Dining Guide

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Where to grab eats, drinks in Safety Harbor

A guide to Safety Harbor restaurants, bars, bakeries and other must-stops for novices and locals.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 7:04 AM

Green Springs Bistro's pecan-crusted chicken breast. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • Green Springs Bistro's pecan-crusted chicken breast.

7 Stars Food Market & Deli A little convenience store classically stocked with grab-and-go food and drink. Residents stop in daily, but especially on Wednesdays for Indian specialties like butter chicken and chicken biryani. 680 Main St., 727-726-4114.

8th Avenue Pub This community watering hole incorporates a food menu and an Italian wood-burning oven, and features 12 beers on tap, live music and an outdoor patio. 103 Eighth Ave. N., 727-799-1105, 8thavepub.com.

Another Broken Egg Cafe A Louisiana-born, Destin-based chain serving Cajun-accented breakfast and lunch (beignets, benedicts, burgers). This recently opened branch on the outskirts of Safety Harbor is already bustling. 2554 N. McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-240-0655, anotherbrokenegg.com.

Athens Restaurant A family-style staple for more than 30 years. Breakfast and lunch are offered in a casual environment. 226 Main St., 727-726-3471.

Bar Fly Saltwater Grill Fresh Florida seafood dishes, including gulf oysters on the half shell and mahi fish tacos, are served at this laid-back Main Street hangout. Bottled, canned and draft craft brews are carried. 100 Main St. #106, 727-400-4790, barflysafetyharbor.com.

Brady’s Backyard BBQ A wide selection of barbecue — Memphis- and Southern-style ribs, brisket and smoked chicken — accompanied by beer and wine. Brady’s uses red oak and alder to create its smoky, light meat, and live music is showcased as well. 340 Main St., 727-712-3727, bradysbackyardbbq.com.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gasparilla Arts Month: Gasparilla grub

A comprehensive list of eats for Gasparilla Arts Month — festivals and beyond.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 4:58 AM

The prime rib sandwich from Malio's is a Gasparilla Music Fest highlight. - PHIL BARDI
  • Phil Bardi
  • The prime rib sandwich from Malio's is a Gasparilla Music Fest highlight.

While Tampa’s five upcoming Gasparilla festivals revolve around music, art, innovation and more, it’s still all about the eats, baby. Whether you plan on scoring items from on-site chow-slingers or seek to venture into the city for your own foodie finds, here’s a breakdown of where to grab the greatest grub.


Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (Feb. 28 to March 1). Around 20 food and beverage purveyors — including Renny’s Oki Doki, Tasty Stacy, Island Noodles, Twisted Willy’s, Shadrach’s Fiery Furnace Traveling Pizza Company, Mangia Gourmet, Southern Hospitality Kettle Corn and Maui Wowi — will dazzle taste buds with their cuisine. The 5 Buck Truck serves mixed drinks such as mimosas and Bloody Marys, and classic concessionaire foods like corn dogs, fish sandwiches and funnel cakes will also be available. Two J.J. Taylor-led beer booths will pour offerings from area breweries, too.

Gasparilla Music Festival (March 7 and 8). The artist lineup at GMF is grand, but serial attendees know the same is true about the food. Gorge on tasty fare from local food havens like The Independent Bar and Cafe (grilled cheese), Ella’s (chicken and waffle cones you need in your mouth, stat), Kona Ice (shaved ice and ice cream), The Refinery and Fodder & Shine (pork and tofu bánh mì-styled tacos), Malio’s Prime Steakhouse (prime rib sandwiches) and the Hot Donut Cart (coffee and doughnuts).

GASP! (March 27). The culinary masterminds behind Mise en Place and Sono Café will have their thinking toques on for CL’s multidisciplinary performance festival at the Tampa Museum of Art.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Health & Fitness 2015: Pinellas Trail cycle-and-eat spots

Tasty places to dine as you cruise the Pinellas Trail.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 5:18 PM

ENERGY SNACK: Enjoy Currents' brie and apple salsa flatbread during your break from pedaling. - KEVIN TIGHE
  • Kevin Tighe
  • ENERGY SNACK: Enjoy Currents' brie and apple salsa flatbread during your break from pedaling.

When hunger takes over while journeying along the Pinellas Trail, here’s where to go, from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg. Though some of the joints aren’t right on the trail, they don’t take you too far off.

