We’re going on the bikes to find breakfast this morning. Ivo invited Veronica. I think he has a crush.
Veronica is our neighbor. We live about seven miles from downtown. This was her first time ever riding downtown and on the roads, and it was her longest bike ride ever. I don’t think she really knew what she was in for.
We parked bikes in front of Fresh at 507 North Franklin Street on 25 August 2012. We last visited Fresh back in January 2011.
Veronical’s father Matt also joined us, because he knows better than to miss out on a Tampa Bay Breakfast!
They moved the cereal bar to the other side of the room since last we were here.
Matt and Veronica have been here more than we have, usually for non-breakfast meals. Matt and I share an opinion that the food is fine, the decor is really nice, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense. Where you order, where you pick up, where you sit, where you get napkins, everything seems to be sort of haphazard. We were the only customers, and yet we seemed to mill about and stand around a lot.
Me and Ivo did a recon on the cereal bar.
And supervised Veronica’s building of a perfect breakfast.
Perfect, in this case, means Fruit Loops with M&Ms and Jelly Bellies. Oh, to be ten again, where that would sound the least bit edible.
Hat’s off to TBT for “Republicane” … double entendre nicely played, given both the whirlwind that Tampa is becoming and the impending storm due to hit this week.
I had the “Belgian,” which is a “French toasted” Panini with raspberries and blueberries, along with home fries. Odd that it’s named for Belgium with Italian bread cooked in an American fashion named after France. You almost need a passport for this one!
While I was waiting, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Fresh sells candy cigarettes. Not that I’m particularly interested in providing this experience for my own kids, but I remember them from when I was young. Matt and I had a good conversation about the value. “How else would little kids learn to smoke?”
Fresh has a TV showing you pictures of the food you could be ordering, and how good it is. It’s almost like the modern habit of having a great time, taking pictures of the great time while you’re having it, and then stopping having the good time to enjoy the pictures of the time you just stopped having.
We enjoyed our breakfast outside. It’s a pleasant day in Tampa. Downtown cafe. Kids like us on bikes, stimulating the local economy and acting like Tampa’s a real city.
This is just Andy getting in the picture.
Ivo didn’t eat very well. Fresh wasn’t to his taste. And he missed his brother Marek, I think.
Here’s a close-up of breakfast. Let’s revisit the melange. It’s very attractive, with service on a classy white rectangular plate. But then it gets the plastic syrup container. The salty-savory potatoes were delish. But they completely clashed with the sweet and tart of the panini. And the panini sort of clashed with itself, the tart was overpowering on the sweet. Good, but just over-tart.
Fresh gets high marks for the ambiance and location. The food is ambitious but still seems to be looking for cohesion. The prices are OK, but you don’t walk out feeling like you just got a bargain. Fresh is certainly worth a trip and is surely going to keep getting better and better. We give Fresh a Tampa Bay Breakfasts three and a half pancake rating.
Squads of cops on patrol in Tampa. The start of a creepy martial-law feel in the city today. The paramilitary appearance lends to my unease.
But the blocked streets and heavy police presence kept the roads clear for Ivo and Veronica to chase pigeons.
Fresh is beside the new downtown Taco Bus. We love the Taco Bus.
We’re uncomfortable with the national guard patrolling our breakfast, though.
By the time we left Fresh, these barriers to our transit were flying up all over the city. It’s a shame that the state of our nation includes a political climate where one side has to wall itself off from the other.
We rode the Riverwalk by the convention center.
We stopped to check out the fabulous Nemo on Wheaties.
Then we found the Riverwalk inexplicably barricaded under the Brorein bridge. There were guys on bikes coming the other way blocked, too. All we were missing was someone to ask for our papers.
We made our way over to Curtis Hixon Park. We had to go all the way around by the performing arts center to almost sneak in to the playground. Mickey’s been along for the whole ride.
Ivo and Veronica had a great time playing on one of our favorite playgrounds in Tampa.
We rode from Curtis Hixon to Ybor City. A flight of three helicopters overhead.
At Ybor City we enjoyed the Saturday Market.
We had fresh, hand-made smoothies.
And then we rode home. The whole ride from start to finish, about 20 miles through downtown, West Tampa, Tampa Heights, Ybor, Seminole Heights. That’s a heck of a ride!
Just a normal day.