Orlando Burger Battle this weekend!

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Travel to Orlando and check out the Orlando Burger Battle this Saturday, September 23rd from 5PM to 9PM at the new Ace Cafe in Downtown Orlando located at 100 West Livingston Street.

Enjoy gourmet burgers, sides, and plenty of alcohol as well. Live music, performers, and fun zones will be throughout the event as well. Orlando Burger Battle is presented by Orlando Magazine in partnership with food critic Joseph Hayes.

Over 10 restaurants will duke it out for who makes the best burger in Orlando.

Participating restaurants include Raglan Road Irish Pub, Hash House A Go-Go, Jimmy Hula’s, White Wolf Café, The Whiskey, Artisan’s Table, Ace Cafe, Planet Hollywood, The Tap Room at Dubsdread, Shula’s 347 Grill, and Chroma Bar & Kitchen.

Celebrity judges with various backgrounds will participate in the event.

Buy tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/orlando-burger-battle-tickets-36283076659

Tickets are still available. General Admission (GA) tickets costs $55 and VIP tickets cost $75.

GA includes:

• All you can eat burgers from each participating restaurant
• All you can eat fries
• Beer, wine, and cocktail bars
• Milkshake bar
• Concert
• Games

VIP:

• All general admission items plus …
• Early admission to the event
• Exclusive VIP Lounge with Ace Cafe catering
• Private butler service
• V.I.P. gift bag
• Meet-N-Greet with celebrity judges

DEAL: Use code “Carlos25” to get $25 OFF General Admission tickets to the event.

Buy tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/orlando-burger-battle-tickets-36283076659

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/1812487785458230/

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Festa Italiana 20th anniversary this weekend!

Festa Italiana will celebrate their 20th anniversary this weekend in Ybor City.

The opening event, Wines of Italy, has already taken plan and the weekend will bring plenty of delicious feasts and events on Saturday with the main event happening Sunday, April 9th, at Centennial Park from 11AM to 6:30PM.

Over 35 of Tampa Bay’s top restaurants will participate in the festival. Italian singer, Zucchero, will headline the cultural food and wine festival on Sunday. Proceeds will benefit the Italian Club Restoration Fund.

The Italian Club was founded in 1894 that was created to unite the Italian community in Tampa to overcome social and economic challenges when they first arrived in the area. The mission of the group is to preserve and honor the culture, traditions, and heritage of the Italian community and maintain the historical facility as a memorial to the working class immigrants.

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Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/festa-italiana-the-main-event-20th-anniversary-feat-zucchero-tickets-29982099266

Children ages 12 and under are FREE to the main event. Centennial Park is located at 1800 East 8th Avenue Tampa, FL 33605.

St. Pete Beer & Bacon Fest – 1/21

Craft beer and bacon fans can rejoice on January 21st from 12PM-6PM at the St. Pete Beer & Bacon Fest in Vinoy Park.

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General Admission is available to guests ages 11 and older for $15 pre-sale and $20 on the day of the event and does not cover beer or food costs.

Beer Sampling Admission for ages 21+ is $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event and includes unlimited beer samples from 2PM-6PM, but does not include food.

Sonny’s BBQ VIP Admission for ages 21+ is $75 for pre-sale with limited tickets available and includes a variety of features including Sonny’s BBQ appetizers and unlimited beer sampling with limited small batch beers in VIP tent.

Buy tickets: http://stpetebeerandbacon.com/tickets.html

Children ages 10 and under are FREE.

This food and beer festival will showcase over 80 beers from local craft breweries and samplings of bacon dishes from local chefs and restaurants. Some things on the menus include bacon sirloin meatballs with smoked porter BBQ sauce, bacon beer cheese mac, house duck bacon, BBQ bacon waffle burgers, and more.

Live music will also play throughout the day.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pet Pal Animal Shelter. The Pet Pal Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization helping stray animals get adopted and medical attention.

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Restaurant/Food Vendor Participants (prices will range from $2-$4):

  • Sonny’s BBQ
  • Nico’s Kitchen
  • Craving Donuts
  • Carmel Kitchen
  • Vanchetta Rolling Rotisserie
  • Jolly Porker
  • Sweet Life Cupcakes
  • The Twisted Iron
  • BCA BBQ
  • Taste Time To Love Us
  • I Wanna Wok
  • Prime 19
  • Healthy Heritage Grass Fed Beef
  • Jimmy’s Slider Truck

Menus: http://stpetebeerandbacon.com/food.html

Event Schedule: http://stpetebeerandbacon.com/schedule.html

Brewery list:

  • Big Top Brewing Co.
  • Big Storm Brewing Co.
  • Bold City Brewery
  • Coppertail Brewing Co.
  • Darwin Brewing Co.
  • De Bine Brewing Co.
  • Kona Brewing Co.
  • Florida Avenue Brewing Co.
  • Hidden Springs Ale Works
  • Motorworks Brewing Co.
  • Mad Beach Craft Brewing Co.
  • Magic Hat Brewing Co.
  • Pair O’ Dice Brewing Co.
  • Rapp Brewing Co.
  • Sea Dog Brewing Co.
  • Shipyard Brewing Co.
  • Southern Tier Brewing Co.
  • SweetWater Brewing Co.
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
  • Silverking Brewing Co.
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Co.

