Gourmet Feastival to benefit the Centre for Women

In its 19th year, the Gourmet Feastival to benefit the Centre for Women was a popular event that did not disappoint. Restaurants from all over Tampa converged on the Hyatt Regency on Tampa St. along with at least 1,000 attendees ready to enjoy their dishes.

The Centre for Women offers counseling services to women and families, job-placement services, programs to educate school-age girls and many senior services. Over the past year they have provided help for over 3,000 people in Tampa Bay.

Some of the food highlights of the evening included Datz Deli with their house-made potato chips, drizzled with a blue-cheese sauce and their new gelato offerings. Mangroves offered a carpaccio bruschetta, and throngs lined up for Blondie’s gourmet cookies.

Shell’s Restaurant made an appearance with their award-winning clam chowder. Many people think Shell’s chowder is the best in the area, if not in the state. With tender clams and a smoky hint of bacon in a not-too-thick but certainly not thin and very creamy base, one could see and taste why this chowder has been a favorite among locals.

Other pleasant dishes included a southwestern nacho offering from Primo’s Gourmet Catering. Tender spicy chicken with some crispy tortilla chips and guacamole sauce created some buzz and long line of folks waiting to partake. Gaspar’s Grotto served up another carpaccio bruschetta, this one with more of a Latin twist.

 

Kudos for best food of the evening go to the Jerk Hut, located at 207 E. Twiggs St. and Smoke Barbeque and Grill at 901 W. Platt St. The Jerk Hut served up chicken and pork with rice and beans teased with Andrew’s Original Redd Sauce. You could smell the exotic, spicy aromas of that sauce well before you reached the front of the line. Smoke Barbeque and Grill offered their Original Montreal Smoked Brisket; a corned beef brisket, slowly smoked and served with spicy mustard on a baguette. The tenderness of the brisket with the spices of the corned beef and smoke blended perfectly with the kick of the spicy mustard. Their menu has some other interesting offerings, not seen on most ‘que menus around here. Smoked Crawfish Pie, Yuca Cheese Rolls, Italian Grit Cakes, Huli Huli Hawaiian Chicken and, of course, the smoked pork ribs all sound like they might be worth the trip after trying the corned beef.

Kudos for best food of the evening go to the Jerk Hut, located at 207 E. Twiggs St. and Smoke Barbeque and Grill at 901 W. Platt St. The Jerk Hut served up chicken and pork with rice and beans teased with Andrew’s Original Redd Sauce. You could smell the exotic, spicy aromas of that sauce well before you reached the front of the line. Smoke Barbeque and Grill offered their Original Montreal Smoked Brisket; a corned beef brisket, slowly smoked and served with spicy mustard on a baguette. The tenderness of the brisket with the spices of the corned beef and smoke blended perfectly with the kick of the spicy mustard. Their menu has some other interesting offerings, not seen on most ‘que menus around here. Smoked Crawfish Pie, Yuca Cheese Rolls, Italian Grit Cakes, Huli Huli Hawaiian Chicken and, of course, the smoked pork ribs all sound like they might be worth the trip after trying the corned beef.

 

Definitely mark your calendar for next year around this time to attend this “feastival”. Not only was a plethora of food choices offered, several wine merchants were there, live music entertained and both the silent and live auctions contained some very enticing offerings.

 

 

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