Oh god the place is called DDrinkz. There’s a z in there. And am I… am I supposed to pronounce the D? “Dee-Drinks”? “D’drinks”? I don’t know. It was confusing. But I suppose it’s inconsequential. All I really care about is that there’s a brand new boba place in the area! That makes, what? Three now? Four if you count the shitty one? Tampa must be really moving up in the world!
So DDrinkz popped up about a month ago, on Waters near Dale Mabry. It’s in a little plaza next to the Saigon Deli (as pictured above), and Lien Hoa Oriental Market. I suspect that perhaps all these places are owned by the same people, as there seemed to be a lot of travel between the three by employees and small children who appeared to be just “hangin’ out”. DDrinkz itself is fairly tiny, with the counter and kitchen taking up the majority of the space, and to the side a small seating area. There are a couple little televisions, and they were blasting sexy dance music. It was like a club.
In addition to serving boba, DDrinkz also serves pastries, sweets, bánh mì, and soups. The lone customer in the shop was stooped over a giant bowl of some sort of noodley soup, and it looked delicious. I WANT DEM SOUPS. But I couldn’t have dem soups on this particular visit, as I had just gorged myself on cuban cuisine. So it was all bobas.
I purchased my standard taro milk tea. (Make sure to specify milk tea, as their standard order seems to be smoothies.) This shop uses milk tea powders, as is common among boba shops. I could tell that they are still getting used to running the shop, having to place my and my friend’s orders separated by the making of the first drink, and having observed a bit of faltering in the making of said tea. But they came out looking as they should, which was a good sign.
The tea itself was decent; it had the right flavor (I guess hard to miss with a powder), but was not nearly as thick as I prefer my taro milk tea. I like that shit frothy. It was actually on the watery side… it could have used a lot more powder. But it was more than drinkable. My friend had ordered the jade tea, which seemed to have been made with just the right amount of powder, and had a sweet, floral flavor. Much better than mine.
The real gem here was the boba. They were perfect, sweet little balls. Perfectly chewy. No trace of starchiness, but in no way melty. Stand out, really. Solid friggin bobas. They almost seemed too perfect, like they were mass produced. Or cloned. I was really surprised at the quality. On top of that, they had an almost fruity sweetness to them rather than the typical syrupy sugar sweet, which I appreciated. They may not be my favorite bobas (Lollicup), but they are unique and at least worth a try.
So the place was good. The staff was really cool, and they joked with us and forced us to “check in” on Facebook. They also mentioned that they sometimes do karaoke. In the shop, that is. There’s a small karaoke machine that apparently they use Friday and Saturday nights, or whenever there’s a large enough group to warrant it. So that’s fun! It’s a nice, simple environment, with good boba. I’ll be back. You should be back, too. Let’s go do karaoke there, guys.