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Restaurant News

  1. Food truck owners set up shop in brick-and-mortar restaurants

    Food & Dining

    The wheels are coming off.

    Remember when food trucks were a hot new trend? In 2011 the Tampa Bay area started with about 13 food trucks; today that number is more than 150, with new ones coming onboard each week.

     Jennifer Byrd (pictured), Scott Brown, and Misty Brown, food truck owners of Aloha To Go and Dude And His Food, have merged their ideas together to create the brick and mortar restaurant The Aloha Dude, located in Island Shores. "What's exciting is being able to expand my menu and watching people come in from far away who have followed the truck, just to get Hawaiian food. I think we are very innovative in our concept of merging two trucks to do one spot," Byrd said. [SOPHIA NAHLI ALLISON  |   Times]
  2. Dining Planner: Three local drinking festivals and a food truck court

    Food & Dining

    BOTTOMS UP: DD'S NEEDED

    Feeling thirsty, Tampa Bay? Take a gander at the whistle-wetting possibilities this week.

    Tampa Bay Brewing Company beers, including Red E Amber Ale, Iron Rat Stout, Moose Killer Barley Wine, and Old Elephan Foot IPA.
  3. Best places to grab a salad on the go in Tampa Bay

    Food & Dining

    We've assembled a great interactive to help you build a hearty salad without greens, but if you're on the hunt for a more traditional salad on the go, here are some restaurants worthy of a …

    The Cretan salad at Mickey’s Cafe and Organics in St. Petersburg is one of many that are large, unfussy and thoughtful. All of the veggies at the hole-in-the-wall Mickey’s are organic.
  4. Review: St. Petersburg's Souzou debuts strong with Asian fusion, lots of parking

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    When friends Mike Harting and Patrick Marston put their heads together to sleuth out untrammeled ground in downtown St. Petersburg's increasingly dense restaurant landscape, they came at it from a number of directions. First, they chose a spot at 435 Fifth Ave. N that offers something increasingly …

    The chicken ramen has bok choy, bamboo shoots, scallions and marinated egg.
  5. Dining Planner: Celebrate National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, plus restaurant changes in Dunedin

    Food & Dining

    Thursday is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. Mail will be delivered, banks remain open, but still, this is a heartfelt annual tribute to the Madagascar beans that have given of themselves in the making of rich, creamy churned splendor. In keeping with the gravity of the event, we herewith assemble some of the top …

    Vanilla ice cream waffle cone.
  6. Cookbook reviews: Bern's Steak House's 'Bern's: Rare & Well Done' and Fabrizio Aielli's 'Sea Salt'

    Food & Dining

    Bern's: Rare & Well Done

    By David and Christina Laxer

    Story Farm Publishing, 255 pages, $49.99

    Debatably the most fabled restaurant in Florida, Bern's Steak House is the subject of a new book with nearly the heft of its notoriously doorstop-sized wine list (said to be the largest …

  7. Review: Beach Drive's Stillwaters Tavern serving familiar food with flair in gorgeous setting

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG

    White subway tile gleams, both modern sleek and industrial utilitarian. Above hang thick nautical rope pendants from which delicately filamented Edison bulbs dangle. The 20 rotating beers, four wines and two cocktails on tap flow through massive black industrial pipes, the particulars of which flash …

    Stillwaters Tavern on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg welcomes the lunch crowd earlier this month. Joshua Breen is chef de cuisine and BellaBrava veteran Christopher Kent is sous chef.
  8. Dining Planner: A new TAPS, Bonefish birthday and chocolate making classes

    Food & Dining

    ON DECK: TAPS

    Opening this week, TAPS brings French brasserie stylings to Tampa's International Plaza with its new location on Bay Street next to Capital Grille. Owner James DeVito has had a restaurant of the same name downtown in Tampa for seven years, adjacent to what is now Anise Global …

    Among the top five tastes this month: the beef carpaccio topped with the gooey-yolked goat-cheesy ravioli at Brick & Mortar in St. Petersburg.
  9. Review: Cask Social Kitchen in Tampa offers sophistication, new Southern dishes

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    I was always trying to figure out Mangroves. It was a nightclub that, for a while, had really good food. But it sometimes was populated by grim-looking sturdy older Russian guys with pinky rings and their preternaturally bored 6-foot-tall model/whatever girlfriends. Who were these people? Did they live in …

    The Farmer’s Daughter is a mix of Hanson Organic Vodka, fresh watermelon and Thatcher’s Organic Elderflower Liqueur.
  10. Dining Planner: New Vinoy speakeasy, new Kahwa and … lobster at Subway?

    Food & Dining

    KAHWA COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY clearly has high-octane plans to caffeinate the world. They just announced plans to open a first St. Pete drive-through at 301 38th Ave. N in August. The ninth store, in a former bank, will feature a drive-through and walk-up cafe with large indoor and outdoor seating areas. The new …

    Cup of coffee.
  11. It's raining naan: New Indian restaurants around Tampa Bay are both affordable and familiar

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA AND ST. PETERSBURG

    It's raining naan, hallelujah. Indian food is one of my faves, that wonderful array of spices, with textural interest provided by soupy lentil dals, spongy housemade cheese, fuchsia-tinged tandoori meats, pillowy puffed breads and condiments with heat and sizzle. In the past few weeks a …

    Customers enjoy a buffet lunch at Clay Oven Indian Cuisine in St. Petersburg.
  12. Dining Planner: Where to eat on the Fourth of July, plus a showing from Dr. BBQ

    Food & Dining

    For most of us, Saturday evening will culminate in looking skyward while saying, "Oooooohhhhhhh." July Fourth fireworks displays are preceded in large measure by backyard barbecues, but if you find yourself peckish preshow, here are some dining suggestions.

    DOWNTOWN ST. PETERSBURG

    Chef Ted Dorsey grills lobster at the Copperfish Restaurant located at 1502 S Howard Ave, Tampa.
  13. Review: Fabrica Woodfired Pizza brings custom pizzas to Tampa's Channel District

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA

    If you work out at the Orangetheory Fitness center in Channelside, you've got to be a little nervous right now. Your spandex is soggy and your muscles burn, time to go out and rock the day. But what's this? The smell of thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza? Each pie customized and available in 90 seconds? …

    The Carni pizza, with San Marzano tomato sauce, oven-roasted peppers, Italian sausage, beef and pork meatballs, pepperoni, fresh garlic and oregano, is among the pies at Fabrica Woodfired Pizza in Tampa.
  14. Where to eat in Orlando: a raft of new restaurants

    Food & Dining

    ORLANDO

    Maybe the kids are spending the week at Camp Kennedy Space Center, or the family has driven over to check out the 400 skeletons in dioramas at the new Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! on I-Drive or the similarly ghoulish Mummies of the World Exhibition at the Orlando Science Center. Or maybe you're taking …

    Offerings at Artisan’s Table, in downtown, include shrimp and grits, with seared royal red shrimp, cheddar and spinach grits, and tomato salsa. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  15. Restaurant review: La Fondita de Leo brings novel cuisine to downtown Clearwater

    Food & Dining

    CLEARWATER

    Downtown Clearwater, the toughest restaurant territory in the Tampa Bay area. Is it the longtime construction that has made getting there tricky? Or maybe the lack of cultural amenities beyond the Capitol Theatre and the odd gallery or two? Or could it be the huge Scientology complex looming …

    Mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains, garlic, bits of bacon and meat, topped with mushrooms or cilantro chimichurri sauce, is on the menu at La Fondita de Leo in downtown Clearwater.