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Al’s Finger Licking Good Soul Food now serving up tasty southern eats

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Most people have heard of Al’s Finger Licking Good BBQ in Ybor City, but a few months ago they opened Al’s Finger Licking Good Soul Food while I was out of town and the buzz has been muted since then. The online footprint of the new spot is not too big and Google seems to confuse the listings, but if you make the trip along 7th Avenue to 23rd Street there is a surprise waiting for you with great food.

Swee Tea from Al's Finger Lickin' Good Soul Food

From fried chicken and baked chicken to pork chops, turkey wings, fried green tomatoes, and boiled peanuts with neckbones, Al’s Soul Food is offering eats you won’t find easily find around Tampa Bay. I was personally happy to enjoy a great sweet tea with my food after spending far too much time out of the south.

Collard Greens from Al's Finger Lickin' Good Soul Food

Mac and Cheese from Al's Finger Lickin' Good Soul Food

Fried Chicken at Al's Finger Lickin' Good SOul Food

I ordered a quarter of fried chicken during my visit (all white for a $ 0.99 upcharge) which came with two sides and cornbread. I went with mac and cheese (+$ 0.99) and collard greens as my sides of choice.

You can also find black-eyed peas, fried okra, green beans and potatoes, potato salad, french fries, white and yellow rice on the menu. Fridays also have an offering of cole slaw and grits. Daily specials are offered on the menu from Wednesday to Sunday and they have lunch specials as well.

Soul food isn’t my specialty since it is so uncommon here, but what I do know is good food and that is exactly what I enjoyed at Al’s Soul Food. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the attention to detail was exact. The collard greens were flavorful and the mac and cheese was unlike a mac and cheese I have enjoyed anywhere else and completely satisfying. Not super cheesy, but just enough.

Corn Bread at Al's Finger Lickin' Good Soul Food

Menu at Al's Finger Lickin' Good Soul Food

The best part was that this all tasted like home-cooking, it wasn’t overly greasy or acid-inducing. The corn bread was absolutely delicious and a perfect started to the meal. I enjoyed every last lick of my fried chicken down to the last piece of fried goodness. I was in a happy place, I looked around at the somewhat empty dining room during my visit and thought to myself how has nobody reviewed this place? There are still two major publications left in town.

Then I remembered I am a writer and I can do that myself. So here’s my thoughts: Get in your car and drive to Al’s Finger Licking Good Soul Food as soon as possible. You won’t regret it. Places like this deserve all our love and cash. Tell a friend. For as much as this town claims to love chicken, here is a spot doing it right.

Al's Finger Lickin' Good Soul Food

Restaurant Name: Al’s Finger Licking Good Soul Food

Neighborhood: Ybor City

Cuisine: Soul Food

Address: 2302 E 7th Ave. Tampa, FL 33605

Phone Number: (813) 405-8920

Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 11:30AM-6PM, Friday/Saturday 11:30AM-8PM, Sunday 12PM-6PM, CLOSED Monday and Tuesday

Carlos Eats

May 20, 2019 |

NEWS: Big Ray’s Fish Camp in Tampa fundraises for Notre Dame repair on Good Friday

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If you were on social media on Monday, you certainly saw the non-stop coverage of the Notre-Dame in Paris that caught on fire. Social media users watched helplessly as the historic building burned. The interior was intact after the fire and the country plans to rebuild.

A restaurant in Tampa wants to help raise funds for the rebuilding of the cathedral.

Big Ray’s Fish Camp in South Tampa plans to have a fundraiser on Good Friday, April 19th, to help donate some money back to the rebuilding of the Notre Dame.

Big Ray’s Fish Camp is located at 6116 Interbay Blvd
Tampa, Florida 33611. You can contact Big Ray’s Fish Camp at (813) 605-3615.

Carlos Eats

April 16, 2019 |

Are the prices at San Francisco’s Jijime too good to be true?

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I was in the Richmond District today and was looking for a bite to eat. A friend recommended Jijime to me. Jijime is a Korean restaurant that can also be described as Asian fusion since they also serve ramen and various Japanese dishes and appetizers.

I was thinking about ordering the Katsudon, a long-time favorite dish for me that I scoped out before my visit, but the waitress informed me quickly after seating that it was not available. The seafood pancake was also not available and clearly whited out on the menu. No matter – I decided I would move instead towards the bulgogi bowl ($ 12.95) and the okonomiyaki fries ($ 6).

Okonomiyaki Fries at Jijime restaurant in San Francisco's Outer Richmond area.

Okonomiyaki fries have become popular nationwide as a starter in Japanese pubs and trendy spots, but usually are underwhelming. That was not the case at Jijime. The fries were actually the best part.

