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The Refinery (Tampa)

Great meal tonight at The Refinery (previously Bungalow Bistro). Started off with a couple of oysters which The Refinery does really nice things with. These were Apalachicola with lavender, wasabi, mango and cucumber (I am refreshing my memory from their facebook page). Oysters were followed by poutine. The poutine was not the typical gravy and curds but instead the potatoes were topped with pulled pork in a Vermont cheddar sauce. The fries were hand cut and fried perfectly dark and crispy. The poutine was only $5 but it was a huge portion. Following the poutine came pork belly. Pork belly was great- crunchy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. It was accompanied with cabbage and irish bacon and mustard potato salad that deserved to be their own items on the menu. Somehow I ordered an entree on top of this, a pork rib chop no less. The pork was extremely flavorful. I don't know if it was the bourbon glaze or what but it had an extremely rich and distinctive flavor. The pork chop came with brussel sprouts cooked with shiitake mushrooms and chorizo. I liked the brussel sprouts quite a bit but my enthusiasm for eating had waned for obvious reasons by the end of the meal. My wife and I were exceedingly sorry to have to skip the banana bread pudding with peanut butter bacon glaze. For only a couple of weeks in to their new business, The Refinery is really off to a good start.

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Bungalow Bistro
5137 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603

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  1. Sounds like they have done some fun things with the menu. I am looking forward to trying them out.

    1. When did it change names? Was it sold? What happened? My buddy's brother was a co-owner of that place, I'll have to send him an email.

      4 Replies
      1. re: askdrtodd

        I think going on 2 months now. They still have the salon next door but were apparently through with running the restaurant.

        1. re: askdrtodd

          I am not sure what happened but ownership changed hands a couple of weeks ago. Greg and Michelle Baker who write for Tampa Bay Online took it over. I am glad to see that Ella's has some competition. I love their chicken and waffles but I think they could refine some of the other items on their menu.

          1. re: CFishman

            I still haven't been to Ella's.
            BB sent out a FB notice about the change a while back. I was a big fan so I am happy to hear the spot is doing well.

            1. re: CFishman

              oh whoops, I'm thinking of the bungalow on kennedy. I've seen that place, it's across from cappys and the independent. Any good?

          2. I've eaten at The Refinery several times now, and have yet to have a bad experience. From bisque to burgers, rare duck breast to roasted beets. Honestly the food here is cutting edge and unpretentious. A hard thing to mix. I really look forward to seeing this place thrive as a neighborhood favorite.

            1. We just had a fantastic lunch there. Started with sweet potato gnocchi with rainbow chard and a wonderful creamy sauce. Then a perfectly medium rare burger with apple, gorgonzola, spinach, and tomato served with perfectly crisp yukin gold fries. The other entree was an open faced skirt steak sandwich. A nice piece of grilled bread topped with sauteed kale, perfectly cooked sliced skirt steak, and gorgonzola served with poblano mac n cheese. Food and service were spot on and the owners are absolutely lovely people.
              We will be back very soon. I love that they are changing the menu according to what is available fresh locally.

              1. Awesome brunch at the Refinery this weekend. The breakfast items lean towards the heavy side (something awesome smothered in something rich and awesome) and that makes for some serious grubbin. The Kerby Lane(?) was amazing. Perfectly scrambled eggs and sausage covered in a spicy queso served over english muffins. This thing was perfect. The sausage biscuits and gravy are amazing here as well. Nice peppery kick in the gravy with awesome homestyle biscuits with just the right amount of crisp to stand up to the gravy.

                I am very stoked on this place. They are doing some really creative stuff and the atmosphere is welcoming and laid back.