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Best Deviled Crabs in Tampa

a
andy huse Sep 12, 2006 07:42 PM

after many disappointing deviled crabs and writing about the origins of the dish for Cigar City Magazine, i finally found a few specimens i can recommend to such esteemed colleagues.

At Cacciatore Brothers' on Armenia, Rosie makes amazing crab rolls at the rear counter. fried to order.

Brocato's on 50th near Columbus has big, very tasty deviled crabs.

Mr. Empanada (main location on armenia, others in town) also makes a good deviled crab, but dare i say i prefer their crab empanada, which is not as rich.

any others i have missed? any in Pinellas worth eating?

  1. c
    Chino1949 Feb 21, 2014 09:29 AM

    I buy my develed crabs from the old Sea Breeze recipe
    who still makes them out of their home.
    Call 813-626-5849.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chino1949
      j
      Jwood Feb 21, 2014 12:31 PM

      The Licata family has that recipe and I assure you they do not sell them out of their home. That is the
      Original recipe and it is being kept private. Enjoy your crabs I am sure they are
      Good but not original as claimed.

      1. re: Jwood
        c
        Chino1949 Feb 21, 2014 12:42 PM

        All I know, is that the family that I buy them from are from the original Sea Breeze and they got screwed when the
        Port Authority and the Tampa officials took their property
        rights away from them. So, if you call them at the number
        I mentioned, they will be glad to give you the full run down and story as to what occured. Buena Suerte.

    2. GeorgeLouis49 Jul 26, 2013 07:05 AM

      Right now I have 15 Devil crabs frozen from Mr. Empanadas. My cousin Wayne mailed them to me. He swears they are as good as our Abuelos, and from eating 3 already, I tend to agree with him.
      George Louis Miranda

      6 Replies
      1. re: GeorgeLouis49
        g
        golfbuddy45 Jul 26, 2013 09:40 AM

        I met your Grandfather and your Father back in West Tampa when I was just a kid around 12 or 13. My Father, Ralph Diaz Sr. and a couple of my uncles were discussing packaging Miranda Devil Crabs and selling them in grocery stores like Winn Dixie and Publix. After a while they dropped the idea - do not know if your family ever did that later.

        As to Mr. Empanada my sister, Irene, and I stopped by there last year (October 2012) after I arrived in Tampa and had Deviled Crabs and Cuban Sandwich. They were both good but for now I still feel the Brocato's are better. I also had a couple from the Seabreeze Truck a few days later and a fresh Grouper sandwich - delicious - but again I like Brocato's best - maybe because they are so large and filled to the brim with crab meat. I plan to be down there again this October and as usual during my week there I will try out all the SPANISH SOUL FOOD I CAN!!!!

        Ralph Diaz, Jr. - born in Tampa but now living in Apex, NC

        1. re: golfbuddy45
          a
          andy huse Aug 27, 2013 07:46 AM

          is that really crab meat in Brocato's rolls? no matter what is in them, they sure are good.

          1. re: andy huse
            g
            golfbuddy45 Aug 27, 2013 12:58 PM

            I have watched them make the devil crabs through the window and you can't see exactly what "meat" they are putting in there but I have looked at the insides of those devil crabs and I see nothing that does not look like crab meat in consistency. AND as you say it all tastes like crab meat to me. If you try the "CRAB" that is made with fish and crab meat you can tell a difference in the consistency of the meat while the crab meat has those threads in it. I do have to say I have had a lot of foods made with the "ARTIFICIAL CRAB LEGS" and they do taste quite good.

        2. re: GeorgeLouis49
          n
          NancyAlman Feb 21, 2014 08:12 AM

          Hi, Can you tell me how your cousin sent the Crab Rolls? I live in Wisconsin, used to live in Tampa & miss eating Crab Rolls. I would like my daughter to send me some. How would she do it? Did you use dry ice, were the Rolls frozen when sent, did you package them in some kind of cooler? Would you please help me so I can get her to send me some? Thank you so very much. Nancy Alman

          1. re: NancyAlman
            byrd Feb 21, 2014 08:37 AM

            http://www.fedex.com/us/perishables/

            1. re: byrd
              c
              Chino1949 Feb 21, 2014 09:26 AM

              I buy the frozen develed crabs from Seabreeze.
              Call 813-626-5849. Call them and tell them what you want.

        3. f
          flamale863 Oct 16, 2012 04:07 AM

          I do like Cacciatorres deviled crabs and I look forward to visiting the Alessi booth at the fair every year to get their deviled crab but I have to say the BROCATOS makes the best deviled crab in Tampa these days...Its huge and absolutely delicious and one of them will fill you up...You can actually look behind the side counter and see them being made which will give you tips if you are brave enough to try making them yourself...Bravo to BROCATOS!!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: flamale863
            Mild Bill Oct 16, 2012 08:41 PM

            I agree with Brocato's Devil Crab being super delicious, and I'll be passing by tomorrow and will grab one----- but don't tell ME! that one will fill me up!!
            ;-)

          2. m
            Monica Klein Apr 20, 2011 03:05 PM

            Ybor Grille in Ruskin has awesome deviled crabs and cuban sandwhiches.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Monica Klein
              GeorgeLouis49 Apr 20, 2011 05:04 PM

              There is a sandwich shop in Lakeland downtown, it is a shop just off the main street corner. Can't remember the name but they tasted just as good as my Abuelas.

              1. re: Monica Klein
                c
                christierella Jul 6, 2012 03:13 PM

                Ybor Grille will scratch an itch if I don't want to drive to tampa, but Carmine's and Brocatto's are the best. with the least amount of dough and maximum amount of blue crab. If you like the traditional then carmine's are great, if you like the light crunchy panko bread coating...then you'd like Brocatto's.

                1. re: christierella
                  s
                  sarge Jul 8, 2012 07:15 PM

                  I really don't care for the things, being from coastal GA, but far and away the best I have had around here are from the CITGO Station by the Post Office in Wesley Chapel. They are crabby, crunchy and just a little greasy. My wife and mother-in-law who are native Tampanians say they are the best they have had.

