During World War I, Greek immigrant Louis Pappas served in the Army as a personal chef to General John Pershing. To give the hungry general some extra nutrition, Louis began adding scoops of potato salad to his traditional greek salads. When Louis returned to the United States, he opened up his own restaurant, Louis Pappas Riverside Café, where he would re-create this signature dish using fresh produce from his own ranch in Tarpon Springs.
Today, Louis Pappas's grandson continues his grandfather's old Florida family tradition at Pappas Ranch. There, he and his kitchen serve up a new menu of fresh seafood, poultry, sandwiches, street tacos, hand-cut steaks, and barbecue dishes whose "family flair" has been lauded by Metromix Tampa Bay. They continue to scoop savory housemade potato salad into their internationally renowned Louis Pappas Famous greek salad, tossing it in massive bowls that serve as many as four diners. Bartenders dole out glasses of locally brewed craft beers and wine or mix cocktails and martinis at the full center bar with flat-screen TVs.
The restaurant's decor channels that of the original Pappas family ranch. In the dining room, spacious booths are surrounded by rustic wooden walls, and outside is a covered outdoor patio.
Black-and-white checkerboard floors lend an old-fashioned air to Land and Sea Market, though butchers have only been preparing fillets and chops there since 1995. Freshly carved meats fill the store's coolers, including lamb shanks, quick-fry pork chops, and bratwurst, as well as bone-in chicken breasts and an array of seafood such as halibut and littleneck clams. The butchers also package their own meats such as bacon-wrapped filet mignon, chicken cordon bleu, and bourbon-marinated salmon, often seasoning the meats with their own house blend of spices. In addition to its savory selection of proteins, the shop also stocks grocery items such as vegetables and wines from around the solar system.
Shannon Holt, a mostly self-taught photographer who learned her craft by doing copious amounts of research on the Internet, created Studio77 Photography in 2008. The self-described chatty photographer prefers to get to know clients over coffee before their shoot, discussing details such as the desired makeup and wardrobe look and how to turn an old negligee into a sexy handkerchief. She prides herself on empowering women during daring boudoir shoots and has developed her own editing techniques to add the finishing touches on images.
From his seven offices, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski and his knowledgeable staff help restore epidermises with cosmetic, medical, and surgical skin treatments. With a stable of seven lasers, including the Candela GentleLase, Palomar StarLux IPL, and the 2,940-nanometer Whisper, Suncoast?s trained technicians rid skin of unwanted hair, sun damage, broken blood vessels, and tattoos of broken blood vessels. For more invasive procedures, including eyelid-lifting blepharoplasty and Dr. Ewanowski's specialty, the cancer-ridding Mohs micrographic surgery, the doctor treats clients in the in-office surgical suite. Suncoast?s resident aesthetician pampers with medical-grade spa services, using products from such skincare brands as SkinMedica, Av?ne, and glo.
Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Dr. A. Alessio Conte earned a doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Coahuila in Mexico. He then moved his life to the United States, passed the state board, and furthered his education with implantology, bone harvesting, and grafting. He now spends his days at Dental Excellence of Brandon, where he fixes teeth that are stained, chipped, or crooked. Dr. Conte can also enhance smiles with porcelain veneers and dental implants.
To call Harr's Surf & Turf Market a family business is a bit of an understatement. Stephen Innocenzi, the manager and head chef, has been joined by his mother, two aunts, a grandmother, a sister, a brother, and his two grandkids—38 employees in all. The meat industry comes naturally to the clan; Stephen’s stepfather, Ervin Harr, first picked up a filleting knife in 1961, and the pristine white aprons and cases full of crystalline ice eventually called to Stephen as well.
"Back in ’87,” he says, “I was working at a restaurant and studying to be an architect. I found passion for food, so I came to the family business."
In the shop, deep glass display cases teem with more than 20 varieties of fish each day, including Florida black grouper and wild-caught salmon. Staff members carefully wrap shellfish, shrimp, and crab legs, and can fly in live Maine lobster with one day's notice. Stephen walks among the aisles, going out of his way to dispense pairing advice and cooking suggestions.
"We have a customer that comes in, she'll have us write the cookbook's name and page number on the wrapper so she can remember what goes where. I think someone somewhere else would look at the woman, and say 'Huh?' But those of us that have been here, we're fine doing it. We don't mind."
While planning dinners, patrons draw from a stock that includes dry-aged prime beef, pork, lamb, hormone-free poultry, and Boar's Head deli products, all custom-cut in house. Bottles and jars stand on the shelves in sleek ranks, the colorful labels of 350 beers and wines displaying countries of origin that include Spain, Germany, and France. Stephen also takes particular interest in crafting complete meals for patrons to take home.
"We have 22 different types of kebabs made every day. We also have giant, stuffed twice-baked potatoes, we sell about 4,000 of those a week," he says, adding that much of what he prepares is dependent on trends. "My wife and I like to go to eat once or twice a week, and after, we'll brainstorm with the family, see what's popular."