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NEWS: Graze 1910 opening 2nd South Tampa location

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The popular Armature Works food hall stand, Graze 1910, is opening their second location in South Tampa at 2217 South Dale Mabry Highway in the Palma Ceia neighborhood this February. This location will serve breakfast all day as well as lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends.

Menu items will include egg dishes, artisan burgers, chicken and waffles, tartines, greens and grains, and vegan options.

Graze tartine bread sandwiches.

“After two years of success with Graze 1910 at Armature Works, we decided it was time to extend the brand, expand the menu and attract more families and locals,” says Raymond Menendez, owner of Graze.

“Graze is community-minded and the spot you’ll come to time and time again not only for our reliably, quality food, but our laid-back setting and welcoming atmosphere.”

Raymond Menendez has 30 years of restaurant experience and was previously with Hooters in Clearwater and a Managing Partner with Ciccio Restaurant Group in Tampa.

Lawrence “Bubba” Durley, Graze 1910’s head chef, previously with Oxford Exchange and Café Dufrain, will oversee both Graze kitchen locations and continue to be their creative menu advisor.

Visit Graze 1910 online for information at graze1910.com.

Carlos Eats

January 29, 2020 |

NEWS: Roux in South Tampa is now permanently closed

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Roux, the New Orleans concept by Datz Restaurant Group, has ceased operations according to a report by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

The restaurant was known for serving favorites of Cajun and Creole cuisine such as jambalaya, red beans and rice, and also some of the best cornbread I have ever enjoyed in Tampa. The chefs were brought from New Orleans back in 2014 for a true experience for fans of the cuisine to enjoy.

Datz Restaurant Group is currently busy opening new restaurants across the bridge including most recently their Datz St. Petersburg branch and a cafe inside The James Museum. A new Datz location is also opening soon in Brandon.

Here is a parting message from the owners:

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Thank you for the memories

A post shared by Roux Tampa (@rouxtampa) on

 

Carlos Eats

January 2, 2020 |

NEWS: Mini Doughnut Factory flagship South Tampa location now permanently CLOSED

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The Tampa Bay Business Journal broke news last night that Mini Doughnut Factory’s flagship store in South Tampa is now permanently closed. It appears that the legal and financial woes were too much for the franchise to handle.

Just a few years ago Mini Doughnut Factory was one of the fastest rising businesses in Tampa with a fever pitch of business and support throughout the city. Mini Doughnut Factory won best donuts in town for multiple years in a row and was a local favorite of most locals. Major plans for expansion and to become a chain failed to materialize after an ill-fated opening in St. Petersburg.

The chain had a huge social media following and not a day would pass without seeing some mini donuts on Snapchat and Instagram in the last few years. John Mayer even stopped by a for a bite one day. Lines of little girls and mothers would be visible from early in the morning at the South Tampa store.

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this is love

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Carlos Eats

April 15, 2019 |

Sunday Brunch at O Cocina (South Tampa)

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Full disclosure: I was invited to try the brunch menu at O Cocina for a complimentary tasting in exchange for my opinion. These opinions are my own and do not represent O Cocina.

I am normally skeptical of the phrase “Modern or Contemporary Mexican”. It usually means expensive food that pretty much ditches all the things that make Mexican cuisine what it is minus some tortillas or guacamole. I’m happy to report that my experience at O Cocina was the furthest thing from that and truly represented a thorough understanding of Mexican cuisine in a gourmet twist.

I specifically came to try the brunch menu on my visit. What I found is that O Cocina maintains the freshness of Mexican cuisine and doesn’t ditch but embraces the spices or flavors that make it so great as it tries to reinvent it to a more elegant audience than your taqueria or dive food truck.

The meal began with an order of Huevos Rancheros ($ 11). To me the standard will always be represented by dishes such as this one. It sounds like an easy dish, but there is so many complications to it such as the ranchero sauce used, quality of the sides, tortilla, and of course the egg. O Cocina includes chorizo in their brunch dish and masterfully complements it with their version of beans that maintained true to Mexican staples.

The ranchero sauce has a fresh tomato taste as you can see. Nothing spicy here (not a problem for me). The fresh avocados were a plus – but for an even greater experience, I recommend adding sour cream to this dish as a side. The tortilla could be a little crispier for my liking, but I still enjoyed it nevertheless. The egg was also cooked just right (commonly ruined at many restaurants trying to adopt this dish).

