Sunshine Cafe

Hello race fans and welcome to another morning of “Racing for Breakfast!”

As you can see by Ivo’s 30 degree off-axis and Marek’s goofy “DoItAgainDad” grin, we were doing donuts in an empty parking lot at 0800 this fine Saturday morning.


To get ready for breakfast, and race day, we spun one of my favorites, “Dr. Funkenstein.” Which is Deadmau5 tracks and a vocal that just repeats, “Dr. Funkenstein” over and over.

It’s a lot less awesome when described that way, by the way.


We visited The Sunshine Cafe this lovely 10th of February. Sunshine Cafe has a sort of generic-looking web site at and they’re located at 3624 W Gandy Blvd“>3624 W Gandy Blvd.


Deadmau5 plus reckless driving makes Ivo hungry. I mean honngreeee.


Marek opened the door and Ivo immediately went to this gumball machine.

And had his first of many disappointments in life when he turned the knob and nothing happened.


Comprehensive, if somewhat oddly ordered menu. Appetizers. Breakfasts. Sandwiches. Why not put appetizers over with the other dinner stuff? Ordered alphabetically, I’m thinking.


Dad (my dad, their grandpa) will be interested to know that Sunshine Cafe has scrapple. That’s four or five places in The Bay Area that serve it.


A round of coffee for everyone. Ivo doesn’t get appropriately pingy and start hurling eggs at people until his second cup.


Here’s my prized Dali/Simpsons t-shirt, purchased from a street vendor in Figueres 15 years ago. Ivo spent 15 minutes pointing at things, saying, “what’s this, daddy?” Andy Warhol got his start just like this.


Ivo, doing a bit of faux Kandinsky. Quoth Marek, “I hate abstract expressionism.”


Marek, admiring an example of early 21st century parental neorealist portraiture. Quoth Marek, “That’s not me, daddy!” Oh, yes it is, son.


Another work of art, from the Edward Hopper School of Grits.


Moments after this quiet picture was taken, Ivo managed to take one of the pre-packaged syrup containers and pry the corner loose, dumping syrup right in his crotch where it was not obvious that he had done so at first glance. More on that later.


I had the “spinach and feta skillet.” While obviously this is not served in an actual skillet, it was still a quality meal artfully served.


Ivo gnawing his way into a packet of butter. A kinder father would open it for him.


Not large pancakes. Perfect for The Ivo, though. And attractive to look at, too.


Here we are in mid-cleanup. A positive puddle of oil under the boy, not unlike what you’d find under a ’72 Dodge with a bad oil pan gasket. Just sticky and nasty. But only syrup, nothing more. (Though at this point, there was truly no way to know, so I made him sit on a napkin and pretend that everything was normal (which, oddly enough, it sort of was for us.).)


Now that we’re all done talking about sticky, syrup-soaked two-year-olds, I wanted to mention that this was a good breakfast I was having.


Last week, Marek put syrup on his eggs. This week, butter. I read that Einstein did the same thing.


We got grits, just for you, Kim on AM 820!


The bill was around 17 clams for all of us. Not terrible, but not super-cheap. A good amount of chow, so we didn’t feel swindled.


Marek was still ladling butter onto his scrambled, so Ivo took the cash.


And promptly tried to pay this cab driver picking up a take-out order. Shows how good Tampa’s cabbies are. The man said, “look kid, for $20 I can take you to the airport, but no farther.”


Finally, Ivo found the right spot. Who says a two year old can’t apply problem-solving skills?


Smokin’ and Jokin’ on the way home. Notice how Ivo is carrying a jelly packet. That’s not going to be good news for me later on, I can tell.


We stopped on the way home to enjoy the City we call Tampa.


And do what we do best. Which is, right after breakfast, the time-honored hobby of Yelling At Birds.


We had a fine time at the Sunshine Cafe. The chow was nice, the people friendly, the price on the slightly high side of OK. The coffee cups were tiny and the dining area was that flat, open plan that belies a former retail space. And also, we walked in on an old guy sitting on the can when we went to wash up the syrup explosion, and we haven’t been able to un-see that yet (sir, there IS a lock on the door). At the end of the morning, Sunshine Cafe is worth a visit (just knock first). We’re happy to give Sunshine Cafe a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.


Sunshine Cafe on Urbanspoon

One thought on “Sunshine Cafe

  1. Tim Fasano

    My name is Tim and I was in the Sunshine diner on Feb, 10, 2013. I believe we spoke in the parking lot. I was the one driving the taxi cab. I am pictured here (with red long sleeve shirt) with your son giving me back my change. How cool was that!

    I have been inspired by others on WordPress to start a blog. I have one now about taxi drving and one in the mold of “Finding Tampa.” A blog I just love and was sad he gave it up.

    Anyway, Thanks for posting and you can check out what I’m doing if you like.
    Tim Fasano


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