The European twist on American inventions often produces stunning results—take men's handbags, for example, or the British version of The Office. Today’s Groupon puts a little European topspin on the greatest American invention of all: dessert. For $5, you get $10 worth of pastries, coffee, sandwiches, and superb gelato at Swirls Gelato Caffé and Bakery, which is located northwest of Tampa in Keystone.
One taste of the 24 rotating flavors of premium homemade gelato—including reliable standards of vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and stracciatella, along with a bevy of other possibilities—and you will understand why public-service announcements insist that eating gelato is like tasting ice cream for the first time, every time. Unlike the black-market gelato dealers littering the streets with heaps of dishonorable fake frozens, the staff at Swirls uses the top-of-the-line Carpigiani equipment to make authentic, all-natural gelato with techniques learned from world-renowned gelato expert Luciano Ferrari. For an even-lighter frozen treat, the homemade soft-serve frozen yogurt is 98% fat free, and the sorbetto is fruitastically fresh.
In addition to cold confections, Swirls boasts delicious breakfast items, pastries, hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads, and a full espresso bar. Complement your left hand’s frozen friend with a right-hand companion of prosciutto hero ($7.95), a hefty sandwich consisting of imported prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato, and olive oil. Mix sweet and savory with the apple cheddar panini ($4.95), a tantalizing concoction of fresh apple slices, honey mustard, and cheddar cheese melted panini style on ciabatta bread.
Along with the extensive menu and friendly service, Swirls' charming décor of earthy walls, powder-blue tables, and ample outdoor space creates a year-round oasis for the inner and outer child. The separate area with LCD TV and Blu-ray DVD, along with free WiFi, creates a perfect space for children to play, a party/club meeting, or a championship turtle race with chocolate-turtle gelato for the victor.
Swirls Gelato Caffé and Bakery is closed on Mondays.