The title says it all. BT is awesome. There aren’t too many places like it in Tampa, if any. French-Vietnamese cuisine is something that took me little effort to fall in love with, and takes a fair amount of self-restraint for me to not eat more frequently, although the price point sure helps to keep me from going overboard (it’s not the cheapest grub on the block)
I went with a friend for lunch, and ate way too much food, but couldn’t be happier that we did. One of the better lunches I’ve had in Tampa. BT is now located on MacDill’s new “restaurant row” across the street from Cru Wine Cellars and just up the road from Datz, the old location closed some months ago, the former location was one of many businesses in the Hyde Park Village area that couldn’t continue operating at that location due to astronomical rent and reduced traffic. Sorry to hear things didn’t work out there, but happy that BT reinvented herself and her concept, and is still going strong in South Tampa! BT’s interior is very modern and simple, with clear acrylic chairs and bamboo tables
and their exterior isn’t bad looking either, with a pretty garden area for some al fresco dining. We started with a bottle of vino (as any awesome lunch should) and some fresh rolls, both of which were nice on a hot Florida day. The plating & presentation at BT is top notch, each dish is fun to look at and cleanly laid out. The fresh rolls were pretty typical Vietnamese fare, nothing mind blowing about them, but they were tasty. Up next we had Bo Tai Chanh, a dish similar to steak tartare with green onion and chopped peanuts in it. The quality of the beef was noteworthy, and the flavors of the dish complimented each other quite nicely. If I were to do a top ten tartares in Tampa (which isn’t a half bad idea…) then it’d be pretty high the list. The cucumber salad was another refreshing dish on a humid day in the Sunshine State, the vinegared veggies were served cold and disappeared quickly. My friend got a Banh Mi, which is one of my favorite sandwiches on the planet. Naturally I didn’t leave him alone until I got to try a bite, and all that begging was well worth it- BT’s Banh Mi’s are amazing. Perfectly baked bread, rich meaty fillings, crunchy veggies, fried onions, sautéed love, all the good stuff. I would almost give it higher marks than my current favorite at Saigon Deli, but at 4 times the price, I just can’t crown a new champion quiiiiiite yet. My Salmon Soba was also excellent, but I’m pretty sure next time I’ll be getting that Banh Mi, that thing was crazy good. The soba dish was fun, the noodles were cold and the (top quality) salmon was hot, and once a bit of sriracha was thrown in the mix it was a party on a plate. The snow peas and bok choy gave the dish a nice crunch and the peanuts (here’s a surprise) gave it a nice nuttiness. But yeah, Banh Mi next time, seriously.