The weekend couldn't have been any better, temps finally got into the 70's during the day, just in time for a great Pirate invasion and Parade and Streetfest.
A friend was in town from LA, so on Friday night we went up to the Bungalow on Kennedy Blvd near Hyde Park. There was about a 30 min wait for a table inside, so we hung out at the bar outside, nice large open patio and an acoustic guitarist providing some entertainment....the night before Gapsarilla had a few pirates out, there was again alot of people in town for this over 100 year annual celebration in Tampa. A nice table, under one of the heaters(it was hovering around 50 this night), we all checked out the Cuban Sandwiches which come with your choice of many different sides if you ask(the first time I was here, they told me I could only get fries,a nd couldn't substitute - finally someone listened). Piled high with Roast Marinated Pork, Ham and Cheese, it was a large sandwich, I had mine with the 4 cheese Mac and Cheese, thick and hearty small bowl, my other buddies got fries, and the Grilled Asparagus. We tried to get Wings to start off, but our meals came out first, and after about 20 minutes into eating, our not so friendly server advised us that the wings were to come out, we just told her to forget about them, they were supposed to be Appetizers....we had to wave her down a few times for drinks and the check, she seemed like it was a bother to be there, not sure why people like that are even in this type of business or how they get hired.
Sticking up for the big day, ABC Liquors on Kennedy was packed, never seen so many people this late just stocking up on so much alcohol, grocery carts FULL of stuff....
Saturday morning, the day of the Invasion, i was awoken by Canon Fire..the pirates are on their way...and we headed to a friends place close to Hyde Park in South Tampa for Breakfast and Mimosas....catching the #19 bus on Swann Ave, we were able to get dropped off at the University of Tampa, and walk downtown to Harbour Island to catch the Invasion. I ran into the Past Mayor if Tampa from the 60's and again in the 90's, Dick Greco...and lots fo party revlers with their Yachts and Party boats all over the Channel. After Mayor Iorio handed over the key, and the pirates prepared for their Victory parade down Bayshore, we met some more friends at the Marriott Waterside, great views from their Suite Balcony overlooking Harbour Island and Bayshore. A walk over to the Publix on Bayshore where some great bands were playing , and then on to some parties on Bay Street, where we all went down and saw some of the parade, both in the street, and up in the Condos just off the parade route.
It was a Looong Fun day, and we made the trek back over the river to Downtown for the annual gathering at The Hubb, passing by other stages rockin' out in the streets....the night ended with about eight of us piled into a Jeep for one last stop to meet up with others at Baxters, and then the Green Iguana Westshore, where my fav band IPD was playing to a good crowd.
Sunday, all the breakfast places were packed...Datz Deli, Daily Eats, Pach's, Brunchery, so we stopped by Nina O's and had a great table outside on the back patio area. I tried the all you can eat Southern Favorites like Moist and Juicy Fried Chicken, Meatloaf w/Gravy. and all you can eat sides I tried were the Mixed veges and Pasta Salad....a GREAT brunch...my buddies enjoyed a Roast Beef Sandwich, and French Toast and Eggs and Biscuits and Gravy. Every thing is cooked to order, so be prepared to wait a bit, but I think its worth the wait...
Will be a busy work week, but at some point need to try and get out to the Florida State Fair, and Gasparilla is not over yet..the Night Parade is this Saturday through Ybor City..