My Top Four Restaurants for Dining in Tampa

tampa restaurant oxford

What city comes to mind when you think of great food? Some people might think Southern food in New Orleans, others might think of eating Cuban food in Miami. I have taken it on as my sacred duty to make you associate Tampa with good food.

sweet potato restaurant tampa

A lot of people argue that it isn’t really a restaurant, but if you’ve ever eaten at the Oxford Exchange then you’ll know how great the food is. Try to plan on being near the University of Tampa in Tampa if you plan on eating here as well. I’d recommend walking along the waterfront as you eat, but it’s honestly a joy to eat inside of this restaurant. Technically, I guess it could be classified as a bookstore/social gathering place for book groups to get together.

But that doesn’t stop them from having a great selection on the menu. On top of that, the prices are great as well! My favorite dish at the Oxford Exchange is their grilled banana nut muffin. Sounds weird, but tastes pretty great. With a large volume of people coming and going every day, you would think that the tables would get a lot dirtier throughout the day. Somehow, the waiters stay on top of all the customers and manage to keep everything looking clean. When you’re thinking of great food, great coffee, and a quiet place to read your book, think of the Oxford Exchange.

Sounds pretty scholarly, but don’t let that drive you away. Once you’re inside, the art and ambience are enough to keep you inside. There are windows everywhere, so the restaurant has great lighting. Friendly waiters really help the experience. I can’t stand it when the waiters avoid making eye contact with you and you need help with something. While you wait food, do what I did and read through all the positive reviews on google. If you look hard enough, maybe you’ll even find mine in there?

egg food restaurant tampa

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about a good gastropub, but that’s only because there were so many good ones that I had a difficult time picking my favorite. I came to the conclusion that Datz is superior to all others in every aspect, even if only by a little bit. This time around, you’ll be eating by Palma Ceia in Tampa. Take your food to go, and you can tour the beach while you eat. Make sure you order the monkey bread.

It’s to die for. Even while you eat, the interior aesthetic is really great. I always appreciate when a place has good decor on the inside. It shows you how much that place cares about your experience, as opposed to just trying to feed you and get you out as soon as possible. Being treated and pampered, in a sense, doesn’t have to be exclusive to eating at expensive restaurants. Speaking of expensive, that’s one adjective that doesn’t describe Datz.

Their prices are very affordable and balanced, which is a welcome change for someone who eats out almost. I ordered and entree and dessert, and still managed to pay less than a lot of places charge for an entree alone! The great reviews for this place were not lying when people commented on how good this restaurant’s food is. If you’re looking for a gastropub in Tampa, try Datz.

steak restaurant tampa

For those who prefer a real meal for real men, check out Bern’s Steak House. Not only are the steaks great, but they’re also very filling. No French proportions here. One of my favorite parts of eating at this restaurant is the complementary tour of their wine cellar. A lot of places might try to hide their selection in case it’s lacking anything, but not Bern’s Steak House. You’ll be eating in Hyde Park in Tampa this time around, which is already a beautiful area of Tampa to be in.

Bern’s Steak House deserves extra praise for managing to keep their parking area open and easy to navigate. Places like this can be packed during the week, especially whenever I eat there, but I’ve always been able to find parking. Don’t think that you’ll only find steaks here, even though the restaurant’s title literally says that it is a steakhouse. Bern’s serves a wide variety of food from onion soup to caesar salad. You may think you have been to a high end restaurant, but Bern’s Steak House exceeds expectations.

The waiters actually wear suits, and they manage to keep them clean even while serving food all day. I only had one minor issue with my food, but the owner came out and cleared it up right away. He was very helpful, which improved my experience. There are over a thousand good reviews for Bern’s (check it out if you don’t believe me), so don’t be afraid to let them know your thoughts after your meal.

taco restaurant tampa

Last but not least, you can always eat at Lolis Mexican Cravings if you’re in the mood for mexican. However, if that’s the only prerequisite, then you’ll probably be eating there a lot more often afterwards, because their food is GOOD. I’m always in the mood for tacos now. I love how fresh and unique their tacos are. This time around, you’ll be looking just east of Twelve Oaks in Tampa.

You might not think that there’s much you can do with a taco, but Lolis Mexican Cravings gets every part of the taco right. I asked the owner for a tour the kitchen because I was curious just how fresh their ingredients are, and I was not let down. With a place that’s constantly deep frying their food, you know their exhaust good is gonna be full of grease (benefits of working for a hood cleaner for many years).

I’ll have to get a hold of their Tampa hood cleaning business, because whoever it was did an amazing job. Grease fires are extremely dangerous, and a lot of chefs don’t really think about them. If you’re tired of eating tacos from food trucks and you’re looking for a great meal, drop by Lolis Mexican Cravings. Don’t forget to leave your review in the giant list of positive reviews.

My experience with trucks

I’m gonna be honest with you, I know pretty much nothing about trucks. Maybe I know more than I give myself credit for, but if I agreed with that statement it would create a paradox. People are always surprised to hear that I don’t know everything about cars, because my dad is such a car nut and he’s always helping people troubleshoot and fix their car problems. I know how to drive and I know the rules of the road and everything, I’m just talking about the mechanics of vehicles themselves. I may not know anything about auto window tinting, but these guys do.

There are probably some people that I know more than, but who knows. There’s no point in me guessing all the time, I should really stop. The first specific truck that I have memories with was a black truck with a camper in the back. I don’t know the make or model so if you happen to comment, please don’t ask me. I’ll tell you that it had an engine that make vroom vroom noises and it was black. I remember going to a parking lot that I thought was part of a casino, but maybe it was just nearby the casino. It was the same area in downtown Reno where they do the X-Games event. We traded in our minivan for the truck, which disappointed me a ton. I had no idea we were even trading in the minivan, even though I had no say in the decision-making process anyways.

