This year, American Legion Seminole Post 111 snagged the Best of the Bay critic’s pick award for “Best Unlikely Venue” when it comes to attracting an eclectic crowd to the bar and hosting live musical performances. Staying true to its title, the Post is now home to a gastropub run by Chef Tony Macaroni.
With a personality as big as his name, Chef Tony took over the kitchen last month and has been slinging Italian American eats alongside bar food classics.
CL linked with Chef Tony Macaroni over the phone to get the details on his culinary endeavors in Tampa Bay.
“We are doing 5-star cooking in a little place,” the chef said while one speakerphone while his hands are busy prepping fresh gnocchi for the day’s service.
When he’s not in American Legion’s kitchen, he’s doing the shopping for the week at local grocery stores, plotting his next business venture and competing in cooking competitions around the country.
“This is a scratch kitchen,” he says proudly. From mozzarella to pasta, Tony Macaroni says he’s one of the only chefs in Tampa Bay still cooking the old school way and not cutting corners when it comes to quality and technique (although, truth be told, Seminole Heights is home to many chefs cooking with integrity).
The gastropub’s menu consists of breakfast sandwiches (served all day) ranging from $2.50-$4. Appetizers consist of bar favorites like french fries, onion rings, fried mozzarella, chicken wings and fried chicken strips. If you’re going the slightly elevated route, opt for fried shrimp and french fries of fried calamari. There are also a handful of pasta options like chicken parmigiana, shrimp penne vodka, fettuccine Alfredo as well as spaghetti and meatballs. If your diet needs a little something green, there are a few salad options to choose from. Diners can also grab heroes served by the half or whole, sandos like BLTs and turkey club or a personal pizza. By the way, the dessert lineup includes cannolis, deep-fried Oreos and chocolate cate.
These are your ordering options: order on-site and wait in the Legion’s lounge with a cocktail or brew with a pager for Chef Tony to prepare your dish, call in for pickup, or have food delivered through GrubHub or UberEats. All meals are for takeout service only,
Chef Tony Macaroni is working in the American Legion Seminole Post 111 kitchen—located at 6918 N. Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights—11 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week.
As if the chef isn’t busy enough, he is launching a food truck, Chef Tony Macaroni and Co., next month serving up authentic American-Italian cuisine. That means pasta, fried calzones, cannolis and whatever else he can whip up with limited space and unlimited imagination.
“It’s going to be an old school Italian restaurant on wheels," he said.
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