301 Family Restaurant

Fabulous, ridiculously lovely morning here in The Bay Area. Driving through Port of Tampa, looking at all the cool ships and shore facilities.

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Today we were going to go to Sandy’s Homestyle in Riverview, but we drove in circles for 45 minutes and could never find it. Not even Google Maps could help. I suppose it’s closed. Brandon area is NOT flush with great mom-n-pop breakfasts. We actually were starting to think about eating the weakest of us, until I realized that the boys were teaming up to eat me. Then I made a beeline to the closest known breakfast in the area, the 301 Family Restaurant at 3407 N HWY 301. We visited the 301 about a year ago at the suggestion of TBB fan Chris S.

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This is a great family photo. But if you look closely, you’ll see that Marek is considering taking a chomp out of Ivo’s shoulder. He’s hongree.

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The boys chose the patriotic table. USF and USA!

Marek dressed himself. He allegedly left the house with both shoes.

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Marek took this, and many other pictures this morning. Ivo took some too.

This last weekend, Marek for the first time “got it” on the whole breakfast project. He talked all day Friday about his “dot com” and spent an hour cruising the Tampa Bay Breakfasts web site. Seriously, he never really realized that this was his web site and I just work for him. Expect him to be exerting greater influence this summer.

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Since Marek was taking pictures, you get a rare look at me placing an order. Notice the precision, the command, the poise of Tampa Bay’s most experienced Pancake Professional. If this were a paying gig, I’d be able to afford to buy Marek both shoes.

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The menu. Had all the right parts in all the right places, no surprises. The 301 is exactly what you expect out of a classic greasy spoon.

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Ivo would like to give all our Breakfast Fans a big hug!

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Coffee and chocolate, just the way we like it.

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Portraits by Ivo. He took this shot. Composition is OK, but he needs to work on focus. The jaunty horizon is very avaunt-guard.

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Breakfast came on lots of plates, and Ivo attacked with the speed of a Breakfast Spider.

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I’m trying something new. The daily special was country fried steak. I haven’t had one of those in years.

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Ivo likes his food to look like it spent some time fighting with a Florida panther.

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Marek likes him some home fries these days. Here he’s musing on the delights of home fries in all their forms.

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It’s A-OK!

Actually, I have no idea what he was doing, but it’s not an old-school A-OK sign. Kids don’t do that anymore.

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Ivo shoved in as much pancake as his hatch could hold.

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And then the hatch lost containment. He kept it together and chewed in a most disgusting fashion.

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About $16 for a robust, filling breakfast. Not bad at all.

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Ivo, who is going to pay the bill today?

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Why, I am, dad!

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Here’s the cash. Let’s see what happens next.

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It’s Flamenco Ivo!

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Running at a dead sprint through the dining room to find someone to take the cash. Ivo is all about results.

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When he came back, I asked him if he could make a funny face. This is all he had.

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Marek jumped in to demonstrate his prowess, and lead his little brother in the finer arts of goofyface.

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How else would Ivo learn if he didn’t get this kind of loving moment from his big brother?

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When we got home, we had a good, old-fashioned Florida Saturday morning. Bikes and popsicles and trampolines and playing in the street. These will be the good old days.

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Great chow, just like you’d expect from a 30 year old diner. Good prices, friendly folks. On our way out we stopped to chat with a Korean War vet, and that made our day. The bacon and home fries met Marek’s demanding standards. The kid’s pancake got mauled and chawed in approving Ivo fashion. And I found the eggs and country fried steak to be a fine change to the usual, if a bit heavy on the sausage gravy. The coffee did run a little dry along the way, but otherwise this is a breakfast worth the drive. We’re pleased to give the 301 Family Restaurant a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four pancake rating.

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