Hattrick's: An Upscale Sports Bar Downtown

But is it really Irish? 
Hattrick's Entrance, 2019

Opening it's doors in 1997, Hattrick's was one of the few places you could actually hangout in a dormant Downtown Tampa. The Lightning were merely five years old, they had just moved to the Ice Palace, USF hadn't played their first football game yet, the Rays weren't even a thing, and the Bucs were still five years away from winning the Superbowl. In other words, sports in Tampa were fairly nonexistent. Somehow, through Tampa having no decent teams to root for, and Downtown having no reason for people to stay in, Hattrick's managed to survive, and thrive, and is now one of the premier Downtown Tampa hangouts. 

Bar, 2019

Once you enter, you're greeted with a large bar to your left, enough TVs to seemingly show every sport on the planet, sports memorabilia all over the walls, and a moderately sized dining room to your right. It was St. Patrick's Day of this year that Chris, Stormy, and I decided we were going to go out for some food and drinks. I couldn't tell you what we had then, but we were impressed. Unfortunately, I don't go into Downtown as much as I should. Regardless, Stormy and I made it a point to go back. Was it a fluke? Was the food as good as we remembered? Is it always as busy as it was then? But you didn't come here for that.

Wings, 2019

Lets start with their wings, as this is where we started. I will state, for the record, I have never been a huge fan of the chicken wings. I find them pointless, to be honest. Too small to get full on, but big enough to ruin your appetite. Now let me state that Hattrick's wings are worth ruining your appetite for. With seemingly endless options for flavors, Stormy decided she wanted them "shake & bake" style tossed in Garlic Parm flavoring. You'll smell the flavor bouncing off the wings before the wing ever hits your tongue. They are cooked to perfection, as much as a small piece of chicken can be. And while the garlic parm was delicious (and if you don't like spice, I would strongly recommend them), I would stick with one of the spicy options. Call me a purist. 

Dranks, 2019

"Would you all like to start off with some drinks?" Sure, why not? I opted for the Lightning Lemonade, and Stormy went for the Long Island Iced Tea. The Lightning Lemonade was strong, with the perfect amount of tart. When I drink sour, I want to be able to feel it. I love that mouth puckering taste and this drink definitely had it! Stormy says that her Long Island Iced Tea was really good, and smooth. Easy to put down. Also says that the name of the drink was possibly the "Harbor Island Iced Tea." 

Meatloaf, 2019

Now, meatloaf is one of those dishes that is either spot on, or a complete disaster. My favorite meatloaf, by far, comes from The Front Porch. Hattrick's has an interesting take on their meatloaf as it's very sweet. Same with the potatoes. And, when separate, they become overly sweet. Almost too sweet. But once you mix the meatloaf with the potatoes, this becomes one of the best takes on meatloaf that you can find in this city. The mashed taters also still have the skins on, and they are mixed into the delicate potato mixture. The meatloaf is tender, easily cut with a fork, with a nice, creamy gravy over the top. The weakest part of this meal was the steamed vegetables, which seem more like an afterthought than intentional. "What veggies do we need to get rid of today?" They simply weren't good. There was very little flavor to them. Maybe had I mixed them in with the potato and meatloaf meal I had constructed, they would've been better. Alas, I was not impressed with them. I would've preferred just straight broccoli.
Mojo Pork Sandwich, 2019

Stormy seems to have a better memory than myself, and recalled that on our first trip, she ordered the mojo pork and thought it was delicious. It is exactly what you think it is. Mojo pork, mozzarella cheese, piled high on a hoagie. I tried to take a bite of Stormy's food, but she tried to bite me when I got close. I take it that's a good thing. She says it was just as delicious as she remembers it, and she is one of the pickiest people I know, so take it for what it's worth. I will have to try it myself sometime.

Cuban, 2019

Don't judge us, we may have gone back twice in a row. On the second trip, Stormy just ordered wings. I, myself, saw a Cuban on the menu, and you know I had to try it! The one downside to this sandwich, right off the bat, is that they used sliced pork, which makes no sense as Stormy had a mojo pork sandwich the day before. We know they have legit pork. But there is salami, there is ham, and the fries are also pretty legit. The flavor is there and this is definitely in my top five Cubans of Tampa! If I could just pass on one suggestion: Put your mojo pork on this sandwich! 

Lets start by apologizing for the infrequent uploads. I have started a new job which gives me less time to dedicate to this blog. Now, allow me to state that if you're in Ybor, and you're looking for something to eat, the street car's last stop is right out front of Hattrick's. Simply hop on and ride it away. It's worth the trip, and you'll get some pretty awesome food for a sports bar. This goes both ways also, if you're at Hattrick's and want to go to Ybor... 

Out Front, 2019

Things to know before you go:
- They do have a (small) parking lot, however, they are not north of Kennedy, so street parking is not free near this location after 6pm or on weekends. 
- This bar gets packed. There has never been a time (day or night) that I have not had trouble finding a seat. It is very busy. That's a good thing! They're not slow because of it.
- This is more of an upscale sports bar, but I wouldn't think of it as Irish (despite how they try to market themselves). 

Where is your favorite Cuban sandwich in Tampa? What is your favorite sports bar? 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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