Helen Freund - Times Food Critic

Times Food Critic

I write about food and restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. When I’m not writing about food or restaurants I’m probably talking about food or restaurants, or, you know, actually eating food at restaurants. I was never a picky eater, and never had a chance to be: Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, saying ‘no’ to things like geoduck sashimi or fiddlehead fern pesto just wasn’t cool. Instead, I tried everything, and have ever since. I studied journalism at the University of Washington and cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I most recently was the restaurant critic and dining editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans - another place where people love to eat and drink. When I’m not eating, I’m probably scuba diving and tagging along with spearfishers, hoping they’ll spear some dinner for me.

  1. Holmes Beach restaurant Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen will serve a three-course, pre-fixe Turkey Day menu.
    In search of a holiday spread you don’t have to cook? Here’s your go-to list for Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin and more.
  2. Death By Pepperoni Pizza.
    Get ready for some dinner theater at this pizzeria. | Restaurant review
  3. Hiramasa crudo at Anchor & Brine.
    Some of our favorite sips and bites around Tampa Bay right now.
  4. Strandhill Public's version of a Scotch egg consists of a six-minute egg wrapped in ground pork and panko, served with pickled red peppers and spicy hollandaise.
    Tavern cuisine gets a modern riff at this Irish pub and restaurant. | Restaurant review
  5. Part of Sundial in St. Petersburg will become a food hall. The mall is currently a mixture of retail stores and restaurants.
    The Armature Works project will redevelop 25,000 square feet of commercial space in downtown St. Petersburg.
  6. Fried boneless chicken thighs, baked mac n cheese, collards and watermelon cubes are served at 7th + Grove, a new restaurant and nightclub in Ybor City.
    Contemporary Southern cuisine gets the limelight at Ybor City’s restaurant and nightclub hybrid | Restaurant review
  7. Helen Freund, Tampa Bay Times food critic, eats a salad.
    We’re working on a new dining project and need your help.
  8. Instagram influencer Nia Damalos, Instagram handle @niadamalos, photographs a non alcoholic cocktail as she is pregnant at the VIP preview for the Oxford Exchange's new Champagne Bar on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 in Tampa.
    Young entrepreneurs are getting paid to post about restaurants. And restaurant owners are scrambling to keep up.
  9. The Garden Cobbler cocktail made with gin, sherry, cucumber, mint and red fruits cordial at Sonder Social Club.
    The downtown Dunedin craft cocktail hub offers plenty of good reasons to belly up to the bar. | Restaurant review
  10. Fresh stone crab claws are for sale at Frenchy's Stone Crab Company, Palm Harbor, Monday, December 17, 2018. Prices were higher for the claws last year because of red tide and demand according to General Manager Tommy Shook.
    The annual haul opens Tuesday following last year’s up-and-down season. Crabbing insiders have their fingers crossed.