Make us your home page

3 unique strawberry treats on Tampa Bay menus

Strawberry beer

At Pair O'Dice Brewing Company's grand opening in January, they tapped a fresh batch of their Strawberry Blonde Ale at 5 p.m. It was gone by 5:45. Equally popular was a Strawberry Cream carbonated with CO2 and nitrogen. For the next two weeks, curious beer nerds kept calling the microbrewery, asking when they planned to brew another batch. The secret? Fresh Plant City strawberries. "We like using local fruit, local citrus," said Pair O'Dice co-owner Ken Rosenthal, who has been homebrewing the Strawberry Blonde since 2009. "We know that the Strawberry Festival was really big, so we decided we were going to try a strawberry beer, so I came up with a recipe." His wife and Pair O'Dice co-owner Julia drives east to pick up 24 pounds of strawberries per 31-gallon batch. Half are added near the end of the initial boil, the other half once fermentation is complete, about 7 to 10 days later. The Blonde has a dry palate and isn't too sweet, but still manages to impart that strawberry aroma. The cream has a foamier head and a creamier mouthfeel, "and it's got a little more of the berry's natural flavor," Rosenthal said. For more, see

Strawberry salad

On any given morning during strawberry season, you're likely to walk into Fred's Market Restaurant in Plant City and find owner Fred Johnson's mother, Evelyn, 86, and her sister Charlotte Britt, 84, stemming 10 flats of fresh strawberries for the day's shortcakes and salads. Fred's family — including brother Hillsborough County pol Buddy — comes from strawberry stock, so it stands to reason that Fred's Market, a healthier evolution of the family's network of restaurants, would serve local strawberries. You might expect the buffet-line shortcake, of course. But the PC Strawberry Salad is not to be missed: A bed of greens with chicken breast, giant strawberries, pecans, mango salsa, blue cheese crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette. Southern cookin'? Maybe not. But it's intensely fresh and flavorful, and so massive two could split it with leftovers. The best part is, you know just where the berries came from — and who stemmed them. For more, see

Strawberry cocktails

It's not out of the ordinary to find fresh muddled strawberries year-round in your finer cocktail bars. National chains can't always offer that level of mixological detail, so Smokey Bones is taking a different route. The barbecue chain based in Orlando is showing its Florida roots this spring by partnering with the Florida Strawberry Growers Association for a new cocktail called the Strawberry Blonde: Three Olives Marilyn Monroe Strawberry vodka, pomegranate liqueur, Sprite and a sugar rim, garnished with a Sunshine State berry. Make no mistake, it's incredibly sweet, although the pomegranate does help bring it back to earth. It's only available for a limited time, but there are other strawberry libations on Smokey Bones' menu, including Blushing Strawberry Sangria, bottles of Redd's Strawberry Ale and non-alcoholic strawberry lemonade. For more, see

3 unique strawberry treats on Tampa Bay menus 02/26/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28


    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  3. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach



    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires


    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27


    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …