Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Restaurants

9 places to snag rainy day takeout in Tampa Bay

It has been a pretty dreary week. Tropical Storm Colin whipped through Tampa Bay, leaving us muddy and flooded. This does not inspire date night at a new restaurant.

Fortunately, the weather appears to be clearing for the weekend. Try one of Tampa Bay's new restaurants spotlighted by our food critic Laura Reiley. From Portillo's to On Swann to Thai Prime, Tampa Bay is full of new tastemakers this summer.

The nasty weather got me thinking — takeout and TV sounds nice. I asked the Times features staff to name their favorite takeout spots. Me? I'm partial to swinging by Casa Tina (365 Main St., Dunedin). The Tacos Estillo Guadalajara with rice and beans is enough for two people to split.

Fresh Kitchen (1350 S Howard Ave., Tampa, and 4447 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg) got several votes.

"The smell of slightly seared Brussels sprouts and barbecued and basil chicken combine with your imagination in a restaurant about the size of an actual kitchen," said performing arts critic Andrew Meacham. "If you're hungry and want to eat healthy, choose a salad base, veggies and meats and be on your way to a table or your car within eight minutes."

Book editor Colette Bancroft votes for La Segunda Central Bakery (2512 N 15th St., Ybor City), established in 1915. "It has a fabulous takeout counter that serves one of the very best Cuban sandwiches in town, along with media noche, muffaletta and other hearty sandwiches," she said.

In St. Pete, neighbors Old Northeast Tavern (201 Seventh Ave. N) and Old Northeast Pizza (718 Second St. N) got high marks. So did Athenian Gardens (two in St. Pete, one in Largo) where Times designer Brittany Volk gets the "chicken souvlaki sandwich with, of course, a delicious scoop of potato salad. However, it's really hard to ignore the beautifully lit dessert cabinet as I pay my bill."

Pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin raved about Hawkers Asian Street Fare (1235 Central Ave., St. Petersburg): "It's just so flavorful, so filling, and so easy to grab a carton of pad Thai or duck baos on my way home. By my third visit, Hawkers was saved in my phone, at the top of my takeout rotation."

Events editor Sharon Wynne found a rainy day way to feed her family at Taziki's Cafe (2649 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater). Call in advance. Ask for the take-home dinner for four, Sharon says.

"The meat comes with a Greek salad for four, roasted potatoes or basmati rice. For $5 you can add a huge side of grilled vegetables. This feeds my family of four, including two teenage eating-machine boys, and there's still plenty of leftovers."

Movie critic Steve Persall suggests Latin American rotisserie Pico Rojo (2475 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater). "Real chickens, succulent seasonings, melts in your mouth and on fingertips. Great sides include sticky-sweet plantains, steamed asparagus, quinoa with black beans, green beans. Flan is delicious, not overly sweet. They also do sandwiches and salads with the chicken. Easy in and out."

Hungry yet?

 
Comments
Where you can trade in your Gasparilla beads for doughnuts

Where you can trade in your Gasparilla beads for doughnuts

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will be trading old Gasparilla beads for its famous glazed doughnuts.Anyone who brings in 12 pounds of beads to Krispy Kreme on Saturday will be rewarded with a dozen original glazed doughnuts, according to a news release.For t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

This week food fests celebrate collard greens and Jewish foods

FIELD OF GREEN: COLLARD FESTOn Saturday you can devote your whole day to the beauty of collard greens. Well, that’s the jumping off point. Collards are the "central ingredient" at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival at St. Petersburg’s Historic Deuc...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Review: Platt Street Borough is casual Tampa dining with high standards

Review: Platt Street Borough is casual Tampa dining with high standards

TAMPAIt wasn’t that long ago that Platt Street was a bit of a conundrum for restaurateurs: Not exactly downtown, without the dense auto traffic of Kennedy, and far enough off the South Howard main drag that it didn’t entirely qualify as part of SoHo....
Published: 02/19/18
The Reading Room’s Lauren Macellaro and Columbia’s Richard Gonzmart are James Beard semifinalists

The Reading Room’s Lauren Macellaro and Columbia’s Richard Gonzmart are James Beard semifinalists

It’s almost a sick joke. On the morning after Valentine’s Day, the second-busiest restaurant day of the year, chefs all over the country are hauling themselves out of bed early to find out: Did I make it onto this year’s James Beard Foundation list o...
Published: 02/15/18
Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters opens in South Tampa, plus learn how to roll sushi at Kelp

Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters opens in South Tampa, plus learn how to roll sushi at Kelp

LOVE STUNT: SUSHI ROLLSIf you dropped the ball Wednesday and did bubkes for your sweetie, here’s a tip: Through Sunday at Kelp in South Tampa, couples can dive into a reservations-only chef-led art of sushi rolling class that comes with bottomless sa...
Published: 02/14/18
Out of time this Valentine's Day? Five ways to still have a romantic meal

Out of time this Valentine's Day? Five ways to still have a romantic meal

Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, and that means your odds of scoring a reservation at a popular restaurant are roughly equal to the odds of you opening your own restaurant in time for dinner. Thinking about showing up somewhere with no reservatio...
Published: 02/13/18
Review: 2nd & Second will serve you 24/7 in St. Petersburg

Review: 2nd & Second will serve you 24/7 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURGAn older couple sits at a booth, hunched over mugs of coffee, occasionally murmuring in a way that seems more soliloquy than conspiracy. Outside at a table, two travelers pay their tab, plates streaked with cold yolk. They ask for direc...
Published: 02/12/18
Review: Maybe the Lure can beat the odds at this unlucky South Tampa location

Review: Maybe the Lure can beat the odds at this unlucky South Tampa location

TAMPA - This will be my fourth review of restaurants in this space, all of them more or less favorable: Bistro Bleu (a sophisticated New American charmer), Marrakech (Yay! We have almost no Moroccan food here! Bring on the tagines!) and Catrinas Taco...
Updated one month ago
Here's what you can eat at the Armature Works' new Heights Public Market

Here's what you can eat at the Armature Works' new Heights Public Market

TAMPA — "This project will change the DNA of Tampa." Bold words from Ferdian Jap, co-owner of Zukku, one of 14 vendors who began selling their food and drink to the public Thursday at the anticipated Heights Public Market at the Armature Works...
Updated one month ago
Valentine’s Day ideas for Tampa Bay foodies: wine and chocolate, berry picking and more

Valentine’s Day ideas for Tampa Bay foodies: wine and chocolate, berry picking and more

PICKING: BERRY FASTLooking for something fun, yet competitive, to do with your sweetie in advance of Valentine’s Day? Wish Farms and Monte Package Co. are collaborating on the fifth annual Strawberry Picking Challenge this weekend.The main event Satu...
Published: 02/01/18
Updated: 02/07/18