I added Carne Asada ($ 7 extra) to my dish simply because I knew I wouldn’t be able to order both and stay hungry to finish.

The thing I found to be great was the seasoning of their Carne Asada, many chefs when creating their Mexican steak on the menu ditch the traditional seasonings that are honestly perfect to begin with and I was happy to find that O Cocina seasons their Carne Asada perfectly.

You can order a bowl of Carne Asada for around $ 11 which is a great price for brunch considering how much brunch seems to cost at some restaurants these days.

One interesting dish I also tried was the Churro Waffles ($ 5 for a side). Clearly playing to a trend happening in the restaurant sphere with churros literally being used for anything, this dish masterfully played both the flavor a waffle and a churro into an excellent breakfast item. I was impressed and would order it again. It was clear the creator of the menu wanted to do more than provide a sugary adventure and this dish was successful at this fusion dish.

For libations, I tried the mimosa which is standard and met my expectations (they are available bottomless by the way).

Although, the real winner to me was the cocktail I tried called Jose Gaspar (pictured above). This cocktail has milk, rum, bourbon, Madagascar vanilla bean, Mexican cinnamon, and nutmeg, It is a powerful and tasty concoction that reminded me of Rumchata but was a thousand times superior.

During my visit I decided to sit at the bar and watched the bartender at O Cocina carefully making cocktails from scratch. They all looked good and I can’t wait to try more in the future.

Speaking of the bar at O Cocina, it is one of the most beautiful bars I have seen in town. It brings up thoughts of Alice in Wonderland or Secret Garden. It is truly underrated how few bars in Tampa actually have a good ambiance so this was a welcome addition to me at O Cocina.

The chips and salsa were also great as was the guacamole, but at $ 10 for a fresh spread of guac – you’ll want to make sure you’re sharing with someone if you choose to order it (the portion was quite generous). I found it went well inside my Huevos Rancheros and with the steak.

I recommend visiting O Cocina if you haven’t had a chance to stop by yet. The operators will also be opening a second location soon at the new Armature Works food hall in Tampa Heights called Cocina Taqueria so look out for that soon.

Restaurant Name: O Cocina

Cuisine: Mexican, American

Neighborhood: South Tampa

Cost: $ $

Address: 4110 Henderson Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629

Phone Number: (813) 289-0649

Website: http://www.ococina.com/modern-mexican

Menu: http://www.ococina.com/modern-mexican#menus-1-section

Carlos Eats

January 31, 2018 |

Caffeine Roasters now open on Kennedy in South Tampa

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Caffeine Roasters has moved into where Drama Burger once stood at 2420 West Kennedy Boulevard and is now open. Caffeine is also located in Downtown Tampa minutes from Franklin Manor at 212 East Cass Street. I am a fan of the Downtown location and also really enjoy the new space as well.

The expansion mirrors an expansion happening with many of the new coffee shop brands taking on Buddy Brew Coffee and Kahwa locally.

The menu is the same at both locations and the space has lots of seating from couches to tables and plugs and Wi-Fi available. The only downside of the new location on Kennedy is lack of parking – the place has only been open for a few weeks and parking already sucks.

On the positive side, they have a drive-thru so you can take your coffee with you if you can’t find parking.

The staff is very friendly and happy to explain the types of coffee they provide and the background of what they are doing – that was also noticeable when I visited the Downtown Tampa location in the past as well.

Last but most certainly not least, their coffee tastes great – I had an El Salvador roast during my visit and fully enjoyed it without hardly any sweeteners or add-ons. Check out Caffeine Roasters!

Restaurant Name: Caffeine Roasters

Neighborhood: South Tampa

Address: 2420 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609

Phone Number: (813) 644-7245

Website: http://www.caffeineusa.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CaffeineRoastersTampa/

Twitter: @CaffeineTampa

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/caffeineroasterstampa/


Carlos Eats

August 11, 2017 |

Stylish Splendor in South Beach

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    The Marriott Stanton South Beach By Patricia A. Vorbrich     Headed to South Beach? Check out “SoFi,” the South of Fifth district of Miami Beach.  Miami, known for its vibrant nightlife and art scene, especially in South […]
Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

August 6, 2017 |

Burger Culture South Tampa now open

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Full disclosure: Burger Culture and I cross-promote on events and I have consulted for Burger Culture. Last year’s popular Grilled Cheese Festival was coined by Burger Culture. Any opinions stated are my own and do not reflect Burger Culture specifically.

