Organic

Steelbach - Armature Works

Armature Works is nested in historic Tampa Heights across from the Hillsborough River. The brick and mortar beauty houses an eclectic mix of eateries, Heights Public Market, event spaces and Bay 3 a unique coworking space.

One of the many restaurants inside is Steelbach. The southern rustic decor is warm and inviting. They have a waterfront patio but we chose to dine inside. We were seated immediately and our waitress greeted us within a minute of sitting. Upon looking at their lunch menu, the waitress assured me my soy allergy would be a priority.

Out of all the items — Grouper Tacos, Avocado & Fennel Salad, or Blackened Salmon — just to name a few, on the menu, the burgers stood out the most. Steelbach’s cattle are local and grass-fed. My husband chose the Pimento Cheese Burger and I had a bunless burger. Our waitress and the chef was on top of my soy allergy and planned to cook it away from everything else to eliminate cross-contamination.

The meat is seasoned which sometimes restaurants don’t do well. They rely heavily on the condiments or the add-ons. Even with the Pimento Burger, my husband stated he could taste the seasonings in the meat.

I always take one bite and wait to make sure all is good. Throat closing is not pleasant. It’s happened to me out at eateries before where they tell me there wasn’t cross-contamination, but my soy allergy disagrees. I don’t expect the world to stop because of my food allergy. I don’t expect restaurants to only stock olive or avocado oil, but I do expect them to be honest and tell me my options are zero or limited, that also has happened to me, but I don’t entirely fault that restaurant because it was more pub-like, but I did educate them on soy, and they appreciated that.

I digress.

The burger was juicy and flavorful. My husband was quite pleased with his as well.

The fact that Steelbach was attentive to my soy allergy makes the list of places to visit for those with food allergies. The restaurant also has gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Steelbach serves lunch, dinner, and brunch. Their wine and cocktail menus are extensive. The Infused Duos sound delightful, perhaps next time.

Steelbach takes reservations, and they have gift certificates which my parents would love since they are relocating here from the Midwest soon.

For those visiting the Tampa area or those of you who are local and want to try a new place, you won’t be disappointed.

Per their website:

WATERFRONT PATIO 
VALET PARKING AVAILABLE
FOR PARTIES OF SIXTEEN OR MORE PLEASE EMAIL: STEELBACH.COM

ARMATURE WORKS 
1902 N. OLA AVE. 
TAMPA, FL 33602 
VIEW ON MAP 

HOURS OF OPERATION
MONDAY - THURSDAY 11:30AM - 11:00PM
FRIDAY 11:30AM - 12:00AM
SATURDAY 9:30AM - 12:00AM
SUNDAY 9:30AM - 10:00PM


Seasonality Spices - Maharajah

I'm a spice snob -- sorry, not sorry -- and always on the lookout for new spices. Believe it or not, I have come across few with soy in them which surprised me. Natural flavors are a red flag as well. I stay far from those. I never know what is lurking and a not being able to breathe stinks. I don't have time for a trip to the ER.

Recently I added quinoa to my husband's food plan. Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth. Per Shape.com.

Quinoa is bland but cooking it in broth helps. Also, use a flavorful spice such as Maharajah from Seasonality Spices.  

Seasonality Spices is on Etsy.

Per their site, Maharajah (Indian Curry) - Handcrafted Spice Blend - All-Natural, Organic, Vegan, Fair-Trade. Maharajah translated is "great king", which means this spice is the Great King of Indian Masalas. It reigns king because of its superior flavor and its use of 6 of the 7 most expensive spices in the world: saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, turmeric, and pepper. This powder blend is known for its versatility and extra-rich flavor. 

I added the spice to my quinoa. Immediately the aroma filled the kitchen. Saffron, cinnamon, and clove were the first noticeable. I tasted the quinoa because any great chef will tell you to taste, taste, and taste again. 

Earthy. Savory. Fresh. 

A subtle bite from the pepper. Heat is prevalent but not overpowering. 

When I drizzled my garlic infused oil over the quinoa all the bold flavors drew me in. I was ready to eat.  

In my air fryer, I made a salmon filet.

The combination was perfect. I savored each bite. 

Seasonality Spices sells by the weight. 1, 2, or 4oz. Their packaging is secure. Shipping time within a handful of days. Not long at all. 

Their Sampler Of The Month is a great way to try out their variety of spices, rubs, and herbs. 

I'm eyeing the Truffle Salt and Cumin next. 

I wouldn't call being a chef gratifying in a lot of ways. It's an act of love. Alex Guarnaschelli