Just look at that, would ya? This place looks phenomenal all lit up at night. I was never really that excited for Ūlëlē to open, though, if I’m being completely honest. I was mostly interested in the new Tampa Water Works Park, which is a complete dream. However, I found myself dining here for a friend’s birthday and it was a complete success. Ūlëlē doesn’t have a permanent home on the menu for the veg crowd. Rather, they offer an entrée that changes from time to time. The menu instructs us to “see server for today’s vegetarian meal,” which is fine by me. Having a surprise veg meal is what makes being vegan so much fun; you get to try things you wouldn’t have normally thought to try before.
To start, you’re gonna wanna get some of these Okra Fries down your throat hole. They’re kinda juicy, kinda crunchy, and super-wow-delicious. And get this: they come served with a ramekin filled with ketchup that they make themselves. This blew my mind brain wide open. What do you mean there’s no Heinz squeeze bottle?? Obviously I raced straight home and started looking up instructions on how to make my own ketchup. It was that tasty.
What you’re looking at here is The Leaning Tower of Hell Yeah. That is not the official name Ūlëlē has given this dish; it is just the rightful name it deserves. The vegetarian meal of the day was this pile of heaven you see above. On top of a bed of some sort of wild rice is a full slab of roasted tofu, onion, and zucchini. Then they thought it wise to have an avalanche of tomato purée come drizzling down the vegan mountain. Go ahead and send a search team, ’cause I got lost in flavor. I don’t remember if this dish came with cheese or not, but you seem smart enough to ask for it without to make it vegan and not just vegetarian.
Of course I can’t leave out your non-veg friends. Pictured above is…. well I don’t really know. It used to be alive, and it probably had a killer personality. But as presentation goes, it made me wanna have a little taste. I didn’t. I took a photo instead.
I can’t speak highly enough of Tampa Water Works Park, and Ūlëlē is the icing on the vegan cake that is bringing the Tampa River Walk park to a lovely end.
Other fun facts:
- Tampa Water Works Park has free wifi, a shaded dog park, and a water feature for children that makes a grown ass man want to knock those kids to the side and play in it himself (but I haven’t yet).
- Ūlëlē is open for lunch now, I hear.
- Parking situation: “find your own side-street parking” or “valet-that-shit, bro.”
- Try to visit around sunset and see Tampa like you never have.
As always, you’re doing a good thing 😉