Blackbrick Chinese restaurant sets Tampa opening date, Black Cattle Burger Co. debuts in St. Pete, and more local foodie news

Black Radish St. Pete is having a Cuban kitchen pop-up, too.

click to enlarge Blackbrick's popular dan dan noodles. - Hales Blackbrick Chinese / Facebook
Hales Blackbrick Chinese / Facebook
Blackbrick's popular dan dan noodles.
Openings

Blackbrick After sitting empty for upwards of two years, Dale Mabry’s former Pop N Sons diner will finally debut as a sleek, new concept. Richard Hales’ modern Chinese restaurant Blackbrick will soft open on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and dinner reservations for its debut week are now available on resy.com. With a menu stacked with savory dumplings and a newly-renovated interior, Tampa's Blackbrick’s will be Chef Hales' first restaurant in his hometown. There are several categories on Blackbrick’s menu, which range from noodle dishes to soup dumplings, chilled and hot appetizers, wok fried rice, dim sum dumplings, large cuts and plant based—which include vegan dishes like Yu Xiang eggplant and Sichuan cauliflower. And for those who prefer a fork and knife over chopsticks, there’s even a section with Americanized classics like General Tso’s alligator, crispy honey chicken and sweet and sour pork. "Tampa's food scene feels like what Miami's food scene felt like 20 years ago. There's this energy where people are doing new things. I feel like the customers here are very devoted to restaurants and honestly, Tampa just feels like home to me," Chef Richard Hales tells Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. 4812 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. halesblackbrick.com/tampa

Black Cattle Burger Co. Nestled in between Mary Margaret’s Irish Tavern and Top Slice Pizzeria is downtown’s newest late-night restaurant—and it dishes out all of the appropriate greasy eats. Black Cattle Burger Co.—from the brains of local restaurateur Shan Bakrac and Benson Hospitality Group—opened this week on the 200 block of The Burg’. Juicy smashburgers are the star of Black Cattle’s menu, but chicken sandwiches, hand-breaded chicken tenders, fries and salads are offered as well. Although its burgers are customizable, there are a few specials like its "Black Pearl," which comes with two patties, cheese, griddled mushrooms, pickles and truffle aioli. And there’s soft serve ice cream for dessert, too. Black Cattle Burger Co. is now open from 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-3 a.m. from Thursday-Saturday. Follow its new Instagram page at @blackcattleburgers for the latest news on downtown’s newest burger spot. 17 3rd St N, St. Petersburg. Blackcattleburger.com

Events

Tiger Bay Club’s Cuban Sandwich discussion
The famed debate about the Cuban sandwich's origins might be solved at next week’s Tampa Tiger Bay Club discussion—but don’t count on it. The non-partisan political forum takes a culinary turn for its next event, which takes place on Friday, Sept. 16 when authors of the new book “The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers” Andrew T. Huse, Dr. Bárbara Cruz and Jeff Houck discuss their extensive research on Tampa's beloved sandwich. The book delves deep into the Cuban sandwich’s origins, history, and cultural impact. It will be available for purchase at the upcoming Tiger Bay Club event, with the opportunity to be signed by its authors as well. Tony’s Ybor Catering—which closed its long-running restaurant just last week—will provide Cuban sandwiches for lunch, since all this food talk might make you a little hungry. Next week’s program will start at noon in the ballroom of the Cuban Club in historic Ybor City. This Tiger Bay Club event is open to the public and requires a $35 ticket for non-members, but a first-time ticket for non-members will only run you $25. 2010 N Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. tigerbayclub.com
Halelife Bakery’s fall flavor launch and sampling weekend Tampa Bay's leading gluten-free and vegan bakery just launched its new seasonal flavors, and it's celebrating with free samples all weekend long,  from Sept. 9-11. Stop into any of the four Halelife locations—in downtown St. Pete, Carrollwood, Clearwater and South Tampa—to sample its new soft-baked cookies, doughnuts and cupcakes. A few of its seasonal offerings that folks can sample this weekend include caramel macchiato doughnuts, pumpkin butterscotch cookies, s'mores brownie cookies, pumpkin cookie dough cupcakes and pumpkin maple bourbon doughnuts—and yes, they're all vegan and allergy-free. Its loyal customers are also anticipating the opening of Halelife Bistro in St.Pete soon, the company's first dive into the world of savory food and full-service dining.  To continue the celebration of its seasonal baked goods launch, all Halelife Bakery locations throughout Tampa Bay are offering 10% off of any purchase all weekend long.  Each bakery has slightly different operating hours, so make sure to check out the specific location's information before visiting.  All Halelife locations in  Clearwater, South Tampa, St. Petersburg and Carrollwood, halelifebakery.com

Black Radish's Cuban kitchen pop-up Tampa's resident vegan grocery is known for working with other local businesses—like House of Vegano, Lucky Tigre and Oh My Cod Vegan Seafood Co.—and its latest collaboration happens on Wednesday, Sept. 14 and 21. Both of Black Radish's Cuban kitchen pop-ups will take place at Courtney's Cafe, located at the  former Grounds Food Cafe in Seminole Heights, and offer an exclusive menu  of Cactus Hat oyster mushroom "asado," black beans and rice, guava y queso puffs,  plant-based picadillo and vaca frita, and vegan mocktails—among many other traditional Cuban dishes.  Both Wednesday night pop-ups run from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and require RSVP reservations by texting (813) 467-6496 (please include name, party size, date and time.) Black Radish sources a lot of its vegan goods locally, so expect a few ingredients featured in its upcoming pop-ups to be from other Tampa Bay-based small businesses.  Courtney Weil of Courtney's Cafe and Catering took over the former Ground Foods space just a few months ago, and now offers both catering and dine-in services in Seminole Heights. Its large American menu is sprinkled with Latin, Asian and Italian influences, as popular offerings include stacked charcuterie spreads,  chicken and waffles with candied bacon, Spanish-stuffed steak, rosemary-roasted pork loin and stuffed mushrooms. 2923 N 12th St., Tampa. blackradishgrocer.com.
ICYMI

Renee’s Mexican Kitchen launches new breakfast tacos
Seminole Heights has a new breakfast fix, and all you need is two bucks. Located at 4414 N Nebraska Ave. in Seminole Heights, Rene’s Mexican Kitchen recently launched its breakfast menu stacked with loaded tacos ($2 each), burritos and chilaquiles (tortilla chips tossed in a dry chile salsa and topped with protein, crema, queso fresco, red onions and avocado.) Taco and burrito options include steak, chorizo, slow-cooked beef brisket or bacon with eggs, as well as scrambled tofu, sun-dried tomatoes, plant-based mozzarella and baby spinach as the lone vegan and vegetarian option. All tacos are served with charred tomatillo green salsa and fiery brick-orange chile de árbol salsa. Rene’s Mexican Kitchen now serves breakfast from 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Wednesday-Sunday every week. After those hours, the popular taco trailer switches to its normal lunch and dinner menu of chile rellenos, loaded chorizo and shrimp tacos and pork belly burritos, and many other Mexican specialties. The food trailer is also getting ready for its exclusive Mexican Independence Day Dinner, happening next Saturday on Sept. 17. Ribeye steak tacos, Huitlacoche—a delectable corn fungus—chicharron prensado, smoked beef short-ribs and jumbo prawn tacos are on its one-night-only menu. 4414 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. Rene’s Mexican Kitchen on Facebook

About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
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