Pollo Tropical joins forces with World Central Kitchen for Bahamas hurricane relief

Pollo Tropical is joining forces with World Central Kitchen for Bahamas relief. Pollo Tropical is pledging “a dollar donation for every Pollo Tropical Original Family Meal purchased” at any of the 140 company-owned locations from September 15th through October 6th to the Bahamas recovery effort.

“Florida was spared from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, but our friends in the Bahamas were not. Our Pollo Tropical family is committed to helping those affected by providing Chef José Andres with funds needed to help feed the families affected by the storm.” said Richard Stockinger, Chief Executive Officer and President of Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company of Pollo Tropical.

World Central Kitchen (WCK) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters. Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, the organization’s method of operations is to be a first responder and then to collaborate and galvanize solutions with local chefs to solve the problem of hunger, immediately following a disaster. Find out more at wck.org.

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NEWS: Buccaneers debut new food offerings at Raymond James Stadium for 2019 season

Buccaneers revealed new offerings at Raymond James Stadium today for the 2019 football season.

Buccaneers COO, Brian Ford, shared, “This season, we are excited to bring world-class partners like Legends and Fanatics, as well as homegrown companies PDQ and RumFish Grill, to Raymond James Stadium. Through these partnerships, we are providing the finest products and service to our fans. We are also proud to welcome superstar Tim McGraw this Sunday to provide our guests a great show before we officially kick off this special 100th season of NFL football against the 49ers.”

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PDQ will have a crispy chicken sandwich available for hungry visitors as well as serving as the official chicken tender of the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers have a new and exclusive hospitality rights partner, Legends, which will manage the team’s concessions and restaurant dining. Legends Senior Executive Chef Jason Choate will add new items around the concessions menus including Pizza Box Nachos, Ropa Vieja (shredded beef) Grilled Cheese and Veggie Cuban sandwiches.

RumFish Grill will offer Mahi Tacos, Bucs Burger, Firecracker Shrimp, and Big Wave Fries.

Ropa Vieja Grilled Cheese by Rob-Harris-7893

Ropa Vieja Grilled Cheese made with locally sourced Cuban bread, sharp cheddar cheese, house-braised ropa vieja, peppers, and onions. Available at Ybor Press locations.

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Land & Sea Burger features a custom, all-beef burger blend with chuck, short-rib, and brisket, grilled and topped with slaw, crispy shrimp, and cannonball sauce. Available at Land & Sea locations as well as Bar 76.

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Fans of meatless burgers can enjoy the Beyond Burger at the Bay Burger stand located at Section 118.

Local Chef Showcase will return to the stadium this Sunday with Chef Gino Tiozzo of Donatello Italian Restaurant this Sunday, September 8th.

Single-game tickets for the 2019 season start at $45 and are on sale at Buccaneers.com and Ticketmaster.com

Photos used with permission from Buccaneers.

NEWS: Armature Works launches Hurricane Dorian Relief Drive

Are you looking to help the survivors of Hurricane Dorian? Armature Works located at 1910 North Ola Avenue in Tampa is working to help the victims of the storm.

AW Mercantile, located inside of Armature Works, will act as a collection center for baby supply items daily through next Monday, September 10th from 9AM to 7PM. You can also bring hurricane relief supplies over to Boca Kitchen Bar and Market at either the SoHo Tampa or Brandon location, Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club, or Sea Critters Café in Pass-a-Grille.

Hurricane Relief Drive

All donors will receive a voucher good for 10% off at all Armature Works concepts and any of the aforementioned Armature Works affiliate family of restaurants. All donations will be delivered to SOL Relief, which focuses on “providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief with the use of aviation”. For more information about SOL Relief, visit solrelief.org.

Armature Works proprietors, Chas and Taryn Bruck, through The Bruck Family Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, will match any donated items received during this drive.

At least 60% of homes in the Bahamas were destroyed when Hurricane Dorian passed through and at least 7 people were killed.

Anise Global Gastrobar in Downtown Tampa permanently closing September 14th

Anise Global Gastrobar announced via Facebook today that the Downtown Tampa cocktail bar will permanently close its doors on Saturday, September 14th, 2019.

The bar was one of the first craft cocktail bars to enter the Downtown Tampa corridor and a success story showing that a food truck can expand into a brick and mortar business.

Many of the minds behind the business have gone to other projects across the bay such as Station House, Renzo’s, and other spots. Anise has been a great spot to enjoy craft cocktails with a focus on supporting the local bartenders in town over the years.

It’s certainly a loss for the Downtown Tampa area, especially when Downtown Tampa is about to explode with growth.

You can continue to enjoy the food from Anise at The Hall on Franklin in Tampa Heights. Thank you to Anise for all the great evenings in Downtown Tampa.

Anise Global Gastrobar closing down Facebook post

Popeye’s and Chick-fil-A battle over the internet for the chicken sandwich title

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 now open in West Tampa

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.

View this post on Instagram

Beer and tacos? AND fries? Why yes, yes I will.

A post shared by Colleen Parker (@cparkernyc) on

I’m looking forward to heading by soon.

Find out more at www.baycannon.com.

NEWS: Florida Eats now permanently closed in Seminole Heights

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.

NEWS: Recess Pizza grand opening set for June 22nd in Downtown Orlando

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.

NEWS: Zentu Cafe vegan mobile kitchen is now permanently closed

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.

 

NEWS: Hidden Star Tiki Bar opening June 28th in Downtown Tampa

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.

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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.