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Dish briefs: Updates on Callaloo's, Paddy Burkes, Columbia, Mimi's Cafe and more

Openings

Callaloo's (705 Court St., Clearwater, (727) 442-4422, callaloos.com ) celebrates its grand opening at 11 a.m. Friday. The James family, who relocated to the United States from Jamaica more than 20 years ago, first owned the award-winning Saffron's Caribbean Cuisine Restaurant and Catering in St. Petersburg. Callaloo's in Clearwater continues the family's restaurant tradition with flavorful Caribbean cuisine. Free samples will be offered during the grand opening. Also, all meals and sandwiches are specially priced at "buy one, get one half off" from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Construction is nearing completion on Paddy Burkes, an Irish pub set to open July 1 at the corner of Fourth Street and First Avenue S in downtown St. Petersburg. A full menu, 16 beers on tap, seating for 150 and a 752-square-foot deck are planned for the space that was once Sir Speedy.

Healthy menu items

• The Columbia Restaurant has added a vegetarian section, along with some new menu items, to lunch and dinner offerings in its six locations: Ybor City, Sarasota, St. Augustine, St. Petersburg, Clearwater Beach and Celebration. Vegetarians, welcome Eggplant Riojana (sliced eggplant breaded with ground plantain crumbs, smothered in rich Rioja sauce of tomatoes, garlic, capers and olives, topped with melted Galician Tetilla cheese) for $17.50. Also on the menu are fresh pasta pockets stuffed with truffles and cheese and a vegetarian "Cubana" entree with yuca, black beans, white rice, platanos, tostones and sauteed fresh vegetables.

• Mimi's Cafe locations, including those in Tampa and Brandon, have unveiled a "Fresh & Fit" menu (and offer nutritional profiles for each dish). Egg-white omelets, grilled citrus salmon, petite muffins and more.

Change of venue

Owner Wayne Ramos is moving his Amelita's Spanish-Cuban restaurant at 1840 62nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg, and will reopen in upcoming weeks at 229 62nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

More happy hour smiles

Bob Spoto's Grill 131 (13079 Park Blvd. N, Seminole) has just unveiled a good deal: All house and call brand cocktails are $2.95 every day from 4 to 6:30 p.m. (offer expires July 31).

Laura Reiley, Times food critic

Thursday in Weekend: 25 Iconic ResTAurants

When you think of longtime Tampa Bay restaurants, the first one that comes to mind is probably the Columbia, Ybor City's 104-year-old grand dame. But if you had to name the 25 iconic restaurants that had been operating here for 25 years or more, what would make your list? Which ones are so ingrained in our consciousness that we can readily name them off the tops of our heads? We took the challenge and came up with our top 25, which we're going to publish in Weekend.

Dish briefs: Updates on Callaloo's, Paddy Burkes, Columbia, Mimi's Cafe and more 06/09/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 3:30pm]

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