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Datz Deli in South Tampa

This new restaurant is still under construction but I just downloaded their menu at datzdeli.com and it looks fantastic! Anyone know if they are a chain?

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  1. The menu looks amazing. Will be interested to try it out and see what the prices are like also. Being that it is located in the Palma Ceia, I don't expect it to be cheap.

    Let us know when it opens up, please.


    1. Holy moly, that is an awesome looking menu!

        1. re: aynrandgirl

          Nope. Sign still says "January." I peeked in the window last night on my way into Kalupa. There were staff sitting around a table talking but it was clear they are a ways away from opening still.

          1. re: CFishman

            We are coming from Illinois at the end of the month and would love to go if they are open then!

        2. So my wife and I made it by today for lunch. We got there a little after 1:00. Apparently they had gotten mobbed and had to shut down the kitchen. They were kind enough to seat us and despite warnings of a significant wait, our food came up relatively quickly (others around us were not that lucky but that's the price you pay for going on the opening day, no?). I got a sandwich called the Twofor which is pastrami and corned beef on rye with coleslaw, russian dressing and cheese. The sandwich was, on the whole, very good. Since we know that people close to the restaurant are reading Chowhound, I would plead with them to think about going for a thicker cut on the pastrami and corned beef. The meat was almost shaved which is really not the way to go. My wife had a chicken sandwich which was also well-prepared. The chicken was a very thick and moist breast, impressively so, really. The sandwiches come with homemade potato chips which the menu describes as "famous." My wife pointed out the irony of potato chips being famous on the first day the restaurant opened. I should also mention that I ordered a bagel on the side just for scientific purposes. The bagel was alright but it was bready on the inside. This is a near universal fault of all but the best bagels, so I guess I can't hold it against Datz. I have to say that the gourmet market is as much to be excited about as the restaurant. They have a fascinating array of chocolates, condiments, olive oils and vinegars, and cheeses (150 cheeses apparently! I didn't count that many but that's what the menu says). It's clear that they put a lot of thought and money into the restaurant. After all that time and preparation, I am not sure how they got so swamped on the first day. In any event, Datz is going to be a major feature in my culinary life going forward both for the restaurant and the market.

          1. I have also been excited about Datz's opening and tried this past Sunday (Super Bowl...don't know what I was thinking) to try them out. I arrived at 1:30pm to be told they ran out of food! So after being a little disappointed, yet still excited, I decided to try them again.

            I went in this evening after work at around 8:30pm. I ordered the Roasty Toasty and a slice of a triple chocolate cake. All of the waitstaff were quite lovely and ready to help out with a very friendly demeanor which was MUCH appreciated. One of the young ladies who helped me at the bakery even drew a little smiley face on my container with a "Chocolate Cake!" written on it which I thought was cute. It's nice when the staff are excited about their product like that.

            The wait for the food was not that bad...only about fifteen minutes. And I have to say the amount of food you get is amazing! It is well worth the price of $12. The sandwich was huge and truly packed with lots of roasted vegetables...full and robust with flavor. The scallion cream cheese was SO delicious! And the bag of chips that comes with the sandwich was quite abundant. I also was quite delighted that I received a whole dill pickle! I LOVE dill pickles so I got a little giddy over that little touch. The most important thing though is that the food was really delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed every morsel, especially the chips! I think I am addicted to them which is a great thing for Datz...a not so good thing for me and my waistline!

            I also want to mention that the market selections are really interesting, especially the beverages! I had a chance to peruse the shelves while I was waiting. My goal is to try every kind of soda and beer they have available. The atmosphere is also warm and casual which was nice to be in on such a cold evening.

