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Who sells fresh sardines in St. Pete?

You can ask Publix to order some for you if all else fails. Often they are willing to order whatever is it that you need. You may need to wait a couple days but it can be worth it.

May 24, 2014
madrusec in Florida

Blow Your Tax Refund on This Menu

If I was able to spend my refund on food, which I am not able as I have to pay debts, I would buy wild hog and kobe beef online. Stock up on duck fat, demi glace, dried morels. I would also buy a whole leg of jamon serrano and big wheel of Manchego! Of course, I would spend some money on some good wine as well :D

Apr 16, 2012
madrusec in Features

The Basics: How to Make Garlicky Spaghetti

Wao! great comments in for this recipe. I love all the recommendations about not adding cheese, using butter if you are going to etc. I hate when certain recommendation sound more like they are coming from food nazis than anything else (specially since the name of the recipe would be more like garliky sauce than clasic italian pasta aglio e olio) but besides that i love reading all the points of view and i have learned a lot from the food nazis and the people that have given recommendations and opinions for this plate.

Mar 25, 2008
madrusec in Features

On to Chicago

I though that Bourdain was actually acting very nice compared to other times when he was an invited judge on the show. Anybody else noticed this?

Mar 21, 2008
madrusec in Features



Mar 10, 2008
madrusec in Recipes

Risotto A Go-Go

my gosh dont be such snobs

Mar 06, 2008
madrusec in Recipes

The Basics: How to Make Garlicky Spaghetti

Why not add oil to the water?

Feb 29, 2008
madrusec in Features

Mac'n pocket

True, and there should be any doubt to anyone that there is some vote hacking (regardless of how effortless or creativeless the hacking technique may be). Just look at dudes profile. He has nothing in there, nothing, not a thing. I'm thinking chow needs to spend a little more money on designing this contest against obvious ways of cheating. I mean, seriously, is not like this is some little site that no one visits.

Feb 21, 2008
madrusec in Recipes

arequipe and dulce de leche

Ok, superlate answer, but in case you still care:
I love both dulce de leche and arequipe. Dulce de leche is nothing like arequipe in Venezuela, i am not sure how to describe it. But i do know that arequipe is nothing more than darkened or perhaps toasted sweet condensed milk. Here is how you do it. Get a can of sweet condensed milk. Fill a big pot with enough water that will cover the condensed milk can (yes the can...do not open it) by three or four fingers. Then just bring the water to a boil. Just wait about 3 to 4 hours, (keep filling the pot so that water is always covering the entire can of condesed milk), take it aout, let it cool until it gets room temperature and open it. Surprise, now you have beautiful arequipe. Try it! it is very much worth the little effort. Tell me how it turned out ...the longer you leave the can in the boiling water the darker it will get...i usually leave it around 4 hours.

Feb 01, 2008
madrusec in General Topics

Circles of New Tampa!

Ok, so i have great news about a great place in New Tampa. But first let me talk about a place my wife and i dared to go to about three weeks ago. Circles of New Tampa. The picture in the ad actually looks pretty good. I though may be it was on of those places that looks crappy on the outside but its actually nice inside and it serves good food as well. I had seen the menu online before deciding on going there. The menu consist of mainly Italian and Thai food. Yes, Italian and Thai. Unless you are corporation with many many restaurants all over the country like Cheesecake Factory, serving food from two completely different cultures is a huge no-no. And of course even though this worried me i still though that we had to give it a chance. After all we had been desperate for good places where to eat nearby.

