Check Out Al-Sham Palace!
In my Nibbles & Bytes column last issue, I told you about a new Jamaican restaurant with authentic cuisine. This time around, I’m going to let you in on one of New Tampa’s best-kept secrets if you love truly authentic Middle Eastern food.
It’s called Al-Sham Palace, located at 19651 Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., in the Pebble Creek Collection, the plaza behind Kobe Japanese Steakhouse. Al-Sham Palace, which has been open for around a year or more, is owned and operated by Hadil Simreen, who says that her restaurant’s cuisine features authentic Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian-style versions of classic Middle Eastern dishes that are usually “Americanized” (my word, not hers) at most other places.
So, whether you like authentically spicy beef or chicken shawarma sandwiches (photo, left) with tahine or tzatziki sauce, or delicious steak kababs with nicely grilled onions, falafel, fried kebbie, hummus or tabouleh, Al-Sham Palace is your place!
And, with the coupon in the ad in our latest New Tampa issue, you can get $5 off any purchase of $30 or more (restrictions do apply)!
For more info, search “Al-ShamPalace” on Facebook, stop in or call (813) 907-8233 and please tell Hadil that I sent you!
Las Palmas Goes Back-To-Back!
Even though I personally still prefer their amazing merluza a la Russe (crispy fish with “Russian” sauce) and lechon asado (roasted pork), if you’re looking for the Best Cuban Sandwich in Tampa, it’s hard to argue against the still-new Las Palmas Latin Grill, located next to Five Guys at 6431 E. County Line Rd. (across from LA Fitness and Winn-Dixie).
Co-owner/chef Ramses Garcia and his wife Ana (photo above) were thrilled to have been awarded the title of “World’s Best Historic Cuban Sandwich” — for the second year in a row — at the 8th annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival, again held in historic Ybor City.
In other words, no matter what Cuban fare you prefer, you can’t go wrong at the new Las Palmas Latin Grill!
For more info, stop in or call (813) 803-3903 and please tell Ana and Ramses that I sent you!
Smallcakes Is Open!
Are you looking for a new and delicious dessert place? Smallcakes has opened in the Shoppes at The Pointe in Tampa Palms. Located at 17010 Palm Pointe Dr., between Ciccio Cali and our friends at the Palms Pharmacy, Smallcakes features 12 signature flavors (photo above) of full-sized cupcakes, special flavors daily, plus homemade ice cream, and the brother-and-sister co-owners Justin and Marissa Dewdney are Freedom High grads. And, although they both live about an hour away, they say they chose the Tampa Palms location because they had sampled Smallcakes in a couple of other places and felt that our area would love it.
Established in Kansas City, MO, in 2008, Smallcakes now has more than 200 stores (many in Texas and Georgia), including the closest ones to us, in Oldsmar and Lakeland.
Marissa and Justin also say that anyone who thinks that “print is dead” doesn’t realize the power of the Neighborhood News, as they have had “dozens of people” telling them that they heard about Smallcakes from my recent small writeups in this column. And, considering that Smallcakes is located in the same area as Ciccio Cali, Koizi, Palm Thai, Stonewood, Olive Garden and Red Lobster, I told the Dewdneys that they should offer a special cupcake deal to anyone who brings in a receipt from any of the aforementioned eateries!
For more info, call (813) 442-4938 or visit SmallcakesCupcakery.com and please bring them those receipts!
Here & There, This & That…
• I mentioned last issue that it wasn’t very long ago when there were as many as three frozen yogurt shops in New Tampa alone, but today there is just one, La Berry Yogurt Café, which we incorrectly reported as closed in our Mar 22 New Tampa issue, although it is has been under new ownership for a little over a month. Please go and try La Berry and tell them that I sent you!
• Although I personally enjoyed the German specialties (schnitzel!) at the former Prost Kitchen & Bar in the Palms Connection Plaza at 2802 E. Bearss Ave. (between BBD and Livingston Ave.), the owners of the pub decided to take it in a different direction.
Only open under its new name — Bearss Tavern & Tap (although the outside sign says “Bearss Kitchen & Bar”) — for a week or so at our press time, the redesigned restaurant has retained some of the old menu (including an artisan grilled cheese sandwich, served with tomato bisque), but has added many new items I am excited to try. The one sandwich I did sample when I stopped in — a pesto grilled chicken sandwich (photo above) on crispy sourdough bread — was excellent. I also look forward to trying the chargrilled chicken penne pasta, the artisan pizzas and the flatiron steak frites. Stop in, call (813) 466-5249 or visit BearssTavern.com and tell them I sent you!
• Sadly, while I thought that the new Rice n’ Beans was set to open in the former Cody’s Roadhouse space on WC Blvd. shortly after our last issue came out, it still wasn’t open as I went to press with this issue. The Lutz Rice n’ Beans closed two months ago. — GN