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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day of the Dead - Dunedin




I was able to go to Dunedin today to check out their Day of the Dead event. It was really cool and they had things to do for all ages. One out of mission was to visit and get stamped by different stores/restaurants that had altars for the dead, after finishing we are able to get a free shot of tequila. Sadly, we never finished but it was a really fun game and a great way for us to walk around downtown to check out other places. I was able to check out each store on foot.

Day of the Dead reminds me of an Asian religious prayer for the dead but the Mexican holiday is more festive and fun. It was really nice that the little town was able to decorate and celebrate this holiday and being able to be apart of it felt a little like a Gilmore Girl community. Everyone seemed to know one another and there was a park where everyone goes to to hang out and play.



While out and about we ended up getting some ice cream and watched a magic show. I got pumpkin pie (kid size) and it was amazing! It wasn't too sweet and the pumpkin spice flavor was unbelievable (Pumpkin is my favorite during this time of year!). My friend got their slush (with ice cream) and became the center of the magic show.






We ended our mission after this magic show because nothing else mattered anymore and walked back to the park/stage area. Chilled for a bit and left happily~

I must say that downtown Dunedin is super friendly and very animal friendly. There's so many cute pets I wanted to pet them all!

Tampa Food Truck Rally #2

Cuppin Cake
Gator Burger
Crepes
Nelly Nel's Chicken bowl
Spicy Tuna bowl - Sushi truck
Ceviche

 

Whatever Pops - Cucumber mint, Strawberry basil & Blueberry pomegranate Green tea




This rally was probably one of the best one I've been too. The first Tampa food truck rally which was a month ago was nothing compared to this. There were more trucks, less lines, lots of walking space, different areas to sit and eat, more shades and a cooler weather. I would have to say today was just over all amazing and perfect!

I never had to wait in line today compared to last time I waited over an hour or so just to get to one truck and there was also another 30 mins or so before the food was ready. Today I was even able to visit multiple trucks without any trouble and was really happy about that. I was surprised that it wasn't pack, I'm not sure if it was because the area was bigger and we had more trucks or that less people attended. Hmm...

Anyways! On to the food~ I was able to nibble on a variety of food today. Friend of a friend got a crepe and another got a gator burger, both look tasty! I ordered a chicken bowl from Nelly Nel's and it was pretty good. I also tried the ceviche from a friend and it was okay to me. There was mostly fish and the texture was all the same, I was expecting some octopus. scallops, etc for some texture and flavor but sadly there was none.

The next truck I got food from was something I had a little fear of. Sushi on a truck sounds really unique but the thought was a little sketchy. I was super curious though so I had to try it, I ordered their spicy tuna bowl and boy do I not regret it. After taking a few peeks at others food rolling out of their truck I felt a little less nervous and more excited for my food. It was kind of pricey ($7) for that tiny thing but the tuna tasted fresh and they give you a nice portion of fish. The tuna is mixed in a sriracha hot sauce mix which was a little too spicy even for me but it tasted good! DO NOT FEAR THE SUSHI TRUCK!

MY MOST FAVORITE PART OF THE RALLY
Was being able to eat a few of Whatever Pops! I've been wanting them for awhile but since I'm never in the area I couldn't get some and I wasn't going to drive an hour or so just to get a popsicle! This is the most amazing thing ever, it's not too sweet yet it's super flavorful. I love them and want more!

***On other notes - Fire Monkey and Taco Bus was probably the more busier lines.

Soooo :) Next food rally whenever that will be.. Will you come out now?



Probably not the best video but it's a start!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tampa Bay's Second Food Truck Rally!


With the second food truck rally right around the corner, many are planning and creating strategies for a perfect food truck rally.

