Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Delightful Tampa Outpost

Many moons ago when I was a telephone man, GTE would send us out on carrier repeater runs from time to time. One of the central offices on our route was the Hyde Park central office. This was an interesting three story brick building inhabited, we were told, by the ghost of a long gone phone man who was apparently despondent over contract negotiations.

After doing whatever it was that phone guys did, we would stop in for a bite and some refreshment at an eating establishment outside of the C.O. I have no idea what is was called, and the name changed many times over the last forty years. Today this place has been reincarnated as The Outpost Tap House and Tavern on Kennedy.

The interior has been completely redone. It is modern, clean, and sparkling with wood and chrome. It is no longer the greasy spoon that I remember from so many years ago. The dining area has been outfitted with 15 flat screen TVs which would make game day a real joy.

The Belle of Ballast Point and I stopped in for lunch today and we were very impressed with the food, the decor, and most especially by the friendly people who catered to our every whim. Karisa was our server and she was instrumental in making our visit a most enjoyable one.

There are so many craft beers available on tap and in bottles that is was a real chore trying to make a decision. Karisa suggested a beer flight. Well, all right then, bring it on.

Starting on the left, we sampled the Sweetwater Seasonal, Blue Point Toasted Lager, Magic Hat Seasonal, and the Fox Barrel Blackberry. The Toasted Lager, and Blackberry were two interesting and flavorful brews, but my favorite was the Sweetwater while the Belle chose the Magic Hat. After polishing off the flight we ordered a couple of pints of our favorites.

When Pigs Fly just hollered out to me. I love all things porky and these sesame glazed, crispy "pig wings" with cucumber ginger slaw were a taste sensation.

I probably didn't need more food, but the little piglet in me couldn't resist the Tampa Cheese Steak sandwich with shaved rib eye, provolone, and caramelized onions on Ybor City Cuban bread. This was a delicious and very filling sandwich. It came with a choice of crispy fries or a fruit bowl that I really didn't need, but I ate it all. I should have gotten a glutton's T-shirt as a reward.

My bride was ecstatic with her BeerLT, a crispy bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on beer battered sourdough bread.

She had asked for the optional fried egg upgrade. The kitchen forgot the egg, but Karisa promptly corrected that slight oversight. My bride had consumed half of the sandwich sans egg, but we slid the egg on the other half. The Belle said the sandwich was good with or without, but that BeerLT was elevated to great gastronomic heights with the addition of that egg. The fries were about the best either of us could remember.

The Outpost is a real winner. With all food and adult beverages, our bill came to a reasonable $54. Karisa was deserving of the 20% that we added.

The Outpost on Urbanspoon 

The Outpost on Foodio54

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