Review: Cafe By Mise En Place Tampa Airport (Priority Pass Restaurant)

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, Trip Reports
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Priority Pass is the world’s largest network of independent airport lounges, with over 1,200 locations around the world. The number of Priority Pass members has increased greatly the past couple of years, ever since the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card was introduced, as the card comes with a Priority Pass membership (there are also several other credit cards with lounge access).

Priority Pass has gotten creative when it comes to the “lounges” they’ve added to their network. For terminals in which they struggle to reach a deal with a traditional lounge, Priority Pass has in some cases come to agreements with restaurants.

The idea is that Priority Pass typically pays a lounge a fixed amount for each guest who enters, so instead Priority Pass pays restaurants a fixed amount, in exchange for giving their members a dollar credit that they can spend towards food and drinks.

At this point Priority Pass has about two dozen restaurant locations at US airports, including the following:

I’ve been doing what I can to review Priority Pass restaurants, and in this post wanted to review a Priority Pass restaurant at my (former) home airport.

The Cafe by Mise en Place Tampa Airport

Until recently Tampa Airport didn’t have any Priority Pass locations, which is probably due to the airport’s general lack of lounges. Fortunately in October 2018 Priority Pass reached a deal with an airport restaurant, The Cafe by Mise en Place (alrighty, that name is a bit much, no?).

Today I had the chance to check out this restaurant, and wanted to share my thoughts. As far as basic things to be aware of go:

  • Members receive $28 of credit per person
  • Priority Pass members can bring as many guests as their particular membership type allows (for most credit cards this includes two guests)
  • In order to be eligible you need to have a same day boarding pass with confirmed travel, though it can be either a departing or arriving boarding pass
  • You can’t use the credit for any to-go orders
  • The restaurant is located in Concourse F, which is used by American Airlines, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Lufthansa, Norwegian, and Swoop; none of the concourses at Tampa Airport are connected airside, so if you’re departing from a different concourse you’d have to clear security twice to visit this restaurant

The Cafe by Mise en Place is open daily from 4:30AM until the last flight, so it’s useful whether you want to grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

As a reminder, here are some of the popular credit cards that come with a Priority Pass membership:

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That (Rates & Fees)
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express 2Yes$300 Per Person (Rates & Fees)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®2Yes$75 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Credit Card2Yes$50 Per Person. ($75 Per Person for Cardmember Anniversary dates after September 1, 2019)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card2No$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card2No$0

The Cafe by Mise en Place TPA review

The Cafe by Mise en Place is located airside (after security) in Concourse F. The restaurant is located just past the security checkpoint, across from gate F85, so you can’t miss it.

Tampa Airport Concourse F

The restaurant has two areas — to the left is an area with bar seating and high-top tables, and to the right is an area with booths.

Cafe by Mise en Place Tampa Airport

There was a friendly host who immediately seated me. I saw the Priority Pass signage on the host stand, and asked if my card would be swiped then, or at the conclusion of the meal. He swiped it immediately, and for what it’s worth didn’t verify my boarding pass.


Cafe by Mise en Place Tampa Airport Priority Pass signage

I sat over on the bar side at a high-top table, which had an outlet right next to the seat.


Cafe by Mise en Place Tampa Airport seating


Cafe by Mise en Place Tampa Airport seating

Since I was there in the morning, I was presented with the breakfast menu, which read as follows (here’s the lunch & dinner menu, should you be interested in that):

The server taking care of me was an absolute delight. It’s rare to have great service at an airport restaurant, in my opinion, and even rarer at those that participate in Priority Pass, given that some people don’t tip.

I started by ordering a cappuccino. I was happy to see that this restaurant uses Kahwa Coffee, which is my favorite coffee place in the area. The cappuccino was big and tasty.


Cafe by Mise en Place cappuccino 

Then to eat I ordered the garden omelet, which came with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese, and fresh herbs. I had the choice of yucca home fries or white cheddar grits (I chose the former), and also had the choice of what kind of bread, and selected multi-grain toast.

The meal was served within about 10 minutes, and the omelet was excellent. Like, not just “excellent by airport standards,” but actually very, very good.


Cafe by Mise en Place breakfast

Since I had swiped my Priority Pass at the beginning, the server let me know that I was all set to go. I asked if I could tip by credit card or if it needed to be in cash. She initially said I could tip by card, but then noted that she’d have to charge me for something to do that, since they couldn’t generate credit card transactions with no purchase amount.

She said “don’t worry about it all, it’s not a problem, honey.”

Fortunately there was an ATM nearby so I was able to get some cash, and she was very appreciative.

The Cafe by Mise en Place Tampa Airport bottom line

The Cafe by Mise en Place is a great Priority Pass restaurant, possibly my favorite yet. The food was actually very good, location convenient, and service excellent.

The downside is that it’s in a specific airside at Tampa Airport, so it’s most useful if traveling from Concourse F.

