Category Archives: Administrative

2013 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year

Marek, Ivo, and I are pleased to announce the 2013 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year. This award is on the “short list” of the world’s greatest achievements, just below the Nobel Prize and just in front of the Daytime Emmy Awards. No restaurant has ever won the award of Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year and not gone on to another year of pretty much the same thing, only with the bragging rights that some kids from Tampa thought your pancakes were great.

The competition this year was exceptional. Seahorse, West Tampa Sandwich Shop, Maggie Mae’s, Three Coins, Mamas, Skyway Jacks, and Datz all were reviewed this year, and each was a clear five-pancake experience.


The Seahorse Restaurant was simply outstanding for location and loving history. Not to mention great chow and friendly people, just enough mix of locals (kind of like us, but not really) and tourists (kind of like us, but not really). This is a favorite of several TBB fans, including Becca and Todd. About time we got there.

West Tampa Sandwich Shop is one of our regular favorites. I take visitors here from out of town all the time, for lunch, too. The chow remains equal parts cheap and delicious, and you can’t beat the ambiance of years of photographs on the walls and the healthy mix of English, Spanish, and Cuban.

Maggie Mae’s is almost impossible to find if you don’t know it’s there, and once you find it you wonder how you’ve managed to live your life this long without it. Sit outside and endure the morning sun for a great breakfast surrounded by the best of Florida coastal living.

The Three Coins is one of the Bay Area’s best classic, old-school diners. Open 24 hours, always serving great chow at a fair price. I’ve never met an employee or a patron who wasn’t friendly, and we’ve never gone away unsatisfied. If folks from another country were here studying our culture and asked me to take them to a perfect example of an American diner, I’d take them here.

Mamas family restaurant is one of our regular favorites. Close to our house, full of great chow and fine prices, and Vicky works there. We’re not considering Mamas for the 2013 award as they’ve already won the award in 2012 and because Vicky’s not there any longer.

Skyway Jack’s is never going to stop being the best blueberry pancakes in the Bay Area. Skyway Jack’s has already won our annual award, and they’ve won our hearts with the most interesting menu around and the fried egg t-shirts on the waitresses.

Datz Deli is one of those great Tampa hot spots that does everything. You can dress up and feel fancy, you can dress down and feel at home. You can get a hot dog or a culinary creation (that might be a hot dog). You can show up in the morning have breakfast, or you can show up late in the evening for cocktails. You might spend a lot of money but you never leave asking yourself why you spent it.

And the winner of the 2013 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year is …

Datz Deli!

  1. Excellent food
  2. Expert service
  3. Lovely and high-end atmosphere
  4. We always run into people we know
  5. Parking is terrible

(We won’t hold the last one against them)

Congratulations, Datz crew! You’re the best, thanks for all the great breakfasts (and lunches, too!) over the years!


See you in 2014 for more breakfast!

2013 Breakfasts in Review

We’re in our fifth year of pancakes in the Tampa Bay Area. We could have never imagined letting mom sleep late on the weekends would lead to this.

It’s been a good year for breakfast. This year we’ve done 26 reviews, 18 of which were first-time visits. Of the 26, seven breakfasts were worthy of the coveted five-pancake review. We’ve ridden miles and miles to report on the best breakfasts in Tampa Bay.

This year was just surreal. The high point might be this airside tram in the airport.

And getting to hang with the Creative Loafing crew was awesome fun.

April 2014 will be our five-year anniversary of exploring breakfast and raising boys in the Tampa Bay Area.

Together, we’ve watched them grow (this is Marek)

And grow (Marek)

And grow (Ivo)

And grow

And grow

And grow

We were joined for breakfast by some good friends this year.

Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom.

Our friend Randy, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and current post-grad student at USF.

My bestest buddy from the Air Force, Captain Jason.

Chris and Lizzy, who have aliens in their back yard.

The only other person I know named “Ivo.”

USF student Montenique, our friend through the most interesting circumstances.

Major league breakfast fans P.J. and Corinn.

