Lunch in Tampa/Brandon
My husband and I have an errand to do in Brandon on Saturday and since it is my birthday we would like to take the opportunity to have a great lunch in the area. I would like a great brunch, or alternately a great Latin/Cuban meal. We are willing to go as far as downtown Tampa. Any suggestions? Thanks.
I agree that El Puerto is a hidden Latin gem. I also like Bernini (Italian) and The Nest (tapas) in Ybor. To be frank, most (but not all) of the food in Brandon sucks...and there's certainly no great brunch in town (I live there). Really, Ybor is the closest place for something interesting, but I would steer clear of Carmine's and I'm also not fond of the Columbia in Ybor (dirty!).
If you cannot force yourself to leave Brandon, there's a new Acropolis Greek Taverna on Bloomingdale that is quite nice. My spousal-unit and I tried it a couple of weeks ago, and I thought service, quality and ambiance were much better than in the Ybor location (which I liked first). Also, Sinigual is a higher-quality Mexican restaurant, if you can handle fighting the Brandon Towne Center Mall traffic.
I don't really think of any of the places already suggested as having a nice enough ambience for a birthday lunch, although the food may be great. Spain in downtown Tampa is, well, Spanish food, paella and tapas, and might fit the bill. How about Oystercatcher's for brunch? (I think they serve brunch on Saturday, but could be wrong.) Lunch is kind of tough...