Restaurant and Food Show - Tampa

6/18/2012 08:42:00 PM

This year I attended the first annual Tampa Bay 2012 Restaurant & Food Show. It was open for two days and I decided to take a visit on Father's day this past Sunday. I must say I was greatly disappointed. I wasn't sure if I came late, that it was Father's day or because it's their first annual but there was not "250" restaurants and venders that they boasted about.

I paid $5 for parking and $10 to get in and once you're in you still have to pay for your own food. The "samples" were not enough to cover the admission fee or even parking. There were a few food trucks that attended the show and inside there were tables and booths set out for the venders. Many are local catering companies and also plenty of commercial sales.

 We first started out with some Chicken tacos with a choice of 12 different salsa. I picked the drunken salsa which had beer inside and my friend Gabby went for their pineapple salsa. It was actually pretty good and the shells were airy and crispy. It was $2.50 per taco.

This Pulled Pork sandwich was probably the best thing and also the best priced dish at the show. I was able to get a fully loaded sandwich with chips for only $3. It was a deal that couldn't be passed up! The pulled pork was chunky and my sandwich was just filled with meat. It was tender and there was different sauces to add into your sandwich, I added a bit of chipotle and sweet bbq.

I was able to try a few different samples from different venders from rum cakes, lentil salads, cookies, and so on but was at a halt when I saw Red Velvet Brownies from Iced Bakery.

They came in a packaged of 4 pieces for $3. They were super moist and wasn't overly sweet. I absolutely loved them and was tempted to get everything displayed at the Iced Bakery's booth.

All their baked goods are simple yet complex in flavor and also very pleasing to the eyes.

After finishing up exploring the inside building we stepped out to look around before heading back home. Right before that my friend and I grabbed a bag full of kettle corn for $3. I decided to bring it home for my brother since he really wanted some for awhile. They were nice enough to fill it to the very top!

The last bite we had before heading out of the gates were these delicious kebobs. I once had it at a Creative Loafing event and decided to grab one for my friend and I, they were $5 each. It was a bit pricey, but they are just so darn delicious!

I would love to go back if there was really 250 restaurants and venders but if it was as dead as it was when I went I probably wouldn't go back again. It was a nice concept and I love going to foodie events but having to pay for parking and admission fee was  just a turn off, especially when you are forced to pay for your own food and there wasn't enough places to get samples from.

Oh well, at least I was full when I left!

You Might Also Like


  1. Dena,
    Do you have a list of the vendors that were at the show? Their event website is down and we are trying to locate a Bakery that was at the show. They were not Iced Backery, but had two guys at the booth, whom I believe were brothers. They were located at middle of one of the isles where it intersected with other isles. Please let me know if you do and I will send you my email.
    Thank you.