                  1. re: christierella
                    a
                    andy huse Oct 23, 2012 08:13 AM

                    i've always found carmine's to be inferior to most other decent places in Tampa. I even tasted C's beside two others and no comparison. I honestly don't know if any of carmine's food is good--- I always found it mediocre at best.

                    1. re: christierella
                      c
                      christierella Nov 7, 2012 06:04 PM

                      Seabreeze has opend a food truck at Hwy 301 and causeway blvd tampa/brandon, they open at 11 am. This is very exciting! http://www.tampabay.com/news/seafoodl...

                  2. c
                    Chino1949 Apr 20, 2011 09:20 AM

                    I heard the Sea Breeze closed down. Although I love deviled crabs from all over, I can't seem to find the kind that the Sea Breeze would make. Any thoughts on where those exact deviled crabs are being made if at all?

                    Thanks,
                    Lou

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Chino1949
                      r
                      RDTinCody Apr 20, 2011 09:44 AM

                      You can get the cookbook with the recipe in it or buy the deviled crabs frozen, ready to cook, by calling this number: (813) 626-5849.

                      1. re: RDTinCody
                        r
                        RDTinCody Apr 24, 2011 10:24 AM

                        Order the cookbook here:

                        Robert & Helen Richards
                        7101 49th Ave. S
                        Tampa, FL 33619
                        Phone: 813-626-5849

                        I suggest calling first.

                      2. re: Chino1949
                        GeorgeLouis49 Apr 20, 2011 10:38 AM

                        They will be available in Fort Wayne, IN. I shared the family recipe because I wanted to have a place to eat devil crabs. Chino1949, were you born in Tampa? I was born at the Centro Espano in 1949 George Louis Miranda

                        1. re: Chino1949
                          l
                          LJOSEPH1 Jul 26, 2013 06:45 AM

                          Sea Breeze is now located at 2111 N Blvd Tampa, FL and Palm Ave 33602 Ph: 813-228-0033

                        2. c
                          CRichards Dec 8, 2009 11:09 AM

                          Another good simple Seabreeze recipe is smoked mullet. My Uncle Nubie Richards would bring fresh netted mullett to the house often and my father would smoke it perfectly using the family recipe.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: CRichards
                            t
                            TC 1000 Mar 11, 2010 12:57 PM

                            Saw this article this morning by Andy Huse with the recipe and step by step pictures for the Seabreeze Deviled Crab.

                            http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dail...

                            I then went to Brocattos, after reading the recommendations in this thread. The DC, Empanada and Cuban Sandwich were all outstanding. I have been here for 5 years and have gone from La Teresita to Mr Empanada to West Tampa Sandwich Shop to Cuban Sandwich Shop on N Florida. All of them are good but Brocato's blows them away. I was surprised by the crowd. The place was still packed at 2pm.

                            TC

                            1. re: TC 1000
                              a
                              andy huse Mar 12, 2010 11:05 AM

                              Brocato's is a treasure, I'm just thankful it isn't any closer to my house. never had an empanada there, but the stuffed potato is a meal in itself. alway slooking for other places to highlight in the coming weeks/months.

                              1. re: TC 1000
                                l
                                Lucia27 Mar 12, 2010 11:10 AM

                                I agree - I've worked in East Tampa for many years, and going to Bracato's is a long enjoyed tradition. Haven't been there in a while, though - do they still have those delightful sugar cookies?

                                1. re: Lucia27
                                  l
                                  lowtone9 Mar 31, 2011 03:33 PM

                                  It's been a few years now since I've been back to Tampa, but last trip the crabs at Cacciatore's were at least as good as any I remember from the old days. My first DC, and I'll never forget it, my mother bought for me from a cart vendor when we were grocery shopping at the Kash and Karry. It was ten cents. She quit buying them when the vendors started asking for fifteen cents, too expensive!

                                  I thought it was time for new post to this old thread.

                            2. b
                              beffies Oct 1, 2009 06:04 PM

                              The ones I remember from my youth were sold by a guy bicycling around town with a cooler. When you saw him you pulled over and waited for him to come ask you 'hot sauce or no hot sauce? Muy sabroso!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: beffies
                                t
                                tortambassador Nov 23, 2009 05:22 PM

                                I was on a mission today and by the way I did get my hands on the seabreeze recipe. I was surprised to see it has celery in it. I went out to the 2 best places in Tampa Cacciatore Brothers' on Armenia and Brocato's on 50th and Columbus. Cacciatorre's has the best filling and Brocato's has the best breading. Cacciatore's has less of a tomatoe base compared to Brocato's. Brocato's was bigger but $1 more. Cacciatori looks like they bread theres in Vigo bread crumbs which is the way the old Seabreeze used to do it. Brocatos uses freshly made crumbs from Cubam bread. The reason I know is they were breding them while I was standing in line. Cacciators uses both red and green bell peppers Brocatos only green. It was the amount of tomatoe paste that made the big difference and hands down I thought Cacciatore's had a much better flavor over all. I'd eat either one though they're both good.

                                1. re: tortambassador
                                  c
                                  CRichards Dec 8, 2009 10:52 AM

                                  My name is Christopher Richards, My father was Frank Richards brother of Robert Richards (Author of The Seabreeze Cook Book) Uncle robert and Aunt Helen have the best recipes for Deviled Crab and Crab Chilou. I can remember my father making the crab chilou at the house on sundays. I can also remember going to the SeaBreeze and eating deviled crab on the SeaWeed shimp boat docks. The Seabreeze was the best for devil crabs. I am lucky enough to own an original seabreeze cook book. It is full of wonderful recipes and photo's that bring back memories of my childhood. stories of the seabreeze and the Richards Family.

