Categories
Articles Events News

NEWS: National Pancake Day at IHOP February 25th

Who is ready for a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes at IHOP? Maybe 2020 isn’t all bad after all. Celebrate National Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 25th, 2020 at IHOP locations around the United States from 7AM to 7PM (10PM in select locations).

IHOP is adding a giveaway this year with barcodes at tables that guests can scan for a chance to win up to 250,0000 instant win prizes. Prizes include limited-edition pancake-themed merchandise such as bicycles, scooters, customizable jackets, handmade berets and more. In addition to the “Pancakes for Life” grand prize, ten lucky winners will also score $500 in IHOP gift cards.

Guests are asked to make a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Other Charities on their way out of the restaurant. Since 2006, IHOP has raised more than $30 million for its charity partners.

“The communities where IHOP and our franchisees operate is at the core of everything we do, and National Pancake Day serves as a great example of our commitment to helping the kids and families who are our guests, neighbors, friends and family,” said Stephanie Peterson, Executive Director of Communications.

Find more information at ihop.com.

Categories
Articles Events Food Events Food News News

NEWS: 6th Annual Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival kicks off February 29th

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is launching their 6th Annual Food and Wine Festival earlier this year on Saturday, February 29th, 2020. The festival will run every weekend from February 29th to April 26th and included with park admission to the theme park.

This year will feature 25 new food items in addition to fan-favorite dishes and 80 wines, beers, and cocktails, to choose from. Some new additions include:

  • Chef’s Corner Cabin: Features 3 signature dishes carefully crafted by the park’s head chefs such as arroz con pollo, a pork belly taco with kimchi slaw, and pork tenderloin with champagne watercress sauce
  • Coaster Cocktails: Iron Gwazi Gimlet, Falcon’s Fury Lemon Drop, and Tigris Tea
  • Pick-A-Barrel Tastings: create your own flight of liquors and wines from around the world
  • Some other new food items include Kung Pao Ribs, Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls, “Boujee” Bacon, Fried Clams, Pork Tamales, Grilled Shrimp Elotes, and Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes

Guests can purchase a 5, 8, or 12-item sampler lanyard to use at each festival cabin to explore sample-sized dishes and drink offerings and they start at $32. Pass Members can purchase an exclusive 15-item sampler for the same price as a 12-item sampler and save 20% off.

Pass Members can get a sneak peak on February 28th that will include an all new menu of sips and samples and Eaglemania: The World’s Greatest Eagles Tribute Band.

Busch Gardens plans to launch Iron Gwazi this spring, North America’s tallest hybrid coaster and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world.

The 6th Annual Food and Wine Festival concert schedule:

Feb 29:                 Collective Soul
March 1:              The Commodores

March 7:              Chase Bryant & Danielle Bradbery

March 8:              Rachel Platten

March 14:            Ezra Ray Hart
March 15:            THREE DOG NIGHT

March 21:            LOCASH 
March 22:            Fitz & The Tantrums

March 28:            Home Free
March 29:            Taking Back Sunday

April 4:                 Third Eye Blind
April 5:                 KC & The Sunshine Band

April 11:               38 Special 
April 12:               Micah Tyler & Austin French 

April 18:               Lee Brice
April 19:               Clint Black

April 25:               El Gran Combo
April 26:               Toad the Wet Sprocket & The Verve Pipe

Find more information on the 6th Annual Food & Wine Festival at http://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/food-and-wine-festival/

Categories
Articles Events Food Events

NEWS: Cuban Sandwich Festival coming to Kissimmee Saturday March 7th

The 5th Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival is coming March 7th to Kissimeee on Saturday, March 7th, 2020 from 11AM to 6PM. The event is presented by FORD. The event is free and family-friendly.

The festival will occur at Xentury City Center located at 2925 International Drive in Kissimmee, Florida 34747 (East of I-4, off of 192 and International Drive).

Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla, Co-Founder of the International Cuban Sandwich Festival, shares:

“The Biggest Cuban Sandwich in the World will be made, 190 feet of deliciousness and the BEST Cuban Sandwiches in Central Florida will compete for the chance to make it to the FINALS where they will have a chance to win the GOLDEN TICKET to compete in the WORLD FOOD Championships”.

Event organizers will attempt to make the “Biggest Cuban Sandwich in the World” with a goal of 190 feet. The sandwich will be distributed to help feed the homeless.

Participants will include businesses from Metro Orlando, Kissimmee and Central Florida. Restaurants will compete for the title of “Best Cuban Sandwich” in Central Florida.

Live music will include Johnnie Rivera -Vaya DJ, Revelacion Salsera, and Orchestra FUEGO.

I will be a judge at the event, I have been judging the Cuban Sandwich Festival since it began years ago in Tampa’s historic Ybor City.

