Author: Dave Heise

Restaurant Review: Piquant

Feeling a little saucy? It’s time for a trip to Piquant in Hyde Park Village. This engaging bistro/boulangerie/pastisserie is French-inspired in decorating style and fare, but you can leave your French-English dictionary at home. It’s a restaurant, a bar, a bakery and a pastry shop, and they do it all well. And without the interminable flight overseas.     My wife and I visited Piquant the Friday evening that Hurricane Matthew was scouring the east coast of Florida. Though plenty of indoor seating was available, we sat on the covered outdoor patio at the sidewalk overlooking Snow Avenue. This...

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6+ Reasons You’ll Love Goody Goody

Let’s get right to it… Burger POX, Secret Sauce and Fresh-Cut Fries Don’t worry; “burger POX” is a good thing! That’s Goody Goody Burgers’ classic labeling of their burgers with Pickles, Onions, and X (secret sauce!) They had me right from the start when I spied the lightly toasted bun, a treat far too seldom seen anymore. The burger itself is a hand-formed patty of Strickland Ranch beef, assembled with the “secret sauce” and neatly tucked into a paper wrapper. Delicious. Relax and get messy. The fries are fresh-cut, never frozen, and generously seasoned and fried to perfection which makes...

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Restaurant Review: 4 Rivers Smokehouse

Now, I know reviewing barbecue places is a dangerous game . . . people tend to have their favorites and become fiercely loyal. I’m here to say, though, that whatever style you like, you just might find a new favorite at 4 Rivers Smokehouse. The Atmosphere 4 Rivers has been very popular since opening a few months ago at the corner of MacDill and Swann in South Tampa, but you can actually find a parking spot in the lot if you don’t wait too long after rush hour. In a hurry? Call ahead and use the pick-up window on...

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Restaurant Review: On Swann

You’ve probably had that experience — take a first bite, and the flavors are so good that your eyelids involuntarily drop closed and you’re momentarily transported to your happy place. I recently had that experience twice in one meal, at On Swann in Hyde Park Village in Tampa. I admit that I’m a sucker for roasted oysters, but On Swann’s version with sambal butter, garlic and lemon is outstanding. The oysters themselves were a bit on the smallish side but the presentation and the taste were terrific. Make sure you use some of On Swann’s artisanal bread to sop up...

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Restaurant Review: Bella’s Italian Cafe

Every neighborhood should have a good, casual and reasonably priced Italian restaurant, and Hyde Park is lucky enough to have Bella’s Italian Café. A fixture in South Tampa for thirty years, Bella’s continues to dish up great food in a cozy atmosphere, and the crowded parking lot and frequent wait for a table are testaments to Bella’s knack for pleasing customers. I love this place. They have a thing for “fresh,” making their bruschetta sauce, pasta, sauces, and salad dressings on-site and often per-order. They deliver a complementary bruschetta slice when you sit down, and a bread basket with...

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