Bolts Brew Fest returns to Amalie Arena August 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced this week that they will be hosting the fifth-annual Bolts Brew Fest at Amalie Arena on Friday, August 5, beginning at 8 p.m. The event will offer craft beers from a variety of different local craft breweries, oversized games, ThunderBug and more.

Bolts Brew Fest is announcing its return to help kick-off Lightning Playoff Kick-Off Week, a week-long event which will include a number of Lightning activities. Details on Lightning Playoff Kick-Off Week will be announced at a later date.

General Admission tickets will include unlimited beer sampling and other fun perks including games, photo opportunities, music and more. Craft beer enthusiasts can purchase a VIP Admission ticket which will allow them access into the event one hour prior to general admission.

VIP includes, unlimited beer sampling, early entry from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for an extra hour of sampling without the crowds, access to Amalie Arena’s Ashley VIP Lounge featuring exclusive VIP-only beer and food, and an offer code for a BOGO ticket for one Lightning pre-season game* (*limited quantities are available and only while supplies last).

New this year, a General Admission Plus ticket includes early entry starting at 7 p.m. for an extra hour of sampling. 

Fans are encouraged to get their tickets as early as possible. The following ticket structure will be in effect:

General Admission

  • Doors at 8 p.m.
  • $50.00 Advanced purchase
  • $60.00 Day of event 

General Admission Plus

  • Doors at 7 p.m.
  • $75.00 Advanced purchase
  • $90.00 Day of event

VIP Admission

  • Doors at 6 p.m.
  • $120.00 Advanced purchase
  • $150.00 Day of event

A Designated Driver ticket will also be available for $35.00 for General Admission only. 

Tickets for the event go on sale Friday, May 6 at 10:00 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com. Please see above for price breakdown for price points. Prices do not include facility fee or service charges. Advanced parking passes are available at ParkWhiz.com. Visit amaliearena.com or call 813.301.2500 for more information. 

Find more information on Bolts Brew Fest, visit boltsbrewfest.com.

Nueva Cantina serves delicious Mexican eats in St. Pete

Full disclosure: I was invited for a tasting to Nueva Cantina. Opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the restaurant.

Nueva Cantina is a relaxed, affordable neighborhood spot that also serves delicious contemporary Mexican cuisine. Tortillas are hand-pressed, the guacamole is made to order, and it shows in the quality of the food. I visited the South St. Pete location at 1625 4th St. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 for a taste of the menu.

Mexican Street Corn.

We started off with the Mexican Street Corn ($6.95) made with four sweet lollies dusted with queso fresco, fresh cilantro, and chili powder. The first thing I noticed was that each flavor was perfectly layered on the corn, sometimes in the rush to add corn to menus restaurants have overdone or underdone this dish that should be quite simple. Nueva Cantina made it just right though.

Platanos Maduros at Nueva Cantina.

Then came the Platanos Maduros ($8.95) which is fried sweet plantains served with queso fresco and sour cream. This is an easy shareable that you don’t see on enough menus in Tampa Bay despite the ease of making it. I love the contrast always of the sweetness of the plantains and the sour cream.

The Nueva Sampler at Nueva Cantina is excellent.
Excellent and chunky salsa.

The Nueva Sampler ($10.95) comes with guacamole, queso, and salsa. All 3 were incredible fresh and delicious. I would definitely order this and share it with a group. Regular chips and salsa are $4.95 so you might go all the way if you’re going to enjoy these.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos at Nueva Cantina.

The Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos ($9.95) made with (4) Jalapeños stuffed with chicken, onions, and cream cheese, wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon, served with mango
chutney did not disappoint. In fact, it was probably my second favorite thing that I ordered. The contrast of flavors and the mango chutney finish is just superb. Try this!

Pollo Serrano Enchiladas at Nueva Cantina.

For my main course I ordered the Pollo Serrano Enchiladas ($11.95) which is flour tortillas filled with shredded chicken, cheese and baked in a serrano creme sauce topped with jalapeños. Choice of rice and beans. These are some of the best enchiladas I have ever had a Mexican restaurant, especially in Tampa. The serrano sauce was perfection. My favorite item for sure!

We, of course, had to try the birria tacos and they were great.

Finally it wouldn’t be a neighborhood Mexican spot without good margaritas and these did not disappoint. Cheers!

