Gasparilla Guide 2023: Everything You Need To Know

  I t's that time of year! Gasparilla season. The pirates have taken over.  Me and another pirate, 2017 Another year has come and that means it's time for another season of Gasparilla. Lets get some of the more important questions out of the way real quick: How much does it cost? Nothing. Gasparilla is a free event. They do offer paid upgrades, but the parade itself is free. Where is it? The Children's parade and Day parade are off of Bayshore Ave in South Tampa into the Channel District in Downtown Tampa. The Knight Parade is on 7th Ave in Ybor City. Where do we park? I've found that the easiest place to park is the parking garages in Ybor. They offer parking + a bus into Downtown for a reasonable price (note: This has not been announced for 2023 as of now. This will change as the event draws nearer.).  You can also park on neighborhood streets. You'll get a few individuals who will try to scare you away. Keep in mind that they do not own the road and you are free

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.

Inside, 2019

As soon as you walk in, you're greeted by the smell of malt, used to make their amazing, German inspired beers. A very pleasant, bready smell. As you make your way down the hallway to get to the main dining area, you pass a room that looks to be a smaller, more intimate bar. On the other side, there is more picnic table style seating. Once you make it to the main hall, the first thing you notice is the gazebo that is planted dead center in the room. You will more than likely be sat at a picnic table, which is a great way to make new friends, or you can chose to sit at the bar and enjoy one of the almost (if not more than) 600 different beers that Dunderbak's carries, from their own brewery, to local favorites, to some European favorites that have been shipped to the U.S. Regardless of your taste, Dunderbak's will have a beer for you. But beer isn't all they do!

Stein, 2019

Welcome to your very own German shop, complete with steins and endless amounts of mustard. If you're looking for a unique gift, this is definitely the place to come. Along with the candies, glassware, and condiments, Dunderbak's also operates as a German deli, providing you with meats and cheeses that are hard to come by here in the states. 

Der (old) Alte Rote Baron, 2019

On my last endeavor out to Dunderbak's, I started with one of my absolute favorites: The pretzel with mustard. Did I mention that Danderbak's is also a store? Well, they also sell a lot of different types of mustard. In order to promote this fact, you will get a handful of mustards with every meal that you order. I chose to go with the jalapeno mustard for this pretzel, as I can handle a little kick... Or so I thought. The mustard was sometimes overwhelming, but I am not one to back down, so I kept going back. The pretzel is as close to perfection as you can get, soft, warm, doughy, with the only complaint being that it does lack salt (or I just like my pretzels really salty). But alas, I needed something with substance. I chose to go with the Der (old) Alte Rote Baron, a roast beef sandwich with tomato and a chive cream cheese on pumpernickel. Right off the bat, the roast beef looked to be expertly cooked, with more than enough pink still showing for my liking. I've never been a huge pumpernickel fan, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge. One thing that needs to be said about this sandwich early: It is messy. You will need extra napkins as your hands will be covered in cream cheese by the end of it. The roast beef was moist enough to cut out a lot of the pumpernickel's dry character, and the cream cheese and tomatoes gave the sandwich a little kiss for good luck. If you are as daring as myself, you might even dip your sandwich into a bit of the jalapeno mustard. Perfection. Each bite managed to build off of the last, and once the sandwich was done, I was left wanting more, but unable to fit anymore. Until...

Apple Strudel, 2019

So the waitress saw me and must have known that the fat guy would go for dessert. I decided to try the apple strudel as it seemed like the smallest dessert and I could get my fill in. The one thing I will say about this dessert is that it's nowhere near as sweet as I would've liked it to be. I actually found it to be a little on the dry side. Luckily I like apples, but it definitely needed some sugar. Once you get past that fact, though, you can enjoy what essentially becomes a slightly sweetened apple sandwich. The cinnamon did add a nice touch. 

Pretzel, 2019

Things to know before you go:

- The parking lot, while huge, is seemingly always full. It kind of sucks to park here.
- There aren't a lot of tables and they do tend to get busy. Expect to wait during peak times.
- Their beer menu can be kind of intimidating. Check their website for the most up to date beer list.
- They operate as more than a restaurant, also offering a deli and a shop.

Can you name a better restaurant for German food? What is your favorite style of German beer? 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. If you'd like to meet other people who love Tampa, consider joining our Facebook Group. Thank you all and I will see you next time!

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