We saw some breakfasts flip their last pancakes this year (some of these closures now have new restaurants in the same locations):

Sunshine Cafe

Forest Hills Diner

Shirley’s Soul Food


Peppermint Patties

Chavez House

Rise and Shine

Tick Tock

It’s been a wonderful year of exploring Tampa Bay’s breakfasts with the boys and sharing it with you, our dear readers. Come join us in 2014 for even more pancake flipping!

Andy, Marek, and Ivo

Tampa Bay Times Amazing Stories

You can park at the airport for free for up to an hour. So sometimes we go there to ride the long-term parking monorail and go up and down the escalators. Seriously, why spend $100s on theme parks, when you have a big, awesome airport you can explore?


Today we were goofin’ around and saw this through the glass.


Sure enough, the left-hand tram on the C air-side has a big picture of us in it. Tampa Bay Times is using us as part of their advertising campaign. (We knew they were going to do that, we just didn’t know when or where.)


How did we get on the tram, you might ask? Fame. Pure Breakfast Fame. It opens doors.

2010 Breakfast of the Year

Marek and I would like to announce the highly anticipated, richly coveted 2010 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year Award.

The challenge was exceptional this year. Taste of Safety Harbor, Munchs’ Sundries, and The Hangar all scored TBB Five-Pancake ratings.


There were many 4.5-rated breakfasts that sincerely deserve recognition. Some of our other favorites from this year include Samaria Cafe, The Pink Flamingo, The Dome, The Front Porch, Three Coins, Mamas Family Restaurant, DeMilli’s, and The Tin Can Cafe.

Taste was truly exceptional more for the people than for the food, which is saying something since the food was exceptional. We made some real friends at Taste.

Munchs’ was like a visit back in time. The food was incredible, but it was the sundries counter and the pictures of middle-school classes going back 60 years that really bowled us over.

The Hangar was a complete surprise. The food was great, the people were friendly as can be, and we got to have a truly fine breakfast while watching the airplanes come and go.

There’s no doubt about it. You simply can’t beat the winning combination of airplanes and pancakes to decide the winner.

We’re pleased to announce The Hangar as the winner of the Tampa Bay Breakfasts 2010 Breakfast of the Year award.


Thank you to all of our breakfasts this year, and especially to The Hangar, our new friends at Taste, our old friends in Yankeetown, and all of our guest reviewers throughout the year. Especially Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom and Newest Team Member Ivo.

2012 Breakfasts in Review

It’s hard work, this Pancake Professional thing we do. But this year we got a little bit famous for a minute.

One hundred and four no-repeats breakfasts, 141 total reviews since we started. Twenty two reviews this year, 13 of which were new (admittedly, a little bit of a slow year for us, but the two boys have been a real challenge!). One 3-pancake rating, one 3.5 rating, six 4 ratings, six 4.5 ratings, and six 5-pancake ratings, and one broken coffee cup this year (two total in four years, if you’re keeping count). We revisited a lot of favorite places, just out of love.

We got to spend some time with old friends. The epic Aleshea came back to town just for us.

Matt and Veronica went on a long bike ride to find breakfast with us. (Seriously, over 20 miles that morning!)

Ivo (the big one, not the usual Ivo in these pages) and Mia came all the way from California for breakfast.

Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom joined us a few times. She only mommed it up a little bit.

Carolina and Laura came from the Tampa Bay Times. They even sort-of got to have breakfast (though Marek helped them with their bacon).

Sometimes we just took it light.

Sometimes we ate until we couldn’t see straight.

Our Spanish got used a little bit this year.

We dd a lot of bike riding and picnics in parks (though I only did one “review” of that, since I didn’t want to bore you, dear TBB readers!).

Ivo grew his hair all long and lovely.

Then got his first real haircut.

We said goodbye to a stalwart old friend of many burnouts and donuts.

And hello to a heap-o-fun new friend. (I won’t be trading Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom in like this. Don’t worry baby.)

It’s not all just fast cars and sexy rebel fellas here, though. We’re health-conscious bicycle people too, though that does tend to keep us within ten miles of home.

