01/30/17

Treat your tastebuds to #Brunch at Vuelo Mexican Grill!

Disclosure: Brian and I were invited to try Vuelo Mexican Grill as a part of a partnership with Vuelo and the Tampa Bay Bloggers. All spicy, scrumptious, and saucey opinions are our own. 

When you think of brunching in #Tampa, I’m sure about 20 different locations pop into your mind.

Well, make room for another spot, because Vuelo Mexican Grill is a place you MUST add to your Sunday brunch list!

Believe me. I was totally a skeptic. Chips and salsa and fajitas for Sunday brunch? I don’t think so. But trust me when I say I was so, so very wrong. Mexican IS for brunching, and Vuelo is where it’s AT! vuelo

From Vuelo:
At Vuelo Mexican Grill, we serve hand-crafted Mexican cuisine from our scratch kitchen with a fresh attitude and spirit for modern times. Our family-owned restaurant is Classic Mexican with Latin/South American flavors and twists, bringing an entirely new experience to Tampa and the food lovers that live here! Vuelo’s lively atmosphere and delicious food create a truly memorable experience. As consulting chef, James Beard-nominated Chef Mark Estee brings his approach to fresh ingredients, authentic flavors and attention to detail to every dish at Vuelo.

Vuelo is located in New Tampa, at 17641 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, right next to Flatwoods Park and is open 7 days a week, serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30am-3pm.

Upon arrival, you’ll notice a spacious outdoor seating area, gorgeous decor and a welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for families, first dates, happy hour (they have 17 screens featuring exclusive pay per view events) parties (they have space for groups!) celebrations, AND yes, even BRUNCH! space

roof

Aside from the gorgeous decor, what caught my eye first was their extensive (and free!) salsa bar! salsa
I LOVE salsa, and the choices of house made salsas Vuelo offered did not disappoint! The salsa bar is stocked every day with salsas ranging from mild to hot, including Fruit Salsa, Mild Luis, Hot Tomás and Mojo Cubano (my favorite!). As we sat, we were able to try each and every salsa on their hot and fresh homemade chips. chips
 
allsalsaThe brunch menu was surprisingly diverse and included traditional dishes like Huevos Rancheros, creative plates like Vuelo French Toast (with rum sauce and mangos!), and offered bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys and Bloody Marias every Saturday and Sunday! We were invited to try anything on the menu so I opted for a mimosa and the Mexican scramble with carnitas. Brian decided to try something off the lunch menu and ordered three tacos with refried black beans and cilantro rice. brunch
menu
 
mimosa
 
skilletWhen I tell you that the Mexican scramble was, hands down, one of THE most delicious things I have ever tried, I’m not lying. It was absolutely delicious! Crispy potatoes, perfectly cooked eggs, juicy carnitas, queso fresco- this dish WILL bring me back to Vuelo without a doubt! And although Brian enjoyed his meal (he LOVED the rice!) he definitely had some dish envy going on (I gave him a taste, no worries) 😉
 
In addition to the filling and satisfying meals, we appreciated the wonderful (and prompt service), and the warm welcome from every employee who crossed our path. We will definitely be returning to Vuelo and most likely bringing our friends along too!
 
More info
  • Happy Hour daily 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    5 Mini Tacos for $5
    5 Apps for $5 each: Taquitos, Fried Florida Bites, Nachos Vuelos, half order of Guac & Chips and Queso Fundido (Add pork carnitas, achiote chicken or barbacoa beef for $4)
    $4 Mixed Drinks $3 House Wine $2 Domestic Draft Beer and 2 for 1 Casa ‘Rita 
  • Specialty house cocktails and an extensive wine list
  • Tequila list includes specialty tequilas, blancos (clear and unaged), reposados (rested and aged), anejo (aged more than a year), and vertical and horizontal flights.
  • Taco Tuesday Tuesdays 5 pm- closing; 2 Tacos for $6 plus…one FREE Casa ‘Rita or domestic draft beer plus LATIN MUSIC WITH TAMPA’S DJ DOMI!
  • About Chef Mark Estee: Highly acclaimed restaurateur Chef Mark Estee brings his approach to fresh ingredients, authentic flavors and attention to detail to every dish at Vuelo. With an incredible list of awards and accolades to his name, Chef Estee continues to shape the evolving food culture through innovative dishes and authentic relationships. As Vuelo’s food and restaurant consultant, Chef Estee’s menu will delight your senses and leave you wanting more!

Have you tried Vuelo? What are you waiting for? Add it to your #Tampadining list ASAP and let me know your thoughts!

signature

09/11/15

Four (fore!) reasons why you must visit ¡Cuatro!

Last week I had the opportunity to attend an amazing event at ¡Cuatro Restaurant and Bar located on picturesque TPC golf course in Lutz, Fl along with other members of the Tampa Bay Bloggers community. The evening was filled with delicious hand-crafted cocktails, delectable dishes- straight from the ¡Cuatro menu, friends, music, and gorgeous views along the 18th green.  Continue reading

04/14/14

Jet City Seminole Heights (and a quiche recipe!)

