Strawberry Fields Forever

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Photo by Jenn Thai

On Tuesday, November 29 Datz Restaurant Group (DRG) visited a Florida strawberry farm in Plant City. And it was awesome. And we’ll stop talking in third person beginning right……now.

We met with the Florida Strawberry Grower’s Association (FSGA) and Isabel Laessig from Family Foodie and Sunday Supper Movement. We ate fresh, delicious strawberries practically grown in our backyard. We had a strawberry picking contest with some of our favorite local bloggers and Instagrammers: Jenn Thai, Tracy Guida, and Ryan Rodriguez. Even Creative Loafing came out with us to learn about these locally grown berries, which was a ton of fun. We drove an enormous tractor and managed not to hurt anyone or any strawberries. It was a good day.

Keep an eye out for Datz, Dough, and Roux’s Florida strawberry-inspired dishes and sweets. Datz will have a revamped menu in January that’ll include dishes made with Florida strawberries. Dough will have a Florida strawberry Doughnut Ice Cream Cone and Roux will also have some Florida strawberry magic up their chef sleeves. Take a look at our Florida strawberry adventures below.

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(Photo by Jenn Thai) See all the little bits of red in the field? Those are fresh Florida strawberries!
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The Datz Restaurant Group crew (Executive Chef Keith Williamson, Co-owner Suzanne Perry, Communications & PR Manager Gina Moccio, Kitchen Manager Afton McDermott, Sous Chef Jon Hurrah), bloggers, and members of the Florida Strawberry Grower’s Association posed for a pic (and a Boomerang, of course– which you can check out on Instagram).
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Florida strawberries are amazing whether it’s just one or there’s a whole bunch.
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(Photo by Jenn Thai) From left to right: Andy, Strawberry Sue and Mark of the Florida Strawberry Grower’s Association.
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Datz’s Executive Chef Keith Williamson is really excited to be in Plant City for the day.
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The winning team from the Florida strawberry picking contest gives us all a victory wave with strawberries in tow. From Left to right: Datz’s Kitchen Manager, Afton; Andy of the FSGA; Datz’s Executive Chef Keith; and blogger, Jenn Thai.
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(Photo by Jenn Thai) Chef Keith and his new whip.
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(Photo by Jenn Thai) Executive Director and Florida strawberry man, Kenneth Parker.
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(Photo by Jenn Thai) Strawberry Sue was nice enough to make us chocolate covered Florida strawberries. We ate them ALL. And we’re not sorry.
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(Photo by Jenn Thai) We had so many Florida strawberry treats to choose from during our picnic lunch after we visited the strawberry farm.
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Florida strawberries for the win.
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“Put out your hands!” – Tony Pullaro, DRG Marketing & PR Manager.      We like to have fun and offer delicious food with high-quality ingredients. Florida strawberries will be one of those ingredients. Thanks for joining us on our farm-venture.

 

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Now Offering Brinner on Sundays

You’ve asked for more Sunday brunch and GUESS WHAT. We’re gonna do it! We’ll be open for Sunday brunch until 8 p.m. beginning October 9. Datz right– Monkey Bread, The Cheesy Todd, Waffles N’ Tweet…. the whole brunch menu until 8 p.m.

Brunch for dinner? Heck yes.

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Our sister bakery, Dough will also be open late to meet all of your sweet needs, including award-winning doughnuts, ice cream, cupcakes and more.

So. Who’s ready for Brinner???????????
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Brunching with us? Text ahead! Text ‘Datz’ to 626-414-3210 and it puts you on the list. See you soon, foodies.

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Best Instagram….Datz4Foodies!

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We’re stoked to report that we have the BEST Instagram in Tampa! We were honored with this award on Social Media Day Tampa 2016, hosted by Never Have I Ever. Thanks for inspiring to us to keep sharing drool-worthy photos, Tampa. And if you’re not already, follow us here.

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Foodie Alert: Geno Ate Tampa

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Geno Knight (Right) with Eddie Money.

Hey, foodies! Meet Geno Knight of WQYK and Geno Ate Tampa. He’s got some great local recommendations, including Italian and Mexican. Let us know if you try any of Geno’s favorites with the hashtags #GenoAteTampa and #datz4foodies and have a great weekend.

What are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself.

Hungry, fed, full.

What made you start Geno Ate Tampa?

