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NEWS: Hot Pot BBQ is now open on Fowler Avenue and serving unlimited hot pot and Korean BBQ

Update: The owners of Nine Spices Hot Pot in St. Petersburg have reached out to clarify that they are not affiliated with the Hot Pot BBQ spot on Fowler. The business licenses were strangely similar.

The rumor mill has been swirling for quite some time, but now Hot Pot BBQ is now open to the public.

Diners can enjoy unlimited hot pot and Korean BBQ for around $30. The option to exclude bbq will save you a few bucks, but I don’t suggest doing that.

I stopped by for a visit earlier this week and tried the Korean BBQ and hot pot and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the food was. The quality of the meat and seafood were far superior to competitors throughout the Tampa Bay area and although the prices are a little higher than Izziban BBQ in Orlando, I do think the higher price-point is worth it.

The quality of the spicy pork belly cut and bulgogi was noticeably great. The Korean BBQ grills cooked the meat cuts quickly and efficiently. The restaurant offers butter to grease the surface. Hot Pot offers your standard lettuce wraps available and side veggies to add to your meats. I highly recommend the Korean BBQ at Hot Pot BBQ.

The seafood selection was also satisfactory and on-par with popular hot pot places in Orlando and St. Petersburg with crawfish, squid, clams, mussels, fish balls, and more. The broths for the hot pot are a little on the blander-side, but you can easily spice it up with their sauces and side offerings including heaping of garlic and cilantro.

Veggies, fruits, and desserts rotate around the restaurant on a conveyor belt that is similar to many modern Asian eateries around the country. Diners can simply pick up anything they like to eat and add it to their food. Some things we enjoyed were the cake desserts, oranges, instant ramen, dumplings, and more.

Beware that there is a fee for those who do not finish their food that is marked at $13.99 and a 2 hour limit for enjoying the buffet.

I recommend Hot Pot BBQ and suggest you give it a look if you’re interested in trying something new in Tampa. Soon Yum Yum Hot Pot AYCE will also be joining this area. The winner, of course, is diners in Tampa.

Restaurant Name: Boil Spot Hot Pot BBQ

Neighborhood: Uptown, USF

Cuisine: Hot Pot, Korean BBQ

Address: 1120 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612

Phone: (813) 374-9947

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NEWS: LPCX Latin Cafe Bakery closing doors on November 9th in Tampa

LPCX announced today on Instagram that they will close their doors starting end of the day Saturday, November 9th until further notice as they work out what is next for their business.

The cafe has been known to serve great coffee drinks and beautiful latte art so it is certainly a loss for Tampa’s coffee community.

They were recently featured on That’s So Tampa’s 3 hidden coffee shops you need to visit. Unfortunately – it may have been too late to change the trajectory for the LCPX Cafe. Make sure you stop by for a last cup of joe if you have a chance.

La Pequeña Colombia ​will remain open across the street.

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NEWS: Yum Yum Hot Pot AYCE opening soon in Temple Terrace

It would seem that interest in hot pot in Tampa right now is on fire! Yum Yum Hot Pot AYCE is opening soon in Temple Terrace just minutes from USF and Tampa’s Uptown. Jennifer Will shared the news with that I can now confirm after a post about Nine Spices Hot Pot potentially coming to Fowler Avenue.

Yum Yum’s application for a license is still in progress.

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The business hasn’t posted anything yet on the social media channels it has up but their Facebook description reads: “All you can eat Hot Pot Restaurant. You cook all the fresh foods to your own liking with no grease. New dining experience await(s) you.”

Owner Cuong Chau says Yum Yum Hot Pot is still a few weeks away from completion.

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The owners have also already been added to Google Maps. The location is next to Shapes Gym at 11301 North 56th street Unit #6  Temple Terrace, Florida 33617

The official site is yumyumhotpotayce.com.

Exciting times in Tampa. More information as it comes in.

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RUMOR: Nine Spices Hot Pot expanding to Tampa’s Uptown near USF (UPDATED)

Update: The owners from Nine Spices Hot Pot in St. Petersburg have reached out to say they are not affiliated with the new HotPot BBQ on Fowler Avenue.

