Welcome back to "Foodie Friday"! On the menu this week: Tampa perennial favorite Datz. This Palma Ceia eatery describes itself as a gastropub serving “elevated comfort food.” We just call it delicious! Since opening in 2009 this place has been putting its own, often indulgent, spin on the classics and the theme continues in its $25, three-course prix-fixe menu for Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week.
Before we go down the rabbit hole describing these tasty eats, we should remind you that Datz has an impressive spirits lists, inventive cocktails, and a craft beer selection that rivals the best brew pubs. The pairing options are endless, and the servers and bar staff are helpful when it comes to making a selection.
OK – on to the food! The prix fixe menu starts with a choice between Swine Rinds and Kim’s Kale Salad. The Swine Rinds are big, crunchy, freshly fried pork rinds tossed in a secret blend of spices and served with lime crema sauce. The crunch is addictive. Even non-pork rind lovers should give these a try. Now, about the salad. I know what you are thinking, “Kale? Really?? I thought this place was about indulgence!” True, this is a departure for Datz, but it’s super delicious and a great light starter to what is sure to be a big meal. It hits all the right notes with dried cranberries, pine nuts, red onion, shaved parmesan, and house-made toasted coriander-orange balsamic vinaigrette.
Things get truly Datzy in the second course. Diners can choose from The Kentucky Colonel Bowl, Barry C’s Stuffed Meatloaf or the Penne for Your thoughts pasta dish. The Colonel Bowl is new to Datz this summer, but we’ll just call it an instant classic. It’s a high quality riff on a certain fried chicken chain’s popular dish, but that’s where the similarities stop. The Datz version features 3 giant, hand-breaded, boneless pieces of fried chicken, house-made garlic mashed potatoes, and grilled corn all smothered in gravy and melted cheese, plus bacon crumbles for the win! The meatloaf is a Datz best seller and its most famous dish – it was featured on The Travel Channel’s Meatloaf Paradise. It’s served in individual loaves that are stuffed with house-made bacon-jalapeno mac-n-cheese. Yes Please! The pasta dish, with a to-die-for roasted tomato cream sauce and loads of mushrooms is an amazing option for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Dessert on this menu is like a split personality. On one hand you have a gorgeous, dainty fruit tart filled with vanilla pastry cream, courtesy of Dough, the bakery next door recently opened by the Datz owners. On the other hand you have Oreo beignets – code for deep-fried Oreos, y’all! Hot, gooey in the middle, and dusted in powdered sugar! You can’t miss with either of these.
At $25, the Datz menu is one of the best Dine Tampa Bay values this year. We highly recommend it, especially if you’ve never been there before. It’s an experience every Bay area resident should have way more than once!
Hot tip: Datz is packed on the weekends and they can go on a wait just about any night of the week. Have your Dine experience on a Monday or Tuesday to minimize your wait. You can also join their waiting list before you leave the house by texting “Datz” to 626-414-3210.
Also, check out our Datz "Sneak Peak" photo album on the Dine Tampa Bay facebook page for all the dishes from Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week.
2616 South MacDill Ave. Tampa, FL 33629
About Dine Tampa Bay Restaurant Week: Tampa Bay's official Restaurant Week allows local, regional and national food lovers the opportunity to enjoy a prix-fixe dinner for $25, $35 or $45 per person (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity) at a number of participating fine-dining Tampa Bay restaurants. Dine Tampa Bay’s goal is to position Tampa Bay as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the many amazing dining opportunities available in the region