7 Places In The Tampa Bay Area To Expand Your Foodie Experience

7 Places In The Tampa Bay Area To Expand Your Foodie Experience

Need help picking out where to go for dinner?
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Picking out a cool spot to dine out is always tricky, especially when there are hundreds of places to dine out in the Tampa Bay Area. In the past year I have been on the hunt to find unique and local restaurants that serve delicious food and provide a great atmosphere to get together with friends, family or your significant other. Here’s a list of some great food places in the Tampa Bay area.

1. Datz- Tampa, Florida

Datz is probably one of my favorite finds in Tampa. With an eccentric menu with things like burgers with mac 'n' cheese buns, or a doughnut burger. The atmosphere is unique and gives off an urban and hip feeling.

2. Dough- Tampa, Florida

After an amazing meal at Datz you can stroll on over next door to Dough and end the night with a delicious treat. Dough is owned by Datz. Dough has a bright and colorful interior. You can make a choice of a variety of unique and delicious treats such as Lucky Charms Cheesecake, S’more’s Doughnuts and Fruity Pebble ice cream. If you do stop by what all the hype is about on the ice cream doughnut cones. If you really want to expand your taste buds, Dough is the perfect place to go with friends, family or your significant other.


3. Chocolate Pi- Tampa, Florida

If you are a chocolate aficionado like me, then Chocolate Pi is the place for you. This small and dainty restaurant located in South Tampa. Here they make homemade sodas on the spot, and with a menu that changes constantly you have to opportunity to try something new each visit- or stick with your favorite treat. Here I highly suggest trying one of their Mason Jar desserts where they layer different ingredients like brownie, salted caramel, vanilla bean custard or toasted meringue.

4. Ciccio Cali- Brandon, Florida

If you are looking for a lighter, healthier meal Ciccio’s is known for their variety of different bowls that are bursting with flavor from the "Gigante" with avocado-glazed buffalo chicken, to the Vegan bowl containing a medley of fresh veggies topped with a lemon agave vinaigrette. In addition to their bowl culture they offer other options like stir-fry, wraps, salads and pizza. On the weekends they offer a brunch menu with options like an amazing French toast waffle pretzel or their new gluten free pancakes.

5. Ichicoro- Seminole Heights, Florida

Instead of your ordinary ramen packets from the grocery store head on over to Ichicoro where you can try a big and flavorful bowl of freshly made ramen. The ambiance is very urban and upbeat, however they have a six person per party limit, making it a good date spot or place to catch up with a close friend.

6. Eddie & Sam's NY Pizza- Tampa, Florida

Now if you are a New Yorker like me, you would truly appreciate Eddie & Sam’s. They are located a block from the Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon waterfront park in downtown Tampa. What makes Eddie & Sam’s one of the most authentic and unique place in Tampa is the fact that they have water shipped from New York City to make their pizza dough — if that isn’t authentic then what is?


7. Oxford Exchange- Tampa, Florida

Oxford Exchange, or OE, is located across the street from the University of Tampa. Oxford Exchange is popular for their wide variety of coffee and tea. The atmosphere of Oxford Exchange is very light and modern, with a conservatory with live plants and natural sunlight. Oxford Exchange is a great spot to have brunch with the girls or celebrate a birthday.

If you are not in the mood for eating you can study in their lounge or browse their store located in the front of the building.

Cover Image Credit: Don Sullivan

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15 Things You've Heard As An Ice Cream Scooper

And the responses you wish you could have said...
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As many of you know, being a customer service employee can be exhausting. Sure, you may like working with people, but there's no doubt that you reach your limit here and there. Ice cream scoopers are a very specialized group of customer service employees who deal with people in their most vulnerable state: when they are craving sweets. If you've ever worked in an ice cream shop, here is a list of things you've definitely heard from customers, with responses of what you probably wish you could have said.

1. "I want cookie dough."

OK, seriously? "Cookie dough" is all you're giving me? Now I have to ask you a million questions about what size, what kind of cone, what type of toppings, etc. I know you may think I read minds, but I swear I don't.

2. "Just give me the regular cone. You know, the normal one."

Well, we offer three different kinds of cones. What's normal to me may not be normal to you. Chances are I'll scoop your ice cream into a sugar cone and then you'll look at me like I have ten heads because you expected a wafer cone *sigh*

3. "Can I try the vanilla?"

Are you kidding me?! I'm not sure if this is because you've never had vanilla before or if it's because you have a very critical opinion of vanilla ice cream, but either way... I suggest you take it down a notch. Your only excuse is if you're four years old.

4. "I promise, this is my last taste."

Is it, though?

5. "Oh wait, actually, THIS is my last one."

Yeah, that's what I thought.

6. "After all of these tastes, I won't have enough room to actually order a cone of ice cream!!!"

Extra points if you and your friends all laugh at the joke you just made.

7. "Is that one good?"

Honestly, does my opinion of ice cream really matter to you? Obviously, I'm going to say I like it, because I work here and it's ice cream, so yeah, it's good. What am I supposed to say? Should I tell you that I actually find that flavor repulsive and that it sort of tastes like soap? Probably not.

8. "Which flavor's your favorite?"

Let's be honest, there's a very high chance that our taste in ice cream is completely opposite altogether. So, when I say that the peanut butter chocolate is my favorite flavor, you'll probably smile and nod politely, and then order mint chocolate chip. Awkward.

9. "Just surprise me!"

No, no, no. Please do not put your ice cream order in my hands, that's way too much pressure. Also, I'm a terrible decision maker.

10. "Do you have chocolate ice cream?"

Nope! *Sarcasm*

11. "Which flavors are gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and dairy-free???"

Why did you even enter this ice cream shop? Don't get me wrong, I'm sympathetic to allergies and sensitivities, but I have a feeling you're just being obnoxious.

12. "I bet your right arm gets pretty muscular, huh?"

Ha. Ha. Haven't heard that one before! Are you going to make the Popeye joke next?

13. "Could you just add some hot fudge on top of that for me?"

Listen carefully. If you ordered a kiddie size ice cream in a cup, and the ice cream fills the cup completely, where would there be room for the hot fudge? The answer is nowhere. I then have to transfer your ice cream into a larger cup that leaves room for the fudge, which easily could have been avoided if you had simply warned me of your fudge desires beforehand.

14. "It costs HOW MUCH?! I remember when a cone of ice cream was 50 cents!"

I don't make the prices. I, too, would love if an ice cream cone still cost 50 cents, but the unfortunate truth is that it does not, nor will it ever again.

15. "Oh, my gosh! I don't know how you work here and stay so thin! I would eat everything in the store!"

Oh don't worry, I DO eat everything in the store.

If you've ever said any of these things to an ice cream scooper, they probably made a joke about you to their coworker when you weren't looking. But it's okay, they immediately praised afterward as long as you tipped well. Ice cream scoopers are nice in nature, I swear. And they don't hold grudges!

Happy scooping!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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