While House of Brews prides itself on its beer selection, it also features a hearty, upscale food menu. Find yourself appetized after polishing off a plate of drunken cheesy bread topped with tomatoes, onions, garlic, black olives, and blue-cheese crumbles ($8.99). Move on to a fresh salad ($3.99–$7.99, add chicken for $2) or one of the friendly sandwiches ($4.99–$9.99), such as mom’s homemade chicken salad on multi-grain bread with melty provolone ($8.99). On tap, the House of Brews collection includes familiar domestics such as Miller Lite ($3) and Blue Moon ($5), as well as some more adventurous varieties, such as Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat Ale ($5) and heavier brews including Bell’s Two Hearted Ale ($7). The bottled beer assortment features 50 different domestics, microbrews, and imports, including the mighty 9.5% ABV Victory Golden Monkey ($6.50).
During World War I, Greek immigrant Louis Pappas served in the Army as a personal chef to General John Pershing. To give the hungry general some extra nutrition, Louis began adding scoops of potato salad to his traditional greek salads. When Louis returned to the United States, he opened up his own restaurant, Louis Pappas Riverside Café, where he would re-create this signature dish using fresh produce from his own ranch in Tarpon Springs.
Today, Louis Pappas's grandson continues his grandfather's old Florida family tradition at Pappas Ranch. There, he and his kitchen serve up a new menu of fresh seafood, poultry, sandwiches, street tacos, hand-cut steaks, and barbecue dishes whose "family flair" has been lauded by Metromix Tampa Bay. They continue to scoop savory housemade potato salad into their internationally renowned Louis Pappas Famous greek salad, tossing it in massive bowls that serve as many as four diners. Bartenders dole out glasses of locally brewed craft beers and wine or mix cocktails and martinis at the full center bar with flat-screen TVs.
The restaurant's decor channels that of the original Pappas family ranch. In the dining room, spacious booths are surrounded by rustic wooden walls, and outside is a covered outdoor patio.
Where there's smoke, there's a fiery Groupon. Fill your lungs with one night of unlimited fruity deliciousness at the plush and swanky Meridian Hookah Lounge (a $12 value). Meridian is an intimate and relaxing lounge that's open until 3 a.m. and has live music several nights a week.
Tampa Pub Crawl falls under the umbrella of Orlando Pub Crawl, a socially oriented outfit started by Cameron Parker in 2005 to organize the bar-going experience into a convivial group event. Tampa and Orlando Pub Crawl organize trips for up to 1,000 revelers at a time and style their events after themes and occasions including the Kentucky Derby, '80s Nights, and Cinco de Mayo. Partiers hop from bar to bar, enjoying complimentary drinks, admission, and other specials as they mingle and socialize amid festivities, games, and libations. The pub-crawl team can also tailor a private crawl for groups of 100 or more, allowing companies, organizations, and poker-playing dogs to journey to bars in organized packs.
Side Splitters Comedy Club tickles funny bones and triggers laughing fits with standup performances by seasoned comedy veterans and rising stars alike. James Johann (September 22–September 25) floods the microphone with observational witticisms, having graced the stage at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival as well as the camera lens of Comedy Central's Premium Blend. Eddie Ifft (October 6–October 9) wields a well-honed comedic edge that he developed during extensive tête-à-têtes with whetstones and tours of more than 15 countries. Consult the club's calendar to keep track of upcoming performers, showtimes, and comedic equinoxes.
Under the spotlight, the uproarious T.K. Kirkland keeps cracked-up crowds in stitches during a show that combines laughter, music, and poetry, with proceeds benefiting breast-cancer research. Reprising crowd-pleasing material from Are There Any Questions?, T.K. Kirkland quizzes audiences on such universal subjects as relationships, self-esteem, and who does their dental work. The comic’s placid demeanor juxtaposed with his sharp and outrageous humor has won him spots on P. Diddy’s Bad Boyz of Comedy, the movie Comedy After Dark, and HBO’s Def Comedy Jams. Comedian-cum-host L.C. steers audiences through the evening, which also features live music and poetry to soothe inflamed funny bones. A special package for Groupon holders bundles goodies such as two souvenir glasses and a photo with the comic, who will also pose for brief still-life paintings.