The license for the business says 9 Spices Hot Pot, but the location in St. Petersburg is actually “Nine Spices Hot Pot“. It is a very bizarre coincidence. 

A new hot pot place has appeared on Fowler Avenue near USF and Tampa’s Uptown called HotPot BBQ.

There isn’t much online for it yet, but the license for the location points to Nine Spices Hot Pot in St. Petersburg as the owners of the location and this spot is in the old Hong Kong House spot in front of M.D. Oriental Market at 1120 East Fowler Avenue Tampa, Florida 33612.

Licenses:

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NEWS: We Are Poke organic-focused restaurant now open in South Tampa

Full disclosure: I was invited to We Are Poke to check out their concept. I received a complimentary meal during my visit to taste the menu. All opinions listed in this article are my own and do not reflect the business or affiliates.

Poke restaurants are taking Tampa by storm and the popular trend shows no sign of slowdown yet. It seems that a new poke spot is opening almost every few weeks. We Are Poke is one of the latest restaurants to enter the scene with a focus on organic fruits and vegetables.

The owners are from Tahiti and wanted to bring some of their favorite food to Tampa diners. I stopped by over the weekend to check it out and found they offer both poke bowls with tuna, salmon, tofu, or chicken and also dessert bowls with yogurt or fruits.

The prices were fairly reasonable at around $10 for a bowl of poke and less than $8 for dessert bowls. Pricing organic food at those levels may prove making a profit quite difficult for the business owners. I think people are willing to pay extra for organic as long as it is well communicated by the concept.

One of the most noticeable things during my visit was the quality of the organic vegetables which tasted far superior to what I am used to a poke spots around town. Hopefully the quality will be maintained as they grow.

The location of the cafe is about the size of what you would expect for a tea shop or small cafe and they are located right next to a smoke shop across the street from Japanese Kitchen Dosunco. Parking is limited so plan ahead.

Restaurant Name: We Are Poke

Neighborhood: South Tampa

Cuisine: Poke, Dessert

Address: 3309 W Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33609

Phone Number: (813) 353-0355

Cost: $

Menu: http://www.wearepoke.com/menu

Website: http://www.wearepoke.com/

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NEWS: Tampa chefs competing on ‘Beat Bobby Flay’ (POSTPONED)

Update from Chef Rosana and Ricardo (10/23):

“The Food Network has decided to postpone our episode “It Must’ve Been Love” that was originally scheduled to air tomorrow, October 24th, 2019. We are surprised but do understand the Food Network’s scheduling decision.”

We cannot wait for the new air date and we look forward to sharing it with our community as soon as possible. Without a doubt, we are very grateful for all your support and enthusiasm. Stay tuned for our updates through our social media platforms and the announcement of the new air date and rescheduling of our official watch party.”
“Although we will not be watching the episode live tomorrow we would still love to meet everyone who has RSVP’D or planned on attending the watch party. Join us tomorrow at The Hall on Franklin from 8:30pm – 11:00pm to celebrate with Chef Rosana and Chef Ricardo on announcing their exciting news.
– Chef Rosana + Chef Ricardo 

Tampa Chefs Rosana and Ricardo Rivera will compete on the Food Network show “Beat Bobby Flay” on Thursday, October 24th at 10PM EST. The story was first reported by Creative Loafing Tampa.

The chefs currently own Xilo Mexican food stand inside of Hall on Franklin food hall in Tampa. Xilo has a focus on fresh, traditional Mexican cooking with a focus on high-end plating and presentation. They previously owned Piquant Bakery.

They will compete against each for a chance to beat Bobby Flay and I hope they do because it is so frustrating when he wins!

There will be a watch party at The Hall on Franklin in Tampa Heights at 8:30PM on the day of the premiere and free tickets are now available.

Tickets: http://bit.ly/2ByNGQx

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/985217015176304/

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NEWS: Michelle Faedo opening a 2nd location in Downtown Tampa

International Cuban Sandwich Festival winner Michelle Faedo is planning a second location of her concept, Michelle Faedo’s Tampeño Cuisine inside the Hillsborough County Building at 601 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602. No opening date has been announced yet.

