Tijuana Flats Tasting Event

Mexican food is one of my favorite foods. I swear I always say that I could live on rice and beans and be perfectly happy.

And while I love hitting up a neighborhood Mexican restaurant sometimes you need something a bit faster and a bit more casual. Enter Tijuana Flats. 


I was first introduced to Tijuana Flats when I came down here to Florida for college. One of my best friends loved their flautas and Tijuana Flats was our go-to place to get our Mexican fix. Their affordable prices also agreed with our college student budgets :)

Today, Tijuana Flats is still a regular place for me to dine. It’s a favorite for me and my mom for a quick and tasty dinner. There are many fast casual mexican restaurants out there, but Tijuana Flats holds the standard high. Their food is consistently good and ALWAYS tastes fresh. Nothing is overly fried or doused in salty sauce. They use fresh veggies and their meat is hormone free. And they use NO microwaves, freezers or canned foods…everything is made fresh to order. 

Tijuana Flats is also just a FUN place. Each restaurant is plastered with funny bumper stickers and cheeky phrases painted on the walls. And the staff is always extremely friendly. They greet you with big smiles and a nice, big “hello!” They check on you while you’re eating and say goodbye when you leave.

When the Tampa Bay Bloggers got asked to attend a tasting at the Tijuana Flats at South Tampa I jumped at the chance. Even though I go there all the time this was a great opportunity for me to try new dishes that I normally don’t get.

First things first…drink me! 


Tijuana Flats has great sangria, as well as a great variety of beer and wine.

Chips, queso, salsa and guacamole were immediately brought to our table. I LOVE their guac…so fresh!


As we snacked on our chips and dips the restaurant manager and owner talked with us for a few minutes and told us more about how Tijuana Flats came to be. Did you know it was started by a college kid in Winter Park, FL? Yup! Brian Wheeler opened the first Tijuana Flats in 1995 thanks to a loan from his father. He also created a line of delicious hot sauces, which you can find at the Hot Bar in each Tijuana Flats. Over the next few years Tijuana Flats grew and grew and now there are 100 restaurants in 6 states! 

Tijuana Flats is much more than tacos and burritos, however. They are very big into giving back to their local community. They even have a foundation called Just in Queso, which has given $2,100,000 to date! The foundation helps individuals, organizations and communities in need. Tragedies are never planned and it’s the foundation’s hope to be there to help when tragedy strikes. 


Tijuana Flats also loves to support veterans!


This is all another reason why I love supporting Tijuana Flats…they’re not just about good, fresh food. They are involved in supporting their communities and being a part of something bigger. 

Now, back to the food!

First up were their chicken and beef flautas.

I haven’t had these since my college days, but they were SO good. Not heavily fried and they were bursting with yummy meat and cheese.


Next up was their Bangin’ Chicken Burrito, which was amazing. Their bangin’ chicken is fried chicken covered in their hot sauce. The burrito also has ranch in it so it basically tastes like an awesome game day burrito.


Next were their tostadas, which I had never tried before. Lightly fried tortillas topped with meat, cheese, refried beans and salsa. This version had the bangin’ chicken on them and they were very tasty.



Chicken tacos were next! Their soft tortilla tacos are a regular order for me. Simply done with meat, beans, cheese, tomato, lettuce and sour cream. The tacos are the best dish to try different hot sauces on!



And for dessert we got to try their cookie dough flautas. If I wasn’t so full already I would have housed close to the whole plate. So decadent and so good. Psst…we were told that if you happen to take home leftovers they are also excellent frozen!



Looking to try out Tijuana Flats? Make sure to check them out on Tijuana Tuesdaze or Throwback Thursdaze!


Have you ever been to Tijuana Flats? What’s your favorite meal there?

Disclaimer: I attended this event along with the Tampa Bay Bloggers. We were given complimentary meals in exchange for a blog post. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Summer of Rum Festival Recap

When you think of summer a lot of words and images come to mind…warm weather, sunshine, the beach, vacation, BBQs, and of course, island drinks! Refreshing island drinks that include punch, mojitos, rum runners…you name it! 

