Tampa Bay Food Monster

…eating food since 1985.

Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Guest Review: Pappas Ranch Steakhouse & Bar Opening

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on May 31, 2011

pappas ranch steakhouse & bar

Hello! Sleep here! Welcome to the second guest article for the Tampa Bay Food Monster blog. A few weeks ago, the Food Monster was asked to attend the opening of the new Pappas Ranch restaurant in beautiful Clearwater. Due to an obligation he couldn’t miss, the Food Monster asked me to cover this event for him. Now, I do not claim to be as much of an expert on delicious delicacies as the Food Monster, nor do I claim to be able to write an interesting article that is both funny and informative on the subject of food. Hell, I think it’s still up in the air whether or not I’ve ever really enjoyed anything I’ve ever eaten. I usually blog about gaming and philosophy. This… this is not my forte. You have been warned reader! YOU ARE ENTERING THE NO TASTE ZONE.

bar

Being that this was sort of a press event for the opening of the restaurant, the set-up wasn’t quite what you would expect. Upon first impression, Pappas feels a little bit like Chili’s and Longhorn Steakhouse had a baby who then proceeded to throw up on itself. The mixture of large mounted animal heads, aged wood furniture, woven rugs hung from the ceiling, chandeliers, and a color palette of teal and purple set against the aged wood left us very… confused. It seems like the restaurant was trying to be hip, elegant, and homely all at once. It wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable and never too gaudy, but it just had the air of “trying too hard”. Sometimes simplicity is best! Due to the nature of the event, all of the meals were served “buffet style” and thus had been sitting out for a little while.

appz

When we first entered, we were immediately offered some house sangria which was very delicious (sangria almost always is), and then we were directed towards their appetizer area. First we picked up their chicken wings, bread, salsa and some spinach and artichoke dip. The wings had a very unique flavor, very peppery with just a little smokey. These wings were very tough though, and took quite a bit of work to get to their delicious white meat innards. The bread was… bready. Breadish even. The chips and spinach and artichoke dip were also rather run-of-the mill. A little better than what you would expect from your neighborhood Applebees, but not enough to warrant the trip. A little disappointed by the rest, I dipped a delicate little chip into their salsa, and what a pleasant surprise! The salsa had a very small spicy bite to it, but more than anything else it was actually very sweet. This took me by surprise and at first I didn’t know what to think. I had never had a sweet salsa before, and it felt about as out of place as I imagine jalapeno ice cream would taste. After the sweet surprise passed though I was just left with a grin on my face and a happy tummy. I was already starting to appreciate Pappas Ranch’s unique style.

caesar salad

Next up we got plates of salad (of both Caesar and Potato variety) as well as a delicious plate of seafood appetizers. The Caesar salad was par-for-the-course and nothing to write home about, but the potato salad was a real gem! Hearty and flavorful, the small chunks of potato really stood out making this the most tasty potato salad I believe I’ve ever had. Seriously. I HATE potato salad. It’s usually cold and tasteless, with the mayo based slime seemingly added as an afterthought to the potatoes. Not at Pappas Ranch though! Damn this stuff was good. The consistency was a little bit chunkier than mashed potatoes, nicely blended with the “sauce” to make it mayo-potato perfection!

seafoodies

The plate of seafood was also very good across the board. We had cooked shrimp with a thick delicious glaze, crab cakes, lightly fried catfish, and Mahi Tacos. The shrimp was just what I expected. Fucking delicious, every time. The “glaze” was some sort of mayo based sauce that was smooth and creamy going in, then had a good spicy aftertaste. The crab cakes were kind of flavorless, but I cheated and dipped mine in what was left of the shrimp sauce and it made it much better! The mahi tacos were simple and subtle. They tasted crisp and fresh, and with just a dab of Pappas Ranch’s tartar sauce the flavor really popped. But the real winner was the catfish. It was sooo good. Flavorful, tender, and just a little salty. These little guys were lightly breaded and just melted in your mouth, going down smooth with just a little of the tartar sauce. If you ever go and order these though, go easy on the tartar sauce. It’s only needed for texture and to smooth their transition from tasty table morsels into savory stomach dwellers. You don’t want to mask any of their flavor.

