HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice
TELL US

TAMPA HOUNDS: NEED HELP! Hungry Brooklyn Foodie inbound

n
Nicky Brooklyn Jan 16, 2011 07:47 AM

Am taking GF to the area for long weekend and need help on where to find the Good Eats. We're in the reatuarant biz in Brooklyn so are less interested in the "fine dining" options and cheat more towards the "freshest fish and local seafood, grilled outside" kinda vibe. Not that we're against the white tablecloth option, but we get more than the share of that in NYC while the "this was swiming an hour ago and check out that sunset" is bit unusual in the Brooklyn context. So, fellow eaters, sound off. Lemme hear it!
Thanks to all!

  1. i
    imsohungry Jan 21, 2011 06:40 AM

    My family used to live on Anna Maria Island and you're in for a treat! Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, very low key vibe. On a visit a couple of years ago, we went, repeatedly, to The Star Fish Market just a few miles away up the Cortez Causeway. It's literally a fish market with food served out back. The conch fritters and chowder were awesome, and the stone crabs, while kind of on the expensive side (which is just how they are) were perfectly fresh! And you don't really see this up North too often but if the pompano is available, get it. Grab a Red Stripe and enjoy. This is SUPER casual and funky, but I lived in Brooklyn and know that you can't really experience anything like it up here.

    Though I wouldn't recommend dinner here, don't miss having a sunset drink out on the deck of The Sand Bar. Stunning!

    http://www.starfishcompany.com/starfishcompany/rest.html

    http://sandbar.groupersandwich.com/

    Lastly, I'm not sure it's still open and operating (maybe some locals can help out here), but you used to be able to get a very servicable breakfast at the public beach in Holmes Beach (also on Anna Maria). The food is just ok but there's something about eating a breakfast burrito and pancakes while looking out on the gulf.

    These are kind of lowbrow suggestions but you won't be disappointed!

    13 Replies
    1. re: imsohungry
      n
      Nicky Brooklyn Jan 21, 2011 10:35 AM

      Perfect, thanks SOO much! Any tips on beaches NOT to miss?

      1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
        i
        imsohungry Jan 24, 2011 10:34 AM

        You can't miss with any of the beaches but make sure to get up to the Point, which is, of course, at the northern tip of the island. Especially at sunset!

      2. re: imsohungry
        n
        Nicky Brooklyn Jan 31, 2011 08:29 AM

        Wow, I can't tell you how much we owe you!!! Starfish was PERFECT. Absolutely perfect. In fact we went twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. It was everything we were looking for and you were SPOT ON. We did Sandbar for sunset as well as lots of other places (Sign of the Mermaid, Beach Bistro,Oystercatchers, The Waterfront). Generally all were ok if a bit over fussy and spendy. But Starfish rocked. I hope it lasts forever. Thanks for saving our bacon. Let me know if you ever need Brooklyn tips!

        1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
          askdrtodd Jan 31, 2011 02:33 PM

          starfish has me intrigued...

          1. re: askdrtodd
            n
            Nicky Brooklyn Feb 1, 2011 04:00 AM

            Its in Cortez, the last fishing village in Fla (so they told me). It shares a dock with the shrimpers and fisherman, so you're eating what they're catching. We went twice and had stone crabs, blackened mullet, grilled pompano, fried oysters, peel and eat shrimp, cheese grits and hush puppies. Bud on tap. Sat on a dock in the sun and ate it. What more do you want out off life?

            1. re: askdrtodd
              Mild Bill Feb 2, 2011 02:21 PM

              Road trip...

              1. re: Mild Bill
                c
                CFishman Feb 2, 2011 04:21 PM

                Road trip and we hit Red Barn Flee Market coming and going.

              2. re: askdrtodd
                m
                monadelmar Feb 3, 2011 04:28 AM

                Went this weekend and it was pretty great. Food & selection were both good, and they had Rolling Rock in the bottle! But tables were not easy to come by and the wait was long.
                You stand in line to order your food with just one person working the bar/counter and then you get the impression that they cook orders in batches so a bunch come out at once. Not bad, but if you aren't part of one bunch, you end up waiting for the next one.
                I talked to someone while in line and he said once "season" passes, the experience is much better.
                But us locals know that is true with much here in the Tampa Bay area, right?

                1. re: monadelmar
                  askdrtodd Feb 3, 2011 09:57 AM

                  rather than rolling rock in a...?

                  Shoe? Helmet?

                  1. re: askdrtodd
                    m
                    monadelmar Feb 3, 2011 10:13 AM

                    Funny, Todd.
                    I was referencing what Nicky Brooklyn said about Bud on tap--didn't want anyone to think the RR was on draft--because that would be too good to be true.
                    I'm someone who prefers most beer on draft but since the option was Bud tap or Rolling Rock bottle--something I rarely see @ FLA joints, I went with the old 33.

                    1. re: askdrtodd
                      m
                      Manderley Feb 3, 2011 08:20 PM

                      i just spit my iced tea all over my monitor. thanks, todd.

