What draws humanity so consistently to eat food—besides the adrenaline rush of competitive-eating contests—is the pleasant sensation of taste. Today’s Groupon tastefully honors your taste buds: $5 gets you $10 worth of food and drink at Taste Cafe, a Safety Harbor institution serving up customizable dishes that can easily meet any dietary requirement or overwhelming fruit phobia. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Occupying 22 sprawling acres of Tampa Bay coastline, Safety Harbor Resort & Spa combines the leisure of a luxury resort with the peaceful release of a day spa. A pack of 10 resort day passes provides unlimited access to the 50,000 square feet of recently renovated resort, spa, and fitness facilities for a full face-wallop's worth of relaxation. Three pools offer aquatic opportunities for every temperament. A fitness center is stocked to the muscle-bound rafters with cardio and weight equipment, and group classes take place daily, with 78 classes available each week. Clean and spacious men's and women's locker rooms give guests a chance to wind down in privacy after schvitzing within the confines of a sauna or steam room. The 10 passes can be used by one person over the course of 10 separate days, or shared with nine companions chanting "number nine" in a vaguely British monotone.
Central Park's ingredient-stacking chefs craft a menu of amply portioned bread cocoons that span international borders. The Midtown meatball sandwich's house-made meatballs orbit a fresh-baked hoagie roll amid a nebula of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese ($6.99), and the Pittsburgh pastrami glazes the namesake protein with spicy mustard, adding heaping strata of grilled onions and swiss cheese to its grilled rye bread ($7.29). The deli's continental comestibles include an array of wraps ($6.29–$6.99) hermetically sealed to preserve flavor, as well as a gyro whose beef and lamb blossom within its pita casing, unfurling a kaleidoscopic mixture of onion, tomato, and tzatziki sauce ($5.99). Central Park accessorizes its crusty creations with a slew of sides, such as its house-made coleslaw and potato salad ($1.79 each), evoking childhood memories of picnics and capture-the-mountain-lion tournaments.
Many of the exotic herbs and flavorful spices in the kitchen of Desi Tadka came from India, where tropical trees grow thick with curry leaves and colorful flowers blossom with saffron. The eatery's chefs fold these traditional spices into a sweeping variety of authentic Indian dishes, pulling from recipes indigenous to the province of Punjab. They stir tender morsels of chicken, lamb, and seafood into delicate curries, and garnish aromatic biryani rice dishes with sliced almonds. The chefs bake kebabs and tandoori specialties in a fiery clay oven, along with naan breads stuffed with garlic, chicken, and vegetables.
As chefs oversee the cooking in the kitchen, servers bustle about the dining room. They refill glasses of fine international wines and uncap frosty bottles of imported Indian beers. When taking orders, the servers take note of special dietary concerns, such as an aversion to spicy food or a tendency to transform into a field mouse upon eating any kind of gluten.
While it takes prodigious skill to man the 600-degree, 7-foot grill that is the center of bd?s Mongolian Grill?s dining room, the chefs running it don?t have any secret recipes. Instead, customers fashion their own customizable bowls of stir-fry according to their taste preferences, dietary restrictions, and desired portion size. Guests wander, nearly overwhelmed as they choose from an array of meats and veggies and ladle sweet, spicy, and herb-filled sauces into a cup. Chefs saut? the meal in front of their eyes, swords flicking skillfully across the grill to entertain and build anticipation like a mime about to jump buses on an invisible motorcycle. The resulting stir-fry dishes are accompanied by brown rice, white rice, tortillas or lettuce wraps.
Founded 25 years ago by Bostonian Bob Theriault, the Boston Cooker crafts definitive New England dishes from fresh seafood flown in weekly. A hearty cup of New England chowder ($2.99) or a bowl of sherry-imbued lobster bisque ($4.50) offer tasty starting points on the fish-laden menu, while shrimp and eggplant Parmesan ($12.99) delivers ample bounty from land and sea with eight grilled shrimp over eggplant steeped in marinara. A glass of house Chardonnay ($4.50) pairs well with broiled and buttery Boston Scrod ($15.99) as well as the baked stuffed flounder topped with a delicate Newburg sauce ($14.50). Patrons can imagine they're in an old New England eatery while quaffing Boston brew Samuel Adams ($3) in a wood-paneled dining room bedecked with Red Sox and Bruins banners and wall-mounted fish. Finish the meal with a rich Boston cream pie ($3.99) before protesting the tyrannical English government by throwing shiploads of Queen Elizabeth's electro-rap album into Tampa Bay.