Local Bites: Marlow's Tavern in Carrollwood

Alright, let me get this over with: I'm ashamed that I didn't discover this gem sooner, considering I could have easily walked there from where I used to live. But, better late than never, right?

I was invited to Marlow's Tavern last weekend to try some fan-favorite menu items as well as dishes offered on their brand-new Sunday brunch menu. I'm going to preface all of these photos by saying that pH and I will gladly make the 30 minute drive to Carrollwood for a delicious meal at Marlow's Tavern. Like I said before, I'm stunned that I didn't discover this place earlier - the food is incredible!

My personal Bloody Mary concoction - Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix, a little Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Sriracha and bacon. Garnished with pickled okra, pepperoncini, olive and dill pickle, a celery stalk and lime. 

pH ordered a New Fashioned, Marlow's Tavern's twist on an old fashioned, with banana liqueur!

Chef Mike Lopez

Firecracker Shrimp: Tempura shrimp, sweet chili and cracklin' spicy sauce, with red bell peppers and pepperoncinis for an extra crunch.

Grilled Chicken Stack: Grilled chicken, squash carbonara, applewood smoked bacon, sauteed spinach, parmesan, sun-dried tomato sauce and parslied olive oil.

Shrimp and Grits: White cheddar grit cake, spinach, roma tomatoes, shallots and roasted tomato buerre blanc.

Grilled Chicken Panini: Grilled chicken, melted provolone, arugula, roma tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, basil aioli in a pressed ciabatta bread.

Serious Steak and Eggs: Grilled beef tenderloin over roma tomatoes and eggs any-style.

As you know, I love food. But more than just that, I love hearing people talk about the food they create. Chef Mike was so passionate about each dish that was brought out, we could absolutely tell in the way that he carefully explained each dish with a huge smile on his face.

My must-order picks:

  • Build-It-Yourself Bloody Mary: I overheard two girls at the Bloody Mary bar saying how they'd rather have someone make their Bloody Mary for them. I couldn't disagree more - everyone's palate is different, especially when it comes to Bloody Marys. I prefer mine savory and spicy, and this was by far the best Bloody Mary I've ever had. Seriously.
  • Firecracker Shrimp: I love the textures in this dish! The crispy tempura shrimp pairs perfectly with the red bell peppers and pepperoncinis (my favorite!), and the sauce is the perfect amount and spicy taste.
  • Grilled Chicken Stack: I wish you could have seen the look on pH's face when Chef Mike explained that this dish was carb-free. pH is on the keto diet, low carb-intake (at the very most, 20g net carbs per day) and high fats and proteins. He loved this dish, and was surprised at how well it filled him up. I really enjoyed it as well - it was full of flavor and the chicken was super tender.
  • Shrimp and Grits: I'm a big fan of shrimp and grits, and this dish has made my top three shrimp and grits in the Tampa Bay area list. I was unsure of the grit cakes as I had yet to have a good grit cake, but these ones were perfection, both in texture and taste.
  • Serious Steak and Eggs: This had to be my most favorite dish of all the ones we tried. The tenderloin was grilled to a perfect medium rare and the eggs a perfect over-medium - both exactly how I enjoy my steak and eggs. Nothing about this dish was plain or bland - the tenderloin was seasoned perfectly and paired well with the runny eggs.

Marlow's Tavern is located at 13134 N. Dale Mabry Hwy in Carrollwood. The restaurant is open Sundays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. You can view the menu here.

*Disclosure: The meal featured in this post was provided by Marlow's Tavern for editorial consideration. This post was written on my own accord, and opinions expressed here are my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Marlow's Tavern.