Open To Rave Reviews!

Owner Dan Bavaro of Bavaro’s Pizza & Pastaria in South Tampa, as well as the new Oronzo Honest Italian in New Tampa, which recently opened.

There hadn’t been very many new businesses opening in either of our distribution areas until the last couple of weeks of May, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the OK  for the state to move into Phase 2 of his reopening plan. 

Since then, New Tampa has seen a nice little flurry of activity, with the Taaza Indian Mart, F45 Training at Highwoods Preserve and other finally getting to open their doors.

We also told you about Michi Ramen opening next to F45 in Highwoods last issue, and now, we’re also thrilled to announce that the fast-casual concept known as Oronzo Honest Italian has opened next to Michi Ramen in the former Men’s Wearhouse location facing Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., at 18027 Highwoods Preserve Pkwy.

Oronzo is almost like a Chipotle or poké-bowl-style setup, but instead offers truly delicious, affordable Italian food, including some beautiful Neapolitan-style “piatto” pizzas, piadina bread sandwiches and even a delicious tomato basil soup. But, the thing that has me sold from Day One on Oronzo is the freshly-made pasta, which is served in dishes like the spaghetti with pesto and lots of grilled chicken shown far left. 

Owners Dan Bavaro of Bavaro’s Pizza & Pastaria in South Tampa and his partner Bob Johnston of Front Burner Brands (which owns The Melting Pot) also serve some delicious sausage and meatballs (managing editor John Cotey calls them “Amazeballs”) and a variety of sauces for the fresh pasta, as well as a signature orange juice drink. There’s even gluten-free, zucchini noodle and vegan options.

For more information, call (813) 405-4008 or visit

Meanwhile, perhaps the most anticipated variety of new eateries is coming to The Village at Hunter’s Lake plaza anchored by the new Sprouts Farmers Market. 

But, even though Sprouts won’t open until August, Grain & Berry has opened the tenth location of a growing Tampa Bay area-based chain in the same plaza.

If you love açai, spirulina or pitaya bowls served with incredibly fresh fruit and other toppings, Grain & Berry (8638 Hunters Village Dr.) is the place for you. I’ve only had a chance, so far, to sample the “Relax, Eat, Repeat” açai bowl with fresh bananas, strawberries, crunchy organic granola, peanut butter, Nutella, honey and crushed nuts, but it was so delicious and even though a little pricy ($10), it’s big enough for more like four servings.

For more info, call (813) 210-7569 or visit — GN  

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