Restaurant Name: Nueva Cantina

Address: 1625 4th St. St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone: 727-851-9579

Website: http://www.nuevacantina.com

Menu: http://www.nuevacantina.com/menus

Weekly Sunset Market Coming To Orlando May 6

Pointe Orlando will debut a new, weekly pop-up Sunset Market featuring goods made from local businesses and artisans. The Sunset Market will take place Friday evenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. beginning May 6, 2022 on the lower-level common area.

Local small business owners will showcase their one-of-a-kind masterpieces in décor, fashion, art, design, plants, succulents, and more. The Sunset Market, produced by experienced team at Open Air Markets and More, is designed to create a place where local artisans interact with Central Floridians and visitors alike with seasonal offerings including baked goods, artwork, and produce.

Updates on social media channels will keep those interested updated on new vendors and artisans.

As an extra incentive during the month of May, the first 50 guests to spend a minimum of $15 at the Sunset Market will receive a complimentary parking voucher from the Market Information Booth valid for self-parking in the Pointe Orlando garage.

“Pointe Orlando is made for memorable experiences as Orlando’s favorite open-air dining and entertainment destination. Guests enjoy the local and brand-name restaurants, bars, nightclubs, 20-screen movie theater, comedy club, and attractions. The Sunset Market complements these offerings and adds even more opportunities for guests to explore The Pointe to find unique gifts and treasures,” said Erica Gutierrez, marketing manager at Pointe Orlando.

Several restaurants and bars will offer happy hour deals to sip a handcrafted cocktail or ice-cold beer before strolling the Sunset Market. Guests are invited to linger longer and stay for dinner, catch a flick at Regal Cinema, laugh out loud at the Improv Comedy Club, or throw a few strikes at Main Event.

“Locals and visitors know that The Pointe has a unique and welcoming vibe that embraces sophisticated fun with or without the kids. At The Pointe, there’s something for everyone to Sip. Dine. Experience. the best of Orlando,” continued Gutierrez.

For more information, visit pointeorlando.com. Sign up as a Pointe VIP to be among the first to know of happenings and special offers at The Pointe.

About me: Hello my name is Carlos Hernandez and I am a food writer with over 10 years of experience in the industry. I write the food blog Carlos Eats (http://www.carloseats.com) and also contribute to several newspapers and magazines with food-related blogs and articles.

Enjoy La Pivón Vermouth this summer for a refreshing libation

Looking for something new to try as summer approaches? Check out La Pivón Vermouth.

Crafted in Madrid, La Pivón Vermouth is inspired by the daily 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Spanish ritual, La Hora del Vermut. This “Vermouth Hour” is a treasured tradition Madrileños have practiced for decades as a way to bring friends and family together before a meal, typically lunch, to awaken their appetite and ignite their senses.

The Blanco and Rojo La Pivón Vermouths pairs with pantry staple tapas, such as olives and sardines, though both pair well with hard cheeses and almost any salty snack. Personally at the moment, I am enjoying it as a reward for a day of hard work.

La Pivón Vermouth blends distinctly Spanish flavor profiles in its two Blanco and Rojo variations, each made with macerated locally sourced herbs and botanicals including cardamom, wormwood, cinnamon, clove, orange peel, lemon peel, gentian, as well as oranges from Valencia, Spain, resulting in herbaceous, balanced and versatile profiles.

I enjoyed homemade drink made with Rojo La Pivón Vermouth, a bit of simple syrup, and a splash of Mango nectra from the can. It’s easy to enjoy and refreshing. It can be used to make other cocktails including a Reverse Old Fashioned, La Hora Swizzle, Sangria Pivon, and more.

Where to celebrate Easter 2022 in Tampa

Easter is 2022 is Sunday, April 17th, 2022. If you’re planning to celebrate Easter at a restaurant, especially for brunch, it’s probably a good idea to book your reservation as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 16th

The Flip Flops And Whiskey Easter Weekend 5K And 10K at Whiskey Joe’s Tampa: Your registration includes a technical T-shirt, your bib number in an electronically timed 5K, a free beer from Michelob Ultra, your awesome finishers medal, and the post race free nacho bar party with great music on the beach at the tiki hut of Whiskey Joe’s beginning at 9:30 a.m. open to all friends and family. The run is being hosted by Xanadu Race Management and benefits the 501c3 “Finish Lines For Scholarships” so be sure to both thank and congratulate a teen along the course. 7720 West Courtney Campbell Causeway Tampa, FL 33607. (8:30 AM)

Breakfast With The Bunny at Veterans Memorial Park: Breakfast features activities, arts & crafts, and photo with the Easter Bunny. Parents must pre-register for 45-minute timeslot at either 9 or 10 am. 250 Shore Dr E, Oldsmar, FL 34677 (9:00 AM)

