Only three years ago an immediately proud establishment took South Tampa’s culinary community on a new ride. They knew they were something different. They knew they were something good. Datz, now a household name, has successfully earned its place in Palma Ceia with its location dominant on Macdill Avenue. A self-proclaimed gastro pub featuring a wide array of delicious craft beers, this joint is best known for their sky-high stacked sandwiches and equally enormous breakfasts. They are cheese connoisseurs, comfort food fanatics and meat devotees. Their plates often provoke a jaw dropping, eye popping reaction when served to patrons. Their portions are crazy huge but still perfectly plated. They have certainly mastered the art in simultaneously feeding the hungry and pleasing the snobby.
This two-storied, fashionable foodie’s paradise has had their eye on the prize from day one. With a decadent desert bar, overwhelming cheese case and a library- shelved market of gourmet goods, Datz proved their food religion with my very first visit. They began business strong but soon, strong was no longer good enough. In several months, many changes took place like constant menu revamps and restaurant expanding renovations. They downscaled their first floor market of glorious goods thus creating more dining space. With each visit, I was devastated to see that more and more of my favorite sandwiches and dishes were steadily scratched from the menu. I was annoyed to see that service was becoming an issue with the restaurant’s expansion. Usually satisfied but never overly impressed, I continued to go back following these alterations, time and time again hoping for a little something more. Maybe it’s the thick-cut bacon topped Bloody Marys I just can’t seem to drink enough of. With a visit including dreadfully slow service and luke-warm food just a couple months ago, I had almost turned my back on Datz… for good. That was until I discovered I still had a creative loafing certificate I had never used. I would have never expected this experience would be nostalgic, taking me back to the wonderfulness that is Datz from two years ago.
My last visit to Datz nearly brought a tear to my eye. It was last Sunday morning just before Eleven-o-clock. Something was different this time. We were promptly seated and waters and coffee were brought immediately. Our server smiled sincerely with every request. We began with a small order of the mouth-watering monkey bread. It came out in only five minutes begging to be devoured. Gooey, doughy, buttery cinnamon and sugar goodness with icing dripping down every crevice; this creation did not stand a chance.
After we quickly destroyed every last morsel of our monkey bread we waited for our breakfast entrees. Served piping hot and in good time, my Eggs Pontchartrain looked like Benedict on Creole crack. My first bite did not prove otherwise. Although the English muffin would have been better served slightly more toasted, the abundance of flavor practically made up for it. The oysters were fried perfectly and were beautifully complimented by the Tasso ham hollandaise. The eggs were poached in precise time allowing the bright yellow yolk to become one with the hollandaise. Not an enthusiast of traditional Eggs Benedict, I am forever trying concoctions new to my palate. The Eggs Pontchartrain now ranks very high on my long list of Benedicts.
My boyfriend, sticking to his staples, ordered the Popeye Rise and shiner, a fried egg sandwich with spinach, bacon and smoked Gouda on a superbly sweet and ridiculously soft roll. This sandwich is a no fail, always delicious breakfast choice at Datz. He orders it every time and with each time I never get tired of taking a big bite out of it. This roll, so sweet and soft combines perfectly with the savory flavors of every other ingredient. I strongly recommend it if you’ve never dined at Datz for breakfast before.
With phenomenal service and a new favorite menu item, my last trip to Datz was spot on. Other than opting out of an order of that deliciously spicy Bloody Mary, there were no disappointments. Datz, “a place for foodies” as they declare, did this foodie right this time around. Their inspiration for creative comfort foods goes far beyond most American cuisine in Tampa. Not to jump the gun but if the excellent service and improvements in menu selections continues, I foresee Datz turning into the next Tampa tourist must. Well played Datz, well played.