The food abides…

Archive for December, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Tampa Food Dude!

Cookies and milk? Ha!

Christmas Eve 2014

In this house we will be leaving Santa some Apple Butter Crescents with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing and an ice-cold Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter. True, I really want a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer and a Krupps Mini-Kegerator, but in no way is this a bribe for the big man in red 😉

May all the flavors of the season enhance your holiday experience! Merry Christmas from the Tampa Food Dude!

And remember… the food abides…


Zuppa di Pesce @ Gratzzi

Caught a show down at Jannus Landing this past weekend and we decided to grab dinner at Gratzzi Italian Grille beforehand. Without a second thought, I went with the Zuppa di Pesce.

Gratzzi - Zuppa di Pesce

Zuppa di Pesce is one of my favorite Italian meals but for some reason it’s difficult to find down here (and that is surprising given how much of a seafood city the Tampa Bay area is) so I was thrilled to see it on the menu. It’s no secret that I’m overly critical of Italian cuisine given my upbringing, but Gratzzi has never disappointed me. Their Zuppa di Pesce is no exception and they knocked it out of the park. This dish was absolutely loaded with seafood and the sauce was nothing short of perfect. I can’t recommend it (or Gratzzi) enough.

A fan of Zuppa di Pesce? Tried Gratzzi? Leave a message in the comments!

And remember… the food abides…

New Beer Friday! – Abita’s Christmas Ale 2014

Abita Christmas Ale 2014

In all the hub-bub of the Fall Beer season (which is my favorite), the holiday beers tend to get drowned out. So for today’s New Beer Friday, I chose Abita’s Christmas Ale. Okay so I cheated and actually tried this one for the first time on Sunday night, but I’m drinking another now and that will have to suffice.

I’ve yet to try an Abita variety that I didn’t like and their holiday offering is no different. Abita is another brewery that, like Goose Island, purposely changes their holiday recipe to give xythophiles a something new every year… just like a Christmas gift as their label informs.

Christmas Ale 2014 pours a dark reddish brown with a small bubbly head that dissipated quickly.  There’s a hoppy aroma with just a little bit of spice.

The first pull is slightly bitter and brings a very heavy pine flavor evenly layered with cocoa. The bitterness mellows quickly and the back end brings some coffee, cinnamon and just a little bit of orange peel.

Maybe it’s the pine and the chocolate, but to me, this just screams “Christmas Beer” and I’m sure that’s exactly what the brewers at Abita intended. This is a great beer for a cold holiday night in front of a roaring fire and a brightly lit Christmas tree. True, there are other sweeter and spicier holiday brews available, but this one can definitely hold it’s own against them and is worth trying.

Tried Abita’s 2014 Christmas Ale? Leave a message in the comments!

And remember… the food abides…