Sunday, April 17th

Tampa Easter Brunch Cruise at Yacht Starship: Items on the menu include Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Scrambled Eggs, Galley Salad, Tropical Fruit Platter, Bacon and Sausage, Western Hash Browns, Waffles with toppings, Breakfast Burrito, Chicken & Waffles, Teriyaki Glazed Salmon, and more. Adults are $59.95 plus tax and children are $44.95 plus tax. Don’t forget to get your $10 unlimited mimosas on board. 603 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602. (10:30 AM, 2 PM)

Easter Menu at Ruth’s Chris Steak House Tampa: Celebrate Easter with the 3-Course Ruth’s Classics menu starting at $57. Their full dinner menu will also be available. View holiday takeout offers online by visiting order.ruthschris.com. 1700 N. Westshore Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607. (11:30 AM, multiple times)

Easter 3-Course Menu at Fleming’s: Celebrate Easter around the table with 3 courses featuring their Filet Mignon and your choice of Crab-Stuffed Shrimp or Lobster Tail Scampi. They open at 2 PM on Saturday, April 16th and 11AM on Easter Sunday, April 17th. 4322 W. Boy Scout Blvd. Tampa, FL 33607 (11:30 AM, multiple times)

Hotel California (Eagles Tribute) at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: The Original Tribute to The Eagles Hotel California prides itself on creating the illusion that you are listening to the actual Eagles. They’ve shared the stage with the Doobie Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Gretchen Wilson and many more International Artists. 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612. (2 PM, 4 PM, 6 PM)

Family-Favorites – Hop (2011) at Tampa Theatre: Hop is a fun, breezy, refreshingly un-maudlin live-action/animation blended film with a ton of celebrity voices, silly slapstick, cute visuals and in-jokes that your kids won’t get — but you will. 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. (3 PM)

‘Bread For Ukraine’ now at Gulf Coast bakery in Seminole Heights

Gulf Coast Sourdough in Seminole Heights has launched “Bread For Ukraine.” Proceeds from the sale of the special release will be donated to help a non-profit on the ground helping refugees from Ukraine.

“We’ve felt so helpless over the past weeks watching everything happening in Ukraine, and it’s just heartbreaking. We wanted to do something, and also wanted to be able to give our amazing community a chance to join us in the effort. Bread has always connected people, whether it’s through shared recipes or just bringing everyone together at the dinner table, so doing a fundraising recipe seemed like a natural fit.”

Brett Wiewiora, co-founder and head baker at Gulf Coast Sourdough Sandwich House.

Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Tampa

St. Patricks’ Day 2022 is Thursday, March 17th. According to History.com, “The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. Boston has long staked claim to the first St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the American colonies. On March 17th, 1737, more than two dozen Presbyterians who emigrated from the north of Ireland gathered to honor St. Patrick and form the Charitable Irish Society to assist distressed Irishmen in the city.”

Americans turned it into a party in the 20th century which “spread to Ireland after the arrival of television when the Irish could see all the fun being had across the ocean.”

Looking for some good luck on St. Patrick’s Day in Tampa? Here are some events happening around town in celebration.

Thursday, March 17th

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel: Celebrate Celtic culture while sipping on specialty drinks such as the Irishman, Irish Mule, Irish Car Bomb, Leprechaun and more. Attendees can enjoy Irish-inspired classics like Reubens, fish and chips or Irish nachos. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., there will also be a live DJ at the hotel. 200 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602. (9:00 AM)

St. Patrick’s Day Bash at Maloney’s Local Irish Pub: Head out for an Irish celebration with 102.5 The Bone. Music by Pat McGroin. Traditional Irish fare, plenty of GREEN beer, bounce houses, climbing walls, face painting, and more. $20 cover after 3 p.m. 2904 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618. (11:00 AM)

St. Patrick’s Day Event at O’Brien’s Irish Pub Tampa: $10 entry fee covered the whole day. There will be an outside stage and inside stage with 5 bands playing. 15435 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618. (11:00 AM)

St. Patrick’s Day Cruise at Yacht Starship:  Take a long lunch with your team and come aboard Yacht StarShip in your best green attire to celebrate the luck of the Irish on the water. Enjoy a festive lunch buffet with Irish fixings and DJ entertainment that is sure to make you dance a jig. Tickets start at $49.95 for adults and $39.95 for kids. Infants are free. 603 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602. (12:00 PM)

