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Old 08-30-2011, 12:38 AM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,517,633 times
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I am contemplating moving to and buying in the Tampa Bay area.

Here in the great white north (Canada) we have a lot of ethnic restaurants. I suspect Tampa Bay area has it's share of greek, chinese and mexican type venues, but what about East Indian, Malaysian and such?

Any recommendations?
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Tampa
1,236 posts, read 4,188,375 times
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In the land of chain restaurants, you will find some really nice ethnic food restaurants. There are some really good Indian places, though I don't know if they are specifically Eastern. One place that I know of that is south India is Udipi Welcome To UdiPi Cafe. Cilantro is suppose to be really good, though I cannot speak from personal experience, just that of friends who have eaten there About Us (http://cilantroindiancuisine.com/aboutus.aspx - broken link). They say they are of India, Bangladesh, southern Asia and pakastan food. I have eaten at a fairly new Indian place in New Tampa called Saffron Untitled Document. I don't like heat very much and their mildest dish still has a bit of heat. They seem to like their food HOT if they thought my dish was lacking heat.

Here is a link that list the Indian places in the Tampa area: Indian Restaurant & Dining Guide Tampa Bay Florida. I have also eaten at a place on Fowler, but it has changed it's name several times, and I don't know if they have changed owners. It is now called Angithi Indian Cuisine.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:14 AM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,517,633 times
Reputation: 4537
Quote:
Originally Posted by annaegel View Post
I don't like heat very much and their mildest dish still has a bit of heat. They seem to like their food HOT if they thought my dish was lacking heat.

Here is a link that list the Indian places in the Tampa area: Indian Restaurant & Dining Guide Tampa Bay Florida. I have also eaten at a place on Fowler, but it has changed it's name several times, and I don't know if they have changed owners. It is now called Angithi Indian Cuisine.
Thanks for the links.. good to see there is more then the chains.

BTW, even better to see that they actually have some that serve it HOT. I'm pretty partial to spicy food (try Ethiopian some time!).

I suspected a metro area like the Tampa Bay had a variety of restaurants, but I didn't see much discussion about that on here.

Thanks again.-
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Tampa
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Ethiopian food is not my favorite. I have tried it twice. Once in D.C. and once in Manhattan. We do have one ethiopian restaurant called Queen of Sheba Queen of Sheba Restaurant in Tampa, FL - Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant. I have not eaten there, but I hear it is good. Bon appetit!
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: The Sunshine City
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Queen of Sheba is awesome. There are loads of Vietnamese and Thai restaurants everywhere, of varying quality. Sa Ri One is good if you like Korean cuisine. I know I do. There's plenty of Indian restaurants. India Grill in downtown St. Pete is decent. Udipi is good, but it's all veg. 5th Element is a new Indian restaurant in Oldsmar that's supposed to be really good. Plenty of Chinese, most of it subpar. I haven't seen Malaysian or any other southeast Asian cuisine other than Vietnamese or Thai. Canada definitely has us beat on that. When I visited Toronto a couple of years ago I was blown away by the variety of ethnic restaurants. Randy's West Indian is a good option if you're in St. Pete, it's West Indian though (not western India, mind you, the West Indies-Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, etc.), really good curried goat. There's also Mirage in Clearwater if you want some Persian (Iranian) food. It's solid.

A lot of the ethnic food in this area tends to be Latin (Cuban especially), Greek (big Greek community), Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Italian, French, etc. There's some Polish places scattered about too. Unfortunately, there isn't a huge amount of REALLY good, authentic, spicy Asian cuisines represented here.

Also, there seems to be a lack of good, authentic Middle Eastern restaurants. It seems like most Arab restaurant owners open Greek restaurants because it's a more familiar cuisine and the food is SOMEWHAT similar. I miss real Lebanese and Turkish cuisine. That being said, the place I mentioned earlier, Mirage, is good.

