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Tampa Near USF - HELP!!!!

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phneale Aug 19, 2007 04:33 PM

I am in Tampa near USF every week for about three days and have yet to find a really Chow worthy place. Casa Don Jose is OK, but that is about it. I need help for places within 10 -15 minutes of I-75 and Fletcher.
Thanks.

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    Tampafoodie RE: phneale Aug 20, 2007 07:39 AM

    You must have found the new location for Cafe Don Jose (north of where it was, across from the bowling alley). The Olde World Cheese Shop has good sandwiches- it is in the Sherwood Forest Shopping Center, south on 56th, next to where Don Jose used to be. The sandwiches are named after Robin Hood characters. The Robin Hood sandwich is a fav. There are several small grills in that same area that may be good- haven't tried them yet. If you drive along Fletcher, west of Bruce B. Downs there are some small places that professors and students know about- check those out too. I don't know if it's still there, but north on Bruce B Downs, there is a Papas Greek on the right hand side in a shopping center that my family loved. True Greek. Small place, eat in or take out. Desserts and breads too. I'm sure someone can speak better to the Fletcher area places.
    HTH a little.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tampafoodie
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      phneale RE: Tampafoodie Aug 20, 2007 08:53 AM

      Thanks. I will poke around and see what I can find. Unfortunately, Fletcher is under construction past BBD, so that limits it a bit right now, but I will make the adventure. I like the Pappas place a lot. We go there to lunch fairly often.
      HTH?

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      andy huse RE: phneale Aug 20, 2007 09:16 AM

      a search might serve you well.

      Morae's Persian
      Savvy Jack's
      Trang Viet Cuisine
      Taj Indian
      Antonio's pasta grill
      Jerk Huit at the new location on Fowler is quite good!

      1 Reply
      1. re: andy huse
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        phneale RE: andy huse Aug 20, 2007 09:17 AM

        Thanks a bunch. I had dinner at Antonio's last night. Not great, but good local people doing OK food. I will try the rest.

      2. rhnault RE: phneale Aug 20, 2007 09:44 AM

        Taj on Fowler was good for Indian food and in the same plaza there was a good sushi place. The only place I have eaten at in a couple of years off of Fowler is Trang Viet Cuisine.

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          nojunk RE: phneale Aug 20, 2007 10:03 AM

          Is Antranak's still there? I used to spend half of my time in Tampa and Antranak's (not sure if I'm spelling it right) is a hole in the wall deli/grocery place that makes the BEST sandwiches and greek salads. My fave sandwich was called "cheese & salad" - yum! It's on Fowler near the corner of 56th in a bright yellow building & is worth a try for a carry-out lunch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nojunk
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            Tampafoodie RE: nojunk Aug 20, 2007 11:36 AM

            Antranak's is gone. We passed by the spot yesterday and there is an Arby's there. I loved the little circle cookies and the flat round bread with the black sesame seeds. Great sandwiches!

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            rikkikm RE: phneale Aug 21, 2007 03:51 AM

            In the same shopping center as Taj at Fowler and 30th is La Cocina(spanish/cuban/puerto rican) and Pho Quyen (Vietnamese). Both very good. I've heard that Ichiban is good and it has been there for ages, but I've never been. At Amberly and BBDowns is Sushi Tsu, Fushia and Thai Ruby for more Asian choices- all good. Also, on Fletcher, West of 30th is Lai Thai and Mi Pueblo Chico for authentic Mexican.

            Does anyone know anything about Golden Dynasty Chinese or Ho Ho Choy at Fletcher and 15th?

            BTW, Fletcher is clear and open since last Wednesday.

            7 Replies
            1. re: rikkikm
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              sarge RE: rikkikm Aug 21, 2007 09:49 AM

              Some friends who lived in temple Terrace for many years really like a place called LaLa on 56th South of Fowler. I have not been yet, but they re not crazy people

              1. re: sarge
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                andy huse RE: sarge Aug 21, 2007 10:38 AM

                we nee good spanish/Cuban near USF. Lala's is okay, but not all that. La Cocina has increased quality and prices under new ownership. Neither is great. I wish Arco Iris would open around there.

