercatchers - Tampa/Westhore

Korean: Rice - Great grill at the table marinated short ribs - Tampa
Thai: Ban Thai (the best is really the Thai Temple on Sundays) - Safety Harbor
Viet: MeKong - Pinellas Park
Sushi: Kinjo - St. Pete
Chinese: ABC Chinese Seafood - St. Pete or Pinellas Park??
Mexican: La Chiquanita - Near DT Clearwater
Indian: Laziz - Safety Harbor
Polish: Perogie Grill - Clearwater
Greek: Costa's - Tarpon
Tapas: Ceviche - Tampa or St. Pete
Breakfast: Lenny's - Clearwater & Yanni's - Largo
Brunch: Don Cesar - St. Pete

Jun 08, 2009
Chow Harbor in Florida

Great Macaroni and Cheese in Pinellas

I know it's a chain... But, Grillsmith has great Jalapeno Mac N Cheese

Jun 08, 2009
Chow Harbor in Florida

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

No doubt, my favorite is Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor. The food is spot on. The people are great and the place is a work of art.

I also like:
Fine Dining:
Cafe Ponte, although they are not as great as they used to be...
Z Grille - although the chef is testy/inflexible - DT St. Pete
6 Tables of Dunedin
Island Way Grill - Clearwater Beach
Oystercatchers - Tampa/Westhore

Korean: Rice - Great grill at the table marinated short ribs - Tampa
Thai: Ban Thai (the best is really the Thai Temple on Sundays) - Safety Harbor
Viet: MeKong - Pinellas Park
Sushi: Kinjo - St. Pete
Chinese: ABC Chinese Seafood - St. Pete or Pinellas Park??
Mexican: La Chiquanita - Near DT Clearwater
Indian: Laziz - Safety Harbor
Polish: Perogie Grill - Clearwater
Greek: Costa's - Tarpon
Tapas: Ceviche - Tampa or St. Pete
Breakfast: Lenny's - Clearwater & Yanni's - Largo
Brunch: Don Cesar - St. Pete

Jun 07, 2009
Chow Harbor in Florida

Clearwater: Where would you eat before a show at Ruth Eckerd?

No doubt for me it must also be Green Springs Bistro in Safety Harbor (my home town...) We are 10 minutes to Ruth Eckerd which is great! Green Springs chef is CIA trained and offers a great menu of regional gulf coast specialites. My current favorites are the veal chop (I know...I'm going to he*l for eating veal, but it is sooo good!) And the other is a tuna steak with this killer Thai slaw. I LOVE Cafe Pont (too far to drive quickly to Ruth Eckerd) I have had 2 bad meals at their Italian location in Safety Harbor.

May 30, 2008
Chow Harbor in Florida