I liked the name because it conveys how much I eat. I’m a big boy… 6’4 and about 270. So Geno Ate Tampa seemed both funny and on point. It was just a hashtag I started using a few months back because my food pics seemed to get the most reaction out of my listeners. Instead of free concert tickets or song requests, my cell phone shots of my food finds were what people reacted to the most. So I bought GenoAteTampa.com, started a secondary Twitter account @GenoAteTampa and started using the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to isolate my foodie posts from the radio stuff. Geno Ate Tampa just seemed to perfectly convey the size of my appetite.

What’s the best food you’ve discovered from Geno Ate Tampa?

After complaining about the lack of good Mexican food in Tampa Bay, listeners pointed me to Miguel’s on Kennedy. It’s been my go to ever since.  The Alambres is all I ever order. After working for a radio station in California for 6 years, I was spoiled. But Miguel’s has made Tampa my new home.

How about the best cocktail?

I’m more of a beer guy. Before a Rays game last week, I dropped in to try out Brooklyn South. $3 microbrews? You won’t find that in The Trop. The Orange Wheat by St. Pete Brewing was fantastic. It’s a great beer for Florida summer, which is 9 months long. On the Tampa side, I love the dive bars in Ybor.

Best dessert?

Unfortunately my favorite dessert is only available for about 10 days every year.  It’s the funnel bacon on a stick at the Florida Strawberry Festival. I’ve been ranting and raving about it on QYK ever since it was created for the 2015 festival. The vendor that made it, “The Best Around Inc,” usually does a new item every year for Plant City. But I raised such a fuss about it, they brought it back for a second year this year. “Mama Jane” takes a stick of bacon, dips it in funnel cake batter, fries it for about a minute or two, sprinkles powdered sugar over it and finishes it off with a maple butter glaze drizzle.  It’s life changing. It just kills me it’s something you can only get one week a year. But if I had it available to me all the time, that would probably kill me too.

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What’s your favorite food on the Datz menu? 

The doughnut case is my favorite 4 square feet in all of Tampa Bay. The Butterfinger is probably the favorite. Although I think your burgers are often overlooked and underrated too.

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What’s your favorite food and why is it your favorite?

Find me a good spot for chicken parmesan and you’re a friend for life. My family has a big Italian foods business back in Maine. So I grew up with those smells… oregano, olives, cheese, wine.  Bernini’s in Ybor is good, but my favorite is a hole in the wall in a strip mall in St Pete called Italia Mia. The old Italian woman who always waits on my table is my favorite person in Tampa Bay.

chicken parm sub at italia mia

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Share a food with us that you’ve seen on the internet and would love to try.

You accommodated that request. When the doughnut ice cream cone went viral a few months ago, Datz was my first thought. You’re the doughnut king. I tweeted you guys the challenge. You made it happen.

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What do you think about Tampa’s food scene?

This is my 5th year here and I’m still discovering it. Before moving here, I’d heard all about Bern’s. But I love to find the atypical spots… places that cater to transplants like me. I love Cappy’s deep dish Chicago pizza, a bottle of a hard to find German soda called Mezzo Mix in Brandon at Euro Cafe, or if I want a real local experience, the grouper sandwich at I.C. Sharks always works.

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Opening day at Portillo’s in Brandon.

What’s another city’s food scene would you like to try?

Chicago. I’ve been on connecting flights a million times but have never had a chance to explore the city. Flights from Tampa are super cheap. But I’ll wait ’til the cold is gone. I moved to Florida for a reason.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?

I’m a wimp when it comes to exotic food.

What’s your best advice on how to adult?

Never lose the mindset you had as a kid when anything was possible and you didn’t care about carbs.

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Foodie Alert: Eat Tampa

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Happy Friday, foodies (You’ve earned it). Let’s kick off the weekend with some super delicious food, all of which you’ll have to add to your hit list for this weekend. Ryan Rodriguez of @EatTampa on Instagram is gonna tell us about his favorite local stops.

Tell us about yourself! What do you do and what are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself.

Born and raised in sunny Tampa, FL. I am a husband, father and aspirising restaurant owner. 3 words to describe me are Loyal, Adventurous and Driven!

What made you start Eat Tampa? Have you made a lot of foodie friends?

