Every few weeks my parents make the hour trip up to Tampa to visit their favorite child The trip is usually accompanied by some shopping and maybe a movie- but always a meal. The past few visits it seemed like we’d always go to the same places, so this time I wanted to mix it up. My dad’s favorite meal is shepard’s pie (dont ask me why- bleh) so I decided to take them over to The Pub at Bay Street.
In the past few years International Plaza has gotten a major uphaul in the way of Bay Street. There are restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory, Capitol Grille, Bar Louie, Blue Martini (the infamous site of Bucs LB Geno Haye’s arrest in 2010) and many more shops and eateries. But one of my favorite places to grab a bite is The Pub.
It is designed to give each guest an authenic pub experience, and even though I’ve never been to Britain, I’m assuming this is exactly how it would feel. (Although I could totally go for everyone having a British accent, especially the guys- swoon). Once inside we were greeted by Everitte, and his kilt. I don’t really understand the connection between the kilt and Britain (isn’t it a Scottish thing? Maybe I need to do more research) but it added to the whole feel none the less. He sat my parents, Rob and I at a table on the first floor (there are 2). Once seated our server Amy told us about the specials. Each day of the week has a different special. We went on a Tuesday and my dad and I took full advantage of the $4 pints.
After our drink orders were in it was time to focus on the food. Although I was already familiar with the menu, my dad was surprised to see that it included both authentic British cuisine as well as other options. When it came time to order he of course went for the shepards pie, while Mom went for fish tacos (told you it’s not all Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash). Rob and I stayed pretty basic and got burgers with fries- were such crazy orderers.
As we waited for our meals to arrive we took in the atmosphere. While The Pub seems pretty upscale because of its location and clientle, don’t think you have to wear your Sunday best. It is a great place to grab lunch while shopping or go to to dinner with friends. I suggest you go early to grab dinner on a Friday or Saturday night as the place gets pretty packed and it’s hard to find a place at the bar. They even offer brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11a-3p where you can create your own Bloody Marys.
Our food arrived a short time later and I was ready to dig in. The burgers were huge and cooked just right. Their steak fries were delicious and while I totally forgot it came with a fried pickle I was pleased to bite into what I thought was fry and find out it was a pickle! Over on the other side of the table, my mom was loving her fish tacos that came with an asian salad on the side. Thinking creatively, she topped her tacos with some of the salad for additional flavor. Good call Mom!
The final test came when my dad bit into his shepards pie. His smile said it all. Not to mention the fact that there was nothing left on his plate at the end. We left the restaurant fat and happy. So if you are ever over at International Plaza and are looking for somewhere to take a load off, grab a brew and some nosh, head on over to The Pub.