Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery expands to Channelside

It hasn’t been too long since Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery opened doors at Duckweed in Downtown and this weekend the concept expanded into Duckweed in the Channelside District.

The partnership between the two defined this expansion and the location is conveniently located to plenty of parking, residential living, and an upcoming neighborhood that will soon be packed with many who have a stake in the future of Tampa.

I, myself, was unaware that there is plenty of parking in this area and noticed when I visited that quite a few restaurants and cafes have been setting up shop in the Channelside District.

The neighborhood is quiet and mostly filled with residents walking their dogs.

Farmacy features a variety of ready-to-eat food and smoothies that are all 100% vegan.

Much of the talk about Farmacy goes to the baked goods that they offer as vegan and gluten-free – not as common as you would think. There seems to also be an emphasis on wraps and acai bowls as well.

Check out the menu here: http://farmacyvegankitchen.com/menu/

The prices were not particularly overpriced (sometimes that is common with healthier food choices), but aren’t cheap either and clearly cater to the audience living in the Channelside District.

I ordered the Exotic Colada smoothie ($6.50) which is made with Pineapple, Banana, and Mango along with Coconut. It was refreshing, especially considering this inferno we’ve been living in lately for Summer 2017.

I wouldn’t say the smoothie was a game-changer compared to other smoothie bars, but was satisfactory for the price and I enjoyed it overall and wouldn’t mind ordering it again.

Travis is ready for you at Channelside! We will be offering an abridged menu of Smoothies, Acai bowls, Grab-and-Go and even select Baked Goods 🙂

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The employee I met at the Channelside location was also super friendly and easy to talk to and I thought that was an important part of my experience that I think will lead me back there.

Now at Farmacy: Donuts by the Dozen. That's right, the limits are off. Adopt as many babies as you wish! 🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩

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I still haven’t tried any of the food and will have to return one day for that to see how the wraps and baked goods hold up.

I recommend giving it a look if you find yourself in Downtown or near Ybor City.

Restaurant Name: Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery

Cuisine: Vegan, Bakery

Neighborhood: Channelside

Address: 111 N. 12th Street Tampa, FL 33602

Website: http://farmacyvegankitchen.com/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/farmacyvegankitchen/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Farmacyvegankitchen

Boba controversy at The New York Times

The New York Times created a controversy recently when they created a feature about bubble tea.

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The paper tried to claim that boba was something new which was a little strange because the paper featured the drink back in 2002 on rising food trends and also did an article about it in 2001.

It was lazy writing and completely ignored the fact that bubble tea has existed for decades. The response on Twitter and around the food sphere was swift.

It is not the first controversy the paper has recently created with food. Food critic, Pete Wells, slammed a California mini-chain called Locol in January that aims to help solve the food insecurity of those in poverty.

Restaurant industry leaders and writers were quick to condemn Wells for critiquing a chain from his elite position as the food critic of The New York Times. It would appear that the paper is having an issue lately relating to the general public and may have a diversity problem driving these tone-deaf articles.

At least they did the right thing and went to Boba Guys!

The paper has issued an apology: http://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/reader-center/our-readers-call-us-out-over-bubble-tea-they-are-right.html

Cigar City Tap Talks: Invasion Pale Ale

Photo credit for the Featured Image goes to http://www.tampapix.com.

Yesterday I visited Cigar City Brewing for Tap Talk: Invasion Pale Ale.

The Tap Talks are part of a series about the history of different beers and the City of Tampa and feature curator Rodney-Kite Powell and Cigar City’s El Lector, Neil Callaghan. Proceeds from the event benefit the Tampa Bay History Center which is located in Downtown Tampa on the Tampa Riverwalk.

The event was sold out.

We learned quite a bit about Gasparilla Pirate Festival which has been a tradition in the City of Tampa since 1904.

Cigar City created the Invasion Pale Ale for Gasparilla and wanted to make a drink that was enjoyable, but not too alcoholic for the crowd to handle while at the parade. Cigar City describes it as a “citrusy, tropical and low-alcohol session beer “.

There were many interesting things we learned about Gasparilla, such as the busy life that once existed on Franklin Street, which was decorated for Gasparilla in historical times and also that there was once a trolley on Bayshore Boulevard.

We also learned about Ye Mystic Krewe, which is the original Krewe of Gasparilla, and maintained status as the only one for decades. One of the oldest pirate flags photographed in Tampa is pictured above. Find our more about Ye Mystic Krewe at http://ymkg.com/history/.

Joe Gaspar is actually a myth according to the Tampa Bay History Center and no proof can be found that he existed. Gasparilla was originally created as an event to create tourism for Tampa and to draw people to see how nice the weather was and how they could make a living here.

The popularity has never ended and thousands still head to Tampa every year for a pirate celebration like no other. I am still looking forward to going on a pirate ship in the water during the event one day.

We finished with a rare beer made with Invasion Pale Ale and adding Orange Peel and White Oak flavors called “Lue Gim Gong” after the famous Chinese-American horticulturalist.

He was known as the “The Citrus Wizard” and inherited an orange grove that he successfully made into the foundation of the citrus industry here in Florida. The beer is available now at Cigar City Brewing, but may not be easily accessible outside of the brewery.

