SPONSORED: Valentine’s Day Brunch at Keel & Curley Winery – 2/11

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Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Keel & Curley Winery. I have been compensated for this post.

Keel & Curley, Florida’s second largest winery, will celebrate Valentine’s Day early on Sunday, February 11th, 2018 from 11AM-3PM in a formal brunch. Reservations are required.

The Plant City winery, farm, and home to Two Henry’s Brewing Co. will offer a formal brunch atmosphere with live music and choices including Prime Rib, Shrimp Scampi, and Cordon Bleu as entrees. Sides include tossed salad, a roasted vegetable medley, baked potato, and rolls.

Brunch will include one bottle of wine per couple and may be substituted for 4 drink tickets for wine, beer, or cider. Individuals receive 2 drink tickets for wine, beer, or cider.

Tickets are now on-sale and cost $ 85 for couples and $ 45 for individuals.

To purchase tickets visit or call (813) 752-9100.

Keel & Curley Winery is located at 5210 Thonotosassa Road in Plant City located minutes off I-4 Exit 17 next to Dinosaur World. It is open 7 days a week from 11AM-9PM Sunday to Thursday and 10AM-11PM on Fridays and Saturdays.

Carlos Eats

February 8, 2018 |

Sunday Brunch at O Cocina (South Tampa)

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Full disclosure: I was invited to try the brunch menu at O Cocina for a complimentary tasting in exchange for my opinion. These opinions are my own and do not represent O Cocina.

I am normally skeptical of the phrase “Modern or Contemporary Mexican”. It usually means expensive food that pretty much ditches all the things that make Mexican cuisine what it is minus some tortillas or guacamole. I’m happy to report that my experience at O Cocina was the furthest thing from that and truly represented a thorough understanding of Mexican cuisine in a gourmet twist.

I specifically came to try the brunch menu on my visit. What I found is that O Cocina maintains the freshness of Mexican cuisine and doesn’t ditch but embraces the spices or flavors that make it so great as it tries to reinvent it to a more elegant audience than your taqueria or dive food truck.

The meal began with an order of Huevos Rancheros ($ 11). To me the standard will always be represented by dishes such as this one. It sounds like an easy dish, but there is so many complications to it such as the ranchero sauce used, quality of the sides, tortilla, and of course the egg. O Cocina includes chorizo in their brunch dish and masterfully complements it with their version of beans that maintained true to Mexican staples.

The ranchero sauce has a fresh tomato taste as you can see. Nothing spicy here (not a problem for me). The fresh avocados were a plus – but for an even greater experience, I recommend adding sour cream to this dish as a side. The tortilla could be a little crispier for my liking, but I still enjoyed it nevertheless. The egg was also cooked just right (commonly ruined at many restaurants trying to adopt this dish).

I added Carne Asada ($ 7 extra) to my dish simply because I knew I wouldn’t be able to order both and stay hungry to finish.

The thing I found to be great was the seasoning of their Carne Asada, many chefs when creating their Mexican steak on the menu ditch the traditional seasonings that are honestly perfect to begin with and I was happy to find that O Cocina seasons their Carne Asada perfectly.

You can order a bowl of Carne Asada for around $ 11 which is a great price for brunch considering how much brunch seems to cost at some restaurants these days.

One interesting dish I also tried was the Churro Waffles ($ 5 for a side). Clearly playing to a trend happening in the restaurant sphere with churros literally being used for anything, this dish masterfully played both the flavor a waffle and a churro into an excellent breakfast item. I was impressed and would order it again. It was clear the creator of the menu wanted to do more than provide a sugary adventure and this dish was successful at this fusion dish.

For libations, I tried the mimosa which is standard and met my expectations (they are available bottomless by the way).

Although, the real winner to me was the cocktail I tried called Jose Gaspar (pictured above). This cocktail has milk, rum, bourbon, Madagascar vanilla bean, Mexican cinnamon, and nutmeg, It is a powerful and tasty concoction that reminded me of Rumchata but was a thousand times superior.

During my visit I decided to sit at the bar and watched the bartender at O Cocina carefully making cocktails from scratch. They all looked good and I can’t wait to try more in the future.

Speaking of the bar at O Cocina, it is one of the most beautiful bars I have seen in town. It brings up thoughts of Alice in Wonderland or Secret Garden. It is truly underrated how few bars in Tampa actually have a good ambiance so this was a welcome addition to me at O Cocina.

The chips and salsa were also great as was the guacamole, but at $ 10 for a fresh spread of guac – you’ll want to make sure you’re sharing with someone if you choose to order it (the portion was quite generous). I found it went well inside my Huevos Rancheros and with the steak.

I recommend visiting O Cocina if you haven’t had a chance to stop by yet. The operators will also be opening a second location soon at the new Armature Works food hall in Tampa Heights called Cocina Taqueria so look out for that soon.

