By Alexa Turkovich
Freshmen who want to welcome their parents to their new homes and show off the city of Tampa during family weekend should consider these restaurants with booming atmospheres and good eats. Many are a short drive from UTampa’s campus and all of them offer outdoor seating to admire the balmy Floridian Fall.
Green Lemon, also known as “The Lime,” has classic Mexican food and vibrant decor throughout the restaurant. It is located in ‘SOHO,’ which is about a 5-10 minute drive from campus. The trio dip, which includes salsa, guacamole and a queso, is popular. The chips are seasoned with a sweet spice, which makes them addicting. Other recommended items to order are the Green Lemon’s signature Fiesta Bowls.
The Tampanian Fiesta Bowl incorporates mojo pulled pork, diced red onions, diced tomatoes and diced avocados with a lime vinaigrette. Tacos are also featured on the menu, and are served al la carte. The Nuclear Chicken Taco has grilled chicken, black beans, corn, queso fresco, avocado and Louis Mouth of Fire Super Spicy Salsa (making, well, nuclear). Parents would enjoy The Green Lemon because of the reasonable prices and originality to Tampa. The modern twist that Green Lemon takes on Mexican food creates many returning and happy customers.
Ybor is known for its rich historic roots in the Tampa area and its many restaurants. One Ybor restaurant that is suitable for both parents and students alike is Acropolis Taverna. The Greek food served includes hummus, spanakopita, patsistio, lamb shanks and many traditional Greek fish. The food taste as if it’s straight out of Greece. Every half hour the waiters and waitresses line dance to Greek music shouting “OPA!” and encourage the restaurant’s guests to join in with them. Between the entertainment and delicious Greek food, the Acropolis Taverna would be a great place for families to go during parents weekend.
The Bamboozle Cafe, walking distance from campus towards downtown, offers many Vietnamese dishes and has a tea bar. The cafe also has a gluten free and vegan menu, and adds a “French-Vietnamese flare” to their food. There are fresh sushi rolls such as, Kickin Chicken, Haas Avacado, Ahi Tuna and Tiger Shrimp. Flavorful rice dishes are also a part of their menu such as: Lemon Beef, Sesame Grilled Pork and Chili Garlic Chicken. This cafe’s close proximity to campus and exotic foods will surely impress parents during this upcoming weekend.
Tampa’s restaurants satisfy many “foodies” who are into anything from Greek, to Vietnamese, to Mexican styled food. The quality, even in the broad spectrum all exceeded my personal expectations, and were good enough to introduce to my parents.
Alexa Turkovich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.