After the delicious salsa, potato salad, and mind blowing catfish appetizers, I have to admit I was flying high. I was ready and rearing for the main course…

meatz

So I get up and make my way over to the different stations where the real food was kept. THE MEAT. They had three main offerings: Pulled pork, served with rolls for sandwich making; Prime Rib, with plenty of Au Jus to accompany it on my plate; and lastly a quarter-rack of ribs. In order, these were bland, pedestrian, and tough. I was so disappointed by all three of the available entrees! The pulled pork was dry, and it required some sort of sauce to make it tolerable. The ribs had a similar smokey sauce to the wings, so the flavor was good, but after being spoiled by fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, I couldn’t help but be disappointed here. There was still a lot of meat left on the bones of these ribs after I was done, and it wasn’t by my choice. The prime rib was marbled nicely and tender, going well (as prime rib always does) with au jus, and was just about the only meat that I wasn’t immediately disappointed in. Still though, I feel like I could get better prime rib at nearly any other dedicated steakhouse, this meat was just mediocre and left me wanting.

treats

Stewing in my disappointment in the main dishes, I decided to try some of their dessert. It was good but nothing special (highlight being bread pudding, which just surprised me more than anything else) and we were soon out the door. The overall experience for Pappas Ranch was very mixed for me. I felt like they were pulling me in several different directions at once. They did a lot right, and I would love to go back again for lunch one day to get some more of their delicious appetizers and potato salad. But I was not impressed by any of the main course offerings and would be hard pressed to take a date across the bay to dine here. As a disclaimer, it is entirely possible that the meat was so dried out and flavorless due to sitting out buffet-style for the event, and your mileage may vary if you go on a night where it is cooked up specifically for you. Still though, the only food that we had any real problem with was the meat, with everything else being tasty and uniquely flavored, so I really do recommend trying out Pappas Ranch even if only for their appetizers.

Pappas Ranch Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Posted in Chain Restaurants, Clearwater Restaurants, Food, Humor | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Square One Burgers

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on April 26, 2011

alright. i’ve put this one off long enough. it’s time. for me. to write. about. square. one. burgers.

square one burgers

it’s a sit down burger restaurant. they got beer. a full bar. they’re hip. they have ingredients. there may be some TVs. there’s outdoor seating. they do swot perderder fries. what more could you ask for?

square one burgers interior

square one is a gourmet burger restaurant and bar. it’s located on henderson (that wacky angled street), just east of south dale mabry. don’t let the picture fool you – it’s actually got a pretty laid back atmosphere. but it is kinda fancy for a burger joint. i mean, look at those little dangly things. i don’t know what they’re for, but by god do they look classy.

so you’re sat down at a nice table, with your big group of friends. or sexy dinner partner. or by yourself. and you’re given these menus to look over. and it’s about then that you realize that these guys make some fancy friggin burgers. i mean, you got options. lots of options. for the meat alone, you get your choice of angus beef, kobe beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey, ostrich, portabello, sashimi tuna steak, and veggie patty if you’re into that sort of thing. lots of things to pick from. and some damn fine options. tuna steak burger? aw hellz yeah. ostrich? okay, maybe. and dat kobe beef.

think it over. grab a beer.

orange blossom pilsner

aw yeah. beer. i ordered a beer. of some sort. and that’s what they served me. this particular sort of beer was an orange blossom pilsner, a delightful honey beer born in orlando. it’s not nearly as sweet as you’d imagine, and the honey flavor is more subtle than i was expecting. pretty good. it is perfectly drinkable, and i feel like it is crafty enough not to make you look like a pansy if you order it. probably. but if you DO get beaten up, don’t blame me.

