The Press Box……A Tampa Classic
When I first sat down and mapped out my top places for wings in Tampa Bay, The Press Box was at the top. This classic sports bar has been around for over twenty years and is very near and dear to my heart. Back when I was new to Tampa, it was my favorite place to go after working my bar shift at Bonefish for a quick bite and a cocktail. It was at the Press Box, while pregant with my son, I watched my beloved Steelers defeat the Broncos and then go on to win Super Bowl 40. My son celebrated his first birthday there, they have awesome regulars, and hey, they have some darn good wings!
This past Saturday, I invited a few friends including food blogger, Matt Sadler, (he just recently moved to Tampa and writes, The Marinara) to come and join me for wings and beer……Tampa style. Matt loves wings as much as I do and I was excited for him to check out The Press Box. My wing tasting event wouldn’t be the same without my favorite photographers, Tom and Rebecca, from Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts. Tom and Rebecca are big fans of The Press Box and took these great photos for me. As soon as we walked in the front door, I knew we were in for a memorable experience.
Now, let me tell you a little bit about the wings at The Press Box. Number one, they are DELICIOUS! Number two, they were the first wings I had in Tampa Bay. Number three, everyone raves about them. I guess you can say, like the Steelers, this past Saturday we were all WINNING! We started off with five flavors: Cajun, Jamaican Jerk, Lemon Pepper, Teriyaki and Medium Honey BBQ.
I started off with the Cajun. Perfectly crispy and with just the right amout of spice, Cajun wings were the perfect way to kick off my wing-tasting afternoon. I have heard so much about the Cajun wings from friends and was delighted to try them. Like my Steelers, they are a winner.
Next I tried the Teriyaki. With hints of chili, brown sugar, molasses, and honey, this is a very tasty sauce that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. I was very impressed with the bold flavors of the sauce and would love to get their recipe. I would order these again in a heartbeat.
The Medium Honey BBQ was one of my favorites. I used to always order Hot Honey BBQ back when I was a Press Box regular and before I had kids. Flavorful and tangy, they have a nice kick without being overly spicy. Now beer goes great with these wings, but let me tell you, I will be taking some home during football season and pairing them with a nice Zinfandel. I am telling you, wine + wings = happiness.
Next up was Jamaican Jerk. Dry-rubbed, these wings are tender and succulent with a nice amount of spice. The flavor is so spectacular that you don’t need a dipping sauce. I would pair these with a nice craft beer.
Another one of my favorites of the day was the Lemon Pepper. I love the combination of citrus and spice and these wings are spectacular. We were almost fighting over these wings because they were so good. Beer would go great with these but I would love to try them with a nice glass of bubbly.
I still wanted to try more flavors, so I ordered five pieces of Sweet Chili. This is one fantastic flavor! You get both a nice spice that is cooled down with a sweet and savory finish. I know I keep talking about wine, but these would go great with a glass of Bonny Doon “Pacific Rim” Dry Riesling. I paired mine with a Bacardi and Diet. Did I mention they always pour doubles?
Our bartender made an excellent suggestion and told us to try Sweet Garlic Teriyaki. I love mixing flavores so I told her to go ahead and get us an order and they were a hit with everyone. According to Rebecca, this sauce is “amazeballs!”
I had such a great time this past Saturday at The Press Box and can’t wait to go back and get more wings. Every Monday they feature $0.50 wings, so be sure and stop by and kick off your week with some flavor. I want you all to experience these delicious wings and have a gift certificate for a reader. Now, I wish I could give one away to all of you, but like my Six-Time Super Bowl winning Steelers, there can only be one person to come out on top. To enter to win, do any or all of the following and get one entry per item. Be sure to comment on each item you complete so I will know how many entries you have. I will pick a winner on Thursday, September 6th for the kick-off of this NFL season.
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Good luck everyone and I hope to see you at “The Box!”