Make us your home page

Dining planner: Burgers, beer, barbecue and bourbon for Father's Day


Yes, you can do the froufrou Father's Day stuff we've laid out here. Sure, he may be tickled by the novelty of a spa day. But while he's lying there with cucumber rounds on his eyes, Dad will be thinking of the Four B's: burgers, beer, barbecue and bourbon. (There may be other B’s that his kids shouldn't speculate about.) So after the exfoliation, give the man what he really wants.

There's Baddest BBQ on the Bone, which runs in conjunction with the Bone Fishing Slam, 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday. This festival features a barbecue competition, pig races, boat showcase, art vendors, marine vendors, a kid's fishing rodeo, live concert and a kids' zone. Admission is free. Madeira Beach Park, 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach. (727) 216-6601.

And for the dad who is a bit of an Unconsolable Renegade, the free Bud and Burgers event hosted by alt-rock station 97X at 4 p.m. Saturday features rising rockers X Ambassadors headlining. And then there's the burgers from some of the bay's best restaurants and tons of Budweiser. It's free, but you have to have tickets from drops listed at What you save in ticket prices you should lavish on Dad in the form of beer and burgers, duh. The event was set for Al Lang Stadium but has moved to the Mahaffey, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg, due to weather. Free, $30 VIP. (813) 221-9797.


Starting Thursday and running through June 26, there's yet another no-brainer for dad: Take him out to eat during Tampa Bay Restaurant Week, with multiple-course prix-fixe menus for $30 or $45 at participating restaurants throughout Tampa Bay. Dad may be enthusiastic that Big Storm Brewing Co. is the official beer, Tito's Handmade Vodka is the official vodka, and Kahwa Coffee is the official coffee of Tampa Bay Restaurant Week. Visit for a rundown of all the restaurants, but here's my curated list of what Dad is going to appreciate more than a new tie or golf tees:

Eats American Grill, left, is doing a half-pound Angus build-your-own-burger. $30 for two diners. 4502 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 835-3287.

Birch and Vine offers a grilled Niman Ranch sirloin with beer-batter pickled okra, cheese grits and smoked corn tomato salad. $30 per person. 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-1080.

Mad Beach Brewing is getting a little cray with a jelly doughnut burger (I have no idea; go order it and report back) and the safer-sounding day-boat grouper tacos. $30 for two diners. 12945 Village Blvd., Madeira Beach. (727) 362-0008.

The new Ox and Fields makes a statement with oxtail poutine and curry chicken potstickers. $45 per person. 7701 N Nebraska Ave., Tampa. (813) 443-6125.


Danny Hernandez had me at taxidermy, but the burnt ends (a.k.a. barbecue candy) really cemented the deal at his Holy Hog. At any of the Hog Nation outposts, the menu is heavy on Texas-style brisket, a couple kinds of sausage (smoked summer and spicy beef), St. Louis ribs and a whole lot of alluring sides. For dining in, the indoor-outdoor downtown location, with its powerful misting fans, is pleasant and has a good beer list, but I still prefer the relaxed atmosphere and broad picnic tables of the flagship on N Armenia. Steer toward the fattier point end of the brisket or the burnt ends, although it's easy to be beguiled by the sides, housemade chips, corn fritters and jalapeno mac and cheese at the top of the heap. (3501 N Armenia Ave., Tampa; (813) 879-4647)

The Brandon area tends to be impressive barbecue country (props to Down to the Bone), but First Choice is top dog. They're not real specific about the provenance of the recipe. When pressed, Florida barbecue sums it up just fine: no dry rub, a lot of smoky flavor and a sauce that is ketchup-based with a kick of vinegar. Ribs are tender, deeply smoky and delicious eaten sauced (on the sweet side) or au naturel. Spicy macaroni salad has proponents, but the fries (crisp, skin on, fresh-cut) are hard to overlook and the beans are good if you like them sweet with a hint of nutmeg or cinnamon. (10113 Adamo Drive, Tampa; (813) 621-7434)

4 Rivers Smokehouse opened its second Tampa location around Christmas, and I've never seen it without a line snaking out the front door. John Rivers, who spent 20 years of his career in health care, was bitten by the brisket bug and now has 11 barbecue locations with two more to come this year. They pretty much operate the same: Queue up at the door and an assembly line of affable young employees serve up Texas-style, 18-hour smoked Angus brisket, burnt ends, Southern pulled pork and St. Louis-style ribs, with sides from fried okra to baked beans and Texas corn bread. (607 S MacDill Ave. and 14330 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; toll-free 1-844-474-8377)

Dining planner: Burgers, beer, barbecue and bourbon for Father's Day 06/15/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 16, 2016 3:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Battle of the Sexes' is a fine time capsule comedy, and not really about the tennis


    In 1973, tennis champion Billie Jean King joined a two-ring circus with hustler Bobby Riggs, billed as a Battle of the Sexes amid the women's liberation movement. Fifty million Americans watched the pop spectacle on TV.

    Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the film "Battle of the Sexes." [Fox Searchlight Pictures.]
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 26


    University Lecture Series: Jackie Cruz: In part of USF's Hispanic Heritage Month activities, actress Jackie Cruz (Orange is the New Black) presents "Cruzing Through Adversity" in which she offers lessons on resilience, determination and turning life's challenges into opportunities and a better outlook. 8 …

    Jackie Cruz in a scene from Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" Season 2. Photo credit: Jessica Miglio for Netflix.
  3. Restaurant review: Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights should focus on mom-and-pop pharmacy vibe

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic


    Sometimes, the more time you have with a project, the more complicated it gets. I started hearing about Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights about 18 months ago. It was the vision of Ujwal Patel, a pharmacist;

    Mortar & Pestle opened in Seminole Heights in Tampa in August. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
  4. Snap Judgment's Glynn Washington on growing up in a 'cult' and how to tell a good story


    Glynn Washington spent much of his last visit to Tampa preparing his soul for the impending apocalypse. He was assured it was coming any day.

    Glynn Washington, the creator and host of NPR's "Snap Judgment," will bring his live show to the Tampa Theatre on Sept. 29. 
Photo courtesy Snap Judgment
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Sept. 25-Oct. 1


    MegaCon Tampa: The multi-genre convention brings a lineup of celebrity guests and comic book creators to the Tampa Convention Center Friday-Sunday, including icon Stan Lee, William Shatner, above, Kevin Smith and Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things. Shop hundreds of vendors selling …

    Courtesy Adultswim