Every once in a while I get to spend time with fellow foodies and today was one of those times. Kiera Andrews, better known as on social media as @thisbabeeats, hosted a four hour tour of three food halls in Tampa for 30 foodies. Each stop offered samples of delicious food and drink, and lots of opportunities for meeting, greeting and Instagram- ing!
We start at Sparkman Wharf, the new kid on the block when it comes to high-end multi-kitchen places to eat. First up is char-grilled oysters from Boat Run Oyster Company. It's an entire table full of different types of oysters, some from their own farm, and others from around the country, served with cans of ice cold beer. Okay...impressive beginning.
Next is Chicken Curry Noodles from BT in a Box. BT is one of my favorites here, run by the venerable BT Nguyen of restaurant BT fame. Just delish!
The entire crew of 30 of us are shuffled around in an air-conditioned trolley. What a great way to go on a day when it's in the low 80s and humid. It also allows some of us to get to know one another since we aren't focused on food for a few minutes.
The next stop is Armature Works, a beautiful collection of eateries and open space built in the building that once housed Tampa's trolley cars. We are hosted in the Show and Tell room, a space set aside specifically for classes and events. Here we are served food from Empamamas, Hemingway's, BnB Tampa (butcher and barbecue), with drinks by Bar Armature.
Last stop is Hall On Franklin. It's the granddaddy of food halls in Tampa even though it just opened in 2017. We are greeted by a beautiful display from Bake'n Babes filled with Irish Car bomb Cupcakes! Poke Rose honors the crowd with a colorful bowl of Tamarind Curry Chicken with jasmine rice, and North Star Eatery brings it home with North Star Short Ribs. Wow!
The cost for the four hour event was $100. While that might seem a little steep, if you take into account the amount of food and drinks that were available, it was a bargain. That, plus the ability to mingle with other foodies, photographers, and cool people makes for a great afternoon. Plans are to possibly do this every quarter. If you are interested pay attention on Instagram and follow @thisbabeeats!
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