MGE: The Harry Waugh Dessert Room in Tampa

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The Harry Waugh Dessert Room, 1208 South Howard Ave, Tampa, FL.  Inside Bern’s Steak House.

Bern’s Steak House is notably one of the best Steakhouses in the nation. On the second floor of Bern’s Steakhouse, is one of the best dessert rooms in the world! If you have a sweet tooth, enjoy a sugar high…or a sugar coma, or always think about dessert before you order dinner, then The Harry Waugh Dessert Room is for you! It is magic.

You enter the steakhouse lobby to a 2 story entry of rich reds, mirrors, and smoldering atmosphere. After checking in (you need a reservation), you are instructed to walk through the restaurant, past the glassed-in kitchen, to the stairway (to heaven)…otherwise known as the steps to the 2nd floor. Greeted at the top, you are whisked away through wooden passage ways, noticing that every table has its own walled cubby. Ah-mazing! As I am seated, I am handed a bible sized dessert menu. Yes, it will blow your mind. Desserts, dessert wines, cheeses, …anything you ‘d wish for. On the wall is a phone with a direct line to the wait staff, and your own selection of music. Fabulous!

Perusing this menu was so entertaining. I didn’t really have to hem and haw over anything, I knew going in what I wanted. Chocolate all the way, baby! I grew up with chocolate malted, not Hershey syrup, but the jar of powdered chocolate malt for milk. Bringing back sweet childhood memories, I ordered the mega Malted Chocolate Cake. It wasn’t just cake. It also came with a mini chocolate malt, and a malted chocolate mousse.  Oh Mama….this was tremendous. The cake…made with Valrhona chocolate crème, dense chocolate cake, and malted marshmallow crème icing. Hold me. The malted chocolate mousse was phenomenal, but the mini chocolate malt was freaking unbelievable! I wanted more! Everything was garnished with the tiniest malted milk balls I have ever seen….and oh so wondrous. This dessert was a chocolate lovers dream.

Also ordered was the Vintage Chocolate Lush Sundae. A flourless chocolate lush cake, topped with their dreamy homemade ice cream,  fresh whipped cream, chocolate shavings, a strawberry and a side of hot fudge. What more could you want?! Dense, extremely chocolately, and fantabulous! Their dessert menu is overwhelming because everything looks like you want to dive into it ASAP.

Whatever your after dinner treat looks like, you can definitely find something at the Harry Waugh Dessert Room that will make you do cartwheels.

Reservations needed.  http://bernssteakhouse.com

Hours for the Harry Waugh Dessert Room: Sun – Thurs 6:00pm to 10:30pm, Fri and Sat 6:00pm to 11:30pm.

5 out of 5 points for an exceptional experience. Food, atmosphere, staff. Perfection!

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Mad Girl Eats Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa

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Skippers Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Rd, Tampa, FL 33613.

Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America show, on the Travel Channel, intrigued me to try the star sandwich, the Blackened Grouper Reuben. So, I made my way to Tampa and found Skipper’s Smokehouse. It is quite a place. It looks like a big swamp shanty. Very VERY casual, relaxed wait staff, and southern-back-woods-Redneck-ishVille atmosphere.

Order up for the sandwich of choice, and the Smoked Gator Ribs shown on the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food. The sandwich came on marble rye, a beautiful piece of grouper perfectly seasoned with Cajun spice and blackened to the right degree. The swiss, sauce, and sauerkraut were the right combination to balance it to amazing-ness. Adam Richman moaned after his first bite, I moaned after my first bite. OMG…frightfully delish. Definitely on my top sandwich roster!

The Smoked Gator Ribs on the other hand, were not. Doused with bbq sauce, tiny portion, lacking smokiness…just not good all around. The server never came back to ask how the meal was. She would have found out. When only 2 bites are taken and leave the rest,  then ask for a box…wouldn’t you wonder what’s up? Anyway…

If you don’t mind lackadaisical service and shanty ambiance ( I thought was charming), the Blackened Grouper Reuben is worth the visit. Skip the Gator ribs and try the Cajun popcorn (crawfish tails), Smoked Fish Dip, or Key Lime Pie instead.

http://skipperssmokehouse.com  Restaurant, bar, music venue.

4.75 out of 5 points for Adam Richman’s sandwich pick.  3 out of 5 for everything else.

Mad Girl Eats Datz in Tampa

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Datz, 2616 S MacDill Ave, Tampa, FL.

I was anxious to stop at this gastropub after viewing their extensive online menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So many interesting nibbles and bits that intrigued me, I knew I had to sashay my way over to Tampa and live it for myself. Let’s go lunch!

They had just changed their menu for Spring, so I was a bit disappointed one of their star players, stuffed meatloaf sandwich, was not on the new menu for lunch. Oh well, they have enough other mad cray concoctions to put a smile on my face…now the problem is, which ones to try? Forever a gourmet hamburger lover, Datz’s “big a$$ burgers” had to come my way. Ten ounces of 100% ground chuck, cooked to order (rare please and thank you), topped with my choices of pepper jack cheese, roasted peppers, and applewood smoked bacon teamed up to be the magic combo. Triumphantly rare and perfectly seasoned, this big a$$ burger was happy dance worthy.

Next up, I couldn’t shy away from the chicken n’ waffles blt. I yearn for items I don’t make at home…nor have never tried before. Ding ding…order me up one on both accounts. Holy chicken, Batman….I am in love! wpid-20130329_121458.jpg Boneless fried chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato, maple-jalapeno aioli, all gently tucked between two cheddar belgian waffles. No, I’m not freaking kidding. For real, this is a feast for the eyes and the tummy. Big luscious pieces of fried chicken with all the toppings were in total sweet and savory harmony… and the waffles. The waffles were sent from heaven. I have dreamt about this sandwich since devouring it. A definite “must-try” item for everyone, and on my top 10 list of Best Sandwiches Across America.

By the way, both sandwiches were accompanied by Datz’s homemade sweet and salty potato chips that had an incredible blue cheese drizzle, topped with green onions. These chips can stand on their own. The drizzle sent them over the edge of jubilation. Crunch crunch ahhhhz.

The interior of Datz is very cool, the staff is excellent (Elena rocks), a brewski lovers paradise, and a foodie lovers hot spot in Tampa.

Datz’s bakery, Dough, located next door, opens in April. I poked my head in and this is not your average bakery/coffee spot. Let’s just say, red chandeliers float my boat, big time. I’m sure the menu will live up to the interior design. Beyond words!

http://datzdeli.com

I will return to this gem. Have my chicken n’ waffles blt waiting for me….. 🙂

5 out of 5 sweet and savory points of perfection.

P.S. The stuffed meatloaf is available for dinner. Go for it! As seen on The Travel Channel’s, Food Paradise.

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