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Non-chain, GOOD restaurant Tampa, near Doubletree

Non-chain, GOOD restaurant Tampa, near Doubletree

Mar 26th, 2007, 09:47 AM
  #1  
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Non-chain, GOOD restaurant Tampa, near Doubletree

Getting ready to converge on Tampa for Family wedding on Friday night. We are meeting on Thursday night for dinner and then heading to Doubletree to meet with those finishing up rehersal dinner.

Can you recommend a few places? Prefer not to go to a chain but rather someplace with a local flavor both in food and ambience. Seafood/fish would be great, but any cuisine works except oriental.

Thanks!
Debi
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 09:55 AM
  #2  
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We are feeding 2 teenage boys, 6 adults[the parents], and 2 young adults.

Reasonable price would be welcomed too.

Are any of these any good?

Kojak's Ribs
Bernini
Castaways

Thanks,
Debi
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Mar 26th, 2007, 09:58 AM
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Which Doubletree?

Castaways is good.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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If it's the Doubletree on Westshore, you have GOT to go to Alessi's Bakery. It's not far away. The most unbelievable food. A Cuban friend who grew up in Tampa always stopped by before heading home on visits to load up bags of food to bring home.

http://www.alessibakeries.com/

Go for the cookies.
Go for the salads.
Go for the sandwiches.
Just go to look and drool!

I love Alessi's! It's a Tampa tradition for me.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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THE place to eat in Tampa is
http://www.columbiarestaurant.com/ybor.asp

But, not particularly close to the Doubletree on Westshore - IF that's where you are staying.

Columbia's is wonderful!

Actually, it was the Columbia at Celebration that I was thinking of on Steviegene's thread when she mentioned the sangria and I suggested paella.

If you want "local flavor in food and ambience" Columbia is THE answer in Tampa. Bar none.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:28 AM
  #6  
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Gads! Didn't mean not to include which Doubletree. There's just much go on now as we are trying to get ready to go. We were all set on Skipper's but that fell through.

Doubletree
3050 N Rocky Point Drive West

Thanks for the suggestions!
Debi
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Glad it's NOT the Doubletree on Westshore. I hate that one.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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Oystercatcher??
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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I think the Oystercatcher be a bit pricier than you may be looking for. Although the food is good and the setting is nice, I'm not sure it's where I'd take your group. I think the teens definitely would choose Castaways over Oystercatcher's. OC is a great place for business meetings or entertain customers, but isn't "local flavor" or fun - IMO.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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If you haven't already, read some reviews of Columbias. It really is what you are describing. Google it and read the varied reviews.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Maybe OO will sign on soon. She'll have more info on Oystercatcher's and may have more suggestions.

I vote for Castaway's if you want close and Columbia if you want classic Tampa.
starrsville is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 11:13 AM
  #12  
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I sent the site on to the others and am awaiting the word. It sounds delish to me and we don't often get spanish and or cuban food out this way
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 03:12 PM
  #13  
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topping and looking for OO to comment!
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Mar 26th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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I second Columbia, and recommend the bar side rather than the formal dining room. The decor is authentic Cuban. The food is superb. Ybor City has outstanding character. Walking the district before or after dinner is Tampa's most authentic experience.
stumpworks73 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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Is it worth the $6 cover charge to see the Flamenco Show?
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Mar 26th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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I am so glad I read this thread. We are going to be in Tampa in 3 weeks. I have not been to the Columbia in 27 years. It sounds as terrific as ever, and I think we'll have dinner there. Thanks. If the food and atmosphere are half as good as I remember, it will still be terrific. Make sure to catch the Flamenco dancers.
scarboroughmom is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 05:21 AM
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OO
 
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OCs...it is the best seafood in Tampa and the nicest setting for it, but for a group of 10 it would be very expensive, plus, it's a bi-level restaurant and that many people would be eating at a table that is on the upper portion, away from the windows onto the bay. You can still see it, but it's not quite the same. If you have a dinner by yourselves though, absolutely, I'd recommend it in a heartbeat above others in the area. As big as Tampa is, there are only a handful of really terrific restaurants, and that's one of them.

I'd chose Bahama Breeze over Castaways probably, but on a Friday night oy!!! You can walk from the Doubletree too, but there are a bunch of upscale apts on Rocky Point and they like congregating there on Fridays especially. If you are there early though...

Ybor and Columbia. It is worth $6 for the flamenco show, IMHO, especially if you've never seen it, yes, absolutely...but $60, if you are paying everyone's way, I dunno. (I had no idea what it cost and really, that's a bargain). I have had some not so great luck with their food, but still...it is a taste of the Spanish side of Tampa. I love paella and have had theirs at a function where it was exceptional, but then I've had it at the restaurant too, (while watching the flamenco show) and it was dry and tasteless. Really disappointing! To top it all off, I don't like Ybor at all, but your kids might think it's cool. As an example, one of my friends was in Ybor during Gasparilla and overheard a group of the "younger set" (she's early 40's) saying as they passed, "Gee, I'd sure hate to be 40 and still going to Ybor City". That is the club scene for Tampa and popular with the college set especially, so perhaps good for some your group.

Alessi's Bakery is fabulous! Yes!

I'm dashing through this...am on my way to Phoenix this morning, but will think more about it and get back to you. Have a great trip Debi!
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Mar 27th, 2007, 05:41 AM
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OO
 
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Uh oh..."non chain". Bahama Breeze is part of a chain. Bonefish Grill is another good one, but again, a chain. But...there are chains and there are chains so Bahama and Bonefish might still qualify for a good place to go.
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Mar 27th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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If you go to BB, have the banana dessert. Fabulous!
starrsville is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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We are down to just 4 adults now. Still leaning towards Columbia.
So, I should request a table overlooking bay/water?

Thanks.
Debi
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