By Gary Nager


We always try to keep you updated about new restaurants, events and dining news in this space and this issue is no exception.


Funny Divas At Back 9 Café

If you want to try a fun new sports bar in our area and laugh your butt off, I hope you’ll visit the Back 9 Café at the Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club (located just off Cross Creek Blvd.) on Saturday, November 19, 9 p.m. That’s when my dear friend Susan Saiger and her friends Long Island Mary, Robin Savage and Aniria Wilson will be appearing together again as “The Funny Divas.” The Divas are all hysterical and provide a great evening of entertainment for men and women alike (no, their comedy is NOT appropriate for children).

And, although there have been other restaurants inside the Heritage Isles clubhouse, I think the newest incarnation might just finally be the right type of food at the right price. The new owners, Mark and Dennis, serve what I call sports bar fare and they’ve even opened a covered outdoor tiki bar area that is perfect for enjoying some great wings, burgers, sandwiches, pastas & more. I’ve only eaten there once so far (good burgers), but will definitely provide a full update on the menu in a future issue.

The Back 9 Café is open every day for breakfast, lunch and right now and Dennis and Mark are rolling out a new dinner menu, with steaks, more pastas and other entrées.The Café features a full-liquor bar.

The cost per person for the Funny Divas’ appearance at the Back 9 Café (10630 Plantation Bay Dr., just inside the easternmost entrance to Heritage Isles off Cross Creek Blvd.) is only $10. For tickets, or for more information about the Back 9 Café, call 907-0726.


Santo’s Sold; Remington’s Still Open Despite Rumors

Just as we’re concluding this year’s Dining Survey & Contest (see page 26), two of your favorite (and ours) restaurants in Wesley Chapel have been rumored to have closed over the past two weeks, but only one of those rumors is actually true.

Santo’s Italian Grill, located in the Pinebrook at The Grove plaza on S.R. 54, has been sold. Owner Ken Santo, who is still also an owner of Skinny’s Sports Bar in the same plaza, could not give us any details about the sale, but Santo’s is closed for now and will be converted to an entirely new restaurant concept for at least several weeks.

Of course, we will provide an update, either on our website ( or in our next Wesley Chapel issue, or both.

Meanwhile, my friend Abe Srour says he wants to dispel the rumors that his Remington’s Steak House on S.R. 54 has closed or is closing.

“We are open for now,” Abe says. “And, when we do shut down, it will be temporarily for renovations only.”

All I can tell you is that I was in Remington’s the Thursday before we went to press, three days after the restaurant was reportedly closed, and the place was packed!

Remington’s Steak House is located at 27405 S.R. 54 and is open every day for lunch and dinner. For more info, call 973-1208 or visit


Frogury Now Open

If you love frozen yogurt, there’s a new shoppe that has opened in the same plaza as Five Guys Burgers & Fries and Pita Republic, at the corner of BBD and County Line Rd. (in the separate building from Sweetbay and LA Fitness). It’s called Frogury Frozen Yogurt Factory and it features several different flavors of nonfat, low-calorie and even low-sugar yogurt that made me think of the episode of “Seinfeld” where Jerry and then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani both gained a bunch of weight after eating supposedly nonfat frozen yogurt.

I already love Frogury’s classic chocolate, Tahitian vanilla, cake batter and cappuccino flavors, the fact you fill your bowl yourself with as much or as little of the creamy yogurt (and amazing fresh fruit, candy, chocolate and other toppings) as you like and I even enjoy the rich Lavazza (imported from Italy) coffee drinks.

Frogury Frozen Yogurt Factory is located at 6431 County Line Rd.. For more information, call 994-1960 or visit


Liang’s Adds Menu Items

This issue is the last one where you can cast ballots (see the “Dining Survey & Contest” on page 26) for your favorite restaurants in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel and one local eatery that is certain to be on your list of favorites again is Liang’s Bistro on Bruce B. Downs Blvd., next to Chick-fil-A.

Liang’s has been our readers’ favorite Asian restaurant every year it’s been open and has always been among our top ten for your favorite restaurant of any kind in New Tampa.

And now, with the addition of some delicious new menu items, Liang’s is certain to be adding to its popularity.

Two new appetizers are among the four new items. The first is “Kung Fu Shrimp,” which I wasn’t able to sample because of my shellfish allergy, but it’s a spicy, fried shrimp appetizer for two which is Liang;’s unique take on another restaurant’s “Bang Bang Shrimp.” I did enjoy the savory and spicy new mushroom lettuce wraps, which are chopped portobello mushrooms in another “secret” sauce.

My favorite new item is the awesome new fish filet with portobello mushrooms, snow pea pods, carrots and fresh ginger (above) in a zesty ginger-based sauce that clings perfectly to the fish. I also loved the new banana cheesecake roll, which is a fried “egg roll” stuffed with banana cheesecake and served with delicious vanilla ice cream. It’s a killer for my diet (I only ate one bite of it), but well worth the fat and calories.

For more info, including how you can get either of the appetizers or the new dessert free with your dine-in (only) order, call 978-1225 or visit LiangsBistroUS. com or stop in at 17515 BBD Blvd.


Benedetto’s Adds Lunch!

Even though it’s located outside of our distribution area, many of our readers have long named Benedetto’s Ristorante Italiano as among their favorites in the entire Tampa Bay area. Owner/ Chef Ben Pumo, a man who loves to cook with all kinds of sauces, is opening his place for lunch beginning on Thursday, December 1. “People are always asking us to open for lunch, so we’re giving it a try,” Ben says.

See the ad below for great coupon deals on lunch and dinner at Benedetto’s (21520 Village Lakes Shopping Center (on S.R. 54), Land O’Lakes. For reservations and more information, call 909-9684 or visit

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