Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue Tampeños might get a little frustrated with all of the New Yorkers moving down here, but this Brooklyn-based barbecue chain might get a warmer welcome. Popular barbecue chain Mighty Quinn’s recently announced its first Florida location, which will debut this month at 202 N Dale Mabry Hwy. at the old Don Pan International Bakery. Its grand opening takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22, where first customers will get the chance to win tickets to a Buccaneers home game. Tampa’s upcoming barbecue spot will also make Mighty Quinn’s history as the brand’s first-ever drive thru, in addition to both indoor and outdoor seating. Mighty Quinn’s offers straightforward barbecue fare like spare ribs, brisket, half-chickens, wings, sausage, and pulled pork & bean or brisket empanadas. There’s also different platter options where guests can mix and match proteins and sides to build their ideal BBQ spread. Popular sides include sweet corn fritters, burnt end baked beans, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and broccoli salad. 202 N Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. mightyquinnsbbq.com
Lucky Tigre This soon-to-open restaurant is located at 1101 S Howard Ave. Ste B in South Tampa at the old Mood Bake Bar and plans to soft open this this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tampa's first sari-sari counter—with one outside wall covered in vintage Filipino magazine advertisements—will offer dumplings, greens, steamed buns, and a variety of plant-based entrees and desserts to cater to a wide variety of dietary restrictions. The soft-opening menu includes "Beef Bola Dumplings" made with "Grass-fed beef, carrot, garlic, ginger, onions sweet chili, & spiced vinegar sauce" and the weekend special "Beef Mami Noodle Soup" featuring "Tender steamed beef, aromatic broth, carrots, egg noodles, greens, egg." Owner Julie Sainte Michelle Feliciano first gained fans for her Asian fusion pop-up, Good Fortune Baby. The entrepreneur has a rich history working in the service industry, and has now grown to begin running her own restaurant. For now the restaurant will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and will open at noon throughout the rest of the week. 1101 S Howard Ave. Ste B, Tampa. @Theluckytigre on Instagram
Red, White and Booze Longtime Pass-a-Grille restaurant Sea Critters Café was recently purchased, and the waterfront favorite got a complete makeover. New owners Charles and Helen Collom recently bought the restaurant and rebranded it to "Red, White & Booze," while maintaining the bar-and-grill concept. The restaurant will be open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The restaurant, located at 2007 Pass-a-Grille Way, is serving traditional seafood dishes such as fish & chips, crab cakes, calamari, and fresh fish. It also offers "Catch and Cook" for fishermen to being in their own fish and have it cooked. The restaurant offers a full liquor bar, as well as live music every Friday from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. and every Sunday from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. A press release touts new dock renovations, more improvements, and the retention of most of the Sea Critters' staff. "So they're all back together," said Helen. "We want to make this place even better."
Zen Noodle Bar A new fast-casual Asian fusion spot is heading to Temple Terrace, and its made-to-order soups and noodle dishes will definitely leave you feeling a little "zen." Tampa Bay's first Zen Noodle Bar will open at 8787 N 56th St., not too far from the University of South Florida and Busch Gardens. A representative of the business tells Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that although an exact opening date isn't set in stone, Zen Noodle Bar plans to be open by November or "early December at the latest." The eatery is known for its fusion of Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese flavors, with popular dishes like bao buns, egg rolls, bahn mi sandwiches, sushi bowls, ramen, drunken noodles and dumplings. Tampa's menu will be similar to Gainesville's, with the addition of a few more Vietnamese dishes. Its website also states that a majority of its Asian fusion menu can be tweaked to suit vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free diets. Drinks that Zen Noodle Bar offers range from milk teas and Vietnamese coffee to beer, wine and sake. 8787 N 56th St., Tampa. Zenasianeats.com
Ybor City’s Vegan Deli Following the closure of the local chain's third location in Brandon earlier this year, the same unfortunate fate is in store for Ybor City and Dunedin's Vegan Delis as well. The owners of both locations took to social media last week to announce the eventual closure of both plant-based eateries. Its Ybor City deli will close at the end of this month, but it's unclear when the flagship Dunedin location will actually close. According to recent Facebook posts, there are a culmination of reasons behind the impending closure of Ybor City's Vegan Deli, including "the economy, supply chain shortages, changes in city parking laws that no longer allow our customers to park for free behind our deli, and staffing issues." Jamey Harper and EJ Easterbrook own all of the Vegan Deli locations (alongside a group of investors), and told Creative Loafing that its other locations in Orlando and Sarasota have closed as well. When Ybor City's deli closes at the end of October, its original storefront in Dunedin will be their very last location open. 1903 N 19th St.,Ybor City. Ybor City Vegan Deli on Facebook
Spaddy’s and Now and Then's hurricane Ian fundraiser Next week, Spaddy's Coffee Co. celebrates seven years in Seminole Heights—but this particular anniversary party will offer a philanthropic twist. Its fundraiser and anniversary shindig takes place on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m., and will be chock full of raffles, prizes, beer and coffee—that will all benefit South Florida's victims of hurricane Ian. The event takes place at Spaddy’s Seminole Heights courtyard at 5206 N Florida Ave., which is usually all closed up by 2 p.m. but is staying open late for the event. Demi Chacon and Davy Ball, two veteran baristas who run the Tampa-based specialty pop-up Now and Then, are teaming up with the Spaddy’s team to host next weekend’s fundraiser. There will be two different raffles for this fundraising campaign—a coffee-centric virtual one that will go live this Sunday, Oct. 16 at noon, and another that will take place in-person at next weekend’s event. For the latest updates on this charity event, head to Now and Then's website or Instagram at @Nowandthencoffee. 5206 N Florida Ave., Tampa. nowandthen.coffee
Florida’s biggest pumpkin is now at Bearss Groves Farmers Market Floridians are anxiously waiting to see a giant gourd.Starting tomorrow, a 969-pound pumpkin will make its big debut at Bearss Groves, a local farmers market in Carrollwood. The enormous pumpkin's unveiling will happen at 10:30 a.m., and children from local charity "Steps to Maturity," will be the first to see it. Visitors are encouraged to take free photographs, and wear "fall attire," as well as browse the patch for their own perfect pumpkin. This isn't the first time an extra big gourd has visited Bearss Groves. In 2020, the farmers market hosted what was billed as "Florida's largest pumpkin," weighing in at 989 pounds. Since Florida isn't known for giant pumpkins, both gourds were trucked down from Michigan, according to Bearss Groves. While this year's "largest pumpkin in Florida" is 20 pounds lighter than the pumpkin from 2020, it's still pretty big. 1436 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Carrollwood. bearssgroves.com
3 Tampa Bay bars that pair wine and music perfectly Friends had been telling me for weeks about In Between Days, a Tokyo-style listening bar in St. Pete’s Grand Central District. My wife Gail and I decided to pay it a visit on a recent Saturday night. I had only the faintest idea of what a Tokyo-style listening bar is. It turned out to be a bar with a really good sound system, with vinyl being the preferred medium. Listening bars started some years ago in Japan and then spread to such U.S. cities as Los Angeles and New York. This one in St. Pete is believed to be the first of its kind in Florida. The front door was bouncer-free. We just walked on in. The vibe was like a mellow party at a really cool friend’s house. As if sensing my ignorance about the sake list, co-owner Elio Marini arrived at our table. He told us about a visit to Tokyo, where he was smitten by Japanese culture. And sake. And listening bars. “It just blew my mind wide open,” he said. —Paul Abercrombie