Episode 1 covers my absolute #1 favorite restaurant in the Tampa Bay Area.
Also some background on me and the goals of this podcast, which is to introduce you to some Great Things in Tampa Bay you might not know about!
Transcript at the bottom of this page!
- The Ribs
- The Brisket
- Collard Greens
- The Beer
- Skillet Ghiradelli Brownie
Urban Brew and BBQ
LET’S GET PERSONAL
Kyle Sasser, host of Great Things Tampa Bay, was born in Dover near Plant City, Florida. He’s lived in Tampa, Lakeland and Brandon, and now resides in St Petersburg because it’s close to great restaurants and sailing.
Bijou is our 11 week old pomeranian pup. My wife and I also have two cats, some fish, and a strong desire to find great places.
And yes, she does have an instagram.[mp_button icon=”fa-camera-retro” icon_position=”left” link=”http://www.instagram.com/bijoulepom” btn_bg=”hide” text_color=”#1e73be” hover_text_color=”#fcd114″ open_type=”_blank” lightbox_width=”500″ lightbox_height=”500″]
Things You Don't Need To Know Until You Do
Beware the horse with his ears pinned back!
Great Things Tampa Bay is hosted and produced by Kyle Sasser.
There was no paid advertising in this episode. All recommendations are given based on personal experiences.
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Kyle: Hello and welcome to the great things Tampa Bay podcast. The podcast of about eats, great places, and great people in the greater Tampa Bay area. I’m your host Kyle Sasser, a Tampa Bay native, and a Realtor. Make sure you listen close because we’ve got a great spot for you to go to replenish those calories.
Whether you’re getting swallowed at the gym. Or I don’t know, walking around the mall, buying a bunch of clothes or maybe you’re just chasing kids or dogs around. Or maybe you’re sitting at home in front of your computer maybe doing some work and yeah, lunch time’s coming up.
Segment 1: ‘The Good, the Bad and the Sinful.’
So, since this is the first episode I figured that it’s only appropriate to start off with my absolute favorite restaurant in the Tampa Bay area. This is my go-to place, I’ve never had anything bad there. The restaurant is Urban Brew and BBQ. It’s located at 1939, Central Avenue in the central business district in St.Petersburg, Florida. Roughly it’s on Central if you’re coming from downtown St. Petersburg, it’s on Central just before Haslam’s on the right.
So, I know what you’re thinking, there’s a bunch of barbecue restaurants around, you know, what makes this place special? And to answer that I like to call this segment ‘The good, the bad and the sinful.’ So yeah, I’ve been listening to some Marty Robbins, Gunslinger Ballads, so, you know, that’s kind of the inspiration for this week’s review segment.
So, the good is brisket and ribs and beer, oh my. There are quite a few barbecue spots around, Urban BBQ their brisket is absolutely amazing, it’s fork tender, it practically falls apart in your mouth, absolutely delicious.
The sauces that you apply are amazing like each one is perfectly balanced, it’s not too sweet, not too tangy. And they do have a few to choose from so make sure to explore all those options. Brisket is one of those things that, you know, it is challenging to cook but to be honest, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of difference between the good brisket around.
I mean, there is some bad briskets at some of the barbecue joints to be named, but if you can find a good brisket, you know, like there’s some subtle differences and Urban definitely hits all of those notes if you’re a big brisket fan. But it’s not going to change your life or your worldview on brisket. But it is excellent and absolutely recommend it.
So now the ribs, now I have, to be honest I am not a big rib guy. It’s not even a wet or a dry thing, which I’m not going to get into here. Just as a whole, I generally just don’t like ribs. I find that the flavor isn’t there for me and like it’s quite a bit of work to get to the meat. It’s a messy proposition which I’m typically okay with or, you know, doesn’t bother me. But I just don’t feel that the reward is there.
And I know some people love them, and they absolutely won’t get anything else other than ribs, but to me, I usually swing more towards the brisket, pulled pork and sausage if they have that. So, all that disclaimer said, the ribs at Urban BBQ are absolutely mind blowing, and you would be tremendously foolish if you don’t order them.
