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Restaurant near St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa?

w
wheaton24 Apr 1, 2009 06:28 PM

Going to a concert next weekend. Any suggestions for dinner in the general vicinity of St. Pete Times Forum? A nice American, Italian or Thai restaurant would be great. Thanks.

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  1. r
    rikkikm Apr 2, 2009 05:02 AM

    Channelside is next to it and has several selections. Thai Thani, Stumps, Bennigans, Hooters.

    1. Suzie Apr 2, 2009 05:22 AM

      Channelside is very close but just know that it gets VERY busy when there is a concert at The Forum.

      1. m
        Miss E Apr 2, 2009 07:55 AM

        In downtown, there's Pizzaiolo Bavaro, and Thai Corner.
        http://pizzaiolobavaro.com/
        http://www.thaicornertampa.com/

        I also like Spain, http://tomaspain.com/

        6 Replies
        1. re: Miss E
          r
          rshally Apr 2, 2009 09:18 AM

          I have great Thai at Thai Corner next to the Tampa Theater on Franklin Ave(about 12 blocks from the Forum), and also Thai Thani in Channelside(a few blocks frmo the Forum)..Cafe Durfrain is one of my favs, across the Channel on Harbour Island, easy walking distance to the Forum.

          1. re: rshally
            k
            kentski Apr 3, 2009 05:05 AM

            You might also want to consider Columbia Cafe, at the Tampa Bay History Museum right next door to the Forum. Ate there last night with some friends on their outdoor patio and it was terrific, especially with the weather so beautiful.

            I don't think too many people know about it yet so it might be less crowded than the Channelside places or nearby Harbour Island places like Cafe Dufrain or Jackson's.

            1. re: kentski
              g
              gator21 Apr 3, 2009 09:05 AM

              kentski, was the menu the same as the Ybor City location or much more limited? It's hard to tell from the web site. Thanks!

              1. re: gator21
                k
                kentski Apr 3, 2009 01:43 PM

                Hi Gator -

                They said it was limited, but it was more than sufficient. I'd say about 15 different appetizers, 10 different sandwiches, 4-5 soups, the 1905 salad (geez, I still love that salad) and 4-5 desserts. The very friendly server suggested we get bread pudding, which I usually hate, but ... wow! It was terrific. We also had the champagne sangria, which they still make at your table.

                I just went to the website as well and the menu for the Cafe is hidden. Click on Columbia Menus, and the last option (below the beverages) is Columbia Cafe.

                It's a beautiful space when the weather is nice outside and will be even nicer once that portion of the RiverWalk is completed (which looks very soon). By the way, don't make the mistake we did -- it looked like free parking at night next to the History Center (though I'm not sure, and I'm sure its not there during Forum events), rather than paid parking everywhere else.

              2. re: kentski
                w
                wheaton24 Apr 5, 2009 07:17 PM

                Do you know if Columbia Cafe takes reservations?

            2. re: Miss E
              d
              digyourself Apr 7, 2009 11:30 AM

              Bavarro is not so hot. They are billing themselves as "Fine Dining Pizza". I payed $13.00 for a 10" margherita. Sauce, basil and cheese. Sauce was tasty, cheese was sparse and crust had no substance. I've eaten at quite a few of the well known pizza places in the country and had pie that danced circles around this place for a fraction of the price. I at the whole 10" pie from Bavarro and was still hungry. What you are paying for here is the concept...not the pizza. I'd rather pay for a good pizza.

            3. t
              TampaNativeThatLovesNYC Apr 7, 2009 09:08 AM

              I live in Ybor/Channelside area, any restaurant located in Channelside will be over priced. I just recently ate at the Thai place by the Tampa Theatre and it was disgusting. You have more choices and MUCH better food for your money if you can make it to Ybor which is just a few minutes by trolley. If not, theres The Fly in downtown on Franklin, they have good apps and their Kobe Beef Sliders are amazing. Columbia Cafe is way overpriced.
              Some good places in Ybor is El Puerto, delicious Argentian food, Demmi's on 7th Ave has great pizza, Samurai Blue in ybor for sushi, and Laughing Cat on 15th in Ybor for Italian

              1. w
                wheaton24 Apr 10, 2009 01:26 PM

                Thank you all for your suggestions. I've chosen Cafe Dufrain and will report after I've been there.

                1. w
                  wheaton24 Apr 13, 2009 02:41 PM

                  I went to Cafe Dufrain, which is directly is on Harbour Island, directly across from the St. Pete Times Forum. We ate outside, with a view of the water. The food was good, the service friendly and the prices moderate. It wasn't crowded at all. We parked our car in the garage just around the corner from the restaurant (the restaurant gave us the validation number so we didn't have to pay for parking), and then walked across the bridge to the Forum. It was a nice, 5-10 min. walk. We were able to miss the traffic leading in/out of the arena and saved the usual $10 parking fee.

                  1. w
                    wheaton24 Apr 14, 2009 04:24 PM

                    One more interesting note about Cafe Dufrain that makes it high on my list. I got a call today from the restaurant manager, asking how I enjoyed my meal. She said she wanted to follow up to see if there's anything they can do to improve their food and service. This has never happened to me before. I told her I was impressed with the restaurant and extremely impressed with the call. I told her I had posted a review on chowhound.com and would add a note about the call. And here it is.

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