Mr. Dunderbak's: Oktoberfest Year Round

Schnitzel and a pilsner, coming right up.

Dunderbak's, 2019
University Mall,was a very different place in the 70's. Disco was still raging (probably), bell bottoms were considered cool (I imagine), and Dunderbak's was a franchise store with over 30 locations, one of which was located in University Mall (fact). Of the original 30 stores, three remain. Lucky for us, one of those three stores is right here in Tampa. In 1997, the current owners bought the University location and turned it into a new type of restaurant. One that fuses traditional German foods with American favorites. The beer list grew, and in 2016, Dunderbrau opened (joining a growing list of craft breweries). In 2019, Dunderbak's now serves over 500 different beers by the bottle, 65 on their draft list, their menu is as diverse as one could hope for, and they host weekly homebrew meetings. As a matter of fact, they seemingly have something going on every day of the week! But that's not why you came here…

Rick's On The River: Yes, They Have Boat Parking

There are a few restaurants you can stop at on the Hillsborough River. This is one of them.

Rick's On The River, 2017

Rick's on the River is a Tampa mainstay. They've been on the Hillsborough River for as long as I can remember. When my dad used to take his boat out, we made it a point to stop in at Rick's every chance we got. Rick's claims to be a "Key West bar in the middle of Tampa." Stormy and I recently went to check it out and see if it lived up to what I remember, but that wasn't enough! My dad got his boat fixed up and it was time to find out, for sure, if this lives up to the memories. But you didn't come here for that.

Bar, 2017

Lets talk about the seating first off. There is a bar, there's a second room that breaks off from the bar, there's an outdoor bar, there's a seating around outside, and then there's the event space. There is no lack of seating anywhere in this place. The best part about this bar is that, despite it's regular, no frills crowd, they do have a decent selection of craft beer. I don't believe any of it is on tap, however. Prepare to go through a lot of bottles. The one downside is their seat yourself policy. It's great that you don't have to wait for a table, but there have been many times where I've had to wait on a server... And I'm not being picky here. Last time I was there, my parents and I waited for a good 15 minutes as nobody was sure who was supposed to be serving our table. Outside of waiting on servers, they do serve food...

Chicken Sandwich, 2017

This will be my most debated post when it comes to food. You're either going to love it or you're going to hate it, and there doesn't seem to be much in between. I settled on the chicken sandwich, as I've been on a spicy kick lately and that seemed to be my best option. While the chicken tasted exactly as it should, there wasn't much in the way of spice. That was slightly disappointing, but expected as a lot of restaurants keep it safe with their hot sauce. I also sprung for the Cajun fries, which seemed to be the biggest hit at the table. I will say, I wasn't a fan of their regular fries at all. The sandwich comes complete with pickles, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes which provides a nice touch to a simple sandwich. I do suggest pairing this sandwich with a Reef Donkey by Tampa Bay Brewing Company as I did (those of you astute readers probably noticed. I see you!). 

Cheeseburger, 2017

This is the burger that my parents ordered and split... And a burger that my dad absolutely hated. As he says, "I've worked in kitchens in the past and it takes a lot to impress me." While that may be valid for him, my mom didn't seem to enjoy her half either. All said, a cheeseburger is a staple of any bar or casual restaurant. To have two people with two completely different palates not like yours is impressive. I will say that a burger also doesn't have the same advantage that a chicken sandwich has in which you can hide a lackluster meal under hot sauce. They also settled for the normal fries, which I will agree, sucked. 

Outdoor Seating, 2017

Things to know before you go:
- You can arrive here by boat or car. It's one of the few restaurants on the water that you can pull up in your boat.
- It might take a while to get a server to come to you. They seem to get overwhelmed quickly.
- You will either love the food or hate it.
- You can also use their boat ramp for something along the lines of $6. 

Do you like the food or hate it? Is the chicken sandwich better than the cheeseburger? 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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