Inside the Box resembles most of the fast service lunch spots on Tampa Street, Tampa’s downtown restaurant row. Even many of the customers rushing in to get a one-half sandwich, one-half salad meal-to-go or one of the weekly specials do not know the success story of Inside the Box.
Every meal you purchase at this luncheon spot provides a meal for a person in need through Tampa’s Metropolitan Ministries. The idea for the restaurant came from Chef Cliff Barsi, a volunteer at Metro.
With a small grant and a lot of effort and community pride, Inside the Box has been a major success. The management is by former Metropolitan Ministries residents and the staff are interns and graduates of Uplift U., a program to train current residents in the food industry.
The culinary arts program has been a shining star for the social entrepreneurship initiative at Metropolitan Ministries. Besides lunch, the restaurant does a catering business.
How good is the food? All you have to do is go online and read the raves at Yelp and Urbanspoon.