Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family life right here in the Tampa Bay area.
The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge
Albert Whitted Airport
It’s a rainy Friday night and the drops glisten on the pavement at the Albert Whitted airport. It’s tapered to a drizzle and although the rides in the zebra-striped helicopter have been put on hold, planes are still taking off, and the lights on the wing-tips glow in the evening light. There’s live jazz playing and the adults are soothed; the kids have the planes and chopper to entertain.
We’re dining at The Hangar in downtown St. Pete, and the atmosphere is casual and inviting, yet still holds an air of elegance, with clean lines and walls of glass. Diners in cargo shorts are equally at home with ladies in dresses, and the food runs the gamut, as well. We start our meal with shrimp and brie flatbread and a mussel bowl accented with smoked bacon, blue cheese, and ale. We’re lucky to get a bite of the mussels, as our oldest has decided they’re a new favorite.
The Hangar was voted Tampa Bay’s best spot for burgers; we can choose from toppings to include brie, avocado, fried egg, grilled ham, and more, but these are happy alongside classy offerings like pesto grilled salmon with artichoke hearts, goat cheese polenta cake (my next intended order), and the Hungry Dad’s stuffed chicken breast with spinach, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, smashed potatoes, burgundy mushrooms and (mmmm!) truffle cream. I trust our fabulous server, Julie, to make my selection, and I get the “Hangar Hamburger,” with caramelized onion, bacon jam (heaven on earth!), and melted brie, while my middle boy orders the “Not Quite $100 Hamburger Club,” and love the house-made three bean salad I choose as my side.
Our “tween” boy, true to form, sneaked in his order for The Philly Flyer, and our oldest chose bacon wrapped meatloaf (oh, dear - delicious!). Our girl tried to convince her brother to split the burger I ordered (“sorry, sis, I don’t really love brie as much as you do; I only said that to impress you!), and instead opted for shrimp pasta, lightly tossed with feta, kalamata olives, tomato and basil.
Dessert (so thankful I didn’t skip it!) was a chocolate mousse torte split with husband and the kids were spoiled by Julie with handmade shakes!
The food was all the delicious we’d expected, but we’re all anticipation for a breakfast visit next. The Hangar is open at 8am daily, and owner Steve says breakfast (names like “round trip,”, “”wheels up!” and the “luggage belt sandwich” play on the flight-oriented locale), may even top lunch and dinner. Be sure to visit an evening, too, though, because there’s something going on all the time. Thursday through Saturday there’s live jazz every evening and there are helicopter rides available for an additional charge every day - check the calendar at www.gotosteves.com for more info!
Dining out is an experience most of us have incorporated into our lives on a regular basis and here in Pinellas county we are blessed to have some of the finest family restaurants around. Each month the “Hungry Family” will be loading up and traveling throughout Pinellas on their Destination Dinner Road Trip to search out and find the best family restaurants on the peninsula. So if you have a restaurant you would like us to visit, simply email us your recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if we can add your restaurant as a future destination.
Gulf Coast Family Publications - Encouraging families along the Gulf Coast in Pinellas County