Chipotle Mexican Grill giving away $200K in Free Burritos and Bitcoin for National Burrito Day, April 1st

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced today that they are giving away $200,000 in free burritos and Bitcoin for National Burrito Day on April 1st. This makes Chipotle the first United States restaurant brand to offer a cryptocurrency giveaway to consumers.

The giveaway will be run in a game that is partnered with Stefan Thomas, the Founder and CEO of Coil, “Burritos or Bitcoin.” Throwing back to Thomas’s experience losing the login to his hard drive that stored $387 million in Bitcoin, Chipotle is encouraging fans to carry out a mock “chiptocurrency” rescue mission and crack the code on its digital wallet. 

“National Burrito Day is a huge moment for Chipotle as our fans traditionally flock to our restaurants and digital platforms to order their favorites,” said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer.

“We’re always looking for unique ways to enhance the celebration, and this year, we’re giving fans the opportunity to acquire two highly valuable assets: Burritos or Bitcoin.”

How to enter: Each player will have ten (10) tries to guess a valid six-digit code for a chance to win a free burrito or up to $25,000 in Bitcoin. If players are unsuccessful in their ten attempts and endure the same fate as Thomas, they may be surprised and delighted with a special offer from Chipotle.

The contest officially goes live on April 1 at 9:00AM PT and ends at 6:00AM PT that same day. Fans can play “Burritos or Bitcoin” by visiting burritosorbitcoin.com. 

10,000 fans will win one (1) free burrito, 50 fans will win $500 in Bitcoin, and 3 fans will win $25,000 in Bitcoin. No purchase is necessary to participate, but participants must be 18 years or older. The giveaway is valid in all 50 U.S. states. Bitcoin prizes will be awarded based on the USD exchange rate as of the Cut Off Time. The actual exchange rate at the time of prize award may vary from the Cut Off Time; no difference in value will be paid to winners. 

According to coindesk, “Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to successfully record transactions on a secure, decentralized blockchain-based network. Launched in early 2009 by its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency measured by market capitalization and amount of data stored on its blockchain.”

Chipotle Mexican Grill had over 2,750 restaurants as of December 31, 2020, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. It employs over 88,000 people. Steve Ells, founder, first opened Chipotle with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. 

Chipotle locations in Tampa:

  • 2011 North Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33607
  • 533 South Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
  • 2576 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33612
  • 309 North Westshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609
  • 3696 West Gandy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33611
  • 18019 Highwoods Preserve Pkwy, Tampa, FL 33647
  • 2223 North West Shore Blvd Ste FC 204, Tampa, FL 33607
  • 12827 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
  • 5114 E Fowler Ave Ste 101, Temple Terrace, FL 33617
  • 7002 Gunn Hwy Ste 101, Tampa, FL 33625
  • 9466 W Linebaugh Ave, Tampa, FL 33626

Sources: coindesk

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Krispy Kreme Gives Out Free Donuts All Year For Vaccinated Americans

2021 is already looking better than 2020. Krispy Kreme announced today that they will be giving free donuts to everyone who shows their COVID-19 vaccine cards all year long, so make sure you keep it safe.

Guests who show a valid COVID-19 vaccination card at any Krispy Kreme shop in the U.S. can receive a free iconic Original Glazed® doughnut – anytime, any day, even every day – through the remainder of 2021.

“We all want to get COVID-19 behind us as fast as possible and we want to support everyone doing their part to make the country safe by getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available to them,” said Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme Chief Marketing Officer.

Krispy Kreme says they will continue to support health care workers and volunteers who are helping administer vaccines, delivering free doughnuts to select vaccination centers throughout the country in the coming weeks.

In addition, employees at Krispy Kreme are being offered up to four hours of paid time off each to help encourage and enable their COVID-19 vaccinations, furthering the safety of team members and guests.

