Renzo's - For Meat Lovers!
Our group headed over to Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa last Saturday night to try out Renzo's, an Argentinian restaurant that boasts of having "A Passion for Meat & Wines". I can relate since I love both (sometimes a little too passionately).
At first glance the place doesn't look like much more than a cafeteria so we were a little hesitant when we arrived. But we were pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. From our table I could see on the back wall a small doorway that led to their wine room. Bottles stretched from floor to ceiling in a beautiful display. I saw it by chance and that seems a pity. I think they should have made that a feature wall to highlight the extensive wine offerings they're so passionate about. If they turned this storefront over to a trendy designer I'm sure they could transform this eatery into a classy looking bistro - but I realize that in doing so I'd probably be paying a lot more for this awesome food, so shhhhh, forget I said that.
They offer a table-side grill sampler that serves two and there were a few to pick from. We chose the Parilla Solo Carne (where's the beef?!) that included short ribs, flank steak, skirt steak, sirloin and also came with two sides - but the meat was the star of the show. It was more than enough for the two of us and we ate every scrap. I felt carnivorous,primitive and quite satisfied.
The prices were good, the server was friendly and welcoming and happy to explain about the meats and wines. I employed my fair to middling Spanish to assist in some of the order taking and all the food came out on time. I do have a couple of minor complaints - the little grills made the table crowded, I hate being charged a dollar for a slice of bread, and on that very extensive wine list although there was a large selection of reds by the bottle, by the glass there was only one available. Happily it was a delicious Malbec that perfectly paired with the beef. Everyone knows a little red wine aids in the digestion of beef, right? (waiter can I have another?)
There's lots more on the menu including empanadas but nearly everyone in our group is dieting so we stuck with the Atkins friendly meat courses. We skipped dessert and headed back to one of our homes to sample a gluten free blueberry something that was surprisingly good but I secretly pined for a little flan with a cafe con leche. Maybe next time when I'm done with this dieting thing.