Crispy and perfectly cooked, the texture and cut was similar to a McDonald’s french fry (recently named #1 by LA Times Food) with kewpie and katsu sauce mixed together. Yum. I was in love with these fries and devoured every last bite. The bonito flakes on top was a nice touch. I would order this again for sure, maybe with some other appetizers.

Bulgogi Bowl at Jijime in San Francisco.

Now the bulgogi. The bulgogi at Jijime was the disappointing part of my meal. It took quite some time to come out and when it finally did the actual serving of bulgogi meat seemed small and fluffed up by a huge amount of plain salad and white rice with noodles attached to the beef. The plating of it made it look even worse with large pieces of green lettuce covering most of the bowl (I actually pulled some out for my photo so it would show up in the shot).

The marinade for the bulgogi was sugary sweet and stomach acid reflux inducing. Restaurants that are catering to American sweet tooths will normally do this, but I don’t feel like it has become as common these days and especially not at an independent Korean restaurant. The actual cut of meat was fairly cheap and tasted like every bulgogi I’ve ever had at an All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ restaurant (which I intentionally don’t order to avoid it), except this portion was not unlimited.

Of course – the price for the bulgogi at Jijime is affordable at just $ 12.95 so I can understand that you can’t expect a great cut of meat for that price point, but to be honest I would rather be charged more and have a better cut of meat ($ 16-21 is standard in Florida) and actually like the meat than to pay less and be disappointed.

There were a number of things I wanted to try on the menu at Jijime and the ambiance of the restaurant is very welcoming and perfect for catching up with friends or a date.

Service was satisfactory, although I did find it a little odd that my waitress did not know what samgyeopsal is when I was asking about their pork belly dish and the taste of it. Her inability to explain the dish made me shy away from it.

Jijime also seems to be a nice spot to have a drink so that may be something to explore in the future. For now, I’ll just say that the okonomiyaki fries are excellent and that the bulgogi is completely disappointing and I will not order it again. I’ve had better bulgogi at restaurant chains and corporate concepts which is sad, but true. As the old saying goes: “you get what you pay for”.

Restaurant Name: Jijime

Cuisine: Korean, Japanese, Asian Fusion

Neighborhood: Outer Richmond

Address: 5524 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121

Phone Number: (415) 221-5353

Cost: $ $

Website: http://www.jijime.com

Carlos Eats

March 11, 2019 |

Good Morning America’s Amy Robach Speaks Out

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Amy Robach

The Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s Hospital will host keynote speaker Amy Robach on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club.

 

Robach was named News Anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America in March 2014. Since joining ABC News, she has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news stories. Prior to joining ABC News, Robach worked at NBC News from 2003 to 2012.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and at the urging of her colleague, Robin Roberts, Robach had her first mammogram in Oct 2013, which was broadcast live in front of millions of viewers. Weeks later, she received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy and subsequent treatment, and says the decision to have that on-air mammogram was “the difference between life and death.”

In her new book, Better, Robach chronicles her journey of the 12 months following her breast cancer diagnosis. From her on-air mammogram to her treatment and its impact on her work life, her family and her marriage, Robach takes readers on an emotional journey of resilience, bravery and hope.

Philanthropic Women of St. Joseph’s is a leadership network of community-minded women who change and save lives in the Tampa Bay community by investing annual membership gifts in collaboration with other women leaders. Gifts of Philanthropic Women support health care for women, children and families at St. Joseph’s Hospitals.

 


Individual tickets for the luncheon are $ 100. Seating is limited.
For more information about the event or to register, please contact the St. Joseph’s Hospitals Foundation at 813. 872.0979 or visit SJHFoundation.org.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

January 7, 2016 |

Good Bye 2015, Hello 2016 – Ring in the New Year at Tampa’s Rooftop Eve

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RTE_Photo CreditMatthew Paulson

The top floor of Tampa’s Ft. Brooke Parking Garage will host one of the chicest and hottest places to ring in 2016. The new location, this year,will offer amazing views of the downtown Tampa skyline and fireworks. The theme this year is Midnight in the Garden and while there are lots of details and logistics with creating a pop-up venue, organizer Monica Varner has it covered. “I’m excited to be able to create a unique, one of a kind experience for guests to ring in the new year,” says Varner. The event promises to have stunning visual effects, glamorous décor, a grand champagne bar and much more. The Frequency Band will provide high energy dance music, along with the DJ Papi spinning the current hits.

“The Rooftop Eve was rated in the top 10 things to do in the state of Florida for NYE and with our partnership with The DeBartolo Family Foundation, you can count on not only the place to be, but with the celebrities you would want to ring in the New year with,” says Rooftop Eve, co-founder Stephen Hickey.

The Rooftop Eve is an all-inclusive experience with a top-shelf open bar & unlimited Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne with tickets starting at $ 175/person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.TheRooftopEve.com.

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

December 20, 2015 |
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