It was the first dish that I ordered my first time at Urban BBQ, and I looked at my wife, and I said I think these might just be the best ribs I’ve ever had in my entire life. And just the taste of these ribs explains why so many people like rib so much. Like if every rib tasted like these ribs then I would be a rib guy, but sadly that’s usually not the case. So absolutely, absolutely get the ribs.
So the last part of the good, the beer. So, kind of like the ribs, I will drink craft beers, I am not a connoisseur or a beer head or anything like that. It does not get me excited to go try craft beers. I just I don’t know… I like beer, don’t get me wrong but I don’t try to pursue the new whatever, hog head, ale fish, IPA, brewed with pumpkin hops or whatever the new thing is. But Urban BBQ does have a tremendous selection of beers and each one of them pairs very well with the barbecue. And if you ever have any questions, the staff there is more than helpful. They’ve always given me great recommendations. I can’t say enough good things about them.
All right, so I know what you’re thinking, and you’re thinking, “Well, okay, so the meats are awesome and beers’ great,” kind of like pizza, it’s kind of hard to have a bad beer, “what about the sides?” Because the truth is most barbecue places, they will either be great at meat, the smug master, pit boss or in every term himself. It’s usually they’re really good at smoking meat, or he’s really good with sides.
The good news at Urban BBQ is they are excellent at both. I’ve had most of the sides available on the menu there, and they are all crazy good. As many of them, you can try do so but there is one in particular that I do recommend, and that is the collard greens.
So, I know what you’re thinking, and I am from Florida here, I grew up with collard greens, and I understand where you’re coming from. When I was little, I was not so much of a fan to them whenever. I got into my teenage years, they grew me a little bit more, and now I absolutely love them, but they’re definitely an acquired taste. So, I understand that aspect of it, but these collard greens are just like, I don’t know, my dad would say they will ‘swallow your tongue delicious.’ So when you get them, they are like a like a broad leaf collard green. Sometimes when you get them and they’re boiled, they kind of boil down a little bit, they come a little bit more stringy. These are definitely not that, these are big broad leave collard grains and basically you put your fork in the collard greens you pick it up, you know, the juice kind of drips off of it, and you put it in your mouth, and it is an absolutely explosion of smoke flavor in your mouth.
So, the first time that I tried these greens with my wife, the same trip that we had the ribs, I had to ask how exactly these greens were made. And apparently what they do is they start smoking the meats early in the morning so it’s ready for the day’s business, and all of the drippings and fat and everything that drips off of the briskets and all that good stuff that collects at the bottom of the smoker they scrape all of that off and put that in the collard grains and then that’s how they cook the collard grains. So yeah, I mean most people know that you put a ham hock in there but with this, they put the actual like smoked drippings in there, and man is it good.
All right so that’s the good. Moving on to the bad. This bad is not so bad as long as you’re aware of it beforehand it has improved quite a bit here in the last year, six months or something like that. But there was limited seating when they first opened. So it is in the central business district and anyone who’s been down there knows, that the shops are generally small, it’s just the nature of the area. So when they opened, they had the bar area which you could sit at any barbecue at. Few high tops around the outside and then they had an outside seating with picnic tables in the back. They have since added on an additional dining area in the space next door, so seating honestly is no longer a problem.
If you’re thinking about sitting outside, though, they did use to have the sun sail screens suspended over which supplied shade, but the last time that I was there which was the end of February 2017, the sails were down and even though it was February, I mean it’s Florida, we got sunshine so it got a little toasty. I was in jeans, and yeah, I was feeling the heat so to speak, but it was still bearable, but just keep that in mind when you go. But like I said if it is warm and sunny outside and you’re hesitant then they do have plenty of space inside for you to sit.
