Have you ever noticed how breakfast is everywhere? North Tampa. South Tampa. St. Pete. Levy County. You can even get a decent breakfast in the Industrial Park.
We visited the Olympic Cafe at 5011 W. Hillsborough Avenue on 23 January 2010. This was our first visit to the Olympic Cafe. They have a nice little web site at http://www.theolympiccafe.com/. And while you’re in the parking lot letting your craggy old man take your picture, you can look up and see airplanes taking off from Tampa International.
We walked into a warm, cozy little cafe in the middle of the industrial park. Not many people here, but those who were seemed to be locals and regulars. That’s always a good sign. One nice lady informed us that these would be the best pancakes we ever had. Of course, she had no idea that she was talking to Tampa Bay’s only working Pancake Professionals. We know pancakes! And we like eating them, too!
When we got settled, we found ourselves right in the middle of a championship race between a Tonka pickup truck and a Ferrari. Grand prize was to be king of the world. Or pancakes.
The Ferrari won. No surprises there. Though after the race I inspected the undercarriage and found a significant design flaw in the drive train. Apparently they thought a rear differential should hang out like redneck’s beer belly. How are you supposed to win races like that? Also, the Ferrari seemed to have four little donut spare tires on it. What are the boys in Maranello thinking?
And then a Breakfast Spider got the Tonka pickup truck. While Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla” did not conveniently start playing on the house radio, it was playing in my head.
Whew. That was a close one. After shooing away the spiders we had a look at the menu. We found something special: Greek coffee. We got us some. And pancakes. We got pancakes for sure.
The coffee was great. We usually have diner coffee. Sometimes we get Cuban coffee or Cafe Con Leche. But this was our first ever Greek coffee for breakfast.
The nice lady said that they even have Turkish folks come in to have gyros. But the Turks never seem to ask for Greek coffee. I’m not surprised. Greeks and Turks are not known for cheery relations. Marek, who is actually Turkish if you believe the stories he tells (he claims to be from Adana, walks around saying “merhaba,” and likes to quote Ataturk speeches), said that he would break the mold and try some Greek coffee too. But he refused to discuss the issue of Cypress. It’s always politics with this kid. Don’t get him started.
Between the fiery Mediterranean politics and the Breakfast Spiders, I thought we were doomed. But then, thankfully, breakfast came. Check out this nice spread.
The pancakes are thicker than a Ferrari!
Marek wasted no time! He asked for pepper, but I have to lay down SOME law with the boy, lest he think I’m just some pushover.
While we were having a nice breakfast experience, the proprietress came out to check on us. It’s always a fine thing to have this kind of visit; it’s a mark of pride you don’t see every day. We had a nice discussion about how Greeks are great cooks. Then we got a complimentary Greek treat, some Greek rice pudding!
Marek went to pay the bill, but he fell down. He cried out how he was Dante descending into Inferno. I pointed out to him that Dante was Italian, not Greek. And Dante started his journey on Good Friday, which is months from now. Sheesh. Kids these days.
Finally he sorted it out and found the register. The tab was about 8 clams. Not too bad!
When we were done we sat in the back of the car and talked about it. Kind of odd location. Food was pretty good. Price was right. Greek coffee was excellent. Complimentary rice pudding was sweet, both literally and figuratively. People were exceptionally nice. What do you think? Four pancakes? Yeah, dad, let’s say four pancakes. Done. Also, check out my super Save Yankeetown t-shirt. You can’t buy these at Wal-Mart!
We’re pleased to award the Olympic Cafe with a Tampa Bay Breakfasts rating of four pancakes.
When we were driving home, Marek wanted to take pictures with my phone. I handed it to him. When I got home, he had emailed me this picture. I didn’t even know my phone could email a picture. Kids these days. Impressive!