Ever feel like a sandwich? Wait! Don't run to the kitchen and make a sandwich. The question is literal not figurative. Do you sometimes imagine you're a ham and cheddar and being taken for granted? Or maybe you're a hot dog that is overloaded with all the fixings. You want to yell, "Hey, my bun can only hold so much before everything starts spilling over!"
Occasionally I am a roast beef sandwich. Not just any roast beef sandwich but The Beef Martini© from Wright's Gourmet. I like the idea that I exude mouthfuls of crispy bacon, roast beef and garlicky spread. What I like best is being paired with the Conn Creek 2008 Napa Valley Anthology. This is an amazing blend of cabernet sauvignon with some malbec, merlot, petite verdot and cabernet franc sourced from all the best vineyards in Napa Valley. Just like the sandwich, the combination of flavors makes for an outstanding taste experience that can't be found any place else.
"Thousands of raving, stumbling drunks, getting angrier and angrier as they lose more and more money. By midafternoon they'll be guzzling mint juleps with both hands and vomiting on each other between races," Hunter S. Thompson wrote of the Kentucky Derby in his infamous 1970 piece (which you can read in its entirety here).
The Bleacher Report says that race horses Orb (7-2 odds) and Verrazano (4-1 odds) are favored to win the 139th Kentucky Derby this weekend. You'll need a mint julep to complete the Kentucky Derby experience even if you don't have a horse in the race. The classic Southern bevvie is the perfect summertime sip.
According to Friday's Time Magazine article on mint juleps, the word "julep" comes from the Arabic word meaning "rose water." But the drink lost the roses and the water somewhere along the way.
The exact recipe varies, but one definition from the 1968 Dictionary of Drink and Drinking says this of the julep:
“The exact composition and making of a julep is a subject upon which any two Americans (one of whom is not necessarily a true Southenah, sah) are prepared to do verbal battle instanter.”
Every year, 120,000 mint juleps are consumed over the two days of the race, according to the Kentucky Derby website. And it takes 10,000 bottles of bourbon and 1,000 pounds of fresh mint to make.
Local emcee and hip hop artist Infinite Skillz has a thing for cider and beer. He loves it so much, he wrote a song about it.
The new video "Started Sipping Cider" from Infinite Skillz chronicles his journey beginning with Woodchuck Amber cider and Strongbow to a full on crush with craft brews.
"Strongbow and Woodchuck were my first...Nowadays it's a Pilsner when I quench my thirst."
You'll hear and see a few familiar local beer haunts (like Cigar City Brewing) featured in the video and lyrics.
There's little that gets my beer-drinking motor running hotter than a collaboration between a beloved band and brewer. So you'll understand the excitement when I got an email announcing Cigar City Brewing and Rock Brothers Brewing's collaboration on a brew for Have Gun Will Travel called High Road Ale.
Go into any Kahwa (they've got several locations across the bay area now) and your first drink is on them. Whether you like a latte with a pretty foamy design, or a iced coffee to-go-they've got you covered.
Free coffee from a local business? What's not to like?
400 N. Ashley Drive (Rivergate Tower).
Corner of Tampa and Polk Streets in The Element building.
St. Petersburg locations
475 Second St. N.
204 Second Ave. S.
Sixth Ave. S, and Seventh St. (Bayfront Medical Center).
According to their Facebook page, the owners of MacDinton's Irish Pub teamed up to expand another South Tampa watering hole into Downtown St. Petersburg. Friday, the upstairs bar and nightclub became 260 First.
"Staff will be the same," said VIP manager Kelsey Hale. "It will be bar and nightclub. We will have more parties and more events."
That's problematic for the blossoming brewing industry in the Sunshine State. A standard growler holds 64 ounces of beer or about four glasses of beer, a 32 ounce growler is about two beers, and a gallon growler is about eight beers.
Joey Redner, CEO and founder of Cigar City Brewing, said people on vacation (otherwise known as beer tourists) bring their 64 ounce growlers from home, and Cigar City must refuse to fill them.
"Some people think we were just trying to sell them a new 32 ounce growler," Redner said during our interview last month. "But then we have to explain that it's actually illegal for us to fill that size."
Senate Bill 1344, which was proposed by Pinellas Republican Sen. Jack Latvala, passed in the Senate Regulations Committee. The bill would legalize the standard growler size in Florida. Similar legislation in the House of Representatives, HB 715, had its first reading at the beginning of March.
Repka, a commercial mortgage broker by day, was walking through downtown St. Petersburg one Saturday morning in 2002 when the idea struck him.
"It was 8:05 a.m. and I saw a bunch of guys drinking beer together at Mastry's," Repka said. "I thought, well I want to drink beer at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning too."
St. Patrick's Day weekend brought a lot of events to the Tampa Bay area. There was a celebration going on in Curtis Hixon Park, a national criterium bike race in downtown Tampa, and a parade in Ybor city.
At 11 a.m. Mayor Bob Buckhorn blew an air horn signaling the start of the second annual greening of the river. The mayor said he got the idea from Chicago but proclaims that Tampa's river is the greenest.
There are more St. Patrick's Day happenings — including the Cigar City Criterium race and the Rough Riders Ybor City parade.