Get ready for a new feature, complete with its own hashtag, y’all: #hoez4food. It was born over brunch this morning with my friend Tony, when we both described our love of trying new restaurants, but lamented over the fact that it’s sometimes hard to get people to try them with us. So a pact was born to try all the places we’ve been reading about in local blogs and become self-proclaimed foodies. Tony even created the hashtag to make it official.
The first stop in the #hoes4food restaurant tour? The Refinery, one of Tampa’s hottest gastropubs, showcasing local vendors and seasonal fare. We both have heard nothing but rave reviews, so I wasted no time in making a 11a.m. reservation.
Located a stone’s throw from The Independent in Seminole Heights, The Refinery is one of those places you just feel sophisticated dining in. It oozes that hipster cool, but also offers an intimate and friendly atmosphere, giving it that “neighborhood hangout” vibe.
It was beautiful outside, so we opted to be seated on the upstairs patio. Tony ordered a ManMosa and The Next Vegetarian Old Stand By, Mark VII, which is brioche can bread French Toast, caramelized plantains, walnuts, and chantilly*. I channeled my inner Southern hipster and ordered the Big Biscuit Sandwich: house cured slab bacon, a scrambled egg, Irish cheddar, tomato jam, and pickled red onion packed between two honkin’, buttery homemade biscuits (grits on the site):
It was delicious. The spiciness of the jam and the sweetness of the onions perfectly complemented the egg, bacon and cheese, and the grits were perfectly seasoned: not bland, but not so salty that you feel like a heifer being force-fed a salt lick. Above all, it was quality. I could tell the food had been freshly prepared and not sitting under a heat lamp for ten minutes before making its way to the table. Tony was equally pleased with his entreé, and we both agreed: the place lived up to the hype. And, bonus: the pricing is reasonable. My sandwich and coffee (Buddy Brew!) were around $13 before the tip, which is about what you’d pay at a chain breakfast joint (but without the quality and local flair, which is just depressing). High quality dining without the high quality price? Sign me the hell up. And you should sign yourself the hell up, too, because The Refinery is a place worth visiting.
Sun – Thu 5p – 10p
Fri – Sat 5p – 11p
Sun 11a – 3p
Bar (awwww yeeeahhhh):
Sun – Wed 5p – 10p
Thur – Sat 5p – 12a
Address and Phone