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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!