Hotel Bar now serving Downtown Tampa

Downtown Tampa has a new spot now open called Hotel Bar. The bar is a classy establishment that serves libations created by famous hotels around the world and also gourmet food.

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During my visit I tried the Hotel Nacional made with cana brava, giffard peche, pineapple, and lime. The cocktail comes from Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana, Cuba. You’ll find other cocktails on the menu from countries including England, Japan, France and a nice selection from New Orleans.

The food menu includes lamb tartare, wagyu ragu, roasted lemon chicken, and prime rib as well as finger food such as deviled eggs and pita chips with various dips. Late night diners can enjoy a late night fare menu.

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The bar and restaurants fits in perfectly with the growing community around Downtown and offers a new spot to go out for a group outing or drinks after work. The ownership comes from Fly Bar & Restaurant who has been serving Downtown Tampa for years.

I am looking forward to big things to come from Hotel Bar and all of Downtown Tampa as our city keeps growing.

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Photos via Hotel Bar instagram

Name: Hotel Bar

Address: 200 N. TAMPA STREET, TAMPA FL 33602

Phone: (813) 533-2650

Hours: Open daily / 4PM-3AM

Website: http://hotelbartampa.com/

Site Update: CarlosEats.com Back Up

Last week on the 4th of July – something happened to the servers and coding for CarlosEats.com and the entire website went down. We were able to recover all the posts – but the website template and photos are in limbo for the moment. In the mean time,  I decided to point the domain back to the original Carlos Eats host on WordPress.com.

WordPress has upgraded quite a bit since I last was here and I might just keep the site here and migrate some posts over. We’ll see. I am in the middle of working on some articles so  I will be posting those shortly.

Just wanted to give everyone an update in case you are wondering why posts from 2012 are suddenly on the front page.

Carlos Eats is seeking sponsors!

Carlos Eats is seeking sponsors.

Are you interested in having your business promoted and help with promotion of upcoming food-related events? Carlos Eats has a growing network that you can connect with through this website and social media. The goal of this effort it to help me reach more people (possibly due a site re-design upgrade), grow the site, and help raise funds to increase the number of restaurants exposed on Carlos Eats and help me get to some restaurants that might be hard to access.

Note: Reviews cannot be purchased as I value my integrity and connection with my readers (as should you!). However, a food tasting is always a great way to get connect.

Alternatively, if you would just like to leave a donation, you can leave a donation here (no Paypal account necessary). Your support is appreciated! 🙂

If you’re interested please fill out a contact form!

Thank you! Expect some updates soon. (Back to exams… :()

Carlos Eats Seoul: Paris Baguette in Namdaemun

Paris Baguette is a chain you’ll find throughout Seoul and South Korea (2,900 stores) and has been established since 1986. The headquarters for the company is in Seongnam (성남). It has a few locations in big urban places such as New York and California (with expansion plans through the U.S.A.), but it is located on nearly every other street throughout Seoul. I grew curious about the place after seeing it in so many places around Sinchon and Yonsei University. After shopping for a camera in Namdaemun Market we finally stopped at Paris Baguette and gave it a shot.

You walk around and pick what breads you want with a tong and then proceed to front and pay your bill. It’s a self-serve kind of place. Most of the people who go there look stylish and the overall feel of Paris Baguette is a trendy cafe. The cashier was wearing a french hat and outfit and another employee there was wearing a tall chef hat. I am sure Paris Baguette is a hot-spot for dates and for girls hanging out with their friends. We were just hungry.

The food was pretty tasty and not too expensive although the portions were small. We did enjoy the mini-burger sliders and the bread was excellent. The pizza bread had a nice taste and was enjoyable despite not being heated. Dining at Paris Baguette was an interesting experience and I would like to try many chains in Seoul just to see how different they are than the chains we have in the United States (and I also want to try American restaurants to see how different they are in South Korea). That’s one of that great things about eating out in Seoul. No matter where I have a meal, it’s still an interesting experience since its completely new to me.

Overall, I might go back to Paris Baguette someday if I was in need of some bread and maybe a light snack. If I was really hungry I don’t think Paris Baguette would be a smart choice to dine-in.

