Freshley's Cafe opens in Tampa's Seminole Heights

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Seminole Heights got a new hangout with the June opening of Freshley's Cafe, actually an Airstream trailer serving breakfast and lunch at the intersection of N Florida and Hillsborough avenues.

A three-generational trio led by Ashley Hoskins, 25, her mother, city of Tampa firefighter Jackie Bennett and grandmother Karen Mitchell cooked up the idea of the parked food truck.

"Found it on Craigslist and picked it up in Georgia,'' said Hoskins, who previously worked at Tinatapas and Splitsville. There is seating for 20-plus on the surrounding patio. Kids and dogs are welcome.

"It's quick food but not fast food,'' said Hoskins, noting the cafe name blends "fresh" and the second syllable of her name. Everything is freshly made for each customer, including egg white frittata with arugula, turkey sausage or smoked salmon. A Greek scramble wrap holds eggs, baby spinach, crumbled turkey sausage and feta cheese. Silver dollar wheat pancakes and Grand Marnier bran muffins are popular.

Lunch choices include Caribbean fish tacos, tomatillo chicken tacos, smoked salmon BLT, chicken souvlaki and Thai-grilled chicken salad. Last week's soups of the day, $3, featured chilled vichyssoise and shrimp gumbo.

Hoskins keeps her iPhone charged up for text orders. "Just text your name and order, and it will be ready when you arrive."

Freshley's Cafe, 5420 N Florida Ave., is open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Call (813) 361-8190 or visit freshleyscafe.com.

Mediterranean grill to open

After seemingly endless construction delays, Kurdi's Fresh Mediterranean Grill is set to finally open Monday in the Skypoint condominium. Owner Huwien Kurdi expected to be serving traditional kabobs, lamb chops, beef, lamb and chicken shawarma, and baklava at least six months ago.

Executive chef Giancarlo Brajdic used the extra time to create two house specialities: Kurdi's High Top Salad, presented in an Asiago cheese crisp, and the HK Med Melt, chunks of French bread topped with onion dip, exotic cheeses and herbs. Brajdic said he has been involved with more than 40 restaurant openings in Florida, including Mezza Mediterranean Grill and Sebastian's Gourmet Cafe in St. Petersburg.

"There's no such thing as canned here,'' says Brajdic. "We'll be making tabbouleh, hummus and baba ghanoush fresh all day." He says don't miss the Turkish coffee, mint lemonade, frozen frappes and fresh kiwi drink.

Kurdi's, 777 N Ashley St., will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It's closed Sundays. Visit kurdisgrill.com or (813) 223-5800.

Framing business expands

Chad McCluskey expanded his business, Four Corners Custom Frame Gallery, to add a selection of fine art to the thousands of frames at the spacious store at El Prado Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue.

"Our windows showcase local artists and photographers,'' he said. "We frame their work for them. Now we can help promote them.''

Four Corners also offers custom printing, crating and shipping. McCluskey previously owned Deck the Walls in WestShore Plaza and the original Four Corners Frame Gallery in Ballast Point.

"That was a predominantly residential area,'' he said, "an unlikely spot for a frame shop that worked primarily with interior designers and commercial accounts, including the Tampa Bay Bucs and the Lightning."

Word got around, and retail orders took off. In May, McCluskey moved the operation into a vacant paint and wallpaper store that had closed after 40 years.

Four Corners, 4401 W El Prado Blvd., is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Visit fourcornersframegallery.com or call (813) 839-0708.

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Freshley's Cafe opens in Tampa's Seminole Heights 06/23/11 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2011 5:31am]

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