If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you may remember seeing me stuffing my face in South Tampa last week. I was invited to experience a progressive dinner with other Tampa Bay Bloggers at Roux, Datz and Dough. Before we start talking about the food I have a confession to make, I’ve never been to South Tampa before! I’ve been in the Bay for almost 10 years and rarely make it downtown and have never ventured to the MacDill/South Tampa area. I’m already planning my next trip and this time I’m taking my husband out for a date!!
Even though I didn’t get to take him with me, I would love to take him on a progressive dinning experience so he can sample food from all three of these great South Tampa restaurants.
What is a progressive dinner? Think of it like a 3 course meal, but at different restaurants. Appetizers and drinks at Roux, dinner at Datz, and dessert at Dough. You could mix it up anyway you like, but this worked out perfectly since Datz and Dough are next to one another.
I am a sucker for Creole food and love anything that reminds me of New Orleans. It’s been several years since we’ve been to NOLA and Roux sparked my desire to make another trip…soon!
They even reused gas lanterns from Baton Rouge in their decor. The atmosphere was dark and dreamy; very romantic and perfect for a date night.
If you’re starting at Roux for appetizers I would suggest 3 menu items that everyone loved. The Abita Beer-Battered Crab Beignets, the Boudin Balls, and the Char-grilled Oysters. Abita is one of my favorite Louisiana beers and the crab beignets were perfect. A Boudin Ball is actually a creole sausage that is breaded and fried; and it’s rather fun to say!
If you only wanted one appetizer, my favorite was the Char-grilled Oysters. I am NOT an oyster fan and these were delicious. They weren’t overly slimy and had a nice romano, parmesan butter mix lightly over the top. Lovely atmosphere and amazing food! I can’t wait to go back to Roux and try some of their meals.
The next stop on our food crawl was dinner at Datz in South Tampa. I have heard people chatter about Datz for the past few years but had no idea what to expect. Datz opened back in 2009 and is still a baby in the food industry; but you’d never know it from your visit. They are known for their comfort food with flair, craft beers, eclectic menu items, and seasons dishes. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Datz is king in the social media world, with a very active Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feed that looks towards their guests for content. Just search up #datz4foodies and you’ll see a glimpse of how social they are.
I couldn’t stop nibbling on their spicy popcorn that adorned our table when we arrived. I really should have been saving room for the food but I found myself popping popcorn in my mouth all night. I’m not usually a cheesy, spicy popcorn lover but this was a perfect starter.
Another dish I did not expect to like was the Buffalo Cauliflower appetizer. Roasted, breaded and flash fried for a nice crunchy flavor and smothered with buffalo sauce. I NEVER eat anything with buffalo sauce because I don’t like the flavor and I had seconds. It’s served with a blue cheese dressing for those who are craving a little extra.
The server came to take our orders and told us about a few of his favorite dishes. He even told us about a few that weren’t on the menu. As soon as I heard deep-fried mac-n-cheese and hamburgers I was intrigued and had to hear more. The Cheesy Todd is not on the menu, but it’s a juicy hamburger cooked to your level of perfection and served on a fried mac-n-cheese bun. The mac-n-cheese is breaded and fried to form the bum that holds the burger, lettuce, tomato, pickles. cheese and onion. It’s served with a side of homemade sweet-n-salty chips with a blue cheese drizzle and green onions. Don’t be afraid of the blue cheese drizzle, it’s very mild. I would be more scared of how to fit the Cheesy Todd in your mouth!
Don’t try this at home!! I would recommend that you a) use a knife and fork to eat the Cheesy Todd, and b) share with a friend! There was enough food that I had lunch the next day and it was just as tasty heated up. If you do attempt to stuff the entire thing in your mouth don’t forget “pinkies out!”
Opened in 2013, Dough is the little sister to Datz and the best place for sweet treats, gelatos, and lattes. I have heard many wonderful things about their doughnuts and treats and just barely had enough room left for a small taste. I ended up taking the rest of my treat home to share with the kids for breakfast. They would have been in heaven at Dough.
Look at the beautiful display of William Dean Macarons and chocolates. I really wanted to just sample every single one of these; but I’ll refrain for another visit.
As soon as I walked through the door by eyes were immediately drawn to the word “bacon” on the coffee and latte menu. I have never heard of a bacon latte before and I needed a little caffeine to keep me awake on the drive back to North Pinellas. You could smell a very smoky bacon scent and the taste was actually very smooth and just lovely. I heard raves about the Red Velvet and Nutella lattes from some of the other guests. I’m trying to figure out how I can convince my husband to bring me home a bacon latte every night after work; alas it would never stay warm for morning!
Now I just need to find a babysitter to watch the kids so hubby and I can sneak downtown for a date night. I can’t wait to introduce him to Roux, Datz, and Dough and find out what his favorite dishes are.
Have you been to Roux, Datz, or Dough? What did you love about them?
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