Episode 39 - Interview with Joe Malinowski, Tampa Bay is Awesome
We interview local influencer and instagram phenomenon Joe Malinowski, responsible for Tampa Bay Is Awesome! Joe joins me for dinner at Brick and Mortar, and we talk about all things food, the current state of things in Tampa Bay, and what there is to look forward to!
Transcript at the bottom of this page!
Music by Stone Marmot – “Girlfriend Is A Zombie”
Our music is the result of not watching TV for over 30 straight years. That’s right! The person who writes all our songs hasn’t had a working television in his house since January, 1982. Scary, isn’t it! That could explain the somewhat retro, rather experimental feel to the music, which has been described as sounding somewhere between The Beatles, Weezer, The B-52s, and They Might Be Giants.
Our music is an object lesson in how warped and depraved a television-starved mind can get. And that’s not all! To make matters worse, since no self-respecting human would stoop low enough to play this stuff, he suckered four poor, innocent cartoon characters into recording his music.
Cartoon characters have it tough enough as it is, with people laughing at them all the time, without having to be subjected to this! His poor, unfortunate victims, who refer to themselves collectively as Stone Marmot, are:
- Cindy: Guitars
- Sid: Keyboards, guitars, lead and backup vocals
- Sammy: Bass, lead and backup vocals
- Bruce: Percussion, backup vocals
This quartet played their little paper hearts out as the ignoble fiend who created them and their music practically produced and engineered them to death.
Therefore, for the sake of the cartoons, we hope you give their music a good listen and try to appreciate their tireless and selfless efforts. Please! Don’t let this happen to you or someone you love! Be sure you and your loved ones receive a healthy minimum dose of television each and every day.
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.
Also featuring bumper music by Author:Oscar Woods Title:”Dont Sell It Dont Give It Away”.
Kyle: And one last question, besides Brick & Mortar, what’s your other favorite restaurant here in St. Pete?
Jason: Oh, boy.
Kyle: Oh, putting you on the spot.
Jason: Oh, boy. There’s a lot of them. There’s a lot of them.
Kyle: Hey, everybody. Kyle Sasser here with Great Things Tampa Bay. And today we got a little bit of a different sort of episode. Actually, I sat down and had dinner with another local Tampa Bay, well, influencer is kind of the name that we’re all sort of getting these days but, you know, another guy that has a passion for Tampa Bay who loves all the great restaurants and things to do there.
So I reached out to him online, his name is Joe Malinowski and he runs Tampa Bay is Awesome. You might’ve seen his stuff on Instagram and, yeah, a cool dude. So basically, I reached out to him and asked him to pick his favorite restaurant and we would go have dinner there. And I, of course, would bring along a microphone just to capture all the good stuff to do.
We went to Brick & Mortar which is located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida and known for absolutely delicious cuisine so he definitely picked the right spot there. So, without further ado, here’s the interview with Joe Malinowski of Tampa Bay is Awesome.
Hey, everybody, this is Kyle Sasser, Great Things Tampa Bay, and I am here with…
Joe: Joe Malinowski, Tampa Bay is Awesome.
Kyle: Yep, and he is a local blogger, marketer, social media guru extraordinaire.
Joe: Man, oh, man. Yeah, thank you. I guess there’s nothing else to say but thank you.
Kyle: Yep, and we are here at Brick & Mortar just doing a little dining experience and having a chat about Tampa Bay, what each of us like. So what caused you to choose Brick & Mortar here?
Joe: It’s delicious. I’ve come here a handful of times and every time I come it’s just, you know. I was at, I forget, I think it’s ES3 or Entrepreneur Society, and we had an event here, and the chef came out to hang out with us, was describing everything. He put so much thought and care into it, there was stuff that he had that was getting served, like they’ve been preparing for like two weeks.
It’s just incredible when you see people that are that dedicated to their craft, and it’s nice to appreciate our local guys especially with so many new places opening right now. You got to support the ones that like are your staples because there’s going to be a lot of flash in the bands that we have coming out.
Kyle: That’s true. And, relatively, I would say Brick & Mortar is one of the elder statesmen of Central Avenue at this point even though they’ve only been open for a few years.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely. You know, we’ve got a lot of great places, a lot of great places that are also opening but we still got to make sure that we go to those places that we know and love.
Kyle: Yeah, and it’s hard because so my role in the podcast is that I have to eat somewhere twice and have a great experience both times before I will review it. And same thing with it bad. Like for bad experiences, I have to have two or three before I start talking shit about it. Do you have something similar?
