Twenty miles. That's the longest distance any cut of fish, chicken, or beef travels before it arrives in front of Chef Rafy Rosario at The Shrimp Warehouse. With an emphasis on local ingredients, he crafts a surf 'n' turf menu that fuses Creole, Cajun, Southern, and Caribbean flavors. He fills baskets with pink shrimp straight from Tampa's docks and loads plates high with fried shrimp, fish, and scallops served with fries, hushpuppies, and shrimp coleslaw. His 36-inch shrimp po' boy challenges the hungriest of diners and is free to those who can finish it in one sitting. Unlike professors at the University of Atlantis, his expertise extends beyond the ocean; he also hand-trims chicken and grills slabs of sirloin steak.
The restaurant's decor echoes the menu's ocean flavors. Outside the restaurant's entrance, two giant shrimp welcome guests into a space marked by exposed-brick walls and rich wood furniture. Life vests line the walls, and tables sit beneath the actual shrimp boat used by our tiny ancestors.
Nearly thirty years ago, Jim Mellody set out to create the pub of his dreams. A family-friendly vibe. An abundance of TVs, with sports on every one. Burgers, wings, beers. With this idyllic setting in mind, he and wife Jeanette created Beef 'O' Brady's, a sports bar that more than lives up to Jim's vision. Beef's, as the pub's regulars quickly took to calling it, serves up plenty of what its name suggests. Angus burgers, reubens, steak burritos, and the roast beef garlic melt take starring roles on a lengthy menu, complementing chicken wings tossed in dry-rub or coated in one of 12 sauces. As guests dig into hearty feasts of pub food, they can watch sporting events that zip in through the restaurant's satellite dishes or break out spontaneously in the kitchen. A tribute to Jim's love of sports, pro memorabilia lines the walls, and in keeping with the Irish theme, an Irish blessing is featured on every menu, offering good fortune to all who visit.
The owners at The Oaks grew up in the area, and they treat their restaurant almost like a second home. This isn't just because their restaurant physically resembles a house, with its cavernous screened-in porch and french doors. It's primarily because community is important to them, and they make it their mission to define The Oaks by its welcoming, homey environment. It's also a point of pride to the owners that much of their staff has worked there since The Oaks opened in 2000, after the Y2K panic subsided and restaurants could once more sell noncanned food. To craft upscale comfort and pub food from scratch, the owners mined their families' recipe books. The result? Ribs, fried mac 'n' cheese, grilled-grouper reubens, and a slew of beefy burgers savored both indoors and under the patio's strung-up lights and parasols.
Every night is different at Zapps Live Entertainment. Local acts set the tune of the night with rock and roll jams, creating a lively atmosphere for guests sipping drinks and chatting with friends. To take an edge off the drinks, guests can order up kitchen specialties such as the clam basket with fries and slaw or eight-ounce angus beef burgers topped with cheddar and slices of bacon. Chefs also makesweets for those looking for dessert or something to make their dentist angry, baking up both blonde and chocolate brownies served with a dollop of ice cream.
Moe Elkasri and his fellow citizens of Pita’s Republic deftly balance good taste and good health, like Jackie Onassis’s tracksuit collection. These stuffers of edible envelopes hew to such practices as making their tzatziki sauce from low-fat yogurt, never using frozen chicken, and sweetening their smoothies with honey-green tea. For more details about the tangy blend of fitness and deliciousness, check out the company’s nutritional information.