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A guide to Tampa Bay food and drink events this weekend

Frogman Feast returns to St. Petersburg and 4 Rivers launches vegan burnt ends in Florida, plus the World’s Largest Ugly Sweater Party and World’s Largest Food Truck Rally.
Frogman Feast will return to St. Petersburg brewery 3 Daughters on Sunday with food samples from 18 chefs.
Frogman Feast will return to St. Petersburg brewery 3 Daughters on Sunday with food samples from 18 chefs. [ Courtesy of Frogman Feast ]
Published Nov. 27, 2019

COOKING FOR A CAUSE: FROGMAN FEAST

Eighteen chefs from Tampa Bay and beyond take over 3 Daughters Brewing for Frogman Feast, the culinary fundraiser now in its fourth year. Participating kitchen whizzes include Chris Fernandez (St. Petersburg’s Red Mesa), Chad Johnson (Tampa’s Haven), Leslie Ciccone (St. Petersburg’s Swah-rey), Pushkar Marathe (Palm Beach Gardens’ Stage) and Dean Max (Fort Lauderdale’s Even Keel). In addition to food samples, beer, a signature cocktail and wine, there’s a silent auction, music by Bad Dog Charlie and a raffle. Benefits Tampa Bay Frogman Swim and Navy SEAL Foundation, for which Frogman Feast raised more than $30,000 last year. $75. 2-5 p.m. Sunday. 222 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. frogmanfeast.bpt.me.

MEATLESS MARVEL: VEGAN BURNT ENDS

Yep, you read that right. 4 Rivers Smokehouse has rolled out Beyond Burnt Ends at its 14 locations across Florida and Georgia. A warm reception from Central Florida diners who tried the vegan menu item as part of the Winter Park barbecue chain’s 10th anniversary celebration prompted the companywide addition. Giving herbivores (and omnivores) a plant-based option, Beyond Burnt Ends are made with Beyond Meat patties that are double hickory smoked and slow roasted, plus topped with a signature sauce. They come as a sandwich, by the half pound and pound and as a dinner with three sides. “The 4 Rivers culinary team spent months perfecting the Beyond Burnt Ends and we’re very proud that we’ve created a plant-based barbecue dish that has been so well received by our guests,” founder and CEO John Rivers said in a statement. And Beyond Burnt Ends aren’t the only meatless marvel planned, as the chain has a forthcoming “Beyond BBQ” line in the works. 4 Rivers operates locally in Carrollwood and South Tampa. 4rsmokehouse.com.

4 Rivers Smokehouse's Beyond Burnt Ends served on brioche.
4 Rivers Smokehouse's Beyond Burnt Ends served on brioche. [ Courtesy of 4 Rivers Smokehouse ]

SLEIGH: WORLD’S LARGEST UGLY SWEATER PARTY

Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails, which becomes the Christmas-themed popup bar Miracle at Mezzo starting Friday, invites you to don your tackiest top at this holiday soiree. What makes it the World’s Largest Ugly Sweater Party? All the other Miracle locales around the globe — they’re also in Mexico, New Zealand and England, to name a few — are also getting in on the fun. According to the Facebook event page, the goal is to host “the largest combined ugly sweater gathering the world has ever seen.” Expect a playful menu of festive libations as well as the opportunity to snap photos with Santa Claus himself. Christmas geeks might remember that Intermezzo morphed into a Miracle popup bar last year. Miracle started in 2014, when founder Greg Boehm brought the first one to his then-unfinished New York City bar space. The concept went worldwide in 2016. At Intermezzo this time around, new drinks include the SanTaRex showcasing rye whiskey, Oloroso sherry, spiced apple cider concentrate, lemon juice, hard cider and baked apple bitters. The EDGE District cocktail haven is scheduled to maintain its yuletide persona through New Year’s Eve. Free, drinks additional. 6:30 p.m.-midnight Monday. 1111 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 873-6664. intermezzo.co.

FEAST MODE: WORLD’S LARGEST FOOD TRUCK RALLY

The World’s Largest Food Truck Rally celebrates 10 years over two days with one big lineup of mobile kitchens serving everything from sandwiches and curry to shaved ice and tacos. This pet-friendly grub festival also promises live music, games, professional wrestling and a large market of vendors that gives the food truck congregation a run for its money. Free, food and drink additional. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater.

RAISING A GLASS: VIVA ITALIA SPRITZ BAR

Before the Four Italian Tenors take the stage, the 25th season of Opera Tampa kicks off with the Viva Italia Spritz Bar in TECO Theater. The posh, Italian-themed cocktail bash features top Tampa bartenders and light bites, including Bavaro’s antipasti, alongside more live entertainment by the Michael Ross Trio. But here’s the best part: unlimited access to the Aperol spritz bars (plural!). $25 and up. 6 p.m. Saturday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.