Da'Shrine: An African Caribbean Restaurant

 The building has been sitting for a while. Lets explore what finally took over. 

Da'Shrine, 2023

Let me start this one off by stating that I am in no means an expert on Africa, their cuisine, or their culture. Da'Shrine claims to be a mixture of African and Caribbean cuisine. They are sporting a restaurant with a rooftop bar. If you had been to The Refinery prior to coming here, you'll know how the rooftop bar was set up. Unfortunately, the bar wasn't open when we went due to some maintenance that needed to be done before they could open. They did manage to use the space well, though, given how small the building actually is. They also have music playing from the TV, which is fine, but you can't hear the bartender over the bass. But that's not why you're here.

Old Fashioned, 2023

The bar is a square bar sitting against the back wall when you walk in. They have a decent selection with six beer taps as well. The bartender was telling us about some unique drinks that they had, when I asked what they were, he asked what I usually drink. I said an old fashioned and they went on to make me an old fashioned. A bit disappointing as I was looking for something unique, but alas. The old fashioned was good, the dried orange being a nice touch. I was not a fan of the two different bitters and there being way too many splashes, but it wasn't undrinkable. They do smoke their old fashioneds in this really cool smoker box. It's the first time I've seen one quite like it. While I was sipping on my whiskey drink, Stormy got a Mango Cart. Stormy never complains about Mango Cart. 

Meat Pie, 2023

We ended up going with a beef meat pie as our appetizer. The crust on the pie was amazing. Light and flakey. Had the perfect crunch to it. Unfortunately, the toppings on the inside were a bit boring. It lacked quite a bit of flavor (this will be the only time I complain about the food). On the bright side, it was a good enough size to split between both Stormy and I. We enjoyed it enough to finish it (mainly due to the crust). Stormy did say that this was her favorite part of the meal, so your mileage may vary.

Spicy Spaghetti, 2023

This is where I started to question if the African cuisine was authentic or not, but between the oxtails and the goats, which all sounded interesting, the spicy spaghetti stood out most to me. This meal was calling my name before I even left my house (yes, I did my research). This meal was amazing. The noodles complimented the toppings just right. The red sauce with mushrooms, bell peppers, beef, and sausage. There was a kick to it, but it wasn't offensive. Just enough to remind you that you will probably want to consider taking some Pepto before bed. The sauce spread nicely among the noodles and this meal went down quick. I will also say that this meal seems to expand the minute you finish eating. I'd go a little slower with it if you don't want to feel overwhelmingly full. 

Jollof Rice With Stew Chicken, 2023

And Stormy, ever the adventurous eater, went with the Jollof rice and stew chicken. I did not get a chance to try her rice, but she did say that the top layer of rice was crunchy, giving it a nice crust, something she wishes more restaurants would do. The chicken in this dish did remind me of a much better sweet and spicy chicken dish. The chicken was cooked to perfection, no chewy bits, and the sauce that covered the chicken had a nice, sweet (and apparently spicy) sauce. It was hard for me to detect any spice as my spaghetti had a kick of its own that was lingering. Stormy does not do spice well at all and had no problem getting through this dish. 

Bar, 2023

Lets get to the elephant in the room. The food was really good. We did get alcoholic beverages. There is no world in which this meal should have come to $91 (this is including tip, to be fair). There is an automatic 18% service charge added to every receipt, regardless of party size, that is hidden at the very bottom of the menu. This wouldn't have been a problem except they only do digital menus and my menu wouldn't zoom in (I could barely read the entree's). At this price point, you can enjoy Iavarone's, which I always considered more of an event than a typical Friday night stop. It was a hell of a price tag with none of the experience that would go into justifying it. Especially given the rooftop bar wasn't open. The only real entertainment was the loud music coming from the TV and the two TVs above the bar, one of which showing soccer. If the food costs are that high, they need to find a new vendor. Will you get a good meal here? Absolutely. Will you get decent drinks? Arguably. Will you pay more than you should for them? Yes. Will you be able to hear? Absolutely not. 

Smoker Box, 2023

Things to know before you go:
- This is in Seminole Heights. You already know the parking is going to be less than ideal. They do have one of the bigger parking lots, but it does share with Forever Beautiful, so if you're going for breakfast or brunch, it might not be ideal. 
- The food is really good and they do offer some interesting meats if you're feeling adventurous. 
- Don't expect recommendations from the bar. You will be disappointed. 
- You will be paying for this experience. This is one of the more expensive restaurants I've featured on this site. You wouldn't expect it going in, but you will feel it leaving. 

What is your favorite African dish? Do you have another restaurant we should check out? 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. 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!


  1. Forever Beautiful owns the building, so parking should not be an issue. It's a nice size lot.


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