Our congratulations go out to Florida Penguin Productions for putting on a successful third-annual Rum & Seafood Festival at the Tampa Premium Outlets on June 3, despite the constant threat of bad weather that could have caused the event’s cancellation.

A steady stream of adult visitors paid $15 per person to get into the Festival, which featured live music, dozens of vendors — including Siesta Key and Sailor Jerry rums, FishHawk Spirits and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey — and great seafood food trucks like Charm City Eats, Super Grouper, Got Lobstah? and From the Soul to the Sea. Among this year’s highlights were the Crab Races (that I unfortunately missed) and the “rooftop” bar. 

The  North Tampa Bay Chamber received a portion of the event’s proceeds.

Crazy Sushi Is Open At The Shops At Wiregrass; Azteca D’Oro To Open June 24! 

Crazy Sushi Is Open!

If you love sushi and all-you-can-eat Japanese-inspired cuisine and haven’t yet checked out the new Crazy Sushi Wiregrass at the Shops at Wiregrass, you probably should. 

Crazy Sushi is more than just another replacement for the several restaurants that have opened and gone out of business at 28152 Paseo Dr., #150 — it’s a much larger (having also taken over an adjacent store), real sit-down restaurant that just happens to also offer all-you-care-to-eat lunch (for $22.95 per person; available Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. only) and dinner (and Sat.-Sun. lunch, for $32.95) Japanese food that, based on our first visit, is well worth the price. 

The sushi (the left photo is of a tasty sushi sampler that isn’t on the menu) is really fresh, the appetizers — including gyoza dumplings, tempura veggies, fried chicken karaage (right photo), etc. — and lo mein are spot-on and the hibachi sirloin steak and chicken are both of a higher quality (at least, in my opinion)than what we’re used to getting at Ginza or Koizi. And. the premium full-liquor bar offers full-sized drinks at lower-than-mall prices.

For more information, call (813) 991-8989 or visit CrazySushiWesleyChapel.com and please tell our friend Edgar behind the bar that we sent you!

Recapping Blush Champagne Bar’s Grand Opening Event!

Even though we told you that the Blush Champagne & Cocktail Bar had opened at the KRATE Container Park last issue, we didn’t get to show you any of the great pictures photographer Charmaine George took at the spectacular Grand Opening party on May 19 for the second KRATE (the other is the nearly adjacent Blush Wine Room) owned by Felicia and Nimesh Desai (top left photo). The event included a DJ, a 360º photo booth, the great Blush Wine Room food, a dozen frozen wine-based cocktails, a variety of sparkling wines and hundreds of happy attendees! For info about the Blush Wine Room or Champagne & Cocktail Bar, call (813) 428-6247 or visit BlushWineRoom.com

Playa Bowls To Open June 17!

When Tabatha Castro and Pablo Reid open the newest location of Playa Bowls next to the Latin Twist Café at 2653 BBD Blvd. on or around June 17, you can expect not just the ever-popular açai bowls, but also coconut, banana, chia pudding, green and pitaya bowls, plus fresh fruit smoothies and juices, oatmeal & more. The beach-themed healthy eating place also known as “Pineappleland,” started at the Jersey Store and has grown to nearly 200 locations nationwide. For more info, visit PlayaBowls.com.

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