Friday, 25 September 2015

Uncle Toby's HOT & ALOT

Uncle Toby was very proud of what he was cooking up.
If you drove cab in Tampa in the late 1990's and early 2000's, you
may remember "Uncle Toby's HOT & ALOT" diner. It was home cooked gourmet diner food. I used to eat there because I  like that type of food. Toby would pile it on and I was in my glory.
Toby was a retired Navy guy who always wanted to open a restaurant. He found the vacant building three blocks down from United can, and just around the corner from Yellow Cab. The location was ideal for many industrial business were in the area and many lacked a chow hall. Toby would pack them in for breakfast and lunch. The place did well for a long time.

Toby had a simple formula. Feed people decent portions without a high price and they will come back. Repeat customers will make or break a business. His claim to fame was meatloaf on Tuesdays. This photo of me is eating his award winning meatloaf with mash potatoes, green beans, and roll. Yum!

Making like a pig
His business did well over the years and Toby finally had a chance to sell at a good profit. He went into the hurricane shutter business, the last I heard. I lost touch with Toby and have not seen him in years.

Others tried to make a go of the location without much success. In fact, there were a couple of guys that tried to run it before Toby. They shut down and the property laid fallow for many years. That is why I was so excited to see Toby come along.

Keep in mind there was business back then. I did work more hours because the call count kept me interested. Now, a baloney sandwich is the order of the day. 

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