Five Courses: Diner favorites at Brandon's Wooden Spoon and more

Brandon gets the not-so-greasy Wooden Spoon Diner, plus other openings around town.

click to enlarge The Wooden Spoon Diner, new to Brandon, features a variety of breakfast and lunch classics. - Chris Fasick
Chris Fasick
The Wooden Spoon Diner, new to Brandon, features a variety of breakfast and lunch classics.

Brandon-area residents have a new spot for breakfast and lunch. Opened May 24, the not-so-greasy Wooden Spoon Diner now occupies 865 Lithia Pinecrest Road, the former home of Taqueria Doña Maria, which announced it would live on as a food truck in April.

The down-home diner dishes daily specials, including soup du jour (think minestrone and cream of broccoli), and a big, classic menu of sandwiches and wraps, pancakes, salads, three-egg omelets and everything in between, as well as coffee drinks. Cold brew and the indulgent iced mocha, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, are a couple of choices.

Nearby, Kraftologee, which also debuted in late May, is serving up a fresh concept to Riverview. The newcomer — billed as a "neighborhood krafthouse" at 10312 Bloomingdale Ave. — is part cafe and part playhouse, meaning kids can partake in activities like art and puzzles inside the on-site "Creative Labs" while their parents enjoy a selection of starters, sandwiches and salads.

Buddy Brew Coffee, teas, craft beer and wines round out the beverage lineup. And in case you're curious (we did just put out our 50 Best Sandwiches list, after all): Kraftologee's best-selling 'wich is the grilled chicken pesto, featuring mozzarella, arugula, pesto and grilled chicken on focaccia.

• In St. Petersburg, a second location for Sweet Magnolia Bakery, founded by head chef and St. Pete Bakery alum Haylee Shaddock, replaced St. Pete Bakery at 1961 Fourth St. N. Shaddock honed her skills under St. Pete Bakery owner and pastry chef Michael Ostrander before opening Sweet Magnolia, whose flagship launched in Westchase a little over two months ago.

The new bakery has been showcasing its house-made offerings, cakes and cupcakes included, since June 16. There's even a neat sweets-themed mural from local artist Amanda Turner of Paint That Ugly Thing to admire inside.

• Speaking of sweets, Temple Terrace recently saw the premiere of DoughCones, the latest place to combine liquid nitrogen and ice cream under one roof. Located at 11506 N. 56th St., the shop's specialty — created in build-your-own fashion — comes in 10-plus flavors guests can dress with what are called "Mix-Ns," aka toppings like walnuts, fresh fruit and cheesecake.

A vegan option and smoothies are available, as are doughnut cones, a food trend that took the internet by storm last year, for those instantly frozen ice cream orders (get the name now?).

• South Tampa's 35 Below, another newbie dessert destination, has opened at 1155 S. Dale Mabry Highway with a trendy treat, too: Thai-style rolled ice cream. In addition to the customizable rolls, an array of boba teas and smoothies fill the menu board.

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