Orchid Thai Is Now Palm Thai!
If you love great Thai food like I do, check out my new friends Tammy (a Tampa General Hospital Registered Nurse) and her husband Michael (an engineer) at the new Palm Thai, which opened recently in the space previously occupied by Orchid Thai in the same Shoppes at The Pointe plaza as Ciccio Cali and Koizi in Tampa Palms.
Palm Thai’s lunch is one of the best deals in town, as my pork with garlic and black pepper sauce (above, left) came with a delicious spring roll, chicken soup and salad, for less than $10! Palm Thai wasn’t open in time for my 2017 “Gary’s Favorites,” but if its crispy duck measures up, it surely will make my list next year!
For more info about Palm Thai (17022 Palm Pointe Dr.), call (813) 252-3534, visit PalmThaiTampa.com, or see the ad & 10%-off coupon on pg. 40 of our latest New Tampa issue!
Oakley’s Grille Sold!
Those of us who have loved the hamburgers and sandwiches at Oakley’s Grille — located at 17631 Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. (next to Supercuts) — since it opened in 2011 — will be happy to learn that even though owner Keith Oakley recently sold his popular burger-and-sandwich restaurant, everything about the place is expected to remain the same under its new ownership, at least for the foreseeable future.
Oakley’s Grille, which has received first place burger and/or sandwich honors from yours truly every year since it opened, was purchased by first-time restaurateurs Heather Woodall and Ladesha Stoudemire, who are excited about their new venture.
“We heard Oakley’s was for sale through a business broker, who took us there for lunch,” Heather says. “And, we just loved the quality of the food, the way the staff knew and treated the customers and the entire operation. It was a no-brainer for us.”
Heather and Ladesha agree that while they might try to add menu items in the future — by customer demand — they promise the same amazing burgers (above, center), fries and sandwiches done the same way by the same people.
For more info about Oakley’s Grille (17631 BBD), call (813) 523-5075 or visit OakleysGrille.com.
And, if you mention this write-up when you order, you can buy one ribeye or chicken Philly sandwich with fries and a beverage and receive a second Philly sandwich of equal or lesser value FREE with the purchase of fries and a beverage. And, please tell Heather, Ladesha and their crew that the Neighborhood News sent you.
Prost Kitchen & Bar Opens
In another one of those locations that has seen a progression of restaurants come and go, the German-inspired Prost Kitchen & Bar has opened in the space most recently occupied by Big Papa’s Pit in the Palms Connection plaza at 2802 E. Bearss Ave., just west of BBD.
The space was first home to Garofalo’s Pizza more than two decades ago and also has been a Beef O’Brady’s and one or two other places I can’t remember.
Prost, with its 20 craft beers on tap and full-liquor bar, already has been packed for Sunday brunch, but I really enjoyed not only the super-crispy, but moist inside Jagerschnitzel pictured above, but also the candied broccolini flambé and homemade spaetzle it was served with on my first visit.
For more info, visit ProstKitchen.com or call (813) 466-5249 and please tell owner Cody Jay of Jay Hospitality Group and his staff that we sent you!
Top Shelf’s Grand Opening
So, it’s never easy opening a new business, much less a restaurant, but I’m excited to say that the Top Shelf Sports Lounge at Florida Hospital Center Ice (FHCI) has (finally!) now been for a few weeks and has celebrated with a North Tampa Bay (formerly the Greater Wesley Chapel; see pg. 3) Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 2.
The 2,500-sq.-ft. restaurant, which overlooks three of the five ice surfaces at FHCI, serves a nice variety of burgers, wings, wrap sandwiches, salads and entrées like beef brisket and potato poutine skillets (a Canadian delicacy).
Best of all, Top Shelf will be participating in this year’s Taste of New Tampa & Wesley Chapel at FHCI on Sunday, March 25, noon-4 p.m. (see pg. 3), after not being able to get open in time for last year’s event.
Co-owner Keenan Cottle, who will be serving beer from his 81Bay Brewing Co. in South Tampa at the Taste, thanked FHCI owners Gordie Zimmermann and George Mitchell of ZMitch, LLC, for opening “this amazing rink” during the ribbon-cutting.
Top Shelf co-owner Joe Boyd said that the partners are excited to be part of the Wesley Chapel area and are looking forward to more great events at Top Shelf.
The Top Shelf Sports Lounge is located on the second floor of FHCI (3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd.). For more info, stop in or call (813) 953-1032 or visit TopShelfTampa.com.