Five Courses: Conveyor belt sushi? Yep & more

YO! Sushi's first Tampa concept is set to open this month, in addition to other food news.

click to enlarge YO! Sushi's colorful plates circle patrons via a winding moat. - YO! Sushi vía Facebook
YO! Sushi vía Facebook
YO! Sushi's colorful plates circle patrons via a winding moat.

Dishing its finest offerings alongside 12 competitors at last week’s Sushi Battle, the fast-fresh  YO! Sushi gave Tampa a taste of what to expect once its International Plaza location at 2223 N. Westshore Blvd. opens Oct. 26. The new restaurant specializes in serving authentic fare from a rotating conveyor belt.

“Kaiten,” or conveyor belt, sushi dining has four steps: sit, choose dishes from the belt, eat, and pay, based on your plate’s price tag. Green dishes are $3, pinks are $5, yellows cost $7 and so on. The menu, made up of seven plate colors, lists a variety of eats — veggie gyoza (dumplings), mochi, spicy yellowtail hand rolls and tuna maki among them. Wine, beer, sake, soft drinks, Pokka tea and Ramune sodas round out the beverages.

Though YO! Sushi operates U.S. franchises in New Jersey and Sarasota’s The Mall at University Town Center, its flagship debuted in London 18 years ago. The brand has more than 80 eateries under its belt (heh... get it?).

Another newbie also competed during the inaugural Sushi Battle. Urban Sushi Burrito , which has showed off its skills at other local events without a brick-and-mortar headquarters, offers up sushi burritos like the Mexicanritto, featuring cucumber, avocado and tempura shrimp.

• With the return of the fall semester, Hillsborough Community College’s Gourmet Room at the Dale Mabry campus is back to serving a prix fixe lineup of regional cuisine. The fine-dining experience, held at 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. in room DHUM 118 of the Humanities Building, is run by HCC’s culinary, hospitality and restaurant management students. A new themed menu is posted online every week, and if you go, reservations are recommended. Lunch is hosted from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and dinner takes place 7 to 8 p.m. Thursdays.

• Owned by Keith and Vanessa Malson, Sulphur Springs Sandwich Shop launched in Tampa’s Carrollwood area Aug. 17 with signature and create-your-own sandwiches, salads and baked sweets. At 9000 N. Florida Ave., patrons will discover sandos such as the Josiah T Richardson (roast beef, white Cheddar, Dijon, turkey, dill havarti, baby spinach, tomato, jalapeño relish), and all incorporate bread that’s delivered fresh daily. The shop also roasts its own beef and turkey.

• The second concept from Dunedin’s Our Place took over the Monte Cristo Family Restaurant space at 1617 Main St. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant’s diner setting mirrors the original’s snazzy setup farther down Main. Menu items include smothered meatloaf, chicken pot pie and grilled turkey melts, plus tons of breakfast classics.

• The Land O’ Lakes-based Capital Tacos ' Facebook page is buzzing. Eaters are eager to know where they can find the popular spot’s second location, slated to open in Wesley Chapel sometime next month, but an address has yet to

be announced.
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