Tampa has disappointed me lately. I go out to eat every single night, and I need more places. Unfortunately for me, restaurants don’t just crop up in cities every single day. I’ve been forced to rely on my old favorites, not that I mind eating at them. I’m going to review each of my favorite restaurants while waiting for my food, so you guys can maybe potentially become regulars there as well.
Before I start, let me first address something. I’m going to try to emulate a professional food reviewer’s perspective, so there will be specific things in each restaurant that I am looking for. First, there’s Bartaco. As the name suggests, this restaurant serves tacos. Among other things as well, like enchiladas and more obscure things like sesame ribeye. Located in Hyde Park in Tampa, you’l be eating right on the coast.
This means two things. One, you’re in for some nice scenery. Especially if you choose to be seated in the outdoor area. Second, you’re guaranteed to be eating some very fresh fish. Florida is known for the quality of its fish, which is no surprise to me. My favorite dish is the fried oyster tacos, but I also love Bartaco’s ceviche.
One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the food is fried, which I’ll get to later in the review. Don’t worry about bringing a picky eater to Bartaco, because there is basically a taco for every food on the planet. They put chicken, vegetables, and even tofu in them! I know that tacos aren’t for everyone, and this is where those people are finally in luck.
Not only are there plenty of vegan options, but this Tampa restaurant goes out of their way to make sure the widest selection of food is available. I’m talking about fried plaintains, grilled corn, and even bottled Coke. Drinking Coca-Cola out of a bottle makes it taste way better, in my opinion. Maybe that’s just me. Another thing that potential food critics will be looking for is the quality of the service.
Food is vital to a restaurant’s reputation, but if the service is bad then how are you even supposed to get the food, let alone order it? Fortunately, Bartaco has some amazing servers. I mean, they are some of the most professional waiters that I have ever seen. They can balance between making sure you have everything you need and leaving you in peace so you can eat your food.
Each one of them knows every item on the menu, so don’t be afraid to ask what everyone else is ordering. I like quizzing them on what ingredients are in my order, just to see if they know. But of course, they always do. The last thing that food critics are usually keeping an eye out for is cleanliness. If you want to dive really deep into the sanitation in Bartaco, then I can tell you a story about the kitchen.
One time I was feeling somewhat bold and thought that it would be nice to watch the chefs go to town on all their fresh ingredients. It was around closing time, and I was the last person in the Tampa restaurant so the owner agreed. He’s a very nice man, by the way. Even doubles as a waiter when it’s really busy or just understaffed (usually the former). Anyways, I’m inside of Bartaco’s kitchen, and I can’t find a single thing that’s dirty.
All the lights were on, and everything is just sparkling and shining. A health inspector would think that they had died and gone to heaven. The kitchen’s exhaust hood was probably the cleanest thing, which surprised me the most.
After all, with the amount of frying and grease that is involved in making Mexican food, you would think that there was a ton of grease in it. Bartaco must have gotten a great deal from an amazing Tampa hood cleaning company. I wish I could have left great online reviews for each time I enjoyed the food.
Honestly, there’s not much else that I can cover. Luckily for me there are a few things that set these next few restaurants apart, because otherwise the review would just have to end here. Bear in mind that each one of the restaurants on this list has similar, if not the same quality.
If any of them were lacking then they wouldn’t be my favorite anymore, would they? Daily Eats is up next, and for good reason. You’ll find this Tampa restaurant in Hyde Park as well, kinda close to the coast. The majority of the menu here is breakfast foods, and it almost makes me wish that every meal of the day was breakfast.
I have to say, I appreciate the interior decorations. There’s an aesthetic in Daily Eats that can’t be beat. It’s just very tasteful decor overall, without going over the top. Much appreciated. For anyone who’s dying to learn more info about Daily Eats, look online at the many great reviews.
The last restaurant I’ll mention is Soho Sushi, but don’t discredit it because it’s the last one. Soho Sushi gets everything right, just as the previous two restaurants did. My body can only handle so much raw fish, so I save this Tampa restaurant for special occasions. Make sure you’re nearby Oakford Park in Tampa.
I know that sushi can get very expensive because it’s seen as a luxury, but don’t worry about that at Soho Sushi. I’ve always been surprised at how great everything tastes, and how reasonable everything is priced as well. Fresh ingredients and great prices? It almost sounds too good to be true.
Clearly a lot of Tampa residents had the same idea as me, otherwise I can’t really explain why there are so many great reviews online on yelp and google. Overall, I love all these restaurants. It’s tough to pick a favorite, and luckily for me I won’t ever have to. I can eat at each one as many times as I want, and because they’re super popular, I doubt any of them will be going away anytime soon.