If you’ve been paying attention lately to the internet, you’ve probably seen a fair amount of interest by both the public and media about the new chicken sandwich that Popeye’s recently launched.
Many people say its a contender or even better than the Chick-fil-A version, and it comes without the controversy that Chick-fil-A has recently found itself in.
To be quite honest this is the first time I’ve ever seen people talk so much about Popeye’s so the sandwich is definitely a win from a PR perspective. Other fast food giants are also racing to join the conversation. Wendy’s is getting sassy on Twitter, which should surprise no one at this point.
I haven’t had a chance to try the Popeye’s chicken sandwich yet, but it’s definitely on my radar. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Chick-fil-A’s chicken sandwich…I prefer the morning chicken biscuit better so we’ll see how I like this sandwich when I finally do make it over to a Popeye’s.
Some more chicken reads:
Bay Cannon Beer Company recently opened its doors to the public at 2106 West Main Street in Tampa. Main Street was an important street to the city of Tampa that lost relevance over the years as Tampa residents moved North and East, but businesses like Bay Cannon are aiming to change that by introducing local hubs like this brewery.
Some beer options on the menu right now are the Hefeweizen, Dry Hopped Blonde Ale, Hazy Mozaic IPA, Belgian Dubbel, Hibiscus Rose Sour Ale, and more.
It’s located right near the Howard and Armenia exits on I-275.
Bay Cannon is also offering food from Chef Josh with options such as Chicken Wings Scarpariello, Beer Cheese Fondue, Golden Beet Tartare, Cannon Burger, Cuban Grilled Cheese, Grilled Shrimp Tacos, Harvest Salad, and Dough Nation Sundae.
I’m looking forward to heading by soon.
Find out more at www.baycannon.com.
Florida Eats is now permanently closed in Seminole Heights after being open just a few months. The Chipotle-style eatery posted on Facebook about their end of business due to “circumstances out of our control”.
Friday, August 2nd, 2019 was the last day of service. Florida Eats had a controversial upstart when a lawsuit (since cancelled) was filed by Brew Bus Brewing against the restaurant and owner, Greg Spaddy, for infringement of the name Florida Avenue Brewing.
Next door neighbor King of the Coop seems to have lots of momentum and be performing well in the next door space, it doesn’t seem like the location was an issue.
The Refinery also recently closed in Seminole Heights and is converting into a event/wedding hall. The Refinery was part of an early investment into the Seminole Heights neighborhood and brought several businesses into the fold after the tumult of the financial crisis began to wane with a focus on attempting to provide local ingredients at an affordable price.
The National Association of Asian American Professionals Tampa Bay (NAAAP) is celebrating their first anniversary on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at Hampton + Home2 by Hilton Downtown Tampa from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. The event is being coined Rooftop Celebr*asian and is free to attend. Food will be provided by event sponsors including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Rice N Roll, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi, On-A-Roll Sushi, and Tsunami Sarasota.
Participants are encouraged to bring their networking cards and enjoy food, drinks, and raffle prizes.
The mission NAAAP is “to collaborate with its communities to promote career advancement, engage in community service, assist in employment opportunities, enhance public awareness of our voice, and support businesses as it gives back to NAAAP members”.
Event name: Rooftop Celebr*asian
Venue: Hampton + Home2 by Hilton Downtown Tampa
Address: 1155 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602
Date & Time: Thursday, July 18th, 2019, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/387080268822366/
Get tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rooftop-celebrasian-tickets-63526009003
The culinary team behind Orlando Meats is having their grand opening for their latest concept, Recess Pizza, on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019.
The team took over the culinary kitchen at Orange County Brewers back in May just two blocks south of the Orange County Courthouse on the corner of Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street in Downtown Orlando.
Culinary Director Eliot Hillis and Head Chef Seth Parker have developed an alkaline dough for their pizza crust that is being paired with their high-quality cuts from Orlando Meats and cooked in a wood-fire oven.
Some pizzas menu options include:
- Kya: pork belly, halloumi, chimichurri, crema
- Tammi: pulled pork, slaw, cheddar, spicy white stuff
- Beverly: spicy pork, broccolini, ricotta, mozzarella, pomodoro
- Steph: ham and cheddar, blue cheese, garlic puree
- & more
The menu will offer more than pizza with hot sandwiches and salads available. Brunch will be available on the menu and launch during the opening. Online ordering will be available on Slice and delivery on Uber Eats and Grubhub.
Limited-edition pizzas will be available for the opening as well as beer specials at the brewery. A raffle will be held at the opening with an array of local partners. The event will be held during regular business hours from 11:30AM to 11PM.
Find out more at recesspizza.com.
Recess Pizza. 131 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. (321) 204-9616.
Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Creative Loafing Tampa. I have partnered with them for their upcoming Margarita Wars and have received tickets in exchange for my post about their upcoming event and cross-promotions. Opinions are my own and do not reflect Creative Loafing or affiliates.
Ready to sip some margaritas? Creative Loafing is back with their annual Margarita Wars on Friday, July 26th at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre in Tampa from 7PM to 10PM. More than 15 of Tampa Bay’s mixologists will duke it out for who makes the best margs in town. All guests will enjoy unlimited samples of margaritas as well as food samples, entertainment, and voting in the Best Margarita competition.
Tickets are now on-sale. Prices will rise at the door if available on the event date. VIP includes an extra hour of admission as well as a VIP-area, swag, one beer, a $25 voucher to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, and more. It’s a great way to beat the rush and start the party early.
Use discount code CARLOSEATS to get $5 off your ticket until June 30th.
