Da'Shrine: An African Caribbean Restaurant

  T he building has been sitting for a while. Lets explore what finally took over.  Da'Shrine, 2023 L et 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 T he 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

Ducky's: Sports Bar and Bowling Alley

I don't do a lot of reviews in this area. Lets fix that!

Mural, 2019

Opened in December of 2013 by Evan Longoria of (at the time) the Tampa Bay Rays baseball fame, Ducky's is an upscale sports bar located on Kennedy Blvd just outside of Downtown Tampa in a neighborhood that is called West Tampa. The idea was to bring a sports bar to the bustling area around the University of Tampa, and to provide a slightly different offering than anything you could find in the South Howard (SoHo) district. But that's not why you came here.

Mini Bowling, 2019

One other notable feature includes a mini bowling alley, perfect for small hands, children, or just someone too drunk to handle a real bowling ball (we've all been there). The bar has a nice outdoor patio, decent amount of indoor space, and a pretty crappy parking lot. You'll know you're at the right place when you spot the graffiti mural on the side of the building. There are TVs everyone showing the hottest sportsball games with a crowd there to cheer on their teams. 

Deviled Crab, 2019

Lets get to the food! First off, Stormy and I started with the Deviled Crab because, naturally. This is one of the very few places (sadly) that I have found that you can even order one. And while most places give you the deviled crabs in a burnt, hard shell, Ducky's manages to bring the flavor of the crab out nicely, with a breadcrumb crust that isn't overly dry and definitely not burnt. It was a delightful surprise. They also brought some Louisiana Hot Sauce to dip it in, and that just added to the experience. They did not skimp on the crab meat, either. Each bite was loaded with flavor. Definitely worth starting off with.

Cuban Sandwich, 2019

Full disclosure: They do not actually offer a Cuban Sandwich on the menu. They have a Cuban wrap and they have meals served on Cuban bread, so I asked to get the wrap on the Cuban bread. That said, the bread was a little thin for my liking, but it did have a nice toast to it. The ham, on the other hand, was way too thick for a Cuban sandwich and I found it very distracting. They did have salami on it, so they do know what a Cuban Sandwich is, but I'd venture to say that this is just a standard Cuban sandwich. Nothing I'd go out of my way to order again.

West Tampa Bowl, 2019

Usually when I do reviews, I have to summarize what Stormy thought of her food through whatever she tells me. On this particular occasion, she disliked this meal so much that her and I traded. So, I got a decent amount of the Cuban and I got more than enough of the West Tampa Bowl. The rice in here was very bland, so make sure that you get a bite with some of the other goodness mixed in. The pork was marinated very nicely, the only downside being that it was really difficult to cut. The flavor was there, though, and I made it through. The beans seemed to have some ham fat in them (don't quote me) which was also a pleasant surprise. The plantain chips were also a nice touch. Next time I go back, I'll definitely have to order this. 

Bar, 2019

Overall, the food here is really good. I imagine the drinks were just as good, but we were headed to The Independent afterwards and decided to withhold drinking here. The one downside that I had is that the waitstaff here is VERY slow and not very observant. Our waters had gone empty pretty quickly and, despite walking by our table multiple times, and despite me trying to get our waitresses attention, it took a good 20 minutes to get a refill (of some pretty nasty tasting water, on top of that). Do know that you will be waiting a bit for refills. Luckily it was someone from the kitchen who was running the food, and we managed to get that in a decent time.

Sign, 2019

Things to know before you go:
- Parking is a pain. There's a lot behind the building that's also a really popular walking path for the students at UT, so keep your eyes open. There is always someone walking in the parking lot. 
- They do have a mini bowling lane. If you're looking for a way to keep your kids occupied while enjoying a game, here it is.
- They try to put a modern twist on classic Tampa dishes. Sometimes it works better than others.
- The waitstaff is very slow. 

What is your favorite Tampa dish? Do you like playing mini bowling? 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!