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8th Annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival coming March 30-31st

Are you ready to eat all the Cuban sandwiches? I sure am.

The time is coming for the 8th Annual International Cuban Sandwich Festival on Saturday, March 30th and Sunday, March 31st in Tampa, Florida. Tampa is home to the original Cuban Sandwich.

Competitors will arrive from around the world including countries as far away as South Korea to compete for the best traditional and non-traditional. New to this year is the Home Chef Competition.

The event is organized by Latin Times Media.

Taste of the Cuban Sandwich

Saturday will feature the Taste of the Cuban Sandwich at Centro Asturiano on the edge of Ybor City with 25 vendors serving Cuban sandwiches from 11AM to 6PM. The organizers will break the world record for the largest Cuban sandwich with a sandwich that will be over 175 feet long.

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The sandwich will be donated to feed the homeless per festival tradition.

Taste of the Cuban Sandwich offers FREE admission for attendees and is family-friendly.

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There will also be a KIDS Cuban Sandwich Showdown organized by Junior Chefs of America.

International Cuban Sandwich Festival

Sunday is the big affair with the International Cuban Sandwich Festival competition happening at Centennial Park (1800 East 8th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605) in Historic Ybor City from 11AM to 6PM.

Over 100 food, cultural, and business vendors will fill the historic park for a day to remember. Live music and performances will occur throughout and their will be domino tournaments. Come hungry! General Admission is FREE.

VIP tickets are available and includes sampling of the Cuban Sandwich contest entries and refreshments as well as mingling with judges, red carpet access, and more. Tickets start at $25 for kids and $45 for adults. Family packages are available. Buy VIP: http://bit.ly/2HK8fxV

Event name: 8th Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival

Date & Time: Saturday, March 30th, 11AM-6PM and Sunday, March 31st, 11AM-6PM

Buy VIP tickets: http://bit.ly/2HK8fxV

Ages: All ages welcome

Website: http://www.thecubansandwichfestival.com/

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International Cuban Sandwich Festival seeks home chef entries

Cuban Sandwich

The International Cuban Sandwich Festival, held annually in Tampa is seeking home entries for this year’s festival which will occur on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at Ybor City’s Historic Centennial Park. The festival is now in its 8th year.

The organizers of the festival are seeking home chefs or someone with an incredible Cuban recipe to enter their competition. The new category is officially called: “Homestyle Cuban Sandwich Smackdown Contest!”

There will be cash prizes and media packages for winners of the new category.

Interested participants can send an email to vpadilla@latin-times.com. Hurry because entries are limited.

For those who don’t know, the Cuban Sandwich was created in Tampa by immigrants in the last 1800s who worked in Ybor City’s cigar factories. Ybor City was home to a number of immigrants during this era with community buildings such as the Cuban Club and Italian Club. Those buildings can still be seen today in Ybor City.

Despite some controversy with Miami, Tampa is the home of the Cuban Sandwich and has been served since at least 1905 in restaurants there.

Party Like Its 1999 NYE Party at The Bricks Ybor

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.

TBBW: Brewery Battle of the Bands – 3/7

Coppertail BrewingTampa Bay Brewing Company81Bay Brewing Co.Dunedin Brewery, and Cigar City Brewing will go head to head in a Brewery Battle of the Bands at Crowbar Ybor (1812 N. 17th St., Ybor City, FL 33605) on Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 from 7PM to 1AM for Tampa Bay Beer Week 2018!

Judges include John Palumbo of Replay Guitar ExchangeJosh Jensen from 98ROCK, Skip Sampson from 1603 Tattoo Collective, and Ray Roa from Creative Loafing Tampa!

$5 cover.

All proceeds from this event benefit Instruments Of Change, a charity that provides instruments to underprivileged youth in the Tampa Bay Area.

Replay Guitar Exchange is supplying prizes for winners and $1000 donation to Instruments Of Change.

TBBW: Sons of CANarchy Pub Crawl – 3/7

Ready to drink your way around Ybor City? Head out for the Sons of CANarchy Pub Crawl on Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 for Tampa Bay Beer Week 2018. 11 breweries, both national and local brands, will participate and serve 11 beers at 5 different bars around Ybor City. The event is FREE to attend.

The events kick off at 6PM at The Bricks of Ybor. The schedule is as follows:

6PM: The Bricks (1327 East 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33706): Brew Hub, Sierra Nevada

7PM: Reservoir Bar (1518 East 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605): Bell’s Brewery, Two Henry’s Brewing Co.

8PM: The Brass Tap (1600 East 7th Ave. E-113, Tampa, FL 33605): Dogfish Head Brewery, Crooked Thumb

9PM: Boneyard (1823 East 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605): New Belgium Brewing, Brew Bus Brewing

10PM: The Dirty Shame (1929 East 7th Ave., Tampa, FL 33605): Terrapin Beer Co., Cigar City Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing

Coppertail Stein & Vine Kitchen now open

Coppertail Brewing had the Grand Opening for Stein and Vine Kitchen (S &V Kitchen) last week at the brewery in Ybor City. The pub fare from S & V Kitchen will be available to guests daily from 11AM to 11PM when they visit the brewery.

Coppertail Brewing is located at 2601 East 2nd Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605 just outside Ybor City near IKEA.

