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I need a weird/exotic food in the Tampa Bay Area for class

I know someone who needs a "weird/exotic" (it CANNOT originate from the US) food for a class assignment. The food can be anything including a dairy product, vegetable, fruit, meat, processed food, candy, liquid etc.

As for a definition of a "weird/exotic" food, it has to be something most people wouldn't be familiar with (an egg roll would not count), plenty of suggestions would be great. I'm trying to find ethnic markets or food within the Tampa area but I suppose Clearwater or St. Pete would be possible too.

I'm currently looking at restaurants and know that China Yuan has stuff like deep pork fried intestines, cuttlefish, jellyfish, sea cucumber, frog, etc. Does Yummy House have the same selection? (I looked at their menu on Urbanspoon but I don't know if it's old or not)

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China Yuan
8502 N Armenia Ave Ste 1A, Tampa, FL 33604

Yummy House
2202 W Waters Ave Ste 1A, Tampa, FL 33604

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  1. Yeah, Yummy House has the same stuff---- I even prefer YH's Crispy Pork Chitterling (Intestine)...
    I get it 9 times outta 10, among other things...

    Skyway Jack's in St Pete serves 'Brains & Eggs'....

    Good luck....

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    Yummy House
    2202 W Waters Ave Ste 1A, Tampa, FL 33604

    Skyway Jack's Restaurant
    2795 34th St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mild Bill

      The crispy pork chitterling is how I judge the teenager's boyfriends. If they will try it or not ...

        1. re: gfr1111

          The current boyfriend had no issue and actually ate several pieces. I love kids with open minded palates ;-)

    2. Go to the oceanic market just north of 275 on Franklin Street (and eat at Cafe Hey first, it's good!) They have a ton of stuff that was very unique and non-western. I got a pringles can filled with "Mr. Squid", which was squid flakes the size of potato chips. Interesting stuff. Smelled like fish food but was tasty.

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      Cafe Hey
      1540 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

      1 Reply
      1. re: askdrtodd

        Thank you and more suggestions if anyone has any, keep in mind these "weird" foods can come from "Western" countries too. I know of Oceanic.

      2. try the black chicken soup at ABC Seafood in St. Pete.

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        ABC Seafood Restaurant
        2705 54th Ave N Ste 3, Saint Petersburg, FL 33714

        3 Replies
          1. re: RibDog

            Though I still laugh at the pic Bill took of the true mortification on my face.

          2. Friend rayzhou is helping: Thanks everyone for the great ideas, but the weird food has to have cultural significance as well as be weird, it has to go with a holiday or be eaten for a specific purpose. I like the brains and eggs idea best, do you know if it is eaten for a specific holiday or reason. Sorry to be so difficult, but I didn't get to choose the assignment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rayzhou

              do a little research on black chickens. the soup is medicinal. we can't do all the work for you.

            2. Well, the addition of the need for (1) cultural significance; (2) a holiday associated with the food; or (3) that it be eaten for a specific purpose certainly adds complication to the requirement of (4) weirdness. How about chicken feet?

              At Chinese wedding dinner parties, the groom is symbolized by the dragon and the bride by the phoenix. The dragon represents forcefulness and leadership, the phoenix grace and virtue. (Okay, some feminists are snarling about now. Hey, I didn't invent these 5,000 year old symbols. I am just reporting . . .) At Chinese weddings, early appetizer dishes are call "dragon/phoenix" dishes and these cold platters serve sliced meats, nuts and jellyfish shaped like dragons and phoenixes.

              Lobster and chicken feet are served. In China, lobster is called "dragon shrimp" (sort of the Godzilla of shrimp, or shrimp on steroids) and chicken feet are called "phoenix feet." Chicken feet in Chinese restaurants have been cooked a long time and are a bit gelatinous. (They may have a bit of breading on them too, to conceal their true nature! They are all bone, so there is not much to them, but there is a considerable gross out factor.)

              I lived in Singapore for a while and had a Chinese girlfriend who took me to lots of weddings over the course of a year. All the food had symbolism associated with it, which you can look up on the internet, but the weirdest food was certainly the chicken feet.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gfr1111

                That's funny I was just about to suggest chicken feet and then I read your post. TC choy has chicken feet available at lunch, as do ABC, Chopstix, CY and YH I would imagine.

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                Chopstix
                1441 E Fletcher Ave, Tampa, FL

              2. Try Jai Ho for indian. Not very weird - but definately not western. Most tampa folks are not familer with indian food.

                1 Reply