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Chowdown - Tampa- Vizcaya Restaurante & Tapas Bar - 8/15/10

Many of us already excited about it, if you aren't already on the email list and would like to join us for brunch please email me at (my username on here) @ gmail.com. Chef/owner is a great guy and is really looking forward to having us, it's going to be delicious and fun.

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  1. This was a complete blast. Food was excellent. Writeup to follow, Bill did you get any good pics?

    20 Replies
    1. re: askdrtodd

      I got a few... I should have taken the pic thing more seriously...
      From now on I will...
      Also, the camera wasn't behaving properly, & when I got home I remembered I had it set for a custom light setting I was experimenting with...
      I'll send you what I took on FB...

      1. re: Mild Bill

        Bill is a killer photographer! The Tuna, Pulpo Gallega and a Croqueta.

         
         
         
        1. re: askdrtodd

          Did anyone order the sweetbreads? I think they are the best I have had.

          1. re: rhnault

            I did...
            And I enjoyed having sweetbreads in a way I've never had them before...
            I've only had the crusty grilled Argentine version, with garlicky, olive oily, herby, mildly acidic Chimichurri--- which is an outright celebration of the ingredient...
            Pic below, minus the Chimi... (Taken from Google)
            That's more along the lines of how I roll...

            This version seemed like a way to get someone to eat sweetbreads who thought they wouldn't like them...
            Chop up a small soft piece and mix it up with sliced mushrooms and a familiar brown gravy... There may have been a few other things in there but I don't remember...

            Gave me some ideas tho...

            A chunkier version, grilled first so you can really taste it, with a real porcini mushroom sauce, sautéed sliced creminis & baby spinach, served over creamy polenta, is what came to mind almost immediately...

            This was just loose on a plate...
            It was good, ('better than NOT eating it' is my line) and I ate it up quickly with a tablespoon, (was that wrong?) but it did not make me wanna blow kisses to the chef (who, for the record, was not the chef/owner, Felix...)

             
            1. re: Mild Bill

              Bill- agreed, the sweetbreads are very user-friendly but I think it's a classic recipe. I'm in the same boat as you, I like a crunch on the outside and soft on the inside with sweetbreads. Actually with pretty much any animal product that seems to be my MO haha.

              1. re: Mild Bill

                I prefer the user friendly version

                1. re: rhnault

                  Bill,

                  As long as we are sticking with the sweetbreads for awhile here, you are going to have to give up your chimichurri recipe. I bought 11 lbs. of sweetbreads a week or so ago and I am in desperate need of appropriate sauces/recipes. The best sweetbreads I have had in awhile were at Sardinia in Miami. They were sauteed with brussels sprouts and sage. I was there for the whole roast piggy, which was named one of the best dishes in Miami, but it wasn't on the damn menu. The restuarant was good nonetheless. I will be back.

                  1. re: CFishman

                    BRAAAAAIIIIIIIINNNNNNSSSSSSSS!!! I WANT TO EAT YOUR BRAINSSSS!!!!!

                    (seriously I do, that sounds delicious)

                    1. re: CFishman

                      sauteed with brussel sprouts and sage....i'm quivering now. YES! YES!! YES!!!!

              2. re: askdrtodd

                Food looks fantastic. I missed out!

                1. re: blitzchamp

                  Carlos, get on the email merry-go-round and pull up a chair...

                  Edited: I just added your email address to my contact list...
                  C.E. at Gmail

                  1. re: askdrtodd

                    The croquetta de bacalao? So good. The best item on the table never got a photo - the shrooms! So simple, yet so good.

                    1. re: TampaAurora

                      Yeah, I dropped the ball on the photo thing...

                      1. re: Mild Bill

                        Nah, just gave us some room to forget how much we ate! Maybe I'll bring out my Nikon next time.

                        1. re: TampaAurora

                          i loved the croquetta de bacalao...texture and taste were both incredible. bechamel sauce gets me every time. it would be hard for me to choose my favorite dish, but that tuna tartare at the end, with those perfect little crostini bites...mmmmm and omg that sparkling santgria. oh yeah, a good time was had by all. anxiously awaiting the next chowdown with my new friends ;)

                          1. re: Manderley

                            :-)
                            The Croquetas de Bacalao were my favorite item....

                            I think 6 were on the plate, and when there was one left Todd advised that I should probably take a picture of the one poor terrified remaining little ball...

                            1. re: Mild Bill

                              haha with the batman bechamel logo on it ;)

                2. MAN, so sorry I missed this. When are you guys planning your next Chowdown?

                  25 Replies
                  1. re: laurie

                    excellent question Laurie! I think we (Manderly/TampaAurora/Bill/Me) began discussing doing Datz for the next one, many of the people that came said that Sunday brunch time was by far the best for them. Datz sound good to you guys? Other suggestions?

                    1. re: askdrtodd

                      Sounds good to me! Count me in on the next one.

                      1. re: laurie

                        sure thing, send me an email and I'll put you on the list, my email address is my nickname on here at gmail

                        1. re: askdrtodd

                          Datz Datz Datz Datz. yeah.

                          and then...maybe...could we do Yummy House? I was only there once, it was not a good experience. But Mild Bill's telling me it's the top of the Top Three (ABC, YH and China Yuan) so i really want to give it another chance. But i need some fellow Hounds to guide me to ordering the best stuff...i know you've all been to YH a billion times...humor me, wouldja? i don't have any foodie friends. (took a friend to the refinery tonite and she couldn't find ONE thing on the menu that she wanted to try. i had the monkfish liver small plate and off we went to BD's Mongolian Grill. so sad.)