                                  1. re: CRichards
                                    c
                                    Chino1949 Apr 20, 2011 09:23 AM

                                    Do you know where I can get the original Seabreeze Deviled Crabs? I think they were the best. I grew up enjoying their deviled crabs and crab chilou. My email address is
                                    Lsegade@tampabay.rr.com
                                    Thank you, thank you, thank you
                                    Lou

                                    -----
                                    Seabreeze Restaurant
                                    5075 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33417

                                2. re: beffies
                                  GeorgeLouis49 Aug 26, 2013 04:21 PM

                                  That was my Grandfather Oscar Miranda if before 1954, his brother Juan took over for him after he passed away. Those were the best!!

                                3. b
                                  betay Jul 31, 2009 03:43 PM

                                  Well, here it is, 2009 and I just made a double batch of Seabreeze deviled crabs. This time I started out making them a little too large and I ran short of the dough (after making the 99th one) and since I still had a good amount of crab stuffing left, I ran to the store and bought some frozen empanada pastry circles. As soon as I got home I made the rest of the crab stuffing into deviled crab empanadas. I do all the prep and the actual making of everything involved. My husband mans the fryers,(I borrow one and I purchased a new one this year). Each fryer cooks 4 at a time and they have to cook for 7 minutes. You can see that this takes some time to cook up over 100 with the inclusion of the empanadas. It is a labor of love as we give to friends and relatives and still eat all we want and have some left to freeze. I would not give out their recipe, they deserve to make the profit from their cookbook. It is well worth the price. Buy it.

                                  1. j
                                    jllineberry Jun 26, 2009 11:29 AM

                                    Hi, I found the lady that had the Seabreeze Restaurant in Tampa, where the best crabcakes were made and sold (in my opinion). She also has a cookbook - "SEABREEZE COOKBOOK BY THE BAY". She also has more copies to sell. She also makes the crabcakes in a safe kitchen and sells them frozen for you to cook. You may go to her home to buy them. She said to tell you her phone number is (813) 626-5849.
                                    She autographs every book she sells. The book also, has pictures and history about the era of the restaurant. I have purchased many as they will make great Gifts for anytime.

                                    jllineberry June 28th, 2009.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: jllineberry
                                      a
                                      andy huse Jun 26, 2009 04:00 PM

                                      It is a fun book. I helped her write it. Her son may be making those devil crabs full time for sale. I earnestly hope that he does.

                                      1. re: jllineberry
                                        r
                                        RDTinCody Mar 2, 2010 02:55 PM

                                        OMG!! *GASP*
                                        Deviled crabs are NOT crabcakes. Crabcakes are those flattened out, cornbread-with-a-sprinkling-of-crab-meat things they eat in Maryland and (Lord knows why) rave about.
                                        Deviled crabs, despite the name, are a gift from God.
                                        40 lashes with a loaf of Cuban bread.

                                        And, yes, the Seabreeze had the best deviled crabs ever. When I was a kid (I'm 58, now) my parents would stop at the Seabreeze and buy a dozen or so deviled crabs...I think they were ten cents each...and we'd go across the road to the Autopark Drive-In and eat them while we watched the movie.

                                        1. re: RDTinCody
                                          c
                                          Chino1949 Apr 20, 2011 09:32 AM

                                          I'm 62 now and can so relate to your story. Those were the good old days.

                                        2. re: jllineberry
                                          j
                                          Jwood Aug 26, 2013 02:13 PM

                                          You are mistaken my friend. The owners of Seabreeze by the bay are not the original owners of the Seabreeze. Her cookbook claims the recipes are the original. They are not the original recipes! Her history with the restaurant began when her and her husband purchased it in 1992....not 1929 when Victor Licata first opened the Seabreeze. If you like her food great but her claims are false.

                                          1. re: Jwood
                                            a
                                            andy huse Aug 27, 2013 07:43 AM

                                            Lucy Licata was invited to write the book with us, but she refused. The Richards bought the business from the Licatas. Having worked together for about 30 years before then, there was ample time to learn the recipes and history.

                                        3. s
                                          sharonsimpsonmc Jun 3, 2009 06:22 AM

                                          Here it is: The Seabreeze by the Bay Coobook order info.

                                          Robert & Helen Richards
                                          7101 49th Ave. S
                                          Tampa, FL 33619
                                          Phone: 813-626-5849
                                          seabreezcookbook@aol.com

                                          Best cookbook in town

                                          1. g
                                            G8R Dan Mar 18, 2009 10:07 AM

                                            Andy,
                                            have you tried the "Special Deviled Crab" at Aguila's on Hills Ave? I had one yesterday and it was pretty good. Lots of fresh crab meat, fried to order and big. Cuban sandwich was good also, nothing to brag about. I definately wouldn't put it up there with one of the best in Tampa. A good lunch spot and easy on the wallet. Cafe con leche was very good.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: G8R Dan
                                              a
                                              andy huse Mar 19, 2009 02:33 PM

                                              many thanks for the heads up. I'll check it out.

                                            2. f
                                              Foodiephile Mar 17, 2009 03:05 AM

                                              All these replies about Deviled Crab and not one mention of Lili's? For Shame~!
                                              http://foodmuseum.typepad.com/food_mu...

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Foodiephile
                                                a
                                                andy huse Mar 17, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                we were talking about Tampa. where is this?

                                                1. re: andy huse
                                                  r
                                                  RibDog Mar 17, 2009 02:53 PM

                                                  Great minds think alike. I was thinking the same thing.

                                                  John

                                              2. p
                                                patteel Mar 16, 2009 07:52 PM

                                                I have not been home to Tampa in 30 years and I really really miss deviled crabs. I am a 6 generation "Cracker", three of those were in Tampa. I married had kids and then hubby got his degree from USF and we left Tampa. We used to go to the Seabreeze for deviled crabs when we couldn't talk my mom into making them. I don't have any family left in Tampa to speak of so I haven't been back.since my Dad's funeral. Another thing I miss terribly is Smoked Mullet. I wish I could find a company that would ship frozen DC's and SM to me in Texas.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: patteel
                                                  b
                                                  beffies Oct 1, 2009 06:08 PM

                                                  I'm a third generation cracker, and my grandfather used to make his own own mullet nets and fish for them off the causeway. I miss the deviled crab rolls too..

