PICK YOUR FAVORITE: TAILGATE TASTE FEST
While college football games are playing on large screens, restaurants from around the Tampa Bay area serve up tailgate foods and compete to win People's Choice and other categories at this year's Tailgate Taste Fest. The event, 3 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Curtis Hixon Park, includes ice cold beer (natch) and live music, games and inflatables, as well as a broadcast of the Tampa Bay Lightning home opener starting at 7 p.m. Country singer Craig Campbell headlines the festival, along with performances from Jimmie Allen, Randy McNeeley and Skyler Clark. Admission is free; food and drink: $15-$25 five samples, $25-$35 10 samples; $90-$100 VIP. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 342-4065.
RED TIDE RELIEF: BRADENTON RESTAURANT MONTH
As part of a concerted effort to drive business to coastal restaurants hit hardest by the economic downturn from the Red Tide, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a Restaurant Month through Oct. 31. This month, the bureau will promote "30 Day Deals" offered by participating local restaurants to reinforce that these eateries and nearby attractions are open for business. For details about the participating restaurants and their menus, visit bradentongulfislands.com/restaurantmonth.
OPEN NOW: CORELIFE
CoreLife Eatery, an "active lifestyle" fast-casual restaurant offering a variety of greens, grains and broth-based dishes, has opened its first Florida location at 13149 N Dale Mabry Highway, Suite B, Tampa. All foods are free of trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, other artificial additives and GMOs. The chicken and steak are sustainably raised, no antibiotics or hormones, and the bone broth is slow simmered all day for maximum taste and nutrition. Thursday, it hosts a donation day from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. where guests can pay whatever they would like for their meal, and all funds will be donated to Feeding Tampa Bay. At 11 a.m. Friday, the grand opening kicks off for the new eatery, the first in a development agreement that will bring at least 32 CoreLife Eatery restaurants to Florida.
FUNDRAISER DINNERS: EAT, DRINK AND DO GOOD
On Sunday and Monday, local restaurants are hosting special dinners to raise money to help combat youth homelessness in the community. Eat, Drink and Do Good takes place at the following restaurants: BellaBrava, Chief's Creole Cafe, FarmTable Cucina, Sea Salt, Stillwaters Tavern and the Queenshead. Make a reservation for lunch or dinner and the restaurant will donate 10 percent of the total (excluding beverages) to Family Resources. Since 1970, Family Resources has offered crisis counseling, safe shelter and respite for runaway and homeless youth. To learn more, visit family-resources.org.
PROMOTING FLORIDA: LOCALLY SOURCED SUNSHINE
Florida businesses are taking their message on the road. Big Storm Brewing will join nine other Florida-based companies in New York City at a promotional event targeting millennial travelers Oct. 11. The event, called Locally Sourced Sunshine, is organized by Visit Florida, the state's official tourism marketing agency. It's a campaign designed to showcase Florida's wide variety of cultural and culinary experiences to make it an inspiring destination for millennial travelers. The reception, where guests will be able to sample food and drinks, is expected to attract about 500 people including travel reporters and social media influencers.
Other Florida representatives participating in Locally Sourced Sunshine include Tampa chef Marty Blitz of Mise en Place, right, Florida Keys artist Pasta Pantaleo of Islamorada Arts District, Fort Myers chocolatier Ryan Love of Norman Love Confections, Punta Gorda's Ben Voss of Alligator Bay Distillers and Ocala restaurant owner Rashad Jones of Big Lee's BBQ and star of Food Network's Eat, Sleep, BBQ.