On Saturday, I went to brunch with a few local food bloggers. Over the next few months, our little group will be touring the Tampa Bay area looking for the best place to enjoy brunch on the weekends.
Our first stop was Ciccio’s South Tampa. Ciccio’s is located on South Howard avenue in the SoHo/Hyde Park area of Tampa. It is also a sister restaurant to one of my current favorite brunch spots in South Tampa, Daily Eats. Since I know the breakfast at Daily Eats so well, I was very excited to try out Ciccio’s brunch menu!
A great meal should always start with amazing drinks! The bartenders at Ciccio’s delivered some delicious drinks that are perfect for any brunch. Of course, there are the normal, everyday drinks like beer, wine, and coffee but our group is on the hunt for the best drinks. The specialty brunch drinks include Ciccio’s Bloody Marys, Slam-grias, and Maxmosas.
When the server asked us what drink we wanted to start with, I decided to try the Ciccio’s Bloody Mary. My boyfriend and I really love a good Bloody Mary so it is one of my metrics for great brunch. The mix is made fresh in house with just the right amount of spiciness. (Side note: My boyfriend would probably add more Tabasco sauce to it.) Oh and yes, it is garnished with a slice of crispy bacon!
A little while later, our server brought out the other specialty drinks for us to try. Since most of us had ordered a Bloody Mary, she only brought out one of each of the other drinks. Of course, that meant we had four more drinks added to the table! Ciccio’s Slam-grias are giant glasses of a delicious sangria mix with a bottle of either white wine, red wine or champagne. The Maxmosa is a similar concoction with orange juice.
Shortly after our Bloody Marys were delivered, the food started to arrive at the table. We were told at the beginning of the meal that we would have the opportunity to try one of everything on the brunch menu. They weren’t kidding! (Side note: The pictures below are of the entire dish. We each only took a small portion to sample the dish. We did not attempt to eat each dish on our own. I would have gained 10 lbs. last week instead of only 5!)
The first dish I tried was the Tuscan Bowl, which is ricotta blended with scrambled eggs, fresh basil, melted Parmesan and vine ripe tomatoes. Holy yum! The flavors of this dish were amazing! The fresh basil mixed with vine ripe tomatoes gave a fresh Italian flavor to the dish. The chef paired the dish with home fries, which were just as amazing as the ones from Daily Eats.
Next up was the Natural Chicken and Egg Sandwich Club with avocado, bacon and garlic aioli on sourdough bread. This sandwich is probably one of the best breakfast sandwiches I have had in a long time. Ciccio’s uses farm fresh eggs for all of their egg dishes, which means that each dish is more flavorful.
The next dish I tried was the Turkey Club, which is a scrambled eggs, roasted house-made turkey, sausage and avocado. The turkey club bowl was almost as flavorful as the Tuscan Bowl but I felt like it could have used some additional spices. The chef also paired this bowl with the home fries, which complemented the dish nicely.
The Lanza Burrito is an explosion of flavor. The tortilla is stuffed with three scrambled eggs, bacon, black beans, cheddar and jack cheese sauce, topped with avocado salsa and served with home fries. Wow! This dish is everything that should be in a breakfast burrito. Eggs, black bean, bacon, cheese. I don’t think anything is missing from the list.
We followed the Lanza Burrito with the Big Chorizo Egg Wrap, which is tortilla stuffed with scrambled eggs, chorizo, avocado and jack cheese. The chorizo was spicy and balanced well with the creaminess of the avocado. The flavors were not lacking at all! The wrap we tried had the flour tortilla but you can have it with a whole wheat tortilla instead.
The final egg dish we tried was the California Dreaming bowl, which is made with scrambled eggs, organic spinach, vine ripe tomatoes and fresh sliced avocado. Instead of pairing this dish with home fries, the chef chose farro, which I think is the perfect complement for the bowl. This egg bowl is probably one of the dishes that I would order over and over again. The flavors and ingredients were light and don;t leave you feeling heavy or stuffed.
After all of those egg dishes, I was ready for something a little sweet. After a good long run, I am always in the mood for pancakes. When the server brought these last two dishes, I was excited and couldn’t wait to try Ciccio’s pancakes. The Oatmeal Pancakes are not what you would expect based on the name. Raw oatmeal is used in the batter to give the pancakes a unique flavor and subtle crunch.
We also tried the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Pancakes, which were just as amazing as you might imagine. The oatmeal pancakes had dark chocolate chips and sliced strawberries added to them to create a deliciously sweet breakfast, which was completed with a dollop of whipped cream. I was in heaven with this dish!
Ciccio’s has an amazing brunch menu and there really is something for everyone. The drinks are delicious and the food is amazing. The ingredients are fresh and crafted into wonderful combinations that everyone can enjoy. My boyfriend and I will definitely be back to enjoy a weekend brunch!
- Drink – Ciccio’s Bloody Mary
- Food – Tuscan Bowl / Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Pancakes
Our brunch group included Megan from I Run For Wine, Leslie from Dash of Les, Tracy from My Other City By the Bay and Katie from Ruffles and Truffles. Be sure to check out their recaps to see what their favorites dishes were!
Disclosure: I was provided with a free meal in exchange for my honest opinion. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.