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: 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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