Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Inside Locale Market during Tuesday's media preview

What adding the final touches to a gourmet market looks like.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

St. Pete's Locale at 179 Second Ave. N. is more than 20,000 square feet. - MEAGHAN HABUDA
  • Meaghan Habuda
  • St. Pete's Locale at 179 Second Ave. N. is more than 20,000 square feet.

Tuesday afternoon, this reporter and others attended Locale Market's media preview, which gave us a good idea what the Sundial market will look like when it debuts at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Upstairs, in the private dining room of Locale's Farmtable Kitchen, co-owner Don Pintabona said that he and co-owner Michael Mina, who was also in the house, weren't sure, in the beginning, if there was enough local product to support the market's name.

According to Pintabona, that's why it was important for them to meet locals, farmers and ranchers, educators and the like. And as he told CL last month, he said he believes the market will become a mecca for the little guy.

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Books Issue: Tastes of the Sunshine State (with recipes)

Joy Sheffield Harris explores the state and region's foodie roots in A Culinary History of Florida.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 7:05 AM

  • History Press
As restaurants like Ulele and Fodder & Shine, which opens Friday in Seminole Heights, load their menus with dishes full of native Florida ingredients, Joy Sheffield Harris’s 160-page A Culinary History of Florida (around $20 via Amazon) should be on every Tampa Bay foodie’s holiday wish list.

Starting from the age of nomadic inhabitants, a time when massive animals like saber-toothed felines were common eats, Harris takes readers through a grub-filled rundown on the state’s first cooks, farmers and tribes, and way more.

Historic Bay area eateries like the Tarpon Springs-bred Louis Pappas Fresh Greek and Ybor City’s Columbia Restaurant are acknowledged. Harris writes of her experience at a Cuban sandwich workshop led by the Columbia, and also shares the recipe, salami and all.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More Taiwanese treats, Lebanese eats to satisfy the area

Grape Leaf Express and Naga Tea are two of Hillsborough's newest food and drink joints.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Naga Tea's crafts boba and more. - KGV-PHOTOGAPHY
  • KGV-Photogaphy
  • Naga Tea's crafts boba and more.
Last month, Naga Tea opened its doors to Tampanians at 10950 N. 56th St.

Specializing in bubble tea, or boba, the Temple Terrace shop, which imports its blends from Taiwan, offers four types of tea: fresh, herbal, milk or fruit. Each may be ordered hot or cold.

For the fruit drinks, including passion fruit and mango, owners Carl Yen and Yi-hsiang Liao, both USF Tampa graduates, use "real product" rather than artificial sweeteners or powders, according to Naga Tea's website.

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Past meets present: Fodder & Shine debuts its Cracker grub Friday

Expect chiffon pie, heirloom produce and more Florida Cracker edibles at Tampa's Fodder & Shine.

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 6:40 PM

The Bakers' latest resto on Florida Avenue is near The Refinery, their flagship. - FODDER & SHINE
  • Fodder & Shine
  • The Bakers' latest resto on Florida Avenue is near The Refinery, their flagship.

Florida speckled butter beans. Wood-roasted oysters. Emerald okra. Rabbit and cornmeal dumplings. These and other Cracker cuisine delicacies will be highlighted at Greg and Michelle Baker's Fodder & Shine when it opens at 4 p.m. Friday.

In a 8,400-square-foot space at 5910 N. Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights, where regionites first got a taste of the Bakers' acclaimed flagship The Refinery, the past meets present Fodder & Shine will serve dinner and late-night fare from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily.

Breakfast and lunch will be offered in its 116-seat dining room, which has white-tiled walls and a view of the kitchen, in the coming weeks, according to a press release.

Native Floridians, the Bakers sourced ingredients that pay tribute to the state's culinary heritage, composing a bill of eats that showcases Greg's interpretations of authentic Florida Cracker recipes.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday helpers: Four seasonal meets for home chefs

Gastronomic gatherings with tips and ideas for the rest of your holiday celebrations.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 8:34 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons
Kitchen expertise isn't required for the bill of holiday-themed food events happening throughout the week. From Tuesday to Thursday, here are four culinary classes and tastings to help you get through the final shindigs of the month.

Chef Whitney Miller, who won the U.S. MasterChef cooking show's first season, talks holiday entertaining on the cheap and budget-friendly recipes during Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium's latest cooking demonstration. Happening Tuesday evening, the class costs $50. 6:15 p.m. 2080 Badlands Drive, Brandon, 813-653-2418.

