A pair of Tampa hot dog eating contests, Vine Vegan coming to Brandon, and more Tampa Bay foodie news

And Hungry Howie's brings its exclusive pickle, bacon and ranch pizza to Tampa Bay.

click to enlarge A pair of Tampa hot dog eating contests, Vine Vegan coming to Brandon, and more Tampa Bay foodie news
Armature Works / Facebook
Coming Soon

Vine Vegan The plant-based lifestyle is quickly spreading to all corners of the greater Tampa Bay area. Vine Vegan—self-described as “Brandon’s only plant-based eatery”— will soon offer an all-day breakfast, lunch, dinner, a kids menu, a weekend brunch (with bottomless mimosas of course,) smoothies, milkshakes, beer and wine. Vine Vegan’s owner Danielle Stevens says her debut restaurant will host various soft openings during September of this year, and hopes to be open to the public by October. Although the full menu isn’t available yet, highlights include plant-based charcuterie boards, a frośe machine, stacked pasta plates, “hangover specials” during weekend brunch, and whole food dishes that range from nutritious and gluten-free to junk food ( think burgers, fries, and other indulgences.) 2080 Badlands Dr., Brandon. vinevegan.com


4th of July hot dog eating contest Fireworks and boat parades aside, the main draw of this holiday celebration is a hot dog eating contest that takes place on the Armature Works’ Riverfront Stage (Tampa's OG hot dog eating throwdown happens the day before in Ybor City). Participants will compete to see how many hot dogs they can scarf down in five minutes. Tickets to participate run $25 each, and slots are first come, first serve. Only 25 people are allowed to compete, so if you think you're the no. 1 glizzy gobbler in Tampa Bay, sign up ASAP. The first place winner will take home a flashy championship belt and a $500 Armature Works gift card, while second and third place will receive a $100 gift card. And if you don't place in the top three, at least you get a complimentary T-shirt and all of the gourmet glizzies you can eat. 1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa. armatureworks.com

Epic Chef Why watch "Chopped" when you can witness some of Tampa Bay's best chefs battle it out over a box of mystery ingredients? Epic Chef is an annual event series that combines the excitement and competition of your favorite Food Network show with the charitable action of raising food insecurity awareness in the Tampa Bay area. Although limited-batch tickets to watch the competitions are already sold-out, all three events will be filmed by the Epicurean Hotel and livestreamed via YouYube. You can also watch the livestream inside of the hotel lobby, while indulging in its exclusive short rib appetizer and various types of wine—as those proceeds will benefit Feeding Tampa Bay as well. 1207 S Howard Ave.,Tampa. feedingtampabay.org
The Vault of Dreams On Saturday-Sunday, July 16-17, The Vault will be filled with “interactive specialty artists” and their unique interpretations of characters from Shakespeare’s iconic play, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." This event, dubbed “The Vault of Dreams,” will combine a fantastical theater experience with dreamy culinary concoctions. Head Chef of CW’s Gin Joint Maria Lola Sierra—who Creative Loafing Tampa Bay recently featured in this year’s food issue—will prepare a spread of floral-infused appetizers and desserts that compliment the event’s signature cocktails.The Vault, which typically hosts weddings and banquets, will be adorned with lush greenery and lavish florals, as a hypnotic night sky will project onto its ceiling.  Advanced reservations run for $75 each and can be found at vaulttampacatering.com. 611 N Franklin St., Tampa.
Brick Street Farms market Every first Saturday of the month, St. Petersburg’s Brick Street Farms hosts their open-air market, stacked with flora and fauna, produce, plant-based goodies and other locally-made items. Brick Street Farms is a sustainable hydroponic farm that grows a variety of organic greens, in addition to hosting different types of markets and events throughout the year. This family-friendly event is free to attend The next rendition of this monthly event will take place on Saturday, August 6. 2233 3rd Ave S, St. Petersburg. brickstreetfarms.com


Bearss Groves Farmer’s Market asks for community support Earlier this week, Bearss Groves took to Facebook to address its customers and community, asking for their help to keep the 30 year-old produce stand open. “We need to make our voices heard! And you can help us do that by sending a letter of support (via email) for our planned development rezoning!” Bearss Groves wrote.. “We are rezoning the property in order to stay open and operate our farm stand.” Ownership states that they need as many people as possible to email [email protected] with the subject line “Support PD 22-0864,” asking the Hillsborough County government to rezone the historic small business. Bearss Groves also encourages its supporters to include in their emails how valuable of a community asset it is. After the popular produce stand is rezoned, it can then deal with the thousands of dollars in built-up fines that it accrued because the county doesn’t recognize it as an agricultural stand. 14316 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Tampa. @bearssgrove on Facebook

Hungry Howie’s Pickle Pizza Here's a reason to be proud to be an American. On Friday, July 1, all 80 Hungry Howie's locations across Tampa Bay will launch a new pickle bacon ranch pizza, available for both pickup and dill-ivery. "The smoky chunks of bacon combine with the tangy ranch and tart pickles to create a highly craveable, one-of-a-kind flavor that is destined to be a summer must-try," a press release says. Other local spots that carry pickle pizzas include South Tampa's Gourmet Pizza Company which has both meat and Beyond burger pizzas and Dunedin's Madison Avenue Pizza which has its own homemade dill sauce. Howie's prices depend on the size of the pie, and while the special is only available for a limited amount of time, a Howie's spokesperson told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that the length of availability will depend on how popular the pizza is with customers. hungryhowies.com

Tampa Bay breweries at "Free the Whales" festival The New Times describes Free the Whales as “Miami’s OG beer fest,” and this year’s rendition features some of Tampa Bay’s most popular breweries. This is the seven-year anniversary of the annual beer festival, which aims to celebrate the Sunshine State’s best and rarest brews.Angry Chair, 7th Sun, Arkane, Barriehaus, Corporate Ladder, King State, Magnanimous, Woven Water, and Sarasota’s Calusa Brewing will be representing the greater Tampa Bay area at this weekend’s Free the Whales event. Over 100 exclusive, limited-batch brews will be available for sipping during the 5 hour-long event—including craft beer from various out of state breweries as well. Tickets for this road-trip worthy event cost anywhere from $50-$100. 2685 NW 105th Ave., Miami. eventbrite.com

About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
Scroll to read more Openings & Closings articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.