It should not make sense at all; coconut and green onions in a sweet pudding-like custard? Poured into cast-iron trays of half spheres and cooked over a massive open fire, the custards or “Khanom Krok,” in Thai, have become a sacred pilgrimage for those in the Tampa know. Located on the Palm River, the Thai temple (full name Wat Mongkolratanaram) offers a Sunday-only market of volunteer-made foods. Its Brigadoon-esque existence is a perfect example of how varied and diverse Tampa’s food scene truly is.
In general, Tampa’s culinary legacy showcases edible contributions from multigenerational immigrants (La Segunda, Alessi) and minorities, seasoned with contributions of empire newcomers (Sunday’s Deli) and more recently installed stalwarts (Al’s Finger Licking Good Bar-B-Que).
Tampa Bay and the I-4 corridor bear demographics most closely mirrored to that of the rest of the nation. No wonder there’s such a shangri-las of provisions awaiting patronage. Here are 15 of the essential, longstanding restaurants in the area that are worthy of a visit, listed in geographical order from north to south.Read More