Creative Loafing is back with their High Ball Craft Cocktail Competition on Thursday, January 24th, 2019 from 7PM to 10PM at Nova 535 in Downtown St. Petersburg. What better way to start the new year than with some great libations?
Tickets are now on-sale and start at $55. The number of tickets available is limited so it is recommended that you get your ticket as soon as possible. VIP tickets are available for a separate price and will allow an extra hour of drinking at 6PM. Complimentary bites will be available from participating bars and restaurants.
High Ball is for ages 21+ only. Rain or shine. No refunds will be available.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Current Initiatives of Tampa Bay. This local non-profit establishes community groups for awareness and education as well as organizes local initiatives including Laundry Project, Hope for Homes project, and Affordable Christmas.
San Francisco is packed with thousands of restaurants and cafes to visit. It’s hard to filter through all of it and really it is all about knowing where to go without getting caught up by the hype. Here are my recommendations on food destinations to visit for a 24-hour trip to San Francisco.
No. 1 – Taqueria El Farolito – The King of the Super Burrito and Mexican food in San Francisco. Don’t let anybody convince you that the other spots are superior (they aren’t). El Farolito has been in this game for decades and still serves up the best burrito in San Francisco at decent prices. The best one is located on Mission and 24th Street. 2779 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.(415) 824-7877. Multiple locations. http://www.elfarolitosf.com
No. 2 – Balompié Cafe #3 – Salvodoran food can be found around SF just as much as Mexican cuisine. Balompié serves an authentic sit-down experience of the cuisine and is a hotspot for hungry customers. The signature dish is the pupusa and if you have never had one, I highly recommend trying one during your visit. You can get different stuffings inside this corn meal dish, but my favorites are beans, cheese, and mixed. 3801 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. (415) 647-4000
No. 3 – Ton Kiang – Good dim sum is hard to come by where I come from in the South (not true in SF), but Ton Kiang serves an excellent and wide-selection of dim sum that will keep it coming and the prices are reasonable. Their tea is excellent and the experience is one I need to have on every visit to San Francisco. 5821 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121. (415) 752-4440 http://www.tonkiang.us
No. 4 – Boba Guys – The best bubble tea in San Francisco hands down and maybe even the United States of America. Boba Guys has a commitment to quality and excellence that is a rare find in the fast upstart tea business. Their Matcha Strawberry bubble tea is a must as are their frescas. Multiple locations. www.bobaguys.com
No. 5 – Señor Sisig – What started off as a random food truck bite to eat in SF during one Christmas has become an annual mission for me to find Señor Sisig wherever they may be roaming around the San Francisco Bay Area. Their Sisig Burrito is like no other. I LOVE it. It may not be traditional, but it packs flavor and understands the complexities between Mexican and Filipino cuisine and that is truly satisfying to my palette. Check website for daily locations. http://www.senorsisig.com
No. 6. – Kitchen Story – This fusion restaurant is the perfect blend of Korean cuisine with brunch and American food. The mimosas do pack a punch and is totally worth buying the unlimited price. Try the Pork Belly Rancheros if you have a chance and you will not regret a thing about life. 3499 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114. (415) 525-4905. http://www.kitchenstorysf.com
No. 7 – I’a Poke – I wandered into here one day when a sushi restaurant I was heading towards nearby was closed for lunch and I had the best sushi burrito of my life. No lie, I’a Poke uses quality ingredients and has great customer service. They have since expanded more in the city and with every bite having a heavenly taste to it, I’m not surprised. Multiple locations. http://www.iapoke.com
No. 8 – Alioto’s – Most visitors will no doubt wander into San Francisco planning to get a bowl of clam chowder from Fisherman’s Wharf. An investigation a few years ago found that most restaurants in SF are actually using Campbell’s Clam Chowder soup which is disappointing to say the least. Alioto’s is one of the ones who serves quality clam chowder and you can buy it in a bread bowl downstairs if you want to have a quick bowl and go explore the waterfront harbor. 8 Fishermans Wharf, San Francisco, CA 94133. (415) 673-0183. http://www.aliotos.com
No. 9 – Mitchell’s Ice Cream – An ice cream staple for over 65 years in San Francisco. Mitchell’s Ice Cream has survived generations of transformation for the Bay Area and one taste of their ice cream makes it easy to see why. My favorite is their Ube ice cream which is inspired from the Philippines, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. It’s so good that you’ll even find people there on rainy days in SF waiting in line for a scoop. 688 San Jose Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110. (415) 648-2300. http://www.mitchellsicecream.com
No. 10 – Stonemill Matcha – If you love matcha tea and a zen environment, then you will love Stonemill Matcha. One of the newer businesses to open on Valencia Street, they have more matcha dishes and drinks on their menu then you will know what to do with. Their popularity is through the roof so expect a bit of a wait to sit. 561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. (415) 796-3876 http://www.stonemillmatcha.com
The other day I saw a story by James-Beard Award-winner Carlos Frías at The Miami Herald about a new restaurant called La Placita which features a giant Puerto Rico mural. The restaurant painting is a tribute those who have made the move to Florida after Hurricane Maria and settled into Miami, according to the owners.
People in the United States can barely stand a few hours without air-conditioning, electricity, cell phone, and internet service. Imagine going through that for an entire year (and some people may still not have power).
Hurricane Maria was one of the worst natural disasters to ever happen in history to a country that is a U.S. territory and colony to boot.
Most of it can be traced back to FEMA and reckless disaster preparation and response by the current federal government in the United States (just read Chef Jose Andres for more on that). Nevertheless, the survivors persisted and found new homes and are still rebuilding their lives.
