The Tampa Bay Times credits owners John Harr and Justin Schuver with the revitalizing the old Slice space, turning it into the causal eatery now known as Islands Pizza. The duo gave the menu a pep talk, pairing popular pies with new offerings of hearty calzones and Italian grinders. While miniature overhead lights cast Hollywood-like spotlight on each of Island's steaming, hand-tossed pizzas, adult diners can cool down piping hot mouth with the bar's cool cocktails and 12 beers on tap, or catch reruns of Cheer's in its original Gaelic on the restaurant's flat-screen TVs.
Café Dufrain prides itself on its knowledgeable serving staff, which knows the fresh, local food-filled menu better than it knows itself. A server might recommend the Kurobuto pork cheeks to start, paired nicely as they are with fried green tomatoes and smoked-bacon marmalade ($7.50), or the warm confit of organic mushrooms with roasted black-garlic cloves on a grilled baguette ($8). The organic smart chicken is apparently not so smart, as it finds itself fried and accompanied with buttermilk waffles ($20). The hot-and-sour noodles with lotus root and white miso ($18) provide culinary shelter for vegetarians. Finish this gourmet spread with a slice of carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting ($7) or a pineapple right-side-up cake ($7). The staff would be happy to match your meal with any of the custom-tailored American, European, and South American vintages on the expansive wine menu.
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo, Qachbal's Chocolatier draws on family recipes to whip up cupcakes, fudge, coffee, and sweet confections fresh on-site daily. Vanilla-bean cupcakes wear a crown of vanilla buttercream icing adorned with white-chocolate embellishments, which create an alabaster dessert more appetizing than a picket fence covered in whipped cream. Each bite of a chocolate-truffle cupcake unveils rivers of its eponymous filling, protected from a downpour of sprinkles by an umbrella of rich, dark ganache. Atop every sweet treat's summit, a rich chocolate slice pokes out from a delicate dollop of buttercream icing. All orders must be made two days prior to pickup, and customers can have their cakes custom decorated for birthdays, holidays, or daylight-savings transition days upon request. Qachbal's Chocolatier delivers to the downtown Tampa area and Tampa General Hospital for an additional charge.
Inside the Box Cafe takes the guesswork out of lunchtime with prepacked lunches and catered trays. Using super-fresh ingredients, sandwich artisans stack tender avocado, herbed aioli, and roasted turkey onto freshly baked ciabatta, baguette, or buttery brioche. Available as full or half sandwiches, boxes can be packed with gourmet extras such as new-potato-and-asparagus salads, fire-roasted vegetables, and seasonal fresh fruits.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location customers can sample thin pitas that encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for its bread and meats, and by offering a selection of healthy sandwiches.