            I am so glad I gave Datz another chance because my second visit was a wonderful experience and I look forward to going again...perhaps regularly since it is right around the corner from my apartment. Thank you :)

            1. Random notes:
              --they need more parking
              --table service is a good thing
              --the upstairs dining room is too cramped to gossip in! The chances of being overheard by someone you know are high.
              --staff are eager and friendly
              --the kitchen is way too slow at busy times. 25 minutes for a sandwich and two salads is inexcusable.
              --those homemade potato chips are the bomb
              --the croissants are horrible, more like a danish than a proper croissant
              --the kugel is the bomb, too
              --the house smoked salmon is too bland
              --the prices are high. I'm not making any judgments about whether they are justified; the food is good, quality is high, and portions are generous. It's just that $20 for a sandwich, a drink and the tip at lunch is a lot, especially when Pane Rustica is doing equally good food for about $5 less.

              I hope Datz succeeds, b/c there are about a dozen menu items I'd like to try; it certainly seems popular, and South Tampa loves this kind of lunch spot.

              1. I hit Datz this week for lunch with 2 non foodie friends. We ordered the following:

                1 Officers Club
                1 Ty's Two Fister
                1 Rueben

                We all agreed:
                The sandwiched were outstanding. (The rueben and two fister especially)
                The homemade chips were unbelievably delicious.
                The service was very friendly(but very slow)
                I undertand the waiter cant speed up the kitchen, but he was slow on drink refills and on requests like a side of mustard that didnt arrive until our sandwiches were half eaten.
                The Kitchen was s.....l....o....w.... I mean really, s...l...o...w...(you get the point)

                Again the food was incredibly high quality and VERY tasty and I will give them another chance on the service and ticket times. In my opinion this deli is right up there with the big boys in NYC like Carnegie, and Katz. I actually prefered the sandwiches at Datz to the ones in NYC.

                Good job Datz, just get that kitchen firing on all cylinders and you have me for life!

                I definitely recommend everyone try Datz and form your own opinion.

                5 Replies
                1. re: FrankC

                  I have returned to Datz 2 more times since my first trip. The service has gotten much better and he food is still top notch. If it was just a bit cheaper I would eat there multiple times per week.

                  Ohh well, it makes it a great treat, and is definitely worth the price.

                  1. re: FrankC

                    After reading all the glowing reviews I had to give Datz's a try. My favorite restaurant is New York's Katz's Deli so when I saw Datz's compared favorably to Katz's I decided to give it a go. Sorry to say I wasn't impressed. I had the pastrami on rye. The sandwich was no better or no worse than any typical sandwich available at any of the sandwich places in Tampa. Definitely nowhere near as good, or as big as the same sandwich in Katz's or Carnegie. It wasn't shaved thin, but neither was it New York thick.

                    The Sunday afternoon I went, the clientel was a mixture of up-scale, family, and bohemian types. Packed to the rafters, live music. 2 sandwiches, one kids meal, one desert and 3 soft drinks= $40 plus tip. Bottom line, if you want to dine at a local hot-spot while seeing and being seen, go to Datz's. If you want a sandwich that's just as good, for a lot less money, go anywhere else.

                    P.S. For the best sandwich or other deli foods in the Tampa Bay area, go to Joel's in St. Pete. It doesn't have ambience or fancy-dressed patrons, but it does have what great restaurants should have -- great food. Also a market, and has a kosher butcher. It's 100% kosher and tastes better than all the so-called "Jewish-style" delis around.

                    1. re: Aglick1

                      In St. Pete are you refering to Jo-El's?

                      Or is there a Joel's too?

                      1. re: meatn3

                        That is the only one I can think of. I have eaten there many times but it always bothered me that they would nuke the corned beef before serving it hot on a sandwich. I do like the corned beef sandwiches up at O'Keefe's in Clearwater.

                        1. re: RibDog

                          Boy, O'Keefe's brings back memories. As kids we found the painting over the bar very titillating - felt we had slipped into a smokey, grownup sort of place. We mainly went there for burgers. Used to go to the St. Patrick's day event, but it eventually got too big for me. I remember the beer, but don't recall the corned beef!

