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

Any Chowhound-worthy places (i.e. non-chains) in Land O' Lakes, Hudson, New Port Richey, Port Richey, Wesley Chapel, Odessa, Spring Hill?

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  1. My parents live in New Port Richey and no visit is complete without a dinner at The German Restaurant http://www.the-german-restaurant.com

    Very friendly owners, great German food (love that spaetzle), very good wine/beer selection.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Chris VR

      Hey - thanks for the tip! Never knew this place existed. Sounds yummy!

      1. re: Chris VR

        I saw the eye-catching German Restaurant over the weekend on my drive up to the newly-reopened Budapest Restaurant on 19, which I highly recommend for authentic Eastern European cuisine (great stuffed cabbage). I plan to make a trip back north to check out the German Restaurant, if for nothing else but its sheer kitchiness!

        1. re: laurie

          Oh good- this place really is a find, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I'll tell my parents about Budapest Restaurant- mom loves stuffed cabbage. Where exactly is it?

          1. re: Chris VR

            To follow up my own comment, I was visiting my parents last weekend, and saw a booth from Budapest Restaurant at a fair. I picked up a menu and we checked it out for dinner. It was pretty empty at 6pm on a Friday, but it slowly filled up a bit as we were there.

            We started with potato cakes, which were very light, fried cakes, with a similar consistency to fried dough. Not at all like the german-style potato pancakes we were expecting, but a hit nonetheless. The chicken soup was very good, a very hearty and strong chicken flavor. The liver dumplings were too liver-y for me, but I could have chosen noodles instead, and would do that next time.

            I tried the stuffed cabbage with spaetzle, it was VERY good. Mom had the hungarian goulash, which she liked but had never had before and wasn't expecting so much paprika. She's a spice wuss, so by the time she ate most of it, she said her mouth was burning. The mashed potatoes that came with it tasted like instant, so she wouldn't eat them. Dad had some sort of cordon-bleu-ish thing, with a cutlet, topped with ham and melted cheese. He also liked it a lot. We had to skip dessert but the Crepes Suzette were beckoning to me. Next time!

            My parents (not particularly adventurous eaters) were glad to have tried it and would definitely go back again.

            We made reservations but it didn't seem like that was really necessary (as opposed to The German Restaurant, where you won't get in without a reservation on a busy weekend night.) Here's the contact info:

            Budapest Restaurant
            7411 Us Highway 19, New Port Richey, FL 34652
            (727) 848-4437

            Thanks for the recommendation, laurie!

            1. re: Chris VR

              Glad you enjoyed it, Chris! I need to head back that way soon. This time of year makes me yearn for good stuffed cabbage (it was the holiday and comfort food of my youth).

        2. re: Chris VR

          My favorite has to be the red cabbage, I pucker up just thinking about it. Oh, and the beer, that's also great! MMmmmmm love that place.

        3. You can try Pizza Mania on BBD and 56. Don't be afraid of the name. I was for so long and i completely regret it. not only do they make the best pizza in the state, but their pasta is awesome and their other stuff is excellent too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hojo

            Pizza Mania is in a strip mall and does not serve any alcohol. The food isn't bad - just be aware of what you're getting!

          2. not sure if its chow hound worthy, but I liked Barefoot Gardens on Deltona when my inlaws took us there.

            Here is a link: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/01/28/Her...

            Make sure you call first, I'm not sure if they are still open. (Inlaws are on vacation so I can't get them to confirm)

            1 Reply
            1. re: cherylp3

              We liked Barefoot Gardens, too! They have a great variety of delicious food and good prices. They have from home cooking to gourmet seafood, something for everybody. My hubby said the steak was one of the best he's had and the rest of us enjoyed our homestyle meals very much (turkey dinner and beef tips). The service was attentive and friendly, we'll definitely go back. They're at 3480 Deltona Blvd in Spring Hill (across from Hess), phone 352-684-0866. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and are wheelchair accessible.

            2. Let me ask again in case something's been discovered. Any places of note in the far North areas from Tampa? I'm beginning to think people that live up there aren't concerned with quality dining out.

              1. That area is not a hot bed for better dining. There is a place in Brooksville, not too far from Spring Hill, that is CH-worth.
                Farmer John's. A great spot for breakfast.
                Venture north to Crystal River Wine & Cheese Co., 734 U.S. 19 SE, Crystal River; (352) 795-0008. It is eat-in wine store with good wine/food matches.
                Otherwise head south to Pinellas County - to:
                Casa Ludovico, 1710 Alt. U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor; (727) 784-7779.
                Mystic Fish, 3253 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor. 727 771-1800
                You can't miss it here when amberjack gets seared with apricot curry, salmon is green-tea-smoked, and ice creams and vodka are custom-made.

