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New New Tampa offerings?

Hello Chowhounders!
My client and hotel are close to I75 and Bruce B Downs Blvd so I'm hoping to find some good eats within a 15min drive (won't have time to drive across Tampa.) From what I'm reading, it seems my choices are slim but since they are building like madmen along that corridor, I figured I'd ask.
I'm in for just about anything as long as it's not a chain and I can eat for under $40 (just me, incl drink or two.)
I'm especially into:
1. Brew pubs/gastro pubs
2. Thai
3. Cuban/Carribean
4. Pizza (thin crust)
5. Seafood

I'm in for holes-in-walls (quite often my favorite) to white linen.

Any and all thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Thanks

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  1. Well, that area is chain restaurant nirvana. There is a LeeRoy Selmons right there that might satisfy your Brew Pub/gastro slot. Thai Orchid off of Cross Creek Blvd, just up BBD from the interchange is a very nice Thai restaurant. Circles is not going to be the worst meal you ever had, its on BBD a little bit up from Cross Creek.

    You might also consider Stonewood Grill, yes it's sort of a chain, but it's pretty reliable and conveniently located

    2 Replies
    1. re: sarge

      Thanks, Sarge..
      LeeRoy Selmons has not shown up in my searches which could be a good thing.
      I've heard mixed reviews about Circles - either you love it or you hate it..might be worth a try with that kind of opinion so I can form my own.
      I saw Stonewood on Google Earth...and it's 1/2 mile from the hotel.
      I appreciate your help...stay tuned.
      EGB

      1. re: sarge

        I took a look at the menus of both Lee Roy and Stonewood and I think Stonewood is a decent choice for at least 1 dinner. It's menu is very reminiscent of a place here in Atlanta called The Buckhead Diner.
        Thanks for the tip

      2. When we stay in that area we've gone a bit north on BBD Bvd to Bonefish Grill -- yes a chain...but they have great seafood and at a reasonable price;
        Don't stumble into leroy's on a friday night (like we did) or when a game is on...foods decent, southern style bbq and all the sides, but the noise will throw you for a loop and the team "spirit" can be overwhelming. Right next to the hotel next to the AMC movie theaters there's a japanese /thai place -- some things are quite good; others just fair; think its a bit pricey however And its very small.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JulieF

          Thanks, JulieF.
          I've been to Bonefish a few times. The one in Franklin Lake NJ is spotty at best and way overpriced. Hopefully this one is better.

        2. I recommend the dim sum at Ho Ho Choy, 1441 Fletcher Avenue, Tampa, FL 33612. The phone number is (813) 962-2159. The shrimp dumplings, sticky rice wrapped in some kind of leaf, kai lan in oyster sauce (a sort of steamed Chinese broccoli and not on the English language menu--you have to ask for it),stuffed tofu, steamed sesame buns and steamed barbecued pork buns, are all excellent. I like their plain, barbecued or five spice (pre-) roasted duck particularly, but you have to order a quarter duck. There is a dim sum portion which is smaller, but you seem to get the boney scraps, if you do that. If you order the quarter duck, you get nice, meaty pieces. As I recall, it costs about seven dollars (don't hold me to that price) and, since the duck has already been roasted and since the cooks are just warming it up, it does not take very long to get it. For dessert, I recommend the egg custard tarts--flakey, soft, eggy and lemony.

          They also do a mixed bag of Cantonese and Szechaun/Hunanese non-dim sum dishes, which vary in quality from very good to pedestrian.

          As for location, this small, strip mall restaurant is located on the south side of Fletcher Avenue, just about a fifteen minute drive from where you are staying. You could drive one exit south on I-75, exit at Fletcher, and drive west. Alternatively, you could drive "west" on Bruce B. Downs Blvd., which turns south, drive south and then turn west onto Fletcher where it crosses Bruce B. Downs. For a person not familiar with the area, I would recommend taking the I-75 exit south and getting off at Fletcher. It's simpler.

          Also, one caveat: there are two Chinese restaurants in the strip mall where Ho Ho Choy is located. Ho Ho Choy is the the one in the middle of the mall. The other restaurant is located at the end of the mall and also serves dim sum, but I have never had it, although I have heard that there is some familial relationship between the owners.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gfr1111

            Thanks so much for your detailed reply.
            I love dim sum and this Ho Ho Choy sounds right on target. Here in Atlanta, dim sum is usually a Sunday only affair. Does Ho Ho Choy server it during all hours?

            1. re: cymbaline65

              They serve dim sum all day every day.

          2. Try "the LIME" in Tampa Plams!!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: jroq

              Thanks, Jroq-
              Can you tell me more about it? And did you mean Tampa Palms?

              1. re: cymbaline65

                I went to The Lime in Tampa Palms once a couple of months ago and the food was actually quite good. Your typical bar food/Tex-Mex. I had a giant rotisserie chicken fiesta bowl, which is basically salad tossed with rice and chicken, but quite tasty. My boyfriend loves the burger from their Game Day menu..

                1. re: MonkeyGal

                  Thanks, MonkeyGal...
                  I start this project Jan 7 so I'll have 2 weeks to try these places out.

            2. What about a LUNCH place in New Tampa? Nothing GREAT?
              I'm in that area tomorrow, and I'm already hungry!

