Good food but over priced

Little Greek Restaurant on Urbanspoon I don’t like writing less than positive reviews (1-2 stars) so when I do it is based on several visits, not a single dining experience. All businesses have a bad day, down period or poor staff at times so I always try to look at the core of a business over time.

In this case I have to lay it out there because we paid $50 (tip not included) for 3 people which I don’t expect to pay in a strip mall, walk up to the counter, eat in or carry out type restaurant where you have to bus your own table. I do like the food and it has always been good the half a dozen times we’ve gone over the last year. I never leave hungry but $35 would be what I would expect for a dinner plate type meals, drinks and an appetizer. A chicken dinner consists of a small chicken breast, Greek salad and 3 pita wedges for about $12. Add in the cost of a drink and you are at $15. The cost to make the dish is likely about $1.50 – $2.50 range. I place is not dirty but not especially clean and the staff has always been friendly enough not to get noticed for being otherwise.

My family agreed we won’t be going back unless the prices come down.

 

Double order?
Double order?

Moto-Photo Landscape

I saw this tree while riding down Morris Bridge Road outside of Tampa. Spanish moss grows on the host tree until it is killed which in turn kills the moss. This photo was taken right at sunset and was coming from the right angle.

Spanish moss covered tree

Roadside BBQ at Its Best

Hick Daddy Smoke on Urbanspoon Located in a small roadside restaurant on the east side of Groveland. Highway 50 splits into a east and west bound lanes with buildings in between. On the east side of town, going east, on the right side is a restaurant. Hicks Daddy Smoke is collocated with another restaurant that runs Tuesday through Saturday. HDS opens on Sunday and Monday in the same space and provides BBQ, beer and other tasty southern dishes.

We just happened to be riding motorcycles when we passed the grill putting off some great aromas. We swung in and took up a table outside in the shade and ordered a couple of BBQ staple dishes. The owner greeted us with a big smile and enthusiasm while he shared his story. The food was fresh and hot and you could see the smoker where is finished cooking only minutes before. The sides were fresh and hot with very good flavor with the exception of the beans. I’ve eaten a lot of baked beans in my time and these were just average.  I enjoy some meat, spice and vegetable in my beans. These were not home made and nothing was done to them to make them unique.

 

Overall Hick Daddy Smoke has a promising future. It is a startup effort and a stepping stone to the owner getting his own place. Show your support and give your feedback to help his family continue creating great BBQ.

Quaint, Quick , BBQ in Tampa

Kojack’s House of Ribs

Kojak's House of Ribs on Urbanspoon
7.5 out of 10

A pleasant surprise in the heart of Tampa.

We hear about Kojack’s from a friend and headed out Saturday to give it a try.  Living in NE Tampa, a trip to Kojack’s was an investment in time and a risk for a BBQ dinner. Kojack’s is located on the East end of Gandy Blvd, just before Bay Shore Blvd. When we arrived about 5:30 on a Saturday, we were glad to see people hanging out on the wrap around porch relaxing and enjoying themselves. We were quickly greeted by several friendly staff and took a table. Our friendly waitress took our ordered and returned quickly with drinks.

 

The food arrived quickly, which isn’t always a good sign. In this case the food was hot and fresh. I ordered the chopped port, my wife had the ribs and my son the pulled pork. The ribs were recommended and for good reason. They were slow cooked with a dry rub that had great flavor. Their sauces were flavorful and ranged from sweet, to Carolina, to spicy. The chopped pork came pre-sauced and was the one part of the experience which I didn’t care for. The sauce was a little to tomato flavored for me. I added a little Carolina sauce, fixed it up and down it went. By the time I was halfway done my son had eaten the pulled pork. He said it was very good but since he finished before sharing, I’ll have to take his word for it.

The sides were above average but not great. They didn’t have french fries or Texas toast or some other bread which we found strange. The one side we tried which was very tasty was their parsley potatoes. These are boiled, sprinkled with parsley and then given a bath in butter. They had a great simple favor and were enjoyed by all. I saw other tables ordering them in large bowls and sharing family style.

The total bill for our family, without alcohol, was $65 with a 20% gratuity. This does include a second order of the ribs to satisfy my teenager. So I would equate the dinner to 3.5 meals. As you can guess I would recommend Kojack’s as one of the better BBQ joints in Tampa. I generally enjoy a hole in the wall place but Kojack’s is a few steps above that but certainly doesn’t require more than shorts and flip flops. I would rate the overall experience and value at a 7.5 out of 10 possible points I’m pretty picky with BBQ so this is a good rating.

It is worth your time and money.

 

Motorcycles, Photography & Life by Eron Iler