                Kelly's for Just About Anything, 319 Main St., Dunedin;

                Mykonos, 628 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs; (727) 934-4306.

                Have Greek salad, lean lamb with yogurt on pita or whole fish cooked on the grill with lemon, olive oil and rosemary.

                None of the above are too much of a drive except at rush hour.

                1. I would also recommend that you try Benedetto's in Land O' Lakes for Italian (Dale Mabry/41 and SR 54). The Crab Shack in New Port Richey (US 19 on the 'Cotee river) is great for casual outdoor dining on the river and listening to live music. Everything I've eaten there is very good and portions are generous.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: LTrapnell

                    It may be obvious but Crab Shacks crabcake sandwich with fries was one of my best lunches in awhile. Kelly's for Just about anything in downtown Dunedian has to die for breakfast fare. Expect a line tho! And Mystic Fish in Palm Harbor, along with Sushi Ren are 2 of my faves!

                  2. If you are in the mood for a really great steak or some very exotic meats (such as antelope, etc.) try Spoto's on Main Street in Dunedin. Fabulous service, wine, food and a loaf of bread about 18" long served standing up in a wine glass with some very good pate.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Judes

                      I think that Spoto's both in Dunedin and in St. Pete (Bob Spoto sold both locations six months ago) has one of the best steaks in the area.

                    2. I've been to Benedetto's and couldn't understand what the hype was about. Anyone been to Splash?

                      1. I honestly have not had a chance to try it myself, but I've heard from so many people that I have to try out Rapscallions restaurant in Land O'Lakes. I've been meaning to get over there. Sounds worth the adventure since several people have mentioned it independently - must be something to it.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: debrolex

                          Ok...I finally got a chance to get to Rapscallions this past weekend. Upon walking in, the decor was pretty cheesy, but "Key West" kind of cheesy, so it wasn't too offensive. Would've preferred to not have a plastic tablecloth though. Food more than made up for it! My SO had the ribs - which he gets almost everywhere that serves them. LOVED them. Excellent sauce, fall-off-the-bone tender, but not mushy over-cooked. He also got the mashed sweet potatoes - light and fluffy to the mouth, but I have my suspicions the base is canned yams. Everyone at the table tried them - even those that 'don't like' sweet potatoes - and loved them. Bourbon steak was excellent as well, but a bit too much sauce...better if sauce is requested on the side. AMAZING sweet potato fries (Voodoo Stix). Served as an appetizer with a berry sauce (strawberry maybe?) mixed with what I think was cinnamon oil? Dusted with powdered sugar. Addictive! I had the "Sea Monsters" which were large scallops in a tropical fruit sauce & mango relish. I did not like the sweetness with my scallops. I prefer them savoury. Don't think I'd order them again, but the Haitian Peas & Rice (actually red kidney beans, not pigeon peas as is typical in caribbean cuisine) was in an amazing sauce. Would definitely do again. Our friend tried the crab-stuffed grouper and loved it. There was more crab meat in it than grouper - and fresh real crab meat - not a lot of fillers either. I would not recommend the coleslaw. Not enough depth of flavour. Did not try desserts, but the Chocolate Covered Cherry martini is yummy. We also got a pitcher of the sangria, but I wouldn't write home about it. I am looking forward to returning to try some of their other unique dishes. Such a relief to find a place that doesn't serve the 'common' caribbean style dishes. Aces.

                          1. re: debrolex

                            Thanks for posting your review, debrolex, I'm going to try Rapscallions soon!

                        2. 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.

                          1. Just tried Hungry Harry's BBQ place on US 41 in Land O'Lakes. Not bad. Chopped pork was awesome & they have a good coleslaw (I dislike sweet slaws, so this was a treat for me). SO has the 'sample plate' of ribs, chicken, chopped pork & chopped beef. Ribs were a surprising disappointment and chopped beef didn't have the same quality as the pork. Atmosphere? ...well...extremely casual - and try to ignore the girl bellowing outside orders from the front door to the back of the restaurant. I think next time, we'll just order the pork & cole slaw to go. They do a strong catering business too.

