Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lasagne's on the menu in the old cigar factory

I met a friend for lunch today at a place I have been going to for 15-20 years. Not that it's a Michelin 5-Star menu or experience, it isn't and doesn't claim to be, but it is solidly dependable and extremely friendly and relaxing; a nice place to spend some time, talk and have a good meal. The Spaghetti Warehouse, a well-known, family-style Italian restaurant, is located in the Ybor Square complex in Ybor City. What began life as several giant cigar factories in the 1880s and 90s became a collection of shops, restaurant and offices in the original, beautifully restored and maintained brick buildings. It's as though you're stepping back in time to walk through the courtyard and enter any of the buildings. Spaghetti Warehouse has a delicious lasagna, which is the only thing I ever order - very boring I know. The lasagna is NOT as good as the gourmet chef in my life, Mrs. Tampa DP, carefully and lovingly prepares with incredible fresh basil, tons of cheeses, etc., etc., etc., but it's OK. (Yummm) While sitting there with my camera on the table I glanced up and noticed how wild and colorful was the ceiling above. Again, not what you would expect in a century-old building. So often one of you will say, and you guys are such fantastic people, Did you go inside?, or I wish we could see what it looks like. So, while waiting for my scrumptious lasagna, warm fresh bread with herb butter, and garden salad with blue cheese dressing, I shot a quick offhand grab of the memorable ceiling and walls from my booth seat. Bon appétit .