                  2. Not just two months after it's opening and Chef Viva is no longer at Datz. Hopefully she will be doing her own thing again. This combined with the slower than usual service from the kitchen and the fact that it seems like the staff (by no fault of their own) is scattered at times (like they are being pulled in many directions at once). There seems to me no constant flow to the order of things. One day they have order takers when you walk in and the next it's sit down service. Make up your minds. Try to find a menu to take home with you. Yeah right. I have overheard quite a few of similar complaints.

                    What does this mean for Datz?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tdewitt

                      Im hooked on Datz, im a HUGE sandwich fan, and go everywhere to get the best...this one tops the list. Although they are a bit pricey, I find if you go with someone, split the sandwhich, and each also get a side to share(like the yummy mac n cheese)...you will both be filled and satisfied.

                      1. re: tdewitt

                        i've been told by the owners that she was never going to be a permanent fixture there. besides, the concept is up and running, and they have plenty of creativity in the kitchen.

                        they raised expectations, that's for sure. overall, I was impressed by the food and service. Ty's two fister was my favorite sandwich, and Matt's Wild west brisket sandwich was a winner, too. and i thought the prices were fair. the selection of cheese is great, and that alone will have me coming back.

                      2. I had the chance to check out Datz this weekend. Despite a horrendous parking situation, which was only hindered by self-entitled South Tampa A-holes doubleparking their BMWs in a 15-car parking lot, we managed to get a four-top immediately upon entering. A terrific atmosphere and vibe in this place. I really liked the beer selections and the decor. As for the food, wow. Portions are huge, but so good. The pastrami is some of the best I've had, and the chips are like kettle corn, dusted with a sweet and salty mixture. I can definitely see this becoming a regular joint for me and my wife. Heck, even my son loved his sandwich, and I can't get that kid to eat a thing.

                        1. I finally made it down to Datz for lunch today, around 12:45. I was sort of expecting to be underwhelmed, just a gut feeling.

                          It is a very nice place. Great atmosphere. It was full, but no real wait. I sat at the bar upstairs which requires no wait if seats are avcailable. The service at the bar was very good. She was a little slow refilling my coffee, but I could live with it. Not perfect service but still just fine.

                          I got a Pastrami sandwich on Pumpernickel, The Pastrami was very tough. Tasty, but tough. Really too tough to eat on a sandwich, every bite it pulled out from the bread. As far as the sandwiches being huge, they are, but it's only because the bread is sliced about one inch thick. There was probably only 3 or 4 ounces of Pastrami on my sandwich. Good pickle and lots of chips, more chips than I would care to eat. Very good chips, too. It was $9.95, coffee was $2.00. Coffee was good, not great.

                          So the sandwich was a bit high priced. I looked at the beer and wine list, which is very thorough. Plenty of good wine by the glass, in all price ranges, $6.00 to $16.00 per glass. The beer list is quite exhaustive, and very reasonabley priced. Alot of imports for $1.99 per bottle.

                          So in my take, the beer prices offset the high sandwich price. I did not like the tough pastrami, and it is by no means a portion like you will see at Carnegie, The Stage, or Sarge's (my personal NYC favorite for obvious reasons) but overall I give thumbs up. I will go back on a weekend or an afternoon whn I can have a couple of beers with a sandwich and it will really wind up a fair value, and it is a really neat place. They did a great job with it

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sarge

                            I think you experienced and off day on the pastrami. I have always found their pastrami to be VERY tender. I know what you are talking about and I hate it when in the first bite of my sandwich i pull huge hunks of tough meat out with my teeth.

                            I know you said you would return, but please let us know if the net time you eat at datz if the pastrami is tough or if you just got a bad sandwich today.

