Using an in-house brand of tangy, sweet sauces, steaming stacks of ribs, and homespun slow rubs, the family recipes behind Quick Q BBQ deliver authentic, smoky, home-style flavor. Strap a bib around wayward beards and take a gander at the menu, on which heaping plates of ribs, chicken, ham, and mullet await the maws of barbecue connoisseurs. The meat not only falls off the bone but also practically hops in the mouth, chews itself, and writes it all off as a business expense. Barbecue plates come with iced tea and a variety of meat choices, including a jaw-dropping, chin-mopping stack of pulled pork with baked beans and mac 'n' cheese ($9.50) or an entire smoked chicken with mac 'n' cheese and fries ($12.50). Light lunchers can stock their own bags of bones with a three-bone rib sandwich with fries ($6.99), paired with 8-ounce house-made Southern sides such as potato salad, coleslaw, and collard greens ($1.99 each). Crank open your auxiliary stomach for dessert; Quick Q's sugary slew of cherry and peach cobblers ($0.93) and rum cake ($2.99/slice) high five tongues and fist pound bellies. Sidle up to one of Quick Q’s tables clad in a checkered tablecloth, or pull up to the drive-thru to bring victuals home to pod people masquerading as your real family.
Welcoming diners with a dessert counter filled with dainty, colorful pastries, The Cake Factory also dishes out a menu of traditional breakfast plates, from waffles to french toast, as well as café-style sandwiches and wraps for lunch. Early risers can rouse sleepy appetites with a Kahwa Coffee latte ($2.75) and Floridian french toast ($8.95), decorated with powdered sugar, bananas, berries, and a comically oversized beret. Dine on classic sandwiches from roast beef ($6.75) to tuna salad ($5.95), served on your choice of bread with lettuce, tomato, and a pickle. Hot n' ready comestibles include a cuban sandwich ($6.75), stocked with ham, pork, swiss cheese, and spicy mustard, or a gobble-worthy gourmet 8-ounce turkey burger ($5.95). With a casual café environment and free WiFi, diners can enjoy meals in comfort, lounge, and surf the Internet for tips on how to control one's Internet addiction.
A combination of savory, sweet, and spicy aromas greets diners when they enter The Queen and I Restaurant, serving as an aromatic prelude to the menu's extensive selection of fragrantly seasoned cuisine. The cooks can stir-fry chicken, pork, or scallops and moonlight-ripened vegetables in a number of sauces, imbuing their entrees with flavors of ginger, basil, or fiery chili paste.
Featuring taupe-hued walls and white tablecloths, the dining room has walls with framed artwork and a painted mural of Thai statues that lend a more authentic trans-Pacific feel than a flipbook made entirely of travel brochures.
A cultural fixture in the islands of the South Pacific, kava is derived from the roots of the Piper methysticum, and is typically consumed at a nakamal, or central village meeting area. Bula Kafe transports these traditions to the shores of the Florida Gulf, filling coconut shells with the cool beverage and serving them at its outdoor commons. Known for its medicinal properties, the kava root is first ground into powder and then steeped in water, resulting in an elixir that helps calm the body and relieve anxiety brought on by a phobia of dry powder. Along with traditional kava beverages, the bamboo-framed hut purveys such hot and cold delights as spiced chai, fruit smoothies, and frozen horchata.
Set amid an all-outdoor bar, Bula Kafe turns up the fans during hot months and warms its barstools with space heaters and tiki torches during the winter. Throughout the entire year, guests enjoy bouts of table tennis and darts, or compete in high-stakes sessions of board games such as Apples to Apples and Battleship as others strum on acoustic guitars, sip silently as they read a book, or surf the internet on free WiFi. Though the listed closing times are midnight on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends, the staff is known for accommodating late revelers with advance notice.
Start with a cup ($4) or bowl of ($5) of crimson-colored clam chowder or jumbo crab fingers sautéed in garlic and butter ($10). Slurp up a dozen oysters on the half shell ($14), or try a platter of mussels sautéed in a white wine, butter, and garlic broth ($9). Island Seafood Market & Bistro's fresh catches are flown in daily and include whole Maine lobster (market price) and grilled salmon ($14). Feast on ahi tuna ($14) served with creamy wasabi, or opt for a crab pita with celery, onions, and spicy sauce ($8). View the complete menu here.
Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill sprang from humble beginnings. What started in 1992 as a concrete-block space with 75 seats has since grown into a two-story establishment whose sprawling indoor and outdoor seating areas encompass almost two city blocks. Like the growth of the business, the bar and grill's building materials reflect input from the surrounding community: the wood flooring was compiled from area gymnasiums, and the walls are paneled with hardwood from the old All Children's Hospital.
Owner Mark Ferguson continues to fuel his success with more than 70 TVs, classic bar eats, and a calendar filled with live-music and trivia nights. In addition to fans, the restaurant has been known to serve renowned politicians and—according to the Tampa Bay Times—Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Perhaps the duo chose the eatery for its paparazzi-curbing underground tunnel, which leads beneath 1st Avenue South to the stadium.