Monday, August 11, 2014

Bamboozle Tea Lounge – Tampa, FL

After a tough workout this morning with my friend Thu, we were ready for something to eat.  I had bought an Amazon Local deal for Bamboozle Tea Lounge a while back, so we had $22 of food & drinks for only $11. 

It is located in the lower level of the condo The Place at Channelside – right down the street from where I work.  The tea lounge is a more relaxed version of their full Bamboozle restaurant downtown on Tampa Street.  If the weather is nice outside, there is outdoor seating and a small park right across the street. 

Today we sat inside.  The lounge has a cozy atmosphere with eclectic mismatched tables and chairs.  The walls are filled with pieces by local artists that change every month or so.  They have a variety of board games as well – today the kids at the table next to us were playing Connect Four.  On Wednesday mornings they host a free event called Storytelling with Mr. Teng – it would be a great place to bring little kids.  They also host Open Mic Nights and live acoustic music every once in awhile. 

Today we shared the BBQ Banh Mi and the Coco Bamboozle Roll.  The ingredients are all very fresh and vibrant – and everything there is so healthy it didn’t cancel out our morning workout. 

I’ve actually had the Coco Roll a few times now – it is made with Tiger shrimp, shredded coconut, pineapple, jicama and mint and served with citrus ginger vinaigrette. 

Obviously the Tea Lounge also has a variety of yummy drink options.  They sell smoothies and teas by the glass, along with jars of their loose leaf teas.  Today I had an almond milk drink with chia seeds and Thu had a strawberry banana smoothie.  I really loved my drink – I would definitely order it again. 

Plus, chia seeds have tons of benefits beyond making cute plant pets. They were a large part of the diet of ancient Aztecs and Mayans – “chia” actually comes from the Mayan word for “strength”.  Aztec warriors ate them in preparation for battle, and the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico used them for energy as well (they hunted by running their prey to exhaustion).

They are high in antioxidents, fiber, and protein.  They also absorb a lot of water, so they expand in your stomach and make you feel full so you don’t eat too much.  I was introduced to chia seeds by Lance’s sister, Brandi, who sent me a jar of them a few years ago with a list of recipes (I’ve made some amazing chia seed banana bread and I sprinkle them on my oatmeal).

To wrap it up, our lunch was fantastic and I’d recommend everyone go visit there. 

Bamboozle Tea Lounge is located at 109 N 12th St #101, Tampa, FL 33602 and open from 10:30am – 9pm Mondays through Fridays, 11am – 9pm on Saturdays, and 11:30am – 4pm for brunch on Sundays.

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