Learn about The Hall on Franklin and what makes this new eatery in Tampa so special. If the thought “Gourmet Food Court” tickles your fancy, you’ll want to give this episode your full attention!
Transcript at the bottom of this page!
The Hall on Franklin
“Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.” – Pete Conrad, Commander of Apollo 12 Mission
Great Things Tampa Bay is hosted and produced by Kyle Sasser.
There was no paid advertising in this episode. All recommendations are given based on personal experiences.
Kyle: Welcome to “Great Things Tampa Bay,” the podcast about great eats, great places, and great people in the greater Tampa Bay area. I’m your host, Kyle Sasser, a Tampa Bay native and realtor. This is episode 18, The Hall on Franklin. This is the great places feed of the “Great Things Tampa Bay” podcast where you will only hear episodes related to parks, stores, events, shows, and things to do about town. In our main podcast which you’ll find under “Great Things Tampa Bay,” in addition to these chats about entertainment and events, we also cover great eateries and delicious grub as well as interview some of the great people, movers, and shakers in the area. You can find our main feed at greatthingstb.com, that’s greatthingstb.com, or you can subscribe to us on iTunes or Google Play just by doing a search for “Great Things Tampa Bay.” Thank you and enjoy.
A few weeks ago, the lovely wife, Abby and I, went over to Tampa and we wanted to try out this new place called the Hall on Franklin. We’d heard a little bit of a rundown on some of the news outlets. I think it was Creative Loafing, and I’d seen a couple posts on Facebook about it.
Basically, Hall on Franklin is at 1701 North Franklin Street, and that is north of downtown Tampa and Interstate 4. If you’re familiar with the area, it’s kind of close to the YMCA there. It’s a little south of that. It’s a quiet neighborhood that’s been renovated quite a bit since I lived nearby. I used to live there in Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights for a short while. But yeah, it was definitely good to see the neighborhood on the up and up, but the Hall on Franklin is there. They recently opened like a month or two at this point, but the best way to describe it, the concept is basically a gourmet food court. So just kind of think of like you go to the mall and it’s like you have all these little booths. You have a pretty wide selection.
I’ve also seen it described like a culinary incubator where chefs can try out new concepts and kind of prove the theory before you drop a few hundred thousand dollars to try to open a restaurant, which is smart. So just to give a quick thumbs up/thumbs down for the Hall on Franklin, it definitely gets a thumbs up. The food was really delicious. They have about seven or eight different booths or stalls there. So basically, you go there. You find your parking. Parking isn’t too big of an issue, but the place does actually get crowded. So definitely kind of that being a little bit more of an experience versus a dash in, dash out. You know, grab a quick meal sort of thing. You definitely want to sit down and kind of take your time picking out and kind of soaking it in.
It’s a really cool place that’s designed really well. My lovely wife, Abby, says, “It looks like they decorated with all Restoration Hardware pieces.”
Kyle: All right, perfect, got it. My lovely wife, everyone. Yes, so there will be a bit of a crowd. Expect a little bit of a wait. There is some general admission seating, I guess, you’d call it, but I would recommend getting a table. So you have two choices. You can either go around to the actual booth to kind of see what they’re actually doing, kind of get a feel for it, and then you can place your order at the booths and they’ll bring it to the table. Or at the table, you can just review the menu and just order from the different booths.
We went the table-service route because, honestly, it was really crowded and didn’t feel like fighting. Just walking through crowds to kind of see and peer over people wasn’t really what we’re looking forward to do that day. So while we were sitting there, we went through the menu. And like I said, there’s about six or seven different booths or stalls. I’m gonna run through them briefly here just to kind of give you an overview of what’s going on there.
First off is Kofe, spelled K-O-F-E, and as I’m sure you can guess, that is like a coffee espresso bar. They do have some small pastries and stuff like that. Most of the highlight here is going to be caffeinated drinks in some manner or form. We didn’t get some coffee. I think espresso was what we got, right? Cappuccino? Yeah, we got the cappuccino and it was good. It wasn’t too bitter which if you’ve listened to previous episodes, you know that bitter coffees is not my thing, but this was brewed very well and went down very easy.
