Dining

Tampa Bay Pizza Week

March 31, 2020

As many of you know, I am pretty darn obsessed with pizza and consider myself to be the Pizza Queen of Tampa. Each year, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay features Tampa Bay Pizza Week which is a ten day homage to pizza. This year, this delicious event was presented by Slice, and I am so glad to have discovered them for all my pizza takeout needs.

Source: Creative Loafing Tampa Bay

With everything going on around the world with the Coronavirus, I knew that pizza week would be a bit of a challenge. Some of the places that I visited had to drop out, but all in all it was a great event. I discovered some new places, revisited some of my old favorites, and found some of the best pizza in Tampa Bay.

Here is a recap of each place that I visited:

Flippers Pizzeria
1054 4th St. N. 
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 
www.flipperspizzeria.com
11” Salame Picante pizza

This was my very first visit to Flippers Pizzeria and it was one of the best pizzas I had for pizza week. They featured their 11” Salame Picante Pizza with crushed DOP San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, salami, Peppadew peppers, and a local honey drizzle for just $10. It was love and first bite! I highly recommend that give them a try!

 Gourmet Pizza Company
 610 S. Armenia Avenue
 Tampa, FL 33609
 (813) 258-1999  
 www.gourmetpizza-company.com
CubanOH!

I have always been a fan of Gourmet Pizza Company in Tampa and was excited to try their featured special of their CubanOH! This beautiful pie is a garlic oil based pizza that is topped with sliced dill pickles, their house cheese blend, sliced smoked turkey breast, italian sausage, shaved manchego cheese, and drizzled with a rogue Dijon Mustard…..their take on a Tampa classic. Sadly they had to drop out of pizza week, but this was a great pizza and definitely something different.

Sally O'Neal's Pizza Hotline
1319 S Howard Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606 
813-251-0220 
www.sallyonealspizza.com    
              
Goat Cheese Prosciutto Pizza

Sally O’Neals is a Tampa landmark and I was excited to see them in this year’s lineup. They featured any 12″ specialty pizza for $10. I went with their Goat Cheese Prosciutto Pizza which is a thin crust with a garlic & oil base, topped with Imported Italian Parma Ham, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pizza cheese blend, and goat cheese. As expected it was excellent!

Westshore Pizza South Tampa
4802 West Bay Court Ave.
Tampa, FL 33611
813-832-5331
www.westshorepizza.com

My kids LOVE Westshore Pizza in South Tampa, and of course we had to stop by and indulge in their special for pizza week which was a 14” any one topping pizza of your choice, six garlic knots, and either two domestic draft beers or two fountain drinks for $9.99. We kept it simple with pepperoni and were super full after.

Tampa Pizza Company
4110 Henderson Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33629
813-443-1822
www.tampapizzacompany.com
Brussels Sprouts Pizza

My favorite place in South Tampa for pizza is Tampa Pizza Company and they just so happened to feature my favorite pizza for Tampa Bay Pizza Week. This beauty is their Brussels Sprouts Pizza which is topped with a garlic oil base, their signature cheese blend, burrata, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted red onions, bacon, arugula, and balsamic glaze. This plus a 2-liter of soda was featured for just $10. This is one of my top ten favorite pies in Tampa, so be sure to give it a try!

Blackjack Pizza & Salads
3692 W. Gandy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33611
813-333-2921
www.blackjackpizza.com
Thin Crust Pepperoni

Blackjack Pizza in South Tampa is one of my go-to places when I want pizza delivered. Known for their square pan pizza, they also feature regular round, and thin crust. I am a sucker for their thin crust and since they were featuring any small specialty pizza or any large, 1 topping pizza, I went with a large classic pepperoni on thin crust. As usual, it was outstanding.

Russo's NY Pizzeria
2233 Gulf to Bay Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-648-4304
www.nypizzeria.com
Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Clearwater is another one of my favorite spots. Before I get into details about their pizza, you must try their Mozzarella Fritti which are outstanding!

For Tampa Bay Pizza Week, they featured any 12″ specialty pizza for just $10. I enjoyed this beauty with prosciutto and arugula and it was divine. They have a great menu and I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.

Oggi Pizzeria & Market
318 W. Davis Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606
813-258-0778
www.oggipizzeria.com
Wood-Fired Pizza with Capicola

I ADORE Oggi Pizzeria & Market on Davis Island. This cute spot is the perfect place to grab some food to go and stock up on Italian gourmet products. The also have some of the best gelato in town. For Tampa Bay Pizza Week, they featured this 10″ beauty with capicola, sausage, onion, red and green peppers, and mozzarella for $10. My kids and I took one home to enjoy and we all loved it.