Joe: I try to avoid the “I didn’t have that great…” Like if I didn’t have a great experience, I guess I won’t talk about the place because I was at an event once and they served us truffle mac and cheese. Now I don’t like truffle, so… It’s just so weird. Like I will eat it, it’s just not my favorite, and someone else was at the table and there is some blogger who thought they were a big deal, and they were just like, “Oh, this is terrible.”
Kyle: To be unnamed.
Joe: To be unnamed. I don’t even remember who it was but I just remember him saying how terrible it was, and I’m just like, “Why don’t you like it?” They’re like, “Oh, I don’t like truffle.” I was like, “Well, don’t be such an ass about it. You don’t like the flavor that they chose to use. Everyone else that likes truffle seems to love it.” So that’s what I was saying. Well, listen, truffle is not my favorite, I don’t have a personal experience with it, I ate it, it tasted like truffle, the people who like truffle thought it was amazing.
Kyle: Exactly. Like beer, I’m not a big beer drinker so I did go to Cycle Brewing on occasion which is across the way here, just because I like the place and the beer is okay. I couldn’t tell you anything about the beer but I do get asked a lot about breweries, I don’t know a shit about beer. I don’t really like bee,, so that’s not my wheelhouse so I’m not even going to comment on beer. Liquor though I will tell you some good liquors.
Joe: Oh, yeah. I love…we have so many new distilleries that are even opening, both on here and even in Ybor they have two new distilleries, or one new distillery over there, or rum distillery that’s dynamite. You got American Victory over here, and then the existing ones that we had. You know, Kozuba does a spectacular job, St. Pete Distillery, love Banyan Vodka.
Kyle: Which, again, they’ve only been open for a few years but they’re kind of an elder statesman at this point.
Kyle: Because they’re in all the publics and all the good stuff. PS, their bourbon is delicious.
Joe: Whose bourbon?
Kyle: St. Pete Distillery’s.
Joe: Oh, yeah. Big shout out to them. I mean, they’re big supporters of us. We love them regardless because they just put out such a great product and they are getting so engaged in the community. You have a bar or something that you want to get in an event, St. Pete Distillery.
Kyle: So I have actually been trying to get a hold of somebody there for like three weeks.
Joe: Tell me who and I’ll get you there, I’ll get you in front of them.
Kyle: Just somebody that’ll talk to me.
Joe: I can get you anybody there. I will get you some cool people that will get you some good exposure for stuff.
Kyle: So you actually brought a book here.
Joe: I did bring you a book.
Kyle: And actually I have to say, so in this digital age, an actual physical product is both unique and interesting as the hostess or waitress stares over here.
Joe: [inaudible 00:05:49]
Kyle: There you go, now she’s looking down the street. All right. So, yes, you brought a book, a physical product. It’s called “Tampa Bay: Do It, Live It, Love It.” Tell us about it, tell us the inspiration for it.
Joe: A buddy of mine had been doing these types of books all over the world for the last 15 years. We put out a book in early 2017 called “Best of Tampa Bay” and it’s about 340 pages, it was business, it was lifestyle, it was trying to cram a ton of stuff into one book for both sides of the Bay even into Pasco and Sarasota. So what we ended up doing a year later, knowing that we really wanted something that showcases both sides of the Bay unified.
You know, no one…people are like, “Rah, rah, rah, St. Pete. Rah, rah, rah Tampa. Rah, rah, rah, Clearwater.” Like no one has ever done anything that’s like, “Listen, we are one huge, awesome community.” Some ridiculous number of people, 10 or 15 million people a year come here to hang out.
Kyle: So I actually looked this up, we are larger…the Tampa Bay metro area is actually larger than Denver.
Joe: Wow. And not just our population, I mean, look at our number of visitors. And the thing that I see with all of our Facebook pages, I mean, St. Pete is awesome, Florida Beach, south Tampa, downtown, all of them, is you had a lot of people that live here, are natives here, and don’t venture out of like their little three or five-mile bubble and were all so excited to go travel the world and travel all these cool places and, you know, they haven’t been to Gulfport. You know, Gulfport is flipping awesome.
Kyle: Safety Harbor.
