By: Paul Houston

I am not a fan of most restaurant food. I prefer my food home cooked. Restaurant food has disappointed me too many times to make me think otherwise. Yet, after a little place called Mad Dogs and Englishmen served me possibly the best restaurant meal I’ve had in a long time on Friday night, I'm thinking about reconsidering those opinions.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen
4115 South MacDill Ave
Tampa, FL 33611

Located on MacDill Avenue in South Tampa, Mad Dogs and Englishmen has been around for about a decade now. I’ve visited it about half a dozen times over the years, but never ordered more than an appetizer. I mainly went for the fine selection of beer and wines and the outdoor patio. vOn a cool Florida night, the outdoor patio accompanied by a friend and a cool beer is a very nice place to be. Mad Dogs and Englishmen is an “authentic” British eatery run by a British ex-pat and featuring a few brits in the server department. While the menu has all the recognizable British food (Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, etc.), their menu is not limited to just British food. It’s a unique menu featuring familiar items like steak and sandwiches made with new, yummy twists.

I took a date there on Friday night hoping the food would be just good enough to pass while we had our drinks, but I was completely surprised when the meals turned out to be really good! First of all, I knew I would have to bring a lot of money as Mad Dogs is not a cheap place. Beer prices start at $4 and go up from there. Glasses of wine run $5 and higher. The dishes on the menu start at $10, but most are in the $13, 15 & 18 dollar range with a number of dishes at $20 plus.

As it turns out, the money is well spent, as both our meals were delicious! I ordered the fish & chips and she had the New York strip steak. The portions were large and filling. The steak was luscious served with a choice of vegetable.  My fish and chips boasted the most yummy portion of fish I’ve possibly ever tasted; thick, delicate and with a crunchy batter that kept me wanting more.

The wait staff was pleasant and the owner very accommodating. I love sitting out on their patio, but it fills up fast on a Friday night. The interior of the restaurant has a pleasant antique-y type feel; walls of art, old looking pillars and a bar that gives the illusion of being around awhile. While I may not be able to eat at Mad Dogs and Englishmen on a regular basis due to its steep prices, I will visit it whenever I want to go somewhere classy yet still down to earth.