New World Brewery
3 ½ stars
1313 Eighth Ave., Tampa, 813-248-4969 or newworldbrewery.net
Thursday through Saturday night you can expect to hear the growing conversational roar of a building crowd when you step into the courtyard at New World Brewery, as folks stream in to claim a space before the bands arrive. Wednesday nights besides the occasional comedy show - New World has a different vibe: calm, convivial, like a neighborhood bar or biergarten. Draughts of Lagunitas IPA or Cigar City Jai Alai studded across the bar and on every scarred wooden table throughout the place. Hell, for one of Ybors premier music venues, the jukebox isnt even very loud.
One thing you dont see, however, is food. Drinking, sure, but its rare to find a plate alongside those bottles and pint glasses. Thats a shame, because on Wednesday nights New World Brewery is easily the best place in the neighborhood to grab dinner.
New World serves food all week, actually, and most regulars know all about the stellar pizzas that come from the bar kitchen, pizzas that inevitably surprise first-timers who underestimate the beer bars culinary chops.
The crust is thin, combining an almost ideal blend of crackle and chew, with enough flavor that youll likely gnaw slices all the way to your fingers. Toppings are prevalent but never overwhelming, a scattering of sweet chopped tomatoes, gooey feta and shredded basil on one, a colorful sweep of fresh spinach and banana peppers across another.
New Worlds white pizzas are the best of the bunch, scented with nutty garlic and rich olive oil that work perfectly with the crust, and never too much cheese to weigh down the pie. They also have the usual tomato sauce pizzas, as well as tasty signature creations based on black beans instead on sauce or oil. There are the typical toppings, but one of the best is the bars homemade smoked chicken.