                                                2. magialuna Mar 9, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                  Well, they aren't deviled, but did anyone mention the Crab Trap crab cakes? (CT one is in north Palmetto jurisdiction on Terra Ceia and CT #2 is in Ellenton. Both are in Manatee County right across the Skyway.)

                                                  Off topic, but their fried jumbo shrimp are to die for...huge, fresh, and juicy. They use the same crab stuffing for their stuffed (baked) shrimp too. Ok, now I drooled on my keyboard, lol.

                                                  1. a
                                                    amycp Mar 2, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                    Carmines in Ybor City...

                                                    1. g
                                                      golfbuddy45 Feb 28, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                      Back around 1955 I was 10 years and we lived on 26th ave in Ybor City. My father and I used to go to Miranda's and watch them make the devil crabs. During this time Miranda was putting his DC's in frozen packages (6 in a pack I think) and my dad was in the Lions Club selling them for donations. Around that time my dad, Ralph Diaz, Sr., had discussions with Miranda to sell his DC's through the local stores like Publix and Winn Dixie. I called him today and asked what happened and he said the deal just fizzled out and they never really got it off the ground. After they fried the DC's any that were not OK to sell were piled on this big table and I can remember filling up on all those fresh hot pieces of Devil Crabs. I wish I had paid attention to the recipe instead of eating them all up!!! The reason I got on this page was I bought a couple pounds of blue crab meat today and am going to make a batch. Unfortunately I have lived in Raleigh NC area for the last 15 years and do not get the opportunity to enjoy all the good Spanish and Cuban food down in Ybor City and Tampa area so I have had to become my own good cook. We do have a nice little restaurant here in Cary called the Havana Grill where the owner who is from Miami, makes all the good stuff, like Flan, Ropa Vieja, Picadillo, and good old fashioned Yucca. He also bakes fresh Cuban Bread Miami style. I buy a loaf or two every week. Glad I found this forum and hope to check out other food topics.

                                                      1. bountyhunter_ga Feb 25, 2009 05:19 AM

                                                        Hello, I remember devil crabs as a kid in tampa being sold off bicycle carts for $.25 each. these were pretty good. our memories as kids don"t go away as yoy get old. and yes there was a lot of breading not like you might make at home, you would go broke trying to sell something you had to much product in to come out. try the devil crab on www.tasteofcuba.com this is spot on for me, ths Mickey

                                                        1. s
                                                          Steffisews Aug 22, 2008 08:03 AM

                                                          Dont kill me, but I have had some good deviled crab at La Septima in Brandon. Which, by the way, is one of the few places that has crab enchilada on the menu. They tell me Carmines in Ybor also has crab enchilada on the menu, but they dont use blue crab...they use some other kind of crab.

                                                          I cant remember where it is, but there is a little place on 22nd street causeway, before the bridge on the 301 side that advertises they have deviled crab using the Seabreeze recipe.

                                                          Agreed on Cacciatore and Alessi....anyone made deviled crab using the Columbia restaurant cookbook recipe?

                                                          Stefanie

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: Steffisews
                                                            s
                                                            Sunflower1964 Oct 16, 2008 06:47 AM

                                                            I moved to NC over 13 years ago and one of my favorite foods missed was deviled crabs from Seabreeze. I remember sitting on the hood of my folks car as a child and watching the movies from across the street at the drive in and eating those wonderful deviled crabs.

                                                            I've not tried any of the above mentioned places during my visits to Florida. However, I don't have a recipe book or anything to go by only memory and have developed my own recipe for them and they look and taste just like Seabreeze. In NC we don't have the cuban bread available but buttermilk soaked bread crumbs works wonders.

                                                            My uncle who still lives in FL came for a visit and I fixed about 12 dozen, he alone ate at least 4dz and took 2dz with him for the trip home. He said they were the best and amazed I could fix them from memory.

                                                            Folks in NC don't know what they're missing. What they call a deviled crab is a crab shell stuffed with a funky breading and deep fried. No hint of real crab meat only a sliver of imitation.

                                                            Is there a Seabreeze cookbook, I would love to have one?

                                                            Brenda

                                                            1. re: Sunflower1964
                                                              l
                                                              loriw77 Feb 19, 2009 05:33 PM

                                                              I used to go the Seabreeze as a very young girl in the 70's, and after moving to Texas and getting married, I took my husband back for a deviled crab before they closed their doors. I did find 5 copies of the cookbook for sale at:

                                                              http://www.bookfinder4u.com/GetTitles...

                                                              Very pricey, though $135.00 +. Too expensive for me, but maybe someone else will enjoy!
                                                              Lori

                                                              1. re: loriw77
                                                                a
                                                                andy huse Feb 20, 2009 06:05 AM

                                                                unbelieveable. copies are avaiolable locally for $15 or so. feel free to ask me for more info.
                                                                soulrecreation@yahoo.com

                                                            2. re: Steffisews
                                                              a
                                                              andy huse Oct 16, 2008 09:56 AM

                                                              I ate there once, and thought it was pretty good--- my expectations tend to dip when i go to Brandon. Good to hear they're doing the enchilado, which is kind of an endangered species.

                                                              1. re: andy huse
                                                                f
                                                                FrankC Oct 16, 2008 02:45 PM

                                                                I tried Brocatos for the first time today. What an idiot I am for waiting so long! dont even ask me what i was thinking. They have soem fo the best DC I have ever eaten.

                                                                I mentioned Linda's Crab Shack in Plant city a few months back, They have been very hit or miss lately and the last time I ate there for lunch the dinning room was filthy. I am going to have to rescind my earlier recommendation until they get it together with more consistency again. Their DC used to be great, they were the only ones I ever ate that had larger pieces of blue crab with very little breading, lately I don't know what they are doing but it's not good.

