Dining Guide

Valentine’s Day 2017 @ Vuelo Mexican Grill

Looking for an affordable and tasty Mexican meal for this V-Day? Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2017 at Vuelo Mexican Grill located at 17641 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard. The restaurant will offer 3 courses for 2 people for $20.

Here is the menu:

Appetizer (shared)
Select from Queso Fundido or Nachos Vuelo

2 Entrees
Select from Enchiladas, Vuelo Burrito, or Street Tacos

Dessert: Churros (shared)
With spicy chocolate dipping sauce & powdered sugar

For more information – contact Vuelo at (813) 972-4800.

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Vuelo Mexican Grill recently opened in New Tampa off Bruce B. Downs. The restaurant features fresh, gourmet Mexican cuisine with a menu prepared by Chef Mark Estee. Estee is a James Beard Semifinalist and has been featured on The Cooking Channel and The Food Network.

Vuelo regularly hosts a weekly Taco Tuesday and Sunday Brunch in addition to daily specials and a great happy hour.

Food Trucks · Hotels · Travel

Wyndham Clearwater Beach Grand Opening – 1/21

Wyndham Clearwater Beach will have their Grand Opening event this Saturday, January 21st, 2017 from 4PM to 11PM with plenty of entertainment for the public to enjoy. The new hotel resort is located at 100 Coronado Drive, Clearwater Beach 33767.

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Book a room at wyndhamgrandclearwater.com.

Schedule:

4PM – Food trucks open and entertainment begins
6PM – Live entertainment on both stages
8:30PM – Laser Show
9PM – Fireworks Show
9:30PM – Headliner on American Stage

Entertainment:

cocktails · Food Events

CL HighBall Cocktail Competition 2017 – 1/26

Local newspaper Creative Loafing will host a cocktail competition called HighBall 2017 on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 from 7PM to 10PM at Kozuba & Sons Distillery (a truly beautiful facility) in St. Petersburg.

The event will showcase local bartenders, distillers, and craft cocktail culture. Guests will enjoy more than 15 craft cocktail samples at the event. A portion of proceeds to benefit Current Initiatives and their projects, such as the Laundry Project, Hope For Homes, and Affordable Christmas.

General Admission Tickets cost $25 in advance and $40 at the door. VIP tickets cost $50 in advance and $80 at the door (if tickets are still available).

VIP guests will receive an hour of early entrance to the event, as well as a private VIP-area with exclusive food/drink perks. All participants will be able to vote for the “Tampa Bay’s Best Cocktail” contest.

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Buy tickets: http://www.cltampa.xorbia.com/highball

Sponsors and partners include Kozuba & Sons Distillery, Siesta Key RumTamiami Gin, & Ox and Fields Restaurant + Bar.

Participating bars:

Dining Guide · Food Events · Restaurant News

Snobachi Grand Opening NYE 2017

Thai Rolled Ice Cream is taking Tampa by storm at the moment (just head over to IceSmile and try to wait in line for 2 hours) and newcomer Snobachi Handcrafted Ice Cream is leading the movement over into Ybor City at 2206 East 7th Avenue next to Shrimp and Co.

This shop offers ice cream and frozen yogurt bases with over 25 flavors and is owned by military veterans of the United States Air Force and Army.

Snobachi also offers what they call Dragon Breath: a combination of liquid nitrogen and dippers such as brownie bites, popcorn, and marshmallows. When you eat the dippers – your breath will release a smoke from the nitrogen chill.

Check out the menu: http://www.snobachi.com/portfolio.html

Snobachi’s Grand Opening will be held this New Year’s Eve 2017 starting at 2:30PM and runs all day long until 2AM. The first 50 customers will get 50% off their SnoRolls. Social media check-ins and shares will also unlock discounts for customers.

Some photos of Snobachi Handcrafted Ice Cream via Facebook:

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For more information contact Snobachi at (813) 284-6071

Snobachi

Facebook RSVPhttp://www.facebook.com/events/238138119943072/

Beer · Dining Guide · Food Trucks

New Year’s Eve 2017 – Gatsby Gala @ Mastry’s Brewing Co.

