This morning Marek woke up in a pure panic. “Hey Old Man! You never took me to breakfast last weekend! What, did you forget we have a MISSION and people in Tampa Bay DEPEND on us?!?!” Well dunk me in honey and throw me to the bees, the boy’s right. I called out of work with an emergency and Marek and I went off for breakfast. Next on our list? Los Hermanos on Florida. Somehow, I think maybe they’re not open on Thursdays.
Plan B! How about one of those places down on Columbus we haven’t tried yet? This boy, he’s quick with the ideas. We rolled south to Antojitos Latin Cravings on 2300 W. Columbus on 5 November 2009. While they don’t seem to have a web page, they do, interestingly enough, have a Facebook account. This was our first ever visit to Antojitos.
Inside was nice, clean, open, but certainly not new. This is one of those well-worn places that has probably served a million plates over the years, much like Aguilas, or West Tampa Sandwich. You’re sure to get good food, but you don’t want to worry about wearing your Sunday best. And there’s a nice lunch counter with a couple of what appeared to be regulars. That’s a cozy little spot to have a cafe y tostadas!
Marek was worried when we sat down. Dad, he says, what if they don’t have pancakes? I mean really, what the heck are we gonna DO? I’m HONGREE.
Our very nice waitress visited with a menu. ¿Ingles? No. OK. Marek y yo. Nosotros estudiamos Español. Por favor, I said in my best High School Spanish, cafe con leche, jeuvos revueltos con jambon y tostada, y arepas con queso por el niño. FINALLY, that C- I got in my senior year is Paying Off. Marek just looked at me like, dad, come on. You sound like a dork.
While we waited, we agreed that the state of father-son-breakfast relations had never been better. Despite our concerns over global warming and genetically modified food and the Illuminati, we still have each other.
We smuggled in a juice box because, well, you never know what a place will have on the menu for a two-year-old foodie. Turns out this was completely unnecessary as Antojitos has a wide range of jugos on the menu. We didn’t realize until after we broke out the private stash.
Then we had cafe con leche. I neglected to ask if this was a typical Colombian thing, but it must be pretty prevalent as it’s been the coffee of choice at every Latin restaurant we’ve tried. While I like my diner coffee to be blacker than the soul of a serial killer on a moonless night after he just fell into a vat of black ink while tripping over a black cat on black Friday.
Sorry, got kind of carried away there. I have come to like some cafe con leche, and this was a good dose of it.
And here comes some desayunos. There were no pancakes. But we’re in uncharted South American territory here, so we’re going with the flow. Scrambled eggs with ham were pretty good, and a sizable portion that I couldn’t finish.
Arepas con queso. We got arepas in honor of our Tia Sofia from Venezuela. She says that Venezuelan and Colombian arepas are different, but there’s not any Venezuelan desayunos in Tampa for us to try so here we are. And Marek, he’s the smarty. He says, hey long chops, that’s NOT a pancake, so quit trying to pass it off as one. So I ate Marek’s arepa and he ate my tostada.
And he liked that toast good. It was yummy!
When we were done, Marek said he would pay. We didn’t have the bill in hand so I figured a Jackson would do the trick.
He found his way through the maze.
And, as is typical for him, found his way into the arms of a pretty girl behind the counter. Obviously, the pretty girl is obscured in this photograph.
When we were done paying, Marek and I were sort of conferring in our telepathic dad-son way, well, no pancakes, but folks are nice, but no pancakes. We’re thinking it’s an OK place but, well, it’s OK. Then the nice fellow behind the counter whips out a bonbon! A POP for Marek! That’s worth a half-point bump.
After we got our bill paid and our pop sorted, Marek made the rounds and gave plenty of adios y besitos por todos. Gracias!
When we were done and paid up, we walked away with full bellies and found Antojitos to be a nice family place with regulars and good Colombian food. I think I miscounted the change when we left, as it did seem to be a bit expensive for what we had, but overall it was a fine desayunos and a good chance to practice hablando en Españo! We’re happy to give this Tampa Bay Breakfast a 3.5 pancake rating.