Joe: Safety Harbor, Dunedin, like these little small communities, like if you went to, you’d be like, “Holy shit, I didn’t realize…like, wow.” You can spend a whole day here, drink, eat, have a blast. I mean, not to down the pricing of it, but it’s super cheap. Like go to Gulfport no one’s charging you more than like $4, $3 for a beer.
Kyle: So Gulfport, we like Pia’s, my wife and I.
Joe: Oh, no, great. I am not…
Kyle: Safety Harbor, have you had the pizza from the one guy there?
Joe: I haven’t.
Kyle: So his pizza is amazing, but it is true what everybody says, “Do not try to substitute or change what he’s doing.”
Joe: Oh, I want to do it. I want to go there and like video the experience.
Kyle: Not that he will tell you to go fuck yourself, but…
Joe: He’s the Nazi of Safety Harbor?
Kyle: Yeah, let’s just say they’re not open to substitutions.
Joe: I love it. I want to go to a place like that. We went to the Soup Nazi place in New York once, and we were so hungry when we got there, like no one had the balls to be like a weirdo. We were just like, “I just want to eat.” So I always wondered if he would’ve, “No soup for you.” It would’ve been awesome.
Kyle: Maybe. Maybe. All right. So the food at Brick & Mortar here has just arrived. Joe, what did you get?
Joe: I got the special which…oh, are we?
Kyle: Yeah, you’re the Doppelganger, you’re the Jason Doppelganger, I’m sorry. It’s like three times you looked at him, I’m like, “Oh, no, I’m sorry.”
Joe: So, Jason tells us this is the most amazing snapper with a bunch of…I can’t even do it justice. I mean, there’s quinoa, there’s green tomatoes.
Kyle: So looking at it, it’s got a base of quinoa. What is that? Is that a yam or something? I don’t know.
Joe: I don’t think it’s yam.
Kyle: So a beautiful base of quinoa, salmon, right?
Kyle: Snapper encrusted with something that looks delicious and then…
Joe: Jason is here.
Kyle: Wait, wait, wait. All right. Give us the description here.
Jason: All right, so that is our snapper feature this evening. You have five-ounce pan-seared fillet of the snapper local caught with a Marcona almond and beet green puree, smoked green tomato and a quenelle of an ancho chili roux on top. And we finished it out with a…yes, a little bit of lemon [inaudible 00:09:40] on top and that’s going to give that little kind of citrus floral flair on top.
Kyle: All right. What am I looking at on my plate here?
Jason: So yours is our scallop feature tonight. So it’s going to be four pan-seared U10 scallops over our house-made green curry with a jalapeno and cilantro vinaigrette. We have some sliced heirloom tomato, pan-roasted beech mushrooms and we finish it out with a cilantro oil on top.
Kyle: You should really like narrate stuff on Food Network. Like you’re very good at…
Jason: Thanks so much, guys. And wine and beer is all set at the moment too?
Kyle: I think we’re good. After those lovely descriptions, dig in, okay? All right. Thanks, Jason. All right, let’s see how this stuff tastes.
Joe: Oh, yeah.
Kyle: Jason is going in.
Joe: Joe is going in. Jason has left.
Kyle: Right. Joe has gone in.
Joe: Man, I got to try what this little green stuff is. I mean, everything has such a nice unique flavor to it and that’s what’s tough to find in a lot of places. Everyone is kind of doing the same thing and the chef here is just always out of the box. He’s amazing.
Kyle: I like it. I like it. And look at my scallops here. I would say those are half dollar size, like these things are huge.
Joe: I would even say it’s bigger than a half dollar.
Kyle: And I’m not a tremendous connoisseur of scallops but I thought this one sounded interestingly enough…interesting enough to try. But, yeah, it’s pretty good. The thing I’ve been noticing like the last few places I’ve eaten at that I have liked hasn’t been that they’re doing like something that blows your mind. It’s the fact that the flavor is in the sauces and on the entrée and all that stuff are very balanced so you can like see everything that’s in there.
Joe: I mean, there’s stuff on here that you’re like not thinking of at home. I hate going to…I don’t hate, I just love eating food everywhere but it’s always interesting when you go to a place and you’re kind of like at the end of the meal like, “I could make that. I could figure it out if I really wanted to.” But you come to this, I don’t even know what to pair like this…I don’t know what he called it. He didn’t call it chorizo, I feel like there’s a little bit of that flavor in it.
Kyle: [inaudible 00:12:06] wasn’t it?
Joe: There was something. But it’s amazing.
Kyle: It’s unknown but it’s delicious.
