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Apr 1, 2008 11:08 AM

I'm done with Fly- Downtown Tampa

I was excited when Fly opened almost two years ago in downtown Tampa. I was excited about the location, the ambiance, the thought of a trailblazer and most of all, the food. At one time, I really enjoyed the food, but it seems the quality has been declining while the prices remained the same (or increased). My visit this past Saturday night will be my last.

First of all, the service was abysmal. It took almost 8-10 minutes for our waitress to approach us and by then we had already picked out a couple of courses to order and ordered them at the same time as our drinks. The cocktails (a Stoli and Soda, along with a fruity cocktail) took as long as the first three food items we ordered (another 10 minutes or more).

While the meat was tasty on the Kobe beef sliders; the presentation is ridiculous; plain burgers on a bun with a small slice of Roma tomato and ketchup on the side. Ketchup for a Kobe beef slider? Are you kidding? No specialized sauce or aioli to be found. The "frites" at one time were served three ways and were accompanied by 2 or 3 different sauces. Now, they're pretty basic fries, served greasy on Saturday night with ketchup, for about $9 (now I feel like an idiot for paying that much). The truffled mac and cheese was probably the highlight of the evening.

We also ordered the fish tacos and for $11 got two store-bought tortillas filled with a McNugget-sized piece of fried fish, cabbage and tomatillo salsa; flavors that just don't work together. The flatbread with prosciutto was pretty good but overpriced (see a trend?) for what it was. The pork tenderloin with fig sauce was laughable, 4 small pieces of pork with a fig sauce and a few pieces of undercooked sweet potato slices, which probably was around $15.

Obviously we had a decent time because we were out to eat with another couple, but the food was embarrassing. Small portions of really high quality food may command high prices, but serving me two pieces of fried cod on tortillas for $11 is highway robbery. When it opened, the menu at Fly was ambitious and I expected it to bring Tampa to a new level of food appreciation. Unfortunately it seems that they are hoping that people will be duped into believing that high prices equal.great food.

Sorry Fly, you've lost a customer.


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  1. They lost this one when we went in November and after spending $60 for a single "meal", I left hungry. The service was pretty bad because the waitress argued with us about separating the checks and then finally and reluctantly agreed to do so. We seem to have fewer and fewer quality places to choose from in Tampa. A shame when fewer people are eating out- you'd think a restaurant would try harder to impress their customers instead of letting mediocre food and bad service become the norm.

    1. I went for the first time a few weeks ago to see what all the fuss was about, and walked away completely baffled. The food was horrible and the service was some of the worst I've ever received (or should I say "haven't received") in a restaurant of any caliber. In a nutshell, it sucked.

      1. That's sad. I haven't eaten there in a while, but I really enjoyed the dozen or so trips I made there. It's been months though since I've been in ...

        1. Article about Fly in the St. Pete Times recently. I am puzzled at how positive the review was. Yes, that was my comment online.