A new kind of ice cream shop has opened to Tampa.
On Nov. 18, Icesmile introduced 1512 E. Fowler Ave. to a popular street dessert in Thailand: ice cream rolls. The Fowler Shopping Plaza store's menu reads like that of any build-your-own ice cream parlor. But something mesmerizing happens once you choose from builds such as Matcha Galore (matcha and strawberry) and Bangkok Summer (Thai tea and lychee), piling on toppings like Pocky, coconut shred, Oreos and mochi.
An Icesmile ice cream maestro pours your order into a chilled pan and begins to chop, mix, mash and flip everything together with two paint-like scrapers. Eventually, after a ton of arm work, the mixture is spread out evenly on the pan, then expertly scraped up to create the several spirals of ice cream that make it into your bowl. See for yourself.
In Brandon, $1 tacos can now be found at Bunfire at 965 E. Brandon Blvd. The Mexican cuisine at this newcomer is satisfyingly affordable, and many of its taco toppings are free (extra guac, by the way, comes at the unheard of price of 35 cents).
With three other locations in Fort Myers, Bunfire's food lineup includes torta, gyro and burrito combos, $1 and $2 tacos (chorizo and barbacoa among them), pork tamales, and three kinds of quesadillas and nachos.
Time Out Neighborhood Pub and Grub, also in Brandon, closed its doors shortly after Thanksgiving. This past Saturday, patrons of the sports hangout at 1265 Kingsway Road, "where friends meet friends," chowed on wings and downed pitchers of beer one last time.
"Words can not express how sad today is for the three of us. And the reason is YOU!! In the past two plus years we have met so many good people that have turned into good friends!! So many that have touched our lives in such a positive way," Time Out posted to its Facebook page. "We have enjoyed the fun times we have all had with each and every one of you! And even though this is the end for Time Out, it is not the end of our friendships. A lot of you have asked if we will be doing this again, I honestly do not see that ever happening! But we want to thank each of you for the support you have shown us each time you came through the front door! May each of you have a very happy and blessed life. We love you!!"
A grand reopening is planned for Tampa's Chakana SoHo. At 223 S. Howard Ave., the Peruvian fusion restaurant held its grand opening weekend back in June, but has announced it is under new management. Chakana SoHo's reopening celebration will feature live music and many specials on food and drink during the official party at 7 p.m. Saturday.