Next up, there’s Bacon Babes which they cover, as I’m sure you can imagine still, the sweeter side of life, I guess you could call it. This is gonna be sweet pastries, baked goods, lots of tasty stuff with lots of larger granulated sugar and other chocolate swizzles. I think I actually saw it looked really good. Those of you that know that I have a sweet tooth know that that section definitely caught my eye. Next up, the Melt Shop, M-E-L-T. So that’s gonna be your diner foods: burgers, sandwiches. Also milkshakes, waffle fries, and all that tasty stuff.
There’s also The Collection. Basically, alcoholic beverages, cocktails, etc. We didn’t get a chance to get over there and try that but it looked pretty cool. There’s also a North Star eatery which is gonna be your Asian street food. Then there’s Poke Rose which is…Poke Bowls which is hard to describe, but basically, just very delicious sort of Asian-inspired bowls of just delicious healthiness. That’s the best way to describe it. And then Heights Fish Camp which is your southern fish, seafood, oysters, that sort of good stuff.
So as you can see, there’s a wide selection here. If you’re with a group that’s just can’t decide on one particular thing, the Hall on Franklin is definitely a good place to go because they’re gonna have something for everybody there. So that’s the Hall on Franklin. Definitely a cool place. We’re looking forward to going back. Yeah, we wish you guys a lot of luck. The concept’s cool. Staff was great while were there, and there’s so many selections that I would definitely recommend doing what my wife always does and asking the server what their favorite thing is. It’s the easiest way to get to the tasty stuff, I guess you could say.
And that address again is 1701 North Franklin Street, north of downtown Tampa. This information is going to be in our show notes. So you can either go to our website and find this episode, episode 18, or you can go over there to the podcast application of your choice, hit the little info button and there you’ll find links and information on the Hall on Franklin. We try to make it as easy as possible for you. If you have questions or comments, shoot me an email or you can reach out to me on social media.
So we have another reader email. This one is from Michael, and he gave me some good feedback on the podcast which is always a good thing. He was saying that he would appreciate a little bit more of expansion on potential menu items specifically for vegans or vegetarians, which honestly I think it’s completely understandable. You know, it’s a very large slice of people here in the Tampa Bay area. And honestly, I was a vegetarian for a while, for a few years. I don’t know. I just saw a prime rib sandwich, just looking at it and the way the meat was laid out did not sit right with me. So I did become a vegetarian for a little while. I will say that the vegetarian options and vegan options have definitely expanded from that period of time. This would have been 2001, 2002, 2003, or something like that. Definitely a lot more than grilled cheese sandwiches out there now. So chefs and restaurants of Tampa Bay, please keep up the good work.
He gave me quite a number of vegan restaurants to check out. St. Pete downtown Tampa and Brandon. I am going to get into some of those. So Michael, thank you so much for the email. Rest assured, I will be trying out some of these recommendations soon specifically the Falafel Inn. It sounds pretty tasty, and Thai legacy which is also on Brandon. Stay tuned because I will be featuring some of these on the future episode.
So everyone knows that Neil Armstrong’s first words whenever he stepped on the moon was that was, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” However, what most people don’t know is the next mission, Apollo 12, which was on November 14th, 1969, was when they launched, whenever Pete Conrad came down the ladder and then stepped on the moon, his quote was, “Whoopie! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me,” which is pretty hilarious. I can definitely see why that one is not featured on the Fourth of July videos or NASA promotional videos. He uttered these words kind of as a joke because he was relatively small in stature and also he also said these words to win a bet that he had made with a Italian journalist for $500 to prove that NASA did not script their astronauts. So pretty humorous all around, and Pete Conrad, hats off for that one.
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