Doc B’s March Madness features 50% off deals that are worth a visit

Full disclosure: I was invited by Doc B’s to come and try out their menu for a tasting in exchange for my opinion about their food and this post about their March Madness promotion. Opinions are my own and do not reflect Doc B’s or affiliates. 

March Madness is plenty of things, but one thing it is for sure is a great time to go out and enjoy deals around town. Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen is one of the restaurants doing specials for the season and their March Madness promotion is literally crazy.

Guests can enjoy 50% off appetizers, beer, wine, and liquor (valued at $15 or less) every day after 3PM during March Madness.

The first thing we tried is the house-made guacamole which was really great. The sweet potato chips are perfectly made and the guacamole is tasty. This is a great sharing dish and a nice starter.

Next up was the Burrata & Beet Salad. This was an incredible salad. I love burrata and it was done really well. The beets were also pretty good as well. Candied pecans were in the mix which was a nice touch to the sweeter side.

We had the oven-roasted wings next and these were delicious and packed with spices and seasonings as well as cheese. I can’t recommend these enough. The wings have plenty of meat and the portion size is excellent. Nothing says sports games to me more than wings.

The Cajun Tacos were another favorite. Packed with flavor and delicious shrimp. This is a meal by itself. The slaw perfect it. I’m not really a seafood taco lover or even a flour tortilla fan, but really enjoyed these tacos thanks to the cajun spices. The sweet potato fries that come with them are also delicious.

I enjoyed glass of Sexual Chocolate Wine from SLODownWines (Santa Barbara, California) with my food. I could sip this wine all day long. Just great with everything I had and the waitress told me she sips this on her days off. Agree.

One of the cocktails I tried that I enjoyed at Doc B’s is the Crazy Beautiful. This drink features CH Vodka, Elderflower, spiced pear, and sparkling wine. Sweet, but not too sweet. The hibiscus on top changes the drink to the color purple and it is practically a tea cocktail.

For a main-course, I couldn’t pass up the lobster roll called a Knuckle Sandwich at Doc B’s. This is probably the closest to the caliber of Cousin’s Maine Lobster in Orlando. I haven’t had the pleasure of being able to travel up north for a lobster roll, but I can imagine that Doc B’s is hitting the right flavors well. I highly recommend this.

My favorite cocktail was The Internal Affair cocktail that has Tequila Avion, jalapeno, basil, and pineapple. I normally would not advocate or enjoy this mixture, but Doc B’s does this drink so well. I would highly recommend this to any tequila fan or even someone who just wants a refreshing cocktail in this hot Florida weather. Give it a shot.

Appealing to the tourist inside of me I had the Key Lime Pie at Doc B’s. This was an excellent key lime pie with a perfect crust, great pie filling – not too sour but still hitting that sour note that a good key lime pie should display. The whipped cream wasn’t even needed to be honest. If you love key lime pie, I’d recommend giving this one a shot. Tampa Bay is certainly not one of the best places to find one.

The chocolate cake…oh my god the chocolate cake. I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but I will eat this up every chance I get. This cake is perfectly moist. Each layer carefully laid down, perfectly tantalizing your taste buds. I felt like the little chubby kid in the movie Matilda (1996) as I sinfully took every last bite of this cake. This is no joke. They will give you a complimentary glass of milk to cut the richness, but to be honest I found this cake to be the perfect balance, which is amazingly strange to find in dessert menus. I will never forget this cake. It is art.

There you have it, there are plenty of great reasons to stop by Doc B’s and the 50% off deal is a great way to give the restaurant a shot if you haven’t been before. Everything is made fresh in-house and that means the prices there are higher than some other restaurants, but if we’re being honest most of the restaurants inside International Plaza will mirror the prices at Doc B’s, but none of the restaurants there have impressed me quite as much as Doc B’s did.

Our waitress was a complete sweetheart and very knowledgeable about the wine, food, and drinks. It is obvious that she enjoys eating at Doc B’s herself and trust me anyone who works in food business that still goes to their job to eat must really love it. Despite the fact that this was a tasting, you would be surprised how hard it is to find a knowledgeable server sometimes and I’ll certainly attribute that to passionate servers and management.

I admit that I haven’t tried Doc B’s in the past because of the price-points, but now I am certainly feeling some regret about that. They do have regular happy hours and daily specials at Doc B’s that you can take advantage of if you’re on a budget (as I often am), and this March Madness promo is not to be missed.

