Friday, April 24, 2015

Local beer meets food at film-themed Tampa Theatre fundraiser

Ticket sales for Tampa Theatre's "O Brewer, Where Art Thou?" beer fest will kick off next week.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 6:56 PM

Last year's BeerFest theme was "Beer and Loathing in Las Vegas." - SHELLEYPERFECT.BLOGSPOT.COM
  • Last year's BeerFest theme was "Beer and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Tampa Theatre's BeerFest 2015, a craft beer- and food-filled fundraising soirée now in its fourth year, announced its new movie-inspired theme for Saturday, June 20: O Brewer, Where Art Thou? It will be headed by returning co-chairs

Tickets for the event — which will benefit the historic downtown theater's artistic and educational programs, preservation and restoration — go on sale Friday, May 1, and may be purchased online or at the box office. 

The premium sampling is $70 in advance and provides guests with early entry at 7 p.m., while the 8 p.m. grand sampling costs $45. Any remaining tickets will be sold for $5 more at the door.

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Springing up: Another Tampa community garden grows

Tampa's Mount Olive church plans to host the groundbreaking for its community garden May 16.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:42 PM

  • Raffi Kojian via Wikimedia Commons
From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 16, the Tampa-based Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church will break ground on its faith-based community garden at 4011 E. Curtis St., which rests on a piece of church-owned land across the street from the ministry.

During the groundbreaking, those with an interest in gardening are welcome to plant the green space's first fruits and veggies, a well as contribute additional seeds and shovels.

Mount Olive pastor Rev. Michael White, who operated a landscaping company for decades, will bless the garden and share his own planting tips as well.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Brick & Mortar debuts on St. Pete's Central Avenue

Score seasonal dishes with local ingredients from St. Pete's Brick & Mortar restaurant and wine bar.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 5:53 PM

  • Brick & Mortar via Facebook
In Bloom owners Jason Ruhe and Hope Montgomery moved their catering and event planning company from Tampa to downtown St. Pete's Central Avenue, bringing with it a new restaurant and wine bar concept called Brick & Mortar, which opened its doors Wednesday evening.

At 539 Central Ave., the spot operates from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 4 to 11 Friday and Saturday.

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Weekend fests galore: SeaGrapes, Green Thumb & more

Food- and drink-inflected festivals to keep your bellies full throughout the weekend.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 3:37 PM

  • The Florida Aquarium
On top of Three Palms Brewing's community-driven Everything Local Spring Fest, the annual spicy foods spectacle that is the Pinellas Pepper Fest and the family- and pooch-friendly Festival of Flowers at Geraldson Community Farm, three other food and drink festivals plan to tantalize the region's taste buds, and affinity for local, this weekend.

The Florida Aquarium's 14th Annual SeaGrapes Fine Wine & Food Festival will take place 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday with more than 150 wines and eats from more than 25 area restaurants.

The cocktail attire affair, which will benefit the aquarium's youth education and conservation programs, allows guests to sample while discovering the many sea creatures featured at the aquatic destination. This year, a wine market headed by Bern's Fine Wine & Spirits will also be featured, along with live entertainment and a silent auction.

General admission tickets are $95 in advance, while VIP entry costs $225.

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Urban Comfort kickstarts shuffleboard court campaign

St. Pete's soon-to-open Urban Comfort wants to offer shuffleboard, and you can help via Kickstarter.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 6:20 AM

  • Urban Comfort via Kickstarter
Urban Brew and BBQ's sibling restaurant and brewery, Urban Comfort — slated to open in June — started an online Kickstarter project to bring shuffleboard courts to its Grand Central District headquarters.

The brewpub at 2601 Central Ave. is in build-out mode, and plans to showcase seasonal comfort food offerings, including items like Brussels sprouts gratin, chicken pot pie and bread pudding, as well as signature craft brews and cocktails.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Silverking Brewing throws two-day grand opening bash

The region's newest craft brewery, Silverking Brewing, will celebrate its official debut May 8 and 9.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 5:16 PM

  • Silverking Brewing Company via Facebook
At 325 E. Lemon St., the now-renovated site of Tarpon Springs' original jail and fire station, Silverking Brewing Company will host its two-day grand opening Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9. The weekend event is family- and pup-friendly.