fried pickles

square one burger introduced me to the taste sensation that is fried pickles. since then, i’ve had them at numerous other locations. but square one’s are still my favorite. they are lightly battered, such that sometimes the batter separates from the pickle. they’re fried until crisp, and not heavy at all for something coming out of a fryer. they’re served with ranch. and they’re just perfect. god i love these.

square one wings

this visit was the first time i had tried the “sq 1 really big chicken wings”. i had never even thought about getting wings there until then. and i was really glad i tried them. i got a small order of six, and they come in three styles: buffalo, frickin’ hot sweet chili, or bar-b-que. i went with buffalo, but cannot even remember there being a buffalo flavor involved. that’s because i was so overwhelmed by their smokey goodness. square one’s wings are apparently smoked in-house, and smoked is what you get. all i could think of when i ate these were those giant turkey legs you get at renaissance festivals. perhaps there was a bit of spice to it? i can’t remember. but they were good. they weren’t fall off the bone smokey like the wings at copper top, but they were tender and meaty. maybe not “really big”. and definitely not traditional wings. but damn good.

so at this point, of course i had already worked up my courage to order the best possible burger i could come up with for that evening. every time i go here, i get something different, but each time it is delicious. this time was no exception.

my square one burger

majestic. i know. it’s a beautiful monstrosity. let me see if i can remember all the goodness featured here: kobe beef patty, kaiser bun, sooner sauce (a chipotle ranch) and chipotle ketchup, pepper jack cheese, grilled red onion, lettuce, pickles, avocado, and applewood-smoked bacon. that is, i believe, all that was involved. there may have been sauteed sweet peppers, but i doubt it. all that matters is that it was awesome. the meat is always very good here (especially the kobe, which i invariably get). i cannot say it beats out burger monger, but it’s still great. their toppings are what really do it for me. i mean, the variety lets you get really creative, and every single piece of the puzzle is perfect. fresh, high quality produce, cheeses, and sauces.

this particular burger was excellent. i really like getting a ketchup/guacamole combination on burgers (no guac, square one?? come on!), so the avocado filled that role along with the chipotle ketchup. which, in turn, is a bit tangy, and blends well with the sooner sauce. the onions were extra flair, lettuce was unnecessary but nice, pickles are always a must for me. pepper jack is the king of cheese. bacon makes everything better. it all came together really well. i maybe should have gotten jalapeños to make it spicy, but it was just fine without. i got it with their sweet potato fries, lightly sweet by nature, then given a cinnamon sugar sprinkling. very good, but not so different from regular fries that it messes up the meal. next to my savory burger, it was a great compliment.

but the meal did not end there! oh no. there was more food to be had. by all.

orange creamsicle shake

oh god i ordered an orange dreamcicle shake. it was delicious. frothy and thick. with whipped cream. i love orange freezes from steak ‘n shake, which became my go to shake after they discontinued the delicious lime freeze (RIP). this was excellent, creamier than steak ‘n shake’s freeze with its blend of orange and vanilla.

red velvet cupcake sundae

and one of my friends ordered the southern red velvet sundae. one of the best parts of square one is their desserts, specifically their cupcakes. they make these little mini-cupcakes in a variety of flavors (red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, and carrot pecan). they’re all great. for the sundae, they scoop some ice cream, toss in a couple cupcakes (complete with a rich cream cheese frosting), housemade hot fudge, and whipped cream with little sugar sprinkles. it’s really good. but i only had a bite. because i was stuffed. why the hell did i eat so much??

of course, i’d do it all again. i would, and i will. square one burgers is a favorite spot of mine, and if it weren’t so far away, it’d be a much more regular spot. the prices are fair for what you’re getting, and the place is really nice. it’s a good alternative to the more straight to the point burger places i’m used to, adding class and character to some really delicious gourmet burgers. 38 stars.