I highly recommend Doc B’s to hungry diners in Tampa and those looking for an awesome March Madness deal.

Restaurant name: Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen

Address: 2223 North Westshore Boulevard B-206, Tampa, FL 33607

Prices: $$-$$$

Phone Number: (813) 498-6200

Menu: https://docbsrestaurant.com/menu/tampa/

Website: http://docbsrestaurant.com

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Hello Kitty Cafe Truck comes to Tampa Saturday!

Hello Kitty fans get excited because the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is rolling into Tampa for its first appearance on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 from 10AM-8PM at International Plaza & Bay Street across from Urban Outfitters located in the WestShore District of Tampa. Visit the truck while supplies last.

This mobile food truck offers a variety of Hello Kitty sweets and goodies to fans of all ages. The truck has traveled across the country since it made its debut in October 2014 at Hello Kitty con.

So, what will be available on this truck for fans?

  • 3-piece Hello Kitty cookie set
  • Rainbow box macaroon set that includes a surprise Sanrio character design
  • 4-pack of mini cakes
  • Bow-shaped bottles of water
  • Hello Kitty Cafe mugs
  • Pink Hello Kitty t-shirts
  • Hello Kitty’s signature bow headbands
  • Limited-edition Hello Kitty for President cookies

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Follow the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Event Name: Hello Kitty Cafe Truck visits Tampa

Venue: International Plaza & Bay Street

Address: 2223 N. West Shore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607

Date & Time: Saturday, October 8th, 2016, 10AM-8PM

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/679536285555731/

Valentines Day Dining in Tampa Bay

It would seem that almost every restaurant in Tampa Bay is having some kind of Valentines Day special for the big day of love. Here is a listing of some of the specials I have noticed, for the late-minute diner like myself. Even if you don’t have a Valentine – you might want to have a bite on some of these deals.

Bernini: This delicious Italian restaurant in Ybor City is offering 1/2 price pastas and entrees all week long until 7PM. $2 Finlandia Martinis. (813) 248-0099

BurgerMonger: Famous for its delicious Akaushi Kobe Beef – BurgerMonger will be giving away chocolate-covered strawberries to couples (while supplies last) on Valentines Day. They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – and a BurgerMonger burger sure does please my stomach! (813) 968-6860

Cafe Kili: Dixie Blue will play an eclectic mix of country, early rock and roll, and cajun songs for visitors starting at 7PM. Special drinks will be on the menu including the Red Velvet Frappe and Raspberry White Mocha.  (813) 988-2879

Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant: The usual $4 tapas menu will be in effect Tuesday at Ceviche, in addition to two lovers specials: Mixed Grill and Mixed Fish specials for $39. First-come, first-serve basis. Numerous locations around Tampa Bay and Orlando.

Datz: Special cocktails, entrees, and desserts will be sold for V-Day. Some examples are pink polka dot pancakes and cherry martinis. (813) 831-7000

Fly Bar & Restaurant: Open 4PM-3AM. Patio dining and rooftop deck in Downtown Tampa. Live jazz music from 8-11PM and dinner. (813) 275-5000

Origami Sushi (Hillsborough): Free dessert on Valentines Day. Happy Hour 3-7PM with $1 sushi rolls. All beverages reduced price. (813) 878-2145

Pelagia Trattoria: This hidden Italian restaurant in the International Plaza will have a special Valentines Day menu available fro 5:30-10PM. Some things on the menu include lobster bisque, veal osso buco, and Godiva chocolate cake. (813) 313-3235

The Rack: Valentines Day blues troubling you? The Rack will have happy hour all night long on Valentines Day, in addition to their regular Tuesday specials. (813) 250-1595

The Refinery: Special Valentines Day menu available at this hot spot Tampa restaurant. The steak tartare sure caught my eye. Make sure to call ahead – they may already be filled to max capacity. (813) 237-2000

Senor Taco: Lots of buzz online for this Pinellas Park Mexican restaurant lately. Taco Tuesday brings tacos to the amazing price of $1. (727) 289-7080

Soobak: This excellent Davis Island Asian restaurant is offering a 5-course Valentines Day dinner which includes salad, appetizer, sushi, choice of meat, and dessert for $35 per person (+tax). Be sure to call ahead as space is limited. (813) 258-3377.

