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Jan 29, 2010 10:23 AM

HELP!!Seminole/Largo area new implants... from AZ! NEEEEEED Mexican food!!

Please, anyone.. we just moved here from Arizona. We are NATIVE AZ folks... we grew UP on mexican food... the really really good stuff.. ANYONE know of ANYTHING comparable in town?? Just for a reference... Senior Loco's tastes like Italian food to us... so... please- if you know of some good, REAL, Mexican food-- please let us know. Military is keeping us here for 3 years. If we don't get home-town food soon, we may go crazy. :-) :-)


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  1. For tacos and such, you will not be able to find better than at La Cabana del Tio in Clearwater on Drew St. It is excellent!!! It would be a little bit of a drive for you but well worth it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: RibDog

      I totally agree... I can't wait to get back there, it's been a few months...
      A couple girls are right there working the flat-top all day making fresh tortillas...
      Very delicious, and very rustic and authentic...

      After being reminded here, I'll have to get there ASAP...

      1. re: RibDog

        Mmmm, I tend to disagree. La Cabana del Tio really do not do that much for me. Of course, we are all entitled to our own opinions.

        Try La Yucateca in Largo. Very fresh ingredients, handmade tortilla etc and cheap. No CC's bring cash.

        For more "upscale" but delicious, try Red Mesa Cantina as well as Z Grille both in DTSP.

        1. re: RibDog

          I have brought many people to this local restaurant. It's a hole in the wall, but the food is great.
          The tortillas are made right in front of you.

          La Cabania Del Tio
          1709 Drew St, Clearwater, FL 33755

        2. Agave Restaurant on Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete Beach is wonderful, authentic Mexican (I'm originally from California so I feel your pain:-). It is a bit of a drive for you, but absolutely worth it. Everything is fresh and made in house daily.

          Agave Restaurant
          6400 Gulf Boulevard
          St Pete Beach, FL 33706-2141
          (727) 367-3448

          1 Reply
          1. re: laboheme

            I took the family to Agave today for lunch. I was very impressed by this place. The kids shared four ground beef tacos on corn tortillas. My wife and I shared a combo platter that had empanadas, tacos, chimis, and gorditas. I had wanted to get something more unique but the four year old was getting impatient, so when the waitress came by, we just ordered the familiar. It turned out great. Everything was very fresh. The exteriors of the tacos, gorditas and empanadas were made of fresh corn tortillas, two of the three were also fried in oil. Guilty pleasure! The chips were also served with a very nice pico de gallo with very ripe tomatoes, onion and jalapenos.

            Next time, I will order some more authentic, unique items, but what I ordered really could not have been better.

            Robert R.

          2. So Senor Loco's is as bad as it looks from the outside! No surprise there. It's a shame that with so few good Mexican Restaurants in Pinellas there is wasted space for such a lousy one. So here are some better options.

            The closest to Seminole would be Carmelita's. They have many locations but the closest would be Park Street near Park Blvd and Belcher and Ulmerton. There is also a Tri-City location. Carmelita's has been open forever in the area and the menu is a little tired and stagnant, but I find it to be an old reliable and it rarely disappoints. They have an excellent mild salsa which comes with the complementary chips. It is always super frseh with a nice bite of onion and cilantro taste. The hot salsa is also good but you have to ask for it and it is mostly jalapeno based. Their Guacamole is good as are any enchiladas. Try the enchiladas banderas which is three corn tortilla filled enchiladas with three sauces ( red + green chilies and crema fresca).

