Mortar & Pestle: Coffee, Food, Alcohol? Sounds Like a Good Time!

There are a lot of opinions about this restaurant. Lets see what the Exploring Tampa crew thinks!
Mortar & Pestle, 2019
Coming from the ashes of a popular food truck, Mortar & Pestle is a concept that thrives to bring back the old timey pharmacies. You know the ones... You go to get a soda from the fountain, you wander the aisles, make your way to the lunch counter, then leave with your prescriptions. Located on the same block as local favorites Angry Chair Brewing and Trip's Diner, there's no lack of business to be had. This is also one of the few places in Seminole Heights with a real parking lot. Had you never read a review of this place and had you not heard about their filing for bankruptcy, you'd be impressed. The inside of the building is a hipster's paradise, with the industrial looking tables and chairs, the high ceiling, the steampunk-esque inspired decor. The inside of this building is cool. Next door is also a fully functional pharmacy that I wasn…

Goody Goody: A Tampa Tradition

Looking for decent cheap eats in Hyde Park? Look no further!

Goody Goody, 2017

Opening in 1925, four years before the Great Depression, and lasting up until 2005, Goody Goody became a Tampa tradition. Goody Goody was known as the first drive-in restaurant east of the Mississippi River. The final, and longest lasting location closed in 2005, leaving behind a legacy of a Tampa based diner. That's when Richard Gonzmart {you may have heard of him as he owns the Columbia, the oldest, continuously run restaurant in the southeast) came to the rescue. He bought the recipes and the old sign and swore he would bring Goody Goody back to Tampa. People got excited. Gonzmart is one of the few people I'd say rivals my love for this city, and he's proved it with the Columbia, investing in Ulele on the Riverwalk, Goody Goody, and making a bid for the space in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. If there is one person who can bring a dead Tampa landmark back to life, it's Gonzmart. And he set out to do just that. Using original recipes to recreate Tampa classics and adding new favorites, Goody Goody now sits at the head of Hyde Park eateries. But you're not here for all of that, are you? You want to know how the food stacks up!

POX Burger, 2017

When reviewing historical places, one must be careful. There's a lot of novelty that goes into these types of restaurants. Luckily for me, I had never been to Goody Goody, so I can only go on what I had when I went. The crew on this trip was Stormy and I. I went with the POX burger (a Tampa staple!) and she got the shrimp basket. I was warned that the POX burger is small and I should go with the double. I decided against that and that was a good thing. The burgers are the typical flat patty you find at any diner, the bun was fresh, the pickles and onions were there... Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of sauce on my burger and the sauce was the best part. I know that because I decided to get a second. Once we were seated, which, granted, took a while, the food came out astonishingly fast. I don't think it was longer than five minutes from order to table. I wasn't complaining, I was hungry. I ordered a second burger and this burger came with significantly more sauce... And it was glorious! Had I only had the first burger, I would have said the burgers were typical diner burgers. After that second burger, I would say that they are awesome. 

Shrimp Basket, 2017

Stormy's shrimp weren't half bad either. I'm always incredibly skeptical ordering seafood in a diner environment. Luckily, Stormy isn't. The shrimp had just the right amount of breading and were cooked to perfection. As far as the fries go, they have that natural potato taste to them. You know the taste I'm talking about. I'm not a huge fan of this taste, so I wouldn't personally suggest them, however, I'm sure there are tons of you out there who disagree with me and love that style. Different strokes make the world go 'round. The food was really good, and I'm glad we made the trip over there to give it a taste. But all was not done!

Butterscotch Pie, 2017

We were at Goody Goody, right? Surely, we couldn't leave without trying one of these pies that we had heard so much about. I will throw this out now (and lose all credibility among you all, I'm sure): I'm not a fan of pie crust. It just never did anything for me. The crust on this pie, however... It was just the right thickness to give it a nice flavor without feeling like the crust is stealing flavor from the filling itself. The butterscotch flavor was there and it packed a punch. The whipped topping was a little kiss to seal the deal with this pie. I will also state, for the record, this pie is very rich. This is not a light dessert. In other words, don't get full on dinner. You'll need extra room for the pie. I'm going to assume that all of their pies are of the same quality, so if you're not huge on the flavor, don't pick that pie (reason I didn't spring for the banana pie). The pie is amazing and didn't shy from flavor. Seriously, your meal isn't complete without a slice.

The Bar, 2017

The best part about Goody Goody is the price. Knowing that you're going to Hyde Park, you expect to spend a lot of money. It's one of the biggest reasons I hadn't checked this place out earlier. I was mistaken. For two burgers, a shrimp basket, and a hearty slice of pie, our bill came to $35 and some change. The most expensive thing on their menu, according to the Tampa Bay Times, is a grouper sandwich at $15. This is easily the best food for the price in all of South Tampa. And, despite us not participating, they do sell craft beer and locally brewed coffee. The only downside I have about this place, and I know they don't refer to themselves as a diner, but they aim for that vibe... And they're not 24 hours. Every time I see a new diner with hours, I die a little on the inside. That said, this is one of my favorite restaurants to go to for under $20. 

POX Sauce, 2017

Things to know before you go:
- This place gets incredibly busy. Plan ahead.
- There is a slight inconsistency when it comes to sauce on the POX.
- The POX are small. Get two when you go. They are, however, the perfect size for the kids.
- It is affordable, especially given the neighborhood it's in. 
- Parking sucks. Use one of the garages. Even then, parking still sucks. Just expect it before you go.
- Splurge on the desserts.

What is your favorite dish at Goody Goody? Does it live up to the original? Leave a comment below. If you'd like more information on Tampa, check out my YouTube Channel and if you'd like to support my efforts, don't hesitate to buy a shirt from our Spreadshirt (we have new designs!). Also, don't be afraid to click subscribe and you'll instantly be notified whenever a new entry is posted. Thank you all and I will see you next time!

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