Posts Tagged ‘Tampa’

Longhorn Steakhouse, Tampa, FL (Westshore)

8 September 2016

LongHorn Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

So I am in Florida this week on business, and I had a couple really good meals.

I’m starting with Longhorn. I can count on Longhorn for a decent steak when I don’t want to take a chance. It was even so here.

I had my standby ribeye. It came a perfect medium, and was very tender and flavorful. I had most of a baker with bacon, cheese, and butter. The soup was a bit of a disappointment. I always get the baked potato, but I received some chowder. The correct soup came right before the steak, and the flavor was off. Didn’t really matter, the steak made up for it.

Service was OK. The iced tea was GREAT as always. My check was $23.32. Reliable.

Kojak’s House of Ribs, Tampa, FL

7 December 2012

Kojak's House of Ribs on Urbanspoon

This was a wonderful find! I chose Kojak’s for lunch based on reviews on Google. It was close to MacDill, which was also nice.

I got the two meat of ribs and chicken. In short, on a scale of 1 to JT’s, those ribs were a 9.8. They had a smoky taste that was unique to me. Tender and flavorful. They were just a touch greasy (I think they were short ribs, instead of spare ribs, maybe?). They didn’t need much sauce. The chicken was perfect, with wonderful flavor, moist all the way through. Great stuff. I got green beans (great!) and something new, parsley potatoes. While these red skin-on potatoes had some chopped parsley, they were in pure butter, and had just the right amount of garlic. Wonderful. I liked the BBQ sauce also. They had excellent sweet tea.

We got there at 1115 and were back at work at 1210. My check was $16.48, excellent value. Service was prompt (we had to wait TWO minutes between our order and delivery of our food :). I would be happy to return.

A postscript: As we were paying, I saw the business card for Kojak’s. It had the motto “Famous Oklahoma Style”. This is the second Oklahoma connection I’ve run across in Tampa (the first being Square 1 Burgers last week). I asked, and it turns out Kojak’s was originally along 29th street across from Tinker Air Force Base! They had a photo of the place, and it looked like where the Bomber Club now is across from the golf course. Pretty cool!

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Tampa, FL (Downtown)

7 December 2012

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

I had dinner here this evening, after a nice walk from my hotel. I got my usual for a Five Guys – Cheeseburger (double) with bacon, regular fries, and a drink. It was not the best experience I’ve had at a Five Guys. The burger was not as tasty as others I’ve had at Five Guys. The fries; they needed to change the oil, as the fries were quite burned tasting. The tea was Gold Peak, and was not good; I switched to Coke, which was pretty good.

The staff was really friendly. My check was $13.56. They have free wifi!

Walking Around Downtown Tampa

7 December 2012

I’m in Tampa, FL. I finished the work day at 1830 and needed dinner, but I didn’t want too much. I had noticed a Five Guys about a half mile north of me (I’m in an Embassy Suites south of downtown), and I decided to walk there.

I walked up there along one set of roads, and walked back along a second. It was a wonderful walk!

Downtown Tampa is a jewel. It’s clean. There is a nice pedestrian area that used to be a road; it has running water, places to sit for lunch, and trees and arbors for cover. There were hundreds of people walking around. There were many restaurants, bookstores, and other stores open. Lots of people were walking their dogs.

I didn’t get hit up by a single panhandler. The architecture of the buildings was really nice to see. The streets had plenty of crosswalks, and every one of them I saw had protected walk signs. At a park near the Five Guys, an ice skating rink was operating, very cool.

This is a nice downtown. I think that the Tampa downtown is a model for others to emulate. I’ve been to the Tampa area literally dozens of times. 99% of my time has been spent on the St. Petersburg peninsula, and I generally cross the bay to the Westshore area near the airport for my flight the next day. I think I would rather spend those evenings in the downtown area from now on.

Frankie’s of Tampa, Tampa, FL

6 December 2012

Frankies, the Gourmet of Fast Food on Urbanspoon

I was looking for a non-fancy place to have dinner, and found this place, which is near a local college. I got there about 1800 and left at 1900. I ordered a double cheeseburger with bacon (mayo and pickles), six BBQ wings, and some chili cheese tots.

That was a darn fine cheeseburger! Great beef, perfectly cooked, juicy but not dripping. Not too huge, either. The wings were very good, with a slightly sweet, tangy sauce, and they were plump and tender. The tots were good, but the amount was HUGE. I couldn’t finish over half of the serving.

