Friday, February 26, 2010

What a welcome!

In spite of living here for over half of my life now, there are still lots of places in Tampa Bay that I've never visited, places that other locals take for granted. This amuses and horrifies my friends:
"We should go over to (insert name of place here) and (insert name of activity here) some time."
Yeah, I've never done that...
"(insert sound of a record scratching and appalled gasps here) What?!?"
Every time I mention some place I've never been or some thing I've never done, they take it upon themselves to make sure I get to experience it right away. Don't get the wrong idea; this is much a benefit to them as it is to me as it's an excuse to go do something that's fun and/or delicious, so everybody wins.

Such is...or was...the case with The Colonnade, a seafood restaurant on Bayshore Boulevard that has been around since the 1930s. I'd driven past it several times and always assumed it was way out of my league, at least partially because of where it's located, since everything located on, near or even associated with Bayshore Boulevard is out of my league. Turns out I was being silly (imagine that). Turns out it's a nice restaurant but not stuffy. I should have known; my friends themselves are nice but not stuffy. It reminded me a lot of The Captain's Table, the long-gone restaurant where I worked as a lad back in Benton Harbor.
The shrimp (I was told I had to have the fried shrimp, as in when I considered looking at anything else on the menu, a butter knife was brandished threateningly in my direction) was great, it came with the good kind (creamy, not vinegar) of cole slaw and a baked potato (lately, I don't know why, but I've been defining a good meal as something that could be served with a baked potato). Plus a basket of fresh baked mini-muffins. This one was particularly excited to see us...

(Psst, muffin; you're going to want to get that looked at if it lasts four hours or longer)

Prices are very reasonable and the view of Old Tampa Bay is breathtaking and unique unless you live in one of the mansions up and down the rest of Bayshore, in which case, you eat at restaurants that don't even put the price on the menu (I don't). The other thing is, when you take all the factors into consideration, downtown Tampa has staggeringly few dining options for people who want seafood. Rick's On The River is a great place but it's nice to have an option if you're looking for some place that isn't quite that casual.

1 comment:

Jordi said...

I used to pass it everyday on my way to work. I finally stopped in. Good food, great view.