While the ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place 4:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a reception with Silverking beer samples, the celebration will continue 2 p.m. Saturday with more suds, games like cornhole and giant Jenga, Tarpon Tavern eats and live music from local bands.

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Restaurant review: Pollo Garden's seductive spice

Authentic Peruvian flavors are found at Ybor City's Pollo Garden.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 1:04 PM

Pollo Garden's chicken and rib platter served with a snappy dipping sauce. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • Pollo Garden's chicken and rib platter served with a snappy dipping sauce.

Food links us to cultures around the globe. We glimpse national character from the myriad tastes of world cuisine. The rich bounty of ethnic heritage passes from generation to generation, and as immigrants move from their home countries for new opportunities, we are able to experience a world of flavors, limited only by available ingredients and the ability of chefs to capture the essence of their homelands on a plate.

In Ybor City, we're accustomed to sampling the flavors of Cuba, Italy and the Middle East. But take just a few steps off the main drag and you'll get a taste of Peru, too.

Less than two blocks south of Seventh, a historical plaque marks the spot where Tampa cigar pioneer Emilio Pons launched the first cigar factory of local origin in 1887. Directly across 17th Street, a small, unassuming building with a walk-up window catches the eye. Pollo Garden, it seems, is aptly named, since the entire restaurant is essentially outdoors.

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Five Courses: Oh, Goody for Hyde Park & more

New food and drink spots, including Goody Goody and Craft & Curd, in Hillsborough and Pinellas.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 1:01 PM

LOCAL LEGEND: Goody Goody is set to occupy the same block as CinéBistro. - CHIP WEINER
  • Chip Weiner
  • LOCAL LEGEND: Goody Goody is set to occupy the same block as CinéBistro.

In case you missed it, the location of Goody Goody, the landmark Tampa burger brand that launched in 1925, was revealed last week. The Columbia Restaurant Group will resurrect the local icon in a Hyde Park Village corner space at 1601 W. Swann Ave., close to its original site at 1603 Grand Central Ave. between South Dakota and Rome avenues. An opening date will be announced in the coming months.

Goody Goody had expanded to two drive-in-style locations in Tampa before it closed 10 years ago. In its new incarnation under the direction of operating partner Marc Zudar of Zudar's Deli fame, the eatery will function as fast-casual with table service rather than a drive-thru. But it will still dish out burgers with Goody Goody's trademark secret sauce, fresh-cut fries, ice cream and the popular butterscotch pie.

The Columbia group bought the burger concept from then-owner Michael Wheeler in October 2014. Next year, the team plans to open an Ybor City Sicilian spot called Casa Santo Stefano in the former Ferlita Macaroni Factory building at 22nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two mid-week tastings for New Port Richey, St. Pete wine buffs

Experience #WineWednesday in real life at Sea Salt and Dulcet Restaurant & Lounge this week.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM

  • Picjumbo
Wine enthusiasts, rejoice! Sea Salt in downtown St. Pete and New Port Richey's Dulcet Restaurant & Lounge are set to host palate-pleasing wine samplings Wednesday evening.

Sea Salt's $20 event, from 5 to 7 p.m., will showcase a New World versus Old World face-off in its Himalayan Lounge. Ten wines, including chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, will highlight destinations like France, Oregon and Washington.

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Long-loved grain: Talking rice, culture at USFSP

USFSP's Florida Food Conference featured varying perspectives on a universal staple: rice.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 3:18 PM

Cultures throughout the world integrate rice into their cooking. - IRRI IMAGES VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • IRRI Images via Wikimedia Commons
  • Cultures throughout the world integrate rice into their cooking.

Delivering the keynote speech at USF St. Petersburg’s second annual Florida Food Conference last Saturday, Locale Market chef and co-founder Don Pintabona discussed the influence his family had on his culinary outlook.

Later on, similar experiences of food, family and heritage were shared by four panelists during a “cross-cultural conversation” dedicated to rice, that versatile, time-tested staple of homes around the globe. The tasty grain provides nourishment, but it also carries cultural significance.

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