Krispy Kreme, headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and founded in 1937, joins a number of employers and businesses looking to support the vaccine effort around the country. Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation is a global retailer of premium-quality sweet treats, including its signature Original Glazed® doughnut. The chain gave out a total 30 million free donuts during the pandemic.

Krispy Kreme will encourage everyone to share joy and take care of each other by launching a promotion called “Be Sweet Weekends,” offering guests who purchase any dozen additional “Be Sweet Dozen” to safely share with a friend or neighbor for just $1.

The Original Glazed dozen with a special smiley-face doughnut will be available for nine consecutive Saturday‑Sundays, March 27th through May 23rd to spread cheer.

The chain also announced they will help Americans get their week off to a good start in these tough times with one free medium coffee and a free Original Glazed doughnut, with no purchase necessary, every Monday, March 29th through May 24th.

They opened a flagship store in New York City in the Fall of 2020 with an eye on growth. The 4,500‑square-foot location offers guests “an immersive and interactive doughnut experience” with the world’s largest “Hot Light”, a donut making theater, a glazed waterfall, 24 hour side-street pickup, and exclusive merchandise specific to New York City and Times Square.

If you’re starting to get hungry for a donut like I am, here are Krispy Kreme locations you can enjoy in Tampa Bay:

  • 3113 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33609
  • 8425 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604
  • 2128 West Brandon Boulevard, Brandon, FL 33511
  • 9100 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702

Guide: 7 Places To Enjoy Wine Locally in Tampa Bay

The impact of wine is truly massive in this country.

According to The Wine Institute, California wine has one of the biggest impacts on the U.S. economy employing 786,000 Americans and generating $114 billion in annual economic activity. The impact on Florida’s economy is nearly $6.8 billion with $2 billion in wages paid and $991.2 million in taxes generated.

Over 900,000,000 gallons of wine were produced in 2017 according to Wine America and the U.S. leads the world in wine consumption. U.S. wine exports reached and estimated $1.46 billion in value in 2018. Florida is ranked 4th in economic impact by the wine industry in the United States.

Tampa Bay has a history with wine thanks to a couple of wine growers in the region and the national attention to Bern’s Steak House. In the last decade more sophisticated wine bars have been appearing over town as Tampa grows into a bigger cities and St. Petersburg and surrounding areas follow.

The pandemic has led to a rise in not just local wineries but virtual tastings from wineries around the country and world as producers seek to capture a consumer base that is finding itself at home more often due to remote work. Some groups, such as PRP Wine in Tampa, have capitalized on this with both in-person events and tastings done virtually. Many of the best wine spots in Tampa are still in-person experiences although some have outdoor seating available.

Here are great places to grab a glass around Tampa Bay:

Bern’s Steak House: The king of wine in Tampa. Bern’s Steak House and their associated concepts including the Harry Waugh Dessert Room, Haven Tampa, and Epicurean Hotel are a celebration of wine. Bern’s is well-known for having one of the largest if not the largest wine selection on the planet. You can order almost anything provided you can afford it. Bern’s has world-class servers and is certainly a place to impress. 1208 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 251-2421. bernssteakhouse.com

Ybor City Wine Bar: A home for people who truly love wine. Ybor City Wine Bar is quaint and something you might expect to see more abroad as a small bar with limited seating outdoors, but there is no doubting the commitment to providing a variety of wines. Their wine classes have been offered for a few years now and people who really love wine have found a community here. Jayme Kosar, Certified Sommelier and Owner of Ybor City Wine Bar, has carefully handpicked a variety of over 200 reasonably priced boutique wines providing a wide selection in a variety of price points. These wines are available for purchase by the glass or by the bottle. Check out their sister location in Seminole Heights next to Mekenita Cantina. yborcitywinebar.com