Way back in once upon a time time, I saw my blogger friend Meghann, from Meals and Miles, write a blog post about this amazing coffee shop in South Tampa. It was the first time I’d heard of Jet City, and I must admit, I was just a *tad* jealous of all of the scrumptious looking things she got to try (like the Cafe Borgia!).  Continue reading

03/27/14

Taste of South Tampa

A scrumptious event is about to hit South Tampa in a few weeks! On Sunday, April 13th, the 9th annual Taste of South Tampa is coming to Hyde Park! This food-filled event will run from 1-4pm. Local restaurants will be offering samples of their best dishes for guests to taste! Beer, wine, spirits and sodas will be offered as well to wash it all down.  The tickets are all inclusive and include: Unlimited food and beverage samples, live entertainment, access to activities in the Kid and Pet Zones, give-aways from exhibitors, opportunity to win prizes by participating in the canned food drive and voting for the “Best of South Tampa” awards. This is going to be such a fun event that you won’t want to miss.  Continue reading

12/12/13

Takara Sushi review (and a $25 gift card for one of you!)

I was invited, along with the Tampa Bay Bloggers to participate in a complimentary tasting at Takara Sushi and Sake Lounge in Tampa in exchange for a review and blog post. In addition, I received compensation in the form of a gift card, however all deliciously fishy opinions are my own.

I’m not sure if fun is allowed on Tuesday evenings. Continue reading

09/16/13

Taco Bus (try not to drool)

I fought EVERYBODY when it came to trying the Taco Bus.
Food out of a bus? Off Hillsborough and Nebraska? Outside? No thanks.

Boy was I wrong.
After many begs, I finally went here and although it’s a little rough around the edges on the outside, the food is DE-LISH.

Now, I live down the street from the original “bus” and each time I go there I tell myself I’m going to order something different, however, I usually default to my go-to meal: the fish tacos with a side of guacamole. Their fish tacos are light, not greasy and topped with fresh slaw, pickled onions, pico de gallo and an amazing cream sauce. Their guacamole is to die for, and hands down the best I’ve ever had. Served with a side of tostado chips and fresh pico de gallo on top.

They also make a mean horchata (like a drinkable rice pudding) that I get every time. It’s creamy and refreshing with just a hint of cinnamon. Their food is fresh, there are TONS of vegetarian and healthy options and the staff is always friendly. The original location is open 24 hours a day, yes 24-7, and have call ahead and online ordering. The waits can be long, so it’s best to order ahead of time; especially around lunch hour!

The best news? Taco Bus has expanded all over the bay area! There are locations in Downtown Tampa, St. Pete, the USF area and their newest location: Brandon!

When Carlos, from Carlos Eats, extended an invitation to a blogger dinner he was hosting at the Brandon location, I couldn’t refuse. Both the guy and I have become major fans of the Bus, and I knew he’d jump at an opportunity to check out the new location.

The new Taco Bus is located at 301 South Falkenburg Road. Brian and I were the first to arrive and were warmly greeted by Taco Bus founder Rene Valenzuela. As we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, Rene brought us out fresh, ice cold horchatas. We sipped and chatted a bit as we looked around the new location, which is much bigger than the others. With a spacious outdoor patio seating area, indoor booths and a huge group counter top area, Taco Bus Brandon is the perfect place for groups and parties. I may or may not already be planning my next birthday party! 😉 #Junebaby

Before we knew it, the others had arrived and the food began rolling out.

And boy did it roll!

Rene’s goal for the evening was to introduce us to some of the vegetarian options Taco Bus has to offer. With limited vegetarian restaurants in the Brandon area, Taco Bus may become a go to for all the local herbivores. 😉 We tried SO many dishes: tofu and tempeh tostadas (amazing!), rajas con queso tostadas, cochinita pibil tostadas, carne asada tacos, butternut squash tostadas, guacamole  and (my favorite) creamy tres leches cake for dessert. I made sure to make room for dessert. Their tres leches does NOT disappoint! So refreshing and rich!

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

As we ate, Rene told us stories of how the Taco Bus came to be. As he explains his story, you can see and hear the pride in his voice. These recipes are traditional family recipes that focus on fresh and healthy ingredients. Nothing comes out of a can around these parts. It’s a product you can feel good about putting into your body.

If you haven’t been to any of the Bay Area Taco Bus locations, go now. And if you don’t live in the area, I feel sorry for you! So sorry that I may air-mail you a carne asada burrito.

Thanks again to Rene for the hospitality and Carlos for the invitation! I had a great time and made some new blogger friends in the process! (And thank you to Gerardo Luna for this amazing group shot! Click on the link and like Gerardo Luna Photographs on Facebook!).

1186978_525838847489928_817560080_nWhat’s your favorite Taco Bus menu item?

Steph 🙂

Disclosure: I was invited to try out Taco Bus for free in exchange for this blog review. All deliciously mouthwatering comments are my own. 🙂

07/2/13

Sate Southeast Asian Grill review

I love the idea of build-your-own style restaurants. You know, places like Chipotle and the now deceased Dish (let’s have a moment of silence, please).

When I found out about Sate Southeast Asian Grill, I knew I would be a fan. Not only because of the creative concept, but because of the fresh options I had heard about through some friends. Continue reading