                            1. If you are looking for somthing a little more upscale you have to go to Saint Larry's. The food there is great, consistently great. We go for special occasions and are never dissapointed. It is on U.S. Hwy 19 in Palm Harbor(really north Palm Harbor, almost Tarpon.)

                              1. I'll second/third Rapscallions. I've eaten there a few times and the place has great quality food. Jamaican Kerk wings are as good as bahama breezes. The Cuban pulled pork is as good as you get in south florida and the pan fried jerk mahi mahi is delicious. I'll agree the decor is cheesy but the place more than makes up for it with the quality of food and view of the Lake.

                                1. A couple days ago I posted about our recent meal at Hapa, a wonderful Hawaiian-fusion restaurant located on Tampa Road in Oldsmar. It is, hands-down, the BEST dining experience we have had since moving to the area close to a year ago.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: laurie

                                    Finally went to Rest Hapa- worth the wait, but I wish I had been able to go sooner! I was lucky enough that my husband surprised me with a reservation for my birthday Friday night. It is Hawaiian- Asian fusion and was fantastic! We split the scallop appetizer- this amazing dish with sweetness balanced with savory heat. I had the Sea Bass special with pesto and romesco sauce- well balanced, perfectly cooked- very tasty. Hubbie got the spiced rubbed Ahi- also very good. Portion sizes were very generous and we may have skipped dessert if the owner hadn' t come out and offered it complimentary for the occasion. And boy am I glad we got it! We had a sublime honey-pine nut semi freddo on a flat pine nut brittle cookie. Small intimate place (counted 11 tables total), excellent personal service. Menu is not huge, but varied and I believe there are always a few specials. Fair selection of reasonably priced wine. Total for 1 app, 2 entrees, bottle of wine was $120 +tax, but we printed up a gift cert from restaurant.com ($10 for $25 gift cert).

                                  2. Alan's N.C. Bar-B-Cue (in a plaza at State Road 54 and Rowan Road in New Port Richey) makes a great pulled pork sandwich with a side of excellent coleslaw.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Jules M

                                      Add me to the list of those not appreciating benedetto's. You're much better off going around the corner to Villagio.

                                      The BBQ joint on 41 in Land O Lakes is not bad

                                      A recent find is Bocatto's on SR 54, very nice place, very inexpensive spanish. You can BYOB there. The chef/owner came from Vizcaya

                                      1. re: Jules M

                                        Unfortunately, Alan's is closed.

                                      2. Pasco County:
                                        Sushi - Kazu's
                                        6317 Tacoma Dr
                                        Port Richey, FL 34668
                                        (727) 842-4477

                                        Zen Forrest
                                        4148 Rowan Rd
                                        New Port Richey, FL 34653
                                        (727) 372-9545

                                        Banchiang Thai
                                        8631 Little Rd Ste 4
                                        New Port Richey, FL, 34654

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Penelope7

                                          What do you recommend at Zen Forrest?

                                          1. re: Penelope7

                                            Banchiang Thai is now closed. The lobster ravioli is wonderful at Zen Forrest (special order) and they have a great Satay Chicken Salad for lunch. They have special themed dinners which are also very good.

                                            zen forrest
                                            new port richey, fl, new port richey, fl

                                            1. re: Penelope7

                                              There's a great review of Zen Forrest at

                                              Zen Forrest
                                              4148 Rowan Rd, New Port Richey, FL 34653

                                            2. re: Penelope7

                                              everything except the shrimp in lobster sauce. Since they are not a chinese restaurant,they don't do this well. They are really fusion Asian.

                                              1. re: Penelope7

                                                i used to like Kazu's but have found a few other sushi places i like much better; Mike's Sushi & Sake Bar on 19 & Nebraska in Palm Harbor; and Ichiban in Trinity. Had some issues in the past at Ichiban but it was fine when I was there a few weeks ago. Also have heard Grill 54 in Trinity has great sushi, haven't been there yet. I found nothing at all special about Kazu's and the service left much to be desired.

                                                5555 N Davis Hwy Ste I, Pensacola, FL 32503

                                                Grill 54
                                                10900 State Road 54, New Port Richey, FL 34655

                                              2. I would definitely recommend Circles - New Tampa Bistro -- off of Bruce B Downs!! One side of the restuarant is bistro like - and the other side is more kid/family friendly. Great menu - starting with Thai specialties, awesome seafood and steaks!

