After a few delays, which certainly isn’t unusual here in Pasco County, Slim Chickens (at 27244 Wesley Chapel Blvd.) is finally open and the Arkansas-based chain with 225+ units and many more on the way is definitely worth a try.. 

The trio of partners who opened the Wesley Chapel Slim Chickens — Patrick Lee, Jared Blair and Charlie Blumberg — also have five additional units in development, with the closest planned for Mirada. 

Jannah, Charmaine and I all enjoyed our sampling of the Slim Chickens menu two days before it opened. We loved the hand-breaded chicken & waffles, the crispy and aptly-named chicken tenders (photo, above), the garlicky Texas toast, the super-crisp wings with multiple different sauces (our favorites so far were the honey BBQ and garlic parmesan) and the signature mason jar brownie dessert. And yes, you can take home the mason jar! 

For more info, visit or call (813) 923-7727. 

It Is Bad Ass! 

If you’re like me and crave delicious coffee from someplace other than the “S” word, I definitely recommend visiting the new Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii, located inside the same Shell gas station that already is home to a Taco Bus location, at 25195 S.R. 54, where it meets S.R. 56 and Wesley Chapel Blvd. in Lutz. 

Owners Jillian (with Minnie Mouse, the Sicilian mini-donkey, in the photo, left) and Christopher Bruckner, who also own the adjacent Taco Bus, are excited about the response so far from the community. 

And, please don’t be offended by the name. Born on the shores of The Big Island in our 50th state, the coffee is named for the stubborn donkeys who originally carried the coffee down the steep mountains. 

Whether you love the name or hate it, the chain’s 30 locations serve delicious coffee and other beverages as well as a variety of breakfast and dessert items. My favorite beverage so far is the hot Caramel Wave with both caramel and vanilla flavors, while Jannah is partial to the iced blended Chai tea. We both enjoyed the cinnamon Malasada donuts and bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwich. We haven’t yet sampled the lunch sandwiches. For more information about Bad Ass Coffee, call (813) 949-2428 or visit

Sorbo Opens On BBD! 

Those who have more upscale taste in coffee and tea but also are partial to baked goods and wine can check out the new Sorbo at 2653 Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. Owned by the same owners as Umu Japanese & Thai in the same plaza across from Advent Health Wesley Chapel, Sorbo (right) specializes in Matcha teas, espresso beverages and Refreshers. We’ve only sampled the tasty cappuccino and green matcha tea so far. For info, visit or call (813) 428-5396. 

Shuckin’ Shack: Now Serving Fresh American Seafood! 

The only people who have been waiting for the opening of the 20th Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar (at 25026 Wesley Chapel Blvd. extension) longer than yours truly are the people in the top photo — (l.-r.) co-owners Bill DiPaola and Brad Harper, GM Alie Ragsdale, manager Shane Cllett & kitchen manager Hunter Tilton. 

Well, the wait is over and all I can say is that I genuinely like the North Carolina-based chain. The casual new eatery had only been open a couple of weeks at our press time, but Jannah and I had already sampled quite a few tasty — and properly priced — items, including (left) excellent steamed snow crab legs, (bottom, right) blackened mahi-mahi tacos and steamed local clams. Photographer Charmaine George said the “Greggah” lobster roll sandwich also was spot on. But, my favorite item so far has been the clam-loaded New England-style clam “chowda.” Trust me, this is not just potato soup with a bite or two of clams. So good! 

Jannah and I already feel very much at home at the spacious bar (below left), which has plenty of TVs, full premium alcohol and specialty drinks, as well as beer and wine, just in time for football and hockey seasons! For more info, visit or call (813) 949-0016. 

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