Square One Burgers on Urbanspoon

Posted in Food, Humor, Tampa Restaurants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Taqueria Monterrey Mexican Grill

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on April 7, 2011

taqueria monterrey mexican grill

the taco bus had a baby, and they named it taqueria monterrey. actually, it had two of them. but let’s focus on the younger, more attractive one. so much more full of life. not yet weighed down by the harsh realities of life. and so very sexy.

taqueria monterrey mexican grill is tucked into a small strip mall on fletcher, with a tattoo parlor on one side, and an abc liquor on the other. an excellent location, if i do say so myself. as a result, the clientele at this restaurant is primarily bikers and sailors. …’cause those guys drink and get tattoos. right? amirite? no? moving on.

interior and salsa bar

as soon as you get in, you’re greeted by a giant SALSA BAR! this self serve behemoth packs a ton of salsas, sauces, pico de gallos, and slimes. delicious slimes. and maybe some peppers and onions and limes and shit. they got it all. but you must resist planting yourself head first into the bar. youmustresist. it’s for topping! that’s not the meal.

you will probably go up to the ordering counter when you go in, and then they’ll tell you you can go take a seat anywhere. it’s cool. don’t feel stupid. sit down, place your order, and get ready for excellence.

jarritos

start off with a cool, refreshing jarritos brand drinky-pop. they are all the rage among hipsters! probably. they have real sugar, and a million different delicious flavors. always good.

taqueria monterrey also features a number of different homemade drinks and coolers, stationed near the counter. i don’t believe i’ve ever ventured to try any of them, which is probably a huge mistake. agua de jamaica? yes. next time.

queso

we went ahead and ordered ourselves some of their queso while we waited for our meal. it comes out in this sweet black bowl thing, which lends it the legitimacy of authenticity, and also provides the basic structure necessary for keeping it off the table. it’s got peppers and other stuff in there, giving it a bit of a zesty kick. it’s really quite good, and getting it allows you to a.) have a whole bunch of chips you can try out the different salsas on, and b.) throw the queso on your burritos or tacos or whatever else you order. and then you’ll feel cool.

horchata

my friend ordered a(n) horchata, and i grew enraged/engorged with jealousy. that lasted a few seconds, then i ordered one for myself. oh god yes. it was smooth, creamy, and above all, sweet. it was packed with vanilla and cinnamon. and it was awesome.

while we waited for our food to arrive, i made a quick trip to the salsa bar. every time we go here, i do this, and end up getting way more salsa and sauces than we need. but i feel okay with this. i mean, it’s free, right? that means “please waste this”. cause that’s what i do.

salsas

honestly, this visit was so long ago, i don’t even know what the majority of these are. some of them are sweet, some of them are spicy. some of them are overflowing. but their salsas really don’t have a wide range of spiciness. their most spicy is completely tolerable to almost anyone. the variety comes in the different ingredients they use to make up the salsas and sauces. each one is extremely fresh, and tastes exactly like the few ingredients they are comprised of. they are all very good, though.

the one i do remember specifically is the left most sauce pictured – the black one. that’s not an issue with the lighting or the camera… this sauce was actually black. it was a chipotle sauce, and carried a dark, smokey bitter flavor. it was very interesting, and quite good.

chuza taco, al pastor taco, carne asada tostada

i ordered two tacos and a tostada, as is the custom of my people. this time around, i was a bit experimental (not… not too much, though). pictured here, left to right, is taqueria’s magical chuza taco, an al pastor taco, and a carne asada tostada. now, before i get into the individual items, i must note that on this particular visit, we seemed to be cursed with… not so good food. now, that is not to say the food was bad! far from it! and compared to most, it was still tops. but they were not on their A-game.

let’s start with the tostada. this was pretty average as far as they are concerned, a crispy corn tortilla topped with refried beans, meat (carne asada here), cabbage and tomatoes, and cheese (i don’t remember it having sour cream before this visit). i used this as the base for a lot of sauce experimentation. they have decent steak, but i feel like ordering the steak without trying any other meats would be a big mistake. misteak. all of their seasoned meats are so unique that the steak just falls behind. that being said, i almost always get something with steak when i go here.

