The Samaria Cafe

We re-visted the Samaria Cafe at 502 Tampa Avenue on 9 December 2010. This is our second visit to the Samaria and our last official breakfast of 2010. What a year it’s been!

Downtown Tampa has a new parking system. Not only can you pay with cash, but you can use credit cards or just leave your infant as collateral.

The menu has been updated since our first visit. Now they have blueberry pancakes! That was our biggest gripe from last time, and here we are, influencing menus throughout Tampa Bay! We have yet to influence politics on the national scene (though we DID help Mr. Obama get elected and we’re proud of it, despite what that makes select family members think about us!), we are clearly the most influential Breakfast power brokers in town. Marek is the Mayor of the Morning Meal. (And Andy: Alliterative as always. Awesome!)

Ivo gets priority. He’s both the smallest and the loudest, so we take care of him first.

Me and Ivo had view of the television. Three Stooges were on. Some things never get old. Nyuk, nyuk.

We’re busy recycling all of Marek’s old toys through Ivo. We’ll be able to get away with this for a short window of time, so we’re making the best of it. Here’s one of my own all-time favorites, a little guy I call “Quantum Duck.” This is the kind of thing I imagine Steven Hawking’s kids growing up with.

Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom joined us again! She had hot chocolate, which was a pure shock to everyone. Notice how Marek’s working with a paper cup? On our first visit he (or one of our party, there was never any actual court record) broke a coffee cup. Even though this was our only broken coffee cup in 18 months of Serious Breakfast Activities, the Samaria’s proprietress remembered and was somewhat against giving him a second one. We acquiesced.

One of my favorite things about the Samaria is the presentation. These plates are high style!

This is Marek’s “race track.” I know, you’re thinking, why is he racing the butter against the jelly? Well, he’s not doing that at all! He’s racing his cars along the top of the butter and jelly. Which makes me think that someone ought to invent that in real life.

Does this look like Favorite Guest Reviewer Mom is giving Tampa Bay Breakfasts Head Reviewer Marek a piece of her mind? And is Marek laughing at this?

That was a close one! Marek got saved by breakfast. Is there anything that a good breakfast CAN’T do?

The nice thing about having a guest reviewer is that there’s someone to take MY picture! And tell me, really, honestly, is there ANY situation that’s not made classier with the addition of flaming sleeves?

These are some really fine pancakes. The eggs were pretty good, too. The bacon never came, but it also wasn’t on the bill and we had more than enough chow, so we didn’t complain. But now we can’t tell you how good the bacon was. You’ll have to go there yourself and find out, then tell us!

This is my “magic dad” act. I’m also inflating bicycle tires with a foot pump under the table while doing this.

The bill at Samaria is higher than average for the area. Not saying it’s not worth it, just that you need to make sure you’ve got Uncle Jackson with you if you go.

Marek jumped right on his job and delivered the cash to the till.

The chow remains great here at the Samaria Cafe. And we were remembered, which always impresses us. The price is OK, the atmosphere is maybe a little more polished than is our own taste (we’re greasy-spoon dive-diner guys, after all), but all told it’s a great breakfast. We’re pleased to confirm the Samaria Cafe’s four and a half pancake rating.


P.S. So how DO you get a coveted, rare, super-duper Five-Pancake rating? In general, the ratings run like this: Under 3, we didn’t like it. 3 means it was fine. 3.5 means we liked it but given the sheer number of breakfasts we try to do in a year, we’re probably not going to make it back ever again. 4 means we liked it enough to come back. 4.5 means we really, really liked it in every way. 5 means all that, plus we got surprised somehow. There’s something about the place that is so completely unique that we just find ourselves talking about it all week. So a place like Samaria is really an excellent restaurant and we don’t have a single complaint about it, but we weren’t surprised with an actual Greek dancing crew coming through doing the Tsamiko, yelling “Ha! Ha! Ha!” while everyone gets Ouzo.

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