Unfortunately, it’s almost always me and Ivo on these bike trips. Marek’s at an inbetween stage where he’s a very strong rider, but I don’t take him too far. His longest city ride has been about 3.5 miles.

Pops on bikes (the loli, not the dad).

RNC 2012, A.K.A. Soviet Tampa. We did NOT like how it felt to ride in our city that weekend.

Andy and Ivo, biking buds!

It’s been a good year. We’re ready for more breakfast. Come and join us in 2013!

2011 Breakfast of the Year

Marek, Ivo, and I are pleased to announce the 2011 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year.

This is a prestigious, highly-competitive, no one ever notices, we should probably tell the restauranteurs about it, exciting award. Recipients of the Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year go on to be exactly as they were before, which is just fine by us, because they were already great.


The competition this year was intense. Datz Deli, Three Coins, Mamas Kitchen, Showtown, Nicko’s, and 2009 Breakfast of the Year Skyway Jack’s all received the Tampa Bay Breakfasts Five Pancake Rating.

Skyway Jack’s is probably our all-time favorite. But we only give the award once, so, as much as we love Skyway, they’re not in the race.

Datz rolled out some really impressive chow (at an impressive (as in making an impression, not necessarily a positive one) price). Ambiance, food, people, are all a cut above at Datz.

Showtown was tops just for the unique factor. Go there to see the murals if nothing else. And also, they seem to have a happy hour at the bar that starts in the morning.

Three Coins is one of our perennial favorites. This is a classic Tampa diner, open all night, full of great food, friendly people, and great prices. Three Coins is a go-to spot for breakfast, anytime, and is always on our short list to recommend for out-of-towners.

Mamas is the perfect local diner. Great food, great prices, close to home, full of people named “Bob” and “Lois” who come there three days a week. Vicky stands out as the best waitress we know. Sharp, professional, fast, friendly, and fun.

Let’s make an award right now for her. Vicky, you are our first award winner for Tampa Bay Breakfast Server of the Year! Congratulations! Parades and champagne!

Nicko’s is probably the most perfect diner we’ve ever been to. It’s on a main road that isn’t really that main any longer. It’s been here for half a century. It has history: The basement, the O’Mahoney dining car, the Elvis Booth. The chow is consistently perfect. The people are consistently friendly and welcoming. The experience is consistently loads of fun.

While all our top breakfasts of 2011 are worth a 2-hour drive, we’ve got to pick one winner. This year we’re going to have to sing with Elvis. For a perfect, delicious, authentic, fun, friendly, and plain-ole-interesting breakfast, you simply can’t beat Nicko’s on Florida Ave.

We’re pleased to announce Nicko’s as the winner of the Tampa Bay Breakfasts 2011 Breakfast of the Year award. Go tell ’em Tampa Bay Breakfasts sent ya!


Thank you to all of our breakfasts this year and to all of our guest reviewers throughout the year, especially Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom and Newest Team Member Ivo. And thank you to our Tampa Bay Breakfasts fans from all over the world. We love your comments and emails and fan pictures. See you next year for more pancakes!

2011 Breakfasts in Review

We’ve tallied up 120 separate breakfast events since we first started in 2009, 91 unique non-repeat, actual breakfasts you can go to yourself in the Bay Area. In 2011 alone we experienced 35 breakfast events, 22 of which were new breakfasts.

The year brought us some new Breakfast Friends, like Loren O.

Friends from far away, like Phil and Atticus.

Friends from close in Tampa, like Vinny and Abby.

And Brianna.

We said goodbye to a Breakfast Friend moving away.

I had a few lonely, solo breakfasts where I had to pay with funny-money.

We cooked our own a few times, when we just couldn’t get everyone out the door in time.

There were some Very Strange Encounters this year. Like The Egg Platter’s murals.

The Golden Bear’s murals.

This t-rex on the back of a car.

Baby Ivo became a regular fixture for our breakfasts.

And wasted no time in getting big.

Proper nutrition helps.

We tried different things and new ways. Marek finally got big enough to sit at the counter.

