Marek, Ivo, and I are pleased to announce the 2013 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year. This award is on the “short list” of the world’s greatest achievements, just below the Nobel Prize and just in front of the Daytime Emmy Awards. No restaurant has ever won the award of Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year and not gone on to another year of pretty much the same thing, only with the bragging rights that some kids from Tampa thought your pancakes were great.
The competition this year was exceptional. Seahorse, West Tampa Sandwich Shop, Maggie Mae’s, Three Coins, Mamas, Skyway Jacks, and Datz all were reviewed this year, and each was a clear five-pancake experience.
The Seahorse Restaurant was simply outstanding for location and loving history. Not to mention great chow and friendly people, just enough mix of locals (kind of like us, but not really) and tourists (kind of like us, but not really). This is a favorite of several TBB fans, including Becca and Todd. About time we got there.
West Tampa Sandwich Shop is one of our regular favorites. I take visitors here from out of town all the time, for lunch, too. The chow remains equal parts cheap and delicious, and you can’t beat the ambiance of years of photographs on the walls and the healthy mix of English, Spanish, and Cuban.
Maggie Mae’s is almost impossible to find if you don’t know it’s there, and once you find it you wonder how you’ve managed to live your life this long without it. Sit outside and endure the morning sun for a great breakfast surrounded by the best of Florida coastal living.
The Three Coins is one of the Bay Area’s best classic, old-school diners. Open 24 hours, always serving great chow at a fair price. I’ve never met an employee or a patron who wasn’t friendly, and we’ve never gone away unsatisfied. If folks from another country were here studying our culture and asked me to take them to a perfect example of an American diner, I’d take them here.
Mamas family restaurant is one of our regular favorites. Close to our house, full of great chow and fine prices, and Vicky works there. We’re not considering Mamas for the 2013 award as they’ve already won the award in 2012 and because Vicky’s not there any longer.
Skyway Jack’s is never going to stop being the best blueberry pancakes in the Bay Area. Skyway Jack’s has already won our annual award, and they’ve won our hearts with the most interesting menu around and the fried egg t-shirts on the waitresses.
Datz Deli is one of those great Tampa hot spots that does everything. You can dress up and feel fancy, you can dress down and feel at home. You can get a hot dog or a culinary creation (that might be a hot dog). You can show up in the morning have breakfast, or you can show up late in the evening for cocktails. You might spend a lot of money but you never leave asking yourself why you spent it.
And the winner of the 2013 Tampa Bay Breakfast of the Year is …
- Excellent food
- Expert service
- Lovely and high-end atmosphere
- We always run into people we know
- Parking is terrible
(We won’t hold the last one against them)
Congratulations, Datz crew! You’re the best, thanks for all the great breakfasts (and lunches, too!) over the years!
See you in 2014 for more breakfast!