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Feb 15, 2011 08:16 AM

Dinner between Tampa and Orlando

I am going to be in Tampa next week and wanted to meet my brother, who lives in Orlando, somewhere in between for dinner. Don't know the area at all and need some suggestions. Doesn't have to be upscale, but would like to avoid a chain. Any suggestions?
Thank you,

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  1. just about your only option is then Lakeland...and unless something has drastically changed in the last couple of years, I can't think of an eatery there that ISN'T a chain.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      Thank you Sunshine. I guess if that is our only option, so be it. Any specific area to go to? Don't want to be driving around town.

      1. re: ajr524

        there are all the usual suspects around the mall, which is just north of I-4.

        Out of what I see listed on Google maps, I'd probably shoot for Smokey Bones at 3901 US Highway 98 N -- it's a chain, but unusually good barbecue for a chain.

        Zoom in on Google maps (type 'restaurants' in the search bar, and it will flag everything on the map)-- there are a few independents south on 98 in the Historic district, but I have no word-of-mouth about any of them.

        1. re: sunshine842

          I like Smokey Bones too.

          There's a Carrabas that you can see from I-4, about 20 miles east of Tampa.

          Smokey Bones
          8016 Golden Sky Ln, Orlando, FL 32809

        2. re: ajr524

          I used to work in Lakeland one day a week, but only ever went out to eat there once or twice. There is a really solid (non-chain) Mexican restaurant called Tapatio's, which now has two locations. I ate at the original Memorial Boulevard location a few years ago, and remember it being good.

          734 E Memorial Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33801

      2. There is a Taqueria Monterrey in Plant City, open Wed-Sun I believe

        1 Reply
        1. re: askdrtodd

          Thanks drtodd for the schedule. It will be Tues, so that won't work.