Ocean Prime

My Aunt recently held her birthday dinner at Ocean Prime, one of the most upscale restaurants in Tampa Bay and I was excited to check it out and of course try some of the food there. We were given a private room with glass surrounding us to the rest of the restaurant, it sure was a different experience then the last time I was there lounging by the outdoor bar with my parents.

The waitress was friendly, but it was hard for her to frequently keep up with us since she still had assigned tables outside our room…I was convinced that she was trying her best though. They tried their best to make my Aunt feel special (singing happy birthday to her on the piano) and even one of the managers there came in and introduced himself to my Aunt. They even brought her two complimentary cakes and a drink. Talk about high-class treatment.

Now on to the food:)

I ordered two potato sides and their She Crab Bisque with Crab Fritter ($9) instead of ordering one of the main entrees, such as steak or fish.


The She Crab Bisque was probably one of the best soups I have ever tried. Sweeter than a lobster bisque and hitting just the right taste buds to have a powerful yet perfect taste to it. I honestly preferred it without the crab fritter which, in my opinion, took some of the taste away. For $9, you could probably visit Ocean Prime and have a decent meal with just this soup without spending the big bucks. I highly recommend this dish.


The Creamy Whipped Potatoes ($8) were blended very well, but were missing something. Maybe some gravy on top would have helped it out. I could have passed on this one, and it was something you really need to share. I’ve had better potatoes honestly.


The Sea Salt Vinegar Fries ($8) were tasty, having almost a salt and vinegar chip taste just with fries instead. I think dipping them in ketchup makes it too salty and doesn’t give it the right taste, though by themselves they were not too appetizing either. These might be good with some other kind of dip for future ventures.

Honestly, the She Crab Bisque was really what made my meal at Ocean Prime pretty great. I wouldn’t have really enjoyed the food or time there without it. Ocean Prime does have a very relaxing kind of environment to it (if you’re smart you can even eat there without spending too much money), but at the same time I think I prefer a nice more family style dining restaurant instead. As a small side note Derek Jeter ended up in the same bathroom as me, which was a little odd to say the least.

Restaurant Name: Ocean Prime
Address: 2205 Northwest Shore Boulevard Tampa, FL 33607
Phone Number: (813) 490-5288
Websitehttp://tampa.ocean-prime.com/

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West Tampa Sandwich Shop: A Taste of Cuba

Today on an adventure to try some pupusas on Martin Luther King, my sister and I found ourselves outside an establishment that is closed on Thursdays. We ended up over at the West Tampa Sandwich Shop on Armenia Avenue, a favorite place to grab a meal for her. Apparently my parents used to bring us food from here when I was younger, but since we never dined there I can barely remember it.

The restaurant itself isn’t too big. The tables are just barely adequate for a party of four and you sit pretty close other people. The place really reminds me of a true mom and pop diner with pictures all over the place and television playing the local news. The waitress was friendly and although nothing to brag about, she was helpful and put our orders in for us in a timely manner.

My nephew order pancakes, his current favorite breakfast food and they looked quite delicious with a nice golden brown color to them.


He snuck on camera.

My sister ordered their scrambled egg combo which looked like a nice blend of many ingredients, she says it is her favorite. She also ordered a mango milkshake, which I regretted not ordering after trying hers, simply an amazing shake, thick with a rich mango taste. She says it is the main reason she comes to the West Tampa Sandwich shop.


The amazing mango shake.

The prices were really affordable. Most items were less than $6 and even dinner prices are around $8. The sandwiches are around $3 which is a pretty unbeatable price. The shakes were around $2. It is certainly a good place to come by when you are on a tight budget.

I ordered their BLT sandwich and requested that they put a fried egg inside (hadn’t had breakfast yet), along with some french fries, and a Malta. The BLT sandwich was fantastic, the bread they use for it is what really made it taste so good, the bacon was cooked just right and the tomatoes tasted very fresh. They cooked the egg just how I asked, with plenty of yolk but not excessively runny even though it was sunny side up, sometimes you have to be cautious with this at restaurants because your egg just ruin your meal if they do not make it correct, but here it was just right.

The french fries were also quite delicious. I can associate the taste closest to that of Steak N Shake (though almost 10x thicker fries) and they went great with my sandwich.


Their steak sandwich, which my sister’s boyfriend ordered.

Overall this place is a pretty nice find with affordable, quality meals, and I certainly want to try out their steak sandwich and other menu items in the future.

Restaurant Name: West Tampa Sandwich Shop
Address: 3904 N Armenia Ave. Tampa, FL 33607
Phone Number: (813) 873-7104

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Tokyo Sushi: USF Japanese Festival After-Party

Yesterday I dined with some friends at Tokyo Sushi, a USF-area sushi restaurant located by the intersection of Fowler Avenue and 56th Street. It is a favorite of many good friends of mine and very convenient for college students and local employees, providing some good deals with a lunch special and early bird special (starts at 5PM) for people who like eating dinner early or saving some money on dinner. I personally like picking my own rolls so I tend to stay away from specials.

I ordered a California Roll ($4.25)-which was very fresh, although I prefer them without cucumber (something to note for future orders), Alaska Roll ($5.95) (Salmon with Avocado wrapped in rice and seaweed)-which was perfect and hit just the right spot, Crab Special($3.95), and Eel ($4.25). The last two rolls being perfectly made, requiring no soy sauce or any other kind of add-on to them. They came out fresh and although there was a small error where they accidentally sent me Spicy Tuna instead of an Alaska Roll, they quickly and politely corrected the order.

The waiters were very accommodating to our large party of eleven. They frequently came out to check if we needed refills and the wait for the food wasn’t too long, including appetizer miso soups and salads. I am sure I will be here again soon since the location is so convenient, the sushi is fresh, and servers are friendly and helpful.

Restaurant Name: Tokyo Sushi
Cuisine: Sushi
Address: 5711 East Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL 33617-2398
Neighborhood: USF
Phone Number: (813) 983-1822
Websitehttp://www.tokyosushibar.com/

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