Driving with our peripheral attraction vision cranked to max, anything with a crenelated roof line gets special attention. We spotted a place called "Beverage Castle" in Pavilion east of Tampa -- essentially a drive-through convenience store with a cheesy medieval fortress facade.
A playing card king and queen are painted in tower windows, and observe as two mounted knights prepare to joust. As we watch, a procession of SUVs and pickups drive into Beverage Castle's entry portal.
What exactly is the idea behind a "Beverage Castle"? Does it offer the finest 1% milk in all the Realm? Do armored heroes fight and die for beer and cigarettes? Goofiness never hurt a drive-thru business concept, and this one is no exception.
Later, relatives who live in Tampa Bay dismissed our discovery. "There's a million of those!"
True, drive-thru convenience stores are commonplace in the south, and there's more than one Beverage Castle. Still, it appears that the one in Tampa is gaudier and more faithful to the chivalrous design than others.