Here's the current list of vendors and truckers! More than double than the first rally, but be expecting a more crazy and intense crowd of people! (I'll try to link them too)

Fire Monkey -Fire Monkey is a food truck based in St. Petersburg, FL preparing fresh, local, seasonal ingredients paired with world spices and flavors that is cooked-to-order. Vegan and Vegetarian offerings and great food for meat eaters, too! Michelle Faedo
3 Ballers - Sweets, sweets and sweets! Baller style!
Taco Bus - The oh so famous Taco Bus featured in Man vs. Nation and also soon on Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives. Serving you down right good Mexican food.
Fat Tortillas - Tex-Mex on wheels!
Killer Samich - The Killer Samich Truck where killer sandwiches are born. Some of your favorite sandwiches are reimagined in new exciting and mouthwatering ways. Follow us for up to date locations. Coconut Bo's - Coconut Bo's... running the roads of Tampa Bay. Join us for a smoothie and our tropical cuisine.
Nelly Nel's - This small truck packs big flavor into bowls made from mashed and deep-fried plantains, stuffed with fried-chicken or pork nuggets, or grilled steak and a slew of veggies, herbs and sauces.
Cuppin Cake - New on wheels, but don't under-estimate these cute cuppin cakes! They pack and twist their flavors like you've never seen before.
Whatever Pops - Whatever Pops are handcrafted, natural, gourmet ice pops! We use local ingredients from local farmers' markets in the area, and change flavors weekly! (Probably one of my top must try!)
Buddy Brew - Coffee, coffee, coffee!
Los Comparres Ceviches - This I have no clue who they are... Is it the restaurant Ceviches on wheels??
Jerk Hut - Jamaican goodies!
Burger Culture - "Where Burger meets Sandwich " Bringing Gourmet Burgers to Tampa on wheels.
Crusin Cuisine - Las Palmas food on wheels! Cuban goodies.
GrannyBubba Baked Goods - GrannyBubba Southern Gourmet Bakery: Where Louisiana gourmet meets the Florida seashore. Custom cakes, wedding cakes, gourmet pies, and other sweet treats. La Creperia
Fish out of Water - Sushi on wheels?! Have no fear! A master at work on wheels serving you delicious and fresh sushi!
Mr Empanada - Empanadas all day! Now on wheels.
Fork in the Road - Fine French cuisine on wheels. Isn't that exciting!
Gator Country - Yes finally a BBQ truck! We officially have a food rally!
DoChos -We sell Mini Donuts, Funnel Cakes, Hot Pressed Cubans, Black beans and rice, Hot Italian Beef.
Gone Bananas - Are you bananas for bananas?! Serving up vegan and gluten free banana treats.
Monsta Lobsta - Seafood and lobster rolls in all sorts of sizes.
Big Al's BBQ - Mmmm, yum BBQ!
Viitals' Gluten-Free Organic Vegan Baked Goods - Vegan goodies.
Foodeez - Foodeez of the true calling, dear friends, are forever. Foodeez are not groupies. They are true eaters who have a passion for food. (What type of food exactly? I'm not sure..)
Flying Sliders - Sliders that can fly! (Not much information)

Chicken Wing Bar


I'm not much of a big chicken wing person, but sometimes you just want to take a bite into a juicy flavorful wing. I was at Albertson one day this week and I finally had the guts to step up to the Chicken Wing Bar. You probably think a grocery store + chicken wings = bad, but I have to say these wings were really big and juicy. There were so many flavors to pick from for example; buffalo, teriyaki, boom?, caribbean, garlic, honey mustard, and other flavors I can't seem to remember the names of.

They charge per lb and have a good variety of flavors to choose from. It is self serve so you can pick which one you want and how many and even the size of the wings. They were all cooked perfectly and were not dry at all.


Wing out while grocery shopping! Yum!


Here's an example photo I would like to share. I do use some enhancement on most of my photos because it always makes food look even yummier.


Now you tell me which side looks tastier!

Color correction is one of the major thing I love when fixing up photos. Depending on the lighting indoors there can be a green or orange shade. Reason why sunlight is one of the most favorite to photograph in! Also adding contrast and a little fix here and there will brighten a dull picture! I don't use any alternative lighting because I don't have money to spend or time to learn about lighting but maybe one day I'll have some super awesome photos!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Taste Cafe - Safety Harbor


Thanks to Groupon once again I was able to try a local restaurant located in Safety Harbor. I've always seen Taste cafe driving in and out of Safety Harbor, but nothing pulled me in until I found a Groupon for them. They are open for all breakfast, lunch and dinner hours which is amazing because they serve really good and fresh food.


