Archive for ‘KIM’S FAVORITES’
October 13, 2016
My niece Brittany who lives in Winter Park turned me on to the Winter Park Fish Company, which is a place to get really “fresh” seafood and lots of it to fill you to the gills. While it is a hole-in-the-wall with limited seating inside and out – I highly recommend this hideaway if you like the taste of really good seafood prepared well, especially if you are in the area.
They immediately bring to your table a fresh tuna salad with Ritz crackers – it is definitely not from a can and nowhere near the recipe our mom’s made for school lunches.
Of course, I ordered a number of items for I have to do proper research for our loyal readers. The fried shrimp, scallop and fish platter is abundant, served with fritters, fries, and slaw, and was all perfectly cooked. The grilled grouper tacos were awesome, as was the seared ahi tuna salad plate. They have a wide array of offerings that I can’t wait to try on my next visit – and even have a counter where you can buy fresh raw seafood to take home.
Wait!!! Did I mention desserts? For a hole-in-the-wall, they know how to do desserts…which are all homemade and delicious. My fave was the brownie covered in warm caramel and topped with vanilla ice cream. I’d go there just for that. Decadent.
Winter Park Fish Company
761 North Orange Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32789
September 01, 2016
I found this out of the way sandwich shop up near Drew Park behind Yankee Stadium. Let’s see, how would I describe it – a cross between a beech-house and something you would see on the Food Network show Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. It is well worth the visit. Nothing fancy, just good homemade sandwiches…pressed of course…as in the name, AJ’s Press.
The Mexican meatball is a must have, along with the jalapeno bacon hushpuppies, and the beer braised brisket.
4406 North Cortez Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33614
August 25, 2016
On Swann has opened for lunch, and they are serving a super BLT. I love BLT’s but rarely order them outside because restaurants just don’t put enough bacon on them. I put no less than 7 slices on my homemade BLT’s…yes, 7 slices. Remember, the sandwich is called BACON, lettuce, and tomato – it starts with bacon so it should have plenty of it…at least on my sandwich.
I wanted to show you a picture of it, but I forgot, and ate it before I could snap a pic of On Swann’s decadent sandwich which also is made with avocado and plenty of Applewood smoked bacon. I ordered extra bacon on mine. You will love it.
There are two other things worth mentioning on their lunch menu: 1) tomato soup with their cheese toast, and 2) their chicken sandwich. Both delicious for a hearty lunch.
1501 West Swann Avenue – Old Hyde Park Village
Tampa, Florida 33606
June 23, 2016
Who doesn’t LOVE doughnuts? Well, I certainly do. Admittedly, I am a plain cake, glaze, jelly, or toasted coconut kind of doughnut lover. My uncle Eddie took me to the original Dunkin Donuts in Quincy, Massachusetts when I was 6 or 7, and from then on, I was hooked. Chocolate glazed cake donuts were my favorite back then.
As president of the Student Council at Plant High way back when, we had so many Krispy Kreme donut drives to raise money they called me Mr. Donut. Can you believe we sold a box of a dozen donuts for $.50 (that’s a box, not a dozen) and still made enough money to fund whatever pet project we were championing. I often remember waiting for the donuts to come off the line – hot and fresh moving from the long silver conveyor belt into the vat of glistening glaze, at the Kennedy location next to WTVT. They made them fresh and served them hot at various times during the day.
Well, for you doughnut lovers out there…you must try the Mini Doughnut Factory on Dale Marbry a block or so from Plant High. But be prepared to wait in line – for they are always busy. Busy because they are a true hit with everyone who tries them.
Owners Patrick and Zezura Ruddell appeared on my radio show a couple weeks ago and were absolutely delightful. You can tell they have a keen since of humor just by taking a look at their many crazy doughnut toppings: Cotton Candy (strawberry icing with cotton candy pop rocks), the Sweet Pig (maple icing with bacon), Peanut Butter Crunch (peanut butter icing with crushed butterfingers), I could go on-and-on listing their many tantalizing flavors, but you need to experience these gems yourself. Even if it is just the boring ones like I order (chocolate or vanilla iced), you will find yourself caught up in the fun and great tastes of donut heaven, aptly called The Mini Doughnut factory.
DONUT TRIVIA: Doughnuts or Donuts, both spellings are grammatically correct. Dunkin spells it Donuts and Krispy Kreme spells them Doughnuts. Krispy Kreme was founded in 1937 in Winston Salem, North Carolina and has 1003 locations in 26 countries, and Dunkin Donuts was founded in 1950 in Quincy, Massachusetts and has over 11,000 locations literally everywhere in the world.
MINI DOUGHNUT FACTORY
2109 South Dale Mabry
Tampa, Florida 33629
June 16, 2016
Thoroughly sourced new American cuisine
What better name for a restaurant located in the heart of Old Hyde Park on Swann Avenue than, “On Swann”. It was like an Abbott and Costello movie when I was telling a friend to meet me at On Swann. “Where is it?” he queried. On Swann, I said. “What’s the name?” On Swann. Well, you know how that goes.
