Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tampa Eats-717; Biking Tampa's Flatwoods; Laughing at Tampa Improv

Friday after work, Kris and I met up with his personal Trainer Dave and his wife Jen to have a nice dinner in Hyde Park at 717 South. This Pan American/Italian restaurant(one half the menu is new age Italian, the other half is new age PanAmerican) on South Howard Avenue in Hyde Park/SOHO area has been consistent with it's quality of food, as this is the forth time I have visited. There is a large bar, it's a bit upscale in decor and lots of pretty people to see, they play jazz throughout the establishment, on Wednesday's its live Jazz. Although each of our meals was cooked perfectly(Filets with Gorgonzola cheese, Asian Pot Roast and Tuna all served with salads and garlic bread with a tomato and cheese sauce for dipping), the service was mediocre on this visit. Our server, Mike, seemed a bit preoccupied with...well we don't know, he just wasn't all there...regardless it's the food and company at the table that made the meal. Afterwards we walked a few blocks to the Las Casa Dolce, to sit outside and enjoy some of the best Gelato - Jen had the chocolate cake which was a bit too rich and not sweet enough....they also have some amazing Canolli's and serve Seattle's Best Coffee. They are now also serving wine and beer on the patio that faces Howard Ave, it makes for excellent people watching, the area was hopping this Friday evening, MacDintons across the street was packed, and there were lots of people walking around the Avenue.

Saturday, I took brought the bike up to Wilderness Park off road biking trails, located about 1/4 mile east of I-75 off Fletcher/Morris Bridge Road. It was a little busier than usual, the trails were in very good shape, a new bridge was being built on one part of the Main Trail. I did the Heartbreak Ridge trail for the fist time, one of the most technical of the trails, lots of roots made for a very difficult path...after a few hours of biking it in the woods, I headed back home.
The evening brought Kris, Kyle John and I to dinner at Samarai Blue in Ybor City prior to the Margaret Cho performance at the Improv, also in Ybor City. At 530pm we were able to get a table immediately for some very good Sushi in the Tampa area. Its a bit more expensive than your average Sushi place, but the atmosphere and location were ideal, the Improv Comedy Club was just below us, so we were able to eat and get some great seats for Margaret Cho.....it was a sold out crowd at our showing, she had us laughing through her entire act..such a dirty Asian girl...we liked that!! We were not ready to go home yet after the show so we stopped by Lounge 7 at 14, then Kris and I had a few slices of excellent NY Style pizza at New York New York Pizza on 7th Avenue.

Today it looks like a playoff football day from the couch, cloudy and overcast, about a 70% chance of rain, which is due as it's been over two weeks since we have seen a cloudy day here in Tampa...

Biking one of the numerous off road biking trails at Winderness Park
video

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