By LOIS KINDLE
A newly opened restaurant on Big Bend Road is making quite a splash in the South Shore area. Its patrons are already spreading the word that Fuzzy’s Taco Shop features a heck of a lot more than one of its signature dishes.
In addition to an expansive menu of freshly prepared dishes, the Tex-Mex restaurant prides itself on its festive ambience, friendly staff, full-service bar and value pricing.
“We don’t sacrifice quality,” said Ian Lieberman, co-owner of the Riverview eatery and other Fuzzy’s Taco Shop locations in Brandon, north Tampa and Lakeland with his brother Adam and Adam’s wife, J-Ray. “All of our menu items are made from scratch daily.”
Diners come for more than the food, however.
“We build restaurants where people come for the food and then stay for the drinks in our fun, laid back atmosphere,” Lieberman said.
There is plenty to choose from.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop offers starters like chips and queso, fire-roasted salsa or guacamole; Baja tortilla soup; and Drunken Pig Pork N Beans. Diners have a selection of seven quesadillas, nine salads, 12 variations of Baja tacos and 18 breakfast items, including seven kinds of egg and cheese burritos, seven egg and cheese tacos, huevos rancheros, chicken or beef chilaquiles and migas.
As if that’s not enough, there are 11 varieties of burritos; six sides; seven versions of nachos; three burrito bowls; seven Mexican plates, including enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and more; sweets; and a kids’ menu. Beverages include beer, margaritas and specialty drinks.
The restaurant has several dining options. Customers can dine indoors, where all COVID-19 city, county and state best practices are strictly observed. There’s limited-contact takeout of its full menu; contactless-free, curbside service; catering; and delivery through Door Dash, Mobile Meals, Uber Eats or Fuzzy’s own delivery service within a 10- to 12- minute drive ($20 minimum).
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, where the first Fuzzy’s Taco Shop opened in 2003, the national brand now has 139 franchised restaurants across the country. Every one of them has its own unique atmosphere and decor, Lieberman said.
He and his brother have worked hard to provide customers with memorable dining experiences, and they’re dead serious about giving back to the communities they serve.
“We practice grateful hospitality,” Lieberman said. “Our ethos involves lending our resources wherever we can and being involved in the community.”
For example, through Go Fund Me, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop raised $30,000 in community donations from March through May in its 1 Taco at a Time campaign to provide tacos and burritos to more than 4,000 emergency personnel during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Liebermans have also done things like provide a nacho bar to A Kid’s Place when the nonprofit organization held Carnival Day for its 60 kids last year.
None of this has gone unnoticed.
“Ian and Adam are very community minded,” said Tanya Doran, executive director of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. “I applaud their desire to be so involved.
“We’re excited to have Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Riverview now,” she continued. “Last year, we named it (the Brandon location) winner of our 2019 Large Business of the Year, in large part due to Ian’s and Adam’s leadership in the community.”
Doran is a customer, as well.
“Fuzzy’s garlic sauce is absolutely addicting,” she said. “I also love its spicy pork tacos and beef brisket salad. Their servings are very generous and reasonably priced.”
Fuzzy’s Taco shop, 10240 Big Bend Road, Riverview, is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit www.fuzzystacoshop.com, Facebook (Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Riverview) or call 813-666-4005.