Dining Guide: Carrollwood

CARROLLWOOD DELI 11606 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-964-9008. carrollwooddeli.com

"Open for lunch only Monday through Saturday, this charming deli offers great sandwiches and salads, tasty homemade soups and tantalizing daily specials." --Patrice Knezevic


DOWN UNDER PIZZA 12821 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-961-2500. downunderpizzamate.com

How often do you see kangaroo on a menu? Surprisingly enough, you now can at Down Under Pizza in Carrollwood. The menu definitely lives up to the joint's Aussie theme, serving kangaroo, emu and crocodile tail on rustic-style, gourmet pizzas that have unique flavors and choices of toppings. Try it with the 10 whole grain "ORA" style crust.

GINO'S RESTAURANT AND BAR 10006 N Armenia Ave., Tampa; 813-933-1089. ginosrestaurantbar.com

"A small Italian restaurant that has some succulent burgers with cheese that melts on top of juicy beef; fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on the side so you can decide how much you want on your burger. There is also a wide variety of Italian dishes to choose from and I have never been failed by the quality of their entrees. Prices are reasonable and the place gets quite a crowd." --Carlos Hernandez

GRILLE ONE SIXTEEN 15405 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-265-0116; grilleonesixteen.com

"Grille One Sixteen's food is surprisingly simple when placed in context with the surroundings, a big-city steakhouse menu with few surprises." "Steaks are all organic, prime and dry-aged. They come out right, with just enough salt to accent the crust and as-ordered rosy red marking the interiors. Although the rib eye is the preferred cut of any beef aficionado, here the lean filet has more than enough flavor to win over fans of heavy marbling." --Brian Ries

HOUSE OF BREWS 17683 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Lutz; 813-265-0300. houseofbrewstampa.com

Okay, so it's just on the border of the Carrollwood/Lutz dividing line, but this spot simply must be included because of its great neighborhood bar atmosphere, good selection of craft brews on draft and in bottle, and mouthwatering bar food. Each month they feature a different beer for $3, in addition to other weekly drink specials.

JASMINE THAI 13248 North Dale Mabry Highway 813-831-8881. jasminetampa.com

"One of two locations in Tampa that serve excellent Larb Gai (chicken lettuce wraps) and Panang Curry." --Patrice Knezevic

KAISEN SUSHI 14841 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-969-3848. kaisensushitampa.com

"Top notch sushi at reasonable prices. Just a heads up: they are closed between 2 and 5 p.m." --Patrice Knezevic

SAIGON DELI 3962 W Waters Ave., Tampa; 813-932-0300.

"Saigon Deli is a mecca for some of the best banh mi in the Bay area." "Each of the four meat choices offers a slightly different tweak on the formula. Meatballs are salty and luscious, with flavors both similar and very different from Western versions. The tender bundles of ground meat are studded with garlic and served with a burst of luscious fat thanks to a schmear of mayonnaise. The sandwich is never rich, though, thanks to the mediating influence of the pickled garnish and bright herbs." --Brian Ries

SUB PORT GIANT NEW JERSEY SUBS 14932 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-962-5958.

"Meat sliced to order, giant subs on fresh bread. The first time I went there, I asked if I could have mayo and mustard, and was told 'only if you want to ruin it'. They were right -- they dress the sandwiches simply with oil and vinegar, and that's all they need." --Patrice Knezevic

SUSHI ALIVE 15451 North Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-341-5483. sushialive.com

Sushi alive sets itself apart from other Japanese/sushi joints with its hip, modern decor, packing in the crowds (literally) for lunch and dinner. The fresh, flavorful sushi creations and drink specials make up for the lack of space between tables, and no matter how crowded the place gets, the food is served promptly.

TANK'S TAP ROOM 13150 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-961-2337. tankstaproom.com

Tucked away in a shopping center, Tank's is part beer garden, part restaurant and part sports bar, gathering an array of folks from beer snobs to hipsters to sports fans. Their large menu matches their long list of import and craft brews (over 50 taps), and with a full liquor bar to boot, there's something for everyone. Feeling adventurous (or in the mood for a stomachache)? Try their WTF Burger that's topped with bacon, eggs, fries, cheese, and maple syrup, then stuffed between between two waffles.

TERRA SUR CAFE 5358 West Village Dr., Tampa; 813-269-2694. terrasurcafe.com

Terra Sur is a culinary journey to Peru, specializing in the country's traditional dishes of ceviche and lomo saltado. Plus, where else in Tampa can you get Peruvian food? They offer a cozy interior with bright, warm colors on the walls, as well as a pretty extensive list of South American wines. A Tampa gem.

TOASTED PHEASANT BISTRO 14445 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-265-6700. toastedpheasant.com

"...standard French fare -- like steak frites and onion soup and duck confit -- along with a smattering of Italian-inspired dishes that suit [chef/owner] Leonavicius' culinary philosophy." "He keeps almost all of the entrees below $20, and the wine list is short, sweet and extremely well priced." --Brian Ries

UDIPI CAFE 14422 North Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-962-7300. udipiusa.net

Serving authentic South Indian vegetarian cuisine, Udipi does things with lentils you could only dream about. "They're the the only entirely vegetarian Indian restaurant in Tampa." --Patrice Knezevic

VIZCAYA RESTAURANTE & TAPAS BAR 10905 North Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-968-7400. vizcayarestaurante.com

"One of the best meals I've ever had in Tampa. Real Spanish tapas from Chef Felix Piedra. Excellent wine list and service." --Patrice Knezevic

YUMMY HOUSE 2202 W Waters Ave., Tampa; 813-2828.

"...some of the best Chinese food in Tampa." "Anyone who eats at Yummy House should be required by law to consume at least one portion of the salt-and-pepper tofu. I'll call my county commissioner." --Brian Ries

Do you have any favorites that we've missed? Let us know at cltampa.com/food.

CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bay’s neighborhoods. With a little help from some of our Food and Drink section contributors, we’re giving you a guide to dining and drinking in the Carrollwood area of Tampa.

ALEX'S SOUTHERN STYLE BAR-B-Q 5362 West Village Dr., Tampa; 813-269-0050

Nothing fancy here, but who needs a decked out dining room to serve good barbecue? Alex's has made a name for themselves, namely for their ribs and pork, garnering faithful customers and becoming a Carrollwood staple.

BAN THAI 5374 West Village Dr. Tampa; 813-968-7668. banthaitampa.com

"Family owned and operated and a lovely oasis in suburbia. The typical Thai dishes are represented and are always tasty: pad thai, massaman curry, crab rangoon. And they truly serve their neighborhood: I once called them for takeout 20 minutes after they had closed and the owner accommodated me in spite of it." —Erica Miller

BLU FIGS GOURMET LOUNGE 15463 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa; 813-963-3447. blufigs.com

"Med-Rim inspired cuisine" in an upscale setting, hidden away in a small strip center off Dale Mabry. The portions are small but the dishes are flavorful, unique and artfully prepared. A great spot for a romantic date night.

BURGER MONGER 10412 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; 813-968-6860. burgermonger.com

Taking a stab at gourmet fast food with their “upscale burgers”. Made with Akaushi Wagyu beef, their burgers and hot dogs are “several grades above USDA Prime” with price tags to match the pricey meat. Burger Monger also offers chicken burgers, hand cut fries from Winnemucca Farms in Nevada and add-ons like imported Brie and cherry wood smoked bacon.

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