So You've Been to Armature Works, but Have You Been Here??
Food Halls are the newest city sensation as they create a space in which people can come group together and enjoy a drink and good eats! They are welcoming to people of all ages and provide several small food booths in which large groups of people will have a variety of cuisines from all over the world in one spot. Armature works was opened up in Tampa in February of 2018 and has since been one of the hottest spots to come hang out on the weekend. Food halls now have been popping up all around Western Florida and the newest one has made its mark in its first year of life.
I just recently checked this new food hall out in Lakeland, and I regret not coming sooner. The Joinery was opened by Husband and Wife, Jonathan and Sarah admist the pandemic in January of 2020. More than a year late the Joinery is absolutely thriving. They have brought dozens of jobs to the Lakeland area, tons of new visitors and tourists and provided a place where everyone can come hang out after work and on the weekends with their friends and family.
The Joinery has one of the most aesthetic atmospheres in Tampa. It is located quite near downtown with a beautiful view on the water. You can come here to eat, to hang out, to drink or you can even host your parties here!
There are three main people who make the Joinery possible. Madison is their director of operations and does incredible work including developing our favorite craft cocktails. Kristy is the director of brand experiences, hence the genius who made the interior of the Joinery like nothing else out in Tampa, It almost looks like there is an instagram filter across the entire design with gorgeous floral elements, fairy lights and plenty of greenery. Jonathan is their outstanding leader who owns a industrial modern furniture design. He runs the entire building as CEO, CIO, and COO. If thats not enough abbreviations for one person then I don't know what is.
They have done a fantastic job of providing plenty of seating for all of those who wish to come down and hang out at the Joinery during the week and weekends. Their bar features classic coctails, craft brews from all over florida, wine and curated flgihts. Personally my favorite brewery in our west Florida area is 3 Daughters brewery out in St. Petersburg. They have a huge cider menu which is definitely right up my alley. Currently the Joinery is featuring 3 Daughter's bleach blonde america ale, and their rose cider. But you could also order spring frward from Tampa's 81Bay brewery, the wavemaker amber ale from big storrm brewery and the caramel fream ale from due south brewing co out in boynton beach as just a few other optiosn for some of our favorite drinks.
To go alongside your drink, the team at the joinery has curated the best bunch of food restaurants here that you are sure to be pleased by.
- Ato: This fresh option features our favorite sushi burriors and poke bowls for those who are looking to a fresh start to the weekend or to end the night. I recoomend going with their dynaite curated big poke bowl comprised of double tempura shrimp, masage, avocado, wakame, scallion, mixed greens, carrots, cucumeners, togaarashi, and spicy maco sauce. They also offer my favorite Zukku dmplings made with pork, egg and a sweet sauce.
- Ava: This little pizzeria offers soudough crust pizzas that are wood-fired, neopolitan-style and then topped with the most premium of ingredients.Their sourdough crust rises over 3 long days before its ready but if you are looking forsomething a little lighter, they also offer a gluten free cauliflower crust! Personally, I have always been a fan of white pizzas over red pizzas and Ava has a Bianca pizz made with mozzarella, ricota, sweet petppers, cup and char pepperoni with fermented chili. It has a little bit of kick and mized with the creamy white sauce is absolutely perfect.
- Gallito Taqueria: If you have had the chance to try and love Rooster and the Till in Semniole heights, then you have to try this modern taqueria fashioned by the same minds. They have pork carnita,s carne asada, chicken tina, sofrido frijoles. But I would recoomend ging with their quesabirria tacos. This california trend has made its way over to florida and I love it. Quesabirria tacos are made with small quesadillas as the taco shell and then stuffed with a protein, cheese, onions and cilantro. They are served with a consume on the side to dip it in to round off the perfection.
- Mayday ice cream: Of course, we cannot have a food hall without an ice cream place because you can never say no to a bite of artisan ice cream whether you are 5 or 50. Mayday offers so many different flavors, some classics and some so uniue you definitely have never had anything like it. My favorites are the queen salted caramel, the key lime pie, and gillespie's bourbon pecan. If you are one who avoids ice cream for the dairy component, Mayday still has you covered with their almond butter chocolate dairy free ice cream. They also offer chocolate coconut, dirty chai, strawbeerym int sorbet and toasted cononut diary free options!
- Plenty: Plenty is my personal favorite restaurant in this food hall. I have struggled to find good Mediterranean/Greek food in the West Tampa area until I tried Plenty. Plenty specializes in wholesome, colorful bowls that are assembled with tons of veggies, whole grains, textures and flavors. Last time I went, I asked the cashier what her favorite dish was and she recommended the Harissa and Hummus handheld for me and I am so glad that she did. This handheld was created pita shell and then stuffed with harissa, a huge scoop of hummus, and then I could choose a protein. I decided to try their vegan eggplant and mushroom option (Nothing like I have ever had before and sooo good!!). For their meditterean twist, they topped the handheld with tomato, cucumber, olives, get and tahini.
- Sabu: This is my best friend's spot to grab from when we stop by here. Sabu is a Japanese inspired Ramen joint with a ton of ramen bowls! They've got tonkotsu, shio, shoyu, veggie miso, and spicy miso options! They also have Asian street food items as well such as their steamed buns which I could eat a dozen of. The Menchi buns are chinese steamed buns fuilled with minced pork, napa cabbage, tonkatsu sauce, aioli and scallion. My favorite are their honey chicken buns made with GF fried chicken, honey sichuan glaze, aioli, ginger pickles and scallion. Its the perfect blend of sweet, savory and spicy. Other street snacks that they offer include chicken karaage and menchi katsu!
- Super Duper Spot: Where are our classic American food lovers? Super Duper will hit your savory taste buds with huge burgers, delectable fried chicken sandwiches, and wings! You can order a single or double angus beef patty topped iwth onions, pickles and their secret super sauce. You can also order this burger with a Impossible plant based patty as well! Their fried chicken is brined in spiced buttermilk to give it that tangy, perfect southern fried chicken flavor. Their real classic which is a rare find nowadays are their malted milkshakes made with bourbon vanilla and crushed whoppers! A sweet end to the night.
I absolutely commend every single restaurant booth here for being so accomodating to people's dietary needs of all sorts. Whether you are gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant or all inclusive, there is something here to make you happy!
So next time your friends need a new place to go set up for the night and grab some drinks, I would highly suggest coming and checking out the Joinery! If you are looking for more local spots to support in Florida, please follow me and check out my other articles! I am striving to help local businesses and restaurant get the news out about those deep dives finds that you will not be able to try anywhere else.
With love and good food,