Shaq Diesel’s Guide to Craft Beer!

BT_BeerTastingBottles

Craft Beer: A small, independent and traditional beer brewery.

This is the most technical definition that I can find for craft beer, as even this definition still allows for a ton of variety. Overall though, it’s beer that isn’t made by huge companies like Millers, Coors or Anheuser-Busch.

So here’s the deal: I love to try different craft beers! I mean, there’s nothing better than discovering new tastes and flavors. When I was younger though, I wasn’t a big fan of beer, which you really can’t blame me for. I mean, I grew up in the hood. Everybody was drinking Ol’ E (Olde English to those not in the know), Budweiser and Natural Light. And don’t even get me started on the dawn of 211 (Nobody actually called it Steel Reserve, did they?!).

Have You Visited Thai Temple?

thai temple shaqworld.com thai food black lesbian
This is one of many photos, so make sure to scroll to the end!

Do you like Thai food? Discovering fun gems in Tampa? Or maybe you just wake up on some Sunday mornings and feel like doing something that isn’t church? Whichever scenario fits, Thai Temple is for you.

The short of it is that the people of the Wat Mongkolratanara (Wat Tampa to Thai people, Thai Temple to the rest of us) started a Sunday market, in 1993, to raise money for the temple. Back then, it was only two tables. It has since grown into a large market that sells fresh, prepared Thai style foods, grilled items, fresh vegetables and even plants. There’s also a larger area, complete with picnic tables, trash cans and tables for leftover dishes, where visitors can eat, converse and enjoy the surrounding beauty of the Temple grounds.

The Dude and His Food – Food Truck

dude and his food prime rib sandwich food truck blue cheese shaqworld.com

Yep, yet again, another food truck with a ridiculous name. I think these guys all get together, write a bunch of ridiculous names on slips of paper, throw them in a hat, then take turns choosing and naming their trucks from the slips. Okay, that’s probably not true, but it’s a better explanation than the owner of this truck probably has! Luckily, we’re here to talk about the food, not the marketing on the truck.

dude and his food menu food truck shaqworld.com

Do You Visit Fresh Markets?

FreshMarketSign

I do and I love them! I also go broke at them. Things usually cost about $5, which seems cheap when you’re buying one item, but quickly adds up as you go from booth to booth. Real talk, carry cash (some places accept card, but you never know when they’ll pull the money) and expect to spend $20-80 easy, unless you have better impulse control, which I clearly do not!

Yeah, I’m complaining about the money, but you know what? It’s a fun experience and it feels good to support locals in the community.

FreshMarketSandwich

Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe – Seminole Heights

EllasFriedGreenTomatoes

APPETIZER
Fried Green Tomatoes –
The batter was very thick and crunchy. They came with a sauce. I forget what it was. These were okay, but a little bland to me. My date loved them though. We also had an order of the Rasta-Far fries. I won’t put a picture up though, because I reviewed that appetizer on a previous post.

EllasPorkChop

ENTRÉE
Pork Chop – 16oz Porterhouse Chop, pan seared, & topped with Bacon Apple Jam. Served with Gorgonzola Mashed Potatoes and sautéed Asparagus.

Burger Culture – Food Truck

BurgerCultureDoubleTrouble

I have the “Double Trouble” burger – Chipotle cream, pickled red onion, cheddar cheese, roasted poblano and cilantro on a Brioche bun.

Burger Culture is the shit. I recommend you try them out! I’ve had a few of their burgers and never regretted it.

What I love most about these guys (other than the fact that their burger is actually a hunk of meat) are the unique topping combinations they use. I mean, who’d think to put cream and pickled red onion on a burger? These guys! I was skeptical when I looked at my burger (face it, it looks disgusting), but then I bit into it. All of those random items blended together into a very tasty burger with a small kick of spice. No regrets here baby, I enjoyed it down to the very last drop!

Matoi Sushi on Dale Mabry

MatoiLunchBox2

I have the Spicy Teriyaki Lunch Box – Grilled Chicken with Teriyaki Sauce, Sraicha, Steamed Rice, Steamed Veggies, Tempura Veggie/Shrimp Pieces

I totally recommend Matoi Sushi! They have excellent food! From the lunchboxes and the appetizers, to the sushi and the entrées…I’ve just never gotten a bad thing to eat here.

I really have to give a thumbs up to their lunchbox though. It mostly consists of vegetables, so you really don’t regret finishing it. And there’s no need to fret over the fried portion as you only get a small amount of tempura. I find that I rarely finish the rice on this lunch box, as there are enough veggies to fill me up.

Dochos Hot Off The Press – Food Truck

DochosMenu

I know you’re thinking it…who in the hell named this truck?! It’s just terrible. I’m going to give them a pass though, as their specialty is clearly a fryer and not marketing.

Anyways, I have the Monte Castro Sandwich – Hot Pressed Cuban Sandwich (Ham, Salami, pulled pork, swiss cheese, pickles, special sauce) battered and deep fried in a sweet, spicy batter. For dessert, I have the Fried Oreos. The should probably just call the sandwich “Heart Attack on a Plate” and the Oreos “Coronary Waiting to Happen.”

DochosMonteCastro

Shrimp & Co. – Ybor City

ShrimpCoEntree

I had the Chicken Blues – Bacon rolled chicken breast stuffed with shrimp, topped with a crab white wine sauce, corn cobbettes and mixed vegetables (the veggies arrived later.)