I proved to all the tsk-tsking ladies around me that I was perfectly capable of handling my infant despite forgetting the bottles, the baby food, and the diapers.

We were joined several times by our Favorite Guest Reviewer, Mom!

We had breakfast on the beach.

Breakfast in old-timey soul-food diners.

Breakfast by bike.

And editorial comments.

And complaints.

And disagreements.

Luckily, Marek almost always had cash. We only had to pawn him a couple times.

Thanks for joining us on our breakfast adventures this year. See you in 2012!

2010 Breakfasts In Review

We saw a lot of pancakes in 2010. 41 breakfasts, of which 38 were non-repeats, this year. 85 total breakfast events since we started two years ago.


One of the highlights of the year was our invitation to the food blogger dinner at Taste of Safety Harbor.

We overcame problems with Breakfast Spiders.


Sometimes, we just couldn’t make it out of the house.

Sometimes we just got lazy and had donuts.

And sometimes, Andy had to have breakfast by himself when he was out of town.

There were pops! Lots of pops!


A lot of times we just got sleepy after breakfast.


Any world-class professional has to cope with occupational hazards.

We jammed to good music.

And great music.

This isn’t a pancake!

We found that pepper is delicious on pancakes.

Some were really fun.

Most were really delicious.

There was no shortage of HFCS in our diets.

We never missed a chance for some strong, black coffee.

Marek usually paid the bill.

We had several celebrity guest stars involved with Tampa Bay Breakfasts.

Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom

Ivo, our newest team member

Jeff and Frankie, long-time TBB fans

Aleshea, the official poet of breakfast

Doug, Yankeetown town council member

Vicky, our favorite server of all time

Shelley, a fellow food blogger in Tampa

Arthur, long-time TBB fan

Sadly, several breakfast restaurants closed or stopped serving breakfast in 2010.

Aunti Donnas
Aunti Donnas

Viet Asian
Viet Asian

Local Legends

Hickory Island

4 January 2011 CORRECTION: Grecian Island is still alive and well! Marek was taking notes while I was driving, that’s all I can say.

Grecian Island

Through it all, we had fun sharing breakfasts with you, our Tampa Bay Breakfasts fans. See you in 2011!

Breakfast Fan Mail

Did you have a great breakfast? Did you take pictures? Did people look at you funny for photographing your pancakes? Did you tell them you’re not a nutcase, you’re just sending fan mail to Tampa Bay Breakfasts?

Send your pictures and experiences to!

From TBB Fan Pete:

25 degrees outside, the heat from the grill and the waitress smile brings a comfort like a fireplace. I am looking for a waffle this morning though the eggs and home made hash browns are tempting. At the Uptowner Grill corner of Grand ave and Lexington St Paul MN

petephoto 1apetephoto 2apetephoto 3apetephoto 4apetephoto 5a

TBB Fan and Guest Reviewer Lizzy returned to the scene of the crime.


Justin had breakfast at a family diner near Shoot Straight on Highway 301 on Saturday the 13th of June 2009. They had pancakes the size of dinner plates and they were really good.


This happy group met early on the morning of the 26th to have a great breakfast at Mama’s on South Dale Mabry.



Fan John E. writes, “Loco Moco. Local-kine breakfast, this is two eggs over easy atop a hamburger patty on a bed of white rice all covered with brown gravy. Dat some ono grindz, brah, talkin’ broke da mout’! Fo’get bout Zippy’s, yeah?”


Fan Bill writes, ‘Pancakes at “Boots and Kimos” on Oahu while I was in Hawaii. Hot banana pancakes with macadamia sauce- nothing like it. As a fellow pancake connoisseur, you would appreciate these babies. ‘


Fan Heather sends this luscious-looking Breakfast from Ocala, Florida.