14th Annual St. Paddy’s Day Street Party at The Brass Tap Wesley Chapel: No cover for entry and event runs to 1 a.m. $5 Guinness and Harp, $7 Car bombs, and $6 Jameson all day long. They will have a bar set up outside with bottled beer and liquor. Our outdoor stage will be rockin’ with live music starting at 4 p.m. All guests must have proper ID, and they are 21+ after 6 p.m. 2000 Piazza Ave Unit 110, Wesley Chapel, FL 33543. (12:00 PM)

St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl – Downtown Tampa at American Social Tampa: 10+ bars will be participating between downtown Tampa and South Tampa including American Social, District Tavern, Maloney’s Irish Pub, Yeoman’s Cask & Lion, Bello Tampa, Park & Rec Tampa, Soho Saloon, The Patio, Corner bar, Bar HWRD, and Rose Bar. Check-in is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Grab a pint of Guinness, Pickle Back, Green Tea or just good o’l fashioned Irish Car Bomb. Tickets start at $25. 601 S Harbour Island Blvd #107, Tampa, FL 33602. (4:00 PM)

St. Patrick’s Day Party at Crooked Thumb: Shenanigans afoot at the brewery with Shepard’s Pie, Bangars, Irish Coffee Stout on tap and music by the Taylor Fletcher Band in the garden. 555 10th Ave S, Safety Harbor, FL 34695. (5:00 PM)

Secret Stash St. Patrick’s Day Music Fest at Karib Restaurant: Enjoy food, vendors, art, and live music. $5 wells and $10 top shelf drinks. $15 to attend. 10509 North Nebraska Avenue Tampa, FL 33612. (6:00 PM)

True Food Kitchen now open at Midtown Tampa

True Food Kitchen, an award-winning, seasonally-inspired restaurant and scratch bar, is now open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch at Midtown Tampa. This location marks the first True Food Kitchen restaurant in the Tampa Bay area, and fifth in the state of Florida, growing the brand’s footprint to 40 locations nationwide.

True Food Kitchen Midtown Tampa interior.

The full-service restaurant features a spacious dining room with 127 seats, an open kitchen designed to bring guests closer to the restaurant’s culinary craft, and a full-service bar joining the dining room and outdoor covered patio, accessible by either side.

True Food Kitchen – Patio area outdoors.
The view from outside the restaurant.
Local celebrity and former WWE star Titus O’ Neil.

The menu follows Co-Founder Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid with a focus on eating foods that will maintain optimal health. Service is offered for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

“We’re thrilled to officially plant roots in my very own hometown of Tampa! There has been exponential growth since I have lived here and I’m excited to bring our brand to the community,” said Christine Barone, True Food Kitchen CEO.

“We’re grateful to be welcomed into Midtown and look forward to sharing our mission with this new community as we inspire people to eat better, feel better, and live better.”

Barone is a graduate of Plant High School and worked at Raymond James. Although she is a resident of Phoenix, she enjoys coming home to the Tampa area to visit her parents who still live in her childhood home.

On the Winter Menu is Spicy Panang Curry, made with forbidden rice, sweet potato, broccolini, green bean, carrot, roasted brussels sprout, onion, basil, mint, Thai shellfish curry broth; Roasted Brussels Sprouts with mushroom, miso sesame vinaigrette, chili thread; the brunch-classic Garden Scramble with broccolini, onion, poblano pepper, smoked gouda, parmesan, sweet potato; and the Squash Pie, a seasonal vegan, and gluten-free dessert option.

Mainstay dishes available year-round include favoritesm such as an Ancient Grains Bowl, Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Organic Tuscan Kale Salad, and more. 

The restaurant also offers a scratch bar featuring freshly pressed juices, organic teas, and natural refreshers, such as their seasonal Passion Fruit Limeade and Apple Lemonade. A selection of beer, wine, and handcrafted cocktails containing organic and gluten-free spirits are also available.

Signature cocktails include the Citrus Skinny Margarita along with seasonal selections such as the Passion Fruit Margarita, Common Bond, Beach Party, Juniper Rose, and the Cause-Mo. The Spring Seasonal menu is scheduled to premiere in early April.

True Food Kitchen in Tampa is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome and reservations are available on OpenTable. 

The full brunch, lunch, dinner and kids menu are available for pick-up or delivery, along with a selection of family meals and build-your-own packages for 2, 4 or 6 people starting at $10 per person. Cocktails, wine and beer are also available for pick-up at TrueFoodKitchen.com.

