Anyone else notice Oldsmar is popping lately? The city's recent restaurant openings have included BeerCheez Craft Beer Bistro and Suegra Tequila Cantina, yes. But wait, there's more.
A place called Da Burger Joint made its home at 4058 Tampa Road, where the restaurant cooks up gourmet burgers that CL hears are messy delights. Menu items include the Old Fashioned Onion Burger (cooked and smothered with grilled onions), Stuffed Bleu Cheese Burger (stuffed and topped with blue cheese), mac 'n' cheese fritters and mango poppy seed coleslaw, plus alternative burger patties like turkey, shrimp and veggie.
The Philly cheese steak and buffalo chicken wrap are among the list of non-burger sandwiches, and the hefty breakfast spread is served as early as 7 a.m. daily.
• The family-owned Spin & Slice Pizza carries an extensive lineup of pizzeria (and Italian) classics — from hot sandwiches to garlic knots, stromboli to chicken Parmesan pizza, and wings to eggplant rollatini. Inside the Oldsmar restaurant's welcoming digs at 4013 Tampa Road, guests can enjoy lunch deals on pizza by the slice from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as other specials throughout the week.
• Also new to Oldsmar is Wooden Ladle Noodle Shop, a sibling company of Tampa's Zen Bistro. At 3689 Tampa Road, the eclectic Asian menu — which will change with the seasons — offers noodles like pho and ramen, poke bowls, desserts like mochi and fried doughnuts, and what it calls "spider sliders," deep-fried soft-shell crab on Hawaiian sweet rolls with spicy aioli.
Craft beer drives the drink selection, but wine, sake, cider and Vietnamese iced coffee are featured as well. Wooden Ladle, originally scheduled to launch in April, opened earlier this month.
• In Tampa, Shelly's Cafe now dishes breakfast and lunch at 14837 N. Florida Ave. Huge pancakes? Check. Tasty-looking sandwiches? Check. A fusion of both to create a pancake sandwich option? Double check. The cozy, funky daytime cafe does a ham and a turkey bacon version of its pancake sandwich, which arrives with Cheddar and two eggs cooked over medium. Banana nut caramel French toast, orange chicken, shrimp stir-fry and beignet bites are highlights, too.
• Formerly Mini Donut Mill, Little Donut House founders Stephen and Katie Schab are continuing the region's affinity for bite-size doughnuts and specialty coffee in Tampa. Their shop at 4048 W. Kennedy Blvd. prepares mini doughnuts — made to order and jazzed up with a variety of toppings that've become de rigueur in the gourmet doughnut world — in signature (think Sriracha, key lime and health bar) and classic (think peanut butter, maple and glazed) flavors that're packaged three, six, 16, 25, 36 or 50 per order. And the coffee? Patrons choose from cold brew, espresso drinks and brewed cups.