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Jun 18, 2010 02:54 PM

Chowdown at the Refinery?

Anxiously awaiting report. Sorry I had to miss it. Well????

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  1. I'm sorry I had to miss it too.

    1. I thought it was really fun and interesting...
      The super nice folks who own and run the place have put together just the type of restaurant I dream of doing myself... Cool, homey, casual, creative, welcoming, and happy...
      I wish them the best...

      They don't use the terms 'appetizer' or 'main course’ on the menu…
      They call them 'Small Plates' and 'More Than a Small Plate'...

      I can only talk about the things I ordered, and I had The Bone Marrow with Crostini and blueberries (small plate), the Stroganoff (small plate), and their Burger with Yukon Gold Fries...
      ------ and two or three pints of craft beer...
      ------ and a big ‘ol pickled pig’s foot!
      ------ Ooooo, and the S'mores dessert!!

      I would recommend that folks try to join us for these occasional gatherings because each time we get to know each other better, loosen up a little more, and have more fun...

      My juicy, flavorful, perfectly cooked, medium rare burger, along with those Yukon Gold (crispy well-done) fries were the best thing I ordered...
      That was a damn good burger, and the fries were killer…

      The Stroganoff (small plate) was an unexpected preparation, but an interesting treat...
      I’m absolutely glad I got it…

      The beers were excellent…
      The home-made S’mores for dessert blew us away!
      Rhnault thought it was the best thing she ate all night…

      3 graham cracker tartlets filled with a spectacular semi-sweet chocolate mousse (I think), topped with home-made marshmallow--- torched a little!

      I’m furious I don’t have three in front of me right now!

      The Marrow Bone ‘Small Plate’ consisted of one 4” tall bone segment, and mine was over-cooked, because only oil poured out of mine as I tried to scoop & push something out onto the crostini...

      Finally, the pig foot!

      Ay Dios Mio!

      I love them for making this, I do! ----- and I think three of us took the challenge...
      I ate every edible bit off the thing, and in the thing, in an effort to understand it completely---all the while laughing & saying; “this isn’t food”....
      I’m glad I got it--- but I prefer the hot, soft, silky, collagen-rich saucy, Latin or Soul versions I’ve had in the past, served over rice or grits, with added lovey-dovey pork cuts to make up for the lack of meat on the pig foots…

      I know--- that's another dish...
      I mention it just so maybe they might make it! ;-)

      OK, that’s all I got….
      I’ll be keeping an eye on the online menu, and again, I thank those folks for being creative, passionate, a little crazy, and perfectly hospitable…

      Look at this whole thing I wrote!
      Why can’t I simply say; ‘it was great--- can’t wait to go back’?

      37 Replies
      1. re: Mild Bill

        Bill is spot on. The prices at the restaurant are more than reasonable, my wife and I ate for under 50 dollars with drinks, and everything was great.

        Their take on Caprese was well executed, with added dimensions of citrus and mint that were well received, but the presentation was what really won the dish with the use of both yellow and red cherry tomato slices - beautiful.

        The bite of Bill's burger I got was one of the best bites of a burger I've had in a long time. In as long as I can remember. Every time I drag people to Pane Rustica I usually make them order the burger so I can bogart a bite at some point (I don't usually order richer dishes) but this was a contender for the PR burger, if not even better.

        I loved the earthiness of the Stroganoff, it complimented the slight richness of the dish well in my opinion, and like all the other dishes the presentation was great too.

        The group was great, the beers the restaurant had on tap were great, the owners were great, and I'm pretty sure we're all really looking forward to doing this again, perhaps early July.

        1. re: askdrtodd

          wow great reviews. can't wait to sweetie's coming for a visit july 4th weekend, we will DEFINITELY hit this place. Do we need reservations? I just looked at the menu prior to reading your posts, and the bone marrow had me salivating...mmmmm thanks, guys, and next time PUH-LEEZE try to make it on a Saturday night or Sunday so i can join you. i work crazy hours during the week and can't ever do anything on a weekday :( (shouldn't complain, i'm glad to have a job in this economy)

          1. re: Manderley

            I'm seconding the request for a Chowdown on the weekend please! My work schedule is crazy during the week and I would love to finally meet everyone. I can't eat everything on the menu, but I am intrigued.

            1. re: Manderley

              we were toying with the idea of doing one at the Wat Mongolian Temple out in Brandon on a Sunday in the near future, you guys game for that?