Alésia Restaurant No-frills fare crafted with a mix of Vietnamese, French and Chinese influences. You can snag dessert, as well as wine or beer. 7204 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-345-9701, alesiarestaurant.com.

Alfano's Restaurant You’ll find this family-owned Italian spot in the Cypress Point Shopping Center. Veal and ricotta meatballs, panini and did we mention there’s a wine cellar? 1702 Clearwater-Largo Road N., Clearwater, 727-584-2125, alfanosrestaurant.com.

The Amish Country Store Deli specials, with breakfast and lunch items like creamed chipped beef and made-to-order sandwiches. You dine at covered seating areas outside. 206 13th St. SW, Largo, 727-587-9657, theamishcountrystore.com.

Anthony’s Deli Warehouse A New York-style deli, pizzeria and bakery. Sweets like doughnuts and cheesecakes accompany pastas, Brooklyn sodas, house-made cheeses and more. Order the Big A sandwich. 1435 Clearwater-Largo Road N., Largo, 727-581-4400.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The morning after: St. Pete go-to's for a New Year's Bloody Mary

Five spots slinging Bloody Marys that represent multiple sides of downtown St. Pete.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 10:13 AM

  • CL Archive
On Thursday, we welcome the beginning of a new year and reflect on what it has to offer on a personal and community-wide level. While many are celebrating 2014’s end Wednesday, all that merriment may call for a remedy the next morning. Here’s a rundown on five great places to keep the drinking going with a Bloody Mary on New Year’s Day. Each joint carries a different kind of vibe.

At home via Locale Market For those who would rather make Bloody Marys in the comfort of their homes after the big night out, Locale has you covered. The market will be closed New Year’s Day, though, so you’ll need to shop in advance. Relish the produce offerings, fresh-cut bacon, Mediterranean olives and more. Doors open at 10 a.m. 179 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-523-6300, localegourmetmarket.com.

Ceviche These Bloody Marys double as a meal once you have a few of them, which might do the trick if you wake up late. Ceviche adjusts the drink’s spice factor to accommodate your taste, and sitting outside at a corner table allows you to take in the bay breeze. Ask the bartender to stuff the olives with blue cheese. Doors open at 5 p.m. 10 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, 727-209-2299, ceviche.com.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Year in Lists: 5 new joints that totally killed it in 2014

*clap emoji* *clap emoji* *clap emoji* *clap emoji*

Posted By on Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 8:10 AM

As determined by this year’s four-stars-and-up reviews by CL Restaurant Critic Jon Palmer Claridge.

Quail and sweet potato waffles. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • Quail and sweet potato waffles.

When it comes to Creole gumbo, “the proof, as they say, is in the ‘roux,’” opined Claridge. “And Roux’s roux rocks.” He also cheered the tasty Abita-battered alligator bites in a spicy cayenne rémoulade, and the wood-grilled trout meunière with flavorful maque choux.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Year in Listicles: 18 mac 'n' cheeses that are better than your boo

Love is important, but so is pasta.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Holy Hog's offering at the Mayor's Mac & Cheese Throwdown in Tampa was made with five cheeses and smoked veggies. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • Holy Hog's offering at the Mayor's Mac & Cheese Throwdown in Tampa was made with five cheeses and smoked veggies.

1. Mott & Hester Deli Co.

2. Holy Hog BBQ
Jalapeño Mac n Cheese.

3. Cassis American Brasserie

4. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe
Vegan Mac & Cheese, during Soul Food Sundays.

5. Urban Brew & BBQ

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Year in Listicles: 21 boozy weekend brunches worth waking up for

Where to score breakfast, or lunch, with a side of alcohol.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

The Bloody Ella from Ella's garnished with a smoked pork rib. - ARIELLE STEVENSON
  • Arielle Stevenson
  • The Bloody Ella from Ella's garnished with a smoked pork rib.
Bottomless mimosas. Bloody Mary bars. Margaritas. Bellinis. Oh, and eggs.

1. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe

2. CopperFish

3. Datz

4. Red Mesa Cantina

5. Irish 31

6. Oystercatchers

7. Sono Café

8. Marchand’s Bar and Grill

9. Gaspar’s Grotto

10. The Refinery

11. The Oyster Bar

12. Island Way Grill

13. The Queens Head

14. 400 Beach Seafood & Taphouse

15. Jackie’s On Corey Bistro & Catering

16. Rusty Pelican

17. Bon Appetit Restaurant & Bar

18. The Living Room on Main

19. Castile

20. Oxford Exchange

21. Bamboozle Tea Lounge

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tampa Bay's novel nooks

Where to cuddle up with a beverage and a book throughout the region.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 8:49 AM

KALE YEAH: Score inventive offerings and hip reading digs at Cafe Hey. - BRIAN RIES
  • Brian Ries
  • KALE YEAH: Score inventive offerings and hip reading digs at Cafe Hey.

Break in your new pile of reads while downing caffeinated drinks, bubble teas and more at these Bay area cafe-style hangouts.

9th Bar Espresso An artisanal coffee bar that shares a space with Wine & Brew until 3 p.m. daily. There are couches up front, and cereal if you get the munchies. 929 Broadway, Dunedin, 727-488-2243, 9thbarespresso.com.

Bamboozle Tea Lounge This Vietnamese spot has plenty of seats inside and out. Order teas, sandwiches, boba and more. 109 N. 12th St., Tampa, 813-228-7500, bamboozletealounge.com.

The Boba House This boba hotspot for the USF Tampa crowd has a vast bubble tea selection. The best time to snag a seat and get your read on is in the early afternoon. 2764 University Square Drive, Tampa, 813-866-8569.

Brew D Licious A homey hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. Fresh-baked treats and cups of No Name Java make for good couch accompaniments. 667 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-741-2249, brewdlicious.com.

Buddy Brew Coffee Though tons of joints serve this local roastery’s craft coffees, the ambience at its headquarters will persuade you to stay and sip. 2020 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-258-2739, buddybrew.com.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Thanksgiving feasts around Tampa Bay

Have the pros handle the cooking and baking on Turkey Day.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

If whipping up a big Thanksgiving meal ain't your thing, dine out. - SEASONS 52
  • Seasons 52
  • If whipping up a big Thanksgiving meal ain't your thing, dine out.

It's that time again. The Bay area restaurant scene's gearing up to create offerings like house-made cranberry relish and cornbread-sausage stuffing for regionites seeking Turkey Day haven, and sustenance.

From all-day dinners to full-on buffets, here's a guide to (mostly) stress-free feas-tivities happening throughout the holiday. Reservations at these spots are welcomed, and recommended.

File "being out of the kitchen" under your list of whosits and whatsits to be thankful for.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cold-front grub

Fiery spots to nosh at when there's a chill in the Tampa Bay air.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM

The Reuben sammie from Lonni's. - MEAGHAN HABUDA
  • Meaghan Habuda
  • The Reuben sammie from Lonni's.

Chunky soups and hot sandwiches make for timeless cold-weather favorites. But lip-smackin’ barbecue, spicy noodles and fresh-baked desserts are also cozy go-to staples used to curb the season’s chillier streaks. With joints that cater to those seeking sit-down service or take-away eats, here’s where to dig into hearty fare once the region gets another taste of lower temperatures.

220 East Baked brie, French onion soup, chicken entrees, stir-fry and burgers (get the bleu cheese) join 220 East’s medley of delectables. The restaurant will cook your catch, too. 220 E. Davis Island, Tampa, 813-259-1220, 220east.com.

Capo De Monte An Italian market showcasing hot subs and pressed paninis alongside six cheesesteaks all-the-way dressed (cheese, onions, mushrooms, roasted peppers). 8400 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, 727-394-7800.

The Dunedin Smokehouse No-frills barbecue coated with sauces made in house. Phil and Tammy Renaud’s smokehouse features an outdoor patio fit for cold-weather merriment, live music and way more. 471 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-2227, thedunedinsmokehouse.com.

Eddie & Sam’s Pizza This pizzeria creates its pies with imported water from NYC. More than 20 toppings can dress your slice of choice, and something tells us the other grub is just as killer. 203 E. Twiggs St., Tampa, 813-229-8500, eddieandsamspizza.com.

El Puerto Restaurant & Grill An array of Latin food that spans land and sea. Pastas, stews, grilled sandwiches and more. 1623 E. Fifth Ave., Tampa, 813-248-8222, elpuertoybor.com.

Encanto Mexicano Modernly twisted Mexican classics. Choose from a range of soul-warming fare, including shredded beef burritos, chicken tortas, enchiladas and potato flautas. 1991 Drew St., Clearwater, 727-449-2445, encantomex.com.

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