The opening of the new Lotte Plaza Market in the former location of a Sweetbay supermarket (next to Home Depot) has been one of the most hotly anticipated in New Tampa.
And, although we still have no official confirmation about when New Tampa’s Lotte Plaza Market is expected to open, my most recent visit to the construction site of the #1 chain of Asian and Korean supermarkets in Maryland and Virginia (with 14 total locations, including one each in New Jersey and Orlando) revealed that not only has a sign finally gone up on the building, but also that the interior renovations to the long-vacant 49,432-sq.-ft. building were actually nearing completion.
Every Lotte location features fresh (and unique) produce, meat and fish departments, as well as a food court serving a variety of cuisine types. On my most recent visit, I met one such food court tenant, who told me that the building had not yet had (or passed) all of its needed inspections before it could open, but that he was hoping our Lotte could open “by late September or October.” — GN
Kabob Café & Grill Replaces Tessa’s Sweet Café In Highwoods
I feel bad that I didn’t know in advance that Tessa’s Sweet Café (located at 18101 Highwoods Preserve Pkwy., across from the AMC movie theater), which was home to some of the most delicious Korean-style fried chicken ever, was closing.
Well, not only did Tessa’s already close, it’s already been replaced by the Kabob Café & Grill, an authentic Pakistani eatery that opened just a few days before we went to press with this issue.
Even though I lived for years in New York City, which has every type of international cuisine, I had never sampled Pakistani food before, so I tried Kabob Café’s chicken kabobs (left photo) and a sparkly mango-peach boba tea (there are 18 varieties of boba teas) and both were tasty. The kabobs were not skewered cubes of meat, but were instead well-spiced (but not overly spicy) sausage-style tubes of ground chicken.
For those who still don’t know where the Kabob Café is located, it was best-known as the long-time home of Sukhothai before becoming Tessa’s.
Although the restaurant’s management is planning to expand the menu, the opening menu features chicken or mutton korma (cooked with yogurt, onions & spices), plus Pakistani versions of several Indian-style dishes, such as chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, chicken or mutton biryani, plus four different vegetarian dishes.
For more info, call (813) 405-8740 and tell them I sent you! -GN