Food & Drink

Chef Jeff Dining Review: Daily Eats On South Howard In Tampa

Best Of Tampa Bay Restaurant Review by Chef Jeff Hearn, Special correspondent, EatCheapDrinkRich.com
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Daily Eats Restaurant‎
Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
901 South Howard Avenue / Tampa 33606
(813) 868-3335 / Website: www.dailyeatstampa.com‎

Being hungry in South Tampa usually leads to something good.  Being hungry for home cooking led me to Daily Eats on South Howard.

My server, Betsy, immediately made me a friend and, at my request, shared her favorite dishes.  The recommended bowl of Fiesta Mac and Cheese ($6 small, $11 large…as in feed the army) I ordered was their “small” portion. There was plenty for a lunch or a shared appetizer.

Fiesta Mac and Cheese includes cheddar and jalapeno Jack cheeses, corn, cilantro, salsa and a confetti of colorful tortilla chips topping the bowl. The pasta shells are like little cups that carry the broth-like spicy cheese sauce to your lips. The sweet corn that pops up in a bite every so often cools the heat from the jalapeno cheese.

Betsy recommended the Potato Chip Crusted Turkey Burger ($9) with sweet potato fries. I enjoyed the crispy, crunchy crust of the burger and the fact that it was dense but still much lighter than a burger of red meat. The bun was marshmallow soft and when I added the accompanying thin slice of dill pickle, I had a Chik-Fil-A flashback!  What you won’t get from the famous chicken sandwich place with a drive-thru is the country remoulade dipping sauce. I skipped the dipping and asked for a straw. The rich, lightly spiced sauce was creamy heaven.

As if I wasn’t getting my fill of jazzed up home cooking already, the sweet potato fries were as good as promised. The hot and crispy planks were topped with a bit of salt, cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey. They were delicious and it was like eating  salted fries and a sweet dessert in one serving.

Other items on the menu that caught my attention included jalapeno grit bites as an appetizer, late night favorite chili cheese fries, and the Mega Melt for when I’m as hungry as a high school linebacker. This sandwich includes two grilled cheeses, a burger, and sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms. There are plenty of other burger combinations as well as one of my favorite comfort foods, the open-faced turkey sandwich.

Daily Eats is part of the Ciccio family of restaurant that are famous for their meals served as a bowl. This casual South Howard standout is decorated in chrome and tile to create the feel of a 1950’s diner serves a large selection of the bowl-fare, too. The Shredder Bowls include brown rice, shredded lettuce and toppings that can include NY Strip, fish, BBQ, Thai, burger and even gyro meat.

Breakfast is served all day on the weekends and until 11am and at dinner on weekdays. The “Egg-citing” omelets and the “Egg-ceptional” sandwiches  set the tone for a line up of egg dishes to satisfy any craving.

I’ll be back one morning for the breakfast bowl that includes Crunchy Cinnamon French Toast, chopped and layered with scrambled eggs and topped with a vanilla maple syrup. Add cup of coffee and the morning paper for the perfect way to start the day.  For me, that meal will be with Donna across the table with her eggs, grits, pancakes and applewood bacon. That’s the “Gigante” and is enough to share. We will be perusing the menu and discussing what to order next time we visit!

Hours: Weekday Breakfast 7:30AM – 11AM / Weekday Lunch 11AM- 4PM / MON – FRI: 4PM – 9:30PM /Weekend Brunch SAT & SUN 8:00AM – 4PM

Jeff Hearn has been perfecting his cooking skills for than 25 years and is the co-host, with wife Donna, of the syndicated reality cooking show,  “Eat Cheap Drink Rich.”  Take a look at all 26 episodes and join the conversation on www.eatcheapdrinkrich.com.

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