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Restaurant News

  1. Restaurant review: Tampa's Blind Goat a hip sip spot for the in-the-know

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    During Prohibition, rough, working-class speakeasies were sometimes referred to as Blind Pigs or Blind Tigers (not sure which was the tougher kind of establishment, but I'm going tiger). The operator of the saloon would levy a cover charge for showing customers an animal attraction and then serve …

    The focus at the Blind Goat thus far is more liquid than solid. With happy hour specials every day ($4 goblets of local beer, $3 premium well drinks, $15 all-you-can-drink wine, etc.), this is a boon to South Tampa’s very thirsty.
  2. The name tells only part of the story at Market Off Main

    Business

    NEW PORT RICHEY — When the owners of a Main Street produce market decided in 2008 to turn it into a cafe and creamery called Market Off Main, they picked an unlikely place to put it: in a run-down house.

    Jerry Kuss, 72, and Rose Mohr, 67, the co-owners of Market Off Main, have turned a run-down house into a thriving business.
  3. Review: Pom Pom's in St. Pete has promise but needs to refine recipes

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Pom Moongauklang is a sandwich virtuoso in Orlando. Her Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria has been a longtime hipster destination, her nearby Tako Cheena just as packed, both of them known for their gutsy, often wacky juxtapositions of East-West ingredients. For almost a year there was word that …

    A veggie sandwich with tomato, alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, red onions, advocado, cream cheese and Thousand Island dressing is one of the selections available at Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria.
  4. Review: Besito Mexican in Tampa a solid, date-worthy Mexican restaurant

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    It means "little kiss" in Spanish, and Besito Mexican is certainly seasoned restaurateur Chris Sullivan's latest smooch to the Tampa Bay area. The Outback Steakhouse founder debuted the wine bar Carmel Cafe (now Carmel Kitchen) a few years back, but it wasn't until he ran across John Tunney's "polished …

    Tacos de Camarones with crispy shrimp, shredded romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, chipotle cream salsa, cilantro and queso fresco are on the menu at Besito Mexican in Tampa.
  5. Out in the woods, Hernando couple distills award-winning whiskey

    Business

    WEEKI WACHEE

    Not only is Wild Buck American Rye Whiskey handmade; so is its distillery.

    Kevin and Natalie Goff pour freshly ground rye into heated water as they start the process for a batch of whiskey on April 13 at their Weeki Wachee spread west of U.S. 19. They bottle and distribute Wild Buck American Rye Whiskey.
  6. TIA's new lineup of food, drink and shopping options awaits June vote

    Airlines

    TAMPA — The rankings of the top dining, drinking and shopping options vying for space at Tampa International Airport are in and waiting for a final vote.

  7. Review: St. Petersburg's POW debuts pizza and wings next to World of Beer

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Look up, and vintage black-and-white episodes of Batman and Robin play on a sextet of old-timey television screens. Over there is an oversized pop art mural of Salvador Dalí as costumed superhero (that mustache is surprisingly intimidating when accompanied by a mask). The banquettes feature …

    POW recently opened in the former Wood Fired Pizza spot next to World of Beer in downtown St. Petersburg. The Hawaiian BBQ Pizza, with pulled pork, smoked Gouda, pineapple, grilled onion and cilantro, is among the offerings.
  8. Florida's crop of new craft distilleries stands ready to sell more liquor

    Bars & Spirits

    Feeling thirsty? It's looking as if Florida drinkers may have something to celebrate when a measure moving through the Legislature loosens purchase restrictions at craft breweries.

    St. Petersburg Distillery’s director of product development Daniel Undhammar, second from right, talks about the copper pot stills hand-crafted in the 1930s as he gives a distillery tour Thursday.
  9. In its 30 years, Beef 'O' Brady's evolves into a defining Tampa Bay franchise

    Retail

    BRANDON — It was almost called Potatoes O'Brien. The "neighborhood hangout" chain didn't serve wings. Or have TVs. Or pour liquor. It was a tiny unassuming Irish pub — named partly after the owner's mother — at the end of a mundane strip mall. It served steaks, at least until a thief burgled the meat. …

    Since its founding 30 years ago, Beef O'Brady's has been a defining franchise for Tampa Bay. It now has more than 200 locations, including two overseas. OCTAVIO JONES, Times
  10. WestShore Plaza adds boutique, Apollo Beach pizzeria celebrates 25 years, Westchase salon expands services

    Retail

    Apricot Lane, WestShore Plaza's newest boutique for women's fashion, promises to deliver brands unique to the area.

    San Remo Pizzeria in Apollo Beach is celebrating its 25th anniversary. General Manager Peter Esposito, right, stands with his mother, Rosa, and his brother-in-law, John Boyd.
  11. New offerings in St. Petersburg: gourmet food to grilled cheese, Boho chic to high-end bongs

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen new businesses are open, or in the works, along four blocks of Central Avenue on the edge of downtown.

    A new business, Central Melt, will occupy the old Fountain and Restaurant space at 685 Central Ave. The restaurant will sell several kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches.
  12. Iconic Goody Goody restaurant to reopen in Hyde Park Village

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — After months of speculation, the location of the soon-to-be-resurrected Goody Goody — the iconic restaurant known for its pies and bags of hamburgers "POX" with pickles, onions and the fabled secret sauce — has been announced.

    Richard Gonzmart in the driver seat of the Goody Goody truck.
  13. Fresh Chef delivers for those without time, inclination to cook

    Business

    SPRING HILL — Culinary school graduate Amelia Harper wants to be your personal chef — from the sidelines — making high-end meals remarkably affordable.

    Amelia Harper, owner of the Fresh Chef, prepares a meal that she will later deliver to a customer. “I provide everything. All they do is heat it up. They can complete dinner in 15 minutes.”
  14. Review: Haven, in SideBern's old spot, sets high bar from the start

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    David Laxer reached way back when naming Haven, alluding to his parents' long-ago Beer Haven in what is now the Bordeaux Room of Bern's Steak House. This homage to Gert and Bern Laxer makes one wonder what the family patriarch would think of this newcomer, which opened in March at the site of SideBern's. …

    Haven opened at 2208 W Morrison Ave. in Tampa in March. It’s less old-school fancy than Bern’s Steak House and less pricey than SideBern’s was.
  15. Tampa's Haven debuts bay area's most ambitious cheese program

    Food & Dining

    Cheese and charcuterie plates have cropped up all over the Tampa Bay area recently, from Annata Wine Bar and Locale Market in St. Petersburg to Cru Cellars and Bianchi's Enoteca in Tampa. But Haven, which debuted in March in the spot vacated in June 2014 by SideBern's, represents the most ambitious cheese program in our …

    Haven, which opened in March in the former SideBern’s spot in Tampa, holds about 120 cheeses in its cheese cave. Haven also boasts a 2,500-bottle wine cellar and more than 300 bourbons.