Day of the Week: Sunday, 9/16
Total Bill: $81.72 (before tip)
Breakdown: 1 soda/1 iced tea, 1 appetizer, 3 mains, 2 desserts, 2 small gelatos
Pros: excellent food, fabulous service, great atmosphere
Cons: It’s too far from our house!
Verdict: A new favorite.
I’ve been hearing great things about Datz for a while but we never go further south than Bern’s, so we just never made the time or effort to go. What a mistake! This is one of our new favorite spots in Tampa. Hubby remarked to me while we were there, “This is the closest thing to New York in Tampa.” That perfectly sums it up: it’s good enough for the big time. The interior is modern and inviting. Datz has a small retail section that sells jams, jellies, salt, etc. All of their desserts are displayed in a case, along with macarons and sweets, all available to go, and there is a gelato case as well.
We went during brunch (served until 3 on Sundays) and wanted to try a large cross-section of their food. We ordered the mac & cheese bites ($8) to start and they were phenomenal. They have jalapenos in them, which gives them a nice little bite. For our entrees we ordered three things to share: the chicken and waffles benedict ($13), the johnny cakes ($12), and the “Havana Hottie” (a Cuban sandwich, $12). The chicken and waffles benedict was perfectly executed but I just did not care for the tasso hollandaise. Tasso is a cajun spice blend and, for my tastes, it overpowered the other flavors on the plate. I would consider getting the dish again but with the sauce on the side. The johnny cakes were so awesome. Three perfect cornbread pancakes served with pulled pork and apple butter on top and a side of bourbon whisky syrup. The Havana Hottie was a really good Cuban sandwich served on a batard (a cross between a baguette and ciabatta bread), which was soft but not mushy, with “hot honeycup mustard.” No, I’m not sure what hot honeycup mustard is, other than delicious!
Obviously, that was too much food for two people to eat in one sitting, so we took about half of each main home for later. We also ordered some desserts to go. We got one slice each of the pink peppercorn pomegranate cheesecake ($7) and the chocolate candybar explosion cake ($6), plus two six-ounce containers of gelato (one limoncello, one almond, $4.50 each). I didn’t ask if all of the desserts are made there (they do sell chocolates and such made by other places). By the time we got home we were ready to try dessert. The pink peppercorn pomegranate cheesecake is totally original and delicious. The peppercorns are so amazing with the rich sweetness of the cheesecake, which has a perfectly fluffy texture. I was very skeptical about the cake; usually stuff like that is too sweet for me. But this was really well done, very nuanced, like what you make at home (if you can bake, I guess). The limoncello gelato was excellent, and I’m not even a lemon fan. As of this writing, I haven’t tried the almond gelato yet.
Now, we were both a little hungover when we went (damn you, WOB!) so we didn’t have anything to drink BUT Datz is also known for their beer selection and craft cocktails. The bar menu includes things like the Eberson’s Old Fashioned (Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Rouge, Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters, Luxardo Cherries and candied bacon) and “skinny” cocktails like SPA-AHHHH WATER (Bluecoat Gin, fresh lemon juice, fresh cucumber, Mr. Q Cumber soda, 150 calories). YUM.
Hubby raved about Datz on the phone to friends last night…and we’re meeting them there tonight so they can try it, too.
This place is amazing. I loved everything but the parking. So the first thing I’ll talk about is the parking. Its super limited… and there are tow away signs everywhere, so be aware when you park.
Ok now on to the rest. We walked in and this place is super cool looking, from the wine bottle chandeliers, to the awesome display cases for the desserts, chocolates, macarons, gelato, and a bunch of other delicious looking stuff. We sat at a small table for two next to a huge wall of taps! I was pretty hung over so I did not even look at the beer menu but they have a ton of taps I could see in the bar area.
The menus are super cool, they are printed on newspaper, and this is genius because there are ads on them from other companies that probably pay for the cost to print menus that change.
We started with the mac n cheese balls. They were great, a little spicy from the jalapenos, a little smoky from the bacon and cheesy from all the delicious cheese in them! Now I would normally not dip these in any sauce because by themselves they were fantastic, but the sauce was mild and complimented them well. For the entrees we had a Cuban, the cornbread pancakes with pulled pork, apple butter and jalapeno maple syrup and cheddar cheese waffles with fried chicken, poached eggs and a delicious yellow sauce the wife did not like. I’ll start with the Cuban. Delicious!!!! It had good ham and cheese with a light coating of mustard and the pulled pork was to die for! The bread was some of the best bread I’ve ever eaten, it was soft whilst still being firm, I know oxymoron, but try it and you’ll see what I mean. The chips that came with them were house made, covered in a small amount of blue cheese sauce and scallions! They were also great; they were salty ad savory with a light dusting of something sweet in the middle of the taste.
Now on to the waffles. The waffles were also very good, firm, which is crazy because they were covered in a yellow sauce, fried chicken and poached eggs, I figured they would get soggy as the meal went on but they did not. I loved them. The waffles were cheddar cheese flavored and gave a nice salty cheese flavor to the mix. The chicken was fantastic, it was thick and meaty, the breading was thin and crispy and they were seasoned and cooked to perfection. The eggs were done perfectly, poached so the inside was still a bit runny without being messy. The sauce they put on top was mild but delightful. The only complaint was that there was too much of the sauce but I scraped it off and dipped my chips in it.
The third thing we got was my favorite. It was three cornbread pancakes topped with a large portion of pulled pork, covered in apple butter and served with jalapeno maple syrup!!! I tried each piece of it separately and they were all good, but when combined!!! Holy cow was it delicious. The pancakes were fluffy and almost crispy, the pork was moist and flavorful, and the syrup was punchy without being spicy. This was by far the best breakfast I’ve ever had!
By this time we were too full to eat dessert so we got two pints of gelato, one limoncello and one amaretto, and a piece of cookie bar cake and a piece of pomegranate cheesecake with pink peppercorns. I’ll start with the cheesecake because it was so interesting I tried it as soon as we got home. One of the most interesting desserts I’ve ever had. The cheesecake had a wonderful texture and a good sweet flavor. The pink peppercorns gave it that little twist it needed. They provided the ever so slight flavor of pepper to take some of the sweet away. This was really good and I’d recommend it! The cookie bar cake was just as good, three layers of chocolate cake and two layers of a peanut butter like filling that was mixed with tiny pieces of candy bar. This topped with giant pieces of candy bars! I think you know where this review is headed… amazing. The limoncello gelato was also done well, very lemony but no booze flavor. I didn’t ask if they actually used limoncello in it, but I doubt it. The last one is the amaretto gelato. It is delicious, almost tastes pistachio like. I enjoyed it very much, but my least favorite of the four.
Overall I would recommend this place to anyone!!! It was fantastic.