I’ve always had a love for food and my hometown. I wanted to spread the word on new and great restaurants in Tampa. @EatTampa was inevitable. I started following other foodies in the area like @CarlosEats @TampaBayEatsOut and @OfficialFoodGroup which motivated me to create a feed of my own.

 

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What’s the best food you’ve discovered from Eat Tampa?

That is the hardest question. With award winning chefs like @greg__baker (The Refinery / Fodder & Shine) and @chefmichaelmina (Locale Market / Farmtable Kitchen) it’s hard to say what’s the best. I say, get out there and enjoy finding out for yourself!

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Photo by Farmtable Kitchen
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Photo by The Refinery

How about the best cocktail?

Not much of a cocktail drinker but the best one I’ve had recently was the mule at @DocBsKitchen. However, it may have been the side of candied bacon that set it off!

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Best dessert?

The best dessert is for sure the fruity pebbles cheesecake @datz4foodies’ Dough!

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What’s your favorite food on the Datz menu?

My favorite food item on the Datz menu is The Cheesy Todd. As a burger and a mac~n~cheese lover, they go together harmoniously!

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What’s your favorite food and why is it your favorite?

After much thought, my favorite food is a good ol’ burger. There are so many ways to create a burger, from the blend of meats to the type of bun and endless options for toppings. I will also never turn down a taco, a slice of pizza or @portilloshotdogs Italian beef!

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Share a food with us that you’ve seen on the internet and would love to try.

I am dying to try @Slapfish by Chef @andrewgruel for the “Clobster”, a crab and lobster grilled cheese, with a side of chowder fries and a lobster roll to go.💀

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What do you think about Tampa’s food scene?

The Tampa food scene is diverse and ever-growing. We have bold chefs/owners who step outside the box to produce quality food and conquer trends like the doughnut ice cream cone @datz4foodies.

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What’s another city’s food scene you would like to try?

I really want to check out the Los Angeles food scene.

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What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?

I once ate a scorpion from the bottom of a tequila bottle. It was crunchy and besides the tequila, it was tasteless. I’d do it again if I had too 😉

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What’s your best advice on how to adult?

Do what makes you happy. If you don’t know what makes you happy, try something new until you find it.

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Foodie Alert: Caitlyn Connolly of Live.Sweat.Sleep.Repeat.

 

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One of our favorite topics at Datz is CHEAT FOODS! And one of our favorite people to talk cheat foods with is Caitlyn Connolly of Live.Sweat.Sleep.Repeat. and the popular hashtag, #TampaLove. Caitlyn is a Tampa native with a love for fitness, discovering Tampa, a good cup of coffee and being a kid at Disney. Recently, Caitlyn asked foodies what their favorite cheat foods were here are some of their tastiest answers. Enjoy!

 

The Cheat Meal Haven by Caitlyn Connolly

The coveted cheat meal. Everyone loves a good cheat meal. Even those crazy fitness people [I say with love], because I’m one of them!

Pushing thoughts of a juicy burger aside, I got to thinking — why do we cheat and, what do we cheat with? Thanks to some lovely peeps that indulged in my survey, let the cheating begin!

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Kelsey (@kbahr), this has your name written all over it!

Why do we cheat…and love it?

We crave it. I don’t know about you, but once a craving enters my brain — it will.not.leave! Plus, I have always been a believer of moderation —> not deprivation. You gotta treat yoself!

We tweet it. For reals. Follow any fitness guru/lover/friend on social media and you will find food in their feed!

We put in extra work for it. This is the most honest reason. No joke, when I was marathon training, that post long run meal was exulted! Loved! Cherished! And oh-so-tasty! I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t take an extra class a week, ran an extra mile, or did a few more downward dogs for that succulent meal in my near future.

Post it up on Instgram. Does this need an explanation!? IG was made for pictures. And we love taking pictures of our food, and sharing it, of course!

We dream about it. Shhh, this will be our little secret that I may dream about cheat meals.

We plan for it. Not only do we plan our workouts during the week, we plan the epic cheat meal at weeks end. It is placed lovingly on the calendar, maybe even with a cute little cheeseburger sticker.

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As a visitor of Datz for years, it has become thee place for my ultimate cheat; whether it be salty or sweet dishes, to light fare and those indulgences that make us wear our super-stretchy pants, it’s the place. Here’s more reasons why you should follow my lead down MacDill Avenue.