Fan Arthur sends this exotic breakfast from Hong Kong. He writes, “This is a traditional Chinese breakfast called “jook”, which is a kind of rice porridge. Home-cooked jook is made mostly by dumping rice, leftovers, and a whole lot of water into a pot, then leaving it to simmer overnight, but naturally at a restaurant they make it “fresh”. This particular one has some green onion and a little bit of stewed beef in it. The fried bread in the background is called “yau za gwai”, and it’s the Chinese version of the donut. It’s much fluffier than a donut, and usually dipped into the jook or used as a topping (you can see bits of it floating around). Besides being a breakfast food, jook is often used for food therapy, the way Americans use chicken soup. This probably doesn’t look as good as, say, steak and eggs, or maybe a stack of waffles, but all across Hong Kong you can get something like this for about US$2.50 (~HK$20).”


Fan Arthur sends this fabulous breakfast report from Japan:

The Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest and busiest fish market in the world (over 2000 metric tons of seafood per day). It should come as no surprise, then, that the outer market is dotted with restaurants serving some of the freshest sushi in Japan (and quite probably the world). Get there early if you’d like to visit; the inner market is only open to visitors from 5:00 AM to 6:15 AM (frequently not even then), and the entire market is locked up and deserted by early afternoon.

This particular plate is one restaurant’s “fresh off the boats this morning special”. Some of the pieces are constants (egg and eel, for example, and probably the various tuna cuts), but the rest are more or less decided by the owner’s morning visit to the inner market and whatever happens to catch his attention that day.

This second breakfast is a more traditional Japanese breakfast, served at a ryokan in Hakone. A ryokan is an old-fashioned Japanese kind of inn, a step up from a bed-and-breakfast. Typically they serve breakfast and dinner, included in the price of the stay, and in many places will have access to a hot-springs bath.

Usually the meal is served in the traditional kaiseki style, which is to say that there are many, many small courses. This particular breakfast contains miso soup, soybeans, rice, tofu, egg, grilled fish, and several kinds of pickled vegetables. The ryokan staff will ask each group of guests to confirm their desired mealtimes beforehand, so that everything can be coordinated and served at the correct temperature. It’s definitely a relaxed, enjoying-time-with-friends-or- family kind of meal, not something to be hurried.


Fan Brandt writes: I just happen to have a pic of my favorite breakfast choice: Greek Omelet with hash browns, wheat toast with Jelly, side order of onion rings, cup of black coffee, and a diet Pepsi.


Fan Loren had some Very Fine Bacon at a Los Angeles landmark.

Fan Sanja sends some fine breakfast from Germany!

Fan Rich in Germany sends this fine picture, and a link to the recipe:

Fan Kathy had this awesome breakfast in Lake Wales.

Fan Steffen in Germany cooked up his signature breakfast and sent us a picture.

Fan PJ sends this fine breakfast from Clearwater.

Rodie’s Restaurant
(727) 330-7599
Countryside / Safety Harbor Area (Pinellas)
2471-7 N McMullen Booth
Clearwater, FL 33759

My wife and I regularly go to the new Roadies location in Clearwater. They also have an original Tarpon Springs location. If you “Google Map” the address it will come up with the marker in the incorrect location (See. You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet!). Roadies Clearwater is actually located directly off Enterprise Rd. 1/2 block West of McMullenBooth Rd in OakBrook Plaza. There is plenty of free parking and easy to find. We have never had to wait to be seated. The staff if very friendly and always most professional. The layout actually mirrors the nearby Clearwater “First Watch” with a main dining area with both booths and tables and a small room with tables that can be for small groups.

This is a Breakfast & Lunch place only. My wife and I have had many breakfast choices..all have been excellent! The menu is quite extensive with entrees being under $10. We are overjoyed Roadies is here in Clearwater and a HUGE bonus, they are within an easy walk from our home. Pancakes are always light, fluffy and most tasty! The fresh fruit items are always wonderful as well and your bottomless coffee never gets low I can assure you!

At the 11Worth Cafe in Omaha, Nebraska, from TBB Fan Jason: According to Jess, the sausage gravy was just the best thing ever… as you can see, we tried to order almost everything. Please note the name of that thing Jess ordered (Robert E. Lee) … I guess the South will rise again, if it doesn’t go into cardiac arrest first.


You should send Tampa Bay Breakfasts to The Wolves Den. Despite the expression on her face Jen is really pleased.