Want to take it back to the 1920s for NYE 2017? Mastry’s Brewing Co. located at 7701 Blind Pass Road on St. Pete Beach will be hosting a Gatsby-themed New Year’s Eve party for craft beer fans this NYE from 7PM-1AM. Mastry’s Brewing Co. opened their doors earlier this year in October 2016.

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The event will feature a new beer release, food truck, DJ, and photobooth. Limited-edition souvenir glasses will be able for $15 each to the first 100 guests to arrive. Purchase a glass and enjoy 1/2 off drafts all night long. Pre-Sales will be available over the phone or in the tasting room.

There will be no cover charge to attend this event. 21+ only.

Chalk Board Mobile Event Service will be serving food at the party. Here is the menu:

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cocktails · Dining Guide

NYE 2017 @ Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro

If you’re looking for New Year’s Eve 2017 plans in Pinellas County – Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro located at 799 Highland Avenue in Dunedin will host a New Year’s Eve party on December 31st. Regular reservations will be held from 5PM to 9PM – later in the evening the patio overlooking Downtown Dunedin will be converted into a party area.

The full sushi menu will be available all night and guests can order from all 3 of their menus. Browse the menu at: http://piscessushibistro.com/menu/. The bar will serve drinks until 12:30AM and a champagne toast will be held at midnight for all guests.

Live music will be played from 7PM until close with local guitarist and musician Mark Duran.

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Pisces is a Creative Loafing Best of the Bay winner and won the Grand Jury Award from the annual Sushi Battle Tampa Bay this year. Chef James Keene heads up the menu at Pisces and has over 25 years of culinary industry experience including local restaurants such as Island Way Grill and SPY Global Cuisine.

For more information or to make a reservation contact Pisces Sushi and Global Bistro at (727) 216-6764.

Articles · Dining Guide

Things To Do New Year’s Eve 2017 in Tampa Bay

Looking for something to do for New Year’s Eve 2017 in Tampa Bay? I have you covered!

Anise Global Gastrobar: Ring in 2017 with craft cocktails, a buffet, champagne toast, and more in Downtown Tampa with some of the best bartenders in town.

Mastry’s Brewing Co.: If craft beer is your scene head over to Mastry’s Brewing Co. on St. Pete Beach for their Gatsby Gala this NYE.

Ox & Fields Restaurant + Bar: Enjoy a 4-course meal available with optional wine pairings at The Ox this NYE. Menu items such as Tofu Stuffed Baby Portobello, Roasted Squash Ravioli, and Crisp Skin Snapper make the list of options.

Pisces Sushi & Global Bistro: This Sushi Battle Tampa Bay 2016 winner will serve sushi all night on NYE as well as other goodies such as live music and a champagne toast.

Snobachi Handcrafted Ice Cream: This new Thai Ice Cream Roll shop in Ybor City will have it’s Grand Opening on New Year’s Eve – enjoy discounts all day long as they celebrate.

Food Events · Food Trucks

Downtown Lakeland Food Truck Rally tonight!

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.

Tonight (October 13th) is the monthly Downtown Lakeland Food Truck Rally from 6PM-9PM located at Munn Park – 201 East Main Street Lakeland, Florida 33801. The event is sponsored by Grow Financial Federal Credit Union, Downtown Lakeland, Auto-Owners Insurance, Fairchild, Addison and McKone Insurance Inc., and BioLife Plasma Services- Lakeland Florida Avenue.

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/982383938539184/

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Participating food trucks:

Food Events · Food Trucks · How To

How to book a food truck in Tampa Bay

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 things.

Since the food truck industry began in Tampa Bay back in 2011 – many people have wondered how to book a food truck. Booking food trucks can be more complicated then it seems and understanding the logistics behind it can be an issue without the right approach. It’s important to understand how to both get your needs satisfied and those of the small business food truck owner to ensure success.

Food Trucks

There are many ways to go about booking a food truck and one way is to work with a company such as Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally to help facilitate communicating and booking a food truck for your corporate event, employee appreciation, office parties, public or private functions. Some businesses and entities that Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally does business with include Florida Hospital, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tech Data, USF, and Verizon Wireless.

