Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Review of Hogan's Beach

So I recently moved about an hour away from Tampa. This meantthat there was one restaurant that was at the top of my list on places to go, Hogan's Beach. Although I'm not quite as proud to be a Hulkamaniac as I once was, Hulk Hogan was still instrumental in my childhood, and I still train and eat my vitamins every day (Yes, I know that I am also supposed to say my prayers, but two out of three ain't bad). Although it isn't quite the holy land, Hogan's Beach was a place I had to go. Also, I could use it to take the wife out for dinner, so win-win.

The first thing that surprised me is that it was actually impressive looking. It is a very large place, and it is right on the beach where you just walk down a few stairs from the restaurant and you can go swimming. They also had beach volleyball and a pretty big stage set up at all times. Unfortunately, when I actually arrived at the restaurant, I found out that valet parking is mandatory and costs $5. That's some bullshit, Hulk Hogan, and I was none too pleased about it as I have parked my own car thousands of times without fail.

They did partially make up for it as I spotted Jimmy Hart walking by immediately when we got in the door. I told my wife who it was before she could make a condescending remark about the tiny guy with the hair of a fun-loving grandma. I figured if Jimmy Hart was right near the door, who knew all of the wrestling greats I might run into. Could I be at a table next to Brian Knobbs? Maybe I could have a beer with Bushwhacker Luke. The possibilities seemed endless. Unfortunately, our run-in with greatness began and ended with the Mouth of the South.

We got a table outside and looked over the menu. I was pleasantly surprised with the varieties of beer they had on tap. They had ten different craft beers on tap, so I ordered a Long Hammer since it was from Seattle, and I lived in Seattle back in the day. Unfortunately, the waitress came back with my wife's drink and not mine. She informed me that they no longer had Long Hammer. I ordered another beer, and she quickly told me that they did not have that either, and that in fact, they only had three of the craft beers listed on the menu. That made my decision much easier, but it was a little disappointing.

Then it was time to figure out food. I quickly scanned the menu, and saw the Hogan Burger. Obviously, this was going to be my decision. My wife asked me if I liked fried egg on my burger. I told her I didn't know, but I was about to find out. I mean, if it's good enough for Hulk Hogan, it's good enough for me.

The food came out, and it was fine. The fried egg on the burger didn't add a ton, but it also didn't take away from the other flavors. The arugula and bacon lardons were the highlights, and the roasted tomatoes and black truffle mayo drifted into the background. The burger tasted like ground beef that had been cooked. So, yeah, the food was nothing spectacular.

I would have to say the biggest highlight were the two guys at the table next to us. They were drinking beers, sharing appetizers, and having shots of Fireball. They finished everything up, and the waitress asked if they wanted their check. These bros were shocked at the audacity of this waitress to see if they wanted their check. One bro replied, "Apparently you don't know us. We like to drink, so we're gonna be here for a while." The waitress, since she did not know them, she was only their waitress, was about to just say "Okay," but before she could, Bro 2 piped up and said, "Two more Miller Lites." Party hard, brosephs. Party hard.

After our meal, we checked out the memorabilia on display and the two biggest highlights were a vitamin bag that was the size of a large backpack and the Thunderlips robe from Rocky III. The latter alone makes it worth the trip.

So where does that leave us with Hogan's Beach? Well, in summary, it's a completely inoffensive tourist trap with some fun Hulk Hogan memorabilia on the wall. It's not good, it's not bad. it just is. I give it 12 inch biceps.

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