TAMPA BAY PLUS FOOD DIRECTORY



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.  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.  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 TRADE SHOW
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


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