Happy Sunday everyone! Today I am officially launching “Sammich Sundays” and will be featuring delicious and unique sandwiches in the Tampa Bay area and beyond each week. Whether it’s an $18 sandwich at an upscale restaurant or a $5 sandwich at a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, if I like it, I will share it with you. I have lots of delicious discoveries to feature and I want to begin with a sandwich that I discovered during my first year living in Tampa……The Press Box Classic Club.
The Press Box is an icon in Tampa Bay and has been serving up tasty food and drinks for over twenty years. Located at 222 South Dale Mabry, The Press Box is one of the best sports bars in the area and from what I have seen, they have a very loyal and wonderful clientele. Folks that I met at The Press Box when I was new in town are still going there several times a week. That, in itself, speaks volumes.
I will never forget my first visit to The Press Box. It was late 2003 and I had just finished a grueling bar shift and I was in need of a cocktail and something to eat. At the time, I was working at 717 South in the SoHo area and was living in Carrollwood. On my way home I decided to stop by The Press Box since I heard they offered a late night menu. As I walked in, I was warmly greeted by bartender Jen who is still with them today. Her prompt service and friendliness really left an impression and she made me feel like I was a guest in her home. As I looked over their menu, a man sitting a few stools down told me to order the club because it was “damn tasty.” I took his advice and ordered The Press Box Classic Club on wheat along with a Captain Morgan and Diet Coke. 🙂
As I sipped on my cocktail and decompressed from my busy shift, I spoke to a few customers and told them I was new to town. I will never forget how they welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I was a part of the Press Box Crowd.
My sandwich arrived and I was immediately impressed by the size and quality of the tasty “sammy” that was sitting in front of me on the bar. The scent of bacon aroused my taste buds and as I took my first bite, I was in sandwich heaven. Warm and toasty wheat bread, bacon, lettuce, tomato, ham, turkey and roast beef all bound together by yummy mayo and tasty bread. The piping hot fries were like an amazing bonus and were salted to perfection. I was in a state of ecstasy………not only had I satisfied my late night hunger after a busy night of work, I had found a cool sports bar with awesome food and a friendly staff. Suddenly Tampa was looking better and I almost forgot that I was the new kid in town.
A lot has changed in my life since my first visit to The Press Box nine years ago. After almost 4 years of not going there, I went in recently and rediscovered my love for The Press Box Classic Club. It was everything I remembered and more. The bacon was thick and smokey and the meats were fresh and flavorful. I even ordered a Captain and Diet Coke to go along with it, as I did the first time back in 2003. As the saying goes, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it,” and The Press Box has clearly done so with their classic menu of local favorites. I will never forget my first love in Tampa, The Press Box Classic Club. 🙂
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