Foodie Alert: Official Food Group

 

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Are you following @officialfoodgroup on Instagram??? If not, you’d better start! Let us introduce you to Jerry Cionci, one of the 7 masterminds that run this account that’s sure to make you triple your foodie bucket list for local and national restaurants, including us! Hear about Jerry’s favorites and follow him on Insta here: @jercionci6.

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

I am a professional marketer for Champs Sports and run the company’s social media for North America. But on the side, my 7 friends, including my brother @mcionci, run Official Food Group!

Three words: fun, knowledgable, energetic.

What made you start Official Food Group? Have you made a lot of foodie friends?

After my roommates from college and I graduated, we kept in touch through a group text. Most of the pics happened to be food. Over a year, we added my brother and couple other close friends to the group text, who also liked to take food pics. The rest is history. Our goal was to inspire our followers to eat elite when traveling. Since we have 8 people spread all over the country, we could diversity our food content and scale the page. We each have a market and are responsible for building that market by eating all over the city, building relationships and tagging restaurants.  All pics are our own, and we pride ourselves on that.

Some of our favorite groups we made friends with are: @gothamburgersocialclub @boozeandburgers @cy_eats @tampabayeatsout @phillyfoodgirl

What’s the best food you’ve discovered from Official Food Group?

Tough. But my personal favorite was when I was in Lockhart, TX and went to Kreuz Market (100 + year old BBQ joint in the capital of Texax BBQ). I got a private tour and was eating brisket and prime rib fed to me by the pit master off his knife. The meat is so juicy and succulent, that they don’t allow BBQ sauce! That experience was one I would never forget.

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How about the best cocktail?

In Austin, TX I had an frozen avocado margarita at this Tex-Mex joint called Curra’s Grill. So smooth, so refreshing.

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What’s your favorite food on the Datz menu? 

The Eggs Barbacoa was the best thing I’ve had at Datz!

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

Mexican. Spicy food has the key to my heart.

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

Well, my buddy in our food group @jaymell7, got to eat at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX. This place has a 4 hour wait daily and even The President goes there. It’s suppose to be the best BBQ in the world… THE item to try is the brisket!

What do you think about Tampa Bay’s food scene?

It’s on the come up. People from all over the country are moving here and bringing new ideas to the scene. Now it’s our job to try all these new spots and promote Tampa Bay on our page!

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

Chicago. With traditional items like deep dish pizza and hot dogs [becoming more popular] to the new spots opening up, I would be in a food coma for days.

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

Sautéed Grasshopper tacos at @thelurestpete! Awesome by the way… And nutritious too.

Photo by Visit St. Pete / Clearwater,
Photo by Visit St. Pete / Clearwater

What’s your best advice on how to adult?

Eat, drink and laugh.

 

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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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