              1. re: askdrtodd

                absolutely! Sundays are perfect for me; Saturday night or Sunday all day or all night, that's all I've got free. i'm in!

                1. re: askdrtodd

                  Is there shade? Florida in the Summer can go from fun to frightening quickly...

                  Either way, I'm in!

                  1. re: TampaAurora

                    pretty sure there is shade by the picnic tables, can anyone else confirm?

                    1. re: askdrtodd

                      yes, there's shade and an indoor option if the weather gets nasty.

                  2. re: askdrtodd

                    Mmmmmmmmmmm. Thai Temple. Greg and I may have to skip out of the Refinery's brunch service a little early for this Chowdown. WE LOVE THE THAI TEMPLE! All the curries and the grilled meats and the little white green onion cakes and the noodles. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm


                      1. re: blitzchamp

                        cool so is this pretty much locked then? for 7/11?

                          1. re: askdrtodd

                            7/11 works for me. what time? where are we meeting? i've heard about the wat but have never been. todd feel free to email me info or a message on facebook. looking forward to it!

                                1. re: TampaAurora

                                  Woot, event was cancelled. My SO and I are now in! Please email me at cowarth at-sign gmail dot com.

                              1. re: askdrtodd

                                Aw man I think I'll be in Gainesville on 7/11. =[. I would be down any Sunday though I live close by.

                      2. re: Mild Bill

                        I think one of those smores daily would be really good for my disposition ;-)

                        1. re: Mild Bill

                          below is just quibbles. I'm sold on the Refinery as a whole--- in seminole heights, no less.

                          i thought the stroganoff was more like a hash. I would have loved a fried egg in the middle. to make it more like stroganoff, i would have replaced the creme fraiche with sour cream and drizzled a little red wine reduction. as it was, it just didn't seem complete or fit the prfile of stroganoff.

                          I wanted something light, and the grits and greens were just what i wanted. The braised greens had just the right touch of vinegar, and the polenta wasn't too smooth, but still had a little grit to them, which was perfect.

                          I brought my Tuesday appetite, so that's all i ate.

                          1. re: andy huse

                            HI I t I was wondering where The Refinery is? It sounds interesting. Thanks

                            1. re: blndroot

                              It is just south of the intersection of Florida and Hillsborough in Seminole Heights.


                              1. re: rhnault

                                oh i didn't realize that's where it is, i work right near there. okay then! look out!

                                1. re: Manderley

                                  I highly recommend the everything ;)

                                2. re: rhnault

                                  Thank you, the menu looks delicious and I love that they use local produce. I think it's pretty far from where I live but maybe one day I will make it up that way.

                                  1. re: blndroot

                                    favorite spot in tampa right now. i love everything about this place

                              2. re: andy huse

                                I have a quibble. I was very disappointed with the pate. It was the one thing I have had there that was almost flavorless. Not sure if you tried it or not. Before I would order it again I would confirm the recipe had been re-tooled.

                                1. re: rhnault

                                  I didn't taste it, but I bet it was Foie Gras compared to that Pig Foot!

                                  I thought I was in 'Shaun of the Dead' chompin' away on that thing!

                                  1. re: Mild Bill

                                    At least I got to giggle for 5 straight minutes watching you all gnaw on those things. John has some excellent shots on his phone that could eventually surface ;-)

                                  2. re: rhnault

                                    i agree about the pate. I think you let me taste yours. I'm thrilled anyone is making pate, but they need to reassess their recipe. If they improve it, i'd love to try their pate melt. it sure would piss off my doctor. and sometimes, that's enough.

                                    1. re: andy huse

                                      My chef friend who will soon be back on the scene with a new restaurant makes wonderful rich decadent pate. I miss it!

                                      1. re: rhnault

                                        i just made reservations for saturday night. can't wait. :)

                                      2. re: andy huse

                                        Andy we had some pate there maybe two weeks ago on a sunday evening up at the bar (only thing open sunday evenings) and it was very decent, it wasn't too rich and had great texture. maybe worth a second shot?

                                        1. re: askdrtodd

                                          I had the coutry pate a few weeks ago and it was quite good. sometomes it is just having th right condiments to counter the richness. I am going tommorow and wat to try the pate melt. I have high hopes.

                                          1. re: Lauracooks

                                            What we were served was not rich at all and had very little flavor.