Keel & Curley Winery: Just 10 to 15 minutes from Tampa, get off I-4 near Dinosaur World and visit this blueberry farm and winery for some very unique libations. Keel & Curley makes wine from blueberries and also has a number of other fruit wines including pear, strawberry, and key lime. They offer wine flights and sell their bottles in grocery stores around Florida. It’s about to be strawberry season so look out for limited-time promotions as well and U-Pick Blueberries. 5202 Thonotosassa Road, Plant City, FL 33565. (813) 752-9100. keelfarms.com

Michael’s Wine Cellar: Take a trip South to the Sarasota beaches and grab a glass of wine and a bottle to-go on the way at Michael’s. Michael’s Wine Cellar is connected to Michael’s On East, a great restaurant run by a pioneer in the independent food scene in Sarasota that features a 1940s supper club environment. Michael’s Wine Cellar has been in operation for 30+ years. They now offer curbside pickup and delivery for their local customers. You can shop online at michaelswinecellar.com. 1283 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34239. (941) 955-2675

BIN + BOARD wine / cheese / provisions: The Greater Brandon Area finally has a wine bar to call home on Bloomingdale Avenue. Guests report this to be a date-friendly experience with custom cheese boards and an excellent selection of wines from the same family as the popular Stein & Vine neighborhood restaurant and bar. An ever-expanding wine list is something to look forward to for locals and visitors alike. 807 West Bloomingdale Avenue, Brandon, FL 33511. (813) 438-5252. binandboard.com

Cru Cellars: This Palma Ceia has long been a staple in South Tampa and opened doors in 2010. The concept has now expanded into Armature Works over the last few years and become more mainstream, but that doesn’t mean the focus on wine has slipped at all. A location in WestShore Marina is also in the works. Co-Owners Jennifer and Torrey Bingham are both Certified Sommeliers through the Court of Master Sommeliers. 2506 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33629. (813) 831-1117. crucellars.com

Annata Wine Bar: This wine spot on Beach Drive in Downtown St. Petersburg features outdoor seating right across from Straub Park and features excellent deals regularly rotating. Wines are served by the glass paired with global plates, cured meats & cheeses. The menu leans Italian. 300 Beach Drive NE #128, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 851-9582. annatawine.com

Hope you enjoy a great glass today!

Sources: Wine InstituteWine America

Photo Credit: alesha_macarosha, tysson, Madii LaFerneyPixabay

Dining Guide: 7 Local Korean Restaurants To Enjoy In Tampa

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published to News Break – follow me there. 

Apparently Sa Ri One in Brandon has stopped offering AYCE Korean BBQ and is now charging per pound for meat according to a news tip. Please be advised.

Korean food has been in Tampa for quite some time, but only really became popular around town after the Hallyu korean cultural wave hit (thanks K-Pop and Korean dramas) and more people became interested in trying Korean food locally. Even with this there is still only a modest amount of restaurants compared to neighboring Orlando.

My advice for someone who has never had Korean food before is to start with sweeter dishes like Bulgogi and Galbi and then to work your way towards a more traditional dish like bibimbap which is an egg with assorted veggies and sometimes beef.

Once you’ve been introduced, I recommend trying the soups (don’t order a ton because they are huge) and then more traditional dishes, such as bossam (Korean pork lettuce wraps), budae jjigae (army stew), jajangmyeon (black bean noodles), and you really can’t go wrong with Korean fried chicken. The great thing is that Korean food is really diverse and almost none of these places make things the same so there is plenty to try.

Here is a list of 7 local Korean restaurants in Tampa that you can check out:

One Family Korean Restaurant: This has long been one of my go-to restaurants. There was a karaoke spot upstairs in the past and the downstairs is very quaint with only a few booths. Their menu is a little limited, but I have had solid experiences at One Family for years. It helps to have a Korean community close by and even Korean grocery stores around the corner. They have plenty of specials regularly and this place always makes me think of mom-and-pop with usually just one server on shift. I really miss coming to eat there. 7030 West Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 33634. (813) 901-0153.