Fabrica Pizza
142 South Meridian Ave.
Tampa, FL 33602
813-605-0764
www.fabricapizza.com
Margherita Pizza

Oh how I love Fabrica Pizza! With locations in downtown Tampa and in St. Pete, they are one of my favorite spots. They featured their 12″ Margherita Pizza with house-made tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano, E.V olive oil, and fresh basil for just $10. They serve some of the best Neapolitan Pizza in the bay and I love having a location so close to home. They will always have a special place in my heart, as I was blessed to spend an afternoon at their St. Pete location last year and learned all about the pizza making process. I even got to make my own pizza and it was an experience I will never forget.

Deck Pizza
2202 W. Platt St.
Tampa, FL 33606
813-375-0753
www.deck-pizza.com
Pepperoni and Cheese Slices

A Tampa favorite, Deck Pizza, recently reopened and had on of the best deals for Tampa Bay Pizza Week. They featured two slices and a soda for just $4.99. I am so glad they are open again and I can’t wait to get some more pizza from them for a night at home. Be sure to check them out and order a slice or a whole pie to go.

Pizzeria Gregario
400 2nd Street N.
Safety Harbor, FL 34695
727-386-4107
NWTH (No Where To Hide) 

Pizzeria Gregario in Safety Harbor has been on my pizza wish list for almost three years. When I saw that they were a part of Tampa Bay Pizza Week, I just had to make the drive and get a pizza to take home. They featured their NWTH (No Where To Hide), which is regional organic stone milled, sourdough, hand mixed, wood fired dough topped with Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, fresh basil, sliced garlic, freshly grated Pecorino Romano, and single origin single varietal Greek organic EVOO. OH MY IT WAS HEAVEN! As soon as we are able to dine out again, I will be heading to Pizzeria Gregario to enjoy a nice dinner of pizza and wine.

Jet's Pizza
1350 Main Street
Dunedin, FL 34698
727-210-1840
www.jetspizza.com
Classic Pepperoni

I wrapped up Tampa Bay Pizza Week with a visit to Jet’s Pizza in Dunedin. They are another place that has been on my list for awhile. I don’t have a location close to me, so I chose their Dunedin location since I love the area. I ordered their square pan pepperoni and it was fantastic. They featured any 12-inch medium one topping pizza for $9.99. I hope they open a spot in South Tampa soon!

As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed Tampa Bay Pizza Week and had so much fun showcasing these local spots. Be sure to support local and order pizza from any of these places as we all try to navigate through this difficult time.

Where are some of your favorite pizza spots? I would love to hear from you.

Dining

Bahia Tacos

March 29, 2020

Hi everyone! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this difficult time in our world. As you all know, eating out and showcasing local restaurants is what I am all about. I have seen so many of my favorite places close due to the Corona Virus, and it just breaks my heart. I hope they can recover from this and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that has been affected.

The one thing I have seen that really makes me smile, is how so many places are using this difficult time to be innovative and boost their takeout platform. I will be showcasing different places and their creativity such as boozy brunches, create your own pizza kits, family dinners, and more. Be sure follow me on Instagram @forkingaroundtown to see my daily features, or email me at tracy@forkingaroundtown.com to share any places that you think I should visit.

I wanted to share with you a new place that opened recently in Tampa. If you love tacos as much as I do, Bahia Tacos is sure to win your over with their innovative menu which features Columbian-infused Mexican cuisine with favorites such as tacos, burritos, tortas, rice bowls, and more.

My Trio of Tacos

I stopped by earlier this week and got some tacos to take home. With so many options for tacos such as shrimp, pork, beef and chicken, vegan and vegetarian, there is something for everyone. I enjoyed two of my tacos with corn tortillas and one with an arepa. They were fantastic!

Tacos are life

I can’t wait to go back and order other items for takeout and have been craving a good torta. It will be a delicious pleasure to try their entire menu.

Torta, photo courtesy of Bahia Tacos

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I have enjoyed my fair share of burritos and theirs look incredible. Nothing is better than a fat, juicy burrito with freshly made salsa drizzled over the top.

Burrito, photo courtesy of Bahia Tacos

Since we all are spending a lot of time at home and keeping busy with cooking, cleaning, Netflix, and more, sometimes it is nice to support local and pick up food from a neighborhood spot. You can bet that I will be enjoying Bahia Tacos for Taco Tuesday next week.

Nachos, photo courtesy of Bahia Tacos

Be sure to support local during this time. If you are looking for a new taco spot, Bahia Tacos is perfect! They are located at 808 S Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo courtesy of Bahia Tacos

Thank you so much Bahia Tacos for hosting me this week and I can’t wait to see you thrive after we all get through this.

