Buddy of mine came back from his trip while I watched his kids(Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Chiuaua), and we went over to check out the new IKEA that opened in Ybor City. At 7pm on a Wednesday evening, the place was EMPTY, plenty of up front parking, grabbed a yellow bag as we entered and proceeded up the escalator to begin out tour...meandering in and out of every imaginable type of Home Ware displays..kitchens, baths, bedrooms..appliances, furniture...this place has Everything and its HUGE...we stopped off for some of their Swedish Meatballs on the 2nd level cafe, offering great views of the Port and downtown Tampa skyline. Finishing the tour downstairs through all the housewares, and knick knacks, we stopped by the grocery area where my buddy took home some of the frozen meatballs and stuff. AS a reminder, you must bring a bag to take home the goodies you purchase, or buy a bag from IKEA.
Afterwards, it was dinner at a fav of mine in Ybor - El Puerto. a HUGE perfectly cooked and delicious 22oz skirt steak and Chicken Fired Rice was shared...enough for four people, I was able to take some home for lunch and dinner the next day.
Friday dinner was with the family at Cappy's pizza on Bay to Bay Blvd...a large Greek Salad and this time we did a small NY Style with Pepperoni and a Ham and Cheese Calzone..I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the Calzone only had Mozzarella Cheese, and no Ricotta Cheese. Still the pizza is some of the best I've had in Tampa Bay area.
Saturday a few friends of mine and I ventured out to Kayak the Hillsborough River. Our friends at Canoe Escape brought us to Sargeant Park along 301 to start the Hillsborough River kayaking...beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife, and lazy paddle down the river to Morris Bridge Park, about 2.5 hours. Being shaded and on the water kept us cool...it was hovering in the mid-90's today.
After getting back home and cleaning up a bit, we enjoyed a great lunch along the Bay at Hula Bay..once again, a perfect meal(the grilled grouper sandwich's and roast pork soft tacos), perfect views, and great company.
Sunday was Fathers Day, and about 5 of us fathers(of the four legged kind), went to Datz on MacDill Ave for their Sunday Brunch...around 130pm, there was about a 20 minute wait, we wondered around on the lower level, tasting wines, cheeses, breads and such..there was a great female singer entertaining the Fathers Day crowd. Upstairs we were seated in the bar area, with a bottle of wine and free draft beers for the fathers..we were already having a great time. The sandwich's here are HUGE!! The Meats and Cheeses are top quality, service was a little slow and awkward though. Some of us ordered Omelets which unfortunately were on the small side compared to the Colossal sandwich's and Salads.