You can donate to the Tampa Bay History Center at http://tampabayhistorycenter.org/donate/. Donations support “education programs and exhibitions” and allows them make a “collection of more than 1,000 artifacts and documents”.

 

7venth Sun Tampa Grand Opening this weekend

Need plans this weekend? 7venth Sun will have their Tampa Grand Opening this weekend at their new Seminole Heights location located at 6809 North Nebraska Avenue on the corner of Sligh right next to The Mermaid Tavern.

The new building is 18,000 square feet and once was home to a skating rink according to the Tampa Bay Times. Pet owners: The outdoor patio is dog-friendly.

The main event will occur on Saturday, August 12th, 2017 from 11AM-1AM. Live music will be provided by Heavy Pets band at 7PM. There is no cost to attend.

Collaboration beers will be served with Green Bench, Escape, Mastry’s, Stations of the Craft, Hidden Springs, Cigar City, Angry Chair, and Cycle Brewing.

Here is the tap list:

Buddy Brew Coffee will have their food truck on-site and there will be coffee beer collaborations between the two as well as food served at their truck. The Ramen and Waffles Food Truck will be on-site as well serving food. Ramen and Waffles opened earlier this year.

Lowry Parcade will also have a pop-up at the event.

Exciting news indeed!

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Event name: 7venth Sun Tampa Grand Opening

Address: 6809 North Nebraska Avenue Tampa, FL 33604

Date & Time: Saturday, August 12th, 2017 11AM-1AM

Cost: Free to attend

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/152307801989109/

 

Caffeine Roasters now open on Kennedy in South Tampa

Caffeine Roasters has moved into where Drama Burger once stood at 2420 West Kennedy Boulevard and is now open. Caffeine is also located in Downtown Tampa minutes from Franklin Manor at 212 East Cass Street. I am a fan of the Downtown location and also really enjoy the new space as well.

The expansion mirrors an expansion happening with many of the new coffee shop brands taking on Buddy Brew Coffee and Kahwa locally.

The menu is the same at both locations and the space has lots of seating from couches to tables and plugs and Wi-Fi available. The only downside of the new location on Kennedy is lack of parking – the place has only been open for a few weeks and parking already sucks.

On the positive side, they have a drive-thru so you can take your coffee with you if you can’t find parking.

The staff is very friendly and happy to explain the types of coffee they provide and the background of what they are doing – that was also noticeable when I visited the Downtown Tampa location in the past as well.

Last but most certainly not least, their coffee tastes great – I had an El Salvador roast during my visit and fully enjoyed it without hardly any sweeteners or add-ons. Check out Caffeine Roasters!

Restaurant Name: Caffeine Roasters

Neighborhood: South Tampa

Address: 2420 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33609

Phone Number: (813) 644-7245

Website: http://www.caffeineusa.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CaffeineRoastersTampa/

Twitter: @CaffeineTampa

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/caffeineroasterstampa/

Little Donut House more than a little disappointing

What is it about miniature donuts that makes them so enticing? Is it how magical they look on Instagram and Snapchat? I’m not really sure, but I decided to give them a shot this past weekend at Little Donut House located at 4048 West Kennedy Boulevard.

I was initially inspired to try Little Donut House after sampling their Margarita Donut at CL Margarita Wars which was actually quite tasty and impressed me with an innovative taste.

My friend and I ordered 6 donuts ($4.50) and shared them during our visit to Little Donut House. None of them were appealing.

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The donuts were cold and lacked any flavors that stood out. They did not taste fresh from the donut underneath to the toppings. Most of the menu items were basically chocolate choices and the other ones did not sound too appetizing.

I suppose you can argue that the donuts were not fresh because we visited in the middle  of the afternoon. Still – I liken it to a pizza place selling pizza by the slice in the afternoon that should probably be thrown out.

If you’re open for business – the quality should still be there.

Quality toppings and ingredients could definitely pave the way for an excellent mini donut. There is lots of possibilities, but I haven’t seen that execution yet.

The most disappointing donut I had was the Maple Bacon Donut. The bacon on the donut tasted like bacon you might get from a salad bar drizzled on top of a miniature donut and fell completely flat on flavor.

It’s really hard to make bacon unappealing and that’s why this experience has stuck with me in the back of my mind for days.

I am not a fan of Mini Doughnut Factory either – too sweet, too cakey, just not for me…but Little Donut House fell even under that scope.

I wasn’t even aware that Little Donut House and Mini Doughnut Factory were in the middle of litigation recently over a name dispute, but frankly I don’t like either.

For mini donuts I am going to stick to Disco Donuts and for regular donuts I am sticking to Craving Donuts.

The internet wants McDonald’s Hi-C back and Fanta gone

The decision by McDonald’s to replace Hi-C Orange soda with Fanta per a deal with Coca-Cola (originally reported back in April) has not gone well. Reddit predicted the mess McDonald’s is now to trying to advertise their way out of this with no fanfare.

Don’t companies have the ability to survey their customers and see if they want a change to the menu? Also, is it just me or has the flavor of Fanta soda gone into the toilet in recent years?

Just check the responses to this tweet and sponsored ad:

RIP to McDonald’s mentions.