This three week old restaurant on the corner of Swann and Oregon is set to be a hallmark of Old Hyde Park Village. I grew up on Newport Avenue and only wish there was something like this I could have ridden my bike to…well, I guess at age 10 I wouldn’t have had the palate for the Spicy Carrot Soup I now have — it’s delicious.
Co-owners Chef Chris Ponte (owner of Café Ponte in Clearwater), and longtime restaurateur Trudy Cooper (co-founder of Outback) have really made this a “must-eat” destination – and in a short 3 week period. My friend Jon Palmer Claridge had raves in his Creative Loafing review and I do as well.
As usual, I tried many items and found them exceptionally tasty – especially given the fact that it has only been open for 3 short weeks…and the service, it was exceptional – with the most knowledgeable server I have ever had – she was phenomenal. I will be going back this next week to try the 27 ounce rib-eye. Should I share?
1501 West Swann
June 09, 2016
My friend Kathleen Doyle called me from So Gourmet Bakery Café and told me I would just have to get there and try their napoleons. A few weeks before I was having dinner with Pat Frank and she mentioned they had great coffee. So when another good friend Bruce Maduri (owner of the radio station that airs my show), suggested we meet there for lunch, well, after 3 different friends suggested this place, I just had to jump at the chance to visit. And I am glad I did.
Folks, run, don’t walk. The BEST quiche and the BEST Napolean’s in town, bar none. More than an honorable mention would be the Croque Monsieur which is a most tasty delight and rivals the first one I ever had in Dijon when I was 19. And So Gourmet’s French Onion Soup may be the best in the Bay area. As you can see, I am a big fan. Go visit this lovely place.
Owned by Chantel and Frederic Brillard, recent transplants from France baking and cooking with the care and detail you should experience. Please let me know your experience.
So Gourmet Bakery Cafe
3301 South Dale Mabry Highway
June 02, 2016
Miguel Rodrigues, the owner of Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant on the corner of Kennedy and MacDill has opened a new Mexican restaurant well worth a visit for lunch or dinner. The patio bar area is hip and stylish – but you know, I’m all about the food…so go there for the tacos, burritos, and tortas. The smoky warm salsa is a good variation on the traditional chilled salsa served at many restaurants. Let me know what you think by giving us a call on our 24 hour Foodtalk Hotline 9813) 563-8255 (Talk).
Miguelitos Taqueria Y Tequilas
2702 West Kennedy Boulevard
May 05, 2016
It is my policy to never go to a restaurant the first week they open, for I want a restaurant to work out the kinks before my visit. The kitchen team needs time to gel and find their pace. However, I was invited to The Sacred Pepper opening night, and it was terrific.
Since I was a guest, I did not over order – my mom raised me right (well, I think so) by following the ordering patterns of my host. If they order chicken, order something comparably priced. That said, I walked out of the Sacred Pepper FAT & HAPPY…and was very impressed with both their food and service.
The Debartolo family owes this restaurant and have many family recipes. I especially liked the marinara sauce with is a not so secret recipe – it is boldly lit-up for all to see right next to the bar. The baked lobster and crab rotolo is a must. The meatballs are made with ricotta, veal and pork and are quite tasty. Veal Chop Milanese is a fine dish. The olive tapenade served with their bread might be the best tapenade I’ve ever sunk my teeth into…bar none. The olives were so fresh.
I will be back next week for sure. Can’t wait.
The Sacred Pepper
15405 North Dale Mabry Hwy
May 05, 2016
Everyone said the lines were long – so I decided to go last Friday at 2:30pm figuring the lunch crowd would be over. No such luck. This new Chicago style casual Brandon eatery was jammed packed at 2:30 in the afternoon. The parking lot was huge and full. How crazy is that?
A friend of mine said they were waiting for the “newness” to ware off before they go. Frankly, I’m not sure the mad rush will ever take a dive…for Portillo’s was a solid home run for the type of fast quality food they serve.
Since it would probably a while before I returned I decided to order – well, a lot. Glad I had friends with me. I can vouch for: the hot dogs, steak sandwich with peppers and cheese, onion rings, chili, hamburgers, and all 3 (yes, I tried all 3) made on-site desserts. The strawberry shortcake and the eclair cake were my favorites of the three.
They move the lines pretty quick and they have plenty of seating. Their drive-through system is unique. Actual people stand outside to take and bring your order. No yelling into a mike and little waiting.
1748 West Brandon Boulevard
May 05, 2016
Cool bar at O Cocina and Flights
Mexican restaurants are plentiful in the bay area…and O Cocina is a must try. I think you will like it, for I certainly did. While the salsa needed some salt, I added a pinch, and it was smoky and perfect with their chips.
My absolute favorites that I will order again on my return visit (soon) are: tableside guacamole, plantain empanadas, pastor chicken flautas, pork belly norteno, and chicken enchiladas. Yes, I ordered everything. Each of these dishes were some of the best Mexican food in the bay area.
O Cocina and Flights
4110 Henderson Boulevard