Joe: It was the funny…I don’t even remember the word he used.
Kyle: We’ll have to roll that back and give it a listen. All right, so the food is delicious. We’re going to enjoy and come to you. Oops, sorry, that was not recording actually. Shit, that happens to me all the time. All right. So I am here with…introduce yourself.
Jason: I am the chef and owner of Brick & Mortar.
Kyle: And your name is?
Kyle: Jason. Also the name of our waiter.
Kyle: Which he does a very good job with descriptions and telling us about the food and that good stuff.
Jason: He’s really good with that stuff. He’s one of our best.
Kyle: So you’re kind of the elder statesman of Central Avenue now, three years established, to be honest, at least to me.
Jason: I feel like I’m definitely part of it growing so, yeah, I’d like to say that.
Kyle: Two questions. One, what’s your favorite part about being a business here on Central Avenue in St. Pete? And, two, where do you see things going in the next five years?
Jason: Oh, wow. I mean, I got in here right at the right time, I mean, when St. Pete was just growing by leaps and bounds. I mean, like every week something is happening. But I would like to feel comfortable saying that we were part of bringing St. Pete up the way it is and bringing the food scene up. There was already some awesome people here but it’s definitely nice to be a part of that. And in five years we’re going to see…I think St. Pete is going to be one of the most competitive little big cities in the country. It’s already on its way so…
Kyle: Well, we’re not so little anymore. Actually, I looked it up, so I’m not just saying Pete but the Tampa Bay metro area, we’re actually larger than Denver now.
Jason: Oh, wow.
Kyle: That’s amazing.
Jason: That’s cool.
Kyle: And there’s even more people moving here because we don’t have snow unlike Denver.
Jason: Yeah, it’s funny because there’s probably about one out of every ten tables that I talk to is somebody that lives here now that came for a vacation last year or last winter, whatever, and decided, “Oh, my God, St. Pete is amazing.” And they ended up deciding to move here or get a vacation house here. I mean, literally every week, all week long, no matter what time of year it is, there’s always a handful of people that have done that.
Kyle: Well, Jason, I do want to ask one last question. How do you come up with this delicious stuff?
Jason: Oh, man, it’s just whatever is fresh and kind of go with the seasons, and I just kind of…like I literally call my vendors up, “Hey, what kind of fish do we have in? What kind of produce do we have in?” And just play off of that. And I’ll collaborate with…we have a really awesome staff as well in the kitchen so I’m very lucky to have that.
Kyle: And one last question, besides Brick & Mortar, what’s your other favorite restaurant here in St. Pete?
Jason: Oh, boy.
Kyle: Oh, put you on the spot.
Jason: Oh, boy, there’s a lot of them. There’s a lot of them, but I would definitely have to go with IL Ritorno, Sola Bistro is on the beach but still definitely check it out.
Kyle: You know, actually, I haven’t been to IL Ritorno since they did the remodel.
Jason: Yeah, it’s amazing. Yeah, it’s just as good if not better. But just a really badass buildout that they did and they have liquor now which is awesome.
Kyle: Sweet. All right, well, Jason, thank you so much.
Jason: Yeah, yeah, thank you.
Kyle: All right. So I asked to see the dessert menu and Jason said, “Why don’t I just tell you about it?” So here we go.
Jason: So we got three desserts all house-made. The first one is the lightest out of the three, it’s a lavender panna cotta. We also infused it with a little bit of basil. Then you have on the other side, prosciutto Marcona almonds, blue cheese and a little drizzle of Brick Street Farms local honey. So you got a little bit of salty sweet in that dish.
The next one is our chocolate espresso cake. So it’s two layers of deep chocolate cake, and then you have the cocoa crème cheese frosting in the center, a chocolate espresso ganache shell and our house-made whip cream to finish that out. And, lastly, our empress of our desserts is the glazed donut bread pudding. All solid glazed donuts, tres leche sauce, toasted coconut and house whip cream on top to finish that out.
Kyle: Well, I got to tell you, the donut thing sounds a little over the top.
Jason: It’s our popular, most popular dessert and it’s decadent and amazing.
Kyle: What are you thinking, Joe?
Joe: I say of course. Definitely, you want to split one or you want to eat…?
Kyle: Give me the brief overview again.
Jason: So solid glazed donut bread pudding, tres leche sauce, toasted coconut, and house made whip cream on top.
Kyle: Wait, wait, give me all of the desserts again.