Interested in volunteering? Check out this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409054cadad2fa0fc1-stpete

Oktoberfest Tampa 2016 this weekend!

UPDATE: Due to Hurricane Matthew – Friday’s schedule is cancelled for Oktoberfest Tampa – However Saturday and Sunday will proceed and Friday VIP ticket holders will be able to use their tickets on Sunday. More info is available on their Facebook listed above.

The 7th Annual Oktoberfest Tampa will occur this upcoming weekend from October 7th to October 9th, 2016. Participants will celebrate German culture and enjoy entertainment and German food and beer on Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The event is presented by Goose Island Beer Company, Audi Tampa, and Are You Safe.

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There will be daily Ceremonial Keg Tappings, Mr. & Mrs. Oktoberfest and Mustache competition on Saturday, and some good ol’ chicken dancing every day.The event is family-friendly and pet-friendly. Oktoberfest Games are FREE to play for all.

Sponsors include Goose Island, Audi, Coppertail Brewing Co., Creative Loafing Tampa, Pepin Distributing, Barrymore Hotel, Victory Brewing Co., Tampa Bay Metro Magazine, Jack Bernstein, The Eagle 107.3, and Aloft Tampa.


Get Tickets

Tickets are on-sale and are $10 for 1 day General-Admission and $25 for Weekend General Admission passes, plus applicable fees. Buy GA tickets: http://bit.ly/2dzH4DB

VIP tickets range from $100-$150 and includes a commemorative Oktoberfest stein, no lines, complimentary refills on beer, wine, or pop, König’s Feast (full-plate of food plus a pretzel), table-side service (food delivered to you), air-conditioned VIP restrooms, VIP box office, a VIP shade tent with private bar, VIP concierge, and bottle service.

Use promo code CARLOSEATS and get $10 off VIP at Oktoberfest Tampa. Buy VIP tickets: http://www.oktoberfesttampa.com/vip

FREE ENTRY for any Military members (active or retired) & Tampa First Responders (TPD, TFD, EMS) and significant other — simply show proper ID at the front gate.

Event re-entry will be allowed at the event and wristbands will be tied to each day. Cash or Credit Card accepted on site (VISA, MC, AmEx, Discover) and ATMs will be on-site.


Food & Drinks

Beer will cost $5 a Half-Liter and $10 for a Liter. You must have a commemorative Stein in order to purchase 1 Liter.

Oktoberfest Tampa

Beer line-up:

  • Goose Island Oktoberfest
  • Blue Point Brewery Oktoberfest
  • Victory Brewing Company Festbier
  • Beck’s Brewery Pilsner
  • Oktoberfest Tampa Dunkel by Coppertail Brewing
  • Coppertail Brewing Co – Wheat Stroke
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company – craft firkins (daily)
  • Hidden Springs Ale Works (frikin tapping Sunday)
  • O’Douls – cans

Wine:

  • Riesling (Chateau St. Michelle)
  • Gewürztraminer (Chateau St. Michelle)
  • Merlot (Clos du Bois)

Coppertail Brewing Co. will unveil a new beer at Oktoberfest Tampa – a German style dunkel.

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Food will include a variety of traditional German food fare such as chicken schnitzel, traditional bratwurst, Sauerbraten (German-style pot roast), German pretzels, cucumber salad, traditional potato salad, sauerkraut, Spätzle, and a variety of bratwurst including Nurmberger Bratwurst, Frankfurter, Debreziner, and Currywurst.


Schedule:

Friday – 4PM-11PM

Saturday – 11AM-11PM

Sunday – 11AM-6PM


Event Name: Oktoberfest Tampa

Venue: Curtis Hixon Park

Address: 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Date & Time: Friday, October 7th, 4PM-11PM, Saturday, October 8th, 11AM-11PM, Sunday, October 9th, 11AM-6PM

Cost: $10-$150, Kids ages 12 and under FREE

Website: http://www.oktoberfesttampa.com/

Twitter: @OktoberfestTPA #beerisgood

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/1047043435347720/

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

A post shared by Big City Events (@bigcityeventsfl) on

 

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

A post shared by Big City Events (@bigcityeventsfl) on

 

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.

Sushi Battle Tampa Bay happening this Thursday!

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Big City Events. I have been compensated for my time writing this article and am involved with the event planning. In addition, I will be judging the participants at the event and am being compensated for my involvement. I personally love sushi and any opinions represented below are my own.

This coming Thursday, September 29th, 2016 is the Sushi Battle Tampa Bay presented by Sapporo Beer at The Coliseum (535 4th Avenue North St. Petersburg, Florida) at 6:30PM. The event is organized by Big City Events. Restaurants will battle it out for who has the Best Sushi in Tampa Bay while attendees enjoy sushi samples and activities.

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Tickets are $45 in advance for General Admission and $75 in advance for VIP in advance. This event will SELL OUT as tickets are limited so if you want to attend, I would recommend purchasing a ticket in advance. There is also a $20 sake tasting ticket available. Purchase tickets from Ticketfly: http://ticketf.ly/2cuRdVW

Attractions include Tampa Taiko drummers, sumo wrestling, sake tastings, group sake shots, karaoke, live DJ music, group sake bomb, and a screening of the Godzilla movie. The USF J-Club will also be tabling at the event.

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/259912931034738/

Here is a video from last year’s Sushi Battle:

Some participating restaurants include:

Hope to see you there!