And now my favorite part, the sinful. At least in my experience, good desserts are pretty hard to find at barbecue places. I mean, yeah I know some places have some, but it’s not really the main focus. The meats and maybe the sides are the focus when you go to a barbecue place, but it wouldn’t be my number one if it didn’t have an amazing dessert.
So, Urban BBQ has on their dessert menu a skillet Ghirardelli brownie and what they do is they take a small cast iron skillet, smaller than personal pan pizza size. Like something that you’d find in the gift shop if Lodge had a gift shop which I don’t know, maybe they do, I’ve never been to their manufacturing plant.
So anyway they take a small personal size cast iron skillet, they make a Ghirardelli chocolate brownie inside of it and then they put vanilla ice cream on top of that. And I know that it sounds very similar to a chocolate lava cake, but it is not a cake, it’s a brownie, so it’s a lot more denser than a cake. The cast iron also, you know, it has a lot of heat retention, so it keeps it keeps the heat, and it keeps the brownie at the right temperature even with the ice cream.
So it is amazingly delicious, you definitely need to set aside a few hours afterwards so you can fall asleep just from the sheer amount of calories and deliciousness you’ve just consumed. But one hundred percent absolutely recommend it. It will change your world view, and if you don’t like chocolate then I feel I’m sorry that your life has come to that point, then you should really reevaluate your life choices.
So, I’m just kidding, of course, they do have other desserts there that are good, but the number one that I can recommend is the skillet Ghirardelli brownie. All right so that was Urban Brew and BBQ, and again they are located at 1939 Central Avenue in St Petersburg, Florida. You can find them. The website is urbanbrewandbbq.com. They’re also on Facebook and a few other social media platforms, can’t recommend them enough and enjoy.
Segment 2: Questions.
So, of course, this is our first episode, I don’t really have any questions from you so I would like to ask for you to send us your questions and you can e-mail us at hello H-E-L-L-O @greatthingstb.com. That’s hello H-E-L-L-O@greatthingstb.com. You can also ask us questions on Facebook. We do have a Facebook discussion group, and that’s a great place to interact with other like-minded individuals like yourself who are looking for great things in Tampa Bay.
And we recently had a discussion on the best breakfast spots in the area and had lots of great recommendations, Trip’s Dinner came up a lot in St. P which is my personal favorite. We also had quite a few recommendations for Three Coins and Kissin’ Cuzzins which the wife and I would love to try solely based on the name alone. We figure that a place that’s named like that has to be good otherwise, it would be out of business promptly, and for the people out in Brandon, they also had a recommendation for Recipe Box in Bloomingdale. I have never eaten there so I can’t say yea or nay but that is what came up. So please join us and us your questions.
Segment 3: Let’s Get Personal.
So this is the first episode of great things Tampa Bay podcast, so I thought I would just give a little introduction about me and myself and maybe introduce one or two of the staff on hand that helps out with the podcast.
So, my name is Kyle Sasser. I’m originally from Dover. If you’ve been down Interstate four and seen the dinosaurs on the side of the road, that’s where I grew up. And I’ve also lived in Lakeland. I lived in Tampa for quite a while, I lived in Brandon, and currently I’m over in Pinellas County, and I live in St Petersburg.
So each one of those places definitely has its pros and cons, but from my current lifestyle, St P is great for it. There’s lots of lots of great restaurants. The waterfront is right there, sailing is close at hand, yeah I love it out there.
I’m not a professional broadcaster, voiceover expert or anything like that obviously. I mean you’ve listened to the podcast so far, and I’m sure you’ve been able to deduce that, but I’m always working to improve and try to make things better. So if you hear something that you think would improve the podcast, please send me a message, an email, find us on social media, please let me know.
So another place that’s featured on this podcast are paid advertising. I don’t think we ever will do that on the podcast. If we do, I will definitely make sure to section that off and make that really apparent. But the places, the restaurants and other stuff that I’m going to be recommending to you. You know, like basically if we were friends and we met up and basically, you know, you would ask me like, “Hey, what’s, what you been up to? Or “do you happen to know a good place where I can do X, Y or Z?” This is exactly… It’s a personal recommendation from me to you. So I don’t have a degree in Tampaology and not an aspiring chef or anything like that, I just love great food and great places and great people, and I want to share that with you.