I ended up going with a friend to Taste cafe tonight to try a few of their tapas. They have a very large selection of tapas, beer & wine menu and sweets. There was so many to choose from, but we had an awesome waitress help us out. I absolutely loved how unique their menus are.

We ended up ordering the stuffed portabella mushrooms, mango pizza, artichoke dip, sundried tomato & goat cheese tarts, smoked fish dip and a Chinese steamed bun tapas.


Smoke fish dip

Sun-dried tomato and goat cheese tarts

Chinese steamed bun

Mango pizza


This tiny place in Safety Harbor serves really fresh and flavorful food. Nothing was stale or limp and I love that because I'm such a fresh food lover. There's so many different dishes to try and I think this is an amazing place to come to have a little chit chat over some tapas. The menu changes constantly and that just shows how fresh the food is at Taste cafe. The service was really good and the waitress was really attentive and cheerful.

Thank you Taste cafe and Groupon for such a wonderful experience!














I took out the new camera to use for the first time so pictures will improve with time! Also all the photos had a green or red tint to it because we sat outside with flashing lights. I tried to fix it with my best knowledge so sorry!


Taste Cafe

500 Main Street
Safety Harbor, FL 34695

727-723-1116

http://www.tastesafetyharbor.com/




Taste Cafe on Urbanspoon 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Late Lunch - Seasons Cafe & Bakery

I went to grab something to eat at Seasons Cafe & Bakery before class and all I have to say is that it was just merely 'okay'. There was nothing special about this meal, but it was reasonably priced. It had a Vietnamese twist to it with a nuoc mam (fish sauce) dipping sauce and pickled veggies. I didn't like this to well and skipped the whole upper part of the dish. The galbi was pretty good, a little on the thin side but it wasn't that bad. The rice was a bit cold and hard which reminded me of older cooked rice.


Overall the meal wasn't bad at all. I've had better Korean BBQ but it was nice to have it served in the area. The Vietnamese twist was a little off for me but it was a nice try.


EDITED

It seems I'm on a tiny mission to try everything on the menu from Seasons. I tried the Korean bbq again tonight and it was much better than the first time. The rice was softer and warmer, the galbi was still on the okay side.

Here's the list and rating of items I've had at Seasons(out of 5 stars) 
* All rated to my personal preference

Banh mi dac biet ****
Grilled Pork Banh Mi *****
Specialty Shaved Ice *****
Mango Shaved Ice ***
Strawberry Shaved Ice *****
Thai Tea Shaved Ice ***
Green Tea boba **
Mango boba **
Taro boba ****
Raspberry Ice Tea ***
Mango Green Tea **
Korean BBQ ***
Curry chicken noodle soup **
Pad Thai *****
Bun Bo Hue ***
Push Pop Cakes *
Pho dac biet ****
Eggrolls *****
Lychee-Strawberry Yogurt boba *****
Raspberry yogurt boba ****
Chao Long *****
Grilled Pork & Rice *****
Iced flavor tea boba *****

Banh mi dac biet
Specialty shaved ice


Korean BBQ
Bun bo hue & Strawberry ice


cake push pop
Pho dac biet









Eggrolls
Mango boba














Chicken Pad Thai
Grilled Pork & Rice

Chao Long


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

R.I.P. Steve Jobs.

I'm so sad and shocked about what just happened but I hope everyone can take a moment out of their lives to pay their respect to Steve Jobs. Without him there wouldn't be any Apple iphones, ipods, ipads, macbooks and so on.... These things everyone can't seem to live without.

It makes me so sad that just after the news about the iphone 4s this has to happen.. Rest in peace..

Monday, October 3, 2011

Twitter

Made a Dena Loves Food Twiiter!

FOLLOW ME!

http://twitter.com/#!/DenaLovesFood