Friday, July 11, 2008

Tampa's "Cheap" and a Hyde Park evening

A buddy and I went up to check out a new restaurant in Hyde Park/SOHO area called "Cheap". First off, it's definitely not Cheap, unless you are there for Happy Hour which is 5pm to 8pm daily and 5pm to 10pm on Thursday's, and last night was Thursday...a variety of Menu items and all drinks, speciality drinks and beers are half off the menu price. Free valet parking is essential in this part of town, so i'm glad they offer it, an extremely friendly and attractive server greeted us at the door, and immediately sat 730pm, they place wasn't too busy, a dozen or so patrons at the bar and table area. They did a GREAT job renovating the entire building that used to house my one of my favorite Sushi places and Tapas places, which have moved to other locations. Cool, funky, retro, modern, two dining areas with bars, and a billiards area with a few arcade games. We dined on the Surf and Turf(9 oz Sirloin Steak and Grouper) - very tender steak, ordered it medium, it came out a little medium rare, but that was ok, very flavorful and tender, the Grouper was very lightly battered and fried, with a twice baked potato and small salad...very good. We also ordered and shared the Goat Cheese, Lobster Sushi Roll, and Chicken Lollipops...all VERY good, the server did a great job explaining all the menu items and specials to us. Meals start with very soft and fresh baked breads with their Strawberry butter. It was nice to be able to try the place at with everything we ordered being half price, otherwise it would have been a not so cheap meal, but never the less, delicious meal.
After eating we then checked out a new place called the SOHO Tavern on the corner of Platt and was once a Laundromat, then Italian restaurant, now a Sports Tavern. Not very tavern like at all, I realize its new, but just very plain place, lots of flat screens for such a small place, about 6 tables and two small bars with an outdoor patio along Howard Ave.
It was then back to Cheap to meet some other friends of ours, we sat outside along Howard Avenue on some nice Director style chairs, while another very friendly server waited on us, along with the owner, Tommy, who came by a few times to check up on us. Specialty Mojitos, Martini's and Premium drinks, still half off until 10pm....
The night later took us to Mangrove's for a few of us wanted to eat, they have a great late night menu at Mangrove's, there wasn't too many people here, we enjoyed the cool music, and lately we ended the night at MacDinton's, busy, wild and crazy as usual on this Thursday evening, lots of beautiful people.

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