                            Good luck

                          2. WOW! We just went to this place yesterday and all I can say is WOW! I can't wait to go back! We found the parking a bit of a pain but it is so well worth it. We were seated immediately upstairs. I had the Simple Simon (Pastrami and mustard) and my other half had the Two Fister. Both sandwiches were fab! The meat was tender and we both agreed the pastrami was some of the best we have had. The chips are addicting! I tried the coleslaw which was ok. I am not a fan of raisins in slaw so its something I won't order again. Service was fast even though the place was very busy. I cannot wait to go back.

                            1. last night- not a good experience- bad enough that I had to go get dinner elsewhere afterward. Lovely place, great looking menu and the management did attempt to remedy the experience with a free sandwich for me, but it was too little too late. We had a group of 10- several who know real New York delis - which Datz does not purport to be: "this is Datz, not Katz." The appetizers came out after the meal, the credit cards took a long time to come back to us and I was never fed. I did order my sandwich late and expected it to come later than everyone else's, but instead of a sandwich, I received a bill for the wine and tiny appetizer I had ordered. No meal for me. We also had to complain at least 10 times about the "music" (unbearably abrasive noise in fact) blaring over our heads which was never taken care of in spite of my dramatic attempts to eliminate the problem. I left with a free sandwich and a really bad taste in my mouth.

                              1. Went there last week. I gotta say I was less then impressed. The food was ok, service was slow. If you are in the area, then go ahead and try it, don't make a special trip.

                                1. It seems to me that the reaction to Datz has sometimes been hypercritical. I reviewed Datz in February, and found it was quite good.


                                  Had a fabulous feast at Datz last Friday for a celebration. I was surprised when they could accommodate my party of 10, as there are no reservations. (I don't typically arrive someplace with my hands on my hips expecting them to turn the place upside down for me).

                                  We ordered cheese and meat flights, which were very nice, but stretched very thin between 10 people. we also ordered various large bottles of beer for the party to share. The sandwiches are huge, and we split them up. Some of the sandwiches were great (Ty's Two Fister and corned beer still faves) and other underwhelmed (the roast beef was rather bland, with no hint of the herb rub on the menu). The kugel rocks, as do the latke fingers. The bacon there is so good that it elevated the otherwise pedestrian club sandwich to a fine choice. A complimentary slice of guiness chocolate cake was moist and excellent. We took home some more treats, notably a really nice brownie studded with peanut brittle.

                                  This feast for 10, with plenty of beer (three different bottles of Chimay to share, among others) and a bottle of wine, cost us a mere $216. I was stunned. About $22 a person seemed a small price for the the seemingly extravagant meal we just ate. The owner said hello before we left and thanked us.

                                  1. OK guys, it's been months, yet today: sandwiches took AGES to come out of the kitchen; they ran out of Coke (at 3pm on a Saturday, what??); the server didn't offer that iced tea came in plain or berry flavor, she had to be asked; the tuna on the Meet Me in Provence salade nicoise was served ahi-style, i.e., nearly raw, and the server actually hesitated when asked if it could be cooked more; the red velvet cake was very dry; our sandwiches were served without pickles for the first time in 4 visits (we forgot to ask about it--maybe they ran out!); they were out of chopped chicken liver salad.

                                    The last item on my list may seem like a quibble, but why are they always out of something? If it's not the whitefish salad, it's the chopped chicken liver salad, or Coke, or Fuller's Pale Ale. I know they pride themselves on freshness, but lo these many months after opening, it's starting to look like management bit off more than they could chew.

                                    Oh, and this: we were given the breakfast menus, labeled Sunday Menu on the front, without explanation. When we asked, the server said yes, it's Saturday, but we're serving from the breakfast menu until 3pm, with an abbreviated list of sandwiches. Well, given that it was 2:45, we asked if we could order from the full menu. It took three people conferring about this with wrinkled brows for at least 5 minutes until we were told Good News!, you can order from the full menu, but in that case, you can't order from the Sunday menu, and they took those back. Uh, OK. I get that the kitchen has to turn over, but this was handled so awkwardly, and as if it had never happened before.

