Tampa Bay Brewing Co. (Ybor/Tampa)
- andy huse
I've mentioned this place before in an unrelated post, but it really deserves its own post. I took a hungry and thirsty crowd of seven to this pub/grill when we hit Ybor City for the night. My father, who was visiting from out of town, asked where i was taking him to eat. When i told him i was taking him to the Brewing Co, he asked if there were any Cuban/Spanish places around. I explained that 95% of the Cuban and/or Spanish places in town all serve practically identical food: beans and rice, fried steaks, stewed meats, etc. We had been to the Columbia, a more upscale Latin place, and i wanted him to try something different.
The Brewing Co. makes all of its own beer, and to order Beck's or Sam Adams would be an insult (tho they serve these and many more). If you know nothing about beer, ask the server or bartender. They have everything from True Blonde (a light blond ale) to Moose Killer (a 12% alcohol barley wine) and all kinds in between. They usually have about 10 fresh beers to choose from, and i've loved every one. They also make their own cider and root beer.
The food is excellent. Their onion/ale soup is scrumptious, topped with gruyere cheese, i think. Their chicken wings are marinaded in their own cider. Their cheese-ale dip with focaccia is great, with a spicy cheddar kick. Their pizzas are VERY rich, with ale in the dough, and i can only eat 2-3 pieces. Go for the more sparse pizzas, as they tend to overload them. The seafood pizza was a bit much, but the buffalo chicken pizza and the tomato/garlic/basil pizza were a real treats. Their burgers are the real thing, like mom used to make and dad used to grill. All washed down with their own heavy-duty Oktoberfest beer.
Expect lots of good cheese in the food. It is the only place to drink in Ybor as far as i'm concerned, except for the New World Brewery (but they don't brew their own beer). Good music (blues, jazzy, etc). I heartily recommend it!