The Highly Anticipated 22 South Food Hall Opens This Friday. What a Treat!

ST. PETE FOODIES APPROVED SPONSOR:
Sea Dog Brewing Ad

Much has already been written about the new highly anticipated 22 South Food Hall which opens this Friday, April 3oth at 7am in the Old Historic Mahattan Casino space. We got a sneak peek a few weeks back but waited to write this until we got to try some food and report back to you.

Here's what I Love The Burg wrote

The hall is a "multipurpose food venue that includes a food hall, coffee shop, bar, event space, collaborative entrepreneurial cowork space and a food industry incubator." The most exciting part to me is what the hall will give back to our community by providing great chefs, with aspirations to own their own restaurant someday, the tools to not just craft great food but to also learn the ins and outs of the business side. Operating partner, Mario Farias says, "We want to set our chefs up for success by providing them with everything they need to really make it in the industry."

22 South Interior TBT

Finished Interior (photo by the Tampa Bay Times's John Pendygraft)

On that first visit we met with Mario Farias, Executive Chef John Karasiewicz and Marketing Director Jill Zimmerman. The enthusiasm and excitement they have for this project was electric.

22 South Interior Food Hall

Early sneak peek of the interior while Kevin and Mario Farias discuss the plans

They took us on a tour of the stunning and huge 5,000 sq ft Jordan Ballroom which can hold up to 300 guests and can be utilized for weddings, parties, anything you can think of and will offer full catering with its own separate menu, kitchen, dishes and bar.

The Jordan Ballroom

The Jordan Ballroom (courtesy of 22 South)

ST. PETE FOODIES APPROVED SPONSOR:

We also got a tour of the new kitchen. Part of setting the chefs up for success is providing them with all brand new equipment for preparing their creations. The kitchen gleams from all of the untouched stainless steel from brand new gas stoves to brand new convection ovens.

22 South Brand New Gas Stoves

Brand New Gas Stoves

22 South Brand New Convection Oven

Brand New Convection Oven

While there are seven different concepts within the hall, they offer full table service and each person in your party can order off of any menu of their choosing. The food will all be timed to come out together as if you were at a restaurant with just one menu.

22 South Wine Bar

Sangria Bar

Along with the above Sangria Bar, they will have live music and they also offer a full bar with a craft cocktail menu and a wine list created by wine guru Massimo Olivella. We had their house Cabernet last night which tasted more like a high end glass of wine that you would pay much more for. Quite impressive.

Craft Cocktails

Craft Cocktails (photo courtesy of 22 South)

Now onto the lineup and the food we enjoyed. We were invited in on Sunday April 25th for a special friends and family sampling. We did not get to sample anything from Deuces Coffee but they will be serving up their own locally roasted coffee blends, pastries, sandwiches and other grab and go delights beginning at 7am daily.

Dueces Coffee

Dueces Coffee Craft Cocktails (photo courtesy of 22 South)

Also not previewed at our event on Sunday evening were any offerings from St Pete Bowls. St Pete Bowls, run by Anja Adams and Naomi Richardson will serve up healthy organic fruit and veggie bowls that look incredible.

St Pete Bowls Logo

St Pete Bowls Logo (courtesy of 22 South)

Anja Adams and Naomi Richardson of St Pete Bowls

Anja Adams and Naomi Richardson of St Pete Bowls (courtesy of 22 South)

St Pete Bowls Veggie Bowl

St Pete Bowls Veggie Bowl (courtesy of 22 South)

Subscribe to our Mailing List for all of the Monthly Food News
(Content Continues Below)

* indicates required
Email Format

Love sushi? Chef Lan Mai, formerly of Roy's Hawaiian Fusion and Souzou, will be serving up his incredible sushi creations from his concept called Shokkan (which translates to emotion, feeling or sensation in english).