                2. re: Nicky Brooklyn
                  i
                  imsohungry Feb 2, 2011 09:45 AM

                  I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's exactly what a casual funky fishing shack should be! Thanks for the offer for Brooklyn tips but we just moved from there last year, and my husband still works there, so we're back often and are pretty well dialed in.

                  1. re: imsohungry
                    n
                    Nicky Brooklyn Feb 2, 2011 01:02 PM

                    Fair enough. Now am, of course, curious as to what places you guys recommend in Brooklyn!

              3. l
                laboheme Jan 20, 2011 03:22 AM

                If you're on Anna Maria Island, try the Beach Bistro. It's a bit of a splurge, but has great fresh fish and is right on the beach. www.beachbistro.com

                -----
                Beach Bistro
                6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

                1 Reply
                1. re: laboheme
                  askdrtodd Jan 21, 2011 06:24 AM

                  oops just saw this. Great spot, x2 from me!

                2. n
                  Nicky Brooklyn Jan 19, 2011 11:07 AM

                  OK, just looked at the online menu for Middle Grounds and I gotta say, I'm a bit frightened! You guys sure??

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
                    rhnault Jan 19, 2011 12:18 PM

                    what was frightening? It is a restaurant with fresh Florida seafood reasonably priced. You said you get enough fancy food in NY.

                    1. re: rhnault
                      Mild Bill Jan 19, 2011 01:56 PM

                      Brains n' Eggs at Skyway Jacks!

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

                      1. re: Mild Bill
                        rhnault Jan 20, 2011 03:58 AM

                        Now that scares me!

                      2. re: rhnault
                        n
                        Nicky Brooklyn Jan 21, 2011 10:35 AM

                        I know, I know. Its more like, the kinda elaborate "fantasia" sauces and preparation that I find a bit off-putting. But I'm totally aware that I probably just sound like a snotty New Yorker, which is completely not my intention at all.

                        1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
                          rhnault Jan 21, 2011 10:42 AM

                          I am kind of the same way about sauces, etc... but they have a good fresh fish board. My husband had a really great special there one time. Wahoo Oscar with a beautiful piece of grilled wahoo and the crab portion was a tempura soft shell crab. So while it sounded stuffy and old school on the menu, what they served was really good and a little creative.
                          I am married to a NY native so I am used to "everything is better in NY" . My response is, if that's the case, why do you all move here?! haha

                          1. re: rhnault
                            n
                            Nicky Brooklyn Jan 21, 2011 12:47 PM

                            Fair enuff, will check it out. Am also lined up to go to "Oystercatchers"--any views? Thanks for the input!

                            1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
                              rhnault Jan 21, 2011 01:44 PM

                              Was at Oyster Catchers 2 weeks ago for dinner and will be there next Sunday for brunch. Dinner is good but their champagne brunch is great.

                    2. t
                      TampaNativeThatLovesNYC Jan 18, 2011 05:10 PM

                      Try the fresh fish at the rod n reel on the pier, yummm!

                      1. Delucacheesemonger Jan 18, 2011 04:47 AM

                        Try Bern's Steakhouse, yeh little fish, but great steaks and phenomenal wine list. On an even position with Luger's and Keen's for the meat.

                        -----
                        Bern's Steakhouse
                        1002 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

                        1. m
                          Manderley Jan 16, 2011 08:37 AM

                          ditto from me too on Middle Grounds!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Manderley
                            n
                            Nicky Brooklyn Jan 17, 2011 03:19 PM

                            What do we think about Six Tables? If its Old School French I'll skip it (plenty of that in NYC) but if its really special...?

                            -----
                            Six Tables
                            112 NE 2nd St, Boca Raton, FL 33432

                          2. rhnault Jan 16, 2011 07:53 AM

                            What part of town are you staying in? For fresh seafood I would recommend Middle Grounds out on Treasure Island.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: rhnault
                              r
                              RibDog Jan 16, 2011 08:30 AM

                              Ditto on Middle Grounds!

                              1. re: rhnault
                                n
                                Nicky Brooklyn Jan 17, 2011 03:16 PM

                                We're staying on "Anna Maria Island" near Bradenton. I have absolutely no idea if that's close to anything.. Is that close to Treasure Island? Thanks so much for your help.

                                1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
                                  rhnault Jan 18, 2011 04:28 AM

                                  If you are staying in Anna Maria you may want to be searching for restaurants in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. Maybe downtown St Pete but even that is still a bit of a haul.

                                  1. re: rhnault
                                    n
                                    Nicky Brooklyn Jan 19, 2011 04:14 AM

                                    Super helpful. Of course had no idea. Any suggestions???

                                    1. re: Nicky Brooklyn
                                      askdrtodd Jan 19, 2011 05:33 AM

                                      Ted Peters is fun, not a bargain but good smoked fish.

                                      1. re: askdrtodd
                                        rhnault Jan 19, 2011 06:04 AM

                                        Todd, don't you know of a good restaurant in Anna Maria? That is where they are staying. I thought you had eaten down there recently.

                                        1. re: rhnault
                                          askdrtodd Jan 21, 2011 06:23 AM

                                          Oh yeah Beach Bistro! That place is killer.

                                          -----
                                          Beach Bistro
                                          6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

                              Show Hidden Posts