Restaurant Name: Paris Baguette

Cuisine: Bakery

Website: http://www.paris.co.kr/ http://www.parisbaguetteusa.com/parisbaguette/Home.asp

Carlos Eats 2.0: Expansion to Seoul, South Korea

As I was updating my food blog last Monday in Miami I smelt a peculiar burning smell in my hotel room. I began to wonder if it was the Colombian BBQ I had earlier for dinner that night, but after almost an hour of sniffing for smoke I couldn’t find the source. Suddenly as I finished editing the photographs from my dinner that night my laptop powered off. I finally found the root of the smell: my laptop AC adapter. Unfortunately, my laptop adapter short-circuited my laptop. The hard drive is currently in the hands of a computer engineer who I hope will be able to salvage the data.

After a week with no laptop (my worst nightmare), I finally acquired a new HP laptop from Best Buy for under $400. This G4 laptop is working like a charm and I will be pumping out the posts I can salvage ASAP. I really do apologize about the delay and disruption. I have quite a few other things to update you on as well.

Carlos Eats is expanding to Seoul, South Korea. I am going to be studying abroad at Yonsei University in about 2 weeks. During my trip I have found several like-minded people who will continue to cover the food scene here in Tampa and become part of the Carlos Eats Team. The great thing is these people eat out just as much as I do and many times they are actually dining with me at restaurants that I review and events that I attend and will offer you a new take on restaurants, many of them are cooks as well so I hope to bring some recipes and food trends to the site.

I am looking forward to covering a whole new food scene. Seoul has a population of over 10 million people, so you can imagine just how expansive their food scene must be. USF World has provided me with a Flipcam to document my travel so I plan to really increase the amount of food videos I post as well. I am planning to update the navigation on the site so it will be easier for readers to get to the content they want to read. You can read my travel blog for my adventures in Seoul at http://www.carlosabroad.com.

Finally checkout the updated Carlos Eats logo designed by the lovely Catherine Lim:

The new logo has a cleaner look and has a transparent background so it will make photographs look better.

Many things to come your way from Carlos Eats!

Carlos Eats Miami!

I will be vacationing in Miami starting this Sunday the 31st until next Friday the 5th. Despite living in Florida since 1998, I have never been to Miami and I am excited to try all the restaurants food spots out in Miami (looking forward to checking out their food truck scene!). I will be staying on Sunny Isles Beach. If you have any recommendations on where I should eat at, leave me a comment below :). I have already taken down a few places from a few friends, but would love to add some more things to my list. I’ll be updating soon from Miami and look for a ton of finished posts to be heading your way very soon as well!

Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/jovas167

Mel’s Hot Dogs

Mel’s Hot Dogs is a part of my USF Dining Guide.

Mel’s Hot Dogs is well-known as one of Tampa’s best places to have a Chicago-style hot dog since 1973. The menu has a number of quality hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken choices, and burgers to choose from. Once you decide what main entree you want you, you choose whether to upgrade to a basket and have coleslaw or baked beans with french fries. They have both soda and draft beers to choose from.

My personal favorite is their corn dogs ($2.50). They are crispy just like you would have at a fair, such as the Florida State Fair, and the beef hot dogs inside taste fantastic. The french fries are also crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The baked beans are usually sweet and the coleslaw tastes like real home-made slaw.

The hot dogs ($2.75) vary depending on which one, but you can usually count on the bun to be toasty and soft and the beef to taste just right. I normally will not eat hot dogs, but Mel’s is probably the only place where hot dogs actually taste good to me and it’s because of their attention to making quality food. I have tasted their Angus Beef Burgers ($4.75) as well and was impressed with how good it tasted, Mel’s can do more than just your average hot dog. Checkout their menu for more.

The employees are friendly and strike up a conversation every once in awhile. Normally you only wait a few minutes for your food and Mel’s is located right next to Busch Gardens and just two miles from USF so it is a convenient local business for students and tourists to stop at. There is plenty of seating for both small and large parties as well, though parking is a little limited they have extra in the back.

Justin happy with his hot dog.

Mel's Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: Mel’s Hot Dogs

Cuisine: American

Address: 4136 E Busch Blvd. Tampa, FL 33617

Neighborhood: USF

Phone Number: (813) 985-8000

Website: http://www.melshotdogs.com/

*Prices do not include basket prices