Ciccio’s Gasparilla Brunch & Brews – 1/28

This Saturday, January 28th, is Gasparilla and Ciccio/Water is celebrating with a special event called Ciccio’s Gasparilla Brunch & Brews from 10AM-2PM at 1015 South Howard Avenue. Guests will also enjoy a live DJ set.

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The event will feature a $35 All-You-Can-Eat-And-Drink Beer & Brunch celebration. Cash only. Tickets can only be purchased at the door. Parking will cost $20 with limited spaces available.

Don’t forget your pirate gear!

Use #TurnTampaTeal to score a FREE drink at the party.

Proceeds will benefit The Teal Recovery Project, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that focuses on fundraising, educating, and empowering women battling cervical cancer.

Event name: Ciccio’s Gasparilla Brunch & Brews

Date & Time: Saturday, January 28th, 2017, 10AM-2PM

Address: 1015 South Howard Avenue Tampa, Florida 33606

Cost: $35 to attend, $20 parking, Cash-only

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/1773892346265765/

New Year’s Eve 2017 Party @ Anise Global Gastrobar

Anise Global Gastrobar in Downtown Tampa, located at 777 North Ashley Drive across from Curtis Hixon Park, will host their annual New Year’s Eve Party from 9PM-2AM this Saturday, December 31st.

Guests can expect excellent craft cocktails from some of the best bartenders in town and gourmet bites. The event starts late enough to make plans earlier in the day before heading to the party.

Anise NYE Party

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Photo credit @antone2382 on Instagram

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Photo credit @vintranasianman on Instagram.

Tickets are on-sale and cost $60 per person for admission. Admission includes a welcome cocktail, buffet, drink specials, and a champagne toast. Tables are also available and vary from $180-$480. For more information contact Anise at (813) 225-4272.

Purchase tickets at: http://www.aniseglobal.com/tickets/

Plant City Food Truck Rally this Black Friday 2016!

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally. I have been compensated for my time and writing. Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally works with more than 100 food trucks and books them for events, corporate and private catering, among other services.

Hey Foodies! Once you finish your Black Friday shopping this holiday on November 25th, head over to the Plant City Main Street Food Truck Rally from 5PM-9PM for a wide-range of gourmet food from local food trucks including burgers, barbeque, pizza, dessert, and more.

Plant City Main Street Food Truck Rally

There will be Santa photo opportunities on-site. The event is held in conjunction with Plant City Main Street and presented by Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally.

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/1866000460300805/

Participating Food Trucks:

Plant City Food Truck Rally October 28th!

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally. I have been compensated for my time and writing. Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally works with more than 100 food trucks and books them for events, corporate and private catering, among other services.

Make plans for this Friday, October 28th, 2016 from 5PM-9PM for the monthly Plant City Main Street Food Truck Rally. Over 10 food trucks will head into Plant City Main Street for this food event. Check out photos from last month’s food truck rally here: http://www.plantcityobserver.com/photo-gallery/photo-gallery-plant-city-main-street-food-truck-rally. The event is sponsored by Plant City Main Street.

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Participating food trucks:

Event name: Plant City Food Truck Rally

Date & Time: Friday, October 28th, 2016, 5PM-9PM

Location: Corner of Drane Street and N Palmer Street

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/1694458727548860/

Sushi Battle Tampa Bay 2016 Recap

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Big City Events. I have been compensated for my time and writing and am involved in the event discussed in this post. I helped to promote the event and was a Judge during the event for the restaurants. These opinions posted in this blog are my own and do not represent the views of Big City Events or the participating restaurants.

Last night was the 2nd Annual Sushi Battle Tampa Bay presented by Sapporo at the St. Pete Coliseum located on 4th Avenue North in Downtown St. Petersburg. Restaurants participated in a competition for who has the Best Sushi in Tampa Bay with a category decided by the audience and one decided by judges. Sake distillers hosted a special tasting upstairs and group sake bombs were enjoyed downstairs. The event was organized by Big City Events.

Have you been to our sake tasting? Well don't miss out.@ the #TampaBay #SushiBattle! #CarlosEats #foodies #sushi #food #events

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Participating restaurants included Ocean Prime, YO! Sushi, Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro, iThai Sushi, Kona GrillYume Sushi Restaurant, Wabi Sabi Fusion Cafe, and Ciccio/Water. Restaurants provided sushi samples to guests while they enjoyed Japanese cultural performances from Tampa Taiko, a live DJ set from DJ Fresh, sumo wrestling, and other festivities.

Sushi by the boat load@ the #TampaBay #SushiBattle! #CarlosEats #foodies #sushi #food #events

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Each restaurant brought something different to the table and the event definitely evolved from the year before with a larger venue and and a more controlled audience. Most of the restaurants also did good planning and many of them were still serving sushi samples well into the final parts of the event. The categories for judging the sushi were presentation, creativity, and taste for event judges. In addition, there was a people’s choice award.