Later, the story quickly changed after the opening date of the restaurant. Now Miami officials are telling the owners to paint OVER the mural since apparently they did not get proper permits before painting a giant Puerto Rico flag over their restaurant and the historical association there is fuming about it not fitting the neighborhood.
How is it possible that Miami was unaware that there was a GIANT Puerto Rico mural being painted in this neighborhood? Give me a break. Haven’t the people of Puerto Rico been through enough? Why doesn’t Miami cut them a break?
One of the most international cities in the country should understand that many of these people now living in Miami are refugees of a horrible situation that has displaced them from their homes.
Can they have just this? I know I was planning to go down to Miami from Tampa to visit this restaurant just to see this painting and I hope it will still be there when I get the chance.
It’s the least we can do for those who have suffered so much.
Seminole Heights video game arcade and bar Lowry Parcade located at 1213 West Waters Avenue in Tampa is throwing a Punkcade New Year’s Eve Party to celebrate the coming of 2019 starting at 8PM on December 31st, 2018.
The party theme is based around classic beat’em’up video games from the 16-bit era such as Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, and Final Fight.
Costume ideas include leather, spikes, spiky hair, dyed hair, excessive belts, chains, combat boots, piercings, and attitude. The best solo or couple duo will win a $40 giftcard from Lowry Parcade.
No cover charge.
All games will be 1 token and some pinball machines and arcade cabinets will be free for the event.
VAMP the video game violinist will be providing music for attendees. Here’s hoping there is some Yuzo Koshiro in that mix.
Please enjoy this Yuzo Koshiro Streets of Rage mix as well:
Want to spend New Year’s Eve in a throwback? The Bricks Ybor located at 1327 East 7th Avenue is hosting a “Party Like Its 1999” New Year’s Eve Party going into 2019 on December 31st, 2018 from 10PM to 3AM.
Hits from the Late 90s and 2000s will be spinning from DJ Kamran Mir all night long.
Enjoy a champagne toast at midnight and watch the ball drop.
No cover charge. The event is for ages 21 and older only.
The Birchwood located at 340 Beach Drive Northeast in Downtown St. Pete is having a two-level New Year’s Eve Tiki Fest to celebrate 2019. The party will run from 8PM to Midnight.
Guests will enjoy a gourmet buffet and open bar throughout the party. The Grand Ballroom will have a live band with a DJ on the Birchwood rooftop bar. During the event the bar will be private and only open to party guests.
Tickets cost $135 per person (plus taxes and fees) and are very limited, so act quickly if you’re interested. All guests will enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Guests must be ages 21 or older.
Looking to party the night away on New Year’s Eve 2019? I have you covered.
Here are some recommendations of events happening around town:
New Year’s Eve Gala at Armature Works: Celebrate NYE 2019 at one of Tampa’s hottest spots this year. Armature Work changed what people view Tampa’s waterfront to be and opened the floodgates to a whole new part of town. Armature Works. 1910 North Ola Avenue, Tampa, Florida. $205+
New Year’s Eve at MFA – 1st Annual: The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is throwing their 1st annual bash to ring in 2019. Options include dinner or just partying the night away with special exhibitions available to guests and a view to Downtown St. Pete’s NYE fireworks display. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete. 255 Beach Drive, St. Petersburg, Florida. $175+
New Year’s Eve Pool Party at Postcard Inn: Those looking for a relaxing and chill NYE might opt for a casual night of beach-front fun at Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach. Swim shorts not included. Postcard Inn. 6300 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, Florida. No cover.
6th Annual Black Tie BBQ at Cafe Dufrain: New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights for restaurants as diners splurge on a special evening with warm wishes for a new year. Make sure to get your reservation in early. Cafe Dufrain. 707 Harbour Post Drive, Tampa, Florida. $45+
New Year’s Eve at American Social Tampa: American Social has one of Tampa’s best waterfront views and is always a prime location for fireworks and displays on the bay. If you’re ready to party, American Social is ready to get down. American Social. 601 South Harbour Island Boulevard #107, Tampa, Florida.$150+
Havana Heights: Mandarin Heights and Bodega Seminole Heights are joining forces to provide a Cuban-inspired affair with cocktails and delicious food flowing all night long. 5901 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida. $100+
NYE 2019 on EDGE Social Drinkery: Those looking to escape to a bar and chill can enjoy a casual NYE on top of the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa. Drink specials all night. EDGE Social Drinkery. 1207 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida. No cover.
New Year’s Eve Tiki Fest at The Birchwood: One of the best spots in Downtown St. Pete on Beach Drive is offering a New Year’s Eve Tiki Fest this year to ring in 2019 with gourmet food and an open bar. Tickets are going fast so get yours soon. The Birchwood. 340 Beach Drive Northeast, St. Petersburg, Florida. $135+
Party Like Its 1999 NYE Party at The Bricks: Take it back the late 1990s and 2000s at The Bricks in Ybor City to ring in 2019 for New Year’s Eve. Don’t forget your windbreaker. The Bricks. 1327 East 7th Avenue, Ybor City, Florida. No Cover.
Punkcade NYE Party: Seminole Heights retro-gaming bar Lowry Parcade is having a punk-themed party for NYE 2019 with beat’em up games at the center of the fun. Plenty of games and fun all night. Lowry Parcade. 1213 West Waters Avenue, Tampa, Florida. No cover.
EDGE Social Drinkery located in Epicurean Hotel at 1207 South Howard Avenue will have a casual New Year’s Eve 2019 celebration for visitors and guests running from 8PM to 2AM on December 31st.
The rooftop bar will offer $10 glasses and $50 bottles of Veuve Clicquot all-night long as well as complimentary favors. No cover charge. Watch the ball drop on Plasma TV screens and enjoy a bar-wide countdown to 2019.