the chuza taco, on the left, is something i’ve never tried before, but it’s supposed to be a bit of a specialty of theirs. it features home made chorizo(!), smoked pork, onions and peppers, and cheese. it’s all melted together, packed onto a corn tortilla (you can choose whatever you’d like your meat to be packed into… i feel the corn tortillas are the best, for both taste and consistency). the taco was pretty good, but i was expecting a little more. more spice, really. the meats were still excellent, though. i did end up putting salsas on this as well. the black chipotle worked well here.

and finally, in the middle is the al pastor taco, my personal favorite. it is a marinated pork, with a sweet sort of flavor. and it is the best. they don’t serve this at the taco bus, so i make sure to get it every time i come here. they throw on a little cilantro (or a lot of cilantro), some onions, and a few pieces of pineapple. my biggest complaint about this visit was the fact that they just stuck one big chunk of pineapple on there. come on! that’s not gonna last the whole taco! but when done right, the pineapple plays perfectly against the lightly sweetened pork, and the cilantro and onions add a great balance to the flavors. i usually eat this as is, or maybe just put a small bit of sauce on it. but it is complex enough on its own to be left alone. beautiful.

so the ambiance and atmosphere may not be up to snuff with the original taco bus, but it’s a great place, and the salsa bar makes it worth checking out. it’s location is a lot more convenient to students or university employees, so that’s a plus. and the al pastor. worth a trip just for that.

UPDATE: this beautiful piece of ass is closed now, and in the middle of a transformation into a BRAND NEW TACO BUS!! which i guess maybe we needed another of? i dunno. i hope they keep the salsa bar. )`:

Taqueria Monterrey Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Posted in Food, Humor, Tampa Restaurants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

the Mellow Mushroom

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on March 10, 2011

mellow mushroom

do you like pizza? are you stoned? if the answer to one or both of these questions is “uh…. what?”, then the mellow mushroom is for you!! it’s the hippie-themed pizzeria chain opened by a couple of stoners, with unique pizza combinations and trippy-as-hell decorations. case in point:

horrifying

so sometimes it looks like the it’s a small world ride on the inside. and there are usually giant murals featuring sixties music artists on the walls, such as janis joplin, jimi hendrix, or john lennon. sometimes even people without any j’s in their names! but the interior decorations are just an indication of their progressive philosophies. also maybe of their employee’s habits outside of work. maybe. but that ‘sense of awesomeness’, as some (i) might put it, translates into their business sense.

the first mellow mushroom opened up in atlanta georgia, and as they grew, they allowed their other locally owned and operated locations to take on their own forms and styles. each has their own art and look, but every location has the same menu, and each one i’ve been to has been just as high quality as the last. that goes for atmosphere as well as food.

shroom interior

this particular location, on sheldon in citrus park, is quite large, part of a strip mall, and has three fairly big indoors dining areas, a patio, and a full bar complete with those little jaeger machines (a sure sign of a cool place). and yes, they also have those scary mushroom statues looming over the restaurant, quietly watching. and waiting.

the menu covers appetizers, salads, calzones, hoagies, and of course pizza. they also have a wide selection of beers to choose from, both bottled and tapped. while i was there, i got some awesome draught beer, but once again i was too foolish to write down what it was called. i think it was a black stout, but i can’t quite remember, which is a shame because it was one of the best beers i’ve ever had.

wings

we ordered wings, as is my custom. as i recall, these wings were mediocre. they had a baked flavor to them, with a fairly standard, ‘nothing special’ sauce. texturally, they were a bit on the soggy side, but in no way inedible. we worked our way through them, but i wouldn’t bother ordering them again. my friend, on the other hand, rather enjoyed them. to each their own. i can recommend, though, the hummus as an appetizer.

so the main attraction at mellow mushroom is the pizza. you can order a pizza with any number of their (sometimes exotic) toppings, which you can browse through on their menu, or you can order one of their many specialty pizzas. this is the route i suggest. they come up with incredible combinations, making use of different cheeses and sauces in addition to the toppings, creating pizzas you’d probably never think up yourself. and then they give them wacky fun names. such as:

The White Rabbit
Oil & Garlic Base, Sundried Tomatoes, Spinach, Mozzarella, Mushrooms, Artichoke Hearts & Feta Cheese. Try Adding a Swirl of Pesto or Chicken for a little extra.

