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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/

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Articles Food News Restaurant News

NEWS: Sweet Buns Bakery opens by USF in Tampa’s Uptown

Sweet Buns Bakery is now open by USF in Tampa’s Uptown. The Asian bakery is originally from Gainesville and has the same ownership as Yummy House. It is yet another new business to come to the area in recent months.

The concept is similar to a popular chain called 85°C Bakery Café, a Taiwanese bakery chain that serves a variety of baked breads and pastries as well as drinks to customers. 85°C Bakery Café is currently experiencing rapid expansion across the United States.

Here’s a list of the cake offerings at Sweet Buns.

This concept is notably going to compete with a number of bubble tea shops already in the area which usually sell snacks and sweet beverages. There is a quite a few other Asian concepts currently in the works for the neighborhood.

According to the Sweet Buns website the stores “feature free wifi, made-to-order baked goods, cakes, and a relaxing environment to study or just hang and enjoy some sweets.”

Sweet Buns Gainesville photo from @eldublibrarian
Photo credit: Instagram user @xo_jt_xo

The bakery is located at 2788 East Fowler Avenue,Tampa, FL 33612.

Visit them online at sweetbuns.co

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Articles Beer Food News Travel

Cigar City Brewing at TPA in running for Best Local Dining award by USA Today

USA Today‘s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards currently has Cigar City Brewing at TPA (Tampa International Airport) in the running for two categories: Best Airport Bar/Restaurant Atmosphere and Best Airport Bar.

Cigar City Brewing opened last year in the Airside C of Tampa International Airport and is serving and brewing local craft beer to airport visitors daily with Cuban food. Popular crafts such as Jai Alai, Invasion Pale Ale, Maduro, and Florida Cracker can be found at the airport brewery along with other selections.

Votes are accepted daily and Cigar City and TPA is looking for locals in Tampa and fans of the craft beer success story to help spread the word.

How to vote:

Best Airport Bar/Restaurant Atmosphere: http://bit.ly/cigar2019

Best Airport Bar: http://bit.ly/cigarcity2019

Cigar City Brewing was founded by Joey Redner in 2007 in Tampa and pays homage to the rich history of Tampa and Ybor City. It is one of the biggest supports of Tampa Bay’s craft beer scene that now includes over 100 breweries. Cigar City produces over 60,000 barrels of beer a year and has released over 6,000 individual brands of beer. Their annual Hunapu’s Day release party is one of the most popular and exclusive craft beer events in the country.

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Articles Food News

International Cuban Sandwich Festival seeks home chef entries

The International Cuban Sandwich Festival, held annually in Tampa is seeking home entries for this year’s festival which will occur on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at Ybor City’s Historic Centennial Park. The festival is now in its 8th year.

The organizers of the festival are seeking home chefs or someone with an incredible Cuban recipe to enter their competition. The new category is officially called: “Homestyle Cuban Sandwich Smackdown Contest!”

There will be cash prizes and media packages for winners of the new category.

Interested participants can send an email to vpadilla@latin-times.com. Hurry because entries are limited.

For those who don’t know, the Cuban Sandwich was created in Tampa by immigrants in the last 1800s who worked in Ybor City’s cigar factories. Ybor City was home to a number of immigrants during this era with community buildings such as the Cuban Club and Italian Club. Those buildings can still be seen today in Ybor City.

Despite some controversy with Miami, Tampa is the home of the Cuban Sandwich and has been served since at least 1905 in restaurants there.

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Articles Food News

Gigglewaters offers free movie and beer to those impacted by U.S. government shutdown

Gigglewaters is offering a free movie and beer to those impacted the current U.S. government shutdown with proof of position each night until the shutdown ends. The local speakeasy in Safety Harbor, Florida is a popular spot to catch old flicks and enjoy some excellent food and cocktails.

The current government shutdown is one of the longest in U.S. history and has no clear end in sight for government workers and contractors. More than 400,000 are working without pay during the shutdown according to CNBC.

Gigglewaters is located at 737 Main Street Safety, Harbor, Florida 34695. You can reach them at (727) 669-7077. Visit them online at www.gigglewaters.com

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Food Events Food News Food Trucks Restaurant News

Spaddy’s Coffee Co. celebrates 1 year anniversary in Seminole Heights

Spaddy’s Coffee Co. will celebrate its 1 year anniversary on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 in Seminole Heights. I’ve been fan of Spaddy’s Coffee ever since I met the dude at the Seminole Heights Japan Festival. The staff is always friendly and the coffee and tea are always good.

The event will run all day starting at 10AM with coffee service beginning at 8AM as usual. Live music will play beginning at 11AM featuring ARi CHi, Mia Bury, and Jinx.

BBQ will be served all day courtesy of Ultimate Pavers. Ice cream will be available for purchase from Revolution Ice Cream. Mother Kumbucha will be there serving samples of their kombucha.

Giveaways will be held throughout the day for visitors.

Happy Birthday to Spaddy’s!

Event Name: Spaddy’s Coffee 1 Year Anniversary

Neighborhood: Seminole Heights

Address: 5206 N Florida Avenue Tampa, FL 33603

Date & Time: Saturday, September 2nd, 2017, 10AM-?

Cost: FREE to attend

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/109561206408319/

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Articles Food News

Amazon to immediately lower price of healthy food after Whole Foods acquisition

In a move that is sure to send shock waves quickly throughout the grocery business, Amazon will immediately lower prices of healthy food items once it successfully acquires Whole Foods on Monday, August 28th, 2017.

Woman holds an avocado

On the list: organic avocados, organic brown eggs, organic responsibly-farmed salmon, almond butter, organic apples, organic rotisserie chicken, and more. Amazon has pledged to continue dropping prices and will offer Amazon Prime members exclusive deals in the future when they phase out the current rewards system that Whole Foods has in place.

In addition, Whole Foods brands will be available on Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now starting Monday.

Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO, Jeff Wilke, says they are “determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality.” He also said they “will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards.”

Whole Foods was sued in the past multiple times for price-gouging customers, Amazon seems to be making it clear they will prioritize making prices friendlier to consumers with these statements. Lowering the price of healthy food is sure to put pressure on grocery stores that frequently charge consumers extra for healthy food.

A 2013 study in the British Medical Journal Open found that people with healthy diets spend about a $1.50 more per day than people who eat unhealthy diets. This is mainly a burden for families that have low-incomes. The 2013 study also notes that the food industry itself is part of the problem and needs to change to make healthier food available:

unhealthy diets may cost less because food policies have focused on the production of “inexpensive, high volume” commodities, which has led to “a complex network of farming, storage, transportation, processing, manufacturing, and marketing capabilities that favor sales of highly processed food products for maximal industry profit.” Given this reality, they said that creating a similar infrastructure to support production of healthier foods might help increase availability—and reduce the prices—of more healthful diets.”

Maybe Amazon is trying to do exactly that. Only time will tell.