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…

Carne Chop House: An Ybor City Steakhouse

Plus, $10 prime rib or fish & chips before 6:30. Can you beat that?

Carne Chop House, 2017

It's very easy to remember how Stormy and I found this place. We were walking down Ybor, saw a sign for $10 prime rib, and I, very skeptical, decided to make a stop inside. We were both pleasantly surprised. The building is gorgeous, the service is prompt, and the food is delicious. There's not much more you can ask for. Plus, it's right in the heart of Ybor! On this particular occasion, my buddy Shane and I decided to grab an early dinner. But, you didn't come here for that, so lets get into the meat and potatoes of this place!

Carne Entrance, 2017

Carne Chop House, started by Jason Fernandez, is located in the historic El Centro Espanol Building, or, as you may know it, the Spanish Club. The building offers a main dining area, a private dining area, and a pretty impressive wine cellar. Fernandez has over 25 years in the business and brags about having tried every cut of meat in every conceivable way. While new trends come along, Fernandez sticks to traditionally cooked food done well. Thus a casual steakhouse was born in Centro Ybor.

 Prime Rib, 2017

Lets just talk about the food here for a minute. You have all seen the signs advertising $10 prime rib or $10 fish & chips, and you've probably been skeptical. Can it really be that good? The simple answer is yes. The more complicated answer is that this is my favorite piece of prime rib in Tampa. And I am a prime rib connoisseur. Cooked to absolute perfection, the broccoli was a perfect touch. It even comes with some horseradish sauce if you're a person of fine taste who likes to up the ante on your steak. I wont even go into the view you get of 7th Ave while you're eating. If a perfect utopia existed, it would be inside this restaurant. To compliment my prime rib, I also decided to partake in a lemon drop martini (one of their $3 specials). I will say, I wasn't as impressed. It came off a bit watered down. Luckily they have a killer wine selection to make up for the liquor.

Fish & Chips, 2017

Shane, on the other hand, decided he was going to partake on the fish & chips. They were expertly breaded, with the flavor of the cod exploding in your mouth with every bite. The fries made a nice addition, and the horseradish sauce also played a role in the fish, as Shane is a man of fine taste who likes to push boundaries. One of my favorite parts about the fish, though, is that they aren't your usual small cuts of fish. They come out a pretty decent size. We should also talk about the service, while we're at it. FULL DISCLOSURE: The waitress caught me, in an amateur move, photographing everything. I think they thought I was a big name reviewer (haha! Joke's on them!). However, Melissa was our waitress and I can tell you now, my drink never sat empty for longer than about 15 seconds. Stone, the manager, came by to introduce himself and to make sure everything was going ok. Another manager came around whose name I, unfortunately, did not get. Overall, if we were to need anything at all, we would have been well taken care of. I can say that, before 6:30, they are nowhere near busy and the servers are all on their game. I have not, however, been after 6:30.

Lemon Drop, 2017

Things to know before you go:
- This chop house is in a historic building.
- Their meats are cooked very well.
- Before 6:30 pm they have $10 prime rib and fish & chips, so it's a great start for a date night.
- The wait staff is excellent at what they do, and are more than willing to make your experience worthwhile.
- Stick to the wine, their martinis aren't as good.

What is your favorite cut of meat? Have you taken advantage of their 6:30 pm dinner special? 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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