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Tampa Bay restaurant and bar openings: Tostones Inc. grows in Tampa, St. Petersburg Rib City returns

More pizza and poke also come to town.
Tostones Inc.'s signature item, tostones, are served at its new Tampa restaurant, as is the customizable rice bowl. [Courtesy of Chris Fasick]
Published Oct. 22
Updated Oct. 22


Tostones Inc.

The Caribbean Latin bites of Tostones Inc. have expanded beyond its food truck on W Waters Avenue. The popular mobile kitchen’s brick-and-mortar restaurant premiered in Tampa a week or so ago in a relaxed, welcoming setting with 10 tables. Tostones Inc. is named for the green plantains it fries and smashes for everything from sliders and nachos to a jibarito sandwich. In addition to tostones, the restaurant menu lists alcapurrias, a rice bowl, beef empanadas and mofongo. 5831 Memorial Highway, Tampa. (813) 609-7775.

Pistolese’s Pizzeria

Pistolese’s Pizzeria opened last month at Kings Lake Center. According to its website, the specialty pies — which come small ($10.99), large ($14.99) and Sicilian ($16.99) — layer toppings such as San Marzano tomatoes and Bacio buffalo milk mozzarella atop house-made dough before they’re baked inside a brick oven. Other dishes include appetizers like arancini, sandwiches and entrees like penne alla vodka. 7130 Big Bend Road, Unit 111, Gibsonton. (813) 442-6614.

Greek Islands Cafe

Part of the Oakhurst Shopping Plaza, this laid-back Greek spot with a diner feel has taken over the space where Breakfast Station most recently operated. Greek Islands Cafe offers daily breakfast specials as well as stalwarts for lunch, among them hummus and dolmades. 9342 Oakhurst Road, Seminole. (727) 330-6094.

Fish Bowl Kitchen

Not sick of poke and acai bowls yet? Fish Bowl Kitchen does both at a Palm Harbor shopping plaza anchored by a Publix, loading them up with whatever ingredients you desire. Pick a base, a texture (think granola or yogurt) and more toppings to create your own acai or pitaya bowl. If you go the poke route, the customizable lineup asks you to build it with a base, a protein, other toppings (options like furikake seasoning and sesame seeds provide a finishing touch) and a sauce. There are signature bowls, too, including red curry, teriyaki and Hawaiian meatball, that mingle with the selection of boba. Palm Harbor marks the second location for Fish Bowl Kitchen, which debuted in Land O’ Lakes last year. 2882 Alt. U.S. 19, Palm Harbor. (727) 953-3713.

RELATED: Stones Throw arrives at Armature Works, Jubilee’s replaces Rib City in St. Petersburg


Rib City

Well, that was quick. This casual restaurant in the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg that rebranded as Jubilee’s Barbecue has become ... a Rib City again.

“We had been looking into enhancing the Rib City concept for the past few years,” Rib City owner and founder Paul Peden said in a news release when Jubilee’s Barbecue opened over the summer at 1550 66th St. N. His Fort Myers-born barbecue chain first arrived there in 2002.

He also said “the rapid development of this large market” prompted the change.

Peden credits the transition from Jubilee’s Barbecue back to Rib City to the restaurant’s customers.

“After 30 years in the barbecue business, we got excited with a new concept,” Peden told the Tampa Bay Times. “While it’s fun to change things up, our longtime Rib City patrons voiced their opinions that they missed the Rib City name. So we were happy to oblige them and return to the Rib City they know and love and we look forward to seeing their smiling faces back in our restaurant.”

Jubilee’s Barbecue focused on using different woods to slow-cook its signature chicken and baby back ribs. The short-lived restaurant offered everything from salads and sandwiches to sides of mac and cheese.

Rib City serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. (727) 343-1103.

In the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg, Rib City rebranded as Jubilee's Barbecue in July. But now the barbecue chain is back. [Jubilee's Barbecue]

Other openings: Anthem House (Clearwater) and Bula Kavananda (Seminole Heights)


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