They have decent iced tea. My check was $16.66. Looks expensive, but it was a meal and a half. Good stuff.

Square 1 Burgers, Tampa, FL

28 November 2012

Square 1 Burgers & Bar on Urbanspoon

This was a great find! I wanted a quick dinner after a long day at work, and Square 1 fit the bill. I got there about 1945, and left about 2045.

First thing I noticed, a lot of references OU-related. “Boomer Sooner” something, and “Sooner Sauce” (more on this later). The owner is from Norman originally, and is an OU fan. He makes good burgers, regardless.

I ordered an Angus All American Double – basically a double meat cheeseburger, medium well. I had them delete the tomato and red onion. That was one damn fine cheeseburger. Great flavor, excellent crust, and cooked just as I asked. The burger self-destructed as I ate it, and I finished about half of it with a fork. I have to say that burger is in my top 10 cheeseburgers of all time. Really good.

I also got onion rings. PERFECT. Cooked to perfection, great breading, sweet onion, absolutely yummy. They came with “Sooner Sauce”, which is chipotle ranch dressing. The dressing was very tangy, and had a bit of bite when first eaten, that went away before the next bite. I liked that stuff.

I think the tea was Gold Coast; it had a slightly odd aftertaste. It wasn’t too bad. I also got a vanilla milkshake for dessert.

All in all, an excellent meal. My check was $24.33. Maybe a bit expensive, but that was a wonderful burger. Service was prompt and very friendly. I like this place! Recommended.

Ranch House Grill, Tampa, FL

7 September 2012

Ranch House Grill on Urbanspoon

I was headed towards an Italian restaurant in south Tampa when I drove past Ranch House and diverted.

I got there around 1745 and left around 1850. I ordered a 14oz ribeye, and for my two sides I got spaghetti. The ribeye had a bit of charring on it, but it was medium like I asked. The steak was pretty tender and had good flavor. I cut the char off and left nothing else. The spaghetti marinara was quite chunky, and there wasn’t enough of it (there never is…), but I ate all of it, and it had pretty good flavor. My iced tea was good and kept refilled. Service was perfect; my server made several “silent” passes while I worked on my USA Today puzzle page, which I appreciated. I got a chocolate mousse for dessert; it was pretty good.

My check was $25.65. Would I return to Ranch House? If I was in south Tampa, and someone wanted steak, I wouldn’t mind going back again. OTOH, there are a lot of other restaurants to try in the area, so that would be my priority. So Ranch House was far from the worst food I have had, and there were some other interesting looking things on the menu.

The Floridian, Tampa, FL

4 March 2012

The Floridian on Urbanspoon

There is some part of me that for some reason really wants to have a “real” Cuban sandwich. I don’t know why this is.

A couple years ago, I was in Salt Lake City, and the place I ate dinner at had an “authentic Cuban”. It was pretty good, but I wondered if it was authentic. Then about a month ago, I got a Cuban at a place at BWI airport that I didn’t like at all.

So on this trip to Tampa, I asked around among some of the locals, and had no less than three recommendations for The Floridian. Happily enough, it was about eight blocks from my hotel, and had a Verizon store next door where I went and bought a replacement headset after dinner. The Floridian says that it had the very best Cuban on the planet. I don’t have a good basis for comparison, but it was pretty darn good.

My order was a Cuban, fries, and a drink. So the sandwich was very good! It was a 10″ size, was hot off the press, and yet not so hot as to burn the mouth. The press made the bread fairly hard, and it takes a good bite to get through it. I noticed the sandwich had ham, pork, and salami on it, all thin sliced. It had some yellow sauce. It had an interesting flavor, just a hint of spice, and was very good.

The fries were perfect, medium cut and fried just to the point of crisp. The fries were black peppered. The tea was brewed on-site and self serve, and excellent.

So I enjoyed the sandwich. I got there about 1900 and left about 1945. I was the only customer in the place, although a couple to-go folks came in. My check was $8,30.

After this meal, I looked up Cuban sandwiches on Wikipedia, and to my surprise found out that I had *not* had a pure Cuban. The salami was the difference. Well, I guess I will have to have another in pure form! Next trip.