So, if you do happen to find yourself on our website, we do have a staff page, and you’re welcome to go there and take a look at our staff members. I was going to introduce one to you today. Her name is Bijou, she is our sergeant of arms, she keeps everything in line and on task. She is an 11-week old Pomeranian, chocolate colored, and she is about the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen, and we’re currently in the process of bending to her will.
So in all honesty, though we do love our animals, we have two cats and one dog. So my wife always says she wanted to live on a farm and we are well on our way. My wife and I we were recently married last year, 2016, and we took a honeymoon to Paris and, you know, lots of dreams coming true on that trip and getting married, and I love her to death. She is also on the staff page so please feel free to go there and take a look.
So let me tell you briefly about why I’m doing this podcast. So, mainly there’s three reasons. One, my wife and I we love going out and trying new restaurants, new places, going to local events, charity stuff, social gatherings. We love going to the springs, sailing, boating, you know, we love doing all these things and honestly there is so much, so many things to do around here that I don’t think you should ever be bored. There’s just, so much to do around here, and we’re always looking and searching for that, so that’s one.
The second part is we love it when people ask us for recommendations, because we go to these places and we have opinions on them, yes some we like better than others, of course, that’s just human nature. But we love sharing our experiences with other people and recommending them places and then asking them after they have gone if their experience was the same. And we love it whenever somebody goes to one of our favorite spots, and they come back to us, and they’re like, “You were absolutely right, that was mind blowing and thank you so much for the recommendation.”
And the third part is I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for a while, been kicking ideas around in my head for a year and a half and this all finally kind of jelled together. I know it sounds obvious because you’re listening to it, but there’s a lot of thought that goes into this. So that’s the three main reasons I decided to start doing a podcast.
One, the wife and I, we love going to restaurants and finding new places. Two, we love sharing experiences with people and giving our recommendations to people and then getting feedback on those recommendations. And then three, I feel that podcasting and internet video and media is definitely the way of the future and my thought that this was something that I would be able to bring value to you and help you out and maybe to introduce you to some places or some things that you might not have been aware of, but now that you do you’re like man, I cannot wait to go there and try that.
Segment 4: Things You Don’t Really Need to Know Until You Do.
You can tell a horse is angry when its ears are pinned back against its head, beware of bites.
If you are thinking about moving, buying or selling a home, let’s talk. I would love to help you find your own great place in Tampa Bay. You can give me a call at 727-300-2111, that number is 727-300-2111, or you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s K-Y-L-E @Sam-Apple-Sam-Sam-Edward-Robert-George-Robert-Oscar-Underground-Parachute.com.
And you can join us on social media, the easiest way to do that is to go to our website greatthingstb.com, that’s G-R-E-A-T-T-H-I-N-G-S-T-B.com. There you’ll find show notes for all of our episodes and we also have links to all of our social media, so you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. There’s also a contact form where you can send us emails directly from the website and makes it really, easy to get in touch with us.
If you’re looking to find us directly, we’re on Facebook at facebook.com/greatthingstb.That’s G-R-E-A-T-T-H-I-N-G-S-T-B. And Instagram we’re at Instagram.com/greatthingstb.
We thrive off of your comments, likes, shares, follows, reviews, so please, please, please if you liked to any part of this podcast please share us with your friends and please come and interact with us on social media. We would love to hear from you. We’d like to hear what you liked, what you didn’t like, and you can even ask us what the best waterfront restaurant in Ruskin is. And if you think that is an easy question to answer then simply say it three times fast to yourself.
I would personally like to thank you for listening to this podcast, means a lot to me. We’re going to be tweeting for bi-weekly releases the 14th and the 28th of each month so please subscribe, and I will see you next time.