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Mortar & Pestle Launches Mobile Food Lab

Tampa, FL— Mortar & Pestle is reviving old-time traditions with a distinctly modern twist, and their new mobile food lab is now gearing up to give the community a taste.

While construction continues on the company’s independent pharmacy and café at 6308 – 6310 N. Florida Ave., the food truck brings a piece of Mortar & Pestle into Bay area neighborhoods.

Experimenting with taste and presentation, the food truck elevates old-fashioned favorites to a new standard, with a menu drawing influence from foods of the American South, without becoming cuisine-specific.

Visitors can expect innovative flavors and combinations like Quail and Waffles, Smoked Brisket Stuffed Baked Potatoes, or Crab Stuffed Avocado Salad. Rooted in the comforts of classic American home cooking, these dishes are prepared and served only at the peak of freshness, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Chef Mike Badgett honed his craft in both fine dining and food trucks, traveling from the Middle East to the heart of Austin, Texas, savoring international cuisines and working with championship Texas BBQ cook-off teams—including legendary Franklin Barbecue owner Aaron Franklin.

It’s no accident, then, that Mortar & Pestle menu items often take a pass through a giant in-house smoker before coming to the plate, bringing delicious depth to dishes like Beer Butt Chicken or Sopapillas with Lime-Pepper Skirt Steak.

At price points between $7 and $12, the food truck offers a budget-friendly way to get acquainted with the flavors of Mortar & Pestle’s upcoming Seminole Heights café.

Look for the new Mortar & Pestle mobile food lab popping up at Tampa breweries, outdoor markets, and other locations this month. Follow and social media @mortarpestlefl for schedules, and please contact our office at (813) 773-0909 for information on special event bookings.

Seminole Heights lands indie pharmacy and cafe

What’s one way to mix modern tastes with old-school traditions? Open up a dual concept called Mortar & Pestle, apparently.

This new indie pharmacy and café, under construction at 6308-6310 N. Florida Ave., is putting a contemporary twist on the classic pharmacy soda shops of the early 1900s, as well as historic small-town mom-and-pop drugstores. The 3,920-square-foot venture occupies two buildings to bring what it calls “a community gathering place and social hub” to Seminole Heights.

In addition to serving a patron’s prescription needs, Mortar & Pestle is set to offer a relaxing environment in its adjacent café, where local sodas, espresso drinks, Florida craft beer and wine, desserts, and small plates will be featured. Its grand opening is planned for November.

“Mortar & Pestle will deliver attentive service for everything from soothing an ache to soothing a sweet tooth,” reads a news release from Mortar & Pestle, “just as pharmacists of the past once filled prescriptions and mixed ice cream sodas with equal skill.”

Local businesswoman and politician Rose Ferlita closed the doors of her business, Rose Drugs, in 2007, and the neighborhood hasn’t had a community pharmacy since. There are fewer than 10 of them throughout the greater Tampa area, according to the release.

Entrepreneurs bring pharmacy, cafe to Seminole Heights

A slice of nostalgia is coming to Seminole Heights.

A trio of entrepreneurs is under construction on Mortar & Pestle, an independent pharmacy and cafe that will combine two buildings for 3,920 square feet at 6308 and 6310 N. Florida Ave. It is slated to open in November.

Mortar & Pestle, an independent pharmacy and cafe, is opening in Seminole Heights.
The concept is the brainchild of Jessica Patel, Ujwal Patel and Badal Patel. It is inspired, the group said in a news release, by “America’s historic mom-and-pop drugstores.”

It will fill prescriptions and serve locally made sodas, espresso drinks, Florida craft beers, wines, desserts and small plates at an adjacent cafe.

Rose Drugs, the neighborhood’s last independent pharmacy, closed in 2007.

Seminole Heights, which has been on the verge of urban renaissance for several years, is starting to reach a tipping point as more residents and businesses are moving to the area.

Ashley Gurbal Kritzer is senior reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.