                                                              2. re: Steffisews
                                                                r
                                                                rougeole May 31, 2009 08:44 PM

                                                                Steffisews,
                                                                I think you might be referring to a place I often visit when I am in Tampa and that is Uncle Willie's Sandwich Shop - just before the bridge on 22nd street Causeway. I love the Deviled Crabs and Cuban Sandwiches they make. I have heard stories that this is where the cooks from Seabreeze go to get good Deviled Crabs.

                                                                rougeole

                                                              3. l
                                                                LB1336 Jul 17, 2008 11:20 AM

                                                                I was raised in Tampa during WW2 and went to school at DeSota Park and Phillip Shore Elem. The BEST Deviled crabs were sold from vendors biking around just as the Ice Cream men. They were pointed at each end, full of crab and always eaten with a dash of Tobasco (and they cost $.10). The ones sold by the Casablanca on 21st St between 4th and 5th Ave were excellent. I have tried the Tropicana's but they were more like big wads of bread.Sorry bout that. I too would be interested in a copy of the Seabreezes Cookbook. Thanks ... Lee B.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: LB1336
                                                                  a
                                                                  andy huse Jul 18, 2008 07:54 AM

                                                                  is there any good food at the Tropicana at all? I've never been impressed by anything there. I hate to think people judge Tampa's Latin food by Tropicana's vittles. I only hope their coffee is worth drinking: i wouldn't know, I don't drink coffee.

                                                                  1. re: LB1336
                                                                    t
                                                                    Tipp Aug 18, 2008 07:22 AM

                                                                    LB, Maybe you have some info on the CASABLANCA. It was down the street from the Colombia, Had fantastic deviled crabs. Thanks for any info.

                                                                    1. re: LB1336
                                                                      t
                                                                      Tipp Aug 18, 2008 08:24 AM

                                                                      LB, You are the first to mention the CASABLANCA, We visited Tampa a couple times a year when I was a child, our first stop was always CASABLANCA,. We moved to TAMPA in the 60's, I attended school during my 8th grade year at the Catholic School in Ybor City. I walked down to the CASABLANCA every day for lunch and I would eat one or two deviled crabs walking back to school. I hadn't been to Tampa for a few years. I was married in 1972 and we honeymooned in TAMPA, all the way down there i was telling my wife about the deviled crabs. Our first stop CASABLANCA, the building was torn down,I talked to a few people in the neighborhood, nobody seemed to have any info. PLEASE HELP ME. Any info would be great. Does anyone have a deviled crab close to what CASABLANCA made? Any recipes out there? Thank You, Tip Biddle, Harrison, Ohio

                                                                      1. re: LB1336
                                                                        r
                                                                        robmanlee Nov 4, 2008 10:23 AM

                                                                        I,too went to phillip Shore Elem/ Was born at McDill AFB and raised in tampa til '56. i remember the Casa Blanca as THE place to get devilled crabs!!!We went there til the mid 60's then there were no more devilled crabs, only a great memory.til I found a copy of the Gasparilla cookbook at a garage sale while visiting my Dad in Melbourne several yrs ago. These will bring back memories. What i liked about the Casa Blanca was being treated like one of the guys, playing checkers with older cubans, being allowed a sip of beer to cool the bite of the tobasco on my roll and taking home a sack for dinner later. The only thing as good was the smoked mullet sold by a shop at the base of the Gandy bridge!!! I will copy & send the recipie if you would like it. Let me know robmanlee

                                                                        1. re: robmanlee
                                                                          c
                                                                          Chino1949 Jun 10, 2009 07:46 AM

                                                                          I too went to Phillip Shore and enjoyed the deviled crabs from both Casablanca and the Sea Breeze. Those were some good times.

                                                                      2. d
                                                                        DonnaL Apr 28, 2008 07:10 AM

                                                                        How can I get a copy of The Seabreeze By the Bay Cookbook - or JUST the recipe for their famous deviled crabs. My father-in-law will turn 80 in August and I am trying to find this recipe for him as the Seabreeze used to be his favorite place to go, and of course the deviled crabs was what he always ordered. Thanks!

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: DonnaL
                                                                          a
                                                                          andy huse Apr 29, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                                          email me at
                                                                          soulrecreation@yahoo.com
                                                                          for more info.

                                                                          andy

                                                                          1. re: andy huse
                                                                            v
                                                                            varmit Oct 21, 2008 11:47 AM

                                                                            i'm new to website..........but a native to florida. my husband was born & raised in ybor city and we both have been to sea breeze many times.......would love their deviled crab recipe.........i lost my copy some time ago...........also, does anyone have the recipe for those great meatpies you get at the italian bakery on 15th st. in ybor/ thanks in advance

                                                                        2. a
                                                                          angels916 Apr 22, 2008 03:58 PM

                                                                          La Tropicana was always my favorite.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: angels916
                                                                            a
                                                                            andy huse Apr 23, 2008 07:13 AM

                                                                            honestly, I don't think any of their food is very good. I like the atmosphere, but i just don't get the food.

                                                                            1. re: andy huse
                                                                              f
                                                                              FrankC Apr 23, 2008 04:34 PM

                                                                              Linda's Crab Shack
                                                                              200 E Reynolds St.
                                                                              Plant City, FL 33563
                                                                              (813) 754-0492

                                                                              Born and raised in Tampa(Ybor city Specifically)
                                                                              Hands down the BEST devil crab I have had in my life. I will not get them anywhere else.

                                                                              1. re: FrankC
                                                                                a
                                                                                andy huse Apr 25, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                                                many thanks for the rec. I will have to check it out!

                                                                                1. re: andy huse
                                                                                  maladrin Apr 25, 2008 12:25 PM

                                                                                  I still need to try Cacciatore Bros, but Gold Ring Cafe on Tampa St. is directly on my way to work. They make fresh CHEAP deviled crabs and they're always very good. Not made fresh to order, but I've never had one that was bad.

