Saltimbocca is not the one take-out star in Tampa Bay

Saltimbocca isn't the only take-out star in Tampa Bay

Doormét at 681 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg.ilovedoormet / Facebook

Before the COVID-19 pandemic stepped up like a phantasmagoric alien with a death ray and destroyed our ability to eat inside, I never paid much attention to takeaway. My kids have grown up so the OMG how the hell do I find the energy to feed these little people is in the rearview mirror of my life. Until March 2020, when I wasn’t cooking, I reveled in the embrace of the inspiring food culture of Tampa Bay and shared with you weekly the full experience of dining at Restaurant X.

Doormét (two locations)
681 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-300-3636
1155 S. Dale Mabry Hwy No. 12. Tampa, 813-287-3667.
Starters $ 6- $ 9; Starters $ 10- $ 19; Dessert $ 1 – $ 6

So please forgive me if Doormét (like in Gourmet to your door) flew under my radar. The Tampa location has been around for over a decade and offers a “solution for those who want to eat well but don’t have much time”. And when the Amigos Tortilla Bar in St. Petersburg fell victim to the pandemic, Doormét grabbed the location on Central Avenue to bring its take-out and delivery business model to the west side of the bay.

Doormét offers food with social distancing, but its menu and operation are a well-oiled machine for serving the modern take-away menu. In addition to burgers, salads and fitness bowls, there is a strong Italian influence with hand-thrown pizzas, pasta and classic chicken dishes.

It’s nice to start with Truffle Mac’n’Cheese to Order – a plentiful 12-ounce cheese. Serving “rich, creamy heaven”. The thick cheese cap seems impenetrable at first, but once you break through and get a decadent bite, the truffle oil caresses your tongue instead of hitting you on the head. It is a wonderful ingredient when used in moderation as a grace note, where it allows balance in a dish.

Next, the freshly baked “Grissini” look more like giant tree trunks coated with garlic butter and sprinkled with fresh rosemary and grated Parmesan. They are so good that the hummus seems like an afterthought for dipping.

The Backyard Burger made from certified Angus beef (medium cooked to avoid litigation)

is topped with crispy, thickly sliced, smoked cherry wood bacon and Monterey Jack. The meat is thoughtfully wrapped in take-away foil. Then you can put it on the separate homemade challah bun topped with ketchup, crispy lettuce, local tomato and a piece of red onion. It comes with lovely homemade, perfectly crunchy, golden brown potato chips that aren’t the slightest bit greasy.

Ilovedoormet01FBilovedoormet / Facebook

The hand-tossed pizza comes in 10-inch or 16-inch cakes. I always choose to just address the main ingredients without being distracted by toppings. The thin crust has a nice chew, and the homemade marinara offers a clean acidity to balance the fat from the copious house cheese mix that features large, brown bubbles from a scorching oven. Doormét has some fascinating top combos that almost lure me away from my touchstone, but I can resist. Next time it’s not an obstacle.

The starters without pizza are all delivered in plastic trays with black bases and clear tops. They’re easy to open and perfect as serving dishes for quick cleaning or for easy storage when you’re not hungry enough to join the Clean Plate Club.

They offer four classic pasta dishes, including shrimp scampi and linguine with meatballs. We opt for the toasted mushroom marsala sauce that sticks to tubular rigatoni floating with pieces of chicken, caramelized onion, withered spinach, and a hint of umami of aged parmesan.

Saltimbocca is just wonderful, but I’m a sucker for ham and melted provolone that turns simple breaded chicken medallions into a culinary supermodel. It would be delicious even without the accents of freshly chopped parmesan and garden basil. The Al Dente linguine wrapped in toasted mushroom marsala sauce is divine. It is an all-purpose chameleon that adds wealth without making all dishes taste the same. The main ingredients are allowed to rise.

For example, Francesca tops crispy potatoes and sauteed green beans with grilled rosemary chicken medallions, but the same marsala sauce simply brings the dish together. It seems very different from the previous starters.

Ilovedoormet02FBilovedoormet / Facebook

The perfectly grilled salmon fillet “fit ‘n healthy” (a January special) is served almost on a bed of roasted vegetarian caponata and pearl-like Israeli couscous with fresh spinach and bruschetta tomatoes. A splash of fresh lemon gives it a touch of brightness and a “kiss of lemon butter” invigorates the mouthfeel.

We finish with a couple of freshly baked cookies. Both the white chocolate macadamia and the oatmeal raisin are more satisfying than wow, which also applies to the special dessert. Reese’s peanut butter cake in a chocolate chip crumb crust with fresh vanilla cream isn’t overly sweet. My tasters give a thumbs up.

Doormét is a pleasant surprise that is perfect for takeout and delivery in pandemics. You can easily order online or by phone from the friendly and efficient staff. As we look forward to 2021, my crystal ball says that taking away will determine the day for many, many months to come. So stay on guard, wear your mask, prepare for the vaccine, and add some toasted mushroom marsala sauce to your diet.

Ilovedoormet03FBilovedoormet / Facebook

Support local journalism these crazy days. Our small but fine team works tirelessly to keep you up to date on the effects of coronavirus on Tampa and the surrounding area. Please donate once or monthly to support our employees. Every little bit helps.

Want to find out all about the Tampa Bay food and drink scene? Sign up for our Bites newsletter.

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

Recent Posts