Tampa Taco Fest 2022 coming February 26th

The Tampa Taco Fest 2022 is coming on Saturday, February 26th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N. Himes Ave. The family-friendly event will bring together local taco businesses for a day of good eats and a contest for who has the best taco in Tampa.

“For the first time, the festival is celebrated with less than a year from its predecessor, a manifestation of how the Tampa Taco Fest is much more than an event,” said Florimar Galdón.

“It brings us joy to make this happen for the entire Tampa Bay community and create a platform for friends and families to have a great experience and enjoy local flavors in a vibrant atmosphere.”

Don Julio Tequila margaritas will be served throughout the event.

Tickets are $5 for general admission and $50 for VIP. VIP includes a separate entrance, private bar, private seating area, private restroom, three alcoholic beverages, two tacos, chips and salsa, and more.

Entertainment will be provided by local Latin band Sol Caribe and DJ Speedy Jr. so bring your dancing shoes. There will be a mechanical bull contest with a chance to win a cash prize.

Tampa Taco Fest is pet-friendly. Tito’s Vodka Dog Kissing booth is back for this year’s festival and will offer a photo opportunity for pet owners. Maxx & Me Pet Rescue will be hosting on-site dog adoptions as wells.

The event is supporting organizations, such as United Citizens Coalition, a non-profit organization supporting minorities in Tampa Bay and Little Free Library, which is focused on building community and increasing book access for all, as well as local Girl Scouts.

On the vendor list:

  • Los Chapos Tacos
  • Jimmy’s Tacos
  • Nueva Cantina
  • Mi Ranchos
  • Tacos de Carne Estrada
  • Chamoy King
  • Taqueria La Cazuela
  • Taqueria el Sazon de Maria
  • Ichicoro
  • and more

Buy tickets: http://www.tickeri.com/events/616cbb6c1cc922000479b293/tampa-taco-fest-2022

Guide: Where To Ring In New Year’s Eve 2022 – Orlando

New Year’s Eve 2022 is right around the corner and there are plenty of things happening. Here is a guide on where to ring in NYE 2022. Tickets and reservations are always limited and sell out quickly, so plan ahead.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Publix Aprons Cooking School at The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips. $65 per person. Wine is provided at most classes, but you must be 21 years old. Celebrate the new year with a cooing class with a menu featuring Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli with Lobster, Hoppin’ John Soup with Cornbread and Whipped Hot Honey Butter, Garlic and Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with Whipped Horseradish-Peppercorn Cream, Champagne-Poached Pears with Chocolate Crème Anglaise and Pistachios, and more. (5:00 PM)

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Tapa Toro. Live entertainment and food options starting at $49 per person for early dinner and $99 for later dinner. Early dinner featuring Tomato-Rubbed Bread, Charcuterie & Cheese Board, Artichoke Dip, Iberian Caesar Salad, and Filet & Garlic Shrimp with seasonal sides. Late dinner featuring even more food choices. (5:00 PM)

James Bond New Year’s Eve Party at Enzian Theater. Enjoy some bubbly, light hors d’oeuvres and special NYE cocktails while dancing your way into the new year. $99 for general admission and starting at $330 for VIP. (8:00 PM)

New Years Eve Gala at The Alford Inn at Rollins College. $219 per person. Cocktail attire required. Live entertainment provided by The Buzzcatz. Enjoy a premium open bar, champagne toast, chef attended reception stands, and a live streaming of the Times Square Ball Drop. (8:00 PM)

Aventura’s New Year’s Eve Celebration at Universal’s Aventura Hotel. Party at Bar 17 Bistro‘s rooftop celebration and enjoy 360-degree views of the night skyline and area fireworks as you count down to 2022. On the menu: bao buns, crab stuffed mushroom, sushi display, shrimp toast, bruschetta, wagyu beef sliders, and more. (8:00 PM)

Thornton Park New Years Eve Street Party 2022 at Graffiti Junktion Thornton Park. 2.5 city blocks in the Thornton Park District with 7 different venues, 3 stages, 2 Jumbotrons, and 3 ticket options. Party Graffiti Junktion, The Veranda, Burton’s, Island Time, The Falcon, Cavo’s, 808, and rock the night away. General admission starts at $15 per person for advance tickets. (8:30 PM)

New Year’s Eve 2022 at Howl at the Moon Orlando. $65 per person to enjoy a premium open bar from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Food and seating now included. Champagne toast at midnight. General admission is $20 and does not include seating, food, or drinks. (9:00 PM)