Taste of South Tampa 04/13/2014

The Taste of South Tampa was held at Hyde Park Village this year and was an all inclusive event. So what does that mean? No food tickets here, folks. You get a spiffy blue wristband and that wristband will get you all of the eats & drinks you can handle. Let’s just say I handled quite a bit… Want to see?
Since there were so many offerings here, we’ll start with my favorites first:
I know what you’re thinking… A hotel? Really? Yep! And they really brought it to the table (pun intended) for this event. We enjoyed pork belly sliders and a delicious Elvis milkshake, which was a peanut buttery banana-ish little cup of heaven. The straw was a cute touch, too.

I don’t know which I loved more: the chicken waffle slider, drizzled with sweet syrup, or the fact that 100% of In the Box’s proceeds go to the Metropolitan Ministries to feed the hungry. It’s a win for everyone, and their dish at Taste of South Tampa definitely convinced me that I should go visit them soon.
A lively man called out to those in line, “Chop salaaaad! Come get this delicious salad! It’s free!”
Turns out he didn’t need to sell this salad; it totally sold itself! It even had beets, which I despise, and I was still in love with it.
And now it’s time for the honorable mentions:
Kona Grill (almond crusted pork tenderloin with garlic mashed potatoes)
Austrian Peppers (sauerkraut, schnitzel, and German potato salad)
Anaar Bar & Grill (rice with lamb)

As for the drinks, the clear winner for me was Keel & Curley’s Sangria. They served it a little warmer than I’d like (it already felt about 100 degrees under direct sunlight) but after I popped an ice cube in the glass it was good to go. You can call me the wine MacGyver.

Also, not pictured here, was the refreshing strawberry tea from China Mist. That tea was the nectar of the gods when we were all sweating our faces off.
Now that you’ve seen the spread, meet the people I enjoyed it with:
– Gigi & Mark
These are two of my Yelper Elite buddies who are a hoot to hang out with, so when I ended up winning three pairs of tickets for the event they were an easy choice. Check out that pizza purse!
– Jessica & Dario
Jessica and I also met through Yelp, but this chick has become my partner in crime and really exemplifies what a true friend is. I was only too happy to give the other pair of tickets to her and her hubby, Dario.
– Amber & Frank
These guys are like family. Cross that… They are family. Christoph met Frank while they were in a fraternity together and have been bros ever since. I may have come onto the scene later, but Frank and Amber are two of the most loving, down to earth people I have ever met. So I’m their sister in law, and that’s all there is to it!
(They won tickets from Keel & Curley!)
And who’s that cutie with them? 
It’s Avery, of course! 
Which brings me to the last two important people to mention: Avery and his handsome father, my husband Christoph. The cuteness of these two could make me swoon.

All in all, this was a great day filled with good food and excellent company. There were a few glitches here and there (many vendors ran out of food by 3:15pm when the event ended at 4pm, and some vendors offered identical items), but I would definitely consider coming back again for Taste of South Tampa 2015!

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