REVIEW: Tampa Bay Brewing Company (Restaurant)

TBBC Pretzel

RATING: B

WHAT: Tampa Bay Brewing Company

WHERE: Ybor location.

PRICE: About $40 for two, including tip. We had two good-sized pretzels as an appetizer, two black bean burgers with fries, a beer and a draft root beer.

ATMOSPHERE:

There is no mistake about it. This is a brewery and bar. There are TV’s on every wall playing mostly sports but they also have a patio that is dog-friendly. On this trip, we opted to sit inside which had a very good view of the brewing done on site.

HOW VEGAN IS IT?

Tampa Bay Brewing Company has two sandwiches that can be easily made vegan by asking for them without cheese and sauce (Black Bean Burger and Portobello Sandwich).

A Black Bean Burger minus the Avocado Crema and Cheese is verified vegan by the staff. This is assuming the staff knows their ingredients. The patties are pre-packaged. The bun may or may not be vegan. However, the Ciabatta bread that comes on the Portobello sandwich is likely vegan (Ciabatta is normally vegan anyway).

The Brew House pretzels with pizza sauce instead of cheese sauce or their special mustard are good. The pretzels are coated with a light beer sauce (not butter) and garlic. They are served warm and we had a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

The fries, of course, are not vegan if you are a militant vegan, due to cross-contamination.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s Root Beer and beer are house-made. We did not inquire about their process to determine how vegan it is. As usual, the beer is probably processed with, or filtered through, non-vegan methods.

 

THE GOOD:

Any brewery makes Nicole nostalgic of West Michigan breweries (Grand Rapids is a “Beer City, USA” winner). The wait staff at Tampa Bay Brewing is friendly and helpful, and they at least know what “vegan” implies. This is also a great place you can take non-vegans to enjoy a meal together.

THE BAD:

They are not intentionally vegan and only have two options that can be made vegan. One of the options is probably not vegan (the black bean burger bun).

 

THE SUMMARY:

All in all, we would rate it B. Nicole thinks higher of it than Michael. The black bean patty is tasty, the fries are good, and it is a brewery. If you like beer and you are vegan, you know your options are quite limited locally. We applaud Tampa Bay Brewing Company for at least giving veg-heads some consideration. For better or worse, they are one of the best vegan-friendly brewery options that we have found.

 

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3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Tampa Bay Brewing Company (Restaurant)

  1. The Black Bean Burger is actually not vegan. I was here last week and they confirmed with me that they use low fat milk and egg in the burger itself. The Portobello Sandwich is a good choic though.

    • That’s very interesting, Christina, and thanks for the comment. When we were there, we asked the waitress to verify. When she came back, she said, “They are just store bought patties. The chef read all the ingredients on the box and said he did not see anything that was not vegan.”

      As with nearly all restaurants that are not intentionally, proactively vegan… you take your chances.

      We will try to reach out to the owners and obtain absolute confirmation. If we get a firm answer, we will post it here. Thanks again!

      -Michael and Nicole-

    • **Update 2016/02/20**
      Despite multiple attempts via email and phone to get a straight answer on this, we have not heard back from anyone willing to commit to an answer from Tampa Bay Brewing, either location. Sadly, as with most restaurants that do not specifically cater to vegans, it seems like you are taking your chances. If you are a strict vegan, we have to recommend staying away from Tampa Bay Brewing. If that changes, we’ll let you know!

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