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Tampa / St Pete Beach recommendations?

w
Warren_Toronto Nov 15, 2011 10:43 PM

Coming from Toronto to Tampa the end of the month to catch a 7 day cruise with my wife and 4 y/o son.

We plan to spend 2 nights in Tampa before departure and 2 nights in St Pete Beach on our return.

I would very much appreciate Dinner and Breakfast recommendations for BOTH cities.

DINNER: Cuisine (in order of preference): Local Specialty, Seafood, American, Steak

BREAKFAST: I am looking for an authentic Southern-style Breakfast !

NEIGHBORHOODS:

TAMPA:
We will be staying at the Marriott Waterside so I was thinking places in Ybor City would be nice or anyplace in between that is accessible on the TECO line (or a short cab ride)

ST PETE BEACH
We will be staying at the Don Cesar so anything close by along the Beach.

  1. j
    joan Nov 17, 2011 01:50 PM

    Warren, have you done a search of the boards? I recently responded to a St. Pete Beach question, almost the same as yours, here is the thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810645
    (I am feeling lazy today and did not want to retype).
    Meanwhile, do a search for Tampa, and review the threads, and maybe come back with specific ideas?

    Have a great trip!

    P.S. Back when I had more $$$, I loved eating at the Sea Porch (the Don's midpriced restaurant), the food was very good. Also went to the Maritana Grille for a very special occasion (their high end resto) and that was wonderful, especially the service. So you can't go wrong right inside the hotel itself for the Don.

    -----
    Sea Porch Cafe
    Don CeSar Beach Resort Spa, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

    10 Replies
    1. re: joan
      w
      Warren_Toronto Nov 17, 2011 10:11 PM

      Hi Joan, Thanks for the reply! I have been searching the boards and I found that thread useful. For the Tampa portion of the trip I have narrowed down my top choices to: the Columbian in Ybor City, Mise en place, Laughing Cat, and Berns. We will be in Tampa for 2 nights so I will have to narrow this down further although It would seem from what I have been reading that the Columbian is a must! I like you suggestion of the Maritana Grill at the Don. I just need a few more recommendation for St Pete Beach as well as Breakfast recommendations for both Tampa and St. Pete Beach. As mentioned above I am looking for Southern style breakfast. Thanks again for your reply

      -----
      Laughing Cat
      1811 N 15th St, Tampa, FL 33605

      Maritana Grill
      Don CeSar Beach Resort Spa, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

      1. re: Warren_Toronto
        j
        joan Nov 18, 2011 05:16 AM

        You're welcome, Warren. I did give two breakfast recs (Beverly's and Frog Pond) in the other thread, but for true Southern style, you will have to cab it to St. Pete and go to Skyway Jack's, the ultimate southern breakfast spot. By the way, there is a great inexpensive trolley system up and down the beaches so you won't have to worry about rental car or taxi on Gulf Blvd. But to get to someplace in St. Pete requires either a bus connection, which can be time consuming, or a taxi.

        P.S. When you leave on your cruise, try to time it so you and your family are standing on the highest deck you can find when you go beneath the Sunshine Skyway bridge. Quite a sensation, as it feels like you can almost reach up and touch the bridge. I'll be waving at you from three miles north on Treasure Island :)

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        Frog Pond
        16909 Gulf Blvd, North Redington Beach, FL 33708

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

        1. re: joan
          r
          RibDog Nov 18, 2011 06:22 AM

          Ditto to the recommendation on Skyway Jack's!

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

          1. re: RibDog
            deet13 Nov 18, 2011 04:13 PM

            Skyway Jack's serves the best SOS in the bay area.

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

            1. re: deet13
              l
              Little T. Nov 27, 2011 05:53 PM

              Does anyone else serve it? ;-)

              Love their tomato jelly . . .

              1. re: Little T.
                deet13 Nov 29, 2011 04:27 PM

                Biff Burger over on 46th Street in St Pete does.

                1. re: deet13
                  r
                  RibDog Oct 17, 2012 03:50 PM

                  So does Munch's in St. Pete

          2. re: joan
            Jimonthebeach Oct 26, 2012 11:04 AM

            Free beach rides! Just a buck or two tip and door to door. There are three of them around I think. Great little electric LSV's.

          3. re: Warren_Toronto
            l
            laboheme Nov 19, 2011 01:54 PM

            If you only have 2 dinners in Tampa, you should definuetly make them Bern's Steakhouse (take the kitchen tour and reserve the dessert room for afterwards) and Mise en Place...two truely standout restaurants in Tampa. Laughing Cat is very good as well, but not in the same class as the other tow. I agree with the others in this thread...for Southern Breakfast (grits, biscuits & gravy, etc) you have to do Skyway Jacks. Just bring cash...they don't accept credit cards. (Beverly's LaCroisette also does a decent breakfast...but not as good as Skyway Jack's). Besides the restaurants in the Don Cesar, on St. Pete Beach Fetishes Fine Dining (www.fetishesrestaurant.com) is outstanding...best crab cakes I've ever had. My other favorite (but a bit of a cab drive) is Middle Grounds Grill on Treasure Island- the best seafood restaurant in Tampa Bay. Their stone crabs are second to none, and they always have delicious daily specials...a few weeks ago I had a pomegrante sea bass with chorizo mac and cheese that blew my mind. Hope that you and your family have a great trip!

            -----
            Fetishes Fine Dining
            6690 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

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

            Laughing Cat
            1811 N 15th St, Tampa, FL 33605

            Middle Grounds Grill
            10925 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, FL 33706

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

            1. re: Warren_Toronto
              r
              robinsilver Oct 17, 2012 12:44 PM

              Am staying at the Don Cesar right now, and had dinner last night at Maritana Grill, and the food was fantastic. I had the Scallop Duo appetizer, my husband had the carmelized cauliflower soup, both were great. We both had the Venison entree, which was fantastic too. Great service, atmosphere, would probably go there every night while here, and we just might.

          4. n
            Noice Nov 17, 2011 08:35 PM

            Which days of the week will you be in Tampa?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Noice
              w
              Warren_Toronto Nov 17, 2011 10:15 PM

              Hi Noice, Thanks for the reply. I will be in Tamp on a Friday and Saturday night . In St Pete Beach on a Sunday and Monday Night.

              1. re: Warren_Toronto
                n
                Noice Nov 22, 2011 08:04 PM

                Depending on when your boat pulls out on Sunday, I'd consider Ella's for a late breakfast/lunch in Sunday. They have a "soul food" menu in Sundays, and it is consistently good, and eminently southern. They open at 11, so don't know of that would work for you. The cab ride would be about 15 minutes from your hotel.

                Like others have said, Bern's is your best bet for dinner. What I am now discovering about Bern's is that the place is more about wine than even steak. It is outstanding -- you will drink things there you never imagined, at prices that are really reasonable. Enjoy.

            2. r
              rothdan Nov 21, 2011 05:33 AM

              for consistent upscale food in a casual setting I recommend Sanppers. It is located around 10 blocks from the don

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