TAMPA BAY RESTAURANTS  



THE TAMPA BAY GOOD FOOD DIRECTORY

MY LIKES - MOSTLY LOCAL - UNABRIDGED


THIS IS ALL ABOUT THE RESTAURANT AND FOOD INDUSTRY IN TAMPA BAY FLORIDA
It’s quite a challenge and experience covering the spectrum of eateries, some  good, some bad, some really bad and should have been closed a long time ago.    We do mark the specific locations as some are managed quite well and they met the “C’s” of the culinary experience. That is that they be Clean, they serve the Community, have a reasonable amount of Consistency, and Control their service and their individuality.

On a simple level, it means their food was fresh, cooked properly and delivered in a reasonable time, or their gourmet experience took them in unique and interesting directions.  

Since the high end $$$$  places have been written about, it seems they get greater coverage and a  free meal for the writer, I usually pick the places the Plebeians frequent some after waiting on line for a cold burger.

I pick the locations the common folk try to get a decent meal for sustenance. And if they fail simple standards of cleanliness, and customer service I will come down on them like Thor’s hammer.

And I have also decided that in the course of my travels to comment on “unique eats”, those places that might be a bit off the grid but the foods they serve might be  “Out of this world”.  


THE NO-GO-LIST

We do not recommend nor will we return to theses places due to:
a)  Repeated inspection failures
b)  Dirty properties
c)  Unclean food facility areas like the server tables even with sneeze guards
d)  Dirty kitchen
e)  Stale food, old food, kept three days
f)  Unclean appliances, like soda and shake machines
g) Imbeciles either serving or in management
h) Reports by the County food  inspectors as to compliance with regulations
i)  With a minimum of three visits to correct a problem
j   Dirty halls and bathrooms, unclean outside etc


OPTIONAL:

Simply put their food was sub-par... A definitive lack of good food which encompasses taste, consistency, competitive, different, and not updated, not very good management, over worked by bad supervising hours, staff, offerings, service, speed , efficiency, a good location with entrances, and parking, poor training, poor treatment of the help,  and sometimes a lack of customers will close a place down. Anything involving Human Trafficking. 


OFF THE GRID
UPDATE NOTE:   04/04/2019   My first entry was about a town INVERNESS Fl.  It is an incredible town, it is Americana at its best, patriotic and friendly.  Our first encounter two years ago was  McLeod’s Bistro. 
Sadly the owner retired, we ate there twice and it was out of the stadium, that good.  But good news, and a new owner and head chef with tremendous credentials has taken the reins and upgraded things even more. It is called OSCAR PENNS.

I was surprised when my second great meal came also from Inverness and It’s Little Italy what a delight. It is an Italian delicatessen, not exactly a Pizza Place. This is excellent Italian authentic food.   And both were a break from corporate guano, a slower friendlier place than the big boys and better fresh food.


THE THREE CABALLEROS
I was and will always be a fan of Anthony Bourdain both as a Chef and as an entertainer in his travels around the world to places and levels of culinary experiences most of us would never see.  

He told it like it is, not what the corporate spinners put on everything in our society today.  Celebrating ten years on his show before his passing, he was a straight shooter and the show has won many awards. He was as comfortable with a burger as he was in the finest of French Restaurants.  If the food was good, he would let you know, and tell you why it was conducive to that area.  He was more than a chef and a host, he was a culinary and an ethnicity educator...

The other guy Mr. Zimmern is a very skilled chef and quite the entertaining character.  He has a medical board certified cast iron-titanium glass lined  stomach full of Aqua Regia to digest his sometimes unique appetite.  

Having traveled myself, liberal with food, and partaken of some local dishes, I’m running about 65% OK with his choices.  

The rest forgetabout it and a really good gag and sometimes a convenient flower pot solved the problem.  I’m not that brave. 

I like Guy Fiero, a little more off the wall,  and I share my love of the locally owned restaurants with his genre which consists of a lot of drive-ins and dives, where I too have found some great eats.   

But in two places he built up as big, our meals there were flops really bad.  Must have had the B team working that day.   Which brings me to those websites with running commentaries on food, and it’s about time some truth came out. They are all not as legit as they claim.  Read on.


BOURDAIN’S THOUGHTS ON YELP
Bourdain recently made it perfectly clear how he feels about people who leave negative reviews on Yelp.  In an interview with Business Insider leading up to the release of his new documentary, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, the chef and TV personality didn’t hold back when it came to sharing his feelings on “elite” users of the restaurant-rating app.  “There’s really no worse, or lower human being than an elite Yelper,” he said. “They’re universally loathed by chefs everywhere. 


EDITOR AL JACOBS
This I do know, I do not bother with YELP.   There is something not kosher about them.  Owners have told me if you pay their fees, bad reviews and news travels real fast to the delete key and the good stuff goes through.  Whats going on here. In the old Mafia days this was called “protectionism”.   Sort of a Payola from the early rock and roll days.    

And if they don’t like you, they will print the bad.  Positive experience all right.  Thats if your restaurant is signed up with YELP with fees as much as $1000 per month for ads etc.

It’s pay for view.  Thats right and it came from an owner,  so I backed it up by talking to a second owner.  Whether thats how the corp-guano boys make money or just a rogue employee, which I doubt, Im trying to verify some of that data now.   Beside they have the most confusing stupid looking layout per location with some terribly written reviews.