Dining

Bulla Gastrobar

December 23, 2019

Happy Holidays everyone! I am sure you are wondering where I have been, and if you follow me on Instagram, you can see that I have been busy eating all over Tampa Bay. I have really missed writing and am ready to get back to it. I have so much to share with all of you and am excited to feature the incredible cuisine at Bulla Gastrobar in South Tampa

Fun fact: I used to work at Bulla.

Back in the late summer of 2017, I was hired as a bartender at Bulla and went through an intensive training program prior to them opening in the SoHo area of South Tampa. I LOVED working there and the only reason I left was due to having babysitter issues and not being able to work late nights. My time at Bulla was an incredible experience and I made some very special friendships.

If you are not familiar with Bulla, let me give you a little background. Bulla was conceived in Coral Gables, FL by restaurateur Carlos Centurion, and was inspired by the famous gastrobars in Spain. With an open kitchen that focuses on the finest and freshest ingredients, seasonal menus, handcrafted cocktails, and just an overall vibe of “fun,” Bulla is one of the best dining destinations in Tampa.

I was graciously invited to stop by and try their new “Lightning Lunch,” which was created for busy professionals in Tampa Bay. This new lunch offers a 20 minute in-house guarantee from the time your food order is placed, to the time it reaches your table. How cool is that? I am often in a rush and prefer to dine at a nice place than to get fast food, and this is certainly music to my ears.

This is the perfect time for you to stop by Bulla and to enjoy their new lunch special. It is offered Monday through Friday and for just $12.95, you can pick two courses from their incredible menu.

I began my meal with one of my favorites, their Sangria Blanca. A beautiful blend of Cava, peach schnapps, triple sec, fresh strawberries, and blueberries, it is a great way to begin your dining experience at Bulla.

SANGRÍA BLANCA

Since I love tapas, I decided to try a few of them in lieu of an entree. As soon as I saw that they had Chorizo Stuffed Dates, I knew I had to order them. Stuffed dates are one of my favorites and I had never had them with chorizo. These are perfect for sharing with a friend and a glass of wine.

CHORIZO STUFFED DATES

I was trying not to be too bad, so I also ordered their Sauteed Garlic Shrimp, which are perfect if you are trying to follow a keto lifestyle. These shrimp are outstanding and I love that they are sauteed with brandy and red pepper flakes for a little extra kick.

SAUTÉED GARLIC SHRIMP

I always loved the Tuna Tartar from when I worked at Bulla before, so I ordered that as well. A combination of Ahi tuna, mango, avocado, soy sesame vinaigrette, and Sriracha aioli, it is also perfect for sharing. I managed to eat everything by myself, but since they were tapas, I didn’t leave feeling overly stuffed.

TUNA TARTAR

Now, you can’t possibly go to Bulla without ordering dessert. I am pretty much obsessed with their Churros Con Chocolate, which are traditional fried dough, served with chocolate sauce and dulce de leche. I dare you not to devour all of them in one sitting! I always do and that is why I run a lot.

CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE

I would like to thank Bulla for hosting me and I can’t wait to return with some friends for our annual New Year’s Brunch. Bulla has one of the best brunch menus in Tampa so I urge you to go check them out.

Be sure to get social with me and you can find me on the following channels:

Instagram

Forking Around Town Podcast

Twitter

TikTok

Eat, Drink, and Be Tracy

****Disclaimer. Bulla Gastrobar invited me to lunch in exchange for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Dining

New York New York Pizza

March 15, 2019

Have you ever walked into a place and felt an instant connection? That pretty much sums up my first visit to New York New York Pizza almost two years ago. A friend brought me there for a few slices and ever since, New York New York has had a pizza my heart.

My first slice ever……the Florentine

With multiple locations in Tampa Bay which include Hyde Park, Riverview, Wesley Chapel, West Chase, Carrollwood, the Tampa International Airport, and the original in Ybor, New York New York is a Tampa tradition. Serving up New York Style Pizza in addition to wings, burgers, subs, pasta, chicken dishes, eggplant dishes, and more, New York New York offers something for everyone.

Meatball Parmigiana Sub

My absolute favorite is their Grandma Pie. Made with fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil, it is my go-to slice. Doesn’t it go great with my pizza purse?

The Grandma

New York New York inspires not only my fashion, but my nails as well.

Pizza Nails in honor of my favorite slice

Aside from their great food, they have some pretty incredible murals adorning their walls. Everything is super instagramable.

My favorite mural

There is nothing more that I enjoy than spending time exploring Ybor and stopping by New York New York Pizza for a slice of their incredible pie. I dare you to walk by without being intoxicated by the scent of their pizza.

Shrimp Scampi Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Another one of my favorite things about New York New York Pizza is their staff. Everyone is like family and they make you feel right at home. Ybor is blessed to have Alicia (below) and Arber (second below).