Last edited by JProg305; 08-31-2011 at 11:01 AM..
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:00 PM
 
393 posts, read 1,387,667 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JProg305 View Post
Queen of Sheba is awesome. There are loads of Vietnamese and Thai restaurants everywhere, of varying quality. Sa Ri One is good if you like Korean cuisine. I know I do. There's plenty of Indian restaurants. India Grill in downtown St. Pete is decent. Udipi is good, but it's all veg. 5th Element is a new Indian restaurant in Oldsmar that's supposed to be really good. Plenty of Chinese, most of it subpar. I haven't seen Malaysian or any other southeast Asian cuisine other than Vietnamese or Thai. Canada definitely has us beat on that. When I visited Toronto a couple of years ago I was blown away by the variety of ethnic restaurants. Randy's West Indian is a good option if you're in St. Pete, it's West Indian though (not western India, mind you, the West Indies-Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, etc.), really good curried goat. There's also Mirage in Clearwater if you want some Persian (Iranian) food. It's solid.

A lot of the ethnic food in this area tends to be Latin (Cuban especially), Greek (big Greek community), Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Italian, French, etc. There's some Polish places scattered about too. Unfortunately, there isn't a huge amount of REALLY good, authentic, spicy Asian cuisines represented here.

Also, there seems to be a lack of good, authentic Middle Eastern restaurants. It seems like most Arab restaurant owners open Greek restaurants because it's a more familiar cuisine and the food is SOMEWHAT similar. I miss real Lebanese and Turkish cuisine. That being said, the place I mentioned earlier, Mirage, is good.
Try Beirut Cafe in St. Pete for authentic Lebanese. Beirut Cafe in St. Petersburg is full of authentic flavors of Lebanon - St. Petersburg Times
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:28 AM
 
Location: FL
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Pho Quyen in Pinellas Park is one of the best places to have Vietnamese food since moving here near the Clearwater area.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
2,637 posts, read 11,401,460 times
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I tried the pho at the Pho Quyen in Pinellas Park and it was frankly terrible - very greasy and strangely flavorless. So I drive over to the Pho Quyen on Hillsborough Ave. instead, where the broth is so aromatic I'd be happy even if they forgot the noodles or beef! For some reason, although they have the same name and the same logo, they do not have the same recipes.

I am also a big fan of Bombay Masala on Waters Ave. for Indian food. Although the buffet curries are far too mild for my tastes, they always let me order off the menu and make it as hot as I like. Which is really hot. They have a special vegetarian buffet on Tuesday evenings in addition to their standard lunch buffet.

I have not yet tried Queen of Sheba (Ethiopian) but it is on my short list of places to try soon.

For Turkish food lovers, check out Gengiz Khan (their spelling, not mine!) on Interbay. I have never actually been there but I have ordered from their delivery service - their doner kebab is just fantastic.

We have too many good Thai places to list them all, but if you love Thai curry you are sure to find one that pleases you.

The Tampa bay area is actually a great place for ethnic food in general. Any ethnic cuisine we are lacking is just a business opportunity waiting to happen.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
2,517 posts, read 4,137,586 times
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I wanted to reinvigorate this thread in a search for a great Indian restaurant in Tampa. I absolutely love Indian food but my husband has always been wary (he's never tried it). I didn't want his first experience to be a bad one so I'd like to get some recommendations for fabulous Indian places in Tampa. He likes hot food so spicy isn't a problem. Where would you take someone in Tampa you are hoping to win over to Indian cuisine?

As always, thanks in advance.
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:48 PM
 
Location: On the west coast of the east coast
484 posts, read 650,840 times
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I usually go to Desi Tadka for Indian food. It's sort of divey, but the tandoori is great, as is the navaratan shahi korma. The butter chicken has been hit and miss. We usually go for dinner, but went for the lunch buffet recently - and probably will stick to dinner. The lighting was super crazy at that time, which is a weird thing to notice, I think.


For Lebanese - I tried out Fresh Bites, and the flavors were great, but the portions were pretty dismal. I *would* go back, however, but only because alternatives are lacking. Even the ones out on Busch Blvd that used to be ok, aren't so ok anymore.
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