To us, The Rack is one of many Tampa restaurants with a reputation that precedes itself. This Hyde Park eatery and its counterpart in Brandon are widely revered for everything from its casual vibes to expansive sushi menu, live music offerings, multiple pool tables, games, and much more.
The fact that we still hadn’t visited this popular restaurant in Hyde Park on our Taste Tour of 813 was something that needed some immediate changing. So, we took a trip to The Rack for a mid-day meal to see what keeps so many coming back for me.
Located just off of Platt Street in Hyde Park, The Rack’s interior comes off as nothing short of a spacious, adult playground; multiple bars, pool and ping pong tables, flatscreens lining the walls, and a surprisingly diverse menu that divides itself between sushi bar fare and neighborhood pub grub.
It’s pretty easy to see how this place could really get going at night, but at lunchtime The Rack works as a casual, relaxed restaurant well-suited for a quick lunch with most selections under or just above the $10 mark.
The Rack’s namesake burger is a must-try if you’re in the mood to pig out on a half-pound of sloppy awesomeness. Packing a massive, juicy patty, the Rack Burger comes topped with sauteed mushrooms, onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and swiss cheese.
It’s a monster with a respectable taste to match. The patty packed a soft, juicy texture made all the more flavorful by a couple meek slivers of bacon (really, you could see through them), a shiny blanket of melted cheese, and some appreciated, but fairly indiscernable bits of sauteed mushrooms and onions.
And, the fries. How could we forget the fries? The Rack’s come light and battered to a flaky crisp much like the disturbingly addictive fries doled out at Checkers. A plate of these guys and a cold pint would be a match made in heaven.
The Rack in Hyde Park tries to be a lot of things. This can all-too-often be the death of a burgeoning local establishment, but they carry their weight well and apparently, have found a modicum of success while doing it. We can’t speak for everything they offer, but something tells us a trip to The Rack – for whatever reason – will be well worth the time.