Speaking for myself and others, we cannot seem to make up our mind when it comes to a cheat meal! We want both, dammit! Over half of those surveyed wanted salty AND sweet; the other 30% was evenly split between the two.

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My local running friend Nadine (@nkaprice) wouldn’t mind sharing these Datchos with me!

Salty dishes are the way to my heart and I know some of you agree! Shaking more salt on my survey, most of you would dive head first into carbs, followed by a Mexican dish or chips & salsa, then some good ole meat or a juicy burger. Now that my mouth is watering and I’m fully distracted, during my most recent visit to Datz, I indulged in the Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos with an Eberson’s Old Fashioned (topped with bacon, yes please!) — needless to say, I earned the clean plate award.

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Alas, some cheats were not mentioned, but Datz has them covered! I cannot believe that I failed to mention Mac & Cheese! Their Mac Bites and The Cheesy Todd are fan favorites (and Jackie’s too (@seejackierunn)) and scream cheat meal.

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Enough with the Sodium Chloride, let’s sugar coat errrrrything! Of course chocolate was atop the list, followed by cupcakes, then the vagueness of ‘other’. However, ‘other’ was quickly defined with: kid’s cereal, donuts, & peanut butter.

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This covers errrrrything, right??

Just a few steps away sits Dough, a delightful bakery full of coffee, donut, gelato & dessert goodness. You are really missing out if you have not paid them a visit! But please welcome to the stage, the Fruity Pebbles Doughnut, Kit Kat Doughnut & original Chocolate Doughnuts.

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I may have witnessed Alexandra, (@realtikitiki) local Mantra instructor, break it down on the megaformer for one of these!

Did we cover your cheat? Did we make you hungry yet? Are you gonna race me to Datz now?

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BIG NEWS | Doughnut Ice Cream Cones Make a Comeback at Dough

We’ll keep this short & sweet, cuz’ you’re gonna want to make plans IMMEDIATELY after reading this.

Dough’s Doughnut Ice Cream Cones will be served daily (while supplies last) beginning Thursday, March 31 at 12 p.m. at Dough (right next door to us!!!)!

Told ya’ we should keep this short & sweet. 😉

Hop over to Dough’s blog here to read more. Have a great day, foodies.

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We’ve Got ALL The Corned Beef + Whiskey | St. Patrick’s Day

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and boy do we have a ton of rad stuff planned for local foodies.

We have 3 amazing specials available now through Thursday, 3/17— including Corned Beef & Cabbage Pho, Lamb Shepard’s Pie, and Bangers & Mash.

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We also have a cocktail that’s a really sweet (and boozy!) twist on a traditional Irish coffee. Because we live in such a warm climate, it only made sense to our Mixologist and General Manager, Morgan Zuch to make “Dublin Calling” with house-made cold brew coffee. Another extremely bright idea Morgan had was to make the whipped cream not just from scratch, but with a Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream reduction. It’s really, really, really good. Enjoy between and now Thursday, 3/17.

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On The big day that is St. Patrick’s Day we’ll be serving up GREEN Harp’s Lager for $4. That is, unless you’re a redhead, in which case your green beer is only $3.

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From 6 to 9 p.m. we’re hosting a Ginger Meetup & Cabbage Toss game with Ginger Beard Coffee. You could win 1 of 8 foodie prizes, including a green doughnut from Dough, a pint of green beer, a cold brew coffee from Ginger Beard Coffee, an appetizer at Datz, and more!

See you on St. Patrick’s Day!

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Foodie Alert: Tampa Bay Eats Out

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We love Tampa, and we REALLY love when other foodies do, too. So when we started reaching out to locals whose tastebuds we admired, of course Kiera Andrews from Tampa Bay Eats Out came to mind. We hope you enjoy her recommendations– our foodie bucket list has DEFINITELY gotten a bit longer after getting to know TBEO. And if you’re looking to add even more to your tasty list, be sure to head over to TBEO’s Instagram page where you can find delicious food and drink ideas that are right around the corner. Cheers!

Tell us about yourself! What do you do and what are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself.

I moved to Tampa in 2010 for school and fell in the love with the area. I now work in Advertising and enjoy long walks on Bayshore with my dog, craft beer and exploring our amazing city. Three words I would use to describe myself: adventurous, curious and hungry.

What made you start Tampa Bay Eats Out? Have you made a lot of foodie friends (share a few Instagram handles if you can)?