Shokkan Logo

Shokkan Logo (courtesy of 22 South)

Chef Lan Mai of Shokkan

Chef Lan Mai of Shokkan (courtesy of 22 South)

Chef Lan surprised us with a special treat that was not on the menu. What a delight! Fresh tuna which encased cucumbers, mango and truffle tossed shiitake mushrooms and served with a pecan jus.

Shokkan's special appetizer of tuna wrapped with cucumbers, mango, truffle tossed shiitake mushroom and a pecan jus.

Next up was the Rainbow Roll which has Kimchi spiced tuna, cucumber and mango and is topped with tuna, salmon, Hamachi, escolar & a citrus ponzu. The fish was extremely fresh and tasty. We were missing soy sauce, as I am not sure they had the dishes for them yet, but we loved it anyway.

Shokkan Rainbow Roll

Shokkan's Rainbow Roll which has Kimchi spiced tuna, cucumber, mango topped with tuna, salmon, Hamachi, escolar & citrus ponzu

Here's a roll you won't see just anywhere, the Surf & Turf Roll has lobster salad, avocado and asparagus and is topped with seared ribeye carpaccio, miso aioli, eel sauce and truffle micro greens. Wow! Really creative and delicious.

Shokkan Surf & Turf Roll

Shokkan's Surf & Turf Roll with lobster salad, avocado, asparagus topped with seared ribeye carpaccio, miso aioli, eel sauce and truffle micro greens.

Next in the lineup is a new home for Ray's Vegan Soul. Ray at one time had a brick and mortar restaurant, that we unfortunately never made it to. However, we heard nothing but rave reviews and now we know why.

Rays Vegan Soul Logo

Rays Vegan Soul Logo (courtesy of 22 South)

Chef Ray Milton of Ray's Vegan Soul

Chef Ray Milton of Ray's Vegan Soul (courtesy of 22 South)

Mario suggested that we order the Thai Cauliflower Bites and at first I wasn't really that interested, but we decided to order them anyway. I am so glad that we did. Unlike others we have had, these were crispy, not soggy and had a nice kick to them and yet smelled a bit sweet. They were a total delight. I dropped some of our leftovers off to our neighbors down the hall, Liz Moneymaker and Brenda Smith and to quote Brenda, "I was impressed with the cauliflower—it is so often not done very well. And not mushy. Great texture."

Ray's Vegan Soul Thai Cauliflower Bites

Ray's Vegan Soul's Thai Cauliflower Bites

We also ordered the Red Beans and Dirty Rice with Fried Cabbage. You would never even know that there was meat missing in this dish. It had such hearty flavors and great textures. Comfort food at its finest. This was definitely one of our favorites of the night.

Ray's Vegan Soul Red Beans Dirty Rice with Fried Cabbage

Ray's Vegan Soul's Red Beans Dirty Rice with Fried Cabbage

Operating partners, Mario Farias and Leigh Kellett Fletcher, sadly had their third partner, Vincent Jackson, suddenly pass away a couple of months ago. This was a devastating loss. The Jackson family is still involved in the project in Vincent's name. Also in his honor they decided to name a permanent concept to the hall called VJ's. VJ's is led by Executive Chef of 22 South, John Karasiewicz.

VJ's Logo

VJ's Logo (photo courtesy of 22 South)

Executive Chef John Karasiewicz

Executive Chef of 22 South Food Hall and the VJ's concept, Chef John Karasiewicz

From the VJ's menu we ordered the oh so yummy, Pork Meatballs. The texture, the sauce, the cheese, all of it had terrific flavor and they were not dense and spongy like you find at some places. Very nicely done.

VJ's Pork Meatballs

VJ's Pork Meatballs

Jamaican me crazy mon? You can get your Jamaican fix on at Irie Mon Jamaican Grill. Run by Chef Dean Hudson and Melissa Grannum, we found the flavors spot on.