Event name: Margarita Wars
Venue: TPepin’s Hospitality Centre
Date & Time: Friday, July 26th, 7PM to 10PM, VIP starts at 6PM
Address: 4121 North 50th Street Tampa, Florida
Buy tickets: http://tampabayeventtickets.com/events/93473861/margarita-wars-2019
Local vegan spot and mobile kitchen Zentu Cafe announced it’s permanent closure today on Instagram in a loss for local vegans. It was located inside Blue Torch Cigars and Winery at 5908 N. Armenia Ave. in Tampa. The cafe opened in February 2019 and their mission was “to switch up what Tampa is used to where vegan food is bland, overly healthy, or super bad for you.”
The statement reads, “It is with infinite sadness that we must announce the closure of Zentu Cafe. It’s been a good run, educational and we loved being part of this amazing community here in Tampa. We especially thank Blue Torch Cigar for hosting us and letting us try to grow. Enjoy this amazing upswing in vegan opportunities and we look forward to trying other restaurants soon”!
The project was a partnership between Benny Blanchard of The Human’s Mechanic in Seminole Heights and Tim Fedorko of Farmacy Vegan Kitchen & Bakery.
Hidden Star Tiki Bar is opening June 28th in Downtown Tampa inside Anise Global Gastrobar. Anise has been serving high-quality cocktails as well as gastronomical food fare with an Asian twist in Tampa for years and is the creation of Xuan Pham Hurt.
This is her fourth creation in Tampa following her North Star Eatery at Hall on Franklin and her Stinky Bunz food truck that started it all.
When asked what inspired this tiki bar to be created, Hurt told me, “It never fails that whenever I travel to different cities, I always seek out their best tiki bars. We felt that the residents and visitors of Downtown Tampa would appreciate their very own tiny oasis in the middle of the city. Tasty tropical beverages with whimsical garnishes can make any day feel like a vacation. We are fortunate to have the space to provide an intimate setting for the creation of innovative and playful cocktails made with our highest standards”.
Hurt will work with Sean O’Connor, who she describes as a local tiki trademan, Christina Gilson, Anise Beverage Director, Justin Gray, United States Bartenders Guild Veteran, and the rest of the Anise bar team to develop the cocktail menu. They want to provide modern rifts on classic favorites that Hurt feels will exceed everyone’s expectations.
Hidden Star will only be open Friday and Saturday nights from 7PM to 2AM. Guests will check-in at the Anise host stand and will be escorted to the hidden entrance once seats become available.
Due to the limited space, reservations will not be taken nor will estimated wait times given. Random chances for expedited entry will be announced via email newsletters and social media pages.
Hidden Star guests can expect an original menu of 7 to 8 elevated tiki cocktails and a few bar snack that they can enjoy in an intimate setting while surrounded by other enthusiasts. Beer, wine, mixed drinks, and a full dining menu will continue to only be offered in the main dining room at Anise.
Service is expected to start on the weekend of June 28th.
Find more information and sign-up for updates at aniseglobal.com.
Inside the Box cafe’s outpost at Armature Works Heights Public Market is permanently closing down this week. You have until Sunday, June 23rd to enjoy their food at Armature Works.
Metropolitan Ministries will shift the focus of the social enterprise concept to catering. Inside the Box was given a year and a half lease at no cost from Armature Works to raise money for programs at Metropolitan Ministries and has used the lease to raise money at one of Tampa’s busiest spots in town.
Inside the Box served fresh sandwiches and fresh deli meat to visitors at the food hall. Metropolitan Ministries says this lease was helpful to “gain many valuable lessons while providing a rich learning experience for our clients and culinary students”.
Fans of the concept can still enjoy their food in the future at the Tampa International Airport and Orlando International Airport as well as at the Times building. Catering will be available for businesses or events.
Inside the Box has a Culinary Arts Program that helps train culinary students and pull them out of poverty. Their culinary program is growing and expanding and will soon open a second training location in a partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Over 250 students have graduated in the first 6 years. All graduates are now employed.
Inside the Box as a social enterprise made $1 million revenue in 2017 and grew that to $2 million in 2018 with Armature Works and Dough Nation added to the enterprise. Metropolitan Ministries has plans to continue growing and helping others through their social enterprise in the future.
Find out more about Inside the Box at itbcafe.org.
Update: It looks like King State is no longer having a Grand Opening on Friday, but instead a Friends and Family night.
The highly anticipated King State will finally open their doors next week and have their Grand Opening on Friday, June 21st in Tampa Heights according a report from local newspaper Creative Loafing.
Their cafe will be located at 520 E. Floribraska Avenue, minutes from Lee’s Grocery and Shuffle. The location has been in the works since at least 2016.
The cafe will feature craft beer, wine, and bites as well as their popular coffee roasts. The owners were early proponents of the third wave coffee scene in Tampa which has exploded over the last few years and landed Tampa on many lists for best coffee towns.
The owners were quoted by the Tampa Bay Times in 2015 saying, “If you have two roasters, then four roasters open up next year, and then those four roasters talk to friends, and eight roasters open the next year. All of a sudden, five or 10 years from now, there’s going to be a third-wave coffee shop in every neighborhood.”
The new King State cafe is a major development for the Tampa Heights neighborhood which was bolstered in recent years by food halls such as The Hall on Franklin and Armature Works.
Early investments by Ulele and Foundation Coffee have brought many business interests into the area. The loyal social media following of King State is sure to bring many people into the neighborhood.
With Bay Cannon Brewing coming soon to North Hyde Park, it seems like Tampa is heading into a major next phase of development.