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The Tampa adventures continue! Denise and I absolutely loved our dinner at Èlevage — by the way, you can check out Denise’s post all about our dinner and stay at the Epicurean here.
We were anxious to explore the rest of this city. It was brand new — neither of us had ever been out this way before. We scoured Yelp and asked around for suggestions and were met with a lot of the same recommendations. One of the first spots we saw on Yelp was a really cool tearoom and coffee shop called Oxford Exchange. The ratings were high and the reviews of their restaurant sounded great. When our concierge at the hotel, Eric, gave it the thumbs up, our decision to go for breakfast was solidified.
I could have walked around this place forever. There was a large, spacious area where people were set up with their laptops doing work, chatting with friends or just lounging around. I imagine a lot of University of Tampa students come there to study since the university is right around the corner. You can opt for a tearoom tasting menu, hang at the coffee bar, browse through the gift shop and bookstore or sit down for a meal inside the restaurant.
We were hoping the brunch menu was available, but that’s only on the weekends and it was a Tuesday. There isn’t too much of a difference between breakfast and brunch though, and both Denise and I quickly found what we wanted to eat. The hardest part was making a decision on our tea! No coffee for me at Oxford Exchange — if they are known for their teas, that’s what I’m getting! There were tons to choose from, but ultimately the Tropical Breeze Green Tea stood out the most. It was made with pineapple, mango and papaya and was SO good. Did you see the video of me gushing over how much I loved this tea? I posted it on Instagram, check it out!
Denise ordered what she says was the best eggs benedict she’s ever had. Ever. Poached eggs, roasted tomato and bacon on griddle biscuit topped with a jalapeño crème sauce, which she was afraid would be too spicy. But she wanted to try it anyway. Good thing because it wasn’t spicy at all (of course, I tried a taste) and was reeeeally good. It came with a side of super crispy, thinly sliced potatoes that I totally dug right into. Breakfast potatoes might be one of my favorite things in the world.
Denise took the indulgent breakfast route — always a good idea when you’re on vacation — but I was intrigued by something on the menu that sounded like a health-nut’s dream dish. For some of us, me included, that means something that sounds really freaking good and… different. The Kale Scramble with egg whites, black quinoa, roasted tomatoes, green onions and goat cheese. Um, WHAT?! First of all, if you know me, you know about my aversion to plain eggs in any form. I will bake with them, that’s fine, but the only other instances where I’ll eat them is in a quiche or frittata or in fried rice or pad thai. Otherwise, eggs, you can leave me alone. But egg whites? Totally different story. I love a good egg white omelet! I’ve never tried scrambled egg whites before though, so right off the bat this dish had my attention. Add in the kale, quinoa and GOAT CHEESE and I was head-over-heels in love with everything about it. And that’s before I even ate it.
I ordered a side of fruit for us to share alongside those yummy potatoes, and I’d say we had a pretty hearty and satisfying breakfast. I can’t praise Oxford Exchange enough. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone who lives in or is visiting the Tampa area. Even if you don’t eat, just go inside and walk through the different rooms. I will definitely go back during my next trip out there — which is happening soon. Two days was not enough time to really take in the city, there’s still so much to see!
This isn’t the end of my Tampa excursions. Just you wait for Part 3, when I’ll tell you about our evening in Ybor City and late night eats at Edison Food + Drink Lab.