Jimbo’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Tampa, FL

21 January 2012

Jimbo's Pit Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Wow, this was a good find! I was driving to my hotel-near-the-airport and had just filled up my rental in anticipation of turning it in tomorrow morning, and looking for a light dinner. As I drove along, getting ready to head to a Chipotle, I saw Jimbo’s, and just turning in to the parking lot. Light dinner? That’s not even close to what I got, but it was very good.

I got there around 1830 and left at 1922. It was uncrowded the entire time, but about 40% full when I left.

I ordered a three-meat dinner, chicken, beef, and ribs. All – great! It came with two sides, I got baked beans (OK) and mac and cheese (very good). The chicken was wonderful, a light quarter bird that was smoked to perfection. It wasn’t dry in the middle, but not greasy either. Excellent. The beek was thin-sliced beef brisket. A wonderful smoky flavor, and tender. The ribs has that red crust on them, were tender, had outstanding good flavor. I rated the ribs as 9.5 on a scale of 1 to JTs. They were great. The meal came with three hush puppies, which were nice and light and not greasy.

The iced tea was excellent. Service was casual but prompt.

Did I mention that there was a heck of a lot of food? There was enough to feed me, Raegan and Erin. Ian would have to get his own.

My check was $16.74. For the amount of food I got, that’s excellent value. If I hadn’t been flying out in the morning, I would have brought it back to the room for dinner tomorrow. Instead, I brought the beef and chicken to the hotel and left it for the kitties that live outside.

I would gladly go back to Jimbo’s. Great stuff.

Antonio’s Pasta Grille, Temple Terrace (Tampa), FL

13 December 2011

Antonio's Pasta Grille on Urbanspoon

I picked this restaurant based on one criteria: it was near I-75. My buddy Harold was in the east Tampa area, and I was in the west Tampa area, and it was a convenient meeting place for dinner.

We got there about 1745; the place was mostly empty; it still was when we left around 1845.

The meal started with some really, really good bread, hot and crusty, and a dip of EEVO, garlic, a bit of red pepper, and balsamic vinegar. That stuff was so good I could have eaten about three times what I ate.

I got the chicken marsala. I had wanted the potatoes that the meal came with replaced with a side of fettuccine alfredo, but our server brought both. It turned out to be way too much food.

That being said, the meal was really good. The marsala was light and not overwhelming in the least. The alfredo noodles were perfect, al dente and just the right amount of rich, and the potatoes were good as well. The iced tea was strong. Our server was enthusiastic and motivated and took good care of us.

So the food was good, the company outstanding, and so it was a great evening. I’d eat at Antonio’s again. My check was $21.98.


14 December 2010

I am at TPA right now. I am in Terminal A waiting for a JetBlue flight to BOS. I usually fly in and out of B, which is where American lives.

I have to say that I am impressed with this terminal. There are two areas that have desks with power, and of course the entire terminal is covered by very responsive, and free, wifi.

The area I am in is deserted at 1830 on a Tuesday evening. I am seated at a desk, with a very comfortable padded chair, and getting stuff done! This is my little work area:

These are fairly private, and have quite a lot of room. I am really impressed at the thought that went into installing these for us. The area I am in is seperate from the main part of the terminal, and is quiet. The only complaint I could make is that it is cold – the temp on the thermostat shows 64F. There are big windows that look out on the runway, and to the Tampa skyline (or did, until it got dark).

TPA was one of the first airports that I used that offered free wifi. They have outdone themselves now, and are to be congratulated.

Jose Cuervo Tequileria, Tampa International Airport, Tampa, FL

14 December 2010

I had dinner in this restaurant inside Terminal A this evening. I got there about 1720, and the place was about half full. When I left around 1800, it was about 75% full.

I got chicken enchiladas verdes. The meal came with rice and black beans. My server told me that the rice was really a rice/pinto beans mix, so I got a double of that instead. The rice/beans mix was excellent! Tasty stuff. The enchiladas were also very, very good. They had salsa verde on the top of them, and it had been added before baking, so the stuff had soaked into the tortillas and added a great flavor to the chicken. The meal was not huge, and so was a good size before a 3-hour flight.

I got iced tea, and it was fresh brewed and good. Service was excellent, which means fast and attentive in an airport, which is built around deadlines.

My check was $14.43, a bit expensive if you are not at an airport.

The menu was, I suspect, a subset of the “outside the airport” menu. I look forward to trying one of these again.