So this is how it went down. We came in and we find out there are actually two different dinning rooms. There is the stick-families-with-kids-in room and there is a "quite" room. Well we have a one and half year old baby (who actually behaves very well in restaurants) so we didn't get to see the quite "more elegant room" but the room we were sent to sure looked and felt like a mix between a diners and a two star hotel restaurant room. You know, dirty rugs, tacky lamps and cheesy decoration...Then of course we want to know if there is MSG in the food, so we asked the i-work-in-a-fine-dining-restaurant server and she checks very quickly and confirms us that there is no MSG on anything in the menu. So we ordered a pasta dish with shrimp (shrimp Diane) and a panang tofu. The server brings my wife's salad first and accidentally drops a cucumber on the table, so she picks it up with her nails...WITH HER NAILS and puts it back on my wife's salad. My F****** God!!!!! Well then i get my lobster bisque that you can get (for a dollar something) with your plate. I am trying to be positive even though the server just picked up a cucumber with her nails and put it back on the plate so i make myself believe that the bisque is actually alright. Then i get my pasta which looks red and tastes like those powders that add flavor to your food from a box. So what about my wife's food? Her panang tofu is actually just what our server said it was. Rice with a coconut curry, basil and tofu. No vegetables, no nothing. My wife wanted he food with jasmine rice and they served it with a yellow rice. We complained so they dumped the tofu in a Besides all that. My wife's food tastes actually pretty good. Its so good we think the sauce probably came out of a box. Then all of the sudden i started feeling kind of funny, and i wasn't drinking anything but water. Hmmm....i feel kind of like i felt that time i had those black beans at that Cuban restaurant by Golf Port...oh....I AM HIGH ON MSG!!!......great!!!! i said nothing so not to ruin my wife's dinner even more. As we left my wife said she felt kind of dizzy too and had a light headache...yeap...high on MSG too...We left hoping someone asked us how was our dinner so we can just warn the next costumers. But you know try it for your self whenever you feel like wasting some money.

Oct 07, 2007
madrusec in Florida

Is cachete the same as cabeza?

If it helps: cabeza means head and cachetes are cheeks. Where i am from if i order pigs cachetes ( cachetes de cerdo) they'll give the pigs cheeks.

Oct 03, 2007
madrusec in General Topics

Top Chef Finale! (spoilers)

Best Top Chef ever. Very happy that Hung won. I would have been very mad if Dale had won. I think that Hung is a way better cook than Hung.

I also think there wasn't all that drama like last season so yay for that.

Oct 03, 2007
madrusec in Food Media & News

Butcheries, fish and produce markets in Tampa

Butcheries, fish and produce markets in Tampa...anyone knows any good ones. I would like to find duck, pork belly etc

I used to go to the produce market hillsborough but they dont keep their food in good conditions, a lot of it is jst laying in the sun.... A guy across the street though has great thai basis and other herbs that he keeps in a fridge he has. You can get a big bag of thai basil or mint for almost nothing.

Jul 29, 2007
madrusec in Florida

The Best Place for Venezuelan Food in Tampa

I would love to be able to go to Caracas Arepa bar, I've seen the webpage and it looks aswome

Jul 29, 2007
madrusec in Florida

The Best Place for Venezuelan Food in Tampa

As a Venezuelan I have been highly disappointed every time that I’ve gone to a Latin food restaurant or cafe expecting to eat flavors that remind me of home. Yes, there are some places that may have good Puerto Rican, Cuban or Colombian food, but nothing good enough for me to make me want to go back to them. I guess that is sometimes I made the big mistake of spending money at Don Pan, a bakery where I could get my fix of good enough Venezuelan food. However, The Arepas and Cachapas (Two very typical Venezuelan dishes) served at Don Pan are only good if you haven’t eaten Venezuelan food in a very long time or ever. I had to find something else!!!! It was was in Don Pan where I found out in a Latin newspaper about “Un Solo Pueblo.” I decided to go an try it out. “

“Un Solo Pueblo” is a small cafe where they serve the most typical Venezuelan food that you can ever find in Tampa. The Owner and the Chef are two very nice women who work there just because they love making people happy and at home. Every time you go there you feel more like you are going to eat at their houses instead of a restaurant, and at least for Venezuelans, it might feel as if you were going to eat at your you mother’s house. All of their food is good and very hearty, and of course made with lots of love. Not only do they serve Venezuelan dishes that you can find at Don Pan (Arepas and Cachapas) they also serve great Andean-Venezuelan dishes like pisca Andina (a soup made with eggs, potatoes, chicken, milk and vegetables) and drinks like Chicha Andina (a drink made out of fermented pineapple). Now, don’t go there any day expecting to be able to order of the menu. They will only cook big meals Fridays and Sundays. Additionally, they are always changing a few plates in their menu, so some weeks they may serve Andean Venezuelan dishes and others they may decide to make food that is more typical to the plains of Venezuela. Nevertheless, every other day of the week (except Saturdays, when they are closed) you can get other great small Venezuelan dishes like empanadas and tequenos. In adition, they also sell most types of Venezuelan chesses ( about 5 different kinds) and other products that I have only seen in Venezuela.

