UPDATE (06/09/10): We're on the move again! Mrs. FoodHound and I made the big move up to Chicago about a month ago soon after my graduation. I sort of felt like I had run out of steam finding interesting new, independent restaurants to check out in Gainesville after a year or so. Problem solved with our relocation. I hope to update the blog more frequently as we explore Chicago cuisine. Of course, I will keep the previous Tampa Bay and Gainesville reviews archived on here for readers that find posts via the search engines. As always, please e-mail me ([email protected]) with your comments and restaurant ideas. I want good local picks!
UPDATE (06/10/07): We relocated to Gainesville, FL last week. I'll be starting work on a doctorate in Mass Communication at UF this fall. This blog will live on though, with likely less frequent new reviews, but a new focus naturally on Gainesville area restaurants. Email me with restaurant ideas.
I started FloridaFoodHound in June 2006 after having kicked around the idea of starting a blog entirely for fun (a break from business-related writing) for ages. It was high time I made it happen and food is a topic I'm naturally passionate about (I'm not ashamed to admit I look forward to my next meal!). It's hard to grow up in New Orleans (well, actually Metairie, LA) and not love food and start to learn at an early age what's really good food and what's not.
I've lived in Central Florida since 1998 (I'm a UCF grad) and have lived in south Tampa since the summer of 2005. While I don't think Tampa Bay is a sleeping giant on the culinary scene and I'll always crave New Orleans cooking (fried shrimp poor boys top my list!), there are good, independent restaurants to eat at here – if you know where to look. And I'm not talking about the ultra expensive "break your wallet dining" establishments. Some of the best places that I've found in the area are moderately priced little mom & pop restaurants that concentrate on great food, not the décor (of course, there's exceptions, but you get the idea). Zagat material they’re probably not.
I enjoy reading restaurants reviews in the local papers and getting dining tips from friends and family as much as the next guy, but there's nothing like experiencing a place first hand. There's been countless times when I would have liked to have shared some quick off-the-cuff thoughts on a restaurant – sometimes high praise and other times a rant- and with this blog I now have a way to catalog and save my rants-and-raves- all in one place. Plus, I hope to get reader picks-and-pans.
My hope is that I'll post to this blog roughly once a week (time permitting) and only if I have something new and interesting food-related to talk about. I'm not going to post just to post and take up space. Comments are welcome and you can reach me directly at: [email protected]. Keep in mind that I don't consider myself a "foodie" nor do I want to be a foodie. What does this mean? While I love food and you'll get my unbridled opinions on local dining joints, don't look for long-winded, pretentious reviews. Food snobs annoy me. And they wouldn't be caught dead in many of the places I love. So they can stay on their side of the dining scene and I'll stay on mine. Fine by me.
Let the good eating begin!