Categories
Dinner Florida Lunch

Capital Tacos Tampa Florida

Keep it Capital! Did you know according to Yelp, Capital Tacos is the number 2 taco spot in the U.S.? I surely didn’t, but that definitely explains why they are so damn delicious. Capital Taco boasts an extensive and flavor intensive menu. With names like Catawampus and Longrider who wouldn’t be intrigued by all the taco’s they offer. I usually order at least 4 different ones as I am trying to eat my way through their menu to find my absolute fav. It’s no easy task but somefoodies got to do it. The flavor combinations they create are astronomical. And you know the taco is good when the juice runs down your elbow.

The only thing that gives those tacos a run for their money is the fountain soda. It is pure heaven. I get the orange and it tastes like dreamsicle. It is a refreshing break from the PepsiCo and Coca-Cola choices almost every restaurant offers. Moreover, I love that they use state license plate “numbers” for ordering. It is an original way to keep track of dine-in and carry out orders instead of the old numerical or name system. As an added bonus it doubles as a conversation starter. On our first trip my husband got Oklahoma, my home state. I teased him about being an okie and how it was truly destiny that he got that particular one.
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Capital Taco’s currently has one location close to my vicinity and that is in Wesley Chapel and its about a 45 minute drive. Is it worth the 45 minutes? Absolutely! Since Capital Tacos tacos are soooooo good, it would be a shame to keep them tucked away in Wesley Chapel. The most exciting news I had heard in awhile is that Capital Tacos is expanding. Imagine my excitement when I found out they were opening a new location in Brandon, FL. That is literally 10 minutes from my front door.. Oh Taco Day! In addition to the one in Brandon, FL they are also opening a location in New Port Richey, FL. You literally have no excuse not to give them a try. I follow their Instagram and they recently announced they are offering frozen sangrias and frozen margaritas at the Brandon location…YAY!! It just keeps getting better and better right? Don’t wait for Taco Tuesday to get in on this awesomeness at Capital Tacos everyday is taco day.
Remember to Keep it Capital!

Categories
Florida Lunch

Fresh Kitchen is a breath of fresh air in Soho

Fresh Kitchen…fast food reimagined.
Veterans day is the one day a year that vets like myself can eat almost anywhere.  Today I chose Fresh Kitchen and here’s why.  First off, the FK concept is dope…you get to choose your base, vegetables and protein.  Second, everything is prepared for you in assembly line fashion so it’s super quick. Lastly it’s fresh and freaking delicious. Does one really need any other reasons besides the last?
On any given day you can create a personalized bowl. You have the option  to choose a four, six or eight bowl.  Each bowl varies in the number of proteins and veggies you can choose.
To start making your bowl you choose from either quinoa, rice, mashed sweet potatoes,  or sweet potato noodles etc. as your base ( I chose mashed sweet potatoes and quinoa YUM).  Next you can choose your vegetables and today the options were broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, and brussel sprouts.  I went for the greener route and chose the brussel sprouts, although it was hard to resist those mushrooms.  The protein choices were buffalo chicken, steak, tofu, tuna poke, almond crusted chicken strips and bbq chicken.  It was a toss up between the almond crusted chicken strips and the bbq chicken, ultimately I thought the bbq chicken would pair best with the sweet potatoes.  Last on the line are their sauces, there are too many to mention here (like 8) besides I forgot due to brain overload.  I will tell you that the holy kale won my heart over and my husband got the jalapeño cucumber.

 
Fresh Kitchen also offers freshly pressed juices for sale.  I love this option because it’s nice to have a beverage that isn’t soda or water.  Plus they have perfected blends whereas I’m still going with my kale and pear recipe.  They are already pre-packaged and ready for you to grab on your way through the line.  Fresh Kitchen is very easily one of my husbands favorite spots to eat in Tampa and I’m sure once you give them a try it will be yours too.  But don’t wait for a special holiday to visit, you’ll be just as happy on a regular Tuesday.

Categories
Florida Food Truck

SmokinBowls Food Truck

Every first Wednesday of the month, I get excited because the Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta is held gaslight park.  This Wednesday was no different and I set sail towards the park to see what food trucks were being showcased.  I always slight anxiety over the food trucks that will be present because it’s nice to see new food trucks and not the same ones every month.   Here I was face to face with several new choices and a decision to make.  I proceeded to take what I’ve deemed the famous food truck walk.  This is when I walk by each food truck and read their menu to see if anything appeals to my appetite.  I made it about halfway through and there it was – my Wednesday grub….  SmokinBowls Food Truck.  Their food truck is alluring tricked out with a sugar skull giving it a west coast feel.  Not to mention the name – SmokinBowl.  I was already on cloud nine and I hadn’t even had a bite to eat yet.


Esquites

I had never had elotes before, but in all honesty I was down to try it because it looked and sounded like something I’d want to get in my belly.  The best way I can describe it is that it is like deconstructed street corn but smokinbowls calls them Esquites.  Packed atop of the corn off the cob was garlic mayo, cotija cheese, house roasted Cali chili powder, cilantro with charred onion cream and a lime.  It may or may not sound like a lot depending on how you’ve had your elites but I can tell you it was packed full of flavor.  And if cheese and mayo aren’t your thing, they also offer a vegan option.  Below you can see the portion size and that was only $4 how can you beat a deal like that?

