06/24/16 Food & Dining
TAMPA — Suzanne Perry, the indefatigable co-owner of Datz, Dough and Roux in Tampa, better start working harder on a sport or hobby. Skeet shooting? Curling? Her husband, Roger, is already an inductee in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. And new partner Ray Lampe has been inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame, celebrity chef Guy Fieri doing the honors, no less.
Over chicken tenders and mac and cheese at J. Alexander's on Friday, the Perrys and Lampe, a.k.a. Dr. BBQ, unveiled something that diligent Instagram and Twitter followers may have suspected already: Together they will introduce the Tampa Bay area to what they are calling "artisanal barbecue."...
06/22/16 Food & Dining
Dine Out: For Orlando
To help victims and their families in the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando, Florida's hospitality industry lends its support by hosting a statewide event June 30. Led by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association with Visit Florida, Dine Out for Orlando United will be a day for Florida restaurants and their guests to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the tragedy....
It's like a pet, the kind that doesn't snuggle and is mostly indifferent to your existence. Let's say along the lines of a goldfish or a really snotty cat. You have to feed it and clean up after it, and when you go on vacation you can't have just anyone watch it or it winds up dead. And when it dies, whoa, the smell.
Like a goldfish, someone may hand it to you, well intentioned, in a sloshy zip-top bag. And then your life subtly changes. You're buying equipment, you're looking up care advice on the Web. In a way, you've joined a club....
Restaurant review: With food and decor, On Swann brings high level of excellence to Hyde Park Village06/20/16 Food & Dining
So many amateurs get into the restaurant business. They think: I've been eating out my whole life. What is there to know? You make food, you serve food, you clean up afterward, right? And these people, by and large, fail.
It's a joy to watch real professionals embark on a new venture, to see them select a location that makes sense and a concept that seems fresh and relevant, then build out and staff up with methodical, even maniacal, attention to detail....
On Internet food sites and magazine web pages, Lorraine Fina Stevenski of Land O'Lakes is always searching for recipe contests to enter. She's looking for the box that says, "Enter and win $$$ and travel." She may not have clinched millions of dollars in prizes, but she has had many recipes that have been finalists and winners, scoring trips all over the country.
"I have entered hundreds of recipe contests and enjoy creating recipes with interesting ingredients," she said. "Baking and cooking are a tradition in my Italian family and has sparked my interest in designing recipes that are modern but classic. I keep all my recipes nice and neat in my computer recipe program, ready to send."...
06/15/16 Food & Dining
FATHERS: WE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
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....
Restaurant review: Salty's Island Bar & Grille on Clearwater Beach shows signs of a classic beach spot06/13/16 Food & Dining
It's a shorthand of sorts. When you see 32-ounce Naked Turtle rum runner buckets, you know you are in a beach bar. It may not be toes-in-the-sand beachy, but you can be assured that there will be a one-man band warbling through Son of a Son of a Sailor, that fried shrimp will feature prominently and that many patrons will have exercised insufficient caution in sunscreen reapplication (goal: every two hours). Maybe it's just the "bucket" part, but it gets you oriented quickly....
06/13/16 Food & Dining
The Tampa Sandwich Bar opened in Seoul, Korea in October. At the core of Geunmin Kang and Hyunmin Cho's menu, naturally, is a Tampa-style Cuban sandwich. While the couple aims to compete in the sixth annual Cuban Sandwich Festival in 2017, as of now they have not visited Tampa, much of their sandwich know-how gleaned from YouTube. Earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Times' volunteer "foreign Cuban sandwich correspondents" Scott and Heather Peisner assessed the restaurant's verisimilitude....
TARPON SPRINGS — "The time frame is all wrong," said Michael Houllis, 70, by phone from his mother Bertha's retirement center. "By 1917 it was a done deal."
He was speaking of the many theories posited in the story I wrote for last week's Taste section that wondered how the potato salad got in the middle of the Tarpon Springs Greek salad. In his mind, this version is the Louis Pappas Greek salad, and it differs from a traditional Greek salad in more ways than that secret scoop at the bottom. ...
06/08/16 Food & Dining
CHEERS: DRINK TO THAT
Hold onto your livers: it's going to be a wild ride this week. First off, the Museum of Fine Arts quenches thirsts 7 to 10 p.m. Friday with its Beer Project: Beer + Art Lounge. Local breweries take on the challenge to create unique, small-batch brews that connect with featured museum works such as The God of Death, Mictlantecuhtli and George Inness' Early Moonrise. The event benefits the museum's art conservation fund, and tickets are $55 advance, $65 at door. Guests must be 21 or older and the price includes beer, pilsner glass, brewers collector cards, wine, food and galleries. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, home brewers can show off their best brews at the museum; tickets for that are $30 at the door. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-2667....
06/07/16 Food & Dining
This is not about bun calories. Nor about gluten dread. Nor even about portability and minimizing lap art.
Burger King's debut of the Whopperito is about two things.
Shock. And awe.
And maybe a third thing: Boredom.
They tested the waters with the Whopper Dog, its "flame-grilled" beef, melted cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, pickles, and onions in an elongated form. (Reenactment of pitch meeting: "Imagine the Whopper, but it's … wait for it … not round.") And now Burger King is rolling its "have it your way" message — body-in-rug style — in a flour tortilla....
06/07/16 Food & Dining
Just as the Florida growing season is winding down, a new crop of Tampa Bay restaurants has sprouted. Makes sense. Summer tends to be a little slow for our dining scene, so it yields an ideal time to throw open the doors and work out the kinks before fall's hubbub. From much anticipated high-profile restaurants in Tampa's Hyde Park Village to second outposts of successful independents to reinvented mom-and-pops, the dog days are a perfect time to engineer a dine-around....
06/06/16 Food & Dining
Georg Hegel broke my brain in college. It was at least a serious philosophical sprain, but I did take away the idea of the zeitgeist, which comes in handy as a food critic. There's always a dominant set of ideals and beliefs in a particular moment of time, one that plays out, if you're observant, in how new restaurants look, what they serve, what the servers are wearing or the verbiage on the menu....
06/06/16 Food & Dining
It's lurking there at the center, biding its time. You're happy-go-lucky, chatting with tablemates, eating a tomato, then a cucumber and a little flurry of feta cheese.
Your fork hits something yielding. You peer down, scooting lettuce leaves and pepperoncini out of the way.
"Waiter, there's potato salad at the heart of my Greek salad."
That salad, in turn, is at the heart of Greek cuisine in Tarpon Springs, which in turn is the heart of Florida's Greek population. But this potato salad scoop is not normal. Head to Hydra or Skiathos, Greece: no potato salad. Greek restaurants in New England or Canada: no potato salad. ...
06/01/16 Food & Dining
BRIDGING THE GAP: SKYWAY SOIREE
Let's meet in the middle. Or in this case, let's meat (and seafood) in the middle. June 12 will debut the Skyway Soiree, a collaboration between chefs from Sarasota, Bradenton and St. Petersburg — held at sunset on the North Skyway Bridge. Organized by Turtle Beach Natural Foods and overseen by Sarasota chef Paul Mattison, below, the evening entails a six-course wine-pairing benefit dinner, with six chefs each preparing a course with a land-and-sea theme....