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…

Four Green Fields: Irish Cuisine in Downtown Tampa

The Curtis Hixon establishment is now open. We decided to check it out.

Four Green Fields, 2018

In 1992, the Irish invasion began. Ok, that's a bit dramatic, but Four Green Fields decided to open its doors in Downtown Tampa. Since then, they have opened a location at Amalie Arena, Tampa International Airport, Ireland, and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Four Green Fields has been rated by a Dublin based magazine as one of the top ten Irish pubs and they have been listed on the top 100 Irish pubs to grab a beer. In 2017, Mayor Bob Buckhorn made the claim that the police building at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park would be closing. In its place, a new restaurant would be going in. Many different investors placed a bid, including the favorite at the time, Richard Gonzmart of Columbia, Goody Goody, and Ulele fame. Ultimately, Four Green Fields, the Downtown favorite, won out and got a new location on the Riverwalk. Stormy and I waited until a "special occasion" to go... That "special occasion" was that it was a weeknight. But you didn't come here for that!


 Inside, 2018

Let us start with the aesthetics of the building. This is everything that a traditional pub should be. The bar starts at one end of the restaurant and literally wraps around the corner to the end of the side wall. There are at least nine taps of Guinness (if that's your thing). This isn't just a beer bar, though: They do have a full liquor bar as well. On this particular occasion, my drink of choice was an ice cold glass of H20 on the rocks. There are quite a few pictures along the walls of Ireland, things I'm assuming Irish people like, and their location in Ireland, the only location outside of Tampa. The color scheme follows a bare white walls with subtle hints of green, and stained wooden floors, tables, chairs, and bar. The entire bar is brought together nicely with the wooden beams above and the hanging lighting. 

Fish & Chips, 2018

Stormy had read a story a long time ago about children eating soda bread. Since that time, she has spent her entire life (this is the story she told me... I'm just relaying it) looking for said soda bread. She was incredibly excited to find that Four Green Fields gives you a piece of soda bread with every entree. We are brought our slice of bread (each) and treated to the most delightful bite of "is it supposed to be this dry?" I was later told that traditional soda bread is meant to be incredibly dry, but man... The butter couldn't even save it, and I used a ton. Stormy then decided to go with a safe favorite of her's... The fish and chips. The fish is cod that has been beer battered with Harps and served with fries and coleslaw. The fish itself was really good. Tender, moist, and flaky. There were no complaints there. The complaints do come when you got to the fries. They were mushy and just overall gross. Like they had been microwaved. If you do order the fish here, we'd strongly suggest doing just about any other side. 

Shepherd's Pie, 2018

I, on the other hand, chose to go with some shapherd's pie. While I didn't get any sides, I can safely say that I didn't need one. This meal was big enough to keep me happy. The potatoes were light and fluffy, the meat had a nice flavor without being overwhelming, and the cheese was a nice touch. My bowl came out incredibly hot, but the food wasn't, which leads me to believe that they used a microwave for at least part of this meal. This isn't a bad thing as the meal itself is one of my favorites I've had so far in 2018. I will state, however, that if you have bad heartburn (as I do), this meal will flair up and it will take quite a while for it to calm down. As a matter of fact, I had to go up to Revolution Ice Cream to get myself a milkshake to bring it down. Know that going in!

Guinness, 2018

Things to know before you go:
- Four Green Fields has two locations Downtown. Neither one has a parking lot. Parking is free Downtown on weekends and after 6:00 pm Mon-Fri (north of Kennedy). Download the Downtowner app and have some fun getting there!
- The Curtis Hixon location is small, but they make the most of their limited space.
- They will be busy during the Mayor's River O' Green festival, and probably every other festival in or near Curtis Hixon. 
- They claim to be open 365 days a year. Enjoy it on any day!

Do you enjoy Irish food? What's your favorite drink to order at an Irish pub? Leave a comment below. If you'd like more information on Tampa, check out our YouTube Channel and if you'd like to support my efforts, don't hesitate to buy a shirt from our Spreadshirt or become a donor at our Patreon.. 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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