Soul of Korea: As a USF student in this past, Soul of Korea was my go-to when the Korean cravings were hitting me. Located off 50th street just about 10 minutes from USF, Soul of Korea has changed ownership in the past few years but still has delicious eats. The most recent owner was a successful restaurateur in South Korea. I used to come by quite a bit for Korean fried chicken and the dinner for two which has gone up in price a little bit, but comes with a ton of food. I watched the owner make some kimbap one day and was impressed with how thorough the prep work was. 7612 North 56th Street, Tampa, FL 33617. (813) 989-9030.

Sa Ri One Tampa: I have long been a customer of this Korean spot off Cypress in what is quickly being reshaped into Midtown just between West Tampa and WestShore. Sa Ri One has all your Korean food essentials, but I usually just order a bulgogi or galbi dinner. Their soups are great as well. Overall a solid spot. You’ll spend about $15-20 for an entree. They don’t give a ton of banchan (side dishes) with the food, but it’s a good time. 3940 W Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607. (813) 874-2911.

Sa Ri One Korean BBQ and Sushi: This is a Brandon spinoff concept of a location out on Hillsborough Avenue and they serve all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and sushi as well as traditional Korean food. The AYCE is a little too pricey for me, but their Galbi Tang was killer. I want to try more things on the menu, but I simply haven’t made it over often enough to get a full feeling for this spot. This restaurant location has turned hands many times, so hopefully they will succeed here. 1025 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511. (813) 548-0024.

Sushi Ninja Tampa: Sushi Ninja has two locations, one in Tampa and one in Brandon. Both have plenty of options but I am partial to the Tampa location on Kennedy as I feel the menu is wider and filled with more Korean food options. One of my favorite things on the menu in Tampa is their Korean fried chicken. It’s excellent. Most things are very tasty though and you can find some hard-to-find Korean food here. 3018 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33609. (813) 898-2874.

Chop Chop Shop: This isn’t traditional Korean food at all, but the owner fuses Japanese and Korean cuisine and it really works. Chop Chop Shop opened as a food truck and then eventually made their way into Seminole Heights and has been growing over the years. Their burgers and sandwiches are absolutely delicious and so are the side dishes. I recommend pretty much everything they make. You can’t go wrong here. 4603 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603. (813) 770-7306.

Gangchu Chicken & Beer: This spot just opened in Seminole Heights from the same owner as Ichicoro Ramen and focuses specifically on Korean Fried Chicken with a number of sauces and methods available. It’s too soon to make a judgement on it just yet, but there is already a ton of buzz for this place suggesting that Korean food is in high-demand in Tampa. 6618 North Nebraska Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604. (813) 723-4264.

Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Changupn, Bourree, Yuri9092 on Pixabay

How-To: Tips On How Get The COVID-19 Vaccine in Florida

This article was originally published to News Break – follow me there. Note: This information is regularly updated and may be subject to change.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being expanded to include more people nearly everyday. President Joe Biden recently said that the United States is on track to have enough COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. adults by the end of May 2021.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) continues to add more vaccines to the list and the White House has been working to add more doses to the pool. Here are some tips on how to get the COVID-19 Vaccine in Florida.

Continue reading “How-To: Tips On How Get The COVID-19 Vaccine in Florida”

NEWS: Fast Food Giant McDonald’s is bringing back HI-C Orange Soda After 4 YEARS

After 4 years, McDonald’s is finally bringing back HI-C Orange according to People starting February 15th. Odd that it took so long. I shared the original reaction in 2017 when it was taken away and honestly had long thought it would never return.

According to the fast food giant, your “tweets, DMs and petitions asking for its return gave our social media community manager a LOT of content to choose from for an important menu team meeting this morning…and thanks to you, Hi-C Orange Lavaburst will return to McDonald’s menus this year as a regular soft drink option, available nationwide by this summer.”