The Tampa fest will occur on March 29th, 2020. Tampa created the iconic Cuban Sandwich and no amount of bickering from Miami changes the fact that Miami was a swamp when it was created.

Other judges include Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, City Commissioner Olga Gonzalez, Executive Director of Downtown Kissimmee Diana Marrerro-Pinto, Publisher of Osceola Star Guillermo “Bill” Hansen, Marytza Sanz, President/CEO/Founder of Latino Leadership, Carlos Guzman of the Puerto Rican Leadership Council.

Find more information online at thecubansandwichfestival.com.

Categories
Articles Events Restaurant News

Florida State Fair 2020: New food to try this year

The Florida State Fair 2020 is in full swing now until Monday, February 17th. There are plenty of new foods that people can try as usual. Here are some of the new featured items this year:

Peanut Butter Ramen Burger at the Florida State Fair.

Peanut Butter Ramen Burger: As if ramen burger wasn’t enough of a stretch, Carousel Foods has added a peanut butter Asian vinaigrette to their burger.

The Smores Doughnut at Florida State Fair in Tampa, Florida.

The Smores Doughnut: Peachey’s Baking Co. is the best food every year at the Florida State Fair and a must-try. They have now added an Amish doughnut filled with marshmallow creme, topped with a melted dutch chocolate drizzle and a torched marshmallow

Cheeseburger On-A-Stick at Florida State Fair

Cheeseburger On-A-Stick: It’s a fair tradition to throw something on a stick. Something unconventional. This year  DeAnna’s Diner has deep-fried an Angus burger patty inside a secret batter with cheddar cheese drizzled on top.

Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Bites: Funnel cakes and sriracha? Only the fair would make this combination happen. Find this combo at Out of this World Funnel Cakes.

Piña Colada Candy Apple at Florida State Fair.

Piña Colada Candy Apple: Are you even in Florida if you don’t enjoy a Piña Colada every once in awhile? The Apple Cart is serving up candy apples flavored with Piña Colada flavoring. Coconut topping can be added.

This year the Florida State Fair is having a Fair Foodie Crawl for the first time for $25 on February 13th after 5PM.

Participants will choose samples from a menu of vendors, sampling everything from savory to sweet foods. At the end, participants can vote on their favorites and crown the top vendor of the entire Fair Foodie Crawl. Registration is available online.

Find more information on the Florida State Fair at floridastatefair.com.

Categories
Articles Events Restaurant News

NEWS: “Love Reimagined” dining pop-up coming to Tampa just in time for Valentine’s 2020

There’s a new installment in an experiential dining series called “The Rooted Door” is coming to Tampa called “LOVE Reimagined”. It aims to be “a fully immersive pop-up that will inspire guests to celebrate the Art of LOVE”.

The pop-up will occur from Tuesday, February 11th to Saturday, Feburary 15th, 2020 (5 nights), just in time for Valentine’s Day week 2020.

The pop-up will occur at Red Door No. 5, in Tampa Heights at 1910 North Florida Avenue. Red Door is one of Tampa’s new destinations for culture and the arts. Originally constructed in 1925 and then was decommissioned as an active fire station in 1986. The building has since been restored.

Popular local chefs, Chef Ferrell Alvarez of Rooster & the Till and Chef Noel Cruz of Ichicoro Ramen, will headline the pop-up. Alvarez and Cruz have opened numerous projects recently around the city and are active participants in local initiatives in Tampa Bay. Chef Ferrell Alvarez is a James-Beard Award nominee.

Guests at the pop-up will walk through different spaces which unveil imaginative cuisine, cocktails, visual and performing arts and take them on a journey of the senses as the space transforms with each course.  Comfortable footwear is recommended.

The pop-up will last approximately 2 hours and reservation times include 6:30PM, 7:30PM, 8:30PM, and 9:30PM. Tickets start at $160 and are now on-sale.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Charlie Hounchell Art Stars Scholarship Award through Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA) to continue nurturing Tampa’s flourishing creative scene and support future creators in the community.

TBBCA has annually awarded six or more scholarships to some of the most talented and deserving Tampa Bay area high school students, providing valuable financial assistance since 2008.

Tickets can be purchased online on Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-reimagined-presented-by-the-rooted-door-tickets-85750005575

“Love Reimagined” is being organized by PASK Productions, “an experiential event marketing and branding agency delivers premium services to high-end clientele across the country.”

Their collaborations with brands include Hennessy Cognac, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, Cirque du Soleil, CORZO Tequila , L’OREAL Paris, DUSSE Cognac, OXLEY Gin, ULTRA Music Festival, National Young Arts Foundation, Art Basel, and Beats by Dre among others.