Restaurant Name: O Cocina

Cuisine: Mexican, American

Neighborhood: South Tampa

Cost: $ $

Address: 4110 Henderson Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629

Phone Number: (813) 289-0649



Carlos Eats

January 31, 2018 |

A Spring-Inspired Easter Brunch

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    (Family Features)  Spring is blooming on your Easter table. From yellow chick cupcakes to blueberry French-toast casseroles, there are plenty of ways to wow your brunch guests with simple seasonal recipes. “Between hiding eggs and preparing baskets, you […]
Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

April 10, 2017 |

Ciccio’s Gasparilla Brunch & Brews – 1/28

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This Saturday, January 28th, is Gasparilla and Ciccio/Water is celebrating with a special event called Ciccio’s Gasparilla Brunch & Brews from 10AM-2PM at 1015 South Howard Avenue. Guests will also enjoy a live DJ set.


The event will feature a $ 35 All-You-Can-Eat-And-Drink Beer & Brunch celebration. Cash only. Tickets can only be purchased at the door. Parking will cost $ 20 with limited spaces available.

Don’t forget your pirate gear!

Use #TurnTampaTeal to score a FREE drink at the party.

Proceeds will benefit The Teal Recovery Project, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that focuses on fundraising, educating, and empowering women battling cervical cancer.

Event name: Ciccio’s Gasparilla Brunch & Brews

Date & Time: Saturday, January 28th, 2017, 10AM-2PM

Address: 1015 South Howard Avenue Tampa, Florida 33606

Cost: $ 35 to attend, $ 20 parking, Cash-only

Facebook RSVP:

Carlos Eats

January 26, 2017 |

METRO PIX: Bern’s Birthday Bubble Brunch and Mural Unveiling

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Bern's Winefest 19_Bubble Brunch and Mural UnveilingMuralist – Tristan Eaton, Bern’s owners – David and Christina Laxer, Epicurean Hotel General Manager – Tom Haines, PR/Event Director – Brooke Palmer Kuhl, Cass Contemporary Art owners– Cassie and Jake Greatens



On Sunday, April 10th at the Epicurean Hotel‘s terrace, Bern’s Steak House unveiled a very special mural on the wine warehouse (opposite side of South Howard Ave., facing the hotel), to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Bern’s, featuring the art of Tristan Eaton. Guests gathered out front of the hotel for the mural unveiling at 10:30am.

Brunch followed the unveiling on the Epicurean Garden Terrace, by Chefs Chad Johnson and Jonathan Atanacio.

The special event was sponsored by Krug, Veuve Clicquot, and Cass Contemporary.

Photography by Pezz Photo;


Event Photos Gallery

click on images to enlarge

All Photography by Pezz Photo;

© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

April 29, 2016 |

Make Your Ham Brunch Shine This Spring

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(Family Features) It’s time to shed those winter layers and enjoy the warmth and brightness of the spring season. And what’s the best way to do this, you might ask? Why not give your spring occasions a taste of their own goodness by hosting a memorable, seasonally inspired brunch celebration.

The Ham Tradition
No spring brunch is complete without a beautiful ham as the centerpiece. But how did this tradition come to be?

Prior to modern refrigeration and all its conveniences, ham was cured during the cold winter months. This made spring the most-opportune time for folks to enjoy this delicious, much-anticipated treat.

Servings Made Simple
No matter what the occasion may be, you can easily transform it into something special with a mouthwatering ham centerpiece. Rule of thumb: plan on about 1/3-1/2 of a pound of ham for each guest. Of course, if you’re planning to enjoy leftovers, you might consider purchasing a slightly larger ham.

Here’s a useful guide to follow, courtesy of The Honey Baked Ham Company:

  • 4 people – 1.8 pounds
  • 8 people – 3.6 pounds
  • 12 people – 5.4 pounds
  • 16 people – 7.2 pounds

Tip: Try serving your ham either family or buffet-style, allowing guests to pick and choose their slices to help reduce the wasting of food.

Table in Bloom
The easiest way to enhance your brunch setting is with a floral touch. Even a single bouquet of your favorite spring flowers (think hyacinths, daffodils or tulips) can add eye-catching flair to an otherwise ordinary tablescape.

Sides in Season
Spring brings with it a host of seasonal veggies just begging to be featured in your brunch spread. Consider preparing something that adds a dash of garden freshness, such as this Asparagus Tart, to the overall feast.

Effortless Entertaining
There’s no need to labor all morning to make your occasion feel special. Places such as HoneyBaked make it easy to serve delicious, quality dishes that also leave you plenty of time to spare. And back by popular demand this spring, they are serving up their ham and cheese quiche featuring slightly sweet crust (at participating locations for a limited time only).

For more ideas on making the best spring brunch yet, visit



Asparagus Tart

Asparagus Tart



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) trimmed asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough
  • 1/2 pound goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sliced sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 3/4 cup diced Honey Baked Ham
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg, yolk only
  • 1/2 teaspoon water


  1. Heat oven to 450°F.
  2. In medium frying pan, saute butter and shallot over medium-high heat for about 1 minute.
  3. Add asparagus to pan and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Set aside pan containing shallots and asparagus. Open puff pastry dough and, on lightly floured parchment, roll dough into rectangular shape, approximately 10-by-16 inches.
  5. Transfer and pat pastry dough onto baking sheet, leaving 1-inch border. Layer with goat cheese.
  6. On top of cheese, sprinkle shallots and asparagus, tomatoes, ham and salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. Brush edge of pastry with egg yolk mixed with water.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and puffy. Let cool slightly and serve.

Serves: 4



Honey Baked Ham




© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

March 29, 2016 |
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