Sunday, July 25, 2010

Where we Eat: Datz Delicatessen and Foodie's Market open Mic'd by the Sarcastic Dharma Society

(photo courtesy of Florida Trend)

Datz Delicatessen and Foodie's Market is a place we end up a lot. Our friends love it because they have huge sandwiches slathered with meat and cheese, micro-brewed beers on tap, wonderful looking desserts and it is easy to get to.

As a vegetarian, non-drinker I find Datz to be average. There are some things about the restaurant that I really like and some that I could do without.

Datz has the sweetest, moistest, stickiest monkey bread I've ever eaten (it is only slightly better than yours, Betsy). There is enough bread for four to six people to share and it is relatively inexpensive. The only problem with the bread is that it is served solely during weekend breakfast (which thankfully goes until 3:00 pm). As far as other breakfast fare, the place has nothing spectacular for vegetarians. Even their pancakes and french toast come with a side of bacon or sausage or another type of bacon or another type of sausage. They do have fried potatoes on the side and these are pretty good although fried potatoes are hard to mess up unless you accidentally add meat to someone's order and then insist that you didn't
only to return and say you did and offer a forced apology (hey Daily Eats, what's up, remember us?).

(Datz's Roasty Toasty)

The dinner menu at Datz is where vegetarians can find a few more options to consider. My favorite sandwich is the Roasty Toasty which comes on a batard (which is amazing) and has grilled portobellos, asparagus, red and yellow peppers and provolone cheese. It also has scallion cream cheese but I always order without. The dinner menu also features yummy pretzel bites as an appetizer. The bites are slathered in garlic, sea salt and Parmesan cheese. If you ask for pickles they will bring you a plate full without charge, which is a nice addition for dill lovers.
(Oatmeal Cream Pie, ruined by the cranberries)

So what's wrong with the place? For one, the potato chips. I'm not much of a potato chip fan and I love creativity with my food. But the potato chips that come with the sandwiches at Datz are sweet and drizzled in a blue cheese dressing. I've tried to mask the sweetness with ketchup, salt, removing the drizzle and it doesn't help. Seeing as I rarely eat chips, when I do eat them, I want them to be salty to counteract the taste of my sandwich. I want something like the PommeFrittes at Dunderbaks. When I remove something from my sandwich or salad (the meat or scallion cream cheese) I still pay full price but if I want to add something (grilled onions) I have to pay extra. The desserts in their case look so amazing but always taste so-so at best. Worst of all is the menu that seems to be in constant flux. I like variety and mixing things up but not when they take a brilliant vegetarian appetizer (zucchini sticks) and replace them with something I'm not interested in. Our options are limited as is, don't take it all away.

All in all, Datz is a place for meat eaters and beer drinkers. It is ok once in a while, for a vegetarian, but there are enough other places to eat that I shouldn't wind up there so often. But I do and probably will continue to.

Datz is located at 2616 South MacDill Avenue in Tampa.

The Sarcastic Dharma Society's song "While Sitting by the Window" is the perfect accompaniment for Datz because of its usage of eggs and bacon to paint a picture of window watching. The song comes from the bands 2007 album This is me with a piano and a lot of love. You can download any of The Sarcastic Dharma Society's albums through their myspace page.

Another track by the band: "Before you Know it" Live from the Bear Hug in Portland, Oregon

Datz on Urbanspoon