              1. I saw an advertisement for the Acropolis in New Tampa (another location for the Ybor City original), Has anyone been there? Would you recommend it?

                Thanks,
                Donna

                3 Replies
                1. re: DonnaFL

                  I guess it was good. They do the dancing and throw the napkins. I decided that Greek isn't my favorite though.

                  1. re: rikkikm

                    I definitely love good Greek food so this could be a play.

                  2. re: DonnaFL

                    I've eaten there twice now - both times the food was quite good and service was excellent. I did order the chickpea fritters (Greek name not sure of) which were over done and bitter from being in the oil too long. They immediately took that off my bill and apologized profusely. They know how to treat their diners which goes a long way with me.

                  3. I don't know if anyone has mentioned Ruby Thai. One of my favorites!

                    -----
                    Thai Ruby
                    15319 Amberly Dr, Tampa, FL 33647

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: dmfnole

                      Thai Ruby is one of the better ones. The green curry is nice.

                      1. re: dmfnole

                        I tried Thai Ruby tonight. Their Massaman Curry was outstanding and thank god I didn't ask for "Thai hot".
                        Thanks for the tip.
                        Will try Stonewood or Ho-Ho-Choy tomorow...

                      2. Sukhothai is another thai place you may like that is close to your hotel.
                        I haven't been to Stonewood myself but have heard good things from friends.
                        The Lime is Tampa Palms is getting good reviews - - on my visit the food was fresh and the beer was cold. Can be loud.
                        Right next to the Lime is Ciccio & Tony's which is great for lunch or even dinner.
                        I would not recommend Circles.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: panicattack

                          Went to Circles on Tuesday. Food was pretty good but service was spotty.
                          Sukhothai sounds interesting - maybe next week.
                          I'm really tired...think I'm going to the grocery store tonight!

                          1. re: panicattack

                            I've heard from the locals that Sukothai is good...I think that's where my taste buds will take me tonight.
                            Thanks for the tip!

                          2. Went to Vallarta's Restaurante for some Mexican. I was told it was the only "authentic" place around. About a 7 mile drive.
                            I must say the Carnitas in a salsa verde with fresh guacamole were great. The frijoles were average and the beer expensive.
                            Overall, it was a good meal and worthy to mention.

                            1. Hello,

                              Great place for lunch is New York Minute Del-eatery:

                              http://www.nyminutedel-eatery.com/

                              It's on bruce b downs a few minutes from i-75. It can get crowded on weekends so you might want to consider carry-out. I live around the corner and this has quickly become my favorite place as far as an every night type meal (i.e. not for special occasions

                              )

                              The new york theme inside is nice and the whole place smells like bread and bagels (which they make fresh daily) Service is A+ It's the only place in tampa that I've found that actually puts prosciutto on the italian sandwich, and they don't skimp on it at all. Seriously, is it even an italian sandwich without prosciutto? The place is nothing fancy but a good non-chain sandwich shop, especially for lunch.

                              I've had everything on the menu and it's all good, however here's my faves:

                              Aforementioned italian sandwich (The big little italy)

                              Pork tenderloin sandwich: breaded and deep fried. HUGE plank of tenderloin too big for the fresh kaiser roll it's served on. Comes with horseradish alabama sauce. I order this one when my appetite is especially large. Used to get these when visiting family up north, hard to find around here.

                              Again, every sandwich they serve is great but the one thing you must remember is this:

                              Sandwiches come with a bag of chips, but for an extra 99 cents, you can get fries instead. GET.. THE.. FRIES. Good fries. My favorite.

                              The soups can be skipped, nothing special there. The black and white cookie is mediocre. The cheesecake, however, is heavenly. So creamy and rich it will take a tall glass of milk to get it down your throat. Also comes with fresh fruit topping. Bagel chips are a nice snack, grab a bag on your way out.

                              Enjoy!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Morf

                                Wow, great review. I can feel my stomach explode with that pork tenderloin sandwich!
                                I'm thinking later this week..need some Thai tonight
                                mmmm....proscuitto....

                              2. I don't know if anyone has suggested Mariposa off of Dale Mabry and Van Dyke - a yummy twist on Mexican. Highly recommend it...
                                http://www.mariposamexicangrille.com/...

                                1 Reply
                                1. I am suprised no one mentioned Las Palmas Cafe (right next door to Circles) Casual, but very good Ybor style spanish/cuban food. They are more expensive than the typical Columbus Ave eatery, but it saves you a trip. The pressed cuban or the ropa vieja sandwich are great.

                                  1. The St. Pete Times reviewed the New Tampa Acropolis, a branch of the lively and pretty delicious Ybor City restaurant. Sounds promising. The review mentions the chain dominance on the New Tampa cityscape.

                                    http://www.sptimes.com/2008/01/17/Foo...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Bergerman

                                      I ate there last week...very good and excellent service.

                                      1. re: cymbaline65

                                        I have eaten at both Acropolis locations....the food is authentic and outstanding at both, but the atmosphere is definitely better in Ybor. I would still recommend Tampa though if you don't want to drive to Ybor. I think it is Friday nights when they do the belly dancing...the crowd gets pretty lively.

                                        1. re: cymbaline65

                                          Don't limit yourself to Tampa though....Gulf to Bay Boulevard, which goes from Clearwater Beach to Indian Rocks beach, and continues all down the coast has a great restaurant called Guppy's. LOVE IT.