We’re going downtown!
We visited the Samaria Cafe at 502 N Tampa St on 17 October 2009. I drive through this way all the time and only just noticed Samaria Cafe last week. This was our first visit to Samaria, and for a good reason: This is only their third week in business!
They have specials on a board out on the sidewalk. I always like a hand-made list of specials like this. It’s a very personal touch. And at Samaria I see something I like right away!
Once inside we found ourselves in a lovely, clean, fresh, and new space. And being downtown Tampa, we got a chance to watch people going by. Tampa’s not known for being a “downtown city,” but in 2009 that’s starting to change. Samaria Cafe, for example, is part of that metamorphosis. And while we’re just plain ole kountry kids, we really enjoy a big city too.
This was a special Tampa Bay Breakfast! We had our favorite Guest Reviewer, Mom! As you can see, she was so excited about the coffee that it got away from her.
And to make it even better, we had Marek’s cousin Megan with us, all the way from Marion County!
And of course, the Pancake Sheriff himself, Marek! Who, as you can obviously see here, actually drove us to the Samaria Cafe this morning in his Pancake Police squad car.
Coffee? What says the Coffee Jury? Jackpot! Jubilantly jammin’. Job? Java Jockey, Jack! Jointly, java juxtaposes juice jar. Jazzy, Joe! (It was good swill, no joke!)
Marek and I had a disagreement. He says, “Life of Brian, dada.” I say “Holy Grail, Marek.” He says, “We are the Judean People’s Front!” I say “We are the knights who say Ni!” He says, “All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” I say, “Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.” We got out out of hand.
Marek was a sore loser, but you can’t fight the truth that “Grail” beats “Brian” every time.
Lucky for us all, breakfast showed up before we got into a scientific discussion of “Princess Bride” vs. “Stardust.” Mom thought the French toast was pretty good stuff.
Megan seemed to enjoy the toast!
Marek alternated between big ole chomps of delicious pancake and mumbling something about my terrible taste in Python movies.
And I’m here to tell you, these are the best scrambled eggs in town. Exactly the way I like them. The bacon was Steve-Standard. And the pancakes were very good. I’ll get the pancakes again, but I’ll come back here for the eggs.
When we were done, Mom paid the bill. (Marek was STILL sore. I told him, don’t even try to get in a Grail-quoting competition with ME!)
And then we all waved goodbye and went on down the road to enjoy the city.
When we made it to the car Marek got a pop. This is not a Samaria Cafe pop. This is a Cappy’s Pizza pop from last night. I picked up a pizza for movie night and our Tampa Bay Breakfasts fan Vanessa stopped me to say that she’d been saving a bag of pops for Marek for our next visit, so would I please take one to him. So Vanessa, Marek says “Thank you, dear lady, for the delicious pop! And your pizza rocks!” When you go to Cappy’s, tell Vanessa you heard about them from Tampa Bay Breakfasts! (Although Cappy’s, while an outstanding family pizza joint, doesn’t do breakfast … their one flaw!)
So what about the Samaria Cafe? The four of us had breakfast this morning for 23 bucks. We had a LOT of food and it was truly delicious, including eggs that were clearly delivered from hens who spend weeks at the chicken-spa getting massages. Folks were very friendly, the price was spot-on, especially considering the trendy location, and the chow was great. We had a nice chat with the proprietress, and even the chef (well, he was a guy in a chef suit — maybe he actually worked next door and had slipped in to swipe napkins) came out to check on our happiness. If I had to have a complaint it might be that the order did seem to take a bit long to come out, but maybe the time seemed longer because we had a bit of table chaos to contend with. Also, I’d love some blueberry pancakes! But when we left, the kids had home-made chocolate chip cookies to take with them, and we all were quite breakfast-happy. This was simply a great breakfast in a neat location. Best of luck to the Samaria Cafe for many years of bustling downtown business!
We’re pleased to give the Samaria Cafe a Tampa Bay Breakfast rating of four and a half pancakes.