PSOMI in Greek translates to Bread PSOMI in Restaurant speak translates to AWESOME GOODNESS
Christina Theofilos took an old radiator shop on Howard Avenue (across from the Armory, now the JCC) and transformed it to a beautiful Greek food paradise. Everything is homemade from the bread to the tzatziki. Her mom Liz did all the decorating – and dad John, while a very successful businessman, was bussing tables today. It is a true family affair.
Christina cares about the food she presents and I can guarantee a great food experience. The baklava and spanakopita (which is open faced and different than most) is the best I’ve ever had including in Greece.
Psomi opened this past Monday and is already a hit with guests. The official grand opening is this Friday November 8th. They are open for breakfast and lunch from 7am to 3pm – dinner will be coming in a few months. Please let me know your thoughts.
PSOMI 701 North Howard Avenue Corner of Howard and Cass Tampa, Florida 33606 (813) 733-0890
Bern Steak House Opens Ice Cream Parlor at Epicurean Hotel Across From Bern’s
If you are a fan of Bern’s iconic Macadamia Nut Ice Cream – head right on over to Tampa’s newest sweet treat…Little Midway. I did just that – tried 4 different ice creams including the mac nut…all creamy and delicious…and homemade. You can get them by the pint or by the cone.
I suggest you go with a group and get one of everything so you can taste all their sweet delights – especially their hand-held treats which are both fresh and tasty. I hate pastries that look beautiful in the case, only to get home to a tasteless stale piece of – well, you know what.
Everything I tasted was perfect and really good…I’ve been back twice – and its only be opened a couple of weeks. South Howard needed an ice cream shop to replace the Old Meeting House. Where nothing can replace OMH, you will definitely find it a really “great” place for homemade ice cream and a sweet treat.
LITTLE MIDWAY Epicurean Hotel across from Bern’s Steak House 1205 South Howard Avenue Epicurean Hotel Tampa, Florida 33606 (813) 999-8711 www.LittleMidway.com
BT Nguyen has done it again. Last Saturday morning I found myself passing what I didn’t know existed – Bistro BT. Admittedly I am a huge fan of anything BT creates in her kitchens. So, I made a mental note to drop by soon.
Well, I didn’t know “soon” would be two hours later…when a good friend and I decided to try somewhere new for lunch. And we are super glad we did. We remembered all the people on the Titanic who waved off dessert that fateful last night…so we ”seized the moment” diving right in – ordering way more than our famished stomachs could bear.
Fresh Rolls with Shrimp and peanut dipping sauce,
Crispy Spring Rolls with a chili dipping sauce,
Pho Noodle Soup with Beef Tenderloin,
Pork Banh Mi (below)
Chicken Curry Stew (below)
And last, but not least – Heavenly Chocolate Mousse
Well it’s true folks – the two of us ordered it all and rolled out of this charming 15 seat beautifully decorated French-Country-Style bistro – while full to our hearts content – we laughed as we drove down Henderson boulevard realizing, we were stuffed, but discussing the best way to sear a ribeye steak.
When you go to Fraizer Farms – make sure to have breakfast or lunch at the Florida Cracker Kitchen. All good homemade cracker cookin’, and you will thank me for the recommendation. Make sure you pick up a bottle of their green or red pepper sauce – green is my favorite – but they are both good.
If you want the sweetest corn on earth – Fraizer Farms is the place to go. I’ve been getting my corn there every May and October for many years. They will only be open for another 8 to 10 days so you better take the trek to Brooksville now. It is well worth the hour drive from Tampa.
I got 4 bushels of white corn last week (to cut off the cob and freeze) – and plan on getting a bushel of yellow early next. You may have guessed, I like corn. They have lots of other fresh vegetables as well. I bring my dog and walk around.
Fraizer Farms 20175 Manecke Road Brooksville, Florida 34801 (352) 796-0823 Go to Their Facebook Page for Updates Monday through Friday: 10am to 5pm Saturday: 10am to 2pm Closed Sunday’s
The ever creative, Ferrell Alverez of the famed Rooster and the Till restaurant in Seminal Heights, and his business cohort, Ty Rodriguez have done it again – with the opening of a fun new concept: Nebraska Mini Mart. And what a gem for the community. Even more, what a place to get a great bite to eat – while taking advantage of shuffleboard, ping pong, bocce, or just lounging around on the bleachers.
Yes, I’m a “Johnny-Come-Lately” to this haunt, for it has been open since September, but I’ve found that, like myself, many of my food-centric friends have yet to part-take. Big mistake…especially if you like tasty inventive food.
While the games are a fun distraction for adults of all ages – it is the food and beverages that are the true draw and make it a unique experience. Last week, I ate the most decadently delicious BLT I have ever had – bar none. It’s hard to admit, but I didn’t stop there. Chicken wings with Malaysian chili paste, onion rings with buttermilk chive ranch and Tasso bacon-bits, Messy Fries with pulled pork, queso, charred tomato salsa, avocado drizzle – and that was all one man could handle – yes, I did share.
I am already planning my next visit, for they have a boatload of inventive (and tasty) food and beverage options – plus I will take on all comers in a game of bocce. Let me know when you are going – and I’ll challenge you to a game – loser buys a snack…so bring your wallet.
