Located on 7th Avenue, Ybor City has historically been home to immigrants of Spanish, Cuban, German, Italian, and Jewish descent. Commercially, it has also been home to one of the finest cigar factories that provided jobs for the local residents. Fast forward to present day, this area has turned into a hotspot for many businesses ranging from lofts, clubs, restaurants, cafes, and shops. With a community rich in historical importance, you can expect little to no franchise chains of any sort in this area. This provides a perfect atmosphere for small businesses that truly reflect the culture of the surrounding area.
The Blind Tiger Cafe
For our adventure, my friend Nick and I decided to venture around Ybor City during the daytime. Now for those of you that don't know, day and night are very different for this area. Come on a weekend late night and you can definitely get a taste of what makes nightlife here unique compared to any other place you've been. The nightlife offers a great variety of clubs and bars for you to enjoy. But going back to our adventure, there was this particular place that I wanted to visit, The Blind Tiger Cafe. Located right on 7th Ave and 19th St, this cafe's name is derived from speakeasies of the prohibition era. It offers a traditional selection of coffee, tea, and pastries. The cafe stays true to its name by offering a speakeasy for textile boutique, rather than bootleg alcohol back then. Normally when I go to a cafe I try to get hot coffee but the 93 degree Florida weather discouraged me from doing that so I decided to look for a cold option on their menu. One of the drinks the barista suggested was their Dirty Thai-ger.
"The Dirty Thai-ger"
A combination of 3 drinks, the Dirty Thai-ger consists of thai tea, dirty chai, and condensed milk. Just imagine the amount of caffeine there's in this drink. As for the taste? Very different, but very good as well. You can taste the Thai Tea with a bitterness from the espresso with hints of cinnamon. My body was already feeling jittery from just a few sips. Keep in mind I'm nowhere close to being a coffee nor tea connoisseur so don't think highly of my opinion about this drink. But regardless of what you usually drink, the Blind Tiger Cafe is definitely worth a try if you're ever in the area.
What made the day even better was we bumped into one our friends with her dog, Dexter. Here's a adorable photo of Dexter...