Alicia and her signature smile

These two, along with the rest of the incredible staff, are the heart and soul of New York New York Pizza.

Arber makes the best pies

I have teamed up with New York New York for a giveaway of a two, $25 gift certificates both here and on Instagram. You can enter below and a winner will be selected on Tuesday, March 19th. Good luck!

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Dining

Mirro’s Pizzeria

March 5, 2019

I am always looking for great pizza in Tampa Bay and love sharing my findings with all of you. Last week my children and I were invited to try Mirro’s Pizzeria in South Tampa, and were pleasantly surprised.

Located at 2307 S. Dale Mabry, Mirro’s Pizzeria is a quintessential neighborhood spot that you will just adore. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by our server, Natalie, and owner, Skip. I knew right away that we were going to have a special night.

The look and feel inside is just sexy. Lots of red and black, with the scent of freshly baked pizza in the air. You can’t help but feel the positive energy when you step inside.

I wanted to try a few things on the menu, so I started out with their house salad with goat cheese. It was HUGE! Salad before pizza is a must for me. I was really impressed by the freshness of the produce.

House Salad with Goat Cheese

Meatballs are one of my favorites, so I just had to try a trio of their “Polpette di Antonio” with Ricotta. If you try these meatballs, I want you to comment on this post with the distinct flavor that you will discover when tasting them. Needless to say, I devoured them all and still wanted more.

Polpette di Antonio with Ricotta

Mirro’s features two styles of pizza: New York and Italiana. My kids wanted New York Style, so they made their own creation. While all pizza is my favorite, I tried the Italian style with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil.

Heavenly Pies….

The tag-line for Mirro’s is “Fold It, Don’t Fork It.” Of course, that caught my eye. Trust me on this, you will love folding their pizza and enjoying every last bite.

New York Style

South Tampa is really blessed to have Mirro’s Pizzeria in the neighborhood. Their pizza will make a great addition to your next event or movie night at home.

Pizza Italiana

A visit to Mirro’s is not complete without dessert. We enjoyed a duo of cannolis and it was the perfecting ending to our evening.

I have teamed up with Mirro’s for a $50 gift certificate giveaway. You can enter by clicking below. Contest ends on Tuesday, March 12th and noon and the winner will be notified via email. Good luck and be sure to visit Mirro’s the next time you are craving pizza!

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Dining

Paul’s Chicago Pizza

February 26, 2019

If you know me, then you know my obsession with pizza. From a pizza purse, a pizza tattoo, pizza socks, and countless pizza shirts, I am known as the Pizza Queen. I try pizza everywhere in my travels and I must say, Tampa Bay is filled with some great pizza spots.

Paul’s Chicago Pizza is one of my favorites. They have two locations, their original and flagship spot in Clearwater, located at 1500 N. McMullen Booth Road, and their newer location at 11002 4th Street North in St. Petersburg. Everyone that I have sent to Paul’s have become loyal customers. From their wonderful staff to their incredible food, they are a a Tampa Bay gem.

Da Best Thin Crust

Known for having “da best” thin crust, Paul’s features authentic, Chicago style pizza. I was one of those that always thought of Chicago pizza as “deep dish” style, not thin crust. While Paul’s does feature both, they are known for their thin crust and trust me when I say this, you will love it.

Paul’s Stuffed Pizza

In addition, Pauls’s features a menu filled with tasty options such as wings, salads, pasta dishes, and Chicago classics such as a Chicago Dog, a Meatball Parm, an Italian Sub and more.

Italian Sub

I have been making it a point to try everything on their menu and get something different on each visit.

Loaded Fries

Whether you are looking for a quick bite at lunch, a family night, or even a date night, Paul’s is one of my favorite destinations. I leave happy every single time and simply adore their staff.

Garlic Parm Poppers

Did I mention that their lasagna is one of my favorites? I rarely order lasagna when dining out because I ate it so much as a kid growing up. Paul’s is the only place were I will make an exception. Made from scratch and with love, it is the ultimate comfort food.

Lasagna

I am always looking for the best wings in Tampa and Paul’s is right up their in my top ten. Their dry rub wings are fantastic and I love ordering them when I am trying to stick to a low-carb eating plan.

Dry Rub Wings

Be sure to follow Paul’s Chicago Pizza on social media, as they do giveaways every Friday on their Facebook pages. You can follow them here:

Paul’s Chicago Pizza St. Pete Facebook

Paul’s Chicago Pizza Clearwater Facebook

Paul’s Chicago Pizza Instagram

I have teamed up with Paul’s Chicago Pizza for a giveaway! One lucky reader will win a $25 gift card to Paul’s . Winner will be selected Tuesday, March 5th at noon. Good luck!

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