Monday, June 18, 2018
Dining

Smackdown of food truck rallies: Tampa takes on Miami's record

On Aug. 31 more than 100 food trucks will assemble at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest rally, and word on the street is Miami is mad.

If successful, this will trounce the record set in April in Miami when 62 trucks convened at Magic City Casino.

"Some of the local promoters in Miami have some objections to this," said Jeremy Gomez, one of the organizers of the Tampa rally. "The promoters are very cutthroat, and they've been telling their trucks that if they come to our event they won't use them anymore. They just don't want us to take their record."

Sef Gonzalez, the promoter of the record-holding Miami event and the man behind the Burger Beast blog, says this is bunk.

"As far as I'm concerned, that's just a rumor. And I don't know any food truck from Miami that is going to make the trek to Tampa when they already set the record in Miami. Why would they try to break their own record?" Gonzalez said. "Had I known someone was going to try to break the record a couple months later, I might have tried to get 80 or 90 trucks."

The Tampa rally is the vision of CarlosEats.com blogger Carlos Hernandez, Jeremy and Candy Gomez of Generation Food Truck and Not Your Ordinary Food Truck and Michael Lynch of truckspotting.com, a downloadable app that charts the routes of food trucks in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and now Tampa.

Together they have formed Skypunch Entertainment with the aim of giving Miami's record the KO, supplementing local trucks with ones coming from six states, Toronto and, yes, they say, Miami.

Todd Sturtz, who organized Tampa's very first food truck rally in September 2011, is no stranger to the tensions that can develop in the food truck community.

"There's a ton of drama with different promoters, but some of the competition is media generated. I don't know why you wouldn't want any food truck scene to do as well as possible."

Sturtz, who sold his interest in the promotion company Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally at the end of last year, said rallies are these trucks' bread and butter.

"By far the most profitable thing for a food truck is an event. For a food truck to have a lunch spot, on a good day it's a quarter of what you'd make at an event."

Comments
From soft serve to ice pops, 12 places to get frozen treats

From soft serve to ice pops, 12 places to get frozen treats

I know we have three more months or so of hot-as-dog-breath Tampa Bay summer, but letís start things off on the right foot with some frozen treats. Ice cream is on my mind after a recent visit to Disney Springs, when I found love in a perfect scoop o...
Published: 06/13/18
Five restaurants worth checking out at Disney Springs in Orlando (w/video)

Five restaurants worth checking out at Disney Springs in Orlando (w/video)

LAKE BUENA VISTA Disney Springs has swiftly become a playground or trial balloon for the country?s celebrity chefs. Art Smith, Masaharu Morimoto, Rick Bayless, Guy Fieri, Tony Mantuano, Wolfgang Puck and others are already on board, with names like ...
Published: 06/13/18
A hook-to-table food experience in Tampa Bay

A hook-to-table food experience in Tampa Bay

Going fishing is like doing your taxes. If itís something you dive into just once a year you end up relearning the whole thing every time. Jake Whitfield eyed me, no judgment, and decided to cast for me the first time, my little wriggling greenback z...
Published: 06/11/18
Ceviche closing in South Tampa

Ceviche closing in South Tampa

TAMPA Ė The Ceviche restaurant at 2500 W Azeele St. is closing.Caledon Concepts, which operates Ceviche restaurants in Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg, said the restaurantís last day at that location will be June 16."The expiration of the lease for...
Published: 06/08/18
Deal alert: Hard Rock Cafe has 71 cent burgers for its birthday

Deal alert: Hard Rock Cafe has 71 cent burgers for its birthday

SAVE THE DATE: HARD ROCK B-DAYOn June 14, 1971, the founders opened their own American-style diner in an old Rolls-Royce dealership and called it Hard Rock Cafe. They had a vision to combine music, memorabilia and all-American fare. Hereís a tip: To ...
Published: 06/06/18
Restaurant review: El Chapo Taco fills a need with fun, friendly Mexican spot in Gulfport

Restaurant review: El Chapo Taco fills a need with fun, friendly Mexican spot in Gulfport

GULFPORTWhat do we know about El Chapo, a.k.a. Mexican drug lord JoaquŪn GuzmŠn? He ran the Sinaloa Cartel, even from prison, and first appeared on Forbesí billionaires list in 2009. Heís 5 feet 6. Heís the father of 12 or 13 children. He has a talen...
Published: 06/04/18
Updated: 06/07/18
National Doughnut Day is back. Where to get free doughnuts, doughnut beers and more

National Doughnut Day is back. Where to get free doughnuts, doughnut beers and more

Believe it or not, Friday is already June 1, which means National Doughnut Day is back with sweet deals.The day was created to celebrate the Salvation Armyís "Doughnut Lassies," who served the treats to American soldiers on the front lines during Wor...
Updated one month ago
A look at how Tampa steakhouse Ocean Prime keeps its menu fresh

A look at how Tampa steakhouse Ocean Prime keeps its menu fresh

TAMPAThe executive chefs all fly into Columbus, Ohio. Before they step into the kitchen, before they sharpen a knife, they sit down and have a meeting, an open dialogue. They examine the whole menu: Whatís working? What needs fixing? And then they ge...
Updated one month ago
Restaurant review: Bar Asia will have to raise the bar if it wants to thrive in South Tampa

Restaurant review: Bar Asia will have to raise the bar if it wants to thrive in South Tampa

TAMPALetís review our star system. One star is fair, two is good, three is great and four is mind-blowing. Iím going to start my review of Bar Asia by saying that one star for service is generous. Hereís why.On my first visit, the bartender was crabb...
Updated one month ago
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG ó Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughterís Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated one month ago