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

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

                          1. re: Manderley

                            How was the monkfish liver??? tell me tell me!!

                            Also any time you want to hit yummy house for lunch email me, I love that place. Bill turned me on to the Chitterling (yummmmm) and I've been dying for some ever since.

                            1. re: askdrtodd

                              monkfish liver was to die for. texture and taste both just perfect, soft and delectable on the inside with just a hint of a sweetish crust on the outside; fat hunks of bacon on a bed of lovely cooked greens (mizuna? new to me). seriously delish. a plate of pure pleasure. i want more. more, more, more.

                            2. re: Manderley

                              Yeah, I can only do weekday lunches at Yummy House...
                              Manderley, take a sick day... ;-)

                              And really, weekends and evenings are too busy anyway...
                              People keep telling these horror stories about rudeness, bad service, and long waits, that I can't relate to at all...

                              I pick a seat, sit down, and order.... Everybody's friendly...
                              It's never more than 60-70% full on weekdays..

                              I say they're the best because their versions of some of my favorite things are the best... Consistently & often dramatically so...

                              I would imagine the other places make spectacular things I haven't tried...

                              I've gotten GREAT things at China Yuan, but when I went back for them, sometimes within 48 hours, a less talented cook made it his way, and it was useless...

                              1. re: Mild Bill

                                weekday lunch...i just checked their website and they're open on mondays. that's the only day i can do it, since i have weekends off...technically don't have to be back to work til 11:30 pm monday night....as long as i get home to bed after feasting...oh yeah. diet out the window! let's plan a monday lunch after we do the Datz thing. YEAH!!! Chitterlings? sounds more like a southern dish to me but i'll try anything you two recommend. really want to try their salt and pepper squid, that's a must. Mild Bill had me drooling talking about that dish! ;)

                                1. re: Manderley

                                  Those are two of the best things there, the chitterling and the squid. So when are we doing the Datz thing? Is Sunday brunch best for everyone?

                                  1. re: Manderley

                                    I like the salt n pepper tofu the best. My other favorite dishes there are the seafood and tofu hot pot and the grouper wit XO Sauce.

                                    1. re: rhnault

                                      Not to be a naysayer, but I think the pork intestines and mustard greens at China Yuan are the best.

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

                                      1. re: CFishman

                                        I like CY the best overall but the dishes I mentioned are my faves at YH

                                        1. re: CFishman

                                          I really want to try one of CY's pork intestines. I have heard pretty good things.

                                          1. re: blitzchamp

                                            The day after CFishman mentioned the dish above, I found myself in the area and pulling in to China Yuan's parking lot...
                                            I texted him that I was there and we went back and forth a few times as the meal played out...
                                            I'm not gonna go into it too much here because I took photos with my good camera and ordered a couple other things (and I wasn't even feeling good!) but he was right-on about that dish! I loved it! Lov-ed...
                                            I think Yummy House's 'Crispy Pork Chitterling' is toastier and tastier than CY's version, but this was genius, and was totally different from what I imagined...
                                            It's like it had every imaginable Chinese taste and texture in one harmonious recipe...
                                            I'll be going back for that, and God knows what else, ASAP...

                                            Respect to CFishman and his well-tuned tastebuds for holding firm on his opinion of that CY dish...

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

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

                                            1. re: Mild Bill

                                              x2, that chitterling I had with you Bill... that changed me. I'd be more than excited to try CY's, but considering YH is less than a block away it'd be hard for me to intentionally take CY over it haha.

                                              1. re: askdrtodd

                                                how about a crawl? let's get a group together and go to BOTH places, one after the other? now that sounds like fun...

                                                1. re: Manderley

                                                  I went to YH for lunch today and they were out of chitterling. the look on my face must have been priceless.

                                                  1. re: Manderley

                                                    oh the best part about yummy house is saving room for desert and getting a boba tea next door at Got Tea :)

                                                    1. re: askdrtodd

                                                      arrrgghgh! i didn't know they were right next door, i cut out a review of that place and it's on my list of places to try. thanks for telling me. i'll make sure i hit both next time.

                                                      1. re: Manderley

                                                        After greeting the employee, you say these words:
                                                        'Large Taro-Coconut Slush Please'---- and then you step back and wait for it...

                                                        If you want something else, get it the next time... :-)

                                                        1. re: Mild Bill

                                                          hmmm.... all rite fine, but next time try the Iced (not blended) taro boba tea, that's the ol' Todd favorite

                                                          1. re: askdrtodd

                                                            Try the Iced taro milk tea with sour jelly. One of my favs!

                                                            1. re: jfischer27

                                                              I wish those guys would consider making them with skim or 1% milk, they'd still be dee-lish but wouldn't be so heavy, the cream ones food coma me too much.

                                                              1. re: askdrtodd

                                                                Doesn't bother me...
                                                                In my house growing up, gravy was a beverage...

                          2. Actually what do you guys think of doing Ella's brunch for the next chowdown? That's pretty foodie-esque, no? I went a couple times and enjoyed the concept but wasn't blown away by the grub, I'd be interested in giving it another go and trying more dishes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: askdrtodd

                              i feel the same way, liked the vibe, wasn't wowed by the food. i'd like to try some other things, but the day i was there they were out of some of the things i wanted to try. i guess you could convince me to give it another try. mind if i pout through brunch? ;) i liked hana's idea of waiting for the cooler weather so we could dine al fresco. not a big fan of haulin' my butt upstairs. wow, i'm cranky. think i'll go back to bed now.