Craft cupcakes inspired by cocktails, with ingredients like eggnog and spiced rum, alongside Cloud 9 Confections chef and owner Beth Lukens. Hosted at the Epicurean Theatre Tuesday, the $45 hands-on lesson gets you two cupcakes to bake and decorate. 7-9 p.m. 1207 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-999-8700.

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Marchand's holiday brunch dishes nine food stations

If you're a sucker for Sunday brunch, the Marchand's holiday lineup is definitely for you.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 5:34 PM

  • John Knox via Wikimedia Commons
For the holidays, Marchand's Bar & Grill at the Vinoy Renaissance in downtown St. Pete brought back its limited brunch menu from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. The weekly offerings will be served until Sunday, Dec. 28.

The brunch operates buffet-style, with nine stations adorned with plates of chow like cheeses and charcuterie, bagels and smoked fish, salads, carved meats and pastries. 

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday cheers: St. Pete brewery hop holds ugly sweater contest

Enjoy beer specials and friendly competition during Sunday's three-stop brewery crawl in St. Pete.

Posted By on Sat, Dec 13, 2014 at 5:08 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons
Dust off those ugly holiday sweaters, or make your own, for a bar hop to three downtown St. Pete breweries from 1:45 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Kicking off at St. Pete Brewing Co., the cheers-filled Ugly Sweater Brewery Pub Crawl will venture to Green Bench Brewing Co. and then 3 Daughters Brewing, finishing off the afternoon at St. Pete Brewing. Drink specials will be showcased.

Make sure to dress the part to be entered into the hop's sweater contest. Three winners will receive 3 Daughters gift cards as well as other goodies.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Models wanted: Cigar City needs fresh Puppy's Breath muses

This is just the break your four-legged pal's been looking for.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 8:16 PM

  • Cigar City Brewing via Facebook
Cigar City Brewing's giving pooches everywhere a shot at beer world fame (again).

Henrietta is the brewery's 2014 spokespuppy, and three new dogs are wanted to embellish next year's Puppy's Breath Porter labels.

Here's how it works: Owners will send in a picture of their pup via email, and after the Cigar City crew sifts through the entries, the top three will get their own porter label. Who knew stardom could come so easily?

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Localtopia to feature draft beer truck, new Urban Comfort items

Regionites can expect new food and drink purveyors at Localtopia, and also established favorites.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Localtopia celebrates KSPL's anniversary with a free community gathering. - PILOT MOON FILMS
  • Pilot Moon Films
  • Localtopia celebrates KSPL's anniversary with a free community gathering.

On Thursday, Keep Saint Petersburg Local announced the grubbing and chugging highlights of its Localtopia festival, the family- and pup-friendly bazaar at downtown St. Pete's Williams Park that snagged two CL Best of the Bay awards in September.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, Localtopia, now in its second year, will showcase a food court with fare from area restaurants and artisanal food- and drink-makers, which are among the fest's more than 100 vendors.

St. Petersburg's new Urban Comfort brewpub plans to premiere some menu offerings before its spring opening (beer, perhaps?). And another eatery, also set to debut in spring, may do the same.

Like last year, the Drink Like a Local craft beer truck will be stationed in the festival's beer garden, pouring Florida drafts for festivalgoers. There will be exclusive brews on tap, too.

CL will update this post when more foodie goodness is released.

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Brew Bus puts the pedal to the metal for beer buffs

A Brew Bus trip to Angry Chair revealed what's down the road for Tampa Bay's niche shuttle service.

Posted By on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Angry Chair's Ryan Dowdle leads a tour of the Seminole Heights brewery. - MEAGHAN HABUDA
  • Meaghan Habuda
  • Angry Chair's Ryan Dowdle leads a tour of the Seminole Heights brewery.

As the Bay area’s craft brewing industry evolves and expands, the region’s quickly morphing into a destination for beer enthusiasts. And the Tampa Bay Brew Bus has become the best way to get you there. Cruising through the end of 2014 on all cylinders, the Brew Bus has some new plans in store for locals when the calendar flips.

Offering customized brewery tours and hourly rental options, the Brew Bus will begin showcasing a Sampler Tour in January. Whereas its regular brewery tours include your first pour at every stop’s tasting room, the Sampler will feature two smaller drafts at each location to allow for more variety. It will be a regularly scheduled tour, running twice on Fridays and once on Saturdays, that hits three breweries in three hours for around $30.

The reasoning behind the new Sampler is an increased demand for the Brew Bus’ beer-loving good time. On a Brew Bus outing with a small group Monday night, owner Anthony Derby said events have started filling up faster and the holiday season’s corporate rentals have been steady, necessitating more tour options, and another bus.

“Starting in 2015, we’re going to try to make something always available to the public,” Derby said.

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