                1. re: andy huse
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                  rebecca.kukla RE: andy huse Aug 22, 2007 12:11 PM

                  Andy, Don't you dare take Arco Iris away from its rightful spot 6 blocks from my house! What would us Old West Tampa folks do without it?

                  Phneal, I am not sure if this is close enough for your purposes, but 10 minutes in the car from USF will get you to Big John's Alabama BBQ, on 40th and E. Hillsborough, which is super-yummy and very atmospheric.

                  I second Taj, Jerk Hut, and Pho Quyen as good choices on Fowler. Ichiban Japanese, in the same mall-thingy as Taj and Pho Quyen, was pretty good the one time I ate there.

                  1. re: rebecca.kukla
                    rhnault RE: rebecca.kukla Aug 22, 2007 01:17 PM

                    I did not realize that's where the Pho Quyen was on Fowler. If it's even 1/2 as good as the Pho Quyen near my house it's worth a visit!

                    1. re: rhnault
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                      rebecca.kukla RE: rhnault Aug 25, 2007 02:15 PM

                      It is hard to see - it's in the back Northwest corner of that mall - i.e. the same one that has 5 Guys burgers showing from the road. I haven't eaten at their other branch but I thought it was really good - best vietnamese I have had in Tampa so far.

                  2. re: andy huse
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                    rikkikm RE: andy huse Jul 23, 2008 09:39 AM

                    I noticed not too long ago that La Cocina had done a remodel and were going by the name of Bamboleo. Driving by it last night- it's gone completely- brown paper covering the windows and all. Anyone know what happened?

                    1. re: rikkikm
                      robiyaki RE: rikkikm Jul 23, 2008 01:56 PM

                      I haven't been by there in a while, but my wife and I were regulars for lunch for the longest time until they changed everything (they even started serving the yellow rice in little pyramid shapes to make it fancier). It seemed as though they got a new chef and none of the food tasted as good as it did before and they also got rid of the lunch menu so you go for lunch and pay dinner prices. It was a bad move considering the location . It used to be jam packed with college students, proffesors, and workers from all over that area during lunch, the last few times we went it was almost dead and that was a while ago too. It's a shame I used to realy like them, now for Cuban we go to Rubens Cubans on Busch Blvd.

              2. Mild Bill RE: phneale Jul 23, 2008 03:47 PM

                I was at cafe Don Jose' today--- for the first time--- and it was horrible!
                I musta done everything wrong!

                Brown table bread that was soft and moist but absolutely flavorless...
                It got slimy when I dipped it in the soup...

                Small, paper-thin, rubbery, over-breaded and over-seasoned Calamari---

                Caldo Gallego soup with a thin, salty, characterless broth...
                It got better after I used my fork to smash up the beans to make the soup creamier and give it some texture...

                Shrimp Creole--- where I detected Tomato paste, onions, bell pepper, and water...
                The souless equivalent of 'Spaghetti & Ketchup'...
                I regretted ever mixing it into the rice--- because maybe the yellow rice woulda been better plain...

                $27.00 with tip... Out the window...
                Everything tasted like the chef called in sick that day...

                But what a beautiful, friendly, personable, and warm, waitress Jessica was...

                If I was single------ I still wouldn't go back...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Mild Bill
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                  sarge RE: Mild Bill Jul 24, 2008 09:44 AM

                  Pretty well mirrors my last time at Don Jose. Unappetizing meal at a high price. They have lost my trade until I start hearing some positive changes

                  1. re: sarge
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                    andy huse RE: sarge Jul 24, 2008 11:04 AM

                    I was never impressed with the food, and prices are far too high, especially at dinner. I wrote them off long before their new location. This restaurant is best for old people with no taste buds and too much money.

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