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Tampa Bay food events this week: Florida’s Gulf Coast EggFest, Tampa Taco Fest

Plus, Seafood Fest opens at the racetrack and Leap Day brings a few dining deals to town.
EggFest competitors will cook on demo Big Green Egg grills at Tabellas at Delaney Creek in Tampa on Feb. 29. [Tampa Bay Times (2016)]

MEAT UP: EGGFEST

Florida’s Gulf Coast EggFest challenges teams of pitmasters and barbecue beginners to a cookoff on demo Big Green Egg grills, which the public can prepurchase at a discount for a limited time through flgulfcoasteggfest.com. You’re invited to sample the entries and vote for your favorite. Judging ends at 2:30 p.m., with the awards scheduled for 5. The competition also doubles as an all-around celebration of grilling, live music and the great outdoors. In addition to a barbecue seminar, vendors, kids’ activities and games are in store. Benefits Mary Lee’s House and USO Central Florida. Taster Ticket $25 in advance, $30 at the door, 12 and younger free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Tabellas at Delaney Creek, 5818 Causeway Blvd., Tampa.

EggFest competitors will cook on demo Big Green Egg grills at Tabellas at Delaney Creek in Tampa on Feb. 29. [Tampa Bay Times (2016)]

STRONG FILLINGS: TAMPA TACO FEST

Both family- and dog-friendly, Tampa Taco Fest returns for a second year. Look forward to a number of taco vendors churning out everything from classic takes to fusion twists on the beloved menu item, as well as free margarita tastings. VIP sold out. $5 in advance, $10 at the door, 12 and younger free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave., Tampa. tickeri.com.

The second annual Tampa Taco Fest will return on Feb. 29 to Al Lopez Park. [Courtesy of Tampa Taco Fest]

BOILING POINT: SEAFOOD FEST

The Trackside Pavilion sets the scene for Seafood Fest. There’s a seafood boil with shrimp, jambalaya and all “the fixin’s” planned, alongside beer, wine and king cake. You have the chance to win prizes, too. $34.95. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday. Tampa Bay Downs, 11225 Race Track Road, Tampa. (813) 855-4401. eventbrite.com.

LEAP DAY: DINING DEALS

At least three restaurants are observing Leap Day on Saturday with special offers.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar: Enjoy a five-course chef’s dinner spotlighting Artemis by Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars wine pairings. Chilled shrimp salad, duck confit and orange olive oil cake are among the featured dishes. Call for reservations. $90. 6:30 p.m. 4322 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. (813) 874-9463. flemingssteakhouse.com.

Miller’s Ale House: If your birthday falls on Leap Day, nab a free slice of Captain Jack’s Buried Treasure with a $10 purchase. The triple-layered vanilla ice cream cake showcases Oreo cookie crust, Health Bar crumble, caramel and hot fudge sauce. Valid ID required. Noon-10 p.m. Locations vary. millersalehouse.com.

Olive Garden: Another treat for Leap Day birthday babies: four free dolcini, or miniature layered desserts. But the $2.29 take-home entrees — five-cheese ziti al forno, fettuccine Alfredo and spaghetti with meat sauce — are available to any guest. Do note: After your first take-home entree purchase, each additional order is $5. All day. Locations vary. olivegarden.com.

Olive Garden will offer a quartet of free dolcini to Leap Day birthday babies on Feb. 29. [Courtesy of Olive Garden]

HOP ON: CRAWL FOR CANCER

During the St. Petersburg Crawl for Cancer, drink your way around downtown with a crowd. Five watering holes provide the bar hop’s food and drink specials, and MacDinton’s hosts the after-party where free beer awaits. Team registration has closed, but you can still sign up as an individual through eventbrite.com. Tickets include a map and a T-shirt. Benefits Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. $30. 1-7 p.m. Saturday. MacDinton’s, 242 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

BEVERAGE BUDS: BIG STORM, BLOOD BROTHERS

Big Storm Brewing Co. recently joined forces with Blood Brothers to expand the Clearwater-based Bloody Mary mix maker’s sales and distribution. As part of the agreement between the two local companies, the 8-year-old Big Storm, which operates Tampa Bay taprooms in Odessa and Clearwater, has become a minority owner in Blood Brothers, founded in 2015 by co-owner Dax Hoover and his two brothers. The signature Blood Brothers Bloody mix, built upon robust spices and fresh ingredients, is now also sold at Big Storm’s Clearwater taproom. bigstormbrewery.com; bloodbrothersmix.com.

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