Categories
Articles Events

NEWS: World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market coming November 22nd to St. Pete

St. Pete will host the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market presented by Enchant Christmas starting on Friday, November 22nd at Tropicana Field and run through Sunday, December 29th. St. Petersburg is joining 2 other cities as destination this year including Washington D.C. and Seattle.

Enchant Christmas guests taking a photo.

The event will run Monday through Thursday from 4PM to 10PM and Fridays and Saturdays from 4PM to 11PM from November 22nd to December 12th. From December 13th to December 29th the event will run from 4PM to 11PM.

Santa's Landing with Santa Clause at Enchant Christmas

Guests will enjoy:

  • World’s Largest Light Maze: Enter a living storybook of larger-than-life light sculptures, a light-adorned ice skating trail, and decadent delights as snow gently falls all around you
  • Christmas Market: Filled with over 40 local artisan vendors
  • Dining: Savory and sweet scents will pull you into the Christmas Market where you can feast on specially selected seasonal food and drinks as well as holiday treats
  • Carolers sing your favorite holiday tunes
  • Santa’s Landing: Santa Clause is re-invented for Enchant, guests will need to pass through trees, tree tops, and pillow-like clouds to get to Santa.
  • Kid’s Zone: Plenty of activities will be available for kids including toys to play with, coloring, group activities, and more
  • Nook and Cranny: Pinellas County’s Nook and Cranny pops up nightly for engaging craft workshops where guests can get creative and make ornaments, home decor, and more.

Adult General Admission starts at $19.99 with children’s tickets starting at $14.99 for ages 4 and older. Military, emergency services, and students receive 10% off with ID shown at the door. Family packages are also available.

Tickets are on-sale at EnchantChristmas.com.

Event Name: World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market

Neighborhood: Downtown St. Pete

Venue: Tropicana Field

Address: 1 Tropicana Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Dates: November 22nd to December 29th

Cost: $19.99+ for adults, $14.99+ for kids ages 4 and older.

Categories
Articles Events Travel

NEWS: Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns to Tampa November 16th

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Busch Gardens Christmas Town will return to Tampa on Saturday, November 16th, 2019 and run through Monday, January 6th, 2020.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town schedule
Snow Princess at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

The annual award-winning event that celebrates the holiday season has some new additions this year:

  • The Most Wonderful Time: Enjoy a classy Christmas soirée with jazzy piano solos, a live band and heart-melting vocal performances.
  • The Holiday Sing-Along Train: This season, the park’s classic steam engine has a merry makeover, including more lights than ever. One of the most popular things to do has been updated for 2019.
  • Merry Mint Lane: Park guests can enjoy a close look at penguins and other animal ambassadors at the Animal Care Center. The area’s festive makeover includes photo opportunities with new Peppermint Pals, tasty treats and more.
  • Sugar Plum Princess: Joining the Ice Princess and Poinsettia Princess, a new Sugar Plum Princess will greet guests near Sultan’s Sweets candy shop.
  • Pumpkin Thrill Shakes: It’s not really fall or winter without pumpkin and Busch Gardens has added it to the line-up for their Christmas Town samplers.
  • Breakfast with Elmo & Friends: Families can enjoy hugs and high fives from their favorite Sesame Street friends as they celebrate the holidays with family-friendly eats at Dragon Fire Grill. Available select dates in November and December, space is limited and reservations are encouraged.
  • Taste of the Holidays Buffet: Guests can enjoy the views of Serengeti Plain and Cobra’s Curse, while feasting on holiday favorites at the park’s historic Serengeti Overlook Restaurant. This new buffet menu features returning classic favorites, like house-signature fried chicken and pumpkin cheesecake.
Busch Gardens Christmas Town Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

For more information visit Christmas Town online at seaworldentertainment.com/christmastown/.

Categories
Articles Events News Restaurant News

NEWS: 10th Annual Shopapalooza coming November 30th and December 1st to St. Pete

More than 225 local businesses are taking over Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg for LocalShops1’s 10th Annual Shopapalooza Festival on Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st. The family-friendly event features local art, local music, and the local vibe that makes St. Pete what it is.

Admission is free and open to the public. Guests who register before will be entered in a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. The event will benefit Chart 411 and Earth Day St. Pete.

“Shopapalooza Festival celebrates and spotlights the great independent businesses that make Tampa Bay such an amazing place. It gives consumers the opportunity to kick off the holiday shopping season by shopping locally!” says Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 founder.

Venouziou has made it a mission to support local businesses for over a decade.

Kids being entertained at Shopapalooza.
Vendors at Shopapalooza

Vendor options include gourmet food products, home decor, handcrafted jewelry, clothing and accessories, health and beauty products, fair trade goods, vintage finds, pet treats and toys, books, candles and much more.

