Brandon recently added another good Thai place. Lemon Grass (yes, the same folks that have been over on Kennedy in Tampa forever) has opened a location over on Providence off of Bloomingdale.. They are even doing the same style weekday lunch buffet. I love Ploy Thai and Jasmin Thai, but another option is always nice.
Barnacles used to be VERY good. But over the years they have really simplified their menu, which is ok but I feel they removed most of the stuff that made them good and left the stuff that is in the 'OK' category. I won't say I have had any bad meals there, but I no longer go out of my way to go there either.
We came into town tonight for a quick trip to the area. Our hotel is in Brandon and I didn't have time to check the board for a suggestion. The hotel gave us a list of local eateries and it looked like one chain after another, except for Jasmine Thai. We gave it a try and we were so pleasantly surprised!
Had a delicious meal (nothing fancy: edamame, pad thai, and shrimp w/cashew & garlic) but it was a real treat, especially when we thought we might be relegated to days of nothing but Applebee's et al (which would have satisfied the 11 year old hungry kid travelling with me, but...).
We have two more dinners here, so I hope to try two more of the spots listed on this thread (now that I looked to see what was recommended)!
I'll throw out Beef O'Brady's as better wings or pub food than Wing House or Cherry's, and the very, very first one is still over on Kings, just south of 60.
Haven't had a good meal at Cherry's yet, starting from the first time I ever went to their very first location in Ybor wayyyyy back in the day. (that day my sandwich arrived with a truly vile health violation -- which the manager comped along with a gift certificate for a 2nd visit, and we DID try to give them another chance. When you're in a group and get outvoted, you either roll with it or go hungry -- but no matter what I've tried in any location, it's never been better than meh.)
I have had some good meals at Cherry's, but I usually stick to their burgers and salads. I really like their cheeseburger wrap.
Beef's has always been hit or miss for me. They play with their menu a lot and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. As for wings, my personal favorite are Wing House's Asian Wings (at least in Brandon), but I am not a big spicy buffalo wing person.
A few good places you might want to try that I like.
Chinese - King House on 60. They had a restaurant off of Bloomingdale, but they closed that location and opened this one. They have both an American Chinese and Authentic Chinese menu. My wife says one should always pick the later. They also have a Dim Sum menu. Just don't go expecting to find a buffet.
Puerto Rican - Julio's on 60. - I can't really compare it to any other Puerto Rican place, as I haven't ever been to one, but my wife and I both really like it and she is much more experienced with South American cuisine then I am being originally from here. It just opened recently.
If you are going to compare wing places/pub food. I would stick with Wing House or Cherry's.
Mexican - None of these are the best in the world, but all three are good. Estella's (used to be the only good Mexican place to eat here), Sabor A Mexico, and Luna's (the newest of the three). A new Tia's also just reopened in Brandon and it used to be pretty good. All of these are really Tex-Mex though, not true Mexican.
Thai - Both Jasmin Thai and Ploy Thai are really good. I prefer certain dishes at each, but you won't be disappointed if you like Thai Food.
Diner - Try Ruth's in Riverview
Seafood - The Shrimp Boat
Peck's Chicken - Not really sure how to describe it, I just love their grilled Chicken.
And I have to totally agree with La Septema!!!
If you like Barbecue, 'Down to the Bone' is a small family owned place behind the CVS at 60 & Kings... Super nice folks, and I have really enjoyed their ribs on 8 out of 10 visits...
A few times, as I was chompin' away in my van with sauce on my ears and shirt, or sitting on a picnic table out back of the place, I wondered if ribs could get any better... A few times they simply were perfect...
That doesn't happen every time, but I can't think of anywhere else where it happened at all...
Not even at most everybody's favorite BBQ place in Brandon, 'First Choice' over by Home Depot... To be fair, I haven't been to First Choice in a few years, and a buddy recommended their BBQ Corned Beef ----- 'WHAAAAAT?!'
So I'll pop in soon to try them again...