                                                                          2. m
                                                                            Mal Carne Mar 30, 2008 06:27 AM

                                                                            I had a pretty decent one at Le Lechonera near Armenia/Hillsborough. Best? Memory fails me, but it was at least notable.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Mal Carne
                                                                              t
                                                                              tony noriega Mar 31, 2008 09:50 AM

                                                                              I've posted on this thread in the past......this is an update. A friend from Gainesville fell in to town Friday and the first thing out of his mouth was "when are we gonna go get deviled crabs??" Soooooo.....we went to Cacciatore's on Armenia and got a dozen for three of us, and we weren't dissapointed!!! They are still the best in town - at least in my humble opinion. And while you're waiting, if you ask just right, the 40-something counter man will sing you his 'arroz con pollo y cafe con leche' song to entertain you!

                                                                              1. re: tony noriega
                                                                                b
                                                                                Brett Campbell Apr 8, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                                                Hey Tony!
                                                                                Do you have a reciepe for develed carbs ?
                                                                                Old friend Brett

                                                                                1. re: Brett Campbell
                                                                                  t
                                                                                  tony noriega Apr 28, 2008 09:31 AM

                                                                                  Hey Brett!!! Wow, it's been a long time since seeing you. No, unfortunately I didn't save the recipes from Tony's Restaurant so I don't have a recipe to share with you.......with such good crabs available, like at Caccciatore's I'm not sure I'd go to the touble to make my own anyway! They are that good. Drop by some time Brett......

                                                                                  1. re: Brett Campbell
                                                                                    GeorgeLouis49 Apr 5, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                                                    The recipe is going to be patented.

                                                                              2. a
                                                                                artemisanne Feb 28, 2007 10:31 AM

                                                                                Tropicana- my personal favorite- but Alessi's is usually preferred by friends and family.

                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                1. re: artemisanne
                                                                                  b
                                                                                  betay Sep 11, 2007 12:35 PM

                                                                                  I have the Seabreeze cookbook and I finally got around to making the Deviled crab recipe. All I can say, Delicious! They tasted just as good or maybe even better. It was quite time consuming but I would definitely make them again and again..... This recipe made close to 70 large deviled crabs. The recipe did not state how many it made so it could be halved and make less but why would you want to? My whole extended family enjoyed them. My husband does not like onions so they were the only ones he liked from the Seabreeze. The recipe calls for pretty much blending the onions,peppers,garlic and celery up quite fine so you have the wonderful flavor without the actual prescence of them. Quite an extensive recipe but worth it for sure.

                                                                                  1. re: betay
                                                                                    t
                                                                                    tony noriega Sep 11, 2007 01:42 PM

                                                                                    Betay, since you made 70 of them I'm going to expect you to invite each of on this forum over to sample them! Or did you guys eat them already?!? But seriously, it sounds like you had a good result.....The Seabreeze deviled crabs were very good and I'll bet most of the crabs in their rolls came from the surrounding waters near Palmetto Beach....whaddya think?

                                                                                    1. re: betay
                                                                                      1
                                                                                      1rhondad Nov 13, 2007 10:44 AM

                                                                                      My mom used to work at the Sea breeze when she was 18, she is now 76, she always took us to the Seabreeze when she went home and brought deviled crabs to California back from vacations, you have mentioned that you have the actual recipe, I looked on this site, there are people begging for the seabreeze deviled crab recipe, I know my mom would get a smile on her face that would never go away if you gavve me this recipe to try for her. Please post the recipe, I have looked on line to buy that cook book and cannot locate it anywhere.

                                                                                      Regards

                                                                                      Rhonda Doncaster
                                                                                      rhondadoncaster@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                      1. re: 1rhondad
                                                                                        a
                                                                                        andy huse Nov 15, 2007 06:30 AM

                                                                                        as one of the authors of that book, I'm happy and proud to hear the deviled crabs live on. They were the best until the seabreeze closed. For anyone interested in the book, feel free to email me--- I can point you in the right direction. The next time the Richards make the recipe, I hope to film it for a webcast.

                                                                                        1. re: andy huse
                                                                                          p
                                                                                          passingflower Nov 15, 2007 05:32 PM

                                                                                          I grew up in Tampa and lived next door to a wonderful family from Cuba. They made the best crab chilou, at least that is how my sister and I remember it. Does the seabreeze cookbook have a recipe for crab chilou?

                                                                                          1. re: passingflower
                                                                                            a
                                                                                            andy huse Nov 16, 2007 06:08 AM

                                                                                            yes. Crab Enchilado, a Cuban/Italian "fusion" dish, was often shortened to Chilau by locals.

                                                                                          2. re: andy huse
                                                                                            l
                                                                                            lyss Jan 29, 2008 06:06 PM

                                                                                            Hey there. I have just read your post about the seabreeze cookbook and i must say im VERY interested in the book. my email is lyss264174@yahoo.com , im hoping we can correspond and i can get one of the books. My father grew up in tampa and going to the seabreeze was an everyday thing for him , it would make his day if i could make those for him myself. kindest regaurds, lyss

                                                                                            1. re: andy huse
                                                                                              b
                                                                                              brandi3303 Aug 17, 2008 03:37 PM

                                                                                              Hi Andy,
                                                                                              I am really interestd in finding one of the Seabreeze cookbooks for my great grandmother. She loved their deviled crab and the few other places she has tried them she was not impressed. If you have any idea where I could locate either the deviled crab recipe or a cookbook I would really appreciate it!! (Brandi3303@yahoo.com)

                                                                                              THANKS!!

                                                                                              1. re: andy huse
                                                                                                r
                                                                                                rougeole May 31, 2009 08:40 PM

                                                                                                Hello. I grew up in Gibsonton Fl. just south of Tampa, and we used to go to the Seabreeze Restaurant and load up on Deviled Crabs and go across the street to the drive-in movie. I would love to get their deviled crab recipe. Can you point me as to how I might be able to get the Seabreeze Restaurants Cookbook? My email address is r0uge0le@yahoo.com.

