Categories
Reviews

SoHo Sushi North

I have been by SoHo Sushi North numerous times, but never stopped in until this past week. It is the same plaza as the fantastic Wood Fired Pizza, and these two restaurants really do make this plaza boom with foodie activity. I first heard of SoHo Sushi when they became a sponsor for the Japanese Club at USF‘s “A Night in Tokyo” cultural event (a Japanese cultural-themed dinner).

We came during their “Happy Hour” which is from 5:00PM-7:00PM everyday and offers $5-7 special rolls and appetizers as well as 2-4-1 house wine, draft beer, and hot sake. USF students can get 10% off with their student ID making SoHo Sushi North affordable for the college students nearby and for diners who don’t mind having dinner early.

We decided to order two appetizers: their $5 Sunomono (cucumber salad topped with crab, steamed shrimp, octopus, and fined with rice wine vinaigrette) and $6 Geso (Japanese style calamari, flash fried and dressed in ponzu sauce).

The sunomono was excellent and had a very refreshing taste to it. It was a nice start to our meal and whenever we wanted to refresh our taste buds throughout our meal the rice vinaigrette really hit the spot. The shredded crab and shrimp were delicious and although I don’t like cucumbers on my sushi (I feel it detracts from the taste of the fish), I love cucumber on the side with some sauce. There was enough for two people to share so I say $5 is not a bad price for some sunomono.

The geso was quite a change in taste buds from the sunomono we had before it. The calamari was a little rough, but still quite tasty and the ponzu sauce was the best part of this appetizer. We could have dipped almost anything into the sauce and been happy. Although the geso wasn’t my favorite food of the night it was pretty good and I think I would try it again and see if maybe the chef just timed the cooking a little off on the appetizer. $6 is a great price for calamari. It is a nice switch from the usual calamari found in most restaurants and the batter was noticeably less greasy as well.

We decided to order four rolls and went with the K-Town Roll ($6), Lobster Tempura Roll ($6), SoHo Roll ($5), and Tuna Fresh Roll ($7). They came rather quickly and it wasn’t long before we had a pile of food in front of us. The Lobster Tempura Roll (top right) was tasty on the inside, but the outside tasted a little odd…like the tempura didn’t reach the amount of crunch one desires when having a tempura roll. Still definitely worth the price, but a little off what we wanted.

The fish was good in the other rolls, but the mayo was a little off-putting. My friend mentioned that the mayo tasted American and I couldn’t help but agree. The mayo was detracting from the roll and indeed the two rolls that had mayo on them would have been better without it. On the other hand, the rice paper was a refreshing change from your average sushi roll and kept the sushi from becoming too heavy. I also thought the tuna and salmon were both appetizing and my friend commented that the tempura chips were great.

Overall, I would say the sushi at SoHo Sushi North was good, but not the best I have had. They face fierce competition in the area with Tomo Sushi and Joy of Tokyo within a few minutes of driving distance and Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant down on Fowler Avenue. SoHo is really a seller because of the good deals they offer with their Happy Hour and USF 10% student discount that few sushi restaurants will match nearby. With the rough economic times everyone faces today you can’t deny a good deal.

As we were about to close our check we decided we would have some dessert and order their fried ice cream for $6 (pictured below). The ice cream tasted satisfactory (not too sweet and the fried piece on top was a pleasant finish) and was a nice close to our meal.

Soho Sushi on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: SoHo Sushi North

Cuisine: Japanese

Neighborhood: USF

Address: 2826 E. Bearss Avenue Tampa, Florida 33613

Phone Number: 813.977.8744

Website: http://www.sohosushinorth.com

Categories
Food Holidays

Where to Dine on Father’s Day in Tampa Bay

In case you haven’t heard, 50 million Americans are expected to dine out for Father’s Day this weekend. Trying to figure out where to take Dad to eat on Father’s Day? I have you covered. Here are some suggestions of dining deals happening around Tampa on Father’s Day (Sunday June 19, 2011 for those of you who didn’t know).

Stump’s Supper Club in Channelside is offering a free appetizer for Dad’s on Father’s Day (with the purchase of an entree).

Yamato Japanese Steakhouse has Morgan Chardonnay for $5 down from the usual $17 for Father’s Day.

The Yacht StarShip has a Father’s Day Brunch Cruise with tickets selling at $39.95, boarding at Noon on Father’s Day.

Father’s get free food and get to bowl for free at Splitsville in Channelside when they come with their kids.

Charleys is offering free 24oz Ribeye steak for dads, along with a signature salad and French bread (with a purchase of equal or greater value) on Father’s Day.

The Bearded Clam in Sarasota has a buffet with live music for families. $20 for adults and $6.95 for children 10 and under.

IKEA is having an all-you-can-eat Father’s Day brunch. $9.99 for adults and children 12 and under are just $2.49. Quite a deal with the amount of things on the menu.

Spaghetti Warehouse in Ybor City will be offering free Lasagna or Spaghetti for Dad’s on Father’s Day. No coupon necessary.

The Columbia will be open for Father’s Day and is accepting reservations. They have a number of specials for Father’s Day including a Coca de Langosta y Chorizo tapas special and two entree specials: New York Strip Sirloin “The Bambino” and Vieiras y Ibérico “Canarias”. Note: The Columbia Cafe on the Riverwalk will have their usual menu and not be offering Father’s Day specials.