Joe: No, all of them.
Jason: Am I getting quizzed here?
Kyle: Well, no, no. I don’t need the details, just the quick overview.
Jason: So then our chocolate espresso cake and then the lavender panna cotta as well.
Joe: Anyone will do.
Kyle: You want to get the lavender.
Joe: I’m down. It sounds amazing.
Kyle: How’s the lavender? Is the lavender good?
Jason: Like I said, it’s not going to be as big of a dessert [inaudible 00:17:16] as the other two, but it’s definitely got a nice subtle flavor, it’s very delicate and then you also have the prosciutto and everything with it too, yeah.
Kyle: I like basil in desserts for some reason, and also I usually order chocolates. So I’m trying to break out of my mold a little bit.
Jason: I’d say you can go with either of them.
Kyle: And donuts do not sound tremendously healthy, donut bread pudding.
Jason: Every once in a while it’s okay in my book.
Kyle: All right, so we’re going to do the lavender thing.
Joe: The lavender one. That was the one I was most curious about. It sounded very interesting and I, too, am a basil fan.
Kyle: I like basil sweets for some reason because it’s very unanticipated, you know.
Jason: Yeah, and like I said it’s a very small undertone of that dessert but it’s just enough to get the essence of its flavor.
Kyle: It’s that little bit of herbal…
Jason: Yeah, there’s a little smoothness there.
Kyle: I like it.
Jason: I’ll be right back with two forks and some water. Would either of you would like a refresher, a wine, a beer?
Joe: Water is good.
Jason: Just the water, okay. Be right back.
Kyle: Thanks, Jason. Hang on a second. So this dessert just showed up. Wait, is that gorgonzola? No, blue cheese, sorry.
Jason: Yeah, and then you have our lovely liquid gold honey from Brick Street Farms drizzled on top and the prosciutto and Marcona almonds. It’s very beautiful.
Kyle: Besides Brick & Mortar, which you’re an exquisite waiter at, or do you refer to yourself as a waiter?
Kyle: Server. Okay. Besides Brick & Mortar, what is your other favorite place in St. Petersburg to eat at?
Jason: Well, every once in a while, some smoked fish from Ted Peters is really amazing.
Kyle: Oh, shit. Are you old…are you like a native or…?
Jason: No, I’m from Vermont but we discovered that place and we live in Gulfport so it’s really nice to go every once in a while. But just we kind of hop around here and there, around town, you know, half off bottles of wine on Sunday, and that is really fun but…
Kyle: They’re still doing that?
Kyle: Do they still do the half-priced appetizers on Tuesdays?
Jason: I work on Tuesdays so I never get to go there to find out.
Kyle: Well, I could tell you it’s delicious if they still do it. But the half-priced bottles of wine are also awesome.
Jason: Yeah, especially if you’re willing to learn about wine, you haven’t tried something for the first time, and you can get it half off, it’s pretty good there.
Kyle: Which most people don’t know, same owners as Mazzaro’s Italian Market.
Jason: Yeah, I love Mazzaro’s to death.
Kyle: Who doesn’t?
Jason: It’s very magical.
Kyle: All right, Jason, well, thank you so much for delivering this blue cheese, not gorgonzola, I’m sorry.
Joe: I didn’t even remember what we ordered, but it looks amazing.
Kyle: So I am not obviously a food professional by any stretch of the imagination, although this shit looks legit.
Joe: Yeah, what is this? It looks like cheesecake. So it’s not cheesecake.
Kyle: I’ll let you go first.
Joe: All right. I’ll get a little…
Kyle: So it’s basically like a flan cheesecake looking thing with like prosciutto and blue cheese.
Joe: Blue cheese, so I’ll get a little blue cheese on it.
Kyle: And some honey.
Joe: One of these nuts, this is not your traditional dessert of any sort here. All right, here we go, here we go. Leading up to it, big buildup. Wow, that is delicious.
Kyle: If it sucks tell us.
Joe: No, no, it’s different. It’s got like little floral notes to it, the prosciutto and everything balances it all out. It’s got a I’d say almost a cheesecakey consistency, but the honey, it’s awesome.
Kyle: All right. Let me dive in here. Oh, this is weird. It’s almost like a gelatin, almost.
Joe: But it doesn’t…it’s not a gelatin. It almost has cheesecakey consistency to it.
Kyle: So obviously the prosciutto is the trouble.
