Albany John worked his technology magic and now I can present the second part of our trip to Tampa, FL. Here is the first part. And I’ll tell you about the odd little buddy up top in a bit.
The morning of the funeral was lightly overcast with some sprinkles and mist. Albany John, Mama and Papa Amherst, and Chicago Velvet Smoove and I stopped off at a Starbucks for some coffee, and then made our way to Grandma’s funeral outside of Tampa, FL.
We all took some time to ourselves after the funeral, and eventually the whole family made our way over to the Jerk Hut. At this point it was still mid-afternoon, so our large group was easily seated.
Sweet Platanos – Yum! Tampa, you sure know how to cook some plantains – juicy, moist, soft innards, but a wonderfully flavored outside as well.
Papa Amherst got the whole fish (corvina, I think). It was either this, or the ox tails, but we shared. Heck, we all shared bits of this and that – my family rocks.
Later on, our servers brought out some of the sauce/gravy from the ox tails. This is for one person. Holy crap, you could make gravy out of the grease on top of the gravy. I really wish I had the tummy capacity to have eaten this, or lived nearby to take it home.
Hello Kitty Sis sent me some of her curry chicken. It was milder than I thought (I expect the searing, blinding heat in most caribbean food), pleasantly so – the sauce was sweet and beautifully complimented the chicken (skin ever so slightly charred).
The next day we were scheduled to leave beautiful Tampa, FL and head back to chilly Albany, NY. We decided to check out the Tampa branch of Yuengling Brewing Company and take their free 11 am tour.
And what you see when you first walk in. The tour itself is pretty quick. They say they don’t have a ton of employees – maybe around 60 for when it’s really busy, but never at the same time. No pictures on the tour were allowed, but our tour guides were super-friendly.
At the end of the tour they also let us sample 2 7-oz cups of beer. Albany John and I tried the bock, a new beer they hadn’t released yet, and… another one that I can’t remember. But it was dark. We had the bock second, and it was seriously floral. If you like Malort, you will likely love this. I don’t care for Malort, but I appreciated the floral notes. It kind of felt like I was drinking something pretty.
A display case of Yuengling shwag next to the little bar area.
Aww, they even had a bike rack!
The brewery had some wild life walking around the front too. We still have no idea what this little guy is. A duck? Chicken? Anyone have any idea what this black-red fowl is?
After the tour we went to Ybor City – the shopping/nightlife district of Tampa. We were there before noon, and easily found parking in the city lots. Very affordable parking. The street parking was a little harder to come by, but I’m sure you know where to park if you’re a local.
Here is a trolley. I wanted to check it out, but we ended up forgetting to do it. Whoopsie!
I can’t read the name on the sign, but we went into a cigar lounge. Ybor City used to house a lot of cigar rolling factories in the early 19th century. Many have been revamped into other businesses or residences, but there were quite a few smoking lounges in the center of Ybor City.
I looked at it again: the place is called Stogie Castillo’s.
Albany John got some kind of cigar and a Red Stripe beer. I went for the Woodpecker cider. Tee hee – woodpeckers! They also had some Playboy magazines in front of the couches (where we sat – super comfy!). You know, I was surprised by how many articles there actually ARE in Playboy. Did they start putting in more or something? Maybe they are going through a boobie budget or something.
You work up a surprising appetite flipping through girly mags and quaffing a cider, so we headed over to Mema’s Alaskan Tacos for a quick snack. Oh, fooding time has JUST STARTED!
$8 for 2 tacos and a soda. Woo hoo!
Here’s the interior
They call your order number when it’s up. I think I need stickers that say ‘shrimp’ to plaster on everything. Or maybe ones that say ‘add shrimp’.
We got our tacos with everything. Why not?
Here is my shrimp taco. Dear gravy – sweet, soft, succulent shrimp filling. I seriously considered buying another dozen to bring home on the plane. The corn tortilla was freshly made, oily, crisp, and delicious.
Albany John’s salmon taco was equally phenomenal. Seriously – Albany, can we get a Mema’s? Not only were they open late; but for a tasty snack – excellent.
Omg, it’s the Floridian Hannaford! Or, more correctly, they stock most of their generics with Hannaford brand. How odd! The sugar was Hannaford, the cheeses were Hannaford (and look at the above fancy schmancy line of Hannaford cheeses). Although the bagels in the bread aisle were Sweetbay Brand. *shrugs*
After gawking around a supermarket, we headed over to El Taconazo – the Taco Bus (actually, we first tried to go to a Vietnamese market to get Banh Mi, but that was closed and completely devoid of any business, so then we headed here).
We went all out. It was around $22 for all the food we ordered. And yes, they looked at us like we were crazy for ordering so much food.
I got a huge ass horchata to drink. I wasn’t actually sure what I was ordering, but when the woman at the counter taking orders called them off, I ordered the 3rd one. They had jugs of them sitting out behind where you order (where we also sat), but they weren’t labeled, and I really didn’t want to risk getting Tamarind. Thankfully, they got it for me.
This is what the burrito looked like when it first arrived. MY BABY! Some how, we managed to polish off our food. We waddled off, but dear goodness, what a way to end a trip.
We drove over to a little park on the water and waddled around there for a bit. There were docks, and it was nice and sunny. A good way to end our trip before heading back to return the car (sans gas, whoops) and wait at the airport.