Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Rusty Pelican, Tampa, FL

AKA:  The Lamest Brunch Buffet in the History of ALL Brunch Buffets

What in the hell happened to you, TRP?  I reviewed your buffet favorably on Urbanspoon a few years back.  I'm not a buffet fan to begin with, but I thought you were doing a respectable job with it.  My visit today ranks high on my list of WTF? dining moments.  

For $35 per person with unlimited mimosas, my expectations weren't horribly lofty, but I did expect more than a sad little buffet that has been rivaled by a few free Embassy Suites breakfasts in my past. Okay, so there were some scrawny chilled shrimp and crab legs...the only saving graces.

Smoked salmon and ahi tuna platters that had been sitting out for hours were a little more dubious. Stale bagels were a nice touch, however.

The remainder of the buffet line consisted of sausage and bacon, cheese grits and hash browns, and a couple of creepy looking cold salads (turkey and broccoli and a southwestern combo of corn, red peppers and black beans), rounded out by a table filled with pre-fab desserts. The "chef station" featured omelets made to order and (try to maintain your composure) carved ham.  

A selection of "small plates" were available to be ordered via our mimosa server and included Belgian waffles, tortilla crusted chicken and mojo marinated pork.  Not wanting to wait in line for an omelet and with no other egg options available, I requested what turned out to be a wan and bland slice of breakfast quiche with spinach, goat cheese and spinach cream sauce.  

The Rusty Pelican deserves every sun-blocking bit of the level of shade I'm throwing on it...and probably more.  It was nothing short of a dining disaster.

Rusty Pelican on Urbanspoon
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.


  1. Wow. Thanks for saving me the embarassment of taking guests to TRP. The love brunch and I was having a hack of a time finding a suitable meeting place. How the mighty have fallen. Looks like we will go to Chill/Steam instead.

  2. Thanks, nym. Please email me when you're feeling up to it.