Joe: It’s the troublemaker.
Kyle: It’s the trouble spot.
Joe: It’s amazing too. Wherever they said the honey came from is awesome. Golden Farm whatever the hell, I mean, honey. You can tell that we’re very critical food critics because we remember all of the descriptions.
Kyle: Yeah, very classically trained. Wow, so, man, very unique.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely.
Kyle: I’m glad I ordered this besides the chocolate, like chocolate I can anticipate what I’m going to get.
Joe: Yeah, it’s going to be delicious, it’s chocolate.
Kyle: Yeah, exactly. This is like…think of like prosciutto syrup with a little bit of cheesecake on it. So this is absolutely delicious. Obviously our description is not doing it justice.
Joe: Don’t even try it. Just eat it.
Joe: This is what happens in a podcast because I’m like…
Kyle: Yeah, so the professional podcaster just did about…
Joe: It’s amazing conversation you all just missed.
Kyle: Yeah, so I can’t ask the same questions because you already know.
Joe: Yeah, I did get the two out of the three right.
Kyle: Yes, so…
Joe: Not in the cup?
Kyle: So just to back up a little bit, we’ll run through. So World Cup is starting up here in less than a month.
Joe: That it is.
Kyle: And all right, so going through the questions. Is the United States qualified in the World Cup?
Joe: I guess no and they’re not.
Kyle: That’s correct. They were actually…they could’ve qualified up until the last game and they lost against Trinidad & Tobago of all people. And I actually know some folks from Trinidad so no offense to you but there’s no reason why the United States should’ve lost to Trinidad.
Joe: I’ve been to Trinidad.
Kyle: Well, there you go, give her some heads up. Second question, did Italy qualify?
Joe: I said no because I did hear that through the grapevine.
Kyle: And, no, Italy, longstanding football powerhouse did not qualify. Third question…
Joe: Ready to go, right?
Kyle: Yeah, they won just a couple cycles ago. Yeah, last cycle was Germany. So Netherlands did they qualify?
Joe: I guessed yes and they did not.
Kyle: That’s right. And I went into this very long diatribe about their color being orange and, yeah.
Joe: Their name and where orange has come from. Like it was fascinating.
Kyle: Yeah, and it was a really great explanation which I’m not going to go into again. I will leave it as a mystery for a day in the future.
Joe: Neat. I learned about oranges today, I learned about what 86 means, we all are better for that.
Kyle: Yep, so 86, that was actually something before we started recording, it’s apparently in…basically an in the industry knowledge if you work in the restaurant business, give us a brief explanation.
Joe: That means we don’t have it, that’s as bland as it comes. We don’t have it. I don’t know where it came from. You can look it up. If you look it up let us know because I think it’s stupid.
Kyle: So if somebody says 86 lobsters.
Joe: They do not have 86 lobsters.
Kyle: So for some reason instead of saying, “We don’t have lobsters,” you say, “86 lobsters.”
Joe: Apparently, yeah.
Kyle: And it sounds like this must’ve come from like sailing ships because they’re the only thing I know that has such stupid fucking jargon.
Joe: That would be interesting.
Kyle: I’m sure it’s got to go back to some colonial horseshit.
Joe: You guys got to come try whatever the hell is this lavender panna cotta with prosciutto and blue cheese and delicious honey, I forgot what kind of nuts these are but, damn, it’s delicious.
Kyle: Yeah, actually we were not recording for so long that we might’ve skipped over the whole dessert portion there. This dessert is best described as unique and I would say a little bit savory, it’s a savory sweet…
Kyle: So it’s a combination of prosciutto, an almost flan consistency lavender cheesecake sort of thing and some delicious honey.
Joe: I’d say it’s a flanny cheesecake.
Kyle: And blue cheese.
Joe: And it’s all amazing. You got to get it.
Kyle: And we’re sitting next to some folks here who are currently checking their phones, yeah, and they were laughing at us not recording for the last five minutes. What’s your names?
Sara: Sara Beth.
Kyle: All right, Ritchie and Sara.
Joe: You’re famous.
Ritchie: All right.
Kyle: What are you all looking forward to ordering here at Brick & Mortar?
Ritchie: Well, we’ve got the curry and spice rubbed smoked pulled pork poutine coming.
Kyle: All right. Good choice. Good choice.
Ritchie: That’s all we’ve picked so far.
Kyle: Still deciding on the rest?