            Surprisingly there aren't as many Mexican restaurants as one would expect in Pinellas. The other closest option to Seminole is Los Mariachis and I find their food to be a bit too greasy and I've never been impressed. If you are wiling to drive a bit towards St Petersburg there is Estellas on Roosevelt Blvd which is very good and also Red Mesa on 4th which is more of a higher end mex- fusion restaurant. The opposite direction towards northern Pinellas offers Casa Tina in Duendin and Carambas in Clearwater. Casa Tina has awesome vegetarian and fish options and is a step above all the places I have listed thus far. Red Mesa is also a highlight and one of the stronger Mexican places.
            Red Mesa on 4th street is their original location and they also have a downtown St. Pete cantina with awesome al a carte Taco options like: duck, shrimp, fish, and tofu.

            heck out La Cabana del Tio on 1709 Drew St, just past downtown. It is a great mom and pop taqueria featuring to die for hand pressed corn tortillas. This is more of counter service with a few tables, so take that into consideration. Two other Clearwater options that are more traditional/sitdown restaurants include Los Mayos on 1200 Cleveland Street and Lakeview Grill on 1510 Lakeview Road. Other options are also Carambas on 1842 Drew Street, and Carmelita's which is a bit farther off the beach on 5042 East Bay Drive
            El Maguey Taqueria is pretty good - 66th Street Pinellas Park.

            There is one place I haven't had an opportunity to try yet.
            El Toro Negro - 54th ave Kenneth City - highly recommended for their Chalupas and salsa bar.

            Lastly, I know they aren't necessarily authentic but the area does have many fast food "Mexican" options such as Moes, Chipotles, and Tijuana Flats. With Tijuana flats being my favorite of those three options.

            Also if you want to venture over to Tampa you should try El Taconazo and Mema's Alaskan. Both are great.

            Have fun trying out those options I provided and if anyone else has any Seminole or other hidden gems Pinellas County I'd love to hear.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fepey

              I second the fepe's opinions on both Carmelita's and Casa Tina. I had my first mole at Casa Tina - the Mole Poblano - and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

            2. I'm out in Seminole and have been going to Mariscos El Pulpo once in a while. It is located at 8740 Seminole Blvd, Seminole 727-398-4506. The owner is a very accomodating host. There are only a few tables in there so I usually do takeout. The menu is mainly tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc. This restaurant isn't that "authentic" style as seen at places like La Cabana Del Tio (which is awesome by the way), but the traditional "smothered and covered" (to quote Tampa Aurora who described it that way in an old post). Lots of gooey cheese, nice sauces, pretty reasonable.

              Carmelitas is OK, but kind of overpriced. Los Mariachis is on Ulmerton near Starkey Rd. It is a little more reasonable and is OK. They make a pretty good chicken soup actually with rice and they put pico de gallo in it, so there is usually a little bit of chopped jalepeno in there. Otherwise, mainly tacos, burritos, etc.

              El Toro Negro on 54th Ave is worth checking out. It is a little more of the authentic style with a nice variety of salsas.

              Carambas on Drew St in Clearwater has some nice Grouper dishes in Mexican sauces.

              By the way, El Maguey closed a few days ago. It is now the new location of Curriez Indian restaurant which used to be in Seminole. Too bad, El Maguey was very good.

              I love the empanadas at La Cabana Del Tio. The Tacos al pastor and con nopales (with cactus) are likely the two best fillings. I love watching the ladies pressing fresh corn tortillas there.

              Robert R.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert R

                Sorry to hear that about El Maquey. They were good.

                And for El Toro Negro, I just wish they would get thinner chips for the salsa bar.

                1. re: RibDog

                  Actually, I just spoke with the owner of El Maguey and they are hoping to open in their former location further south on 66th St in the next month or so. Looking forward to it.

                  Robert R.

                  1. re: Robert R

                    I remember that location. Just north of 38th Ave. on 66th St. N. Thanks for the info!

              2. Red Mesa, not altogether authentic, but great food!

                1 Reply
                1. re: JoshRogan

                  This restaurant is wonderful. It may not be authentic Mexican cuisine, but everything is tasty and delicious. You would be hard pressed to find better service. Get there early for dinner and avoid waiting in line. The restaurant is also open for lunch.

                  Red Mesa Restaurant
                  4912 4th St N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33703