 


Loaded Tostones

If I haven’t convinced you to try the esquites perhaps I can entice you to try the loaded tostones instead.  When I say loaded…I mean more loaded than a 9mm in the holster without the safety on.. POW!  These tostones are killing it.  Packed on these to stones are beef, marinated cabbage, carrot and cilantro slaw, cotija cheese, chili salted radish, Colorado red eye salsa and TAHTAS sauce.  If your mouth isn’t watering yet, go see your dentist.  20171101_131921.jpg


Walking Tacos

I did not have the pleasure of trying the walking tacos on this visit but given their reputation on the two former dishes, I’m confident that these hit the mark.  The walking tacos allows you to choose your choice of protein (beef, chicken, pork or vegetarian/vegan) over fritos garnished with marinated cabbage, cumin scented black beans, carrot and cilantro slaw, cotija cheese and TAHTAS sauce

 
If you want to follow smokinbowls click here and find their schedule.  They run up and down the west coast of Tampa Bay.  When you order tell them Mettlefork sent you!  Hopefully I’ll see you at the next Mayor’s Food Truck Fiesta.

Categories
Florida Lunch

Bulla Gastrobar

Bulla Gastrobar

930 S. Howard Ave. Tampa, FL 33606

Nestled right in the heart of Soho is Bulla Gastrobar.  It sits across from Daily Eats which is a popular food establishment in its own right.  Each restaraunt that lines Howard has its own unique flair and that is what makes choosing a place to each difficult at times.  Vying for my attention today was Bulla Gastrobar. Bulla as it says in the title is a Gastrobar meaning they specialize in tapas style dining.  Everything offered is pretty much a small plate with the exception of some lunch and dinner items.  Bulla serves up authentic tapas style spanish food..like from Spain spanish.
When I dropped in for a quick bite to eat,  I decided a seat at the bar would be just fine.  That is where I met Nic, my super cool bartender that took the time to go over everything with me and make a recommendation or two.  Since I was working, I couldn’t partake in a tasty adult beverage but he offered to make me a handmade lemonade.  I quickly accepted and thank goodness I did because it was both exquisite and delicious.  I was a few sips into my drink and then I saw it… fresh mint, basil and rosemary lining the bar.  I asked the bartender if he could add basil to my lemonade (of course he could) he obliged and even made one for himself too.  So there we were enjoying our basil lemonades, a first for him and satisfyingly refreshing for me.


Patatas Bravas

Para Empezar – For starters I chose the patatas braves at the recommendation of Nic.  These are crispy potato cubes covered in spicy brava sauce and topped with an aioli. When they first arrived they looked beautiful.  They were fresh nice and hot, fresh out the fryer and then covered in the spicy brava sauce and aioli.  It is a good thing I’m a fan of spicy because the kick took me by surprise.  It wasn’t fire breathing dragon spicy but it did have a decent amount of zip to it.  At $6.50 it was well worth the order.  Not only did it awaken my taste buds but it also filled me up pretty good.  The portion size is enough for two people to share.


Camarones Al Curry 

It’s always good to have something to balance out the spice so I ordered the camarones al curry also known as shrimp curry.  The curry has more of an Indian curry connotation as opposed to a Thai curry so it had more of sweet and savory flavor profile as opposed to spicy.  The camarones al curry had artichoke confit, steamed rice and cream and bread.  To make this dish gluten free you can just skip the bread.  The only thing that could have made this dish perfect was more cilantro. I am a cilantro lover and just the hint sent my craving into overdrive.   The shrimp was cooked to perfection and not rubbery or overdone.  The artichokes added a nice zest and wouldn’t be something I would have thought to add.  I just dipped each one in the cream sauce and add them individually.  Everything was portioned out perfect, by the time I finished I didn’t have too much rice or too little shrimp.

 
I wholly enjoyed my lunchtime visit at Bulla.  It wasn’t too crowded, the service was great and the food was marvelous.  I look forward to going back for either brunch or dinner AND trying dessert in the near future.

Categories
Dinner Florida Lunch

Midici's – St. Pete's newest pizza place

Midici’s : The Napolean Pizza Company

2424 Tyrone Blvd. St. Petersburg, FL 33710

Sharing a slice of pie is what friends do. Whether in the comfort of your own home or out at a restaurant, pizza among friends is like honor among thieves – It doesn’t get any more serious.  When I received the invite to dine and looked up Midici, I was thrilled to know that a new pizza joint was coming to the bay area adding some variety to the pizza scene.  Little did I know they came to take over the number 1 spot.

Categories
Florida Lunch

Spain Restaurant

My husband came downtown and met me for lunch.  A rare occasion, so I was thrilled at the opportunity to try a new spot with him.  We walked up and down the street as I pointed out all the places I had tried, then he saw it.  Spain.  We walked in and out wasn’t what I initially expected.  It was very clean looking, white interior and tables placed along large windows in the front.  Along the back wall was the serving line.  Since we were new we got the rundown of how it works and the customer favorites.

Picadillo

Ground beef, onions, olives, tomatoes and sofrito are all part of this dish.  When I was pregnant with Sicily, mett and olives became close friends.  Now anytime I see olives in a dish I’m drawn to it. I decided to get yellow rice and black beans as my sides.  This was a first for me and it was so good my husband asked me to make it. I used my spoon and just ate a little but of each with every bite.  Every spoonful was a little bit salty and a little bit savory. This is one of their best sellers and I can easily see why.  It was scrumptious or as it is said in Spanish riquísumo.
 

Stuffed Fish

 
My husband ordered the stuffed fish. It was a white fish amd he had beck beans amd yellow rice with plantains as his side’s.  He wasn’t wowed with this dish but he wasn’t unhappy either.  After tasting the picadillo I’m sure anything else would be a disappointment.

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Overall,  I enjoyed my experience.  I would definitely make a return trip to try more from their lunch specials.  I have a soft spot for authentic food and Spain Restaurant delivers authentic. Authentic food always gives me some cooking inspiration.
(See photo below for my rendition of picadillo) The husband and kid approved!!
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