The interesting thing is that my mom was here just a couple of weeks ago as well, and she commented on how good the food was and how friendly the service was, so hopefully this is consistent.

If you’re passing through Tampa Airport and a Priority Pass member, make sure you check this place out!

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. “Cafe by Putting in Place”

    So does that mean when you walk in you’re immediately confronted by someone who gives you a stern talking-to about your life choices?

  2. @Debit, if you don’t like the blog content, you are cordially invited to piss off.

    We’re done with your trolling.

  3. The cafe is so named because it came about due to a partnership with a local restaurant named “Mise en Place”. The original restaurant is a Tampa institution and well know for its fine dining. Worth a stop if you venture near downtown Tampa!

    http://www.miseonline.com

  4. @Lucky – TPA used to be my home airport as well though I haven’t been there since November 2016. There were renovating it at the time and I’m wondering how it turned out. Is it really good now or was it just minor changes?

    Also, you said that the PP credit can’t be used for to-go orders. Is this for all Priority Pass resteraunts or just this one? In August I visited Bobby Van’s at JFK T8 and we only had 20 minutes before boarding our QR flight and the server gladly let us order a to-go order. Not only that but she brought it to us in the gate area! Is this normally not allowed?

  5. Absolutely love this perk. The restaurant is really good and once again not just really good for an airport, really good for any restaurant. Great food, coffee and service. I’m here in Clearwater and cannot wait until my business trip is over on Thursday to try out a nice breakfast.

  6. I’m somewhat in the same boat. Been a consistent reader for years, but I prefer reading content based on trip reports (lounges, hotels and flights). The quantity and frequency of those types of content articles have decreased substantially in the past 6 months.

    I’ve been reading a lot more of TPG.com recently as they are consistent with producing review type content. I do, however, understand they have a much larger bullpen of writers. That being said, knowing the frequency of review content OMAAT used to produce versus now, I’m starting to look at TPG.com first and then OMAAT if I have time.

    I like the quality of reviews on OMAAT but wish there was more.

  7. @Lucky, For PP restaurant reviews, can you please include the total time interaction. This gives a good idea if the restaurant is a possibility given flight/time constraints.

  8. Why is it whenever Debit points out the obvious, fanbois here start foaming at the mouth? Blind defense of the blog’s author isn’t going to get him to agree to meeting/sex.

  9. I went to this restaurant on a PP card a couple of months ago (sat at the bar) and the service was excellent!! The food was also very good (mise en place is one of the better restaurants in Tampa and this is a satellite location). I highly recommend this place and with pre-check it is pretty easy to get in and out of that terminal (ie, just to go to this restaurant).

  10. I totally agree with your review. I was there about a month ago and it was probably the best airport food that I have had. They apparently have other very good restaurants in the Tampa area and their quality at the airport is very good as well. I look forward to going there again. My server was really excellent too. One thing different for us was that they did check the boarding pass when we ate there.

  11. @ Jeff — FWIW, the ratio of reviews to other content has been pretty much static, if not growing over the years. Like, if I look at last month versus any other December since 2008, reviews comprise a higher percentage of posts than they ever have.

    Of course, there are more posts in general (244 last month, versus 199 in December 2014, 60 in December in 2008…), so even though Ben works really hard to keep the frequency of reviews up, I understand why it might feel like they’re less numerous than the used to be, even though there are actually more trip reports by the numbers.

  12. What is up up with the red color with VIP lounge access PP card? Is that something new? Something more exquisite than the regular card?

  13. I and a companion visited this restaurant a month ago, and while we agree that the food was good, we disagree with some of your other comments.

    Terminal F is one of the two the International terminals at Tampa. Though it does include flights by the airlines you mention, most of the TPA flights arrive and depart in other terminals. Thus, I disagree that the location is convenient unless you are connecting to an international flight that actually is departing from Terminal F. (International arrivals have not cleared US TSA, even if they have pre-cleared Immigration and Customs, and so are diverted through the arrival hall and not able to directly access terminal F).

    So, connecting in Tampa on Southwest, we needed to exit the terminal, find our way to Terminal F, enter security there (and no TSA precheck lane was available). By the time we arrived at the restaurant at 8:40 PM, the hostess did not want to seat us, because the cook had already started shutting down and cleaning the kitchen. When we asked, we were told that the restaurant closed at 9:00. There were other people in the terminal awaiting departures, and other terminals had dozens of departing flights scheduled (our Southwest flight to BDL was scheduled to depart at 10:40.) When we assured them that we would be fine with a menu limited to what was still available, and that we are fast eaters, she still balked at accepting Priority Pass. Eventually her manager told us we could come in on PP, but we were limited to $28 total; guests didn’t get an additional $28. Fortunately my companion had a PP card of her own with her, so the manager grudgingly allowed us $28 each. Then the manager warned us that we couldn’t take anything from the restaurant with us, or we’d have to pay for all our food, since PP didn’t allow food to go. That seemed overkill, but we had no intention of taking anything with us, so I let it go.