The only real reason I enjoyed that minivan was because there was a small TV in the back seat that had a built-in VCR. So we traded it in and ended up purchasing a truck that day, which we kept for 4-5 years if I can remember correctly. It was instantly recognizable from the sound of its engine, and you could hear the truck coming down the street. I associated that sound with fear, because I was usually in trouble whenever my parents came home. The past is the past, but I still always think about the truck whenever I hear a similar sound, and my heart rate spikes enough to give an elephant high blood pressure.

Get Your Car or Truck in Top Shape

Are you currently having issues with your car? There are some car repairs that you can do yourself if you have basic knowledge about car maintenance. If you need the services of a professional, though, you will need to know how to find a reputable mechanic for good price. Below are some tips to help you.

If your car starts to make a louder noise than usual, it is likely that your muffler needs to be replaced. Since it is difficult to work under a car without a lift, this is a job that is best done at a shop. If you do not fix it, it is possible to get a ticket for your muffler sounding too loud.

If you hire a mechanic, make sure they do not perform unnecessary repairs on your vehicle. They need to get your approval before any repairs done. If they try to charge you for unneeded repairs, you should find another mechanic.

Write down all the work that is been done on your car and when it was done. Most mechanic shops will have the information themselves, but that is only beneficial if you go to the same shop for everything. These records can help to diagnose problems with your car. When you do have problems, give Pinellas affordable towing a call to help you.

Ask your mechanic if they are ASE certified. For a mechanic to earn the certification, they must pass a written test and have work experience. Mechanic with the certification is likely to be competent.

As with most things, the more knowledgeable you are about a subject, the better you can deal with it. This includes repairs to your car. By using the knowledge here, you can be more confident about having your car repaired. By having a better understanding of car repairs, you can potentially save yourself money and headache.

The Action Today is About Towing

Well, here we go again.  I bought this POS Jetta Diesel that I thought was going to be a sweet deal and a cheap car to drive.  The story was – one owner before me and she blew the engine and this mechanic that I met lent up with the car and rebuilt the engine as good as new.  Yeah, right.

So I paid slightly over bluebook and took possession of this rolling money hole.  First, it blows oil all over the frickin place.  Time to have it towed.  $100 for the tow, $400 for the repair.

I have it back 3 weeks, then it’s blowing coolant on the ground.  $100 for the tow, $400 for the repair.

Okay – 2 months in a row, I’d dropped $500 or more into this damn car.  If the people at Reno Towing Company hadn’t been so nice – I’d of thought they were in on it.

So I dumped the car and bought a BMW.  What the hell.  If I was going to drop $500 a month on a vehicle, it might as well be a BMW.  By the way, I added full warranty and free towing (just in case).  Sorry Reno Towing – I won’t be needing you again.

How to get rid of a Gopher

There are 3 pretty straight forward methods of getting rid of a gopher. Not a golfer, that you’ll get locked up for. I’m talking about those hairy, little bastards; gophers.

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1. Non Lethal

Pet droppings. That’s right. Get your pet droppings and scatter them all around the gopher holes. Keep your cat litter, save your dog droppings, and throw that stuff right down the gopher hole. You won’t need very much, but the more the merrier, those little bastards deserve the worst. Cats and dogs are natural gopher predators so the smell of their number 2s is a natural deterrent to pesky gophers. When they smell the poop, they will assume a predator is nearby and high-tail it right out of your golf course.

2. Use smells that gophers don’t like

Gophers have sensitive noses, so if they smell something they don’t like, they will probably leave. Here are some ideas of smelly things gophers are going to hate.

  • Fish. Save your fish guts next time you’re out on the open waters. Gophers hate fish, little known fact about the animal kingdom. It’s like cats and dogs, but the kinds that don’t like each other.
  • Castor oil. I don’t even know what it is, but I know gophers hate it. Put it in a spray bottle and apply heavily around the gopher holes.
  • Coffee grounds. Don’t throw our your coffee grounds! Well, I mean obviously don’t throw out perfectly good coffee grounds, make some coffee with them, but then don’t throw out what’s leftover. Gophers are very sensitive to coffee grounds because they can’t handle the caffeine. Silly gophers, coffee is delicious. Boy, are they missing out.
  • Dryer sheets. Get your laundry soft, but don’t throw out the used sheet. Gophers are rugged animals and don’t like to be soft because then it makes them look like sissies to other gophers.
  • Tabasco. Gophers are sensitive to spicy foods, especially tabasco. Such a shame. I love a little tabasco. Once I exploded tabasco all over the kitchen at the golf course and had to get everything cleaned. The only saving grace was this kitchen hood cleaning Sacramento.

3. Dynamite

That’s right. Good old fashioned dynamite. This is my personal favorite. I really like blowing things up and gophers are no exception to the rule. As a groundskeeper you have to know when enough is enough and when you need to bring out the big guns. Sometimes you really just have to lay down two, three, four, five, six, twenty sticks of dynamite in your gopher holes and just blow those little suckers sky high. Now you’ll have some damages to the grounds, sure, but any gopher within 200 miles of that blast will know for sure not to wander into your golf course.

4. Some Stupid Gopher Plant

This isn’t as fun as the dynamite and requires you to plant some stuff, which isn’t so bad, I guess, but it’s not like blowing anything up. There is a plant called Gopher Spurge. This is supposed to drive away gophers, but I don’t know if it works at all. Personally I think you are crazy if you read past dynamite.