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A Taste of Tampa Bay

A glimpse at the people and places that make up our vibrant food scene.

 

  1. Where to pig out for National Bacon Lovers Day

    Food & Dining

    That's right: Sunday is the national day devoted to all things bacon, National Bacon Lovers Day. Which, really, isn't too different from the other 364 days of the year. But here's a little roundup of some special places to celebrate everyone's favorite meat snack (seriously, even vegans have a grudging respect …

    A creme-filled doughnut topped with maple frosting and bacon at Dough on MacDill Avenue in Tampa.
  2. Restaurant review: Grace in Pass-a-Grille is a beachy Florida charmer with ambitious big-city food

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETE BEACH

    Sometimes we luck out. Someone who has had remarkable professional success elsewhere in the country says, "You know what, I'm tired of [Cleveland's winters, say] and I want to dig my feet in the Florida sand." They move, they retire. And then they can't stay retired.

    Salt and sugar-cured heirloom tomatoes  get a splash of orange blossom water and a sprinkling of fried pistachios, bringing them into new territory.
  3. An ode to one of St. Petersburg's best brunch deals: Engine Rose's $8.50 eggs Benedict

    Food & Dining

    The brunch sun over St. Petersburg shines dimmer. On Aug. 9, Engine Rose announced its shocking closure, and my life will never be the same.

  4. Engine Rose in St. Petersburg has closed

    Food & Dining

    Engine Rose, the sister restaurant to St. Petersburg burger joint Engine No. 9, quietly closed Aug. 9.

    Engine Rose in St. Petersburg. [Photo by EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. A Taste of Tampa Bay: Ichicoro Ramen in Seminole Heights

    Food & Dining

    At Ichicoro Ramen in Seminole Heights, owner Noel Cruz, Masa Takaru, Chakira Hiratsu and the rest of the crew radiate a big-city rock star vibe (which seems about right, because Takaru is the bassist in the New York band Trouble Andrew). The restaurant space is hip and modern (hats off to Brand Architecture in Orlando …

    Champon ramen with a pork/chicken broth, head-on gulf shrimp, chasyu asado, ginger tempura, scallion, corn, shitake and sesame at the Ichicoro Ramen location in Tampa. LARA CERRI  |   Times
  6. Holy guacamole: Taco Bus announces four new Tampa Bay locations

    Food & Dining

    It was the first Tampa Bay food truck to be known nationally.

    Customers stand in the lunch line at Taco Bus at 2324 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg Friday, November 22, 2013. LARA CERRI  |   Times 

  7. New Ford's Garage location to open next week in Westchase

    Food & Dining

    Before it motors into downtown St. Petersburg at the site of what was the Rowdies Den, Ford's Garage opens another location next week in Westchase. The first Ford's Garage opened in 2012 in Fort Myers, and expanded to Cape Coral, Estero, Brandon and Wesley Chapel.

    Ford’s Garage patrons in Brandon fill up at the burger and craft beer joint. Next up? A location in Westchase.
  8. Restaurant review: The Restorative in Dunedin is doing its own thing, exceptionally well

    Food & Dining

    DUNEDIN

    The white bowl cradled at its bottom a passel of little house-made tortellini tucked in among a perfect brunoise of summer vegetables (tomato, zucchini, yellow squash), bits of fresh herbs and a few swirls of sauteed spinach ($10). A server brought over a small white pitcher and poured over it a …

    Jason Borajkiewicz and Erin “Cricket”  Plunkett have opened the Restorative in Dunedin.
  9. Happy Dough and Dough Nation are bringing the edible cookie dough craze to Tampa

    Food & Dining

    Think back to your greatest childhood memory. Mom making chocolate chip cookies, the kitchen cozy and fragrant. She hands you the beaters, you stand and lick them clean. Ignore the part where somebody admonishes you both about the risks of eating raw egg.

    Dough Nation is set to open in downtown Tampa. [Metropolitan Ministries on Facebook]
  10. New restaurants: Bento Asian Kitchen comes to St. Pete, FlameStone opens second location

    Food & Dining

     

    Orlando-based Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi, a quick-casual pan-Asian restaurant with nine locations throughout Florida, is poised to introduce its concept to downtown St. Petersburg. The location is set to open any day at 330 Third St. S in the AER apartment building near the University of South …

    Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi is an Orlando-based quick-service restaurant serving pan-Asian cuisine. Its menu includes sushi, rice and noodle bowls, bento boxes, and teas. Founded in 2002, Bento has plans of continued growth with several locations across Florida, and a team of over 400 individuals.
  11. A boiled peanuts restaurant called Tasty Nutz just opened in Tampa

    Food & Dining

    Boiled peanut fans, listen up.

    "Food engineer" Albion Williams Jr.'s Tasty Nutz Peanuts were initially created in 2011 and sold the traditional way — at a roadside peanut stand. Following the enthusiastic reception of his product, Williams decided it was time to expand his endeavors.

    Boiled Peanuts
  12. Restaurant review: GrillSmith's reimagined menu and refined look give it a more modern vibe

    Food & Dining

    CARROLLWOOD — At its acme, GrillSmith had six outposts, now only four: Clearwater (the first location in 2004), Lakeland, New Tampa and Carrollwood. With a tagline "craft by fire," it has held its own among grill-centric contemporary American restaurants like Stonewood Grill, FlameStone Grill and bigger guns …

    The bar area inside of Grillsmith located on 14303 N Dale Mabry Hwy in Tampa on Thursday, July 27, 2017.
  13. A Taste of Tampa Bay: Noble Crust in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Noble Crust opened on north 4th Street in St. Petersburg, an area light on ambitious restaurants, in 2015. Chef Rob Reinsmith and his team are serving up a blend of southern cuisine and Italian-style cooking, including the restaurant's signature fried chicken. The Noble Crust brand recently expanded beyond its St. …

    Pizza at Noble Crust. [Photo by MONICA HERNDON | TIMES]
  14. A new app will help you find your favorite Tampa Bay food trucks

    Food & Dining

    What's new: Food tech

    Local food businesses are embracing new technologies and partnerships to bring us extra deliciousness.

    Michael Blasco of Tampa Bay Food Trucks says that everyone always asked about an app to help find their favorite food trucks. There is, available for iPhones and Droids.
  15. Restaurant review: Food and beer pair nicely at the Eatery at Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - Tampa Bay's craft beer scene is perennially in flux. New breweries open, others close or get scooped up by bigger breweries, some reinvent themselves so they can sell beer off site, and still others build on kitchens and add food to give enthusiasts another reason to sit tight.

    Pimento cheese with zucchini pickles, lavash and Jamison B. Breadhouse Bakes crostini is on the menu.