Dos Manos Opens Across From Hospital

By Suzy Wiesenhart

“Two hands” is dos manos in Spanish, and the reason Ryan and Rick Franco gave it that name is because everything is made with their two hands. Located across from Brandon Hospital at 401 S. Parsons Ave., Ste. D, in Brandon, it brings a new take on Latin food.

Rick, who has been in the industry for more than 16 years, wanted to open a restaurant that was authentic Latin with a twist.  He has a definite passion for having food which tastes delicious and he strives to keep it fresh and interesting; combining many typical Latin dishes with items not usually combined, but thoroughly tasty.  The diner has no freezer and everything is fresh and cooked while you wait. He said, “I put love and integrity in everything that leaves the kitchen.”

His brother, Ryan, a first-generation American, is a graduate of USF, with a degree in Marketing; a big help when getting a business started. His personality shines as he offers drinks and menus when you arrive. When told he didn’t look Latin, he said, “Well, we cook like it and dance like it”.  An interesting tidbit: almost everyone in the family, including their parents, graduated from USF.

The diner has simple décor and they like it that way, no frills, just great food. In addition to great food, it has gourmet coffee, locally roasted and specially blended just for Dos Manos, ground fresh in-house, and brewed to order.

Their grandparents were originally from Spain, moved to Cuba and that’s where most of the recipes start.  They have also traveled to Columbia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominic Republic and, of course, the U.S., giving them plenty of influence for the menu. You can see the flags of these countries on its menu too. They both live in Brandon and when a deal for another restaurant fell through and this one opened up, they were happy it did. They feel the business from the hospital and surrounding area, plus word-of-mouth from customers coming in, will help grow their business. The diner offers take-out and catering for 150-200 people. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-5:30. Mention this article and receive a free piece of sample flan.