The New Las Palmas Is Open!

For those who have been waiting to find out where and when everyone’s favorite Latin restaurant in New Tampa was going to reopen, Ramses Garcia, the owner/chef of Las Palmas Latin Grill, says that you should come check him at his new location, in the same plaza as Five Guys Burgers & Fries off County Line Rd. at Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd.

Ramses and his wife Ana promise that the new menu includes all of your old favorites from his former location in the Pebble Creek Collection, with even more authentic Cuban recipes for you to sample.

Of course, I had to try Ramses’ mojo roast pork the day before he opened and I loved the new red beans served with his always moist, but with a crispy edge, roast pork.

Please tell Ramses and Ana that Gary at the New Tampa Neighborhood News sent you and please tell them how hard you’ve been trying to find out about their new location.

The new Las Palmas Latin Grill is located at 6431 County Line Rd., Tampa. For more info, call (813) 907-1333 or search Las Palmas Cafe on Facebook.

 Hummingbird Jerk House is open!!

We told you months ago a new Jamaican restaurant was coming to the space formerly occupied by Dairy Queen, and it’s now officially open and you can’t miss the giant sign that says only “Jamaican Cuisine,” but is actually for the Hummingbird Jerk House.

Located in North Palms Village on BBD (next to Oakley’s Grille), the Hummingbird Jerk House offers a variety of authentic Jamaican delights. 

There are daily lunch specials, jerk and curry chicken, oxtail and beef stew, curry goat and cow foot and butter beans, as well as seafood dishes, including Jamaica’s national dish of ackee and saltfish. A wide-ranging menu also includes deserts like Jamaican fruit cake and sweet potato pudding, as well as Jamaican beers and coffee.

Coming Soon: Smallcakes!

Do you have a sweet tooth? Doesn’t everyone? The good news is that Smallcakes is coming to the Shoppes at The Pointe plaza in Tampa Palms, next to our friends at the Palms Pharmacy, between Koizi and Ciccio Cali.

The bad news is that this cupcakery (is that a word?), which has an existing location in Oldsmar, looks to still be more than a month from opening. We’ll keep you posted.

Checking Out Saltgrass Steakhouse & Main Event…In Orlando!!

With all of the restaurants and stores that have opened on the north side of S.R. 56 (across from the Tampa Premium Outlets), the eatery coming to our area that I’m now most excited about is the Saltgrass Steakhouse, which recently broke ground on the south side of 56, between the outlet mall and I-75.

My son Jared and his wife Mary live in a new section of Orlando — also near a new outlet mall — which is home to many of the same restaurants we have, including Longhorn Steakhouse and others. But, the one that caught my eye was the sign for Saltgrass Steakhouse, which is the steakhouse chain under the Landry’s Seafood House umbrella.

Of all the restaurants in our area, price-wise, Saltgrass is probably closest to Stonewood Grill & Tavern in Tampa Palms, with most steaks at least $30. But, whether you choose a filet (Jannah and I split the huge 12-oz. version) or Jared’s bone-in ribeye (at least 22 oz.), the Angus steaks are truly tender, well-seasoned and delicious. There are fresh veggies galore and the salad, bread and desserts are all top-notch, too.

Jared and Mary also live near International Dr., which is home to a Main Event entertainment center — which also is coming to the same area of S.R. 56 as Saltgrass. The feel is like a big Dave & Buster’s, with video games, a bar and cafe, but with really nice bowling alleys — and the food looked pretty decent, too. Jannah and I will have to go back and visit Main Event for dinner to tell you more about it, but I’m certain it will become a major attractor for our area.

Also coming to that part of S.R. 56 is Rock & Brews, a scratch kitchen with a rock & roll theme. In addition to a nice-looking menu, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock group KISS make appearances at every opening. Fun stuff.

Blaze Pizza & Sweetea Café Open!

If you’ve been waiting to find out what the Sweetea Café on S.R. 56 (in the same plaza as Mellow Mushroom) is all about, wait no more. The café is all about delicious. I like hot and cold tea and I’m OK with the Boba (bubble) tea featured at the Sweetea Café, but the most pleasant surprise on my first visit was the delicious, authentic Vietnamese cuisine. 

I really enjoyed the grilled pork rice plate shown in the photo left, and, especially, the crisp, overstuffed chicken & veggie wegg rolls and sweet dipping sauce.

Meanwhile, in the same plaza as Chipotle, a little west of Mellow Mushroom, Blaze Pizza, our area’s second fast-casual pizza place, has opened  almost directly across S.R. 56 from MOD Pizza, its biggest competitor nationwide. Think: more tasty pizzas and salads, plus desserts.

For more info about the Sweetea Café, visit or call (813) 406-5961! For Blaze Pizza, call (813) 907-0097 or visit and tell them both I sent you! — GN

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