Nebraska Mini Mart 4815 North Nebraska Tampa, Florida 33603 (813) 231-9522 www.NebraskaMiniMart.com Closed on Mondays Open Noon to 10pm and longer on weekends
My friends Suzanne and Roger Perry, along with Ray Lampe (aka Dr. BBQ) opened an innovative and really good BBQ restaurant on 1st Avenue in St. Pete right across from Tropicana Field. And let me tell you…it is the BEST brisket I’ve ever had anywhere. You guys know that I don’t recommend something unless I mean it – and I can wholeheartedly tell you to run, don’t walk – to Dr. BBQ for their moist, succulent, flavorful brisket.
And don’t forget the humongous peanut butter pie.
1101 – 1st Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33705
(727) 256-9350 www.drbbqs.com
A couple weeks ago we were asked to do an array of Cuban Sandwiches as one of the choices for a luncheon. Ok, you ought to know by now – we can’t leave well enough alone, for we just have to put our own spin on whatever to make it a bit different. But how can one improve on a Cuban sandwich?
My favorites in the Bay area are Wright’s, Columbia, The Floridian on Kennedy, and the West Tampa Sandwich Shop. Now, after what we did to our Cuban – I’ll put ours up against anyone’s.
The three most important elements of creating an incredible dish are: #1: Ingredients, #2: Ingredients, and #3: INGREDIENTS.
So of course, we had to use Le Segunda Cuban bread – which we bought fresh that morning. The smells at Le Segunda make you want to visit daily…and we would if we had the time. Then, we used a quality ham and sliced it thin, same with the hard salami and we used Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese. Jarlsberg is my favorite Swiss-type cheese for this Cuban. We made our own dill pickles and cut them length-wise so you had a bite of pickle in each bite.
NOW – the Piece De Resistance, the Coup De Grace, if you will – was the mojo-sour-orange Pork Tenderloin we made especially for this Cuban. We marinated pork tenderloins for 24 hours in fresh sour orange juice, and homemade mojo with lots of garlic, oregano, herbs and spices. These tenderloins sat covered in this wonderfully flavor-packed marinade (under refrigeration) for what seemed like forever. It was killing me.
Then, we seared each tenderloin in a cast-iron skillet to caramelize each side, and put them in a 450 degree oven for 6 minutes – let them rest and cool, then refrigerated them for a few hours so they could be hand-sliced perfectly thin. OH-MY-GOSH was this meat tender, succulent, juicy, and delicious. It made the Cuban my new favorite in the BAY.
If you enjoy Indian food like I do – Flames Indian Cuisine on MacDill across from DATZ will truly excite your taste-buds. Ok, when I go to an Indian or Asian restaurant I always go with friends who like to eat so I can taste as many dishes as possible. I need a true sampling of a wide array of their offerings so I can report back to you. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
While there was only 3 of us this time – I can tell you, we did the restaurant proud with the abundant amount of delicacies we ordered. The best thing about our experience – all three of us felt it was the BEST Indian food in Tampa, and we could not really decide on what menu item we liked better.
We had: Samosa’s, Chicken Pakora, Mix Vegetable Pakora (maybe my favorite of the apps), Mulligatawny, Chicken Khorma, Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani, Goan Shrimp Curry, Lamb Vindaloo, Garlic Naan – well, I told you we did a lot of sampling. While I must try other dishes on my next visit – it will be hard to stay away from the Goan Shrimp Curry (I dreamed about it that night), or the 15 dishes we consumed.
Go. Go with friends. Go now. Call me – and I’ll go with you. You will thank me. Please do let me know of your experience.
FLAMES INDIAN CUISINE
2601 South MacDill Avenue
Tampa, Florida 33629
(813) 252-8069 www.FlamesTampa.com
Last week while visiting Frazier Farms in Brooksville foraging for fresh corn, we decided to have lunch at a local favorite which is only opened for breakfast and lunch, the Florida Cracker Kitchen – and we were not disappointed.
My shrimp and sausage gumbo had the rich roux flavor I look for and it was “loaded” with andouille sausage and okra…signs of a great gumbo for my taste. My shrimp and grits were perfectly seasoned. Because my dad taught me how to fry shrimp (remember Palios on MacDill – OMG the best fried shrimp in town before Bailey’s) I love fried shrimp so I had an order thrown in to see how they were prepared as well. Research ya’ know. They were very good…big shrimp and not too much breading.
By the way, their grits are the only ones I have ever had at a restaurant that needed no salt or butter…they were very good. Most restaurant grits are made with just water thinking that the patron can add their own salt and butter. Big mistake. And some even put sugar in them which is a Yankee thing and a big no-no. Horrible idea. We at Bailey’s, make ours with lots of cream, butter, and salt – but we cook the grits with these ingredients as opposed to adding them after the grits are cooked. Makes for better tasting grits.
The table next to me was having breakfast – and I was dying to reach over and fork her plate. I needed one of those extension forks. The omelet was huge and she said was incredible. I started to cry. Her slab bacon looked so good I got an order. I’m going to take a drive with some friends some morning for breakfast – because the dishes I saw are still on my mind. I need to go with lots of friends, so I can do a tasting. Want to join me?
Florida Cracker Kitchen 966 East Jefferson Street
Brooksville, Florida 34601
(352) 754-8787 www.FloridaCrackerKitchen.com
OPEN 6 Days-A-Week: 7:00am – 2:30pm