Food vendor at Shopapalooza.

The events will have “food hall” that features the following options in one spot:

  • Amy’s Spot
  • Buddy Brew Coffee
  • Callaloo
  • Churrolicious
  • Hot Pursuit Catering BBQ
  • Main Street Boys Empanadas
  • Mookie’s Kettle Korn
  • Pipo’s Cuban Cafe
  • Pop Goes the Waffle
  • Softee the King
  • Tasty Dogz
  • The Best Thai Food
  • The Fishin Chicken
  • The Tea Jug

Food options around the event include:

  • Emmy & J Roasted Nuts
  • Gateau OChocolat
  • iPop Gourmet Popcorn
  • JB’s Sweet Addiction
  • Lynn’s Ice Cream & Belgian Waffles
  • Melonhead Melonade
  • Skoops Italian Ice
  • Sunny Culture
  • Sweet Life Cupcakes
  • The Tea Jug (2nd location)
  • You Are the Hamster

The event is sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg. It’s sure to be a great time so make sure to go out and shop local.

For more information visit Shopapalooza online at shopapaloozafestival.com.

Event Name: 10th Annual Shoapalooza

Neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg

Venue: Vinoy Park

Address: 701 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Date & Time: Saturday, November 30th, 10AM-5PM, Sunday, December 1st, 10AM-5PM

Cost: Free to attend, Register early for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree

Registration: http://www.shopapaloozafestival.com/win-500.html

Categories
Articles Events News Restaurant News

NEWS: Whiskey Foxtrot this weekend at Epicurean Hotel Tampa – SOLD OUT!

The third annual Whiskey Foxtrot Tasting is this weekend at the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa. Events are running most of week starting on Wednesday, November 6th. This year’s event is a celebration of women in whiskey.

Featured women include:

  • Nicole Austin, George Dickel Master Distiller
  • Erin Yesser, Edrington Ambassador
  • Natalia Cardenas, Woodford Reserve Ambassador
  • Jill Boyd, Compass Box Whisky Maker
  • Ingrid Rodriguez, WhistlePig Regional Manager and Steward of the Brand
  • Andrea Wilson, Michter’s Master of Maturation
  • Shayna Kaufman, Brown-Forman Brand Ambassador

Guests will sample more than 200 whiskeys and bites presented by some of Tampa’s top restaurants including Bern’s Steak House, Elevage, Big Ray’s Fish Camp, Nebraska Mini-Mart, Forbici, and more.

If you love whiskey, this event is one of the best ones I have ever had the chance to attend and highly recommend fans to watch.

Tickets are SOLD OUT. General Admission tickets are $95 per person and VIP is $175 per person. VIP includes an hour of early access and access to exclusive bottles, as well as a VIP cocktail lounge located at the EDGE rooftop bar with music, a cigar rolling station, and new this year – a Whiskey & Chocolate Lounge in the Epicurean Theatre.

Themed dinners from whiskey partners are also sold out. If you missed your chance to get tickets this year, make sure you grab them next year.

Event proceeds and opportunities to win will benefit Operation First ResponseJackson In Action 83 Foundation, and Southeastern Guide Dogs through the Laxer Family Foundation.

More information is available at whiskeytampafoxtrot.com

Categories
Articles Events

What’s happening this weekend in Tampa Bay? 11/1-11/3

Some cooler weather is finally upon us and festivals are everywhere. What’s happening this weekend in Tampa Bay?

  • Savor St. Pete: Clearwater Beach Uncorked has moved to Downtown St. Pete and is serving up food and drinks including wine, liquor, and beer on Saturday, November 2nd and Sunday, November 3rd. Tickets start at $75 for General Admission. 21+. 400 Bayshore Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
  • SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival: Enjoy seafood, music, crafts, and more at a waterfront park in Ruskin this weekend. Over 15,000 people are expected to attend. Tickets start at $5. Family and pet-friendly. 2401 19th Ave NW, Ruskin, FL 33570.
  • Tampa Riverwalk Food + Art Festival: Downtown Tampa is having a food and art festival at Tampa Waterworks Park next to Ulele and Armature Works on Saturday, November 2nd from 10AM-7PM. 70+ vendors are expected to attend. Food trucks and live music will be present. 1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602.
  • Day of the Dead Block Party: The Dog Bar St. Pete is having a Día de los Muertos party on Saturday, November 2nd, from 11AM-6PM. The block party will have face painting by Nicole Desiree Hays of Body Wars, Nueva Cantina’s food truck, chihuahua races, DJ Shannon C, street vendors, a costume contest, raffle prizes, and more. 2300 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712.

Did I miss something? Reach out.