Sam Snead’s Grill and Tavern in Tampa, FL – Airport Terminal Eating with a Buzz

On my way back to NY into a snowstorm day in March, my flight was delayed for a few hours. I hung out with my friend at a Starbucks until the conversation ran dry and I went into the terminal. Still had a lot of time to kill and went to the only restaurant-looking place in the terminal, Sam Snead’s Grill and Tavern. I had no idea who Sam Snead was until I walked into the restaurant. Sam Snead was an American professional golf player and had a nickname called, “Slammin’ Sammy.” I was very skeptical how a professional golf player can translate into an excellent food establishment.

Here we go!

This is the Crab Louie Salad (somehow it’s not the restaurant menu anymore). I had very low expectations of this dish. In fact, I half expected that I could get sick from the crab and wondered what it would be like to be sick on the flight. You should have seen the restaurant – it looked like a darkened and dirtier version of the TGI Fridays with Sam’s pictures on every wall, overtired middle-aged disheveled waitresses and overweight dinners at every table chowing down something on large plates. It looked run down.

Then came the salad: surprise! The crab was fresh and not from the can. The salad was fresh and the avocado had the correct ripeness. I was so wrong.

OAK FIRED CHICKEN FLAT BREAD – roasted red peppers, goat cheese and balsamic glaze. After I finished the salad, I was still hungry. The overtaxed waitress recommended their famous flat bread. At this point, I was sold on any item on the menu. The flat bread was so thin and good that I actually packed the leftover and brought them onto the plane with me. Same Snead knew his restaurant business. Now if they could update the look of the restaurant…

I nursed this berry with vodka concoction while eating for two hours. The buzz set in and I was as happy as I was after a long run. Life was good!


This experience took place at

Sam Snead’s Grill and Tavern
Airside A, Across from Gate 14
Tampa International Airport
4100 George J Bean Outbound Pkwy
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone:(813) 396-3977

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I am a New Yorker who flies home to Taiwan in the Summer. I absolutely believe food is one of the most pleasurable things in life. Hence, my chronicle of anticipated glorious food experiences.

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