I write for TRIPADVISOR with 200+ Commentaries and almost 120+ likes.  I express that
same honesty here.  You may not like what I say, but if I said it I meant it because I did the research.


I ATTEND THE GORDON FOOD SERVICES and OTHER TRADE SHOWS
It was an all day event at the Convention center In Orlando Florida.  Think of it as Mecca for food.  Every GFS supplier, vendor  had something cooking or being served.  I blew my diet to pieces.  I just had to try everything.  It was an all day event catering to the restaurant owner, caterer, wedding planner, event caterer and savvy restaurants who utilize their composite food services.

They said...For over 115 years, that they have been in business, they delivered the excellence, expertise, and quality products our customers need to create successful food operations and experiences.   

GFS HAS  grown to become the largest privately held, family-managed food service company by upholding the same approach since 1897—being passionately committed to the people they serve, whether you are looking for truck deliveries or want to shop our Store. They are essential to Charity functions we do.

The difference is that Gordon has retail stores too and lets you buy like the big boys... I do get a bulk of my needs in bigger quantities there and the quality is superb, many items better than the chain groceries. When we do charity events they are our go to suppliers.

SEE THE PICS ON SMUGMUG.com


SH*TLIST OF BAD PLACES CLOSE TO ME 
SOURCE DATA.TALLAHASSEE
Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: JUNE 6


Crab Daddy's at 678 75 Ave in St. Pete Beach, 30 violations

Cold, raw seafood was held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This included butterfly shrimp 71°F, coconut shrimp 69°F and battered clam strips 67°F.    Employee handled soiled dishes and utensils and then handled clean dishes and utensils without washing their hands.   A Stop Sale was issued on potentially hazardous food due to temperature abuse. This included: shredded cheese 51°F, cut tomato 50°F, salsa 46°F, butterfly shrimp 71°F, coconut shrimp 69°F and battered clam strips 67°F.


Hideaway Pizza Pub at 3901 6 St. S in St. Petersburg, 33 violations

Rodent activity was present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Approximately 50 to 75 droppings ranging from moist to dry were found under the indoor bar. Six were found near the ice machine and 30 were found under the booths in the dining room.   Approximately 20-35 live flies were found behind the indoor bar.   Potentially hazardous cold food was held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This included: pizza sauce 58°F, shredded cheese 58°F, cooked beef 60°F, ham 68°F, cut tomato 79°F, mozzarella 64°F, ricotta 82°F, chicken cooked 66°F, cut leafy greens 60°F, cheese slices 51°F, sour cream 56°F, sauce 62°F and chicken cooked 45°F.


Sushi Spot & Noodle World at 3665 E Bay Dr. #146 in Largo, 27 violations

Potentially hazardous cold food was held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This included Roe in the reach in cooler 56°F, half and half 50°F, crab meat 46°F, cooked shrimp 49°F and crawfish 54°F.   The operators were unable to provide documentation that the aqua-cultured fish has been raised in a controlled environment and fed formulated feed.  Raw chicken was not properly separated from raw beef and shrimp based upon the minimum required cooking temperature.


Castile at 3701 Gulf Blvd in St. Pete Beach, 23 violations

An accumulation of black/green mold-like substance was found in the interior of the ice machine.  The cutting boards have deep cut marks and are no longer cleanable.  The interior of the oven has a heavy accumulation of black substance, grease and food debris.


Susie's Family Restaurant at 6476 Ridge Rd in Port Richey, 33 violations

Potentially hazardous cold food was held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This included: ham 44°F, white American cheese 51°F, yellow American cheese 50°F and cut tomatoes 56°F.  Rodent activity was present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Twenty-seven droppings were found on the ware washer.  Stored food was not covered in walk-in cooler. This included cooked potatoes, meatloaf and boiled eggs.


Peter`s Family Restaurant at 2101 Starkey Rd in Largo, 23 violations


https://data.tallahassee.comRodent activity was present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Approximately 15 dry hard droppings were found on the bottom of a storage rack next to back exit, 10 dry hard droppings on floor near back exit, 5 dry hard droppings next to the cooler in back of the kitchen, 5 dry hard droppings were found on the floor under the cooler, 40 droppings were found on the shelf containing canned food, 20 droppings in the storage closet, 50 on the floor and shelf in the storage area and approximately 30 dry hard droppings were found in the cabinets at the bar.

 An accumulation of black/green substance was found in the interior of the ice machine.  A cook failed to wash their hands before changing gloves to work with food.

NOTE:  POSSIBLE NAME CHANGE DUE TO KITCHEN POLICE BASICALLY CALLING
 THIS PLACE A RAT HOUSE AND THE NAME MIGHT BE CHANGED TO SUZIES



Deccan Spice of Tampa Bay in Clearwater, 45 violations

Raw chicken was stored over cooked chicken in the walk in cooler.  Rodent activity was present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Three dry droppings were found in the motor area of the reach in cooler, 30+ droppings in the storage area, 4 in the corner of the ice machine room, 5 by the water heater and 4 hard droppings were found in the bar area.  Raw vegetables were not washed prior to preparation.  


Po Folks Restaurant at 2001 34 St. N in St. Petersburg, 29 violations

Potentially hazardous cold food was held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. This included chicken 45°F, chicken liver 48°F, hard-boiled eggs 58°F, canned strawberries 54°F and whipped cream 45°F.  The interior of the oven has a heavy accumulation of black substance, grease and food debris.  Commercially processed ready-to-eat food was opened and held for more than 24 hours without being properly date marked.