Twitter reacted with approval:

You can find it near you with this HI-C Orange Tracker”: mcdfinder.com

Superspreader Super Bowl Weekend: Videos Show Crowds and Concerts Across Tampa

Super Bowl LV was this past weekend and in the end Tampa Bay won the championship. It wasn’t all that was happening in town though, the Super Bowl brought celebrities and parties across the bay that have created fears of a superspreader event in Tampa.

Recent reports of the COVID-19 UK variant being found prevalent in Florida are concerning healthcare officials and the Biden Administration is threatening travel restrictions on the state.

CBS 12 reports: “Florida is leading the way in terms of one of the fastest rates of B117,” said Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist with the Federation of American Scientists. “The natural contagiousness of the B117 means that it will infect a lot of people.”

Nearly half a million or 500,000 Americans have died during the Coronavirus pandemic and over 26,000 Floridians. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Florida has been under the national microscopic from spring breakers telling people they don’t care about the pandemic to Governor DeSantis constantly fighting restrictions and acting like nothing is wrong.

The City of Tampa promised that there would be an effort to stop people from not wearing masks, but not one person was cited during the busy weekend according to Creative Loafing. Local police clearly said before that there would be “education” and not “enforcement” though.

There is evidence that travelers have curbed travel to Florida throughout the pandemic and the impact on businesses has been quite deep although it has been increasing in recent months. The emergence of the UK Variant in the state could be an emergency for local businesses if it leads to travel restrictions due to government mismanagement of the virus.

Here is a collection of videos from the weekend:

The latest: published pieces on News Break

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Do This: Order produce from local farmers this Thanksgiving in SF

This Thanksgiving consider ordering a fresh produce-packed Bounty Box from Clement Street Farmer’s Market and help support local farmers who have lost their restaurant accounts due to COVID-19 restaurant closures.

Orders must be placed by this Tuesday, November 17th for convenient pick-up on Sunday, November 22nd at the Clement Street market. The cost is $30 per box. Limit of 2 per customer.

CalFresh/EBT participants can use their funds to purchase a Bounty Box at a 50% discount, $15.00 per box.

Bounty Box sales have brought over $215,000 directly back to the farmers’ pockets.  Since April 2020, AIM (Agricultural Institute of Marin) has curated nearly 10,000 Bounty Boxes.

The Bounty Box is available weekly on-demand (no subscription necessary) and is filled with fresh, nutritious and seasonal produce Bounty Box items are sourced directly from the farmers who participate at AIM’s Clement Street/SF, Marin Civic Center, and Grand Lake Oakland farmers markets.

Find more information at bounty-box.org.

NEWS: Golden Gate Restaurant Association statement on the closure of indoor dining in San Francisco

San Francisco, CA: “We are very disappointed San Francisco has announced closing indoor dining effective Saturday, morning, November 14th. Although our foremost concern remains with the health and well-being of our community, we do anticipate immediate negative effects; including more restaurant closures, both short-term and permanent, significant job losses, and numerous employees losing health insurance coverage.  

We are also concerned the level of financial stress on employees and their families will result in increased mental health issues as well as stress related illnesses. With winter on the way, limited indoor dining represented the only real hope for many restaurants to survive the next three months. As we have said before, the majority of restaurants simply cannot make it financially on takeout alone. With the uncertainty around further federal support, San Francisco restaurants, their employees, and their families will suffer greatly. 

We understand the rate of cases increasing (the slope of the curve) is steeper than our last wave in the summer, and that this caused real concerns by Dr. Aragon and Dr. Colfax as to the possibility that our healthcare system could easily become overwhelmed. While there seems to be no reported causal link between dining inside in San Francisco restaurants and the increased San Francisco case numbers, we continue to remind our members to follow all COVID-19 safe practices and guidelines. 

Given that our industry is being asked to sacrifice financially, we call on our city leaders to help our industry survive by offering immediate financial aid to our restaurants and our employees. We also call on Congress to pass the Restaurants Act now to provide critically needed dollars to keep restaurant workers employed.”