This past Saturday the Summer of Rum Festival in Tampa couldn’t have come at a better time. Although it always seems like summer here in Florida, there is always a hint that summer is nearing it’s end come late August. And what better way of celebrating the end of summer than with a festival celebrating the center of all of our favorite island drinks?

The Summer of Rum Festival went from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Cuban Club in Ybor City. We aimed to get there in the afternoon to avoid an over abundance of crowds. We arrived around 3 p.m. and it seemed to be a good time…despite the impending thunder storms! As we parked, deafening thunder boomed in the sky and rain started to fall. We rushed to check in and get our wristbands. The staff didn’t falter one bit and graciously ushered everyone inside. 

I’d never been to the Cuban Club before. What a beautiful space! It’s a historic building that has three floors (with a theatre on the third floor) and plenty of space for a great event, such as this one. 



After getting the lay of the land we got our first round of drinks.



I tried the Captain’s Punch, which was fruity and delicious!



Picture time!





Luckily the rain didn’t last long and the sun started to peak through the clouds. Thanks strange Florida weather! We headed back outside since that was where a variety of the rum shacks were and also the main stage for music.


There were a nice variety of vendors at the festival, all serving their own signature drinks. 


They also had a nice variety of food vendors. We didn’t eat there, but everything looked yummy!


Jon and I had VIP tickets so we also checked out the VIP tent. The VIP tent has fans, seats and bartenders pouring all your favorite rum drinks.




This time around we went with an old favorite, Cruzan and Coke.




Our friend Nick is the selfie master!


Got a little Captain in ya?

We had such a fun time at the Summer of Rum Festival! Thank you to Big City Events for putting together an awesome day, despite the weather!

Disclaimer: I received complimentary admission to the Summer of Rum Festival in exchange for writing a blog post. My opinions, as always, are my own.

Cinnamon Raisin Apple Oat Balls

Anytime I try to clean up my eats one of the hardest hurdles is snacking. Don’t get me wrong…I love healthy snacks. I’ll usually slice up an apple or grab a handful of almonds. But I like variety and my usual go to’s can get old fast.

One snack that doesn’t get old? Oat balls!

Do a quick search on Pinterest and you can find a wide variety of oat balls. They are my favorite healthy snack…not just because they’re yummy and healthy…but also because you can create a million different versions. So no getting bored with the same old thing!

Somehow I’ve accumulated a surplus of peanut butter in our pantry…does this happen to any one else?? I’ve had a jar of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, which I only have once in a blue moon and wanted to use it up. I thought it would be perfect for oat balls!


Cinnamon Raisin peanut butter, rolled oats, dried apples and honey are all it takes to make these little balls of goodness. Just mix these ingredients together, form them into small balls and voila! You have an easy to reach for healthy snack throughout the week. I especially love them as a pre or post workout snack. I also suggest keeping them in the fridge to keep them fresh and so they keep their shape. 


Cinnamon Raisin Apple Oat Balls
Yields 12
Oat balls made with cinnamon raisin peanut butter and dried apples. Perfect for snacking!
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 1 cup dried apples, diced
  3. 1/2 cup cinnamon raisin peanut butter*
  4. 2 tbsp honey
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Mix together.
  3. Enjoy!
  1. If you cannot find cinnamon raisin peanut butter you can use regular peanut butter and add 1/4 cup raisins and 1 tsp cinnamon.
A Full Plate http://afullplateblog.com/

What’s On My Plate – 08/10/15





A delicious breakfast creation by Jon. He’s been really into slow scrambled eggs lately. These eggs were atop toasted baguette, avocado and tomato coulis.



A splurge breakfast! Chocolate croissant from Piquant paired with my morning latte.



I’ve been on an avocado toast kick lately. This was mashed avocado, lox and goat cheese. Hard boiled egg on the side for extra protein.



More avocado toast! Thin layer of onion and chive cream cheese, sliced avocado and lox.



A simple favorite. Toast with peanut butter and banana.



Anddd even more avocado toast! Mashed avocado with sliced hard boiled egg and sriracha. 





Sometimes yummy eats are not pretty eats! Twice baked potato topped with turkey chili. Yum!



After an indulgent day the next day I like to balance out with a colorful salad. Spinach, cucumber, radish, artichokes, hearts of palm and sundried tomatoes. 