Joe: We had the scallops and I had the snapper special of the day. This is…you got to get this though. This is…
Sara: What is it?
Joe: And if you listen to our amazing description we just gave you, you would know that, like this is a lavender panna cotta with prosciutto and honey. It’s amazing.
Kyle: Yeah, so Jason, our server, definitely the king of descriptions, he will give you the whole rundown. But it is very unique. Like some chocolate stuff, you kind of know what you’re getting, but this is very unique to this place.
Joe: [inaudible 00:26:13] telling them all about this deliciousness here.
Jason: You didn’t have my finesse though.
Kyle: That’s true.
Joe: He didn’t have the finesse at all.
Kyle: All right. So we’re here at Mandarin Hide. Bar keep, what’s your name?
Neil: Neil. But I’m good.
Kyle: Neil, all right. So you don’t want to be on the podcast. Tell us a little about this place.
Joe: They just have crafty cocktails and I happen to have a pretty substantial gift card so I come here and drink and [inaudible 00:26:38] out.
Kyle: All right. Well, there you go. Is this related to the book that you did?
Joe: Yeah, we did a little barter deal so we’re chipping out a little bit of each…I have no one to come down here with so.
Kyle: Well, here we are. Here we are.
Jason: All right, this is Joe. Joe, we’re out of Mandarin Hide there.
Joe: Yes, sir. Headed out.
Kyle: How good was it?
Joe: It was very good. I’m more of just a plain old whiskey or scotch guy. I don’t need all of the fancy additives. So whatever I got the first one, Rob Roy was very nice so I enjoyed it. Then I just went with the Glenlivet, you know, be simple.
Kyle: So, neat or on the rocks or…?
Joe: I went neat. I usually on rocks kind of guy but, you know, switched it up.
Kyle: So do you do or do not like old fashions at all?
Joe: I sometimes like them. You know, people are always like this place has a really great old fashion and I’ll try it and sometimes I really love them and sometimes I don’t. So I usually steer…I don’t typically go for it unless I take a sip from someone else’s and like, yeah, I’ll do that.
Kyle: Well, I got to tell you, the old fashioned of Mandarin Hide had pretty good, not the best I’ve ever had but pretty good. It’s a little more on the spicier side.
Joe: I don’t mind spiciness. I think sometimes I don’t know if it’s the bitters or…they don’t put vermouth in old fashioned. Vermouth is in Manhattan, right? I forgot.
Kyle: No, it’s like the…you know, yeah, yeah. Yeah, some people go a little too hard on the sugars, but it’s a good place.
So that pretty much wraps up the night with Joe Malinowski of Tampa Bay is Awesome. And much thanks to him. I had a great time tonight, great conversations with a bunch of people around, and completely sorry that I keep forgetting to hit the record button. I promise that this recorder is much more complicated than it looks. It takes about three button presses to get to record. My apologies. Anyway, great conversations with Joe and Jason our server, and also at Mandarin Hide even though he didn’t want to be featured on the podcast you did great work and I appreciate it.
So check it out. Tampa Bay is Awesome. We got a link in the show notes here. You can check them out and Brick & Mortar, also a great place to go. I’m going to try to put together an interview with Jason the chef which you heard in this episode. And Mandarin Hide, also a great place to go over here in St. Petersburg for some drinks, some cocktails, some mixed beverages. So, anyway, thanks again, Joe, and it was an absolute pleasure.
I’d like to thank you for tuning in today to Great Things Tampa Bay. My name is Kyle Sasser and I am a 39-year Florida native, lived in the Tampa Bay region my entire life, and also a realtor so if you’d like to find your own great place in Tampa Bay, I’d love to help you out with that and we can do that in Clearwater, we can do that in Sarasota. Brandon, if you want to do Brandon, I can do Brandon. I’ve lived there, they got some nice stuff.
Great Things Tampa Bay, we’re also doing some events out and about. We’re doing dining experiences with groups where you can come out meet and greet with some other folks and other fans of the show, some personal friends of mine and you can see my bright and shining face. I’d love to meet you. Come on out.
And you can find out about those events at the website greatthingstb.com or at our mobile app. Just go to the mobile store of your choice and type in Great Things Tampa Bay in the App Store and we should show up there. If we don’t, please send me an email. Today, we got something, a little quirky, a little fun playing us out. This is a local band. Well, actually all of these are local bands, but this is Stone Marmot and the name of the track is “My Girlfriend is a Zombie.”