UPDATE: Sadly, I just learned from a commenter (thanks for the heads up Bob) that this little gem of a bistro closed just days after my post! They posted the following on their Facebook page:
I guess this article is more a final tribute to all the types of wonderful they were then.
What is it about brunch that seems so decadent?
Maybe because it means you’ve had the chance to sleep in a little later than usual, your pace is slower, and you have time to just enjoy a late morning meal at your leisure. Or perhaps it’s because it is typically a slightly more varied meal than you’d usually look at for breakfast with the additions of lunch-ish items to your breakfast plate.
Either way, it is wonderful treat on the weekend for me. Luckily Nick is of the same mind and takes on the responsibility of finding new places to try.
This past weekend we tracked down the Eleventwenty Cafe Bistro, tucked away in the Channelside District of Tampa for a mid-morning meal.
I hadn’t been to this section of the Channelside area before, but had been intrigued by the towering condo and apartment towers with their views of downtown Tampa and the Port of Tampa.
Despite the fact that we are deeply amidst Florida’s summer, the weather was quite nice with a cooler breeze blowing near the waterfront as we made our way to brunch. Eleventwenty has a section for outdoor eating including a big outdoor couch, but in order to get the full bistro experience we headed inside.
The whole place had a feeling of a casual wine bar mixed with an upscale deli. You order at the deli-like counter that stands between two glass cases of the day’s specials and scrumptious looking desserts. Then you take your order stand, with it’s bold number showcased on a metal pole, back to crisp white linen covered tables.
With only one television screen in the room, you have the option of watching the channel of choice (usually sports or news) or turning to face fellow patrons while you wait. This is nice since some restaurants come equipped with several TVs so that you’re distractedly watching five of them at once while you try to converse with your dining partner.
Nick ordered the special, a Country Sausage Skillet, which included a friend egg atop a filled skillet of crisp seasoned homefries with veggies and chunks of sausage. Ever potato was cleaned from his skillet before I really had a chance to see how he liked it, so it must have been good.
I meanwhile was hankering for a veggie omelet with homefries. Not to thick or heavy, the eggs tasted fresh and were wrapped around a generous helping of chopped veggies with just enough cheese to flavor, but not overwhelm. The potatoes were prepared just how I like them – small, crispy and seasoned to perfection.
It was a simple experience overall void of complicated menus and bustling crowds of servers, but it was simply wonderful. Only three servers wait on the service counter and run meals/clean tables, so it’s quiet, but they’re helpful and personable so you feel like you can get whatever you need or want without too much trouble. Plus I’d venture to say their ingredients are a par above the average as well, which is why the finished dishes were so flavorful and fresh tasting.
This will certainly be a favorite brunch stop for me moving forward.
Next, I just have to visit them for the dessert hour, because they’re desserts looked incredible.
Do you enjoy brunch? Have you tried a new brunch spot recently?