                                                                                                Regards,
                                                                                                rougeole

                                                                                                1. re: andy huse
                                                                                                  1
                                                                                                  1rhondad Apr 24, 2011 12:07 AM

                                                                                                  I am interested in copies of the Seqbreeze restaurant cookbook, I ordered it in 2006 and it was never delivered, although my check was cashed. I would like to purchase 4 copies, 3 as gifts for family members...

                                                                                                  Regards,

                                                                                                  Rhonda Doncaster

                                                                                                  1. re: 1rhondad
                                                                                                    r
                                                                                                    RDTinCody Apr 24, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                    Did you order the book from here

                                                                                                    Robert & Helen Richards
                                                                                                    7101 49th Ave. S
                                                                                                    Tampa, FL 33619
                                                                                                    Phone: 813-626-5849

                                                                                                    If so, give them a call. I'm sure Helen will take care of it.

                                                                                              2. re: betay
                                                                                                b
                                                                                                Barboo Feb 17, 2008 07:41 AM

                                                                                                Good Morning betay, I have lost my cookbook and am devistated. Would you consider sending me the recipe. If so I will give you my address or email. A280z@aol.com)
                                                                                                Would be happy to reciprocate with a recipe in the future.
                                                                                                Thanks, Barboo

                                                                                                1. re: betay
                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                  carmelabaldeon Mar 27, 2008 06:50 PM

                                                                                                  My family loved the devil crabs from the Seabreeze Restaurant. Unfortunally, for us the Seabreeze building and the Restaurant is no longer into existance in Tampa. Would you PLEASE, PLEASE share the recipe with me and my family.
                                                                                                  THANK YOU

                                                                                                  1. re: carmelabaldeon
                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                    Chino1949 Jun 10, 2009 07:16 AM

                                                                                                    I also loved the devil crabs from the Seabreeze Restaurant. As a kid, we would buy a bag full and head on out to the Drive In Theater. Does anyone know who in Tampa is making them with that exact recipe?

                                                                                                    Thank you

                                                                                                  2. re: betay
                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                    aumccuj1 Dec 12, 2010 09:10 AM

                                                                                                    I have been to the Seabreeze from when I was just a boy til just a few years back when they closed. It was considered the place to go if you wanted a delicious Deviled crab even though people had to drive nearly an hour to get there. I still love the Deviled crab, however I haven't found any that compare. I know it was a few years since you posted you had the Seabreeze cookbook, would it be possible to get the recipe?

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Seabreeze Restaurant
                                                                                                    5075 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33417

                                                                                                2. r
                                                                                                  RC16 Feb 22, 2007 09:41 AM

                                                                                                  I'm another Brocato's believer! My girlfriend took me there for the first time AFTER I had lived in this area for 23 years! Go figure... I've never had anything there that wasn't GREAT.

                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                    JeffTampa Feb 21, 2007 06:54 PM

                                                                                                    I agree with the impression that most are too breaded. So I tend not to order these. But I have favored La Tropicana on 7th Avenue in Ybor City when I get a hankerin' for one!!

                                                                                                    1. t
                                                                                                      tony noriega Nov 25, 2006 06:49 PM

                                                                                                      As a third-generation Tampan I ate my first deviled crab in 1952 in Ybor City. I still love 'em and, although I can't have as many as in past years, I find Cacciatore's to be as good as any I've ever eaten so they get my vote for the best in Tampa.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: tony noriega
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        Tipp Aug 18, 2008 07:14 AM

                                                                                                        You must have eaten at the Casablanca, if so, who has deviled crabs in tampa that would compare with those Please Help

                                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                                        Lisaknowsfood Oct 31, 2006 08:47 PM

                                                                                                        Deviled crabs are a dying art. Castellano & Pizzo makes a pretty decent one, but it's not as good as Rosie.

                                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                                          Tandoori Girl Oct 2, 2006 02:20 AM

                                                                                                          andy? did you go to the contest? who won? and pls. don't tell me somebody's mom won because i might have to go hang out at their house until i get one.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Tandoori Girl
                                                                                                            a
                                                                                                            andy huse Oct 26, 2006 07:02 PM

                                                                                                            i've been traveling, so i'm tardy in response.

                                                                                                            only two entries for the contest. Both were pretty good. I voted for the one i thought best. Later found out it was provided by Cacciatore bros. Rose, who makes and serves the DCs there, normally only fries them to order.

                                                                                                          2. c
                                                                                                            Captainroy Sep 30, 2006 11:42 AM

                                                                                                            Very good information Tandoori Girl and it all makes since. I'm frome Tampa but, I live in the Keys...My ex-wife is tally and her father used to make DC...he couldn't even get a platter full because they would disappear. I guess I'll have to come to Tampa to get a good DC.
                                                                                                            Andy, looking forward to the results of the DC contest.

                                                                                                            1. t
                                                                                                              Tandoori Girl Sep 29, 2006 01:44 PM

                                                                                                              that is a good question and i'm not sure of the answer but i think it is of italian origin (not cuban). tampa had a huge italian immigrant influx when the cigar industry took hold in the 1880s, something that did not occur in miami. The crab mixture is a little like crab chilado, which is whole crabs stewed in a rich tomato sauce. The italians and latins surely mixed their recipes as they mixed their genes and the result is a unique collection of items found only in tampa. that's my venture, don't know if it's right. anybody else got a thought on this?

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: Tandoori Girl
                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                andy huse Sep 29, 2006 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                Tandoori girl, you're right on. I wrote a piece about the origins of DC for Cigar City magazine. The Seabreeze was founded by Italian families, and crab enchilado (or chilau as the crackers called it) is a great guess. hard to find crab enchilado anymore, it is so messy, no restaurant wants to serve it. In the old days, famlies ate the dish outdoors it was so messy.

