BRANDON — Sam Sadou keeps a hairdryer near his charcoal and wood grill. It's his secret weapon.
As chef and owner of the newly-opened Taza Mediterranean Grill in Brandon, Sadou uses it for one very simple reason:
"It makes the fire bigger," he said.
And, according to him, that's a good thing because after he takes the marinated meat off the grill and mixes it with just the right sauce, your wrap, kabob or entrée has been authentically cooked fresh. From the heart.
Sadou was born in Algeria, but it was due north across the Mediterranean Sea — in Paris — where honed his culinary skills in school. After operating restaurants in Chicago, the Tarpon Springs resident chose the Brandon area to open a casual restaurant specializing in his native Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food.
He and his wife, Barb Eagel, commute from Pinellas County six times a week to 1076 East Brandon Blvd. because they said it's just the right place for what they offer.
"This place is perfect," said Eagel, who used to live in the shadows of US Cellular Field where the White Sox play, but admits she was happy for all of Chicago when the Cubs won the World Series. "I just like it here. It's really nice."
For Sadou, the decision to drive two hours a day for work was based, in part, on another Chicago restaurateur's move to Brandon.
"We are growing our business like Portillo's," he said of the famous Chicago hot dog restaurant that opened last year in Brandon. "He (Dick Portillo) does his demographic research. It's a very growing area as far as business."
Eagel said the mixed grill entrée, an assortment of chicken, beef and kafta, with veggies and rice for $12.99 is their most popular dish. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also on the menu alongside traditional favorites such as baba ganouj, lamb, falafel and an assortment of salads. Couscous options are coming soon to the menu.
Call (813) 324-7500 to place an order or for catering.
Kauffman Tire seeks SouthShore customers
Kauffman Tire has opened its doors in Riverview at 13110 US 301 in front of the Beall's Plaza just north of the Big Bend intersection.
Whether you are in need of tires, an alignment, scheduled maintenance, brake servicing, an oil change or tire rotation, call Rob Albright and his staff at (813) 533-5096 or visit them online at KauffmanTire.com.
Kauffman Tire was founded in Wooster, Ohio by Harry and Eva Kauffman in 1936 and operates more than 55 retail stores in Georgia and Florida and 14 wholesale distribution centers in seven states.
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