Restaurant: Soobak (Davis Island, Tampa)

After seeing Carlo’s Eats post about this sushi place close to my place, I knew I had to take my sushi loving boyfriend… STAT!

Above photo was my dinner the “Tempura Tofu Bento Box”. ($8.25) We added a miso soup for BF for an extra dollar, — it was miso soup, nothing to rave about.  The salad was basic- romaine, carrots and cucumbers with a great ginger dressing. The tofu came with sauteed broccoli, onions and mushrooms. I enjoyed the tofu, although wished the tofu was cubed a bit smaller. They were about two bites each, a bit unwieldy with chopsticks! I don’t typically enjoy/eat plain white rice, I tried a bite and it seemed good.

Here is why you come to Soobak…

…the sushi!

This was Gregg’s dinner. He got a sunomono salad, which is seafood medley, romaine, cucumber, scallions, masagao & a rice vinegar dressing. ($4.95) Gregg was happy with the amount of seafood on the salad, most places are pretty skimpy. He ordered the veggie roll ($4.95) and the Mexican roll.($5.95) I got to try a bite of his veggie roll, it was very good, I enjoyed the texture of the wakame (edible seaweed) in the roll, I had never experienced that in a veggie rolls. Gregg is the  sushi aficionado & rated Soobak an 8 out of 10. (Which means we’ll be back!)

Soobak also has frozen yogurt. ($.49/oz.) I considered myself lucky because they had a non dairy watermelon flavor. I added pineapple & these juice “bursts”. (I really hope this is molecular gastronomy, fingers crossed.) It was tart & I enjoyed it very much.

I had two problems with Soobak.

The first problem, which is a very common problem now that I’m vegan — is the lack of options. There was 5 options for a vegan. Honey Garlic Tofu, Tempura Tofu, Veggie Roll, Miso Soup and Edamame. I really was hoping they’d have a few different variations of veggie rolls. I do accept that I’m not the norm, so this is really only an issue with me.

The second problem is the size of Soobak. It is TINY. Like, uncomfortable tiny. Like, 4 tables tiny. Like, getting froyo & bumping into people dining tiny. I don’t know if we’ll go back to sit down & dine, but I can see myself picking this up on the way home for dinner, running over on the weekend for a quick lunch, or biking over  to get my frozen yogurt fix.

Overall, I am excited about Soobak. The entire time we were there it was bustling & people were picking up to-go orders non-stop. I hope they flourish, move to a bigger location and add more options. Soobak knows how to make sushi!

Soobak on Urbanspoon

Restaurant: GrillSmith (Multiple Locations, Tampa)

Last Thursday Gregg & I had the opportunity to attend a VIP Tasting Event ­ at GrillSmith in South Tampa.  I thought I’d share my favorites from the things we tasted. (I developed a very precise smiley-face rating system, each of the ones I’m sharing received 4+ smiles)

Stoil Ravioli – Stuffed with grilled chicken, spinach and creamy ricotta cheese tossed in a Stolichnaya Vodka tomato cream sauce.

This was my favorite dish of the entire night. I really wished it photographed better. I hardly ever eat pasta, but this was so delicious, & I definitely went back for seconds. 

Chicken Milanese – Sauteed, herb-crusted chicken finished withe a lemon-butter white wine reductions, sun-dried tomatoes, golden raisins and capers, dressed with arugula and pine nuts in our lemon-feta vinaigrette, served over seasoned rice.

I love anything with citrus, so this was a HUGE winner for me. I’ve never had Chicken Milanese before, the sauce was outstanding. I even asked if they could make this with grilled chicken – they said yes!


Spicy Thai Chicken – Lightly battered, flash-fried chicken cutlets tossed in sriacha aioli, served with hot and sweet honey glaze.

Gregg & I talked about this one a lot.  This chicken reminded me of Bonefish’s “Bang Bang Shrimp”.  I was glad this wasn’t slathered in sauce, it was still crunchy. :) On Gregg’s notes there is “win” written by “sriacha aioli”, this dish still could have been spicier for me, but none-the-less yummy!

Voodoo Cheese Fries – Creole seasoned fries finished with a New Orleans style white barbecue sauce, smoked Gouda, cheddar and Swiss cheeses, Andouille sausage and green onions, served with cilantro sour cream for dipping.

This is pretty much what I wish I could eat everyday all day. It’s dangerously delicious. I want to buy creole seasoning asap.


Smoked Salmon Bruschetta
–  Smoked Norwegian salmon with capers, fresh basil, red onions, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and GrillSmith’s own lemon-feta vinaigrette on toasted crostini.

Last but not least… I did not try this. (I know, I know, not a big seafood/fish fan) But! This was Gregg’s favorite dish. Actually everyone’s favorite dish – the whole table kept going on & on about it how wonderful it was.

This made me laugh, Gregg was my +1, so they gave him my last name! ;)

GrillSmith did an amazing job with the entire night. I was glad to be able to try their new menu items.  When I have thought of  GrillSmith in the past, I think I really shrugged it off because I figured it was just a chain restaurant,  but GrillSmith is definitely anything BUT mediocre.

There are six Tampa locations and you can view their menus as well as location addresses on their Website. You can also find them on Facebook & follow them on Twitter.

Disclosure: All food was provided by GrillSmith Restaurant free of charge.