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Fitlife Foods makes prepared meals a healthy indulgence

PALMA CEIA — When it comes to managing weight gain, managing the time to eat healthy can be just as challenging.

That's where David Osterweil hopes his new shop, Fitlife Foods, fits in. Osterweil calls it an "indulgently healthy prepared meal store.''

"Walk in, choose breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in small, medium and large sizes, and you're gone," he says. "You don't turn to fast food because you have meals in your fridge for three or four days."

Osterweil, who previously worked in business development for the Outback Steakhouse brands, opened Fitlife Foods Feb. 28 in the Carriage Trade Plaza on S Dale Mabry Highway. The marathon runner says the venture blends his two passions: food and fitness.

"This is not tofu and sprouts,'' he said. "It's chicken tacos and barbecue beef and macaroni and cheese. It's real food, not freeze-dried cardboard."

Culinary director Davis Jaeger has cooked in many local kitchens, including Pane Rustica, Mise en Place and the Samba Room. Among his specialties: the small breakfast frittata for $4.25, the small chicken piccata, $7.25, and feta stuffed chicken, $7.25. The 160-calorie Synergy bars made of steel-cut oats, dried fruit, pecans, almonds, honey, cinnamon and vanilla sell for $2.25.

Fitlife Foods offers wellness coaching along with one-, two- and three-week discounted "challenges," which Osterweil calls "adult college meal plans." He plans to open other retail outlets in the area where customers can pick up the food cooked in South Tampa.

Fitlife Foods, 1902 S Dale Mabry, is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit or call (813) 644-6868.

Metro serves taste without pretension

Contemporary American cuisine, that's what's cooking at the Metro, with a generous helping of "Southern comfort," says Marc Zolkowski, one of three owners of the restaurant that opened Tuesday on Franklin Street downtown.

"Whether you're wearing shorts and flip-flops or a tuxedo, you'll get the same level of service,'' said partner Bill Nelligar, who has 30 years' experience with several national franchises. He says service will be "professional but unpretentious."

To that, Zolkowski adds, "five-star meals at three-star prices.'' Lunch prices hover under $10; dinner averages $15 to $20 for steak, crab cakes and grilled chops.

"We held tastings for 200 people over three months and asked them to rank their meal from 1 to 10,'' said Nelligar. "Most were 10s."

The third partner, Nathan Laursen, oversees weekend entertainment. He'll be booking musicians and singers who can make the baby grand piano a focal point of the 112-seat restaurant.

The Metro, 511 N Franklin St. serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Beginning April 19, dinner will be served from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (813) 225-1111 or visit

This Dale Mabry spa will spoil your pooch

Manicure, pedicure, facial. Shampoo, conditioner, scissoring and blow dry. Sound divine?

Ahh, but such pampering is not for you.

Those luxury grooming services await your pup, says Angie Barta, who opened Spoil Me Dog Spa in San Miguel Plaza, opposite Plant High School, in early March.

Barta's standard poodle, Mia, models a tail dyed cotton candy pink, with matching nail polish.

Some days she wags purple or blue.

Spa prices vary by breed and size, starting at $40. Appointments are preferred, but walks-in are welcome.

Spoil Me Dog Spa is at 2307 S Dale Mabry Highway. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit (813) 644-6898.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or e-mail

Fitlife Foods makes prepared meals a healthy indulgence 04/07/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 7, 2011 4:30am]
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