Well, I love to eat and I love to discover new places to eat. I had been following some foodie accounts throughout the country but saw the opportunity to start one in Tampa Bay and share the amazing (and growing) food community that we have here. A flaw I saw in some other foodie accounts was that they didn’t describe what the dish was or tell where it could be found- I’ve made sure I do both of these to the best of my ability so my followers can easily tell what the dish is and where they can try it for themselves! Some other great Instagram handles I love seeing foodie photos from are @thisjenngirl, @nhietampa, @officialfoodgroup and @eattampa!

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What’s the best food you’ve discovered from TBEO?

This is hard. Really hard. But I think I would have to go with the St. Petersburger at Locale  Market. Grilled Mushrooms, caramelized onions and gouda cheese- can’t go wrong with that combo!

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How about the best cocktail?

The Michelada at Red Mesa Cantina! Not only is it gorgeous to photograph but it’s also extremely refreshing on a hot day- and a great hangover cure.

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Best dessert?

I LOVE dessert so I can’t just name one. Cannoli’s from Bavaro’s and the Strawberry Stuffed Amish Donut at the Strawberry Festival!

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What’s your favorite food on the Datz menu? 

I can’t just pick one thing! The Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes for brunch and the Buffalo Cauliflower at dinner are both amazing. I am also obsessed with the Creme Brûlée doughnut from Dough.

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What’s your favorite food and why is it your favorite?

Crawfish Étouffée! My family is from Louisiana so I grew up eating this whenever I went to visit my grandparents. Every time I go to Louisiana, I eat it once a day. I also get it *almost* every time I go to Roux.

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Share a food with us that you’ve seen on the internet and would love to try.

A @blacktapnyc milkshake. I think if there was anywhere in Tampa that could pull it off it would be Datz/Dough (hint, hint)!!

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What do you think about Tampa’s food scene?

It is growing like crazy. I love all the new restaurants (and food trucks!) popping up throughout the Tampa Bay area, especially the ones focusing on local Florida ingredients and cuisine, like Ulele. We also have some great staples that provide consistent, delicious food. I also love the fact that there is such a variety of restaurants, there really is something for everyone for any occasion.

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What’s another city’s food scene would you like to try?

There are many, but San Fransisco and DC are probably the top 2.

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What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?

That probably depends who you ask but most people would probably agree with escargot. As long as you don’t picture the snails when you’re eating it, it is actually quite tasty!

What’s your best advice on how to adult?

Live life to the fullest, don’t count calories!

 

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National Cheat Day is Your New Favorite Holiday

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Join us for NATIONAL CHEAT DAY, tomorrow (Jan. 28) for food and fun!

It’s our birthday and we’ll start a foodie holiday it we want to. Enjoy complimentary appetizer samples (Tempura Reuben Roll or Mac Bites), mini cocktails (Datz-A-Mary Bloody Mary or V-Day cocktail), ice cream (house-made at Dough), AND entertainment!

EAT Appetizer Samples at Datz & House-made Ice Cream at Dough

DRINK Mini Cocktails at Datz

SNAP a Pic in the Photo Booth by Premier Photo Booths of Tampa

WIN Swag from the Creative Loafing Street Team

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Tempura Reuben Roll – NEW menu time. Sample this appetizer OR our tasty Mac Bites pictured below!

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The Cheesy Todd– our mascot and the most interesting burger in the world. Well, at least WE think so!

Our foodie mayor, Bob Buckhorn has also officially proclaimed Jan. 28 to be “National Cheat Day” in Tampa!

We hope to see you tomorrow, Jan. 28 for our birthday and NEW foodie holiday. Samples at Datz begin at 11 AM. Foodies can receive a complimentary scoop of ice cream at Dough beginning at 7 AM. All samples are while supplies last. The photo booth and swag table will be available from 11 AM to 3 PM.

However, you can celebrate NATIONAL CHEAT DAY from ANYWHERE. So show us what you’re cheating with using the hashtag #NationalCheatDay. We can’t wait to see!

Special thanks to all our partners: Creative Loafing, Visit Tampa Bay, Yelp, Tampa Bay Bloggers, Three Chairs Productions, 813 Area, Hyde Park Village, 97X, Hot 101.5, Joffrey’s Coffee, The Refinery, Fodder & Shine, I Love The Burg, and That’s So Tampa.