                                    On to the insanely slow to-go service at the cake counter: one person slices and packages, then goes to get another person to ring you up, who has to ask you what's in the boxes, and doesn't know the prices anyway! So then a third person shows up to tell the second the prices. Meanwhile, the first person disappeared, leaving a line of customers waiting to be served. So #2 AND #3 go to find #1. Really.

                                    Oh, they're all cheerful as pie, the 400 staff members on the floor, but Datz, what's the deal??? When are all these bumps going to get smoothed out? Most of the food is good, but I am getting tired of the inconsistencies and the hassles.

                                    And then there are the prices... sorry Andy, you got a great deal b/c your large group split way fewer sandwiches than there were people. $6 for a dry slice of red velvet cake? $10 for a tuna melt ($12 for the larger size)? OK, maybe, but everything had better be perfect, and at Datz, sadly, it never is.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Miss E

                                      THis has not been my experience. I've been two or three times and have had great service and food. And, the servers I've had were right on in their info and recommendations.

                                    2. Has anyone tried the chopped liver? It's only offered as a salad on the menu. I'll drive there from Bradenton for a pastrami and chopped liver on seeded rye, if it's good.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        Veggo, check out their menu online; the link appears in the first post above. Datz isn't a traditional deli, which means you can't order any sandwich you want with anything on it. I mean, they'd probably figure out a way to do it, but you'd have to order a pastrami sandwich and get the salad on the side. As I've said, the servers are nice, but special requests, at least in my experience, throw them way off their game.

                                      2. I went to Datz again last week. I think the biggest problem at Datz is the misleading name, which stokes people's hopes for a NYC deli. But it isn't. I still think it is great as a foodie mecca, with lots of great food products, baked goods, meats, and cheeses. The beer selection is among the best in the area, with friendly (beverage) prices to boot.

                                        After dining there three times, I stick to the corned beef and pastrami or avoid sandwiches and concentrate on cheese and meats. For flights of beer, cheese, and meat, Datz has few competitors. If you're with a friend, the large sandwiches are plenty for two. My faves include the Italian Scallion and Ty's Two Fister.

                                        It is what it is. When i want to gather with friends, explore the food products and spend some money, Datz is a great place. It is NOT a regular stop for lunch and dinner, especially when dining alone.

                                        Nothing arouses more indignation than raising high hopes to replicate food from somewhere else. This will never be NYC, and Datz will never be Katz. It is what it is. And occasionally, I enjoy it.

                                        1. This place is missing the mark in several areas.

                                          1) Personally, I would rather pay a little less for a sandwich that I might actually be able to finish. Considering most sandwiches don't hold up well enough to make good leftovers, it hurts me when I spend 11 - 15 on a sandwich and wind up wasting half of it because no normal human could even consider eating a whole one.

                                          2) Just building a big sandwich doesn't make it good. For example the "Just Duet" was supposed to be roast beef, turkey, meunster and russian dressing. All I could taste was the roast beef. There was no consideration given to how to best create a tasty combo...just how to make a huge sandwich. I prefer quality to quantity.

                                          3) If you are charging fine dining prices, don't make McDonald's mistakes. The "Just Duet" is supposed to come with Russian dressing. Since all I could taste on this sandwich was roast beef, I went digging for the Russian Dressing. When I found it, I realized it was mayo. At least I couldn't taste it.

                                          4) The staff needs to get a clue. On my last visit there was some drama about some of the staff saying another member of the staff looked "high". I didn't miss a minute. This is not something that I would want my employees discussing on the floor. Also, on my last visit, the staff completely outnumbered the patrons and it still took way too long to get food and get questions answered.

                                          I think this place has potential but it is trying to be too many things. I found it to be confusing, overpriced and overwhelming. Hopefully, changes are made as they go along...I wish them the best.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: digyourself

                                            I agree about some of the sandwiches. I found the "razorback and forth" to be a glorified ham sandwich. I see no reason to order cold cut chicken and turkey sandwiches. The sandwiches i mentioned above are by far the best i tasted.

