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Mar 24, 2011 02:14 PM

Family of 5 unpretentious food lovers coming to Clearwater In July - need recommendations

Hey chowhounds ... We're a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 teenagers) coming down from Kansas City for a week of beach, fun, and food. We're staying in the Indian Shores area, so we're open to all areas in and around Tampa/St. Pete.

We're planning day trips to Anna Maria Island, Sanibel Island, and other beach destinations along the gulf coast.

We enjoy non-pretentious fare like burgers, pizza, hot dogs, and bbq. We also enjoy seafood, mexican food (both tex-mex and authentic), cajun food, and comfort food/southern cooking. Keep in mind, we appreciate atmosphere and fun just as much as overall quality. (for example, we loved our trip to Casa Bonita in Denver despite the cafeteria quality food)

For example, we want the open-aired seafood place on the beach with the plastic tablecloths and the guy playing Jimmy Buffet in the corner as opposed to the nice place with the white tablecloths and well-dressed servers. We love hole-in-the-walls!

Anyway ... we want to try the best burger in the Tampa area, get a great Grouper sandwich / seafood , maybe score some good street tacos, explore some cuban food, and try some fun and unique/fun places unique in the area, even if they just sell hot dogs and ice cream.

Thanks to everyone for the help!!!!!!!!

Perusing the boards I have the found the following options that picqued my interest: (Square 1 Burgers, Chattaways, Shinny's Place (Anna Maria Islannd), Dockside Dave's, Waltz's Fish Shak, Cajun Cafe on the Bayou, Cappy's Pizza, Ybor's Columbia Restaurant.) . Feel free to share your opinions on these places!!

358 22nd Ave S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705

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  1. Square one is good, but there are places I'd go first. If you're going to drive over to Tampa, Pane Rustica has some of my favorite Pizza and Burgers within 50 miles of here. Also killer bread and pastries (cupcakes especially), great gelato, excellent pasta, etc, etc.

    For good authentic tacos & other mexican, I'd go to Taqueria Monterrey, although it's a substantial drive, or try the St Pete Taco Bus.

    Hot dogs- I know Datz has a pretty killer 11" half-pound dog served half a dozen different ways, and it's 100% sirloin too.

    Cappy's- is excellent. But get the Chicago pie, you're wasting your time with the NY style.

    Cajun Cafe- also awesome, make sure you try the Boudin Balls, and tell the owner Paul that you saw the place on CH, I'm sure he'll take good care of you, he's a great guy.

    Enjoy your trip!

    2 Replies
    1. re: askdrtodd

      These are AWESOME recommendations! Thanks so much.

      Datz's Dogs, Deep Dish at Cappy's, and Boudin Balls at the Cajun Cafe all sound great!

      1. re: mrjayhok

        A double + for Cajun Cafe on the Bayou.

        And like Hurricane season, the crawfish season runs til fall, so weather permitting (mid to late summer is when the afternoon downpours begin to kick into high gear around here), y'all should grab a seat on the back porch, get yourself a couple of pounds of mudbugs and have a few Jai-Alai or Dixie Beers to wash them down with.

        Just make sure you leave your cell phones in the car, it's one of those little rules about the joint.

    2. I've always loved Dockside Dave's for grouper sandwich.

      Cappy's Pizza ... always loved that too, like drtodd said get the deep dish ... it's not as calorific as most deep dishes as there is a lot of sauce.

      Cuban food ... Columbia has the best atmosphere, but for regular Cuban food I prefer La Teresita, Columbia is a Spanish/Cuban place, it's where I would take a visitor I didn't know really well, La Teresita is where I would go with someone I've known for 30 years.

      Since you're staying in Indian Shores, if you want to go out for breakfast you might want to try Seahorse Restaurant in Pass-A-Grille which is the south end of Pinellas County, due south of where you are staying. Nice breakfast and I particularly like that beach, it's quiet and the fishing is great from the jetty at the inlet . A friend from up north who visits regularly never fails to go out of his way to eat there (he says their bacon is perfect).

      1 Reply
      1. re: redfish62

        great breakfast idea! We defintely love going out to breakfast, and who can want anything more than prefect bacon to start the day? Thank you so much!

      2. Some suggestions:

        Ted Peter's in S. Pasadena for smoked fish and plastic tablecloths. Same on the tablecloths and picnic tables for Mid-Peninsula Seafood in Gulfport.

        For hotdogs, try the Coney Island Hot Dog stand on 9th St. in St. Petersburg. They may not have the finest coney dogs around but this place is straight out of the 1920s!

        Mexican, Taco Bus II in St. Pete and Senor Taco in Pinellas Park.

        For a good Philly-style cheesesteak, Delco's on 580 in Dunedin.

        Fried Chicken, Munch's Sundries in St. Petersburg but only on Tuesday and Saturday for the chicken. Plus they are only open til 3 each day. Excellent place for breakfast too.

        Another place for breakfast is Skyway Jack's in St. Petersburg.

        On bbq, try Poppa's Q on 49th St. N. in Clearwater for killer ribs. Holy Hog bbq in Tampa for great brisket, sausage, and sides.

        Keep in mind, this is not Kansas City so the chicken will not be as good as Stroud's and the que as a number of places there.

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

        Munch's Sundries & Restaurant
        3920 6th St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705

        Senor Taco
        6447 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL 33781

        1. Munch's fried chicken is just divine. Waltz's is also wonderful, but pricey. You get what you pay for, but it's a small dining area and more adult-friendly omho. My personal favorite in the area is Westy Grille and Pub. I know it sounds more like an adult restaurant, but it's kinda like a Buffalo Wild Wings minus the mediocre menu with tv's and beers for adults. The chef is great, foods wonderful, and prices are good.

          1. If you like holes in the wall, look no further than Airport Variety Store across from the Clearwater airport. Best. Cuban sandwiches. EVER.