Menu items are identical to what you’ll find at the Stein & Vine location in Brandon and includes the “Juicy Lacey” Cheeseburger, Pig Wings, and Tator Tots…to name a few. Food is also available for take-out with a special Monday special that includes a growler on the Coppertail Facebook page.

You can find the full menu for S & V Kitchen on Coppertail’s website at: http://coppertailbrewing.com/the-food-1/

Coppertail Brewing was founded in 2014 by Kent Bailey and Casey Hughes. The idea was to bring more hop-forward and Belgian influenced beer to the market. All their beer is brewed and bottled in Tampa for Florida distribution. Coppertail beer is available at tap rooms and restaurants, Total Wine, Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Publix, and at the brewery.

Stein and Vine was founded in 2012 by Ty and Lacey Mathis. The owners live within walking distance of their restaurant and pub and are friends with the owners of Coppertail Brewing.

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.

Gaspar’s Grotto in Ybor City now serving weekday breakfast

Local Ybor City pirate-themed restaurant, Gaspar’s Grotto, is now selling breakfast daily with an expanded menu on Saturday and brunch buffet on Sundays.

The weekday breakfast menu is available from 7AM-10:30AM and has items ranging from $4.95 to $8.95 with most items at around $5.95. Items on the menu include 3 Egg Cheese Omelet, Two Eggs Your Way, Cuban French Toast, Breakfast Skillet, Biscuits and Gravy, and more.

I visited yesterday and had a late breakfast with Ybor City Geeky Gal and Chef Mark Hook.

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One of the first dishes I tried was the biscuits and gravy. Everything is prepared fresh in-house and it really shows. The biscuits were soft and delicious and the gravy was incredible – definitely one of the best gravy toppings I have ever had in Tampa Bay. Even the side of potatoes was delicious – normally something that isn’t even worth mentioning on breakfast dishes.

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The bacon was notable for having a peppery flavoring to it and was perfectly crunchy. Many of the breakfast items come with bacon, but if you want more you can get 2 strips for $2.

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You can also take a more traditional route with simple eggs made you way with sides and Cuban toast from La Segunda Bakery. The great thing about Ybor City being the heart of historical Tampa is great Cuban bread is always nearby.

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I also checked out their Gaspar’s Specialty Bloody Mary of the Day at Gaspar’s Grotto – it’s loaded with all kinds of toppings including cheese, meats, sausage, ribs, and more. It could very well be a meal on its own.

All of the breakfast items were delicious and fresh and the price was right – easily beating out many breakfast chains and competing with the pricing of diners. The best part is you can enjoy your breakfast outside on the outside decks of Gaspar’s Grotto and there is plenty of free 2-hour parking available in the morning hours in Ybor City.

Breakfast is also available for take-out – you can call ahead to 813-248-5900 and pick-up your breakfast to take to work or whatever engagement you may have.

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Finally, I couldn’t leave without trying the Cuban Sandwich at Gaspar’s Grotto with the 6th Annual National Cuban Sandwich Festival approaching. The Cuban here was excellent – the bread toasted perfectly and the pickle having just the right crunch. The Cuban sticks to traditional with the exception of a mayo-mustard mix. Plantain chips on the side were also excellent. I love plantain chips and these did not disappoint.

Gaspar's Grotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gaspar’s Grotto. 1805 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 248-5900. http://gasparsgrotto.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gasparsgrotto/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/gasparsgrotto/

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/

Ybor City’s 1st Cookoff for Kids this Sunday

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Junior Chef’s of America. Junior Chef’s of America was created by Ybor City Food Tours, Inc. with the mission of finding a creative way to teach children how to have fun cooking healthier meals. Children learn math, science, English, and reading through cooking classes.

This Sunday, September 4th, 2016 head out for Ybor City’s 1st Cookoff for Kids from 10AM-5PM in Centennial Park located at 1800 E. 8th Avenue. The Cookoff will occur from 2PM-4PM with children ages 4-17 participating.

The event is FREE to the public and will feature live music and food vendors, including kid-friendly vendors that will be perfect for families. An all-kids rock band will be present as well as children motivational speakers.

The competition dish this year will be the Cuban Sandwich. Ybor City is known for hosting the annual National Cuban Sandwich Festival each year in the spring. The festival draws thousands of people every year and showcases traditional and creative Cuban sandwiches. Tampa is so well known for Cuban sandwiches that a restaurant opened in Seoul, South Korea called Tampa Sandwich Bar featuring our signature Cuban Sandwich.

Celebrity judges for the cookoff including Victor Padilla, owner of Cuban Sandwich Festival, Chef Gaston of Gaston Culinary,  Ilya Goldberg, Ybor City Campus President. The MC  for the event is Cloe Cabrera of Cabrera Communications. I will also be participating as a judge at the event!

There will be a fundraiser event tonight at Gaspar’s Grotto for Junior Chefs of America from 7-11PM including an open bar from 7-8PM – info: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/labor-day-weekend-party-tickets-27273215923?aff=es2

Check out their Daytime TV segment: http://wfla.com/2016/08/30/young-chef-cook-off/

See you at the Cookoff for Kids this Labor Day Weekend in Ybor City!

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Event name: Ybor City’s 1st Cookoff for Kids

Venue: Centennial Park

Address: 1800 E. 8th Avenue Tampa, FL 33605

Date & Time: Sunday, September 4th, 2016, 10AM-5PM

Cost: FREE to attend

Website: http://www.juniorchefsofamerica.org/