Owners Spencer and Sabrina Aird parlay a passion for nourishing vegan fare into Grass Root Organic Restaurant, which CBS Tampa named one of the best veg restaurants in the city. Carmine walls envelop diners in the cozy café space, creating a soothing atmosphere punctuated with vivid abstract paintings hung along the wall. While settled into high-backed wooden chairs, each topped with a lattice design, diners dig into a menu that features cooked vegan dishes as well as raw dishes. Raw vegan pad thai, guacamole, and spinach and basil pesto, among others, star on the restaurant's roster.
The Airds also run a customizable meal delivery system that sends clients fresh meals from a rotating weekly menu several times a week. Sabrina teaches occasional classes on how to replicate her culinary expertise and mimic items on Grass Root's menu by sitting very still on an oversized plate.
When Gilbert and Josephine Morejon opened their first restaurant, customers lined up around the corner to get a taste of their Cuban-style roast pork, paella, and stuffed lobster. Nearly 50 years have passed since then, and the lines have disappeared, but only because the Morejons collapsed their restaurant business in 2012 to focus solely on catering. Today, Latam Catering services parties and events—from small family gatherings to large weddings—across the city.
Customers can choose from pre-designed menus featuring items such as Cuban-style roast pork, rib-eye steak, and blackened shrimp, or they can work with the chefs to customize their own. Though David Morejon handles the food, they do have an event planner on staff to help interested clients with all the little details, such as decor and music and deciding whether it's appropriate to throw rice cakes at the bride for easier cleanup.
Chefs Anthony Sanschagrin and Matthew Beilstein fuse their culinary passions for Italian, Latin, and Asian cuisine, designing menus for special events and divulging their secrets at hands-on cooking classes. Equally capable of creating edible display pieces or full dinner buffets, the duo can forge eclectic spreads with baked lasagna, crispy beef empanadas, or sweet 'n' sour chicken.
They also share their insights by leading internationally themed cooking lessons, which allow students to try their hand at basic recipes and then taste their results afterward. Much like the number of centimeters in a mile, the menus change constantly, incorporating new recipes and accommodating students' food allergies.
Party Artsy specializes in two media: paint and wine. Participants in their casual art events come to local restaurants for pop-up classes or privately scheduled parties, receiving discounted appetizers and a complimentary glass of wine to fuel their creativity. Party Artsy provides all the equipment?including brushes, easels, paints, and Picasso's flashcards from his finger-painting class?as well as an instructor who helps students adorn canvases with one of dozens of available images.
The tone of an event isn't set when guests walk through the door?it's when they first see the invitation. The creative-minded team at Invitation Consultants understands this, and that's why they've been entrusted to design pieces for events as high-profile as the Primetime Emmy Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards. Each work is original?whether created by the in-house graphics team or one of the independent guest designers?and can be customized for each client by adjusting wording, layout, ink colors, and fonts. Online preview tools allow clients to see their template immediately, and the website also has a shop stocked with more than 10,000 paper products and gifts. Invitations and announcements can be made for baby showers, holidays, and graduations, though they're particularly popular for weddings: Invitation Consultants was honored in The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013 poll. Customers can also customize photo holiday cards for a personalized holiday greeting.
Prepare 1,000 lunches in less than 20 hours. That was the challenge posed for The Brunchery’s catering staff. The eatery’s experts met the daunting request, quickly assembling the hefty sandwiches that The Brunchery has perfected throughout its more than 25 years in business. When President George W. Bush came to Tampa, the White House called upon The Brunchery's catering. In addition to corned beef, grilled grouper, and shaved steak piled on deli rye bread and kaiser rolls, The Brunchery plies guests with half-pound burgers seasoned by chipotle mayo and dill pickles.
But as its name implies, the restaurant doesn’t just craft food for lunch; it’s possibly best known for its morning treats. Made-from-scratch hollandaise sauce for benedicts and golden pancakes have earned The Brunchery awards including Best Place for Breakfast/Brunch from readers of the South Tampa Community News in 2010. When NBC interviewed owner Greg Elliot, the feature zeroed in on the restaurant’s signature french toast, which mingles cream-cheese sauce, bananas, strawberries, and slivered almonds.
Guests devour this lavish creation and others while dining among the dining room’s decorative dishware, Coke bottles, and shelves. Many of the objects come from Greg’s family, such as a hutch his great-great-grandfather built in the 1800s, making guests feel as at home as a rabbit in a top hat.