Tampa is a pretty popular tourism town, because of the zoo and aquarium among other attractions. I have lived here since I was a kid, and I know that the thing keeping me here is the cuisine. Not a lot of people know this, but Tampa houses a lot of the greatest restaurants in Washington. Maybe even the U.S., depending on what kind of food you’re into. All great restaurants need reviews to point out what they do right, and that is exactly what I will be doing.
The first restaurant that I have to talk about is absolutely my favorite restaurant in Tampa. That restaurant would be The Big Easy. Here, you will be eating in the Historic Ybor area of Tampa. Lots of other great restaurants nearby, so if you’re planning a museum visit or something similar then I would encourage you to make it an all-day event. You could breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Ybor.
The Big Easy is a bar, so no kids allowed. In my opinion, that’s both a good and a bad thing. Rowdy kids are one of my pet peeves in Tampa restaurants, and it feels like parents are becoming more and more tolerant of bad behavior with their children. Beer cheese isn’t normally something that I would enjoy, but it tastes different here.
In a good way. Maybe the chefs have their own little farm inside the kitchen where they grow all of their own natural ingredients. The world may never know. Although the beer cheese is really great, I think my favorite dish is likely the Shrimp & Grits. Seafood isn’t for everyone, but I have found that the chefs at The Big Easy balanced all of the flavors well.
Not everyone can pull of shrimp dishes, and I appreciate that this Tampa restaurant does. It probably helps that Tampa is located on the coast, so that way the chefs have no shortage of fresh seafood. The Big Easy doesn’t just have good food, though. Over time, I have come to appreciate the service. It’s almost habitual for me now, expecting great service whenever I go out to eat.
That doesn’t always happen, and The Big Easy has gotten me used to it. All of the wait staff at this Tampa restaurant know and love the menu, and they’re very helpful. Even when I ate here for the first time and had no idea what to order, the waiter had suggestions both from personal experience and what other customers had ordered previously in the same day. On top of that, they are always making sure that your glass is full.
I checked, and it’s not just me that they are always assisting. I have also seen the owner come out and help a few times, which is always appreciated. It’s nice when the management of a restaurant doesn’t treat it purely as a business, and more of a place to have a good time. For both parties involved.
I have asked my waiter to give the chefs my compliments on multiple occasions, and under no circumstances would I take it back. If you’re still on the fence, or you just want to learn more about The Big Easy’s menu, make sure to look online at the many amazing online reviews this Tampa restaurant has. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed.
Next, there’s Oggi Italian. This time around, you will be eating in the Davis Islands area of Tampa. You can’t go wrong with Italian food, especially not in Tampa. Oggi Italian serves Italian food, as the name suggests, but you would be surprised at how much Italian food is out there aside from the common dishes that everyone knows about.
Like spaghetti, for example. Fret not, if you’re uninterested in trying new foods that you haven’t heard of, you won’t be forced to try anything new. However, Oggi Italian does offer new twists on classic dishes that I really love. I order something different each time I go to Oggi Italian, but that’s not to say that the dishes are bad.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Each dish so far has been great, and I have not been disappointed once. That’s how you know a restaurant is great in general, and they don’t just specialize in one dish. A lot of Italian restaurants that I have tried in Tampa only really specialized in one thing, like salads or pasta.
Not here. This may not be my favorite Tampa restaurant of all time, but it is still one of my favorites. And with a ton of good restaurants in Tampa, there is some pretty stiff competition. All of the great reviews clearly agree with me, I’m not making this stuff up.
Finally, there’s Prost Kitchen + Bar. German cuisine is usually associated with alcohol, but the food here is also killer. Why else would it be one of my favorite Tampa restaurants? This restaurant is found nearby Lake Forest in Tampa. What sets Prost Kitchen + Bar apart from the competition is their sanitation.
Not once have I found a single piece of anything that was not supposed to be there, and for that I am thankful. Even the bathrooms are clean, which I think is pretty uncommon in a lot of Florida restaurants. Maybe Tampa just has some great restaurant owners. One thing that the owners should keep in mind if they want to continue this trend is kitchen sanitation.
Just because we can’t see back there doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be clean. That’s not to say that restaurant kitchens are all dirty, but they also should not be. The hardest part of a kitchen to clean is the exhaust hood, since it has to be done by a professional, so I guess it also makes sense that it’s the most vital part.
Fortunately for Prost Kitchen + Bar, I know some great restaurant hood cleaners located right within the city. From what I have heard, they also offer additional services like rooftop grease containment. I’ll have to read the about page on the website if I want to know more.
If I strike up conversation with the owner of Prost Kitchen + Bar, I know I’ll make sure to mention to them. Prost Kitchen + Bar has earned the positive online reviews that my friends and I wrote, and we look forward to our next meal.