Wicked Oak BBQ: Another Stellar Restaurant in Seminole Heights

  O nce you figure out how to get there, that is. There May or May Not Have Been a Line, 2020 S o, this is one place that I have been wanting to check out for months. With Covid going on, it's been incredibly difficult to leave the house and Stormy just took on a new schedule herself. Alas, Small Business Saturday comes and we now have a chance to check out a new restaurant. Let the games begin! Now, if you're familiar with King of the Coop, you know exactly where Wicked Oak is... Because King of the Coop moved next door. I did not get that memo, so it took a little longer than it should have to find this place. But once you get in, you'll see instantly that this side of the building got a new makeover. It's a much more pleasant experience now. We did have a chance to talk to Bubba, the owner, after we were finished eating, as he seems to make a habit of asking everyone how their meal was. He gave us a little bit of background. He has been competing in the world of comp

Hao Wah: A South Tampa Buffet

A buffet? In South Tampa? Yes, but hear me out...

Hao Wah, 2017

It's no secret that I delivered for Uber Eats for a very short while. In that short while, my run was mainly down Gandy, up S. Dale Mabry, and around Manhattan. There was one restaurant that I was guaranteed to get a hit at every time I passed. That restaurant was Hao Wah. Stormy was with me one day and we realized there had to be something special about this place. You could order from anywhere, and I was getting deliveries to Downtown and Seminole Heights. What is going on with this place? So, we decided to try it out. Then went again. Then went again. But you didn't come here for that.

Inside Decor, 2017

There is almost no information about them online. Their website is good for little more than telling you that they also double as an event space and listing the prices of their menu. They have two locations (South Tampa and Pinellas Park), I can't tell you which came first. What I can tell you is that the decoration inside the South Tampa location is spot on and fits the theming perfectly. The dining room itself is huge, and they have tables that can accommodate some pretty large parties. "Hao Wah" apparently means "gorgeous" in Chinese, and the inside shows it. The greenery, the dueling dragons, the wooden walls and tables, the paintings... It all works well within this building. I'll even give them credit for their industrial looking ceiling. Overall, the interior provides a nice mood for dining.

Buffet, 2017

I've been to many, many Chinese buffets, and I know that the overwhelming majority of them are... Lets just say sub par. Hao Wah is in that rare category of having the New York style Chinese food that we've all grown to love, fresh, and it tastes good. I tend to stick to rice at most buffets because I don't particularly care for the noodles. That said, Hao Wah's lo mein is some of the best I've had at any Chinese restaurant, not just a buffet. The common issue of food coming off the buffet dry also doesn't seem to be an issue here, unlike most other places. They do so many things right that it's hard to find a negative. The one and only real issue I have with Hao Wah would be their egg rolls. I don't know what it is about Chinese buffets and egg rolls, but I have yet to find one that does a decent egg roll. I'm still on the hunt. With that said, it is a small negative in a sea of positive. 

Buffet, 2017

Things to know before you go:
- The pricing changes not only on the time of day, but also day of week. If you want to save some money, go on a Monday-Thursday. 
- They do have sushi, though I've never tried it (and thus, it not being in the review).
- The parking lot is INCREDIBLY small and fills up quickly. I don't have a solution for that.
- Try to go during peak hours to ensure the food is at its freshest.


What is your favorite buffet in Tampa? Have you found the perfect buffet egg roll? Leave a comment below. If you'd like more information on Tampa, check out my YouTube Channel and if you'd like to support my efforts, don't hesitate to buy a shirt from our Spreadshirt (we have new designs!). Also, don't be afraid to click subscribe and you'll instantly be notified whenever a new entry is posted. If you'd like to meet other people who love Tampa, consider joining our Facebook Group. Thank you all and I will see you next time!

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