Chamber of Terror: Tampa's Fall Carnival

It may not be Bozo, but have you met Bubba?

Banner, 2019
Welcome to Tampa's only fall festival. After the fall of the Last Laugh Toy Company, the residents have struggled, looking for some form of refuge... Somewhere to call home. That refuge was found just south of Gandy, at a civic center off Oklahoma. There's tents of fun, games of chance, and even a kissing booth. Do you dare take a step inside and experience the fun for yourself?

 Truck, 2019
Chamber of Terror has consistently been one of Tampa's most terrifying haunted houses since their pro debut on the scene four years ago. Prior to becoming a pro haunt, Chamber of Terror spent many successful years as a backyard Halloween event. After taking a year off to reinvent themselves, Chamber of Terror is back and it's time for an entirely new concept.
Bubba, 2019
Right off that bat, I'll say that I've been critical of Chamber of Terror's sets in the past, mainly using the location they've been in as the s…

London Heights British Pub, Formally London Calling: A British Pub in Seminole Heights

Forget the bollocks, here's, well, London Calling just opened. Here's my review!

London Calling, 2017

Lets just start by saying that I have an unhealthy addiction to the internet. If I'm not writing a blog or editing a video for YouTube, then I'm reading someone else's blog, watching someone else's YouTube, or on FaceBook. While on FaceBook, people tend to post about new things opening up in Tampa. Most of them I throw into a pile of "places that need to be reviewed," but every once in a while, something so intriguing comes along that I push it to the front of that pile. This is one of those times. Someone had given me a heads up that the owners of the Red Star Rock Bar were going to be opening a new restaurant in the Heights and that it was going to have a British theme. Stormy and I wanted to go since their soft opening, but something kept coming up. This all changed last night. Now, full disclosure: Stormy let it slip that I was blogging about this place and we did receive a discount on the bill because of that. The opinions expressed below are 100% my own. But you didn't come here for that.

Dining Room, 2017

Lets start by saying that this restaurant has officially been open for about two weeks. It's important to note that everyone working here is still getting their feet wet, still learning the menu, still learning their jobs, etc. I will not fault them for this. We've all been new at one point. Now, lets start with the inside. It's absolutely beautiful. The hardwood floors, the open dining room, the separate bar, even the outdoor area. The only issue I have with the location is, well, the location. London Calling sits directly across the street from one of the most notorious motels for prostitution in Tampa. This makes London Calling a little awkward to go to for a date or to take your family to at night. It just doesn't set that romantic mood one might want when going out. Once you get passed that, though, and you're inside, the atmosphere makes you forget where the location actually sits. And while the interior (and even exterior) of the building are beautiful, very little about it screams "London!" A big issue I did have with this place is that the "London" theme seemed to fall incredibly flat. 

 Bar, 2017

When I think "London bar," I tend to think long, winding bars, or even a bar in the center with chairs all around. The bar I found to be somewhat small, though still very charming. In other words, if you were to change the name of this place and paint over the flag painted on the outside of the building, you'd have no idea that this was a London themed restaurant. I'll give them credit for the idea, but I think they could've done more with it. Again, they're still new and it's possible that there's more going into this place that haven't come to fruition yet. When I say that the theme falls flat, I don't just mean aesthetics either. While there is a full liquor bar, there's nothing about it that screams "London" either. They didn't (at the time) have any specials that would remind someone of London and, outside of Guinness and Newcastle, there were no true English beers either. Actually, the beer list was the most disappointing part of the trip. You have all of your macros, and then a craft list of Reef Donkey and (I believe it was) Free Dive. You're in Seminole Heights! You have to do better than that. I will say this, though: Michelle was the bartender and she was awesome given what she had to work with. Being a new restaurant, beers were running out, food was running out, liquors were running out, etc. 

Chicken Sandwich, 2017

Lets take a minute to talk about the food. First off, the theming doesn't just fall off on decor and alcohol, the food takes a hit too. That's not a bad thing, though, as Seminole Heights seems to severely lack in "normal food" as Stormy calls it. Usually I skip on appetizers because I find them to be expensive and not usually worth the price. This is totally not the case when it comes to the Guinness beer cheese dip. The chips were nice and mild, which was a perfect match for the dark and tangy beer cheese dip. And, for $5, you really couldn't go wrong! I ordered a chicken sandwich with fries and Stormy got fish "& chips" (she exchanged fries out for mashed potatoes and peas). First, if you're expecting a fried chicken sandwich, this is not it. That really wasn't a bad thing, but it did catch me off guard. There's tomato, lettuce, bacon jam, and a Jameson BBQ sauce topping off the chicken. The chicken itself was a massive breast that was tender and juicy. You wont struggle to get full off of that. The one thing that did catch my eye though is how big the chicken was... Which leads me to believe, and I could be completely wrong, that it's frozen. It was put together very well, the fries were a nice touch, and the presentation was exactly what I was expecting. I can't trash it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Fish, 2017

Stormy knew from the get go that she wanted to partake in some fish. As you can see from the picture, her fish was a decent size. I tried a bit of her fish and found it very, very light. This is the type of fish & chips someone who doesn't like fish would order. There's almost no flavor to it, but I think that's by design. Some lemon would've improved it greatly, but Stormy turned that offer down. Alas, I will suffer by not eating a lemon before bed. The mashed potatoes are obviously boxed potatoes. They come out lukewarm and are cold by the time you get to them. Prepare yourself for that as well. I didn't try the peas, so I can't comment on their veggies. Overall, I'd say I had the better meal between the two of us. But, this being an English style restaurant, the fish & chips should be amazing! Again, they just opened and I hope everybody takes my criticism constructively. I do want to see them succeed. 

 Liquor, 2017

I realize that it sounds like I'm being overly critical of London Calling, but that's not the case. This is the first time I've reviewed such a new restaurant and I see the potential and want to see them fully explore it. Are there issues that a new restaurant will have? Yes. Am I saying not to go? Absolutely not. The only way for a new restaurant to get better is through experience. They can't get that experience if you don't go. So, get your family, your friends, your neighbors together and get out there to show some support. Help this restaurant succeed. This also wont be my last trip or review. Stormy and I will be going again after a few months have passed. Go out and tell us what you think!

Beer Cheese, 2017  

Things to know before you go:
- This restaurant is very new. Expect some confusion and miscommunication.
- Don't expect the theme to go beyond the name.
- Don't expect an extensive beer list either.
- Say hello to Michelle. She will take care of you.
- The parking lot is small. Expect that.

Where you there opening day? What did you think about the theme? 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!