Posted by: Shannon @ A Dash of Sparkle | March 3, 2013

A Saturday of sampling & the start of Tampa Bay Beer Week

After working last Saturday, I was looking forward to taking it a little bit easier this weekend. Though I was up by 8 a.m., I spent my first couple hours catching up on all my favorite blog feeds and picking out dishes for next week’s meal plan.

I landed on a variety of classic and new recipes for the week…


Week of March 3rd Meal Plan:

  • Monday – Grilled Cheese & Salad
  • Tuesday – Vegetarian Fajitas
  • Wednesday – Dijon Fish & Roasted Veggies
  • Thursday – Veggie Flatbread
  • Friday – Salmon Cakes & Roasted Potatoes

Once I had my meals planned, I wrote out my grocery list just in time for Nick to wake up and wander out to join me and the cat as we cozied up on the couch. It was a tad bit chilly this morning (it was in the mid 50’s when I woke up – which is cool in FL) so we had wrapped up in blankets.

Since I was originally planning to visit a Community Garden in Tampa for some work research in the afternoon, Nick and I made plans to pop over to LA Fitness for a quick workout. Once we got back and ready, however, I realized I missed my contact at the Community Garden (doh!), because I mixed up the times. Boo.

Instead we decided to go explore a bit. I had heard about Cafe Hey around Valentine’s Day, when Tampa Bay Times wrote an article on the Cafe’s creative take on anti-Valentine’s Day cupcakes. I have been dying to check it out ever since.

We drove through downtown, up N Florida Ave, and crossed over to Franklin St just after the Rt 275 junction and there it was! The neighborhoods in that area are a little.. rougher around the edges and the buildings are a bit on the older side, so I actually drove past Cafe Hey the first time due to it’s unassuming exterior.


The inside of the 8-10 table Cafe was cozy and fun though!


Mismatched furniture supplied different sized dining areas and nooks, and colorful local artwork was hung against the exposed brick walls. Each of the eclectic servers were dressed differently and wearing old-fashioned aprons (even the guys).

All the day’s specials were posted on dry erase boards mounted high behind the front counter and upcoming events were taped to the front of the glass case.


As you place your order at the register, a delicious display of homemade baked goods tempts you to take a nibble. The chocolate chip cookies especially were too irresistible so I snapped one up.


One of their daily specials is a tuna salad, so I opted to try the Cranberry Walnut tuna salad in a wrap for my lunch (to go along with my chocolate chip cookie).


The food was incredible and I was really impressed by their selection of vegan and vegetarian options. Plus many of their ingredients were locally sourced and extremely fresh.

Both Nick (who ordered a veggie soup and turkey sandwich) and I are certain we found a new favorite spot in Tampa. I can’t wait to go back and try something else! The cupcakes need to be sampled next…

With full bellies, we took a little drive to where the Community Garden in Seminole Heights is (which I’m visiting next weekend now), then headed to Whole Foods where I picked up a cart-full of groceries.


Nick meanwhile, meandered over to the bar – yes, an actual bar in Whole Foods – so I had to retrieve him before heading out.


Luckily he had picked up a couple of beers for us to sample. The bottles were so creative!

Nick's Beer Pick.48.14 AM

It is officially Tampa Bay Beer Week now, so I was all for sampling. My apricot beer was good, but sweet, even for me. Nick’s choice meanwhile, was like beer flavored liquid molasses. I almost drank all his instead (woops- he he).

We finished off the day with a trip to The Dubliner, which is walking distance from my apartment in Tampa’s SoHo (South Howard) area. They just serve beer, so I opted for the Sea Dog Blueberry…


And there were really blueberries in the bottom! (The bartender added those.) It was so good I had two.

Tampa Bay Beer Week is a pretty serious thing around here, due to the many craft breweries and generally love of a celebration, and there is an event every day through March 10th. It’s pretty much a holiday week packed with beer themed and related events. Breweries even plan take-overs of local bars and setup special food and beer pairing events. So fun!

Our first actual event is Sunday for a special beer and brunch event at Cigar City Brewing.

It should be delicious!


  1. […] at the bar. WOB’s selection is pretty impressive and I spotted the CCB beer, Evander, from Saturday that Nick had gotten and I really liked (it tastes like molasses), so I quickly ordered the bottle […]

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