 

I was torn between Ocean Prime and Wabi Sabi Asian Fusion as my two favorite sushi spots as a judge at the event. Ocean Prime has such delicious sushi rolls, the quality was really there – but the creativity was a little bit mixed for me. They went with a more traditional kind of sushi roll at least as far as the design goes. Wabi Sabi Asian Fusion provided 5 different types of sushi to people at their booth and each one showcased creative sushi chef talent that I really enjoyed. I want to definitely take a trip to Palm Harbor sometime to visit Wabi Sabi in the near future.

 

Another top choice for me at the event was Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro, they brought a truly delicious sushi roll to the event. It was somewhere between the delicious taste of Ocean Prime and the creativity of Wabi Sabi for me. Pisces ended up winning the judges category of the competition.

I was actually unaware that Ocean Prime served sushi prior to being involved in this event. Regardless of my top choices – all the restaurants did a good job and provided more than your California Roll to the event – many restaurants provided multiple options which was great for the consumer and there was variety in the types of fish presented.

 

Tampa Taiko stole the show again and provided excellent Japanese taiko drumming performances throughout the event. I’ve been working with Tampa Taiko on events since I was part of the Japanese Club at USF back in 2009 and they have always been a supportive community member that puts everything they have into their work.

The Japanese Club participated in the event again and tabled with the help of the Japanese-America Society of Tampa Bay and shared a booth with the Foodies Club that helped spread the event on social media using the hashtag #SushiBattle on Twitter and Instagram.

The judges are coming in. Who will win this year #TampaBay #SushiBattle! #CarlosEats #foodies #sushi #food #events

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Overall, the Sushi Battle Tampa Bay improved from last year and in my opinion it was a fun night filled with a variety of food, drinks, and entertainment. I’m looking forward to seeing where the event goes in the future and am thankful to everyone who helped make it a success for a second year in a row. It can only go up from here.

Beer & Burger Throw Down this Saturday!

The Beer & Burger Throw Down is happening this Saturday, September 17th, 2016 at Raymond James Stadium (4201 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33607) from 12PM-6PM. Over 15 restaurants and food trucks will be on-site selling $3 burger samples and full-sized burgers as well.

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Proceeds will benefit the Animal Coalition of Tampa, which aims to create a community where dogs and cats are safe and treated with respect and value. Participants will get to vote for the Best Burger and Best Brew of the Day.

Participating restaurants/vendors:

  • James Joyce
  • Eats! American Grill
  • Wow That’s Fresh
  • Square 1
  • Daily Eats
  • Carmel Kitchen
  • Prime 19 Grill
  • Bar Louie
  • 4 Rivers Smokehouse
  • Freddy’s Steakburger
  • Mobile Peluso
  • Jimmy’s Slider Truck
  • Got Lobstah!
  • Georgia Big Boys BBQ

Tickets cost $10 and includes multiple craft beer samples and several free event features. Kids also get FREE admission. Buy tickets: http://conta.cc/2a5lkP4

Features at the event include an adult game zone, 2000 square foot kids fun area, custom built dog park, and college football screening.

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Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/529900380545318/

Sponsors include:

  • GTE Financial
  • Big Storm Brewing Co.
  • Rent King Nebraska
  • Tampa Bay K-9 Solutions
  • 98 Rock
  • 620 WDAE
  • Newsradio 970 WFLA
  • Morgan Exteriors, Inc.
  • Creative Loafing Tampa
  • ShoutOUT Tampa Bay
  • Carlos Eats

Summer of Rum Festival 2016 – September 3rd

9/2/16 Update: Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Hermine the event has been cancelled.

The Summer of Rum Festival is coming up on Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 at Channelside in Downtown Tampa from 12PM to 11PM. The new space doubles the event size from previous years and will feature an improved VIP experience as well. The event is organized by Big City Events and is for ages 21 & older only.

Reel Big Fish will be headlining the event. They are one of the legions of Southern California ska-punk bands to edge into the mainstream following the mid-90s success of No Doubt and Sublime. Local food trucks and food vendors will sell food around the event.

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Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP costs $100 and $125 at the door (if available). VIP gets you unlimited drinks in the VIP tent, stage view, a seating area, and a cooled air-mist system to cool off.

Participating rum brands around the event:

  • Papas Pilar
  • Malibu
  • Bad Monkey
  • Yolo Rum
  • Ron Barcelo
  • Doc Brown’s Really Bad Rum
  • Koloa
  • Captain Morgan
  • Zacapa Rum
  • Carmelita’s Rum
  • Liquor 43
  • Bayou
  • Gubba Rum
  • Rhum Clement
  • Tanduay Rum
  • Dos Madaras
  • Appleton Estate
  • Chaste No. 850
  • Wicked Dolphin
  • Twisted Sun Rum
  • Florida Mermiad
  • Bumbu Rum
  • Prichards

Also as a bonus – VIP participants will receive 1 rum tasting pass good for unlimited rum tasting at the Island Rum Tasting, as well as a collectible Summer of Rum shot glass.  Additional rum tasting passes can be purchased. Rum tasting opens from 2PM to 6PM ONLY!  No refunds/cash value for unused passes.

Purchase tickets online: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1229913

There will also be a Rum Run before the event begins – more information: http://www.summerofrumfest.com/#!rum-run/lxapo