The Kush
Oil & Garlic Base, Jerk Meatballs, Mozzarella, Bacon, Banana Peppers, and Pineapple. The Kush’s crust is buttered, salted and sprinkled with Parmesan.

Philosopher’s Pie
Steak, Portobello Mushroom Cap, Artichoke Hearts, Kalamata Olives, Provolone, Feta, and Mozzarella Cheeses on an Oil and Garlic Base.

The Soma Pie
Pesto Base, Mozzarella, Sausage, Jerk Chicken & Onions.

but i always get the same pizza, every time i go back. because it’s perfect.

magical mystery tour

the magical mystery tour. named after the great beatles album, this pizza has a pesto base, and is covered with mozzarella cheese, both button and portobello mushrooms, spinach, jalapeños, then lovingly sprinkled with feta cheese. it can be ordered with chicken if you need a meat, but the mushrooms are always enough for me. it is deliciously unique; the jalapeños and the feta are major players in the taste department, with the pesto base providing a wholly different pizza experience than i’m used to. the cheese is quality, and the crust is perfect and chewy at the ends. it truly is magical. and mysterious.

it’s a great pizza place, with its own personality. and with each location providing their own spin on the atmosphere, you’re sure to be satisfied with the delicious pizza and the hilariously entertaining staff. they… they on somethin.

Mellow Mushroom on Urbanspoon

Posted in Chain Restaurants, Food, Humor, Tampa Restaurants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Honey’s Sports Bar Restaurant

Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on March 8, 2011

honey's

in my quest for THE GREATEST WINGS OF ALL, i had my attention turned to honey’s sports bar restaurant. now, this was a recommendation from a friend’s friend, so neither of us had ever been here. but we had heard: great wings! delicious fun! and beer!

honey's interior

AND SO we went to honey’s, in carrollwood. honey’s is a sports bar, and so naturally they had televisions displaying sports of all types. they also had the japan’s national sport of singing terribly in public, also known as karaoke. we were greeted with terrible singing from terrible people, which is exactly the environment i like for wings. LET’S DO THIS THANG.

the place is just what you imagine when you hear “sports bar” – there’s a bar, some arcade machines filling a small room in the back, and a larger general dining area. there’s also a patio, which we probably should have eaten at. instead, we stayed inside with the lousy singing, and were sat at a booth near a couple cops. out of fear, i discretely ate all my illegal drugs and drug-related paraphernalia (“the wrath of bong”, my large glass water pipe, did not go down smoothly). i was not feeling well at this point, but a strange hunger soon consumed me, and all i could think about was the meal ahead of us.

honey’s boasts both “famous buffalo wings” and “legendary pizza”. i came to honey’s for wings, so i did not get any pizza. that will be for another day. but i did wind up getting a crazy appetizer that for some reason i just couldn’t resist. i would now like to introduce you to:

the garbage plate

THE GARBAGE PLATE

that garbage plate

the garbage plate is the ultimate appetizer. consisting of a tortilla chip and french fry base, the plate is smothered in honey’s chili, cheddar and jack cheeses, hot peppers (specifically, banana peppers), green onions, and their medium wing sauce, with a dollop of sour cream on top. my friend was generous enough not to eat any of it, leaving me alone to try to put a dent in it. let’s just say that this meal fed me for days. but ordered as a group, for just 7.99, this is the perfect way to start a meal. it’s epic in both quality and quantity.

