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Good Chinese and Asian anywhere in Florida???

johnb Mar 10, 2013 11:47 AM

I'll be spending some serious time in Florida for the next few years. I love Chinese, not to mention just about any other Asian food, particularly Vietnamese and Thai. Neither my research nor my travels so far have turned up much of anything Chinese that would pass as truly chow-worthy.

Are there any pockets/places where the good stuff can be found? Heck I'd even go for good Chinese-American if such a thing exists.

This recent thread provides some small hope, at least for the Gainesville area:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/859637

The area within, say, 100 miles around Daytona would be of particular interest, including Orlando, but anywhere from Panama City to Jax to Key West is possible.

Suggestions?

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  1. Mild Bill Mar 10, 2013 10:12 PM

    Tampa and St. Pete are on fire with great Asian food...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Mild Bill
      k
      kempshark Mar 12, 2013 05:17 AM

      Totally agree with Mild Bill.....specifically in regard to Southeast Asian fare.....I haven't really found that much great Chinese around the Tampa Bay area, but there are a couple in Tampa that I'm sure people more experienced with them will point out. I think that there is a good amount of very good Vietnamese in the Pinellas County area.
      Let us know what your favorite Vietnamese and Thai dishes are....then it would be easier to point you in the right direction. I routinely go to 2-3 different Vietnamese restaurants a week depending on what I feel like eating that night.....one for Pho, one for Banh Xeo (or Banh Hoi, beef fondue, etc) and yet another for my favorite spring rolls or Nem Nuong....

    2. b
      beachmouse Mar 12, 2013 04:12 PM

      Chinese isn't going to be easy anywhere in the state as you're discovering. Vietnamese should also be possible in the Orlando area, and Ft. Walton Beach west of Panama City is surprisingly good for budget Thai food.

      1. johnb Mar 16, 2013 05:53 AM

        Well, the responses so far do suggest the difficulty of the mission. It does seem there ought to be some decent Chinese somewhere in the whole state. Full disclosure: I once stumbled (with the help of Yelp I have to admit) on a pretty good Chinese dim sum place in Coral Gables (Tropical Chinese), but that's my only success story to date, and that was a few years ago.

        I'm mostly hunting for Chinese. As to other Asian, that's great too, and any dishes would be fine. Love a good bowl of Pho of course, and SE Asian has bonus for me because my sweetie has celiac and finding safe things for her is easier in Thai/Vietnamese. I've tried some of the Viet. in Orlando and it has been fairly OK if not spectacular. Mild Bill and kempshark -- can you name some specific places and their best dishes?

        5 Replies
        1. re: johnb
          pdpredtide Mar 16, 2013 04:08 PM

          try out toa toa in coral springs!

          1. re: johnb
            Mild Bill Mar 16, 2013 10:35 PM

            We have a couple utterly authentic and super delicious Chinese places in Tampa... China Yuan and The Yummy House... The Yummy House has a couple locations... To experience the magic of 'XO' and their 'Salt & Pepper' preparations it's worth the drive... Hong Kong Pan Fried Noodle is a favorite dish... Dim Sum at China Yuan... Let me know and I'll be your guide... You'll have more fun if I go... No, don't be ridiculous, I'll pay for myself! ;-)

            St. Pete has the ABC Seafood House, another authentic place, and there are others close by... Their Crab Lo Mein--- OMG...

            But we're talking the Tampa Bay area... If you find yourself up this way, you won't be disappointed... Great Korean & Vietnamese too...

             
            1. re: Mild Bill
              v
              vonshu Mar 18, 2013 06:48 PM

              Yummy House can be hit or miss ime(though ive only been to the Sarasota location). I have had a ginger beef dish there that was absolutely atrocious and a roast duck that was dry and bland. However, most of the things I've gotten there have been quite good to excellent. Of particular praise would be grouper or frog with bitter melon or their singapore noodles

              1. re: vonshu
                rhnault Mar 19, 2013 06:44 AM

                I think that should be re-phrased that the Sarasota location can be hit or miss.

                1. re: rhnault
                  a
                  andy huse Mar 19, 2013 07:00 AM

                  amen! it is surprisingly consistent in Tampa.

          2. v
            vonshu Mar 16, 2013 07:50 PM

            anybody know good asian/chinese in or around Sarasota area?

            1. f
              flamale863 Mar 18, 2013 06:28 AM

              If you are in Daytona you should be able to find a wide variety of Asin food in orlando...thats closer than Tampa....Im in Lakeland so I usually gravitate to Tampa...I go to the Budhist temple for their Sunday buffet/market...The PHO there is my first and still my favorite....Im also curious if anybody has tried the Noodle Bar at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa..Its fairly new and if you google the Casino you can see their menu..I find most of the food at the casino really bad and over priced (unless you get freebie points) but I think Ill still try the Noodle Bar...I have heard alot of Asians eat there so that has to be a good sign..

              1. OlChicago Mar 19, 2013 03:46 AM

                In Tampa the critically acclaimed and Chowhound approved "China Yuan" is on the west side of Armenia, just north of Waters Ave. (behind the Winn Dixie) The strip mall has a RO water vending machine in a PVC windmill disguise at the front of the mall.

                Also noteworthy, the "Din-Ho" Asian Market a wonderful source of almost everything a cook could desire is in the same mall, this area of Tampa (Egypt Lake) also hosts several small Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. could be a pleasant place to spend a long weekend.

                (PS. take your spouse, it's easy to spend way too much @ Din-Ho, permission is easier to obtain than forgiveness from a spouse)

                1. l
                  Little T. Mar 19, 2013 07:40 PM

                  The Tampa Bay area is home to what.. 60 Vietnamese restaurants? I'd start there :-)

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