Welcome to What I Ate Wednesday– the Yelp Restaurant edition.
A group of Yelpers from across the state of Florida all gathered this past weekend in Tampa for the annual Yelp Fall Break. It was a weekend jammed packed with activities for those who have achieved Elite Yelp status during the year.
Friday night we gathered at Busch Gardens Tampa for a little fun, relaxation and some thrill-inducing screaming at Howl-O-Scream (you can read about the Howl-O-Scream event here), the park’s annual Halloween event. We stayed out late running through the Haunted Houses, creeping through the scare zones and trying to fit in the rollers coasters.
Saturday morning we had an event at a new restaurant in the Bayshore neighborhood of Tampa called Roux. The owners are the same as the very popular dining sport known as Datz. Roux has only been open for 6 weeks and specializes in cajun fare.
We sat with some Yelpers from the Tampa Bay area and had a wonderful time swapping Yelping stories as well as enjoying some of the cajun-inspired fare.
There was plenty of meat-based fare. I tried some of it including the Alligator Sausage, Muffuletta sandwiches and Root Beer Fried Chicken.
The Alligator tasted like a spicy pork sausage, the Muffuletta sandwiches were rich in oil and olives, and the Root Beet chicken didn’t taste like root beer but it was pretty tasty in itself.
However, there was also food there for Pescatarians as well. We enjoyed Smoked Mac and Cheese, Blackened Catfish Sandwiches and BBQ Shrimp Po’Boys.
Chad and I both loved the smoked mac and cheese and the blackened catfish. Both were items we would be inclined to order on a future visit. (There is also a Praline Paneed Redfish and a beer-battered soft-shell crab on the regular menu that I would love to try but neither were part of our tasting event.)
For dessert they passed around a spicy meringue cookie confection. We both could have eaten several!
It was a pretty cool event. We’ve been to restaurant tastings here in Orlando so it was a rather nice change to experience a similar event in another city and have the opportunity to meet people outside of our town.
We spent the better part of the afternoon back at the hotel working on the computers (and there may or may not have been a nap involved along with some college football.) By dinner time we ventured up to a popular Tampa hangout called The Taco Bus.
The Taco Bus was a unique spot. While there is a small inside dining area, all the ordering is done outside at a food truck, rather a school bus looking structure. The menu is very Vegetarian friendly. The entire Taco Bus concept started out as a food truck specializing in Vegan cuisine. Though they now serve fish and other meat, they do still offer Vegan cheese.
We enjoyed butternut squash tacos, poblano pepper quesadillas, and spicy guacamole. What a cool and rather popular place.
Sunday morning, our last event of the Yelp Fall Break weekend, we attended a luncheon at the Tampa Museum of Art. We had an area set up outside for us with a buffet of grilled cheese sandwiches, kale salad, pinenut garden salad and mini quiches.
It was the event of the weekend that was a little more intimate so we were able to meet a few of the other Yelpers from other parts of Florida. We had a great conversation with Brett, the community manager in Tampa and Allie, the community manager from Jacksonville.
The views were amazing. We were overlooking the Hillsborough River and the University of Tampa, including this building with these silver onion-shaped minarets (although some friends on my Facebook and Instagram accounts referred to them as looking more like Hershey Kisses!)
It was a great weekend and I was happy to be one of the representatives from Orlando for this Florida Yelp event. And to top it off we were given mini cups of ice cream. My favorite was the Peanut Butter flavor!
This was our last out of town trip for a few weeks. Chad and I are looking forward to a the next few non-eventful weekends. Non-eventful meaning a trip to IKEA as we were currently in the process of sprucing up our house a bit and preparing for my October 5K race next weekend. With all the travelling we did in September and all the conferences and meetings we had I wasn’t able to run a race in September. However, I have two scheduled for October!
Thank you to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the What I Ate Wednesday link up!