                                            It should also be pointed out that th sides are steep in price as well. I enjoy the lemon and cinnamon kugel and some of the other sides, but when prices push $4 or $5, I'm less inclined to try them, especially when sandwiches are so big.

                                            1. re: andy huse

                                              Datz seems to have concentrated on quality ingredients, but technique in the kitchen is often lacking. I've officially written off Datz for brunch. It is just a clusterf**k, with pressing crowds. Sit out at the patio, then have to hunt down a server.

                                              The real disappointment was the omelette i ordered. The peppered ham wasn't peppered, the onions and peppers appeared to be steamed and soggy, not properly sauteed. no cheddar--- I got swiss somehow. The eggs were puffy and attractive, but it all tasted like nothing. Server was kind and I ordered the Babealicious sandwich that i enjoyed so much a couple weeks before. It was still very good, but only with a few thin slivers of ham. The whole grain berry pancakes were good.

                                              It was a tiresome experience. This morning, I debated lunch at Datz or Saigon Deli. Next Sunday, I'll head to Saigon Deli for a no fuss meal, plenty of parking, relaxed service at a fraction of the price.

                                              I'll be back to Datz for dinner on off nights, but I'm less likely to explore the menu. As stated on this board, they are simply trying to do too much. They need to cut the menu in half and concentrate on kitchen technique and coordination of service.

                                              I want to see this place succeed, and it appears to be doing so despite its (inherent?) problems. It is, in part, a victim of its own success--- and its own ambition. I'm not a Datz hater, but I know what it is good for, and a relaxed brunch ain't it.

                                              1. re: andy huse

                                                We just had a nice brunch at Bungalow Bistro. I had shrimp and grits and my husband had eggs benedict. It was very good and very relaxing.

                                                1. re: andy huse

                                                  i drove by Datz this Friday, and was astonished to see so much parking in front of place. Perhaps the crowds have finally died down a little.

                                              2. re: digyourself

                                                Yes, yes and yes. I find we avoid Datz lately, mainly because the service and food quality are so hit-or-miss. Maybe you'll get a pickle with your sandwich, maybe not; maybe you'll get a spoon for your oatmeal, and the cream that's supposed to come with it, maybe not; maybe your corned beef hash will have beef in it, maybe not, and maybe your server will argue with you and hunt for the beef in the hash with a fork right there at the table. It's too slow for takeout (25 minutes for a whitefish salad sandwich? I'll make it myself!), too slow for weekday lunch, and too unpredictable to bring guests to.

                                                And actually, I quibble with the description "foodie mecca": some of their breads, notably the croissants, are lousy, and the cheese counter is not as varied and interesting as Whole Foods'. Datz does have some fun things in the way of chocolates and olive oils, but the parking situation, among other things, make it too hard to pop in and shop.

                                              3. Datz Deli has been open since late January. All their food is prepared "AFTER" it's ordered and this provides freshness but does take a bit longer. They just took third place in the top 50 Tampa restaurants.

                                                1. I went to Datz this week, I felt is was more like a San Francisco Deli than a New York Deli. Good but not what I expected. I wanted a knishe, but all they had was something called Chicken Pot Pie Knishe. I couldn't bring myself to try it. stuck with the Big Cheese Omlet. Lot of cheese, but not very many eggs. A rather small three cheese omlet.

                                                  1. Just try it, either get the enormous hot dog and a tasty beer, or the enormous sandwich and a tasty beer. or just a tasty beer.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: askdrtodd

                                                      I've never been to Datz either, but I passed by yesterday and I wish now I stopped in...
                                                      I didn't dig my lunch-time meal at the Moroccan place up the street...

                                                      1. re: Mild Bill

                                                        when Datz gets it right, it is excellent. the trick is geting it right.