    By now it was 8:45, so we sat and ordered some food, well under $28 worth each. The food arrived promprtly, and while we were eating it, the waitress brought some “dessert”, several large cookies wrapped in plastic. We finished quickly, and left at 9 PM. We signed our bills for PP, and I noted that we were charged for the cookies, enough to bring each bill to nearly the $28 limit. I guessed that the manager had extra cookies that would have needed to be discarded or given away when they closed, and sold them to us instead, figuring correctly that we wouldn’t complain since it didn’t cost us anything out of pocket (we did tip generously, as the waitress was pleasant and efficient).

    Some of these issues may represent a restaurant or manager not yet accustomed to serving PP guests. But the inconvenience of the location is unlikely to change unless the airport is reconfigured.

    Because of the no-takeout-food rule, I wasn’t able to take coffee on the flight with me, something I do from a typical PP lounge. In this case, even if I had taken coffee from the restaurant, I would have had to drink it or dump it before going through security back to our departing flight, because of the unconnected-terminal situation at TPA.

  14. Just wondering, have you ever tried their restaurant in Tampa? I’ve found those airport locations based on local restaurants to be much better quality than larger chain establishments in the same airport.

  15. Been there a few months ago and my hanger steak was really good, not steakhouse good, but really nice. Not sure if this restaurant has the edge over Viena in MIA, but both are really good options, albeit both with access issues (TPA past security in one terminal only, the other pet-security, which can be stressful if time is an issue).

  16. I totally missed this restaurant joining when I traveled a couple of weeks ago. Glad to know this benefit finally came around to my home airport. Using this concourse in a couple of weeks so I’ll try it then.
    Kahwa rocks! One of my fav in the area as well.

  17. I always ask PP restaurants to charge a penny on a card to leave a tip. A misc/other line item is possible in nearly any terminal system they have.

  18. Ben, I’m very disturbed by the following
    “The server taking care of me was an absolute delight. It’s rare to have great service at an airport restaurant, in my opinion, and even rarer at those that participate in Priority Pass, given that some people don’t tip.”
    This is what’s wrong with the whole service industry – why should the person be friendly/service oriented only if you tip and not if you don’t. If you are going to work in the service industry, getting or not getting a tip should not determine how friendly/service oriented you should be. If this is what it is, we may as well just call this a bribe rather than a tip since based on what you indicate/conclude – this is what it is.
    To me, if this is how it is going to be, I may as well NOT tip and save my money and at the same time suck up to those few minutes of horrible service (as long as there is no extra ‘spices/flavoring’ added to my food/drinks).

    Cheers!

  19. @Jackie – I don’t know about the rules but I had an instance where the hostess let me order the food to go.

  20. Used to live in Tampa and loved Mise En Place. First place I ever had ostrich!

    So glad it is in the airport as I still fly there frequently.

  21. I’d like to echo the positive reviews of this place. I’ve visited twice since it joined PP and the products and service have been great. The bartenders seem to be knowledgeable of the wine list and they make great cocktails too. Excellent addition to PP!

  22. Timely review. My family and I have a two hour layover in TPA Terminal F tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again, Lucky!

  23. Thanks Lucky. TPA is my home port and fly from F gates regularly. Too late for this past weeks departure but will on return. Your blog saves me money, time and hassle on many travel related stuff. I’m ever thankful.

  24. @Tiffany – Last trip report was January 7. The blog has a lot of posts, but the actual reviews has gone dramatically down. Saying otherwise is just not true. However, It’s your prerogative to focus the blog as you see fit

  25. Lucky, you must have been lucky to get good service. Tampa is home for me and I depart @TPA 2x-3x Mondays a month. Was very happy to hear Mise en Place was now PP and could get good food and drink. BUT, I have been to MeP 5x, 3x of which I had to leave before order was taken bc they said kitchen was ‘backed up’ (though I did get a glass of wine), 2x order was taken – but had to eat fast before door closed on @AA flight. The service has been spotty – sometimes pleasant, but always slow. My suggestion to all is if you want to use PP benefits, get to MeP 1.5hr before boarding, you might have time for a drink and meal.

  26. Interestingly, and totally frustratingly, we were flying in/out of Tampa last week on Jet Blue. The security to get into Terminal F refused to allow us to pass because we were not flying out of that terminal. We explained why we were going both times (and obviously to different people) and neither agent would let us go. After hearing that it was really good, I am even more annoyed!

  27. If arriving in a different terminal at TPA, can you still go through security and eat lunch at this restaurant before leaving the airport?

  28. The other Tampa Airsides have mediocre and expensive food at best and just plain lousy at worst. Mise en Place is a great Tampa restaurant that I like a lot, but it seems wasted in the F Airside that serves a number of long haul international flights. We’re leaving for Europe this week on Edelweiss Business Class and their food is good. Nevertheles, with our chits from them and our Priority Pass, a couple of flutes of Laurent Perrier Champagne should be gratis. What a way to start a trip!

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