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. 

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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! 

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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!

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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. 

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Tijuana Flats also loves to support veterans!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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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. 

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

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

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Picture time!

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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Our friend Nick is the selfie master!

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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.

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!

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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. 

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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! 

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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. 

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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

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Hope to see you there!

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

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