Irie Mon Logo

Irie Mon Logo (courtesy of 22 South)

Chef Dean Hudson and Melissa Grannum of Irie Mon Jamaican Grill

Chef Dean Hudson and Melissa Grannum of Irie Mon Jamaican Grill (courtesy of 22 South)

We started with the Beef Patties, which Kevin has eaten a lot of in the past. I honestly am not too familiar with this type of food, so I thought it was a little dry but he said that they were cooked perfectly. They were quite flavorful and approachable with a tiny bit of heat.

Irie Mon Jamaican Grill Beef Patties Inside

Irie Mon Jamaican Grill's Beef Patties Inside

Next, Mario ordered the Jerk Chicken Platter and yay for that. Now you are speaking my language mon. The jerk seasoning had a great kick to it, as it should and the rice and cabbage were just delicious accompaniments.

Irie Mon Jamaican Grill Jerk Chicken Platter

Irie Mon Jamaican Grill's Jerk Chicken Platter

Three Generations food truck, run by Chef Melissa Gardner, has had a cult following for quite some time. We have never personally had the food from there but it was the only place of the night where we couldn't decide what to get of the three offerings, so we ordered them all.

Three Generations Logo Craft Cocktails (photo courtesy of 22 South)

Three Generations Logo Craft Cocktails (photo courtesy of 22 South)

chef Melissa Gardner

Chef Melissa Gardner of Three Generations (courtesy of 22 South)

We started with the deviled eggs. Kevin is the deviled eggs guy in the family and he absolutely loved these!

Three Generations Deviled Eggs

Three Generations Deviled Eggs

But I don't know how you can top a Mac n Cheese with fried lobster. The Fried Lobster with Smoked Gouda & Cheddar Skillet Mac was out of this world. Just look at that. This one is going to be a sure winner.

Three Generations Fried Lobster with Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Skillet Mac

Three Generations Fried Lobster with Smoked Gouda and Cheddar Skillet Mac

And just when I thought you couldn't top that, out came the Lollipop Lamb Chops that I was so excited about. Well, I should have been excited. These were outstanding. Cooked perfectly and with so much juicy flavor. And that potato...the asparagus had a nice char too. I am definitely ordering this one again.

Three Generations Lollipop Lamb Chops

Three Generations Lollipop Lamb Chops

BBQ sure gets a lot of people worked up around here. We found out that the brothers who run Betterway BBQ, William and Bryan Graveley, were the masterminds behind the former Deuces BBQ. That got me excited.

Betterway BBQ Logo

Betterway BBQ Logo (courtesy of 22 South)

Brothers William and Bryan Graveley of Betterway BBQ

Brothers William and Bryan Graveley of Betterway BBQ (courtesy of 22 South)

We ordered the Ribs Platter with 2 sides. Cole Slaw was the other choice, but we decided on baked beans and potato salad. Both seasoned well and yummy. But the star of the show were those ribs. They make their own barbecue sauce, which I rarely like or rave about when it's not Carolina mustard sauce but this one is fantastic. I highly recommend giving them a try. I can't wait to try more.

Betterway BBQ Ribs Platter with Baked Beans and Potato Salad

Betterway BBQ's Ribs Platter with Baked Beans and Potato Salad

The concepts and chefs will change as things move along and chefs progress and grow into owning their own restaurants and we are excited to see how 22 South Food Hall will contribute to our burgeoning food scene here in St Pete. Kudos to the vision and execution of this amazing project.

22 South Food Hall
  • Readers Rating
  • Rated 4.7 stars
    4.7 / 5 (3 )
$-$$
  • Your Rating


  • 22 South Food Hall
  • 727-256-1807
  • BBQ , Sushi, Vegan
    • Mon - Sat 7:00am - 10:00pm
    • Sun - 10:00am - 4:00pm
  • 642 22nd St S, St Petersburg, FL 33712, US

Seven concepts under one roof with full table service, live music and a full liquor bar.

MORE FOODIES READING  Selene Restaurant is on the Foodies Must-Go-To List

ST. PETE FOODIES APPROVED SPONSOR:

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment

ST. PETE FOODIES APPROVED SPONSOR:
Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA Ad

St. Petersburg Foodies