The food was good food, but nothing I’d order again. It was only good because I like chicken, bacon and shrimp, not because the combination, along with the sauce, added anything extra to the mix. Honestly, it just tasted like meat with cheese on top. Looking back though, I should have been aware of this. It reads like a meat lovers special, instead of a culinary one. I also wasn’t impressed with the price. For 18.99, I expected more.

Jimmy Meatballs Food Truck

JimmyMeatballKorean

Korean BBQ Pork Ball – I can’t for the life of me, remember what this was. But it had a sweet sauce, slaw beneath, crunchies on top and it just WORKED! It’s the perfect blend of savory and sweet.

JimmyMeatballSesame

Sesame Ginger Pork Ball- Pork broiled and tossed in homemade sweet soy glaze, topped with cream cheese. You can skip this ball. The cream cheese on top just isn’t right. Overall, the flavor here is TOO sweet. That’s not to say the taste isn’t, good, just that you can do better.

Holy Hog Barbecue on Armenia

HolyHogBrisketSandwich

I have the Beef Brisket sandwich and the Cowboy baked beans. This sandwich does not come with sauce on it, I just forgot to take the picture before drowning my meat in it.

Oh man, I love Holy Hog and I DEFINITELY recommend them! They have two locations. One on Armenia and one in South Tampa on Henderson. I recommend either, though my boss swears the one on Armenia makes the better food.

I’ll tell you right now, neither of them have messed up my brisket. It’s sooo good! I’ve also had the ribs and the brisket quesadilla (good, but cheesy).

GiGi’s Cupcakes – Neptune and South Dale Mabry

GigiCupcakeOreo

I have the Double Stuff cupcake – Dark chocolate cake filled with a marshmallow cream, Oreo buttercream frosting also filled with marshmallow cream, topped with a mini Oreo.

GigiCupcakeOreo2

These cupcakes are very big and the frosting is probably half the weight. The frosting is also incredibly rich and sweet. I didn’t even eat half of it, as it was just too much and took away from the cupcake flavor. Actually, I can’t tell you what the cupcake tasted like. I just tasted the frosting.

Overall, I was not impressed and do not recommend GiGi’s cupcakes.

Shells Casual Seafood – Fowler Avenue

Shells-CrabLegs

This was one of the places Mo took me during my birthday week. I love my bestie!

I had the Dungeness Crab legs, parsley potatoes and steamed broccoli. This was my first time having Dungeness crab legs. I usually have snow crab legs. While they were good, I prefer snow crabs and will stick to them.

I recommend you try Shells if you’re looking for seafood in Temple Terrace. Yes, there are nicer seafood places to visit, but Shells will definitely hit the spot if you’re looking for something quick and more casual.

The Manhattan Dolce Bar and Bistro – South Tampa

ManhattanSteak

I’m split on recommending this place. It’s fun for drinks and listening to terrible, live music with your homegirls, but their food, and it’s high prices, has not impressed me. I don’t mind spending my money, but for what they’re charging, the food should be better.

I had the gorgonzola filet medallions: An 8 oz. filet medallion with a port wine demi, topped with gorgonzola cheese and served with chive & goat cheese mash potatoes and asparagus.

Kona Grill – Near International Plaza

KonaGrillPestoPasta

KonaGrillCupcake

I have the Basil Pesto Linguine. It has chicken, andouille sausage, tomatoes and pesto cream with garlic bread. This is my favorite Kona Grill option. I have to force myself to order something else. I love pesto and I love linguine. Put them together and I’m hooked. For dessert, I have the Red Velvet Cupcake with cream cheese frosting. That cupcake was absolutely delicious! I split it between myself and a coworker and we pretty much just mumbled about how good it was while eating. I ABSOLUTELY recommend both items!

KonaMacadamiaNutChicken

Buffalo Wild Wings – Ybor

BuffaloWildWingsCaribJerk

I have the Caribbean Jerk Wings. Get them crispy, extra wet and enjoy. I can eat these all day! I also have a beer. You must have a beer with wings. It’s a tradition. Or something.

I haven’t always been a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings in the past. I really think it depends on the location. From what I’ve seen each time I’ve went, this one is getting everything right. I definitely recommend the Ybor location for a wing night.

Expect to spend $10-20 bucks, depending on what you purchase.

OF NOTE:

The Jerk Pit – Jamaican Cuisine on Fletcher Avenue

JerkPitt-BBQJerkChicken

I have the BBQ Jerk Chicken with rice & peas and steamed vegetables.

I used to think that beef patties were the only Jamaican food I enjoyed. I’d only ever visited the Jerk Hut in Tampa some years back, and each time it had been disgusting. I tried this place out after my Jamaican friend Fiona recommended it. I’m so glad I went. I LOVE their food! Marvin’s Signature sauce is a slam dunk!

I definitely recommend this place. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how anything tastes but the BBQ Jerk. It’s so good, I never try anything else. Friends I’ve gone with highly recommend everything else though!

Blue Bell Ice Cream is the Devil

BananaPuddingIceCream

I am always grateful that Walmart sells out of Blue Bell Banana Pudding ice cream during the day because at night, when I usually shop there, I am able to avoid buying it. Nevermind the fact that I’m not a big sweet eater, am trying to work on not being a fat ass and am lactose…if this ice cream is available, I buy it and attempt to set the world record for eating it.

So the other day, Reasha takes the car to Walmart and surprises me with some for a birthday present. *blank stare* I grabbed this photo off the web, because I’m just too ashamed to show you how little I have left. *sigh*