By in Travel

Kojak's House of Ribs

On a dark, stormy Thursday night I pulled into MacDill Air Force Base to check-in to the lodging I had secured for my final night in Tampa.

I had not eaten much during the day, so once I took my bags to the room, and then asked the front desk staff a local establishment they would recommend to get a bite to eat.

Kojak's House of Ribs has been around since 1978. It was a great little family establishment. I do wish I had been able to see it in the light of day and without the rain. (You can watch their video here .)

Author owned.

I decided to sit outside on the covered porch, as the temperature in the place was way too cold for my liking.

The waitress was very friendly, and I appreciated her service very much. I typically do not find the level of service anywhere that I found at Kojak's.

After taking a look at the menu, I decided on a salad the Rib Dinner for $12.95, what they claim is the most popular dinner ordered. It was served with a choice of two side orders: Parsley potatoes, green beans, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad, applesauce, or potato salad. I added a side salad with dinner for an additional $1.95.

I chose the potatoes and the baked beans. I did not care for their baked beans, so they gladly gave me a sample of their coleslaw and macaroni salad, before making another choice. The coleslaw was okay, but very typical of the mayonnaise-based, wet cole slaw that is typical in the South. I opted for the macaroni salad.

Author owned.

The portions were plentiful. They served the plate with four containers of barbecue sauce--regular, sweet, mustard, and fiery hot. I preferred the regular and mustard varieties the best.

The dry rub on the ribs was excellent. It made the ribs flavorful.

However, I found the ribs to be much fattier than other ribs I have eaten. I know that ribs tend to be fattier than other cuts, but there was considerably more soft fat than there was meat. I ate around it and discarded most of what was on the bone, as it was primarily fat. (In all fairness, I do not eat much of the fat on things any longer, unless the fat is a bit cooked down and crispy or chewy.)

If I ever have the chance to go back to Tampa, I would try this place again, but would opt for the pulled pork sandwich or chicken dinner instead. I saw two patrons with each of these meals and they looked quite tasty.

And, the next time, I will plan on staying in southern Tampa at MacDill for several days so I can see it all in the light of day.

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Copyright © 2015 Coral Levang

Image Credit » Author's Photo 11/19/15 Kojaks

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Lillybell wrote on November 21, 2015, 2:31 PM

I don't like to eat fat either. I just cut it off or attempt to chew around it. It sounds like it was a nice place to eat, anyway. It was very nice of them to give you samples to help you decide.

CoralLevang wrote on November 21, 2015, 2:50 PM

If fat is cooked down a bit, and chewy or crunchy, instead of "gloppy"...I can handle it.
Pulled pork, if there is a next time. And yes, the service was great.

DWDavisRSL wrote on November 21, 2015, 3:04 PM

Should I find myself in the area of MacDill AFB, which could happen as there is no telling where Son1 will wind up, I will certainly give Kojak's a try.

CoralLevang wrote on November 21, 2015, 3:26 PM

It really was a great place, even though I did not enjoy the ribs much.

Rufuszen wrote on November 21, 2015, 4:09 PM

I had visions of a bald headed guy serving with a, 'Who loves ya' baby?'

wolfgirl569 wrote on November 21, 2015, 4:54 PM

I dont eat a lot of ribs because of the fat on them also. But it sounds lik a great meal for the price

markgraham wrote on November 21, 2015, 7:03 PM

I like ribs as well but I would rather have the pulled pork sandwiches through. The overall place looked like a nice place to eat.

MegL wrote on November 22, 2015, 3:23 AM

That looks like a what they would call "stick to your ribs" meal in Northern Ireland, that is, tasty and filling. I like fatty meat these days. I went off it for a long time but now feel it is better for me.

Lillybell wrote on November 22, 2015, 3:15 PM

I like a good pulled pork sandwich. This whole article made my mouth water!

CoralLevang wrote on November 22, 2015, 10:49 PM

With my particular health issues, the extra fat goes straight through me.
But definitely like the "stick to the ribs" meals. Or a big rib eye steak!

Paulie wrote on November 27, 2015, 12:02 AM

I haven't had ribs in a very long time. That is really a lot of food on the plate in your picture. In Thailand you would get about one-third of the plate if lucky.