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…

Daily Eats: Alright, Maybe Weekly

Are you tired of going out and getting awesome food? Neither are we!

Daily Eats, 2018

The conversation went like this:
Stormy: "I have a new restaurant we have to try."
Me: "Where?"
Stormy: "Daily Eats!"
Me: "In South Tampa?"
Stormy: "Yes!"
Me: "That's a long drive."
Stormy: "Don't you need more reviews?"
And off we went. I very rarely go to South Tampa. It's not a fun drive for me, but when there's a potential review on the line, and food, I'll take my chances. We arrived to Daily Eats around 6:00 pm, right at the start of dinner rush. I let Stormy out of the car to get us a table, as their parking lot was full, and I went across the street to park the car. Let me say, right off the bat, that crossing Howard Ave during dinner rush is absolutely ridiculous. I had to wait a good ten minutes as there was no crosswalk nearby. At. All. The first impression that I got is that the place was busy. This is a good sign for food... Not such a good sign for us getting a table. Luckily, that didn't take too long. We're sitting at the table, waiting to order... But you didn't come here for that. 

Mac & Cheese, 2018

I can find absolutely no information about their true history online other than the owners are from New York and they saw Tampa as an easy way to make money. There is no story unique to Daily Eats, just to the Ciccio Company. Mariah was our server during this endeavor and she didn't steer us wrong. The first debate we had was if we wanted to get the mac & cheese or not. Of course we did. Who were we kidding, though? I will say this: The mac & cheese, which was meant to be an appetizer shared between the two of us, came out with our dinners. I wont fault them for it, The Front Porch does the same thing. The noodles were al dente, which was fine for me, but there were a few raw noodles in the dish, which weren't fun to chew through. That said, there were only about two bites of really hard noodles. After that, you just got some awesome cheese and breadcrumb covered noodles to tempt the taste buds. I don't know what makes this mac so much different than anywhere else, but it came out just right. 

Chicken Sandwich, 2018

Alright, when we went to Daily Eats, I was still coming off my Cluck Yeah kick from Datz. I asked if their chicken sandwich could compare and Mariah told me that, and I quote, "If it's not the best chicken sandwich [I've] ever ate, I'll go back there and make it myself." Well, Mariah, when you do see this, it does not beat the Cluck Yeah, but it was indeed good. Therefore, I cannot make you go back there and make me a new one. The chicken was fried beautifully, the pickles adding that vinegar touch. The sauce gave the sandwich a nice taste, and the lettuce was there to keep the doctor happy. I've also come to the realization that, when it comes to independently run restaurants, the fries are either going to be really good, or really bad. There is no in between. Luckily for me, the fries here at Daily Eats are really good. Nice crunch, not undercooked, perfect amount of salt... Perfection. The sandwich itself was also solid. Just not as solid as the Cluck Yeah. I had also ordered a milkshake on the side because, why not? Typical vanilla shake made very well. Not much else to say about that.

Thai Peanut Bowl, 2018

Stormy used less ladylike words to describe her bowl, while simultaneously telling me that she loved it. It is brown rice covered with crispy chicken, broccoli, carrots, peanuts, and extra peanut sauce because, and I quote, "I love sauce." The bowl was huge and, I will admit, I was jealous of exactly how much she had to eat. The price to size ratio is one of the best you're going to find in South Tampa, much less the SoHo district. Overall, this is a diner atmosphere with slightly more upscale food. It should go without saying that Mariah took amazing care of us all night as well. I'd strongly suggest sitting in her section when you go. And if you sweet talk her, she may go in the kitchen and make your food personally. Just sayin'.

Vanilla Shake, 2018

Things to know before you go:
- This place gets very busy. Expect a wait to be seated.
- The place is very narrow. Expect to have to sit close to the table and expect people to bump into your chair. Nature of the restaurant.
- The food is second to none, especially for the price.
- Parking is limited and running across Howard sucks!
- Sit in Mariah's section.

Are you trying to eat healthier in 2018? What flavor milkshake is your favorite? 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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