Ok Ok, I am actually not expecting every one to understand what Cachapas, Arepas and Tequenos are. I remember trying to explain to a guy I met what arepas are. I kept telling him “they are this things that that are made with pre-cooked white corn flour” and he kept telling me (about 4 times) “ooh like tortillas, right?” Now, I seriously don’t think that everyone that reads this is going to think that Venezuelan food is “just like any other Latin Food…tortillas, tacos, rice and beans.” But since my explanation of this dishes apparently is never clear enough I will provide you with a few links at the end of this article that may describe them better than I can. But remember to go with an open mind, try new things….don’t discredit food form Latin American countries as being just rice and beans….or burritos! Ah, and just in case…Latin American Food is Latin Food (from Latin America), not Spanish food!(from Spain)…I had to stick that somewhere :)

Un Solo Pueblo is here:

4023 W Waters Ave
Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 243-3487

For those who want to go to “Un Solo Pueblo” but want to know what to expect, or for those who just like to learn new things:



My humble Blog:


Jul 28, 2007
madrusec in Florida

Ceviche - Tapas Restaurant in Tampa, fl.

That is true. I've been to the st Petersburg one and i had a very lame experience. They were very busy that night too. I guess they don't have to do as good as the Tampa one when they have the whole eclectic-Spanish scene going on.

Jul 26, 2007
madrusec in Florida

Ceviche - Tapas Restaurant in Tampa, fl.

There is a hidden little place that my wife and I have gone to eat numerous time called Ceviche, a restaurant in south Tampa that serves Spanish tapas and paellas. The Restaurant is actually a great idea. When you come in you feel almost as if you were entering a small-underground tapas restaurant in Madrid. They also have a great menu with mostly hot and cold tapas plates and a few paellas options. The menu is great, however, the last few times we’ve eaten there we were somewhat disappointed. One of our favorite plates is the Berenjenas Asadas which are grilled eggplants baked in a tomato sauce on a bed of portabella mushrooms. The were few time we ordered it was actually great, but the last couple times we had it they were cheap with the sauce and the portabella mushrooms, since they were none. We were also disappointed by the “champinones de Sevilla which are supposed to be “Woodland” mushrooms with peppers, garlic and bread with goat cheese. Againg, they were great the first few times we had it but the last time we went there they only served us baby portabella mushrooms with way too much oil. On the other side, many of their seafood and meat plates are actually great. The “Gambas al Ajillo “garlic shrimp” are usually very good although sometimes the spicy flavor of the shrimp varies. One of my favorite plates there are the “Calamares rellenos”, which is squid stuffed with veal and chorizo in a tomato sauce with manchego cheese. Its almost like eating the most delicious surf and turf plate tapas style. But like I said, may be it depends what day you go there of in what mood the cooks are.

Another thing I noticed is that the pace is not the cleanest restaurant you have ever gone to, but it certainly is a lot cleaner than Sangrias, another tapas restaurant in south Tampa. The room in the restaurant is very dark so it may be hard to notice how clean the floor is. Its not too bad though at least it doesn’t stinks like cat shit…

I know we wont be going back to this place any time soon; nevertheless we might still go back one day. The main reason for this is the price of the restaurant. Its just not worth it for us. Every time we leave Ceviche we leave feeling hungry and we usually spend at least $100 ( And we don’t drink). I think I prefer going to other restaurants in Tampa where for the same price we get much better food in a much more comfortable place and we don’t end up felling hungry. But if you want to have good Spanish food and don’t care to spend too much for little plates of food, Ceviche is probably your best bet.

Jul 25, 2007
madrusec in Florida