                                                Just moved to Wesley Chapel and LOVE this place!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: clivengood

                                                  I've been wanting to try Circles, but haven't yet. I went once to Pizza Mania and was not impressed, plus it's quite a drive and not sure it's worth it.

                                                  1. re: rikkikm

                                                    If it is an extension of Circles in South Tampa, don't bother going. The rice is Uncle Ben's and the pasta is chef boyardee. I ordered Salmon and it was okay. SO and I went there for dinner with a few friends and it was one of the worst meals I have ever had. If I had to go there again, I would make sure to get tanked at the bar first so I would not notice how bad the food is. Sorry to be so mean, but the food really was soooo bad.

                                                    1. re: Everythingirl1

                                                      We were invited by enthusiastic (non-foodie) friends to the 'Circles' location in New Tampa on BBD for birthday 2008 and like Everythingirl1 said, it was one of the worst meals my wife and I ever had... Sad, because they were treating...
                                                      I faked praise and yum yum noises...

                                                      The Carrot bisque soup tasted like hot, thick, carrot juice...
                                                      No love, no soul, no creativity...
                                                      I was inspired to try it at home and first try mine was 47 billion times better...

                                                      My wife and I love Eggplant Parmesan, and she got that...
                                                      I was SHOCKED to see 4-5 unconnected slices of fried eggplant fanned out on a plate with some sauce spooned on top and a sprinkling of mozzarella...
                                                      Like $15.00... My wife was so deflated...
                                                      I still see it when I close my eyes!

                                                      Being the birthday boy I went for my top choice---- the Crown Rack of Lamb!

                                                      Once I ordered this at Sam Seltzer's and the crust was surprisingly familiar tasting... Soon I realized it was Shake 'n Bake, but even that was a hundred times better than this!
                                                      At least that had a crust, mooshy as it was...

                                                      I promise I'm not exaggerating...
                                                      It tasted like they took a raw factory unseasoned rack of lamb out of the fridge and tossed it right in the oven...
                                                      Then, when it was cooked, they spooned Campbell's French Onion Soup concentrate over it as a sauce...
                                                      That, being its only flavor element and way too strong...
                                                      I scraped that off ASAP...
                                                      Maybe if they added some dairy to the concentrate...

                                                      The meat was chewey, bland, and minerally, not having been seasoned in love the night before....
                                                      I described it to my wife on the way home as tasting like it was cooked on the hood of a Buick on a hot summer day...

                                                      I wanted to walk into that kitchen that very night and insist on helping, because the Chef obviously had to split...

                                                      The place was very pretty and the chef's wife/hostess, who my friends knew, was very nice...

                                                2. 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

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Chow Harbor

                                                    I used to love Laziz; now there are new owners, NOTHING was as good as it was previously. . Haven't been back in over a year.

                                                    2475 N McMullen Booth Rd Ste J, Clearwater, FL 33759

                                                  2. I will second the recommendation for

                                                    Casa Ludovico, 1710 Alt. U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor; (727) 784-7779
                                                    Carpaccio to die for

                                                    and will add Vincenzo's on Main St in NPR

                                                    1. Weck's American Grill will open January 10 in Lutz; given the quality of Weck's Deli in Land O'Lakes it should be interesting.

                                                      1. Next to Mystic Fish in Palm Harbor, there was The Blue Heron. If it's still there (I am in Central FL now), order the lamb chops. The Lucky Dill deli on Alt. 19 and Alderman Rd. in PH is a must and if you order an entree the cheesecake is free. Mama's Place on the sponge docks in Tarpon makes the BEST pastitso and baked stuffed vegetables are not to be missed. That's the North Pinellas round-up. Being from Pasco means you want value, not a fuss. People go to Bonefish Grille on 54 for fish and Sam Seltzer's for steak.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Sumodo

                                                          Sam Seltzer's had what was by far the worst steak i've ever had in my life. I heard they closed. Good!

                                                        2. Zen Forrest is GREAT, just stay away from the shrimp in lobster sauce. They're specials are always wonderful and so are their starters. We've been going there since they opened and have never had a bad meal. Can't understand why they are never crowded.

                                                          1. There's finally a place that serves Vietnamese found in West Pasco. You can get pho and other Vietnamese dishes. They have special phos on the weekends.

                                                            Sunrise Asian Restaurant (727) 842-8822 3516 Us-19, Holiday/New Port Richey, FL


                                                            Sunrise Asian Restaurant
                                                            3516 US Highway 19, New Port Richey, FL 34652