-4 Snaps! Strongly recommended
The best looking dish of the day was by far the Fried Cheezit from Empamamas. It’s made with American cheese, white cheddar, provolone, smeared with Tampa Girl sauce then battered and breaded in Cheezit cracker crumbles and DEEP FRIED. Are you kidding me? It’s then served with kettle chips and ranch dressing. A gazillion fat grams later…wow!
I have been part of the biker community for 25 years. My professional photography career began there. So when I heard they were having a grilled cheese fest at a Harley dealership, I thought I would be right at home. I grabbed my HOG, packed the camera, and went fooding. One thing about bikers; They love to eat (and drink). After a ride on a cold day a grilled cheese (and some tomato soup) sounded perfect. Sure enough there was a festival at Tampa Harley Davidson, but there weren’t many bikers. Cars and young fashion far outnumbered any motorcycles and biker gear. Still, it was cheesy good!
For the festival, food trucks were challenged to come up with a unique take on the American classic. While names like Burger Culture (the resident dealership food truck) & Empamamma aren’t really related to grilled cheese it all worked. There were plenty of delicious options.
The wait for some food was crazy long. For Mr.C’s Grilled Cheese, the longest, the wait was over an hour. But people people came and waited patiently. Customer Dylan (no last name) said that it was worth it, still standing in line 45 minutes later. He's had Mr. C’s before and says they always get it right by paying attention to good cheese and blending the flavors.
I really like grilled cheese… really like it. But I’m not the kind of foodie who will stand in line in the cold for an hour for a sandwich.
It was fun seeing all the variations these creative folks took on such a classic dish. I wish they served a sampler platter because I wanted to taste it all. I'd go back next year but I'm still not waiting in line for an hour. Parking for cars was a challenge, having to park several blocks away. Bikes got in right up front. Some trucks like Mmm Delicious Cupcakes looked closed way before the end of the fest, so if you go next year, go early.
Chip Weiner is a Tampa food blogger and an award winning freelance photographer specializing in portraiture, food photography and photojournalism . He has been a photography instructor for over 10 years and teaches Tampa photography classes throughout the year. Have a suggestion for a food event or restaurant? Contact him here
For information on photography classes and workshops, feel free to call me or look under the Tampa Photography Classes section of my website. Photo 101 is by far the most popular! I also give private individual lessons on camera operation and making better photographs and would love to work with you one on one to make you a better photographer. Photography instruction gift certificates are also available. They make great gifts for the photo enthusiast in your life. Let's talk about what you need! 813-786-7780. See you in class!
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