Grille 54 has a special Father’s Day menu. They will be opening at Noon on Sunday.

Beef O’ Brady’s will give Dad’s a free meal for Father’s Day (with the purchase of an entree of equal or lesser value and a limit of $10, some restriction apply…check with your local Beef franchisee for details).

Fleming’s Steakhouse has a 3-course Father’s Day Brunch for $32.95 and you get a free $25 gift card for your father with your purchase.

Visiting the Cheesecake Factory for Father’s Day? Print out this coupon for a free cheesecake for every $30 purchase. Valid until 6/28/2011. Even if you aren’t going for Father’s Day print it anyway. Who doesn’t love free cheesecake?

Hope everyone has a Happy Father’s Day! 🙂

Did I miss your restaurant? Shoot me an e-mail to carloseats [at] gmail [dot] com and I will add you to the list.

Categories
Food Events

Chocolate Sunday – January 23rd, 2011 in Clearwater

Update: Due to time constraints the 4 winners will be drawn from the comment box below by 11:59pm 01/20/2011. Thanks!

-Carlos

I am quite the chocolate enthusiast. No trip to Channelside is complete is complete without a visit to Qachbal’s Chocolatier. When I am visiting Downtown Disney in Orlando I have to grab a shake from Ghirardelli. Finally whenever I am in Sarasota in St. Armand’s Circle I make it a point to stop at Kilwins.

An inviting exterior. You can look right into the chocolate shop and see them making some of the treats. St. Armand’s Circle is packed with lots of little shops from tiny pizza and ice cream parlors to bars and chocolate shops. Plenty of stores to occupy tourists or visitors for hours.

Look at all that chocolate. It’s a tease!

You can watch them at work…making the goods! Look at all those candy apples.

Kilwins has a variety of ice cream flavors as well. My favorite? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The employees at Kilwins are very friendly (and mostly high schoolers) and helpful when you’re trying to find the right taste and they are happy to let you sample flavors until you find the right ice cream flavor.

A cup full of happiness.

Entering Kilwins must not be recommended by dentists, but what is life without the sweet little things right? As one famous chocolate quote reads: “I could give up chocolate but I’m not a quitter.” Now that I have made everyone (including myself) want some chocolate read below for some information on an upcoming chocolate event next Sunday that Kilwins will be present at!

Kilwin's Chocolate & Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Sunday, Tampa Bay’s 1st annual chocolate event and biggest day in Chocolate will be next Sunday the 23rd in Clearwater from twelve to six. This event is being brought to you by Tampa Bay Woman Newspaper. Many vendors lined up to be at this event such as The Melting Pot and Kilwins. Your favorite local food blogger (his name is Carlos and he is always eating!) will be in attendance as well. Chocolate Sunday is meant to bring something new and refreshing to Tampa Bay like never before so don’t miss out on this event.

Address: 1111 North McMullen Booth Road Clearwater, FL 33759

Time: Noon – 6:00 p.m

Price: Advance Tickets are $20 for Adults, and $25 at the Door. Children’s tickets will be available for $10 for those ages 11 and under.

For Advance Ticket purchases please call the Ruth Eckerd Hall Box office at 727-791-7400.

For vendor/sponsor information, please contact TampaChocolateSunday@gmail.com.

For updated chocolatiers and other exhibitors, or for the Menu of events, go to http://chocolate-sunday.com.

Follow CHOCOLATE SUNDAY on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TampaChocSunday.

I am going to be giving away 4 Chocolate Sunday tickets to my blog readers  so pay attention and you may find yourself at Chocolate Sunday for free! Your opportunity to win is in the comment box below. Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite kind of chocolate is and I’ll pick four random commenter to win free tickets to Chocolate Sunday!

Categories
Reviews

Timpano Italian Chophouse

Timpano Italian Chophouse is a restaurant and bar located across the street from CineBistro in Old Hyde Park. The exterior seems fancy and upscale and that wouldn’t be an incorrect way to describe Timpano. Inside the place is lit well, most of the people there are dressed up. My visit was during evening hours and the restaurant was booming with both a dinner crowd and a crowd surrounding their Frank Sinatra Bar.

There was live music playing the night I visited, the tunes were pleasant, but just a backdrop to the chatty conversations in the restaurant. The bartender that took care of us was friendly and quick to get us our drinks. He recommended me some drinks from their Martini menu and I decided to try their Flirtini, quite tasteful for someone like me who hates bitter drinks. There was a crowd of older women there, Tuesday nights are ladies night so they were probably just appeared to stop by while making their way around town.

My party and I ordered their BBQ Short Rib Flatbread Pizza and it was fantastic. The mushrooms and meat were great and the flatbread was appetizing and crunchy. What tasted like olive oil was used as a sauce on top and went well with the pizza. It was hard to not eat it all in a few bites. They have a couple other flatbreads that I would like to try in the future as well as their raw bar.

Overall, service and food at the Timpano Italian Chophouse was pretty good. Its a great place to sit at the bar and have a bite to eat and drink in an atmosphere that isn’t rowdy, but mature and reserved.

Timpano Chophouse and Martini Bar on Urbanspoon
Restaurant Name: Timpano Italian Chophouse
Cuisine: Italian
Address: 1610 W Swann Ave. Tampa, FL 33606
Neighborhood: Hyde Park
Phone Number: (813) 254-5870
Website: http://www.timpanochophouse.net/