Well into the Tampa portion of our Florida vacation, MG & I decided to try out another restaurant that had been visited by a certain spikey-haired host of a gastronomic program. We were going out to lunch with MG’s uncle, and he was also interested in trying a new restaurant.
Munch’s is definitely a popular place with the locals. The parking lot was full, and there were plenty of people that were leaving the restaurant on foot. The ambiance is quintessentially diner. There is a counter area, and plenty of bench-style, booth seating. A sign in the front tells customers to seat themselves, the Maitre d’ is unavailable. Munch’s specialty is what would generally be considered comfort food. They are only open for breakfast and lunch.
To start, MG’s uncle ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes ($3.25). I’ve never had this dish before, neither had MG. It was good. MG’s uncle also proclaimed the item, “very nice”. They were not greasy, and the batter did not overwhelm the tomato. I was expecting something tart, but this dish was definitely more savory than sweet. The accompanying ranch dressing was great for dipping.
The Onion Thins ($3.25) were very light. They were the perfect balance between batter and onion. These might be contenders for some of the best onion rings I’ve every had. They are quite thin, but because the batter does not overwhelm the onion, they can be had in big handfuls without being too salty. If you are an onion ring fan, give these a shot.
For an entree, I got Munch’s Famous Baked Meat Loaf ($7.75). It comes with mashed potatoes, green beans, and toast. The potatoes and meatloaf come smothered in gravy. As I was telling, MG’s uncle, I did not grow up with meatloaf. In fact, I only started eating it a few years ago. This particular offering was pretty good. Beef and pork combined to create a really wonderful flavor. The loaf is clearly not crammed with filler. The gravy was slightly sweet, but mostly savory, a great compliment. There were bits of bacon on the outside of the loaf’s edge. MG, who is a bit of a loaf aficionado was impressed. The mashed potatoes had the texture of boxed, but they were very good.
The green beans were fresh, and while not outstanding, very good.
MG got the Chicken Finger Basket ($5.95). Again, the frying was very good, creating a wonderful balance between fresh chicken and crunchy breading. Not salty, not heavy, this was some really good fried chicken. The fries, though frozen were good as well.
MG’s uncle ordered the Fresh Fried Mullet or Catfish ($8.25). Unfortunately, they were out of both and only had Tilapia. They were also out of biscuits and could only offer toast. The dish came with grits. Generally, the lack of this many items would cause me to give a restaurant major demerits. However, we were there near the end of their hours on the Sunday before MLK day. Their business may have been a little more brisk than usual. I’ll give them a little pass. The fish dish came with grits. I tried the tilapia and though it was very well made. MG’s uncle also enjoyed it, and he said the grits were good as well.
The folks at Munch’s are very friendly, and the dishes are extraordinarily wholesome and tasty. Stop in for a bite if you want some “stick to your ribs” cooking.
3920 Sixth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL