Mexican Restaurants in Central Tampa

My New Year’s resolution for 2021 was to try a new Mexican restaurant (primarily food trucks and small places close to us in Wellswood) each month for all of 2021. To make the comparisons across restaurants I tried to be fairly consistent and order Mexican street tacos (at least one chicken and one steak) at every restaurant so we could compare across them (I did that at all of them except Renzo’s).

We just wrapped up the resolution with our last restaurant in December. It was a good experiment. We found three restaurants that are all very close to us that we will definitely be returning to (top three). By no means did we try even a small fraction of the Mexican restaurants in Tampa. It may well be the case that there are other, great Mexican restaurants that we need to try (if so, comment below; and if you’re a restaurant and want to comp me a meal, I’d go for that, too).

Here’s the list from best to worst (if you click on the links, you’ll see my review for that restaurant).

  1. Los Comparres – 5 stars (first place we tried; only place we’ve been back to so far – chicken tostadas are amazing!)
  2. Taqueria Mi Mexico – 4 stars (but best chicken street tacos we found)
  3. Crazy Burrito – 5 stars
  4. Chiles Mexican Restaurant – 5 stars
  5. Rocky’s Tacos Tampa – 5 stars
  6. Xtreme Tacos – 4 stars
  7. Miguelitos Taqueria & Tequilas – 4 stars
  8. Rene’s Mexican Kitchen – 4 stars
  9. Grandma’s Tacos – 4 stars
  10. Renzo’s – 4 stars (actually, Argentinean, so it really doesn’t belong on this list)
  11. Lolis Mexican Cravings – 4 stars
  12. Tacos Las Californias – 3 stars

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Tampa Mayoral Election – 2019

I often rely on the Tampa Bay Times to provide useful information on local political elections. Their coverage is usually pretty good. But they don’t always cover every election or every candidate. And since I like to do my own research, I figured I’d start blogging about the elections.

Here’s what I’ve found on the Mayoral candidates. The election is March 5th, 2019.

Jane Castor

Campaign website

Job History:
Former Chief of Police of Tampa.

Unique Features:
Castor has been heavily criticized for a policing policy implemented while she was Chief of Police of stopping people on bicycles, as a disproportionate percentage of those people were black.

Tampa Bay Times officially endorsed Jane Castor for Mayor.

Harry Cohen

Campaign website

Job History:
Lawyer turned public servant. Worked as Chief Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court of Hillsborough County from 2005-2011. Elected to Tampa City Council in 2011 and re-elected in 2015.

Unique Features:
The only candidate to put together a fairly detailed transportation plan for Tampa.

Dick “Dickie” Greco

Campaign website
Job History:
Unique Features:
Dickie Greco is the latest addition to the candidate pool, announcing his candidacy in early January. He is also the son of Dick Greco, who was mayor of Tampa multiple times.
Party Affiliation:

Michael Anthony Hazard

Campaign website; Twitter;

Job History:
He’s a Tampa native. His family operates an online human resources and office supply company.

Unique Features:
Hazard is a convicted felon (for bad checks and forgery) who voted illegally in Florida twice (though, this was before the passage of Constitutional Amendment 4 in 2018 that restored the voting rights of felons, which made him eligible to run for Mayor).

Party Affiliation:

LaVaughn King

Campaign website

Job History:

Unique Features:
King appears to be the only candidate who is flaunting his religiosity.

Topher Morrison

Campaign website

Job History:

Unique Features:

David Straz

Campaign website

Job History:
Comes from a wealthy family. His mother loaned him the money to buy his first bank.

Unique Features:
I found this quote from an article about a candidate forum interesting, “Straz advocated letting the private sector take the lead on the problem [affordable housing in Tampa] with help from willing banks and city and federal aid. He said he had hired an African-American staffer to “help me in the urban core.“” So, like Trump, put a black person in charge of poverty because blacks are, presumably, all poor?!? That strikes me as remarkably out of touch… And racist.

Mike Suarez

Campaign website; Twitter;

Job History:

Unique Features:

Ed Turanchik

Campaign website

Job History:

Unique Features:

Polling Information:

July 24th, 2018 – St. Pete Polls put Jane Castor at 41%, almost 30% ahead of the next closest candidate, David Straz, at 11%.

Debates and News Coverage:

October 3rd, 2018 – You can read about the first debate here.
December 11th, 2018 – Here’s the coverage from the Tampa Bay Times on the third debate/candidate forum. Candidate statements from that debate on youtube.
January 9th, 2019 – Fourth debate covered here.
January 15th, 2019 – Another candidate forum.

Campaign finance information for all of the candidates is available here.

Other Items on the Ballot

Tampa Charter Amendments

The Tampa Bay Times details the aims of each of the amendments to the Tampa City Charter here.

District 1

Joseph Citro
Alan Clendenin
David Loos
Craig A. Newman
Walter L. Smith II
Tampa Bay Times recommends Citro.

District 2

John Godwin
Charlie Miranda (no campaign website)
Joe Robinson

Tampa Bay Times recommends Miranda.

District 3

John Dingfelder
Nicholas Glover
Stephen Lytle
Vibha “Ms. V” Shevade

Tampa Bay Times recommends Dingfelder.
This article provides some good background on each of the candidates.

District 6

Guido Maniscalco
Wendy Pepe

This article provides some good background on each of the candidates.

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Toren has a new bike

We found a two-wheel bike for Toren on Craig’s List for $10 (plus helmet).  It has training wheels.  Toren took to it like it was old news.  I have some video of him riding the bike the first time that I’ll post soon.

I had to get a new bike rack for my car since my old one doesn’t work on the new Prius.  With that in place, I took him out for his first big ride on Sunday on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.  Here’s our route:

I was actually impressed with how well he did.  We rode about 3.2 miles over about 1 1/2 hours.  He did stop to pick flowers three or four times, and on the way back I had to coax him to continue by promising him an ice cream cone at McDonald’s, but he did pretty good.

(Hat tip to Scott Husband for recommending the trail.  It’s a beautiful trail, wide, and well-maintained.)

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another bike ride

Here’s another bike ride Toren and I went on:

We didn’t go quite as far this time:

Total Distance: 10.36 km (6.4 mi)
Total Time: 51:34
Moving Time: 49:34
Average Speed: 12.17 km/h (7.6 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 12.54 km/h (7.8 mi/h)
Max Speed: 17.47 km/h (10.9 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -26 m (-86 ft)
Max Elevation: 1 m (5 ft)
Elevation Gain: 176 m (577 ft)
Max Grade: -5 %
Min Grade: -6 %
Recorded: Tue Jun 15 18:44:27 EDT 2010
Activity type: cycling

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bike ride

I took Toren for a bike ride yesterday and turned on my phone app to track it. Here’s the convoluted 7+ mile route:

Here are the stats:

Total Distance: 11.90 km (7.4 mi)
Total Time: 55:48
Moving Time: 51:52
Average Speed: 12.81 km/h (8.0 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 13.77 km/h (8.6 mi/h)
Max Speed: 24.37 km/h (15.1 mi/h)
Min Elevation: -30 m (-99 ft)
Max Elevation: -3 m (-11 ft)
Elevation Gain: 218 m (717 ft)
Max Grade: 4 %
Min Grade: -5 %
Recorded: Sun Jun 13 16:45:59 EDT 2010
Activity type: cycling

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