Bangkok Jazz

Bangkok Jazz is a restaurant that I passed on my way to school maybe 600 times or more in the time that I’ve been a university student in Tampa. The Victorian-style building always caught my eye, but before I could read the sign I would already be passing 56th street and speeding away. Bangkok Jazz’s choice of location may not be the best spot, they are more or less not visible to drivers who are passing by, but the venue itself is a beautiful and unique setup for Thai restaurant.

The outside has a picnic table and is surrounded by Victorian-style architecture, perfect for an outdoor lunch date during a beautiful sunny day. Inside, the restaurant has your typical Thai setup on the left side of the restaurant with lavish gold decorations. The right side of the restaurant is where the restaurant is unique. The stage for local jazz performers is surrounded by red walls and a bar. The tables are made of fine wood and the overall feeling of the room is romantic. Although, I wasn’t able to see a live performer during my visit I did see the stage and watched them practicing. It looked like restaurant diners were in a for a treat.

For an appetizer I decided to order their Cococnut Chicken Soup ($2.95). It was savory, but also not the best I have had in terms of flavor of the broth. I enjoyed the ingredients inside which really brought it some zest with the exception of the mushrooms they used…which I really didn’t care for. It was pretty big bowl for the price so quite a good deal.

The Chicken Pad Thai ($9.95) came out quickly. Probably not even 10 minutes after ordering. The Pad Thai looked much darker than the Pad Thai I have had at any other Thai place in Tampa. There was plenty of sauce and flavor to it and it was large. The chicken was great, probably some of the best I had in a Pad Thai. They used lots of vegetables, plenty of peppers, bean sprouts, and scallions. The waiter was satisfactory, but he had a slight language barrier.

Overall, Bangkok Jazz was a good experience. I want to return for lunch and try sitting outside, lunch prices here are pretty cheap ($5.95).

Bangkok Jazz on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: Bangkok Jazz

Cuisine: Thai

Adddress: 6840 E Fowler Ave.Temple Terrace, FL 33617

Phone Number: (813) 374-8879

Neighborhood: USF

Website: http://www.bangkokjazztampa.com/

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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