Happy Monday my loves. I really vote that we should have three day weekends every week. All day Saturday I kept on thinking it was Sunday and then I realized I had another day of being able to catch up…..it was absolutely glorious. So I actually have a fun weekending update because we got out of the house and were social on Friday night. We have been so guilty lately of working like crazy all week, then just vegging and hibernating on the weekend. Or the total extreme of that and jet setting away to a fabulous city. No real in between, so this weekend was a great touch of both. Linking up with B for a weekending update.
Hyde Park in Tampa is one of my favorite places in the city. When I first moved here, it was at the downturn of the big economy bubble and there were a lot of vacant spots. Now, it is completely hustling and huge renovations are underway. Some great well known brands are already in there such as Lululemon, Sur la Table, and Sprinkles Cupcakes just moved in. One of the most gorgeous new restaurants that is taking over the area is Bartaco. I had read about it when it first opened but we never got a chance to check it well. We finally coordinated and headed there on Friday. What I first noticed and loved about it was the outdoor space. I’m all about outdoor eating if the weather permits. There are cool lounge areas and a bustling outdoor bar.
The indoor space though, isn’t it gorgeous? I really wish we came for lunch so you could see all the details because trying to snap pics at night in a fully stocked restaurant is challenging but I hope you can appreciate how cool it is inside.
We were seated at a table in the middle of it all. We had an adorable and very sweet waitress Mckenzie. She explained how it all works. You order your tacos kind of like sushi style with a pencil on the menu, when you are ready pop your card up and they will swing back by. I loved the vibe inside and the music was on point. Many times Mark and I would just start to sing along with the tunes. It had such a beauty California vibe to it, in the middle of the city. Let’s talk about the details. I am not a big cocktail person and usually prefer a glass of wine but I ventured out after reading the menu. I am not exaggerating when I say, the best drinks I’ve ever had. I had the Port Chester Reviver and Mark had a Margarita (which he never orders btw). You could tell the quality of the liquor (the house tequila is Campo Azul) and there was a perfect harmony of liquor to fresh squeezed juice. Mine had a hint of cucumber in it. I seriously could have had ten of them. The second round Mark had the Sanguina and I had a fresh squeezed Watermelon jalepeno margarita, thank you Mckenzie for that suggestion because it was delicious.
The chips, salsa, and guac were the perfect start. Just about every single time I order guac, I have to doctor it up myself. More lime, some hot sauce, and more salt. This was perfection with just enough heat. Didn’t need a thing and the salsa was a perfect balance.
Onto the food menu. We were warned that the tacos were small so order a few, which we did. Even with being small, they were so flavorful. We actually ordered the duck, which I have never ordered duck out. They were so good, we ordered another round. They were smoky with the perfect amount of heat. Make sure if you go, you have to order the #bartacosecret. It was lobster and so dang good. Big fresh hunks of lobster in them with a hominy and brown butter sauce. It was one of my favorite tacos up there with the duck. Mark also ordered a bowl which was our favorite part of the meal. Fresh veggies, tender ribeye steak and brown rice. I would seriously eat that every single night of my life.
I will say that we are pretty hard to impress when it comes to eating out. We cook a lot at home, we have a fully stocked wine fridge, and close proximity to the couch. We were throughly impressed with Bartaco in Tampa. Even Mark who is quite the critic asked when we could come back again. For all my local peeps, I highly recommend you check it out and make sure to order the secret taco, #bartacosecret. This is such a great gem in Tampa. We had the opportunity to speak with the managers and they are extremely passionate about the restaurant and it shows. I am so happy to see Hyde Park booming with all the restaurants and nightlife. Bartaco is a great staple in Hyde Park and I can’t wait to head back.
Thank you to Bartaco for hosting us for the night out! They also have restaurant locations in Connecticut, Atlanta, Nashville, NY, and Virginia. I highly recommend you check them out if you are local to one! I hope you liked my Bartaco Tampa Reviews!