Burger Culture is finally open in South Tampa after much planning in preparation for a second location. The new location is in North Hyde Park at 2304 West Gray Street.

The full menu is available and their current hours are 11AM-9PM although that is subject to change in the future. Delivery is still available through UberEATS, extending Burger Culture’s delivery range.

The interior has a warehouse vibe with lots of art painted on the walls by local graffiti artist, Justin Bass. I was honestly really impressed with all the artwork both inside the building and the mural made last week during Burger Culture’s Launch Party. I just got back to town from San Francisco and truly believe that art and culture is what Tampa needs if it is going to become a bigger city.

Instagram Photo

You can reach Burger Culture at (813) 992-7444.

This Sunday, July 23rd – Burger Culture will host a Grilled Cheese Sunday Brunch and I’ll be there from 12PM-3PM. The event will showcase gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, brunch sides, and complimentary champagne (while supplies last). Come out and check out the new location.

RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/1303073126456560/


Carlos Eats

July 19, 2017 |

South St. Pete business owners to get grant funding

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It’s pay day for a half dozen business owners in South St. Petersburg.

  • Businesses owners to get grant funding
  • South St. Pete labeled as a ‘Community Redevelopment Area’

Friday, city officials delivered on a plan to generate tax dollars that could be turned around and given to small business owners to improve their businesses.

Earlier this year, the city council declared parts of South St. Petersburg as ‘Community Redevelopment Areas,’ a designation previously used for downtown.

The label allows the city to turn tax dollars into grants for business owners.

“We had people that were applying for things like, needing fire sprinkler systems or new windows or play grounds if they were a daycare center,” says Mayor Rick Kriseman.  “So a lot of different little needs that they had that would really help them take that next step with their business.”

Elihu Brayboy and his wife own Chief’s Creole Café on the corner of 9th Avenue South and 22nd Street South.  He’ll get more than $ 100,000 for his investment in renovating the Merriweather Building just doors away from his restaurant.

City officials expect the CRA to generate more than a million dollars next year for other business owners in the area to take advantage of.

Bay News 9 – business

August 13, 2016 |

Straz Center Presents The Realish Housewives of South Tampa – A Parody

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RealishHousewives_by Kirsten MiccoliCast of The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody – photo Kirsten Miccoli

 

Get Ready Tampa For A Hilarious Night Of Feuds, Friends And Fun At The Jaeb Theatre.

Brawls! Booze! Botox! The Straz Center for the Performing Arts presents The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody, May 31‐June 5, in the Jaeb Theater.

Get ready for oodles of hometown reality in this totally original – and outlandish – parody performance, where audiences meet Rovanka, the baroness of an uncertain ethnicity; Claudia Louise, glam and conniving in equal measure; Desiree, neck supermodel; Brooke, self-made business tycoon; and Gwen, the only one in the bunch with half a brain.

The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody is a new original play created and written by veteran Chicago-based comics and Second City writers Kate James and Tim Sniffen.

Laugh along as these loony ladies who lunch – along with host, Randy – take on the events and people making headlines Tampa … that is, if they don’t strangle each other first. You won’t want to miss this can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it train wreck that’s guaranteed to leave you and your best frenemies laughing ‘til you cry your false eyelashes off!  Grab the girls and make it a Girls Night Out.

 


Regularly priced tickets for The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody are $ 30-$ 40. Performances are Tuesday-Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. Handling fees will apply. For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org.


 

 

 

© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication

 

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

July 2, 2016 |

Straz Center Presents The Realish Housewives of South Tampa – A Parody

Comments Off on Straz Center Presents The Realish Housewives of South Tampa – A Parody

RealishHousewives_by Kirsten MiccoliCast of The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody – photo Kirsten Miccoli

 

Get Ready Tampa For A Hilarious Night Of Feuds, Friends And Fun At The Jaeb Theatre.

Brawls! Booze! Botox! The Straz Center for the Performing Arts presents The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody, May 31‐June 5, in the Jaeb Theater.

Get ready for oodles of hometown reality in this totally original – and outlandish – parody performance, where audiences meet Rovanka, the baroness of an uncertain ethnicity; Claudia Louise, glam and conniving in equal measure; Desiree, neck supermodel; Brooke, self-made business tycoon; and Gwen, the only one in the bunch with half a brain.