to wash this insane beast down, i asked about their beers on tap. i can no longer remember what i ended up ordering, but i know it was an IPA of some sort, which was good. from now on, i’ll try to pay more attention to these things. but here’s a pretty picture for you anyway:

some kinda ipa

and then, of course, the wings. my friend and i both ordered 16 wings each, with two different sauces. their sauce options are as follow:

Dry Mild, Saucy Mild, Medium, Hot; Honey Garlic; Spicy Honey Garlic; Cajun; Spicy Cajun; Spicy Honey Cajun; Honey’s Original BBQ; BBQ Raspberry; Honey BBQ; Garlic Parmesan; Spicy Garlic Parmesan; Honey Mustard; Spicy Honey Mustard; Boom Boom Sauce; Suicide

that’s… that’s a lot of sauces. awesome. the wings are typically fried as buffalo wings usually are, but you also have the option of ordering their “award winning bar-b-que wings”, which are cooked over an open pit and charred, rather than just being fried. you are limited to their barbecue sauces, cajun, or blackened as your options here. these are their award winning wings, and are a bit more expensive than their regular ones. we both ordered half medium wings, and my second half was the ‘char grilled’ wings, with honey’s original barbecue sauce. my friend’s second half was their regular garlic parmesan wings.

medium wings

their wings come out in these little metal bowls, which you’d think they sauced them in, but are too clean for that. their wings also come with carrot sticks, celery, and their “secret” blue cheese. i don’t eat that crap. the wings themselves are generally a good size, but seem to be a bit inconsistent (some wings will look like babies, whereas others resemble monsters. this is best discussed in appropriately high-pitched or raspy low voices, e.g. “tiny wingy can’t fly!” and “monster wing eats you!!” etc). they are well fried, about what you’d expect.

the menu warns the following: “our wing sauces are hotter than you may be used to. if you normally order your wings hot-try our medium. if you order medium you may want to try mild.” so i was expecting a good kick from their medium sauce. but i found their warning to be unwarranted. the spice was about where i’d normally place it, maybe a small bit higher. but not so hot as to require issuing a warning, and certainly not too hot to handle. my friend found it to be a bit spicier than he’d like, but he had no problems eating them. i think you should expect variation in spiciness between different restaurants.

regarding the flavor itself, it was about standard. not a creamy sauce in any way, not too vinegary or anything. just a good, solid wing sauce. i was not blown away by the flavor, but i do have to say that when i order wings, this is what i expect to get. this is what i want. so they have a solid product on their hands.

honey barbecue grilled wings

these are their honey’s original barbecue wings, char grilled. okay, by comparison with their standard fried buffalo wings, i can see why these would cost more. and i can see the award winning. these were pretty damn good. the pit cooking adds a new smokey element to the flavor, most of which comes from the light charring on the outside of the wing. there is also a textural difference between the wings, though not to the point that these were falling off the bone or anything. similar, but not a different beast entirely. the sauce was sticky and sweet; “honey’s” is not just a name; it is a huge component of the sauce. it was not so sweet that it was like a candy, as the sweet sauce at skipper’s was, but it was sweet enough that i now wonder whether they might have given me honey barbecue rather than original. it was very good though; definitely order these if you go to honey’s.

garlic parmesan wings

i also got to sample one of my friend’s garlic parmesan wings, which i loved. my first experience with garlic parmesan wings was at wing stop, and these were quite similar to theirs. they are a drier wing than found at buffalo wild wings, who uses a very wet sauce rather than a bit of garlic ‘drizzle’ and a parmesan cheese dusting. these are crispy from the fryer, with the light garlic and parmesan flavor almost just accenting the wing. i definitely prefer these drier wings, and i loved the one i had. i immediately felt like these wings “won” the night.

and that’s it! good wings, with a lot of variety. i will go back to try more of their sauces, and probably try out that pizza. “legendary pizza” is just too tempting an offer to pass up. and maybe next time i’ll have some friends who are interested in splitting the garbage plate with me, rather than being forced to take it on all by myself. jerk.

Honey's on Urbanspoon

Posted in Food, Humor, Tampa Restaurants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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