Younger sibling of Tampa's Xtreme Tacos, XT Munchies, will open this week

Mexican-inspired street snacks are the focus.

click to enlarge This fruit cup features papaya, pineapple, chili powder and a drizzle of Mexican condiment chamoy. - Alexandria Jones
Alexandria Jones
This fruit cup features papaya, pineapple, chili powder and a drizzle of Mexican condiment chamoy.

The last time CL spoke with Uziel Ramirez and Sofie Warrenbrand of Xtreme Tacos was a few months back. The owners were gearing up to reopen their brick-and-mortar location in Tampa's Seminole Heights, but due to permitting issues, they've decided to debut their newest project, XT Munchies, to the neighborhood first.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, XT Munchies will launch in soft-opening mode in the Powhatan Plaza at 5705 N. Nebraska Ave. — across the street from Xtreme's future home.

It should hold the locals over.

"XT Munchies is all about introducing more Mexican treats into the community," Warrenbrand says. "Everything is healthy, and we like to serve fresh foods. For us, it's an easy concept to fall in love with because it goes along with our Xtreme Tacos beliefs."

The difference between XT Munchies and Xtreme is what's on the menu. Xtreme offers taqueria favorites like tacos and tortas, while the specialties at XT Munchies are Mexican-inspired street snacks that might be more unfamiliar.

For one, XT Munchies will feature elotes, or Mexican-style grilled corn topped with mayo, chili powder and cheese. But it also has fruit cups made with tropical, seasonal fruits (think papaya, watermelon, mango or pineapple) and rice puddings planned. There's a selection of aguas frescas in flavors like horchata and hibiscus tea, too.

The offerings are set to range from $3 to $5, meaning guests will spend an affordable average of $10 per meal.

"I expect it to be very busy because it's going to be authentic, which not only means Mexican, but also foods Hispanic people love. I feel like everybody else is going to love it as well," Ramirez says.

At 650 square feet, the 15-seat XT Munchies property is considerably smaller than that of Xtreme. This difference has led Ramirez and Warrenbrand to consider adding a few outdoor seats, but inside — where diners can enjoy the space's chalkboard paint-covered walls as they wait for food — is kinda where it's at. According to the owners, guests of their original brick-and-mortar on Waters Avenue spent lots of time either admiring the art or creating their own.

"People loved it. They'd spend forever in the bathroom and come out and say, 'I was drawing on the chalkboard,'" says Warrenbrand. "Once all the walls were covered, they'd go to the ceilings."

XT Munchies expects to celebrate its grand opening closer to the end of the year. To start, the newbie will operate from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

As for Xtreme, the taqueria hopes to premiere in early 2019.

"A lot of people are moving into Seminole Heights and opening up businesses within the next year because it's a great community," Ramirez says. "People are happy Xtreme Tacos is opening up, and once they see what we have to offer, they're going to be happy we stayed in the neighborhood."