Friday, October 19, 2018
Dining

Eggnog treats, sweets take over Tampa Bay menus

We're deep into December now, and with Christmas barreling toward us like holiday shoppers at Walmart's door openings on Black Friday, there are precious few days to indulge in the best part of the season.

That's right, for a few more weeks your taste buds can bathe in the nutmeggy, cinnamonny goodness that is all things eggnog. The classics will never go out of style. A bottle or ice cream cartoon full of the sweet treat blended with the spiced rum of your choice still brings back the warm feeling you get every year. But it isn't the only way to appreciate what is arguably Christmas' best flavor.

Local and national businesses are rolling out their eggnog flavored fare for your yuletide enjoyment and tbt* sampled it, you know, also for your benefit or something.

Datz/Dough

This year, Dough and its sister restaurant, Datz, are one-stop shops for all things eggnog. They're selling doughnuts, lattes, pancakes and gelato in the signature Christmas flavor. But for major impact, opt for the doughnuts. Get to Dough early in the morning to get a dozen or more of the eggnog-flavored doughnuts to show off your holiday spirit for office parties. The unglazed, cake doughnut is a little heavy on the cinnamon and nutmeg on the outer layer. Inside, the signature eggnog goodness shines through in the well mixed batter. They're like an upgrade on office food and the must-have item for any ugly sweater party.

Eggnog Pancakes, IHOP

Yes, they're gimmicky, but damned if they aren't tasty. IHOP's seasonal eggnog pancakes are only slightly eggnog flavored — it's hard to achieve the richness in a breaded dish — but still a yummy start for the morning. No questions the chain's ability to churn out a fine pancake. You can't go wrong trying to satiate your taste for eggnog with this morning option. Currently, they're offering it in a stack of two, four or a breakfast combo with eggs and sausage.

Eggnog Jubilee Smoothie, Jamba Juice

This burst of cool refreshment separates itself from the dozens of waistline-expanding eggnog milkshakes being offered up this season by offering a third-of-the-fat option for the consciously festive drinker. The light taste still packs plenty of eggnog flavor and also seems like a reasonable alternative to a heavier option mid-day. Right now, there are only Jamba Juice stores on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, but I say rush the Marshall Student Center or the Campus Recreation center before this sensory celebration goes back into the vault.

Eggnog Cheesecake, Eats! American Grill

You'll have to call ahead to find out if Eats has eggnog cheesecake available as their cheesecake of the day. But if it's available, you are in for a taste of something special. The slices aren't Cheesecake Factory large, but the creamy cake manages to be filling anyway. The crust doesn't fight with the main attraction, the eggnog flavor, and instead compliments it with a hint of cinnamon. At a little under $6 apiece, it's not bank breaker, either. But because the restaurant rotates the cheesecake flavors offered daily, rustling up this piece of magic takes determination and expert timing.

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