It’s been a tough month for Tampa Bay Breakfasts. Infants don’t eat pancakes, and they’re too young to let the television be a surrogate parent and distract them. To our loyal readers, we’re very sorry that we’ve been missing a few outings but we hope this one will help make up for it.
We visited Taste at 500 Main Street in Safety Harbor on 26 September 2010. They have a lovely web site at http://www.tastesafetyharbor.com/. To get there, we had to haul way across the Courtney Campbell. It was a lovely morning. You can see Safety Harbor off on the right.
The only drawback to Taste is that they don’t actually serve breakfast. It’s brunch. So we’re actually here almost at lunchtime. Suites us fine, as that makes our hungry rumbly. It’s a cozy little space inside, obviously more geared towards evening pleasures than crack-o-Dawn (sorry, cousin Dawn, don’t mean to crack on you) breakfast slinging.
We have to remember that Taste isn’t a greasy-spoon diner and that we’re here for brunch, not breakfast, so please, don’t judge the sparse and eclectic menu from our usual truck-stop-chic perspective. There’s some very interesting chow on this short sheet.
This morning we had the extreme pleasure of being joined by our two favorite guest reviewers, Mom and Ivo. What most folks don’t realize, is that Mom was actually a circus performer before we got married. She would ride this 8-foot unicycle backwards while juggling puppies and balancing a teacup on her chin. Here’s a great shot of her performing this stunt today.
A lot of parents have these old-fashioned rules about child-rearing, like feeding infants breast milk or formula. That’s so very yesterday. Shown here is our very own Ivo, having a delicious blended pancake with bacon. He’ll have a second bottle with coffee in it next.
The following photograph has no breakfast-related merit.
Oddly enough, many people who meet Marek for the first time think his name is “Merit.” I guess it could be worse, they could think it’s “fart-blossom.”
Our fine hosts advised that they make better Cafe con Leche than Cubans do. Both Ivo and I tried one and we found it delicious. I don’t know that it’s better than that at the Caribbean Point on Hillsborough, but it was mighty fine indeed. Ivo loved it. Marek stuck with the plain black coffee, as is his habit, being that he’s older and everyone knows that three years old “big boys” like their coffee black and bitter.
Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom had this fancy hot chocolate, which was the Best Hot Chocolate She Had All Day.
Check out this funky contraption of brunch. We’ve got South African-inspired eggs, some truly wonderful rosemary potatoes. We’ve been to a lot of places, but we’ve never been to South Africa. We did really enjoy District 9, and once upon a time I took it upon myself to read the Army War College reading list, where I encountered The Defense of Duffer’s Drift, which has a lot of practical applications for approaching breakfasts while carrying two young kids around.
Marek had the waffle, which lasted about as long as our hopes for a winning Bucs season. Though we’ve got to say that the Bolts are really looking good!
Mom has the vodka French toast. With two kids, she also was considering just having the vodka.
We wrapped up with the bill. This was one of our more expensive breakfast adventures; we needed to roll out a Jackson and his twin brother to pay our way. I’d hoped that they would have offered to just take a child in payment, but, alas, they knew better.
Marek said, “oh father, would you be ever so kind as to allow me to take care of payment for this fine repast?” By which I mean, he was practicing his fake burping. A new skill he just rolled out this month. Blech. Belly-laugh. Bwwrrrap. Giggle. And so on. Pablo Neruda got his start the same way.
Not only did Marek get a pop, they had a whole barrel of them! These are Our Kinda People!
Taste was simply a good, warm, fun experience. The people here make it, with their obvious love of their food and the friends who come to share in it. We wouldn’t say this is a cheap way to start the day, but it’s certainly a winner for the unique tastes and the wonderful folks.
But it’s brunch, not breakfast, so we can’t realllllllly give it five pancakes. We’re pleased to give the fine folks at Taste a four and a half pancake rating. (But … keep reading!)
And then we received a lovely invitation. Taste was hosting a food-writer’s dinner and would I like to join?
I promptly pointed out that Marek and I are a team, can he come?
He was even more welcome than I was, so we jumped in the car!
Like many world-class professionals, we need motivational music to get ready for our big event. On the ride over we got amped up with Lamb of God.
Probably the best food experience we’ve had so far is to walk up to a restaurant that’s closed for a private function, and we’re actually invited to that function. Marek is sporting what can only be a big ole goofy grin.
And it kept getting better! We were expected!
We still had to sign in.
And get comfortable.
Marek was able to get some clarinet lessons. Turns out he can play more than just the electric guitar.
Then it was time to find the toys. This is a mark of a good place. Toys.
Since it’s not breakfast, we had wine. Well, one of us, anyway. Marek likes the hard-juice.
Then we all listened to our hosts welcome us, and we all made introductions. While I talked about our mission (to leave no pancake unflipped, natch), Marek passed out his business cards.
And then … our camera battery died before the food rolled out, so we didn’t get any more pictures!
There’s plenty to see at the sites of some of our friends’ sites, though:
We had the Best Time Ever. Taste invited us in, introduced us to some great people, and fed us well, at no cost to us. We’re going to say this was easily worth an extra half a pancake on the official rating!
We’re pleased to upgrade Taste of Safety Harbor to a Tampa Bay Breakfasts five-pancake rating. (That’s three this year, if you’re keeping track!) Thanks again, Taste friends! We’ll visit again soon!