La Pelota

We started the morning feeling very adventurous! Let’s try something new! So we went to the Honduran Cafe at 0830 (opening hours on Sunday: 0830) and there wasn’t a sign of life at all. OK, maybe they’re running behind. Let’s try the Viet Asian breakfast we drove by last week on Waters. They don’t open until 1000 during the week and 1100 on the weekends. That’s LUNCH, man! So now we’ve got this odd opinion that Vietnamese folks don’t eat breakfast (and that Hondurans sleep late on Sundays). In order to get a second opinion, we decided to try the An Luc Vietnamese market and cafe on Armenia. While they were open, it turns out they’re under new management and not quiet ready to serve food yet. This morning’s desire for adventure is not resulting in actual breakfast for us yet.


Yesterday our neighbors stopped us to say they just had breakfast at La Pelota. “It’s a bar, with breakfast!” So Marek says to me, dad, after all this running around chasing Honduran and Vietnamese breakfasts, let’s go to the bar. I need a drink. So we took Matt’s advice and tried La Pelota at 701 West Waters Avenue. This was our first visit to La Pelota. Our next visit will probably be for liquid lunch.


Here’s a great picture of Marek’s eyeball. You could cut class with that blue.


We went inside. Sure enough, it’s a bar. Looks like a good bar, too. We appeared to be the only breakfast customers the whole time we were there.


Our very pleasant waitress brought us the menu. We asked for heuvos revueltos. We’re in a bar named “La Pelota” so surely everyone speaks Spanish! Turns out everyone did, except her. We found out her secret within moments of walking in the door! She was the high point of the breakfast, I’ll say right up front. Very sweet and sweet on Marek, too. He is loved by Tampa’s ladies, that’s for sure!


I’m not sure about the Swizz …


While we waited for desayunos, we played cars!


We got un bessito! (Look at Marek eyeballing the camera!)


We had a serious discussion about the table. This is cool, Come, Bebe, Baila (I have no idea what Goza means, though if it follows eat, drink, dance, it’s got to be good!).


And we had a nice cafe con leche! This was very yummy. We actually had two. And Marek had chocolate milk, which was sort of new for him.


And then … breakfast came! Like a curveball thrown by Alfredo Aceves.


Marek did a quick snatch on the bacon, which was cooked the way both Steve and Marek like it. And then he dug right in to the pancakes. When our nice waitress asked how it was, Marek said “only good.” When asked if it was “delicious” he shook his head “no.” Lad know what he likes and how he likes it!


The eggs and pancakes were pretty good but had an odd taste, like maybe they were cooked with something else at the same time. The bacon was very crispy but a little on the greasy side. The pancakes were thick and not as small as our neighbor Veronica led us to believe, and they weren’t bad. I think the overall breakfast was OK but the atmosphere was definitely bar, not breakfast. We were sitting under this speaker, which was pretty much blaring Salsa and Reggeaton. (We liked the music, it was just Really Loud for having breakfast at 0830 on a Sunday.)


And the television across from us seemed to be showing looping Spanish advertisements for a Viagra knock-off (a depressed-looking man sitting on a bed by himself, a picture of a pill bottle, flashing words that I think said “no side effects, all natural, guaranteed results,” followed by the same man in a smokey, passionate embrace with a seXXXy woman). Not knocking the need for such supplements nor the necessity of advertising them, it was just odd for the breakfast scene.


The total bill for two was about 12 bucks. We had two full breakfasts, two cafes con leche, a chocolate milk. So I’d say price was just fine. The chow was certainly filling, but did seem like there were other tastes mixed in that weren’t quite negative but were also sort of unexpected. The atmosphere was certainly unique and I think I’ll go back for the bar scene ( Nope, someone’s already doing that one), but I think the loud music and general stocking of the liquor well was sort of not conducive to a great early morning breakfast ambiance. Our waitress was exceptionally nice and we’d cheerfully return for the cafe con leche, her pleasant demeanor, and maybe so Marek could stand in the middle of the floor and dance again. I didn’t ask, but I get the feeling that La Pelota is trying something new with breakfast and it’s going to mature into something really good over time. We came away thinking that this was a 2.5 pancake breakfast, but I’m going to give a half-point bonus because the people were so nice and friendly.

We give this Tampa Bay Breakfast a three pancake rating.


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2 thoughts on “La Pelota

  1. Matt

    I love it! Your experience was exactly the same as ours. The best thing about it is that I can now use it as a threat to Veronica when she complains about going to my personal favorite breakfast dive…Nikos. V actually cried in the parking lot of Nikos a couple weeks back. Her main complaint is that it’s old. I keep telling her that it being old is part of the appeal…but she’s not buying it.


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