The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody is a new original play created and written by veteran Chicago-based comics and Second City writers Kate James and Tim Sniffen.

Laugh along as these loony ladies who lunch – along with host, Randy – take on the events and people making headlines Tampa … that is, if they don’t strangle each other first. You won’t want to miss this can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it train wreck that’s guaranteed to leave you and your best frenemies laughing ‘til you cry your false eyelashes off!  Grab the girls and make it a Girls Night Out.

 


Regularly priced tickets for The Realish Housewives of South Tampa: A Parody are $ 30-$ 40. Performances are Tuesday-Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. Handling fees will apply. For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org.


 

 

 

© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication

 

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

May 26, 2016 |

Biz: Changing South Tampa One Sweet Bite At A Time

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Mini Doughnut Factory

 

Mini Doughnut Factory Creates A Frenzy

 

Patrick Ruddell and his wife, Zezura, have created a frenzy of sweet lovers in a small strip center across from Plant High School in South Tampa. On weekends, the line extends out the door and a wait up to 45 minutes for the custom-flavored mini-doughnuts.

Opening only four months ago, the Ruddell’s latest business venture has been a sweet success. So far, Patrick estimates they have sold over a quarter million mini doughnuts and goes through over 100’s of pounds of toppings per week. During the week, the hot, made-to-order mini’s are vanilla flavored, but on weekends there is more staff to have additional seasonal flavors and chocolate doughnuts. Creating the made-to-order mini doughnuts requires customers to wait, and they most certainly don’t seem to mind. Many of the toppings mimic ice cream flavors including sprinkles, candy pop rocks, peanut butter cups and more.

 

Mini Doughnut Factory

 

Ordering is an easy 4 step process, step 1 select the cake doughnut, step 2  select the icing or coating, step 3 select the creative toppings and step 4 select a yummy drizzle. Currently there are 16 Favorite Combos, but creativity and originality are encouraged for endless options. Patrick’s favorite is a customized Peanut Butter Cup with a vanilla cake doughnut with peanut butter icing, peanut butter cups and Reese’s drizzle, however, the number one seller is Sweet Pig — a vanilla cake doughnut with maple icing and bacon. Patrick says they go through roughly between 100 lbs of bacon per week.

Serial entrepreneurs, the Ruddells opened Mini Doughnut Factory to teach their children how to operate a business. Daughter, Aryanna, 12, works at honing her customer service, sales and decorating skills and son Jordyn, 14, is learning about the baking and business operations. “We’ve never worked so hard, but had so much fun,” said Patrick and Zezura.   M

—Ronda M. Parag

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

April 20, 2016 |

South Korea’s central bank cuts growth forecast

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(AP) South Korea’s central bank lowered its growth forecast for Asia’s fourth-largest economy on Tuesday, citing the country’s weak first-quarter economic performance and a downgrade in the global economic outlook. But it kept its policy rate steady for this month.

The Bank of Korea said that South Korea’s economy will likely expand 2.8 percent this year over a year earlier, down from the 3.0 percent expansion predicted in January, but an improvement from 2015 when South Korea’s economy eked out 2.6 percent growth.

The forecast reinforces worries the economy is on the cusp of a low-growth period.

The bank revised its inflation outlook to 1.2 percent from 1.4 percent.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund revised its forecasts for global growth in 2016 to 3.2 percent from the 3.4 percent predicted in January. It also downgraded its outlook for major economies including the United States, Japan and Europe.

South Korea’s exports have suffered thanks to softening demand from China, its top trading partner. Steelmakers and shipbuilders posted losses last year while the fall in crude oil prices reduced the value of exports by South Korea’s oil refining companies.

The central bank governor, Lee Ju-yeol Lee said South Korea should see a modest recovery during the rest of the year, thanks to signs of improvement in the Chinese economy and a modest recovery in crude oil prices.

But, “While those uncertainties have lessened, it is difficult to say that they are fundamentally resolved,” Lee told reporters.

The central bank expects exports to improve thanks to the recovery in advanced economies. But the improvement would not be strong enough to support a full recovery , so South Korea’s economy must rely mostly on domestic demand.

Sectors that suffer from overcapacity and weak global demand, such as shipping, are due for an overhaul.

Though the bank kept its monthly policy rate at a record low 1.5 percent, expectations are growing of another rate cut, following two cuts last year.

Bay News 9 – business

April 19, 2016 |
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