Realizing last minute that we both had President’s Day off, we booked a last minute flight to Tampa, Florida to visit our friends who moved there last year. It also helped that the weather in Tampa was many degrees higher than the weather in Baltimore.
We landed in Tampa at around 11 am on Saturday and got an Uber to our rental car that we rented through Turo. Unfortunately, on the way to the car, we found out that the car had been in an accident and we could no longer use it. We decided that we may be able to get away with not having a car and headed to our hotel, Hilton Tampa Downtown.
After checking into the room and chugging much needed coffee, we decided to walk to the water and grab some lunch.
We found Jackson’s Bistro, Bar & Sushi right on the water. The sushi and drinks were just what we needed to hold us over until our dinner.
After Jackson’s, we found out that Justin had a few other friends who were living in Tampa for a few months, so we grabbed drinks and caught up with them at The Pint and Brew.
After enjoying some beers and wine, we headed to Ulele to try to grab a table. Ulele describes itself as a rustic-chic site for native Floridian fare and named after princess Ulele. The space is both outside and inside and located on Tampa’s Riverwalk. The outside has a beautiful fountain and statues. We also enjoyed a sunset while we waited for our table.
Our other friends arrived just in time, and six of us were seated inside. We shared a variety of oysters, Alligator Hush Puppies, Native Chili, Gator Tail, and the Brisket with mashed potatoes and green beans. All of us really enjoyed each of the dishes.
After dinner 1, it was time to head to dinner 2 at On Swann. On Swann describes itself as a seasonal New American restaurant. The menu had three different charcuterie boards, so I was an immediate fan. All the food was beautifully presented and delicious.
We ordered The Farm Board, which consisted of assorted cheeses, cured meats, country pate, foie, and olives, more foie gras, pimento dip, meatballs, burgers, and Mahi Mahi. It was the perfect end to the night.
The next morning, we found the cutest coffee shop while exploring the University of Tampa’s beautiful campus.
The Lady and the Mug had an assortment of pastries and other items and one of the best iced lattes I have ever had. We also ordered the Mardi Gras Bundt Cake that was warm and gooey and an amazing treat.
After the coffee shop, we packed up our things and took an Uber to our friends’ beautiful home in Wesley Chapel. We found a brunch place nearby and enjoyed cocktails and more delicious food.
Chuck Lager America’s Tavern is an easygoing restaurant with burgers, tacos, flatbreads, and steak dishes. We started the meal by sharing the deviled eggs with pork belly and the white fish dip. Not a bite was left on the plates. For our entrees, we ordered the salmon flatbread, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, and the tacos. The food was as good as it was pretty. The covered outside area was also great for enjoying the beautiful day.
After brunch, we headed to our friends’ house and enjoyed a night of laughs and charcuterie boards.
This was my first time in Tampa and I was amazed by the variety and quality of the food scene. We will definitely be back.