                                                                                                                I'll be the judge for a deviled crab contest in west tampa over the weekend. I'll share the winner with you afterward.

                                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                                Captainroy Sep 28, 2006 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                Can any body tell me why you can not find Deviled Crabs in Miami????

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Captainroy
                                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                                  andy huse Sep 5, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                  The DC was popularized on the streets of Tampa in the 1920s, another fusion dish of fuzzy origin. Miami's Cubans tended to immigrate much later, the 50s and 60s. Instead of DCs, they eat fritas and such.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Captainroy
                                                                                                                    GeorgeLouis49 Sep 5, 2013 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                    Because my Grandfather didn't want to peddle his cart to Miami. Just kidding.

                                                                                                                    1. re: GeorgeLouis49
                                                                                                                      rhnault Sep 6, 2013 05:02 AM

                                                                                                                      good one ;-)

                                                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                                                    ramblinwrek92 Sep 15, 2006 02:29 AM

                                                                                                                    The deli at Alessi Bakery off of Cypress in Tampa usually has pretty decent Deviled Crab. The last one I got had quite a bit of crab and I was actually not used to having that much crab in my deviled crab. I was expecting more breading. I recall that they were also pricier than what Brocato's charges. But hey, you can also pick up some guava turnovers or escachata(sp?) pizza slices too.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: ramblinwrek92
                                                                                                                      e
                                                                                                                      emee Mar 12, 2010 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                      On my last trip "home" to Tampa, I found the deviled crabs and Cuban sandwiches at Alessi's to be just as good as I remembered them when I was growing up. I moved from Tampa in 1970 when I was 25 and was amazed that Alessi's bakery was not only still open, but thriving after all these years. I live 1500 miles from there now, so don't get many opportunities to indulge on my favorite Cuban food. I almost forgot to mention the guava turnovers at Alessi's; they were excellent and another trip down memory lane.

                                                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                                                      EdC Sep 14, 2006 02:30 AM

                                                                                                                      Trying to find the best deviled crabs in Tampa is like trying to decide if Ragu or Prego makes better marinara. Tandoorigirl is dead-on: most places in town don't use much crab, and what they do use is not of high quality. And the breading on some of the ones sold in the Cuban cafes...they might as well be hushpuppies.

                                                                                                                      Fortunately, my wife makes the best in town - and I don't even care for deviled crab. Her colleagues bug her constantly to make them, but it is quite time-consuming. I'd end up in a retention pond somewhere, wearing concrete socks, if I gave away her recipe (passed down from an Ybor street vendor from the early 1900's), but it all begins with top-shelf lump or claw meat. And that's all I can say w/o going into witness protection.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: EdC
                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                        Monica Klein Feb 19, 2007 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                        I'm sorry you wife doesn't share her recipes. Should she ever decide to please let me know. There is not one recipe I would not share with someone as I think sharing delicious food recipes is a compliment.

                                                                                                                      2. t
                                                                                                                        Tandoori Girl Sep 14, 2006 02:21 AM

                                                                                                                        I always thought Carmine's in Ybor were the best but I've not tried too many. Tampa-style devil crabs were always a little too breaded for my taste with not enough crab.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Tandoori Girl
                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                          andy huse Sep 15, 2006 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                          I tried Carmine's on my recent tasting tour. I thought it was lousy, too bready as stated. The two places i mention at the top of the thread are the only ones that come close to the old Seabreeze. For those of us without a DC specialist wife and secret recipe (from the Mirandas by any chance?), Cacciatore's and Brocato's will have to suffice. Very little breading, just enough to hold all the crab together. I rarel;y order DC's as i am usually disappointed, but creditable sources steered me toward those two. The universe is full of great things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

                                                                                                                        2. a
                                                                                                                          andy huse Sep 13, 2006 08:28 PM

                                                                                                                          wow--- what did you have at Mr. empanada, Bill? I just stick with the crab and guava/cheese empanadas. I did not care for the beef and cheese. The picadillo was more like bland sloppy joe. haven't tried anything else. did you have any of thiose listed above. I scouldn't bring myself to order the sausage one--- it never sounds good to me, too rich...

                                                                                                                          1. Mild Bill Sep 12, 2006 10:36 PM

                                                                                                                            On my last trip to Mr. Empanada I thought that most of what I ordered tasted like dog food, but I agree---the Crab Empanadas were pretty good...
                                                                                                                            Good to hear about Cacci's and Brocatos--- 'cause I pass 'em both all the time...

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Mild Bill
                                                                                                                              GeorgeLouis49 Aug 29, 2009 04:17 PM

                                                                                                                              My grandparents were Oscar and Louisa Miranda, doubtless you are asking WHO? Well they started the business Miranda's Deviled Crabsc there in YBOR CITY, and they made the 1st of these that people have tried to copy, but they have fallen short.
                                                                                                                              George Louis Miranda

                                                                                                                              1. re: GeorgeLouis49
                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                andy huse Aug 29, 2009 09:57 PM

                                                                                                                                George,

                                                                                                                                Miranda's is indisputably the first, i've seen the ads from the 1920s on microfilm. I'd love to learn more about your family!

                                                                                                                                Please email me at:
                                                                                                                                soulrecreation@yahoo.com

                                                                                                                                andy huse

                                                                                                                                1. re: GeorgeLouis49
                                                                                                                                  r
                                                                                                                                  rwilson Apr 6, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                                  Is this the George Miranda that worked at the Sheriff's office in Tampa? If so, you taught me how to make deviled crabs, and no doubt, your families were te best around. Carmines and Brocattos are pretty good, but not like your family's.
                                                                                                                                  Rayce Wilson

                                                                                                                                  1. re: rwilson
                                                                                                                                    GeorgeLouis49 Apr 6, 2011 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                                    Not I, was in the Army for 20 years, have not lived in Tampa since 1974.

                                                                                                                                     
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