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Here are some questions to consider when planning to book a food truck:

  • How many people are attending your event or function? Attendance will help decide how many trucks are needed and what kind of food truck will be possible for your event. Remember – food trucks are small businesses and need a certain amount of business to be sustainable.
  • When is your event occurring? It’s better to book earlier rather than later to increase your chances of getting the food truck you want. Many food trucks are booked at least a month out but sometimes even further – so make plans to book early.
  • What is your budget? You need to have an idea of how much money you are willing to spend when booking a food truck. Food truck owners have employees, food costs, and maintenance costs to consider. Booking a food truck also takes resources and time so consider that as well when planning a budget for your event or function.
  • What kind of food do you want at your event or function? Tampa Bay has a wide-range of food trucks with over 100 food trucks serving the city. Here are just a few off the top of my head: BBQ (many different styles to choose from), dessert (cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc.), Latin American cuisines (Venezuelan, Mexican, Cuban, etc.), burger concepts (gourmet, sliders, etc.), grilled cheese, and more so it’s important for you to have an idea of what kind of food you want at your function or event. Most likely there is a concept that fits your needs.
  • Do you need to book food trucks regularly? Some businesses or groups need food trucks to visit their office or business regularly. You can hire a company like Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally to handle the booking and facilitation for you. Fill out the form on their website for more information on costs and logistics.
  • Other things to consider: Do you need live music or a dance floor for your event? Depending on your needs – Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally may be able to help.

Need to book a food truck? Follow this link: http://www.tampabayfoodtruckrally.com/book-now

Reviews

Local Legendary Burger @ Hard Rock Cafe Tampa

Full disclosure: I was invited by the Hard Rock for a complimentary tasting of their new burger. The opinions expressed are my own based on my experience.

This past Monday I visited the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, to taste their Local Legendary Burger: Old Bay Burger. The idea of the burger is to prepare something in-house that has “local flavor and flair”. During my visit I also tried an appetizer, drink special, and dessert.

Southwest Chicken Flatbread

I started off with the Southwest Chicken Flatbread as an appetizer. Flatbreads always sound great when I order them and they are usually disappointing. Not the case with the Southwest Chicken Flatbread at the Hard Rock Cafe. This was one of the best flatbreads I have eaten in the Tampa Bay region. It captured a nice mix of flavors and had fresh avocados served on top. The crust had just the right crunchy – not too crispy or too tough. I highly recommend this.

Summertime Blues drink

The Summertime Blues drink is a special added to the menu currently. It is made with Blueberry Real syrup, house-made lemonade, and Red Bull Yellow energy drink. The mixture is sweet and packed with plenty of energy. This beverage is non-alcoholic.

Local Legendary Burger

Local Legendary Burger

After the appetizer was gone, the main course arrived: the Local Legendary Burger called the Old Bay Burger. Named after Old Bay Seasoning – a product of Maryland where crabs are plentiful. The burger utilizes a crab cake mixture laid on top of the burger (important to note for anyone with allergies).

I really enjoyed this burger – it’s totally different from what you’d normally find on a menu and it’s really filling as you can see in the photograph. You can taste the seasoning in each bite and how the different parts of the burger interact. Part of me wanted to actually just have the crab cake part and cut out the beef just to see how that might change the mix of flavors – it was enjoyable regardless though. The chef also made a sauce to accompany the burger.

I’d love to hear people’s opinions on what they think of the Local Legendary at the Hard Rock Cafe and see how it compares to my experience.

Key Lime Pie

Finally, the meal ended with the dessert. The newest addition to the Hard Rock Cafe is their Key Lime Pie so I decided to go with that. The filling was reminiscent of a flan due to it being soft and almost like pudding. The taste was not too sour or sweet – somewhere in between. The crust was excellent and definitely the highlight of the dessert.

Thus the meal came to an end. There are plenty of new things worth trying at the Hard Rock Cafe whether you are looking for a snack or a meal.

Hard Rock Cafe. 5223 Orient Rd., Tampa, FL 33610. (813) 627-7757 seminolehardrocktampa.com