Marek took me by the hand. Dad, says he, to me, I want to go see some airplanes again. Okie dokie, I said. Let’s go!
We visited The Hangar at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg on 17 July 2010. The airport is located at 107 8th Avenue S.E, and The Hangar has a nice little web site at http://www.thehangarstpete.com/.
Inside this charming little airport. Marek stopped to ask for directions. And also to see if we could get breakfast served while doing aerobatic stunts.
Well guess what? You can take a ride on a biplane, but you have to pay a lot of money (Marek didn’t have ANY money. Moocher.) AND since it’s a biplane, you have to refer to the airport as an “aerodrome” and if we see a female pilot we must call her an “aviatrix.” Them’s the rules, kiddo. Here’s your brochure.
They don’t serve breakfast on the biplane, so follow the signs.
We walked through a lovely dining room and bar, which was almost completely full when we left.
And then we made it outside to the flightline. This is probably the coolest breakfast location we’ve been to yet!
The Hangar is where fashionable people wear gold sandals and drink mimosas. We fit in here.
The Hangar is where fashionable people come to drink coffee and discuss world events. Here’s Marek, STILL going on about the World Cup, complaining about all of Holland’s yellow cards. As you can see from Marek’s attire, he is a die-hard Netherlands football fan. Has been for decades, if you want to believe him.
The menu at The Hangar is short but fun. No blueberry pancakes here, but we’re going to try the pecan pancakes.
As if the flightline weren’t groovy enough, the whole works is named after a Great War aviator. I’m a bit of a WWI buff (and with all the pancakes I eat, I’m also very “buff” in the muscles department), so I double-dig this bit of trivia.
By the way, this is good coffee! I was about 45 seconds from thinking that my cup would runneth dry when our very charming server (if a male pilot is an aviator and a female pilot is an aviatrix, what’s the female word for server?) arrived with some high-octane jet fuel coffee, fresh from the tanker truck.
Marek turned to me with a wry grin. “I say, old chap. That was a close one.” He held up his mug. “To Queen Beatrix!”
All this general aviation has made us truly hungry. And just in time, look what happened! Breakfast!
Have YOU ever had to stop breakfast to yell at a firetruck? No?
Happens to us every day.
Back to breakfast. These eggs were something to fly in for. I’d say they’re on par with the fine eggs at the Samaria in downtown Tampa. The bacon was just the way we like it. The pancakes were top-notch, just like at The Dome in downtown St. Pete, but with pecans. Marek ate it up. So did I. This breakfast received a double-barrel, bi-plane-delivered, 50-caliber strafing run from the Marek and Andy team. There were no survivors from these plates.
It’s so good, these people flew in from Seattle just to take a picture of their plane parked in front of our Pancake-themed race car.
Can’t say as I blame them. We’re nation wide.
Marek was contemplative about this entire event. Food was outstanding. There were airplanes. He’s squishing butter in his fingers. People here are friendly. There’s a helicopter over there. The economy’s acting like it might be on an uptick. We’re both potty-trained. Marek felt that this was one fine morning.
Marek paid the bill. At 17 pesos for these first class seats I wouldn’t call it a budget airline meal, but it’s still cheaper than United’s in-flight peanut snacks these days.
Marek free-roamed the terminal until he found the right spot to pay. For our TBB fans who write to ask if this is a hoax, I can assure you that at least once a week I let my three year old wander around a strange place waving a Jackson. I usually sit back and drink coffee and wait for my change. He’s three. He can say, “Constantinople and Timbuktu.” He can roller skate. He hardly needs my micromanagement to do something simple like pay the bill.
After settling our tab, Marek checked out the models in the dining room. He’s a fan of the JU 52, but this case seemed to be mostly domestic manufacturers.
So Marek says, can we go look at real airplanes? And maybe we can fly one, or even take it home? Can we, dad, can we, pleeeeeezzzzzz? He looks at me like that and I, obviously, look at him lovingly and say, “quit trying to sweet-talk me, boy!”
They gave us a fun little balsa airplane, so we wouldn’t forget where we’d been.
Now THAT’s a breakfast that cruises above 10,000 feet!
So you fly away from this breakfast and start trying to list the bad things. The price was maybe a little bit high. Maybe.
But then you remember that you just had morning chow on an active flightline, perched comfortably over the ramp.
And you just have to admit that this was the most fun you’ve had at breakfast.
They said that we could even bring Zimno, the family hound, to eat outside. That takes it right over the top.
It’s too early to announce a winner for the 2010 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year, but The Hangar is currently the front runner.
We’re pleased to present The Hangar with a Tampa Bay Breakfasts five pancake rating.
Go get you some. Tell ’em Marek and Andy sent ya!