Make us your home page
Instagram

New at Times Forum: Barbecue, crab fries, more craft beer

TAMPA

The Zamboni machine was smoothing down the ice, ThunderBug was working the kinks out of his antennae and up in one of the club sections a small group was previewing the important stuff for Thursday night's Tampa Bay Lightning season opener at the Tampa Bay Times Forum — this year's new arena food.

Executive chef Rich Mathis and team brought out an array of new options, some from new vendors, some additions to existing kiosks. The most fragrant was a Sea Dog Brewing blueberry wheat, one of 14 beer options at the new World of Beer concession. WOB will offer four familiar domestic beers, 10 craft (including hometown favorite Cigar City Jai Alai), six canned options and five premium 25-ounce bottlings. As the Tampa Bay area has come to be synonymous with craft beer, it's a savvy move to showcase the local product over those biggies from Milwaukee or St. Louis.

To go with the new suds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Delaware North Companies Sportservice welcome Danny Hernandez's Holy Hog BBQ to the Bud Light Party Deck. With two other locations in South Tampa, Holy Hog will offer Texas-style brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, barbecued sausage manwiches (tasty, but not sure what makes them masculine beyond being smothered with beer-braised onions and peppers) and "holy hattrick" sliders.

Hernandez is a master at brisket, so it was no surprise that the brisket sandwich, as well as the pulled pork, provided a satisfying balance of smoke, heat and juiciness, paired with a ramekin of spunky coleslaw. The meats are offered as a trio sampler ($13.50). Although the tasters didn't get a preview, jalapeno mac and cheese and corn fritters sound like inventive additions as well.

In Section 123 on the promenade level, Irish standby Four Green Fields is a newcomer at the Times Forum, offering its signature beer-battered cod riding atop a large portion of fries ($12.25), a solid option that doesn't stray too far from what you'd taste at the Platt Street original.

The only head-scratcher in the tasting was a new option from existing concession Newks: a pile of waffle-cut fries drizzled with a creamy crab sauce (what they called a remoulade) and melted cheese ($8.50). The sog will roll in before you get back to your seats with these. Newks did have a winner, though, with a passel of sweet, crunchy coconut shrimp served atop more waffle fries and paired with a ramekin of sweet-and-sour sauce ($12.25).

And in the how-could-this-be-a-bad-idea category, Dock Side Dogs on the promenade level near Section 109 wins big time for this year's addition: the hog-tied dog, wrapped in bacon with melted cheese and onion frizzles ($7.50). It was true to that old axiom: Bacon does make everything better.

Mathis enumerated the new options in the expensive seats, things like a trio of egg mousse au naturel with truffle, Mote Marine sturgeon caviar and warm-water lobster, and listed an array of gluten-free options (including a gluten-free beer; who knew?) for the growing segment of the population that tries to avoid gluten. The fancy seats can keep their duck confit if we get the bacon dog and the manwiches.

New at Times Forum: Barbecue, crab fries, more craft beer 10/10/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 11, 2013 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Portobello Mushrooms With Tuscan Kale and Sweet Potato work as main course or appetizer

    Cooking

    I've made no secret of my mushroom love. As I've written, I like to divide them into two categories: the interesting varieties (oysters, shiitakes, morels, puffballs and the like) that I find at the farmers market or forage; and the less-interesting ones (buttons, creminis) I buy at the supermarket. The former I …

    Portobello Mushrooms With Tuscan Kale and Sweet Potato will work as a main course or an appetizer.
  2. Spaceballs 2 could really happen, Mel Brooks says

    Blogs

    When Mel Brooks talks about a sequel to Spaceballs, ‘80s fans are tempted to politely smile and nod our heads. It’s a joke, we figure, because how can you possibly recapture the magic of the 1987 Star Wars spoof, especially since John Candy has passed away. 

  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 23

    Events

    Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons: The original Jersey boy himself has produced hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, December '63 and Grease during his long-lasting career both solo and with the Four Seasons. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, …

    Saint PAUL, MN - JULY 25: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons perform at the 2010 Starkey Hearing Foundation 10th Annual "So the World May Hear" Gala at Saint Paul RiverCentre on July 25, 2010 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.   (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation) *** Local Caption *** Frankie Valli
  4. Painted with suspense

    Stage

    TAMPA — Sometimes a show comes along that does everything. It engages the senses on every level, tells a story that feels real and keeps you guessing to the end.

    Ned Averill-Snell, left, plays Latham and Landon Green is Stumpy, two working class painters working to convert a loft for a well-off couple.
  5. Review: ABC's 'Dirty Dancing' remake should be left in a corner

    Blogs

    It seems as if nothing is sacred anymore.

    Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin in ABC's Dirty Dancing remake.