Across from the University of Tampa, and just a few blocks from Edison, resides one of the most beautiful restaurants in Tampa, the Oxford Exchange.
It's more than a restaurant, it's an entire mini-community, including tea shop, coffee shop, bookstore, retail space, bakery, meeting/community rooms and more. Originally a stable from the late 19th century, there were many uses for the space until a businessman, inspired by locations in England, worked to redesign Oxford Exchange and developed it using materials both local and abroad to create a magnificent space. The Oxford Exchange makes me so jealous that no one in Orlando had the vision to create such a glorious piece of architecture here so I could come more often.
It's all so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing that you don't care that the food is only so-so. To be sure, there was nothing wrong with any of the dishes I ate, but compared to the refinement of the atmosphere, the food can only be described as ho-hum.
I did not eat dinner, so my comments only address lunch, but looking at the dinner menu I don't see many differences. We started our meal with teas from the specialty tea menu, and I have to admit that the tea was my favorite part of the meal. More restaurants should focus on great teas. I had the honey crisp mango rooibos and my hubby got one of the specialty oolongs. Both were delicious, TeBella tea company does a great job offering premium teas with exciting flavor combinations.
For food, we ordered starters of roasted cauliflower, which was tasty, and a play on sashimi that was a bit unwieldy to eat and clunky in flavor.
For our entrees, we both ordered sandwiches. My burger with fried egg was nice enough, but like my husband's club, pretty unmemorable. The cole slaw we ordered on the side was not for me. Overly sweet with too little acid, I don't think I had more than a few bites.
I don't mean to be overly critical. The food was fine and I would happily return, if for nothing but the ambience. With the enormous grace and beauty of the place, I hope they work the menu so the food can be as stunning as the location. The next time I make my way to Tampa, you know I'll be checking out their progress.
420 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606
Labels: Restaurants, Tampa