For those not familiar, Priority Pass is a network of airport lounges accessible by membership when traveling through airports with participating locations. You can purchase a Priority Pass membership, but more importantly, you can get a membership free just for holding certain credit cards. I have Priority Pass Select through my Charles Schwab American Express Platinum card.
Due in large part to overcrowding in many of the lounges, Priority Pass has been rapidly adding restaurants to its lineup, and last month added its first offering at Tampa International, The Cafe by Mise en Place.
Although TPA is my home airport, lately I’ve been mostly flying out of Orlando International, so I finally made a point to fly American, out of Tampa, so I could try out The Cafe.
It’s important to note that although this is a major add for TPA and for Priority Pass, it’s really only convenient if you’re flying American Airlines, or the handful of other airlines utilizing the F gates.
Tampa International is setup with a central terminal, and four airside terminals. When you take the tram from the central terminal to your airside terminal, although possible, it’s a real hassle to leave one airside terminal and move to another. To do so, you have to leave the secure area, make your way back to the central terminal, and then back through security again once you get to the airside terminal you are departing from.
It’s possible, but you would need to leave yourself plenty of time to get all that done. One thing to note about TPA is, of all the airports I travel through, they seem to be the most organized, so I would feel more comfortable switching terminals there more so than anywhere else.
Once you make your way to Airside F, immediately when you exit security, The Cafe by Mise en Place is directly in front of you.
I handed the hostess my boarding pass, and my Priority Pass card, she scanned the card and gave me a small receipt to give to the server.
The restaurant wasn’t too busy at 11:30 on a Thursday morning, but since it was just me, I took a seat at the bar.
The restaurant had a real upscale feel, especially for an airport restaurant, and I couldn’t help but think how comfortable the seats at the bar were. They are open from 4:30am until the last departure of the day. You can see the breakfast menu here.
I had looked at the menu online earlier in the day (you can see the lunch menu here), and knew I wanted to try the Pulled Pork Cuban. I was glad I did! It was actually amazing! The sandwich came with a choice of a salad or french fries. I chose the seasoned fries, which were also very good, and had a glass of Pepsi with my meal.
As far as the service, I wouldn’t say it was great, but it was ok. None of the few employees that I interacted with were very friendly. I’m not sure if that was a consequence of me being a Priority Pass customer, or not. My drink and food orders were taken promptly, and the food came out fairly quickly, which is always good when you have a flight to catch.
When I finished my meal, the waitress explained to me that I was under my allotted amount of $28, and that the remaining balance can not be used towards the tip or takeaway items, and just disappears. I thanked her and left a cash tip.
My favorite thing about this restaurant?
My least favorite thing about this restaurant?
The Café by Mise en Place is an excellent addition to the Priority Pass lineup if you find yourself at Tampa International. I would recommend this restaurant even if you don’t have Priority Pass. The food was great and the atmosphere was very pleasant. It almost didn’t seem like an airport restaurant. The major drawback is it’s location in the Airside F Terminal, but worth a visit even if you are flying out of another terminal. Just make sure to leave yourself enough time to get back through security.