We just returned to Kansas City from an awesome three days in Tampa. The temperature change from 80 F to 50 F is making me wonder why we even bothered coming back, but we had KC's own Arthur Bryant's BBQ for dinner last night, so that assuaged our pain somewhat.
Anyway, we had some rockin' chow in Tampa. Here's the list:
- Antojitos: WOW. Can't recommend this place enough! Kind of funny hours, so you might want to call ahead. We had empanadas, arepas, and a pork chop the size of my head - perfect for lunch before heading to the beach. Easy to find, too, just be sure you are on the WEST side of town! Thanks for the tip, Andy!
- Tampa Bay Brewing Co.: We ate here twice and really enjoyed it. Better than average bar food and great beer, good location, great service. Again, thanks to Andy for suggesting this.
- **French Bakery** : Okay, I don't know the exact name of this place, but it's easy to find, on the corner of Tampa and Madison in downtown, right across the street from the Daily Grind coffeeshop. When you walk in and all the people behind the counter are speaking French, you know you're in the right place! Really transcendently buttery croissants and pastries, decent coffee and tea, perfect for breakfast if you're staying near the middle of town. I'm in love forever. They also had lots of lunch stuff, salads, omelettes, etc, which we didn't try, but it all looked great. We bought a whole bag of pastries to eat at the beach, and they were gone before we were halfway there. Give these folks your business, you won't regret it!!
NOT SO GOOD:
- Joffrey's Coffeeshop: In Ybor. We went here before we found the heavenly French shop. Service was friendly, good coffeeshop atmosphere - but my husband, the beverage king, says the coffee was better at both the Daily Grind and the French place downtown. We only tried one pastry, and it was nothing special.
- Deli in Ybor by a tattoo parlor: Sorry, didn't get the name of this one, but it's okay, you don't want to go there. They had a special on their "cuban sandwich" which sucked us in, but I think Blimpie's would have been at least as good. Definitely not the true cuban Andy describes. Locally made ice cream was okay, not spectacular.
- Green Iguana: Also in Ybor. We can't report on this place because although we tried to get food here twice, we were unable to get any waitstaff to acknowledge our existence. Maybe we were there too late - the party scene was starting, so they were more interested in serving drinks than food, though the bartender claimed the kitchen was still open. It wasn't even a weekend, just a Wednesday night! Oh well. There was an Italian place next door that was a bit more expensive than we were looking for at the time, but the food looked really tasty... might try that if you're looking for late-night chow in Ybor.
One quick non-food note - We stayed at Gram's Place, a bed&breakfast/hostel very close to Ybor & downtown, and I highly recommend it - inexpensive and loads of character. Check out the website.
Thank you Tampa, we had a blast and we will be back!