Going in on some EATS!

EATS! American Grill
http://eatsamericangrill.com/
4502 South Dale Mabry Highway Tampa, FL 33611
(813) 835-3287

Today’s Music:
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Yanqui U.X.O.
Fugazi – Instrument Soundtrack
Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

I don’t know why, but it seems like there weren’t that many places that did Philly Cheesesteaks when I lived in Michigan. I really started having cheesesteaks after I moved down here to Tampa. Apparently the cheesesteak is regular bar fare down here. Now whether it’s good or not… that’s the question. Most of the places that I’ve been to end up using provolone or other white cheeses that need to be melted. The downside to this, is that if the meat/cheese cool down you end up with a meaty cheese log. I’m big on texture, so a cheese log isn’t really palatable for me. So I’ve been in search of the cheez whiz Philly.

We were talking about this with one of our coworkers last week, and he mentioned EATS!. So I went over to their website to check out what they had to offer. He mentioned they were on the Food Network or some such. First thing I noticed was the Philly Cheesesteak with Cheez Whiz. FINALLY! Last week was a busy week though and we didn’t make it over until today. (Matt noticed something else on the menu…)

They serve you some freshly made chips with a dip. Very nice surprise, and delicious. I ordered my usual unsweet iced tea which, by the way, was good.

And now you get to feast your eyes on what Matt had been eyeing since last week:

They have a food challenge. 2lb burger 1lb of fries. Matt was feeling the hunger today and decided to go for it. Above you can see the chef and our waitress presenting the burger castle. Matt starts in on the first burger and demolishes that quickly. His comments “This is really really good burger”. The 3rd picture is him finishing up the first burger. 4th picture he’s halfway through the 2nd patty and still feeling pretty strong and still commenting on how good the burgers are. There are some rules to the challenge. Chief among them the 30 minute time limit and if you get up you forfeit.

The rest of the party’s food also arrived while Matt was working on downing his burgers. I really like banana peppers or pepperoncinis on my philly, but they didn’t have them so I opted for the jalapenos. Subbed my fries for onion rings as well. Our roommate Jacob ended up getting the special of the day which was the Bin on Weck and our other roommate Phil decided to go in on a Philly served straight up (onions and shaved rib eye topped with the cheez whiz).

The shaved rib eye was salty and had a little char from the flat top I think, really great texture. The amoroso roll was incredibly light and is the perfect vessel for a philly. The onion rings are heavily breaded and fried. I normally don’t like heavily breaded onion rings, but these were cooked perfectly and it was almost like a little onion donut. Went incredibly well with the spicy remoulade. Phil and Jake ended up dipping their fries in the remoulade because it was so delicious. Anyways, back to the challenge.

In the first picture Matt still fighting the good fight, but he’s starting to feel it on the 3rd patty. He’s grazing on some fries and gathering his will to finish the 3rd one. He does, and then throws in the towel.

The challenge beat Matt today, but there is the possibility of a rematch. I ended up having a lot of the last burger. Matt ordered it well done, and while I prefer a burger medium this was still excellent. I’ve been looking for a good black and bleu burger down here and I think I need to come back to find out if EATS! does it right.

EATS! gets a Rating: ★★★★★ rating. Excellent service, excellent food, and a nice atmosphere.

 

Update!
Matt here, reporting in with the latest in stomach news. While still struggling, I can report that the challenge was indeed delicious. I certainly advise anyone in a mood for a burger to give EATS! a shot. One thing that Dan left out, the proprietor of the joint attended us frequently throughout the challenge to give me time updates, ensure that I was sticking to the rules (No getting up, no sharing food, if the food falls to the floor and you want to win then you’ve got to eat it) and to provide words of encouragement. I must say, we received great service from our waitress (and in general) as she was spot on with water refills as well as making sure the other guys got everything they needed while they chuckled at my self-appointed misfortune. While I did NOT finish the challenge (as you can see by my sad mug) I do have tips that may help you conquer the challenge and be the master of your own Burger-Destiny:

1. Eat large meals the day prior (if you can, do a couple of days).
2. Get a good workout in the evening prior to help pique your appetite (this is what helped me bring a hearty appetite).
3. Drink water during the challenge.
4. Don’t order the burger with extras. Only order Meat/Bread/Cheese and ask for sauces to dip on the side.
5. Start fast and finish early.

Post meal I’d suggest drinking a lot of water to help with digestion. If you have the cajones to give it a shot, then good luck to you Sir or Madame.
-Matt

Author: Native

I work in software support, I'm an active cook and gardener. I'm a former LAMP admin and former Michigan native currently living in Florida. I contribute to http://www.halftonreviews.com and Twin Destroyer for my music.

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