Popular Ruskin restaurant will be “just around the corner”
By LISA STARK
After spending eight years at his current location on Shell Point Road in Ruskin, Bobby Fernandez, owner of Ybor Grille, has decided to make a move. “People can find us just one mile away, at the corner of U.S. 41 and 19th Avenue NE, right across from McDonald’s,” said Fernandez.
The new location is targeted to open by the end of January, and will sport a fresh new look, with an eat-in bar/dining room combination, a state-of-the-art kitchen, natural plank flooring, a covered porch with seating, and a pleasant, contemporary décor. Ybor Grille will still offer all the dishes that locals have come to know and love, plus an expanded beer, wine and full liquor selection.
For those not already familiar with the popular Ruskin restaurant, Ybor Grille serves savory Spanish-style cuisine. The house favorites include lechon assado, slow-roasted pork marinated in sour oranges and garlic; Pallomia steak, a tender cut of top sirloin grilled with onions, mushrooms, cheese and bell peppers; arroz con pollo, baked chicken with seasoned yellow rice and plantains; picadillo, a blend of seasoned ground beef, potatoes, olives and capers in a light tomato sauce; ropa vieja, shredded flank steak simmered in a rich Burgundy sauce; and more.
For lunch, Ybor Grille offers a selection of salads and sandwiches, including pork, grouper, avocado chicken salad and an authentic Cuban sandwich that’s a crowd favorite.
For the lighter appetite, or as a side, try a spicy homemade soup such as garbanzo, black bean, vermicelli or caldo Gallego.
“I love that the food comes out looking exactly like the pictures and tastes amazing,” said Ruskin native Ric Liles, a weekly customer who has been dining at the Ybor Grille ever since it opened. “Bobby really treats his customers well, and that’s why I keep coming back.”
The servers at the Ybor Grille are friendly and professional, and make every diner feel like a welcome guest. Chef Doug Foulks works more than 50 hours per week, along with fellow chef Larry Power, but still likes to chat with diners whenever he has the chance. “Our deviled crabs are 100 percent crab meat and the best you will ever taste,” says Foulks.
Owner Bobby Fernandez has a long history in restaurant ownership, having opened, operated and sold numerous restaurants in the Tampa Bay area during his 40 years in the business. Born and raised in Tampa, he has spent a lifetime creating restaurants and perfecting a variety of cuisines. With Ybor Grille, he returns to the richness of his Spanish heritage. A University of South Florida alumnus (and former college football player), Fernandez lives in north Tampa with his wife, Beth, and his three college-aged children, Chenin, Breann and Bobby (who works part-time at the restaurant).
Ybor Grille is located at 105 Shell Point Road E., in Ruskin. The new location will be one mile north, at 339 19th Ave. NE, directly across from McDonald’s. Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 813-641-7300.