SoHo Sushi North: USF-area SoHo Sushi will feature a $55 (+tax) special for couples featuring 2 soups, 2 salads, 2 drinks, 2 sushi rolls, and dessert. (813) 977-8744

Spain Restaurant & Toma Bar: Offering a 4-course pre-fix menu for $45 per person (+tax) includes 1 alcoholic beverage, appetizer, salad , entree, and dessert. Live romantic music from 6-9PM. Regular menu also available. (813) 223-2831

Wimauma: The current talk of Tampa Bay. Special Valentines Day menu available for $40 per person (+tax).  (813) 793-1687

Brio Tuscan Grille @ International Plaza Disappoints

My first experience at Brio Tuscan Grille was one of fine excellence. My friend had a birthday dinner and we were all treated like kings. My glass would be refilled before it was even half-empty, my meal came out with great timing, and that waiters were so friendly it almost felt surreal. Impressed with their lobster bisque, I was excited to return to Brio for my aunt’s birthday. Unfortunately, my next visit wasn’t so stellar.

During this visit we sat outdoors and the waiter was less than attentive to our party. When we arrived to meet my aunt, the waiter never asked whether I wanted to order a drink and would slip away before I could ask about a drink. This was tolerable during the first-half of my meal, which was a lobster bisque, but it became considerably irritating when my pasta arrived and I had no drink to wash down my pasta.

The lobster bisque was as amazing as my last visit. I would honestly come to Brio just for their lobster bisque. It is affordable and has that creamy and sweet consistency that makes you love the soup.

The fettuccine alfredo is where the meal really took a dive. My favorite pasta is fettuccine alfredo and this was not a fettuccine alfredo. There was barely any sauce on it and the pasta was tasteless and rough, clearly under-cooked. The waiter barely returned to our table until the end of our meal for me to ask for more alfredo sauce and the main course was pretty much a disaster that could not be saved when the sauce finally did arrive.

I was disappointed in the dip Brio Tuscan Grille took in both food and service during this visit. I am not sure if it was because we ate outdoors, but I would honestly never order another pasta here. Olive Garden and Carrabba’s are far superior as far as chains go and Brio fails to even pack a punch against the amazing fettuccine alfredo at Bella’s Italian Cafe. I hope Brio will go back to having incredible service and food in the future.

Brio Tuscan Grille on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: Brio Tuscan Grille

Cuisine: Italian

Address: 2223 Westshore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607

Neighborhood: Westshore

Phone Number: (813) 877-3939

Website: http://www.brioitalian.com/

The Pub @ International Plaza

The Pub opened a few months back at the International Mall where the Bamboo Club once stood. I have been hearing about their Roast Prime Rib Panini, which includes sliced prime rib, Guinness onions, aged cheddar and bistro sauce on a French baguette ($12.25) and decided to give it a shot. The place is booming with customers and it’s hard not to notice the building while visiting the mall. We put our names in and it took about 45 minutes (on a Sunday by the way) to get a table, but they conveniently send you a text message when your table is ready so you can walk around the mall while you wait. The first floor is your usual pub atmosphere with outdoor seating also available. Upstairs they have specialty self-serving beer, which my good friend The Cheat Seat describes well in his blog. The interior of the place is different from what you’ll find in most bars and pubs in Tampa and a great place to go with a few friends or to kick back and have a drink at the bar.

There were some interesting quotes on the walls there as well.

The waiter was attentive and checked on our drinks a few times during our meal. The food didn’t take too long to come out and was nice and hot when it arrived. My panini (pictured below) was pressed well and the cheese was melted perfectly into the sandwich. The meat was tender, but a little dry. I probably would order BBQ sauce on the side if I had this item in the future. The aged cheddar tasted great. Overall, the panini was tasty but I’m not sure if I would order it again. I think in the future I’d like to try their lamb burger (they unfortunately ran out of lamb that day). The balsamic greens on the side weren’t my favorite type of salad, but were edible.

Roast Prime Rib & Cheddar Panini ($12.25)

My friend’s burger.

Overall, The Pub is a great addition to the International Plaza and has a good variety of choices on the menu for a pub. With friendly servers and an inviting atmosphere, I can see myself visiting The Pub in the future to relax after a stressful day whether or not a trip to International Plaza is in needed.

The Pub Tampa on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Name: The Pub

Cuisine: European

Address: International Plaza and Bay Street 2223 N. Westshore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607

Neighborhood: Westshore

Phone Number: (813) 443-5642

Website: http://www.tavernrestaurantgroup.com/