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TAMPA HOUNDS: NEED HELP! Hungry Brooklyn Foodie inbound

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!

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  1. 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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: Nicky Brooklyn

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

              1. re: askdrtodd

                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

                  Oh yeah Beach Bistro! That place is killer.

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                  Beach Bistro
                  6600 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

      2. ditto from me too on Middle Grounds!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Manderley

          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...?

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

        2. 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.

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

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

            1. 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

                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

                  Brains n' Eggs at Skyway Jacks!

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

                  1. re: rhnault

                    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

                      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

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

                        1. re: Nicky Brooklyn

                          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.