More salad! Turkey, a nice cheese that friends brought over, sundried tomatoes and spinach.



This was a meal I whipped together when I thought “there was nothing to eat”. Tomato soup and half a grilled cheese with horseradish cheddar and turkey bacon.



Mmm Bodega for lunch is one of my favs! Pork, rice, black beans and sweet plantains. *drool*



Sandwiches from Pom Pom’s! Jon and I like to split. This was there tuna melt and the turkey with bacon.




We tried Roux for brunch just yesterday and it was delicious! Love their bloody mary’s and this jambalaya was full of flavor and cajun spice.





Quinoa casserole with chicken and mushrooms with a side of asparagus. 



A wonderful Jon creation. Grouper topped with a little brie and mango pineapple salsa. Wild rice and sauteed kale.



And this is what we call leftovers in our house. Pork tenderloin topped with mango pineapple salsa, wild rice with kale and steamed green beans.



This was a new pinterest recipe I tried and it was one of the best quinoa casseroles I’ve had to date! Chicken Chili Quinoa Casserole with chicken, black beans, corn and kale.



I had been craving a huge cobb salad for awhile and finally made one. And it was everything I had dreamed of. Roasted chicken, hard boiled eggs, avocado, radish, cucumber, tomato, turkey bacon and creamy ranch dressing.



I tried this new quinoa pizza crust, which was a yummy and healthy alternative to regular pizza. Find the recipe here.



Before a yoga workshop I wanted a light dinner and sushi from Fresh Market fit the bill!



Feta and spinach stuffed chicken from Fresh Market served with steamed green beans and roasted potatoes. 



These are the BEST chicken wings around. Look at all those garlic bits! You can find these at Chumlee’s in Ellenton. 



Stuffed pepper casserole with ground turkey. Another favorite, tasty and easy casserole!



Another simple, easy and tasty dinner. Baked chicken with ajvar sauce. Served with wild rice and sauteed kale.




Dinner at Ozona Blue in Palm Harbor. This was one of the best dinners I’ve had lately. Everything was fresh and bursting with flavor. 



Bunless burger and fries at Del Frisco’s in Tampa! A yummy meal with a close friend! Another restaurant I’m eager to get back to. 





Key lime flavored yogurt covered pretzels from Fresh Market. SO good.



Peanut butter and honey mixed with greek yogurt and served with bananas…a yummy post workout snack!



A favorite smoothie…almond milk, banana, peanut butter and frozen strawberries. Tastes like PB&J!



I found a new juice place in St. Pete! Super cute shop and super good juice!



Our new favorite dessert. Goat cheese stuffed dates topped with crushed walnuts and drizzled with honey.

What’s been on your plate lately?

Summer of Rum Festival *Giveaway*

So you all remember the Bloody Mary Festival? How about the Margarita Festival? Now…are you ready for the Summer of Rum Festival? I know I am!

Big City Events is putting on their annual Summer of Rum Festival on Saturday, August 15 from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. It will be a day full of fun, music and of course, rum!

SOR_Maxima V2

The event will be held at the historic Cuban Club in Ybor City, where all three floors AND their outdoor patio area will be utilized for the festival. 


Cuban Club Main Street will be playing live music all day while guests visit the rum shacks and rum huts for fun rum drinks. The Top Floor Island Party is where all rum lovers should go for the rum tasting. You can try 40 different kinds of rum, including high end brands! Captain Morgan’s Pirate Cove will be serving Captain Morgan drinks and they’ll be playing pirate movies throughout the event. Arrr matey! There will also be a Mojito Cabana and a Frozen Drink Zone! 


With so much rum themed fun don’t you wish you could join? Well, you CAN! I’m giving away 2 pairs of general admission tickets for the Summer of Rum Festival. All you have to do is comment below with what your favorite rum based drink is! Two winners will be announced on Thursday, August 13 by 12 a.m. 


General admission tickets include admission to the Summer of Rum Festival. Drinks and food are all available for purchase at the event. To check out all the fun that will be had check out their website at www.summerofrumfest.com

pina colada

Hope to see you there!

*Winners have been selected and contacted. Thank you for visiting!*

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