Faedo’s first restaurant concept after her popular “Michelle Faedo’s On-The-Go” food truck was launched at the ENCORE! building in 2018 between Downtown Tampa and Ybor City. The ENCORE! restaurant will remain open.

Her award-winning food has been popular in Tampa for years with her Faedo’s Famous Traditional Cuban Sandwich as her signature dish. Faedo also pays homage to Tampa classics like deviled crab, cafe con leche, stuffed potatoes, among other things.

Michelle Faedo has always been active in the local government and has been popular over the years with city council members, journalists, and the current City of Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor, who gave Michelle Faedo a shoutout at her election victory party earlier this year and a plug on The Zest! Podcast. Castor said Michelle helped keep her hungry campaign fed during the race.

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Hybrid Cuban from @michellefaedo13

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I have watched Michelle knock out hundreds of orders on her food truck and am confidant the new location will be a success.

Here is a video I shot with her earlier this year at the Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.

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NEWS: Revolution Ice Cream coming to South Tampa

Revolution Ice Cream, arguably one of the best ice cream shop concepts in Tampa Bay, is making its way to South Tampa after opening two successful locations in Brandon and Seminole Heights.

Known for delicious ice cream often made with local ingredients and their boozy selections, The Rev has been serving the Tampa area since 2013 and won numerous awards around town for their ice cream.

The expansion is set to happen in early 2020 and was first reported by Fox 13 Tampa Bay and will be located at 4032 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33609.

People who can’t wait for the location to open can visit their food truck on the weekends at the location above. The plaza currently has Little Donut House and Chicken Salad Chick as occupants.

Visit Revolution Ice Cream online at revicecream.com.

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NEWS: Mata’s Philippine Cuisine opens Friday, October 25th in Tampa

After a long dry spell of Filipino food, it looks like Tampa is finally going to get some new eats with Mata’s Philippine Cuisine opening this week near Town N’ Country.

Mata’s is launching their first restaurant on Friday, October 25th, 2019 at 4350 West Waters Ave #102 just a few minutes away from Saigon Deli and Filipiniana Philippine Café.

For those of us who aren’t Filipino, it can be struggle to find places to enjoy the cuisine in the Tampa Bay area.

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The restaurant will sell a number of well-known Filipino dishes and has experience engaging with the public at the annual PhilFest in Tampa as a food vendor.

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Mata’s at PhilFest.

October happens to Filipino Heritage Month so the timing could be favorable for the restaurateurs.

I actually interviewed Mata’s during a series of videos I shot at PhilFest 2016. Watch it below:

On the food menu:

  • Pork Sisig
  • Lechon Kawali
  • Dinuguan
  • BBQ Pork Skewers
  • BBQ Chicken Skewers
  • Pinakbet
  • Fried Bangus
  • Pancit
  • Lumpia
  • Tortang Talong

Desserts:

  • Bibingka
  • Puto
  • Turon
  • Boba (Multiple Flavors)
  • Halo-Halo

Specialty drinks:

  • Sago
  • Melón
  • Calamansi
  • Tamarind

RSVP to the Grand Opening on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/1304957019674155

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NEWS: Guthrie’s Fried Chicken opens new Tampa location

Tampeños loves their chicken and Guthrie’s Fried Chicken opens its doors to the public Monday, October 21st, 2019 at 5224 South Dale Mabry Highway just near Home Depot in South Tampa. Creative Loafing Tampa first broke the news about Guthrie’s expansion back in June 2019.

Guthrie’s was founded in 1965 in Haleyville, Alabama and has remained a family-owned business for 3 generations. The menu is simple enough with Golden Fried Chicken Fingers as the focus and a fried chicken tender sandwich and sweet tea (of course) as two other staples the brand has visible.

Most Florida locations have been up in the panhandle in Tallahassee so far, but the franchise has been expanding and has over 25 locations nationwide right now with a number of franchisees with plans for Panama City Beach location soon.

Here’s a look inside the new location:

Here’s to enjoying some delicious chicken soon at Guthrie’s.

Update 10/21: This article inaccurately stated earlier that this was the first Guthrie’s location in Tampa, there have been attempts in the past that have failed. The post has been updated to reflect that.