tracking

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe to Southwest Florida Forks

Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Monday, April 18, 2016

Food Truck Craziness at Food Truck Wars

Food Truck Wars was an event held in Fort Myers, FL.


It was estimated close to 20,000 attended the event that day. Read More

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Craft Beer/Food Pairings of Note In Southwest Florida

Craft Beer is in it's infancy in Southwest Florida. At most, craft brew has been on the map in Southwest Florida for less than half a decade.


Of note are some of the food pairings on a weekly basis with these beers.  Read More

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Thursday Night Craft Beer/Food Pairing at Fort Myers Brewing Company



is a craft brewer in Fort Myers, FL. As with most craft brewers, the proprietor, Rob Whyte, started as a home brewer in 1990 in San Diego, CA. Many years later, the owner of his home brew shop invited him over to taste beer from his brewery, Oceanside Ale Works. Rob ended up interning there for 6 years before moving to Southwest Florida in 2012 and started FMBC. It was the first craft brewery in Lee County and one of the first in Southwest Florida. At present they are probably the brewery with the largest capacity in the area, brewing 80 barrels a week. Since there are 31 gallons of beer in a barrel, and 8 pints/gallon, that's a lot of pints of beer. Approximately 30% of their output is allotted to the tasting room on premises. As such, they have a very loyal following.

They have quite a selection of beers that have been Awarded many accolades


on tap


in the tasting room.

On Thursday nights they have a wonderful craft beer/food pairing with up to 5 different food trucks.

These events are very well attended.





There can be up to 5 food trucks that come Thursdays to pair with the beer.

Porkin Out BBQ was there


with of course, BBQ fare.




was in attendence with a number of menu items.


Having lived in New Orleans, I was anxious to try Sizzle's version of a shrimp Po Boy.


Not being anything like what I had eaten in Louisiana, I was disappointed.

There was even a hot dog vendor if you were so inclined.


Two of the trucks in attendance that night had food of note.

Organically Twisted had a number of good items on their Menu.

I saw a twisted tofu go out the door.

This was marinated organic sprouted tofu, micro sprouts, sliced rainbow carrots and radishes,  finished with a ginger sweet-spicy glaze. Yum, Yum

My dining companions (DC's) and I ordered a beautiful salad to share, curry in a hurry.


Aesthetically beautiful, the salad was a mixture of curried chicken salad, blend of organic cherry tomatoes, sweet grapes and rainbow carrots, served with mixed greens and sunflower sprouts. Very, very nice.


had some really great offerings.


My DC's and i ordered the Korean BBQ tacos,


and the Pad Thai Burger.


Both of these items were most remarkable.

Thursday nights at Fort Myers Brewing Company are wonderful community events. They are well attended and the food and craft beer parings can be exceptional. This is a must do event in Southwest Florida. Just make sure you bring a chair!

Fort Myers Brewing Company
12811 Commerce Lakes Drive STE 27
Fort Myers, FL 33913
(239)313-6576

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dinner at 1500 South

1500 South  (1500)


is a restaurant in Naples, FL in Naples Bay Resort The restaurant is owned by chef Art Smith. Chef Smith owns a number of Restaurants and has numerous Cookbooks in print. His Bio is very impressive listing many high profile chef positions and coveted awards in the food industry. His Chef De Cuisine, Dagan Stocks, is also very Well Heeled culinarily.

My dining companion (DC) and I went to 1500 for dinner that day.

As you enter 1500,


the restaurant is very commodious, nicely designed and has plenty of light. The restaurant has a very nice bar


and dining area.



There is even outside seating if you choose.


The restaurant has an open air kitchen, which I think is great.



Open air kitchens are generally underutilized in restaurants. I think that when diners see the kitchen staff at work, this really helps them connect more readily with the chefs and the food that is being served to them. The Japanese have been using this concept most successfully for years in their Teppanyaki restaurants.

DC and I tried a number of items off the Menu of 1500.

Rosemary biscuits were brought to the table.


Flavorful but texturally, not very good. Very chewy, not flaky as DC and I prefer. A harbinger of things to come we asked ourselves? Sometimes first impressions are accurate and sometimes they are not. In this case, the latter was very much true.

Roasted duck risotto was brought to the table.


This was incredibly delicious. Roasted duck Confit was served with Canaroli rice, roasted Morels, Miner's Lettuce, and Ramp gel.

It got even better, with Hoecakes, sort of a cornmeal flatbread, with slow braised oxtail, caramelized onions, Gorgonzola Dolce and arugula. Heaven.


 Chef Smith's signature fried chicken was brought to the table.


Their chicken is brined for 24 hours, soaked in buttermilk for 24 hours, then single dredged and fried. Very, very, very good. It also comes with in house made hot sauce. It is a mixture of Fresno and De Arbol chilies among other ingredients.

DC and I ordered roasted vegetables.


Tricolor cauliflower, baby peppers, celery root, heirloom carrots and Portobello mushrooms were seasoned with Saba and Parmigiano Reggiano. This dish fell a bit flat flavor wise but a smattering of salt was an easy fix. Problem solved!

We ended up with a couple desserts.

Blood Orange Sorbet, and 63% Cacao and pistachio Gelato.


Very nice.

Creme Brulee finished the meal.


This was served with strawberry/balsamic sorbet, shaved white chocolate and mixed berries. Excellent!

The decor of the restaurant is bright and pleasant, the service good and the food most remarkable.

Because of Chef Smith, there will be some very bright culinary searchlights emanating from this establishment. With the husbandry of the Chef de Cuisine, this will be a very successful restaurant and a welcome addition to an ever growing armamentaruim of superior cuisine in Southwest Florida.


It's a wrap for another post on Forks. 

1500 South
1500 5th Avenue S.
Naples, FL 34102
(239)530-5105

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The American Wine Society Vintage Chart

The American Wine Society (AWS)  is an organization that promotes the appreciation of wine through education. Founded in 1967, AWS presently has 5000 members and 120 chapters in the U.S.
One of the things they publish yearly on their website is a Vintage Chart.


What is vintage? As with any agricultural commodity, growing conditions are paramount. Grapes are no different. For a good discussion of this go Here. Some years have less sun, more rain, more frost and are less kind to grapes. This results in poorer wine quality and a poorer vintage.

The chart ranks vintage years alphanumerically. A score of 10 is best in terms of vintage. As far as aging goes, "a" is young, "b" is developing, "c" is ready and "d" is on the decline. Using this chart to select wines, I have bought wines I knew nothing about but were really good being purchased just on vintage.

Wine merchants will generally charge the same for a given bottle of wine, bad vintage or good. 2011 was a horrible year for North American wines, while 2013 was exceptional. In most all cases, they are prices the same.

When you make your next wine purchase, I hope this chart guides you towards a perhaps better selection of something you already like or something completely different.



Cheers!

American Wine Society
P.O. Box 279
Englewood, OH 35322
(888)297-9070



The Monthly Naples Press Club Meeting at the Brass Tap



is a Franchise of over 20 restaurants in Florida. As you walk in to the restaurant, there is ample seating both indoors


and outside on their patio.



They offer a wide selection of both bottled and draft beer from their Menu,


and they also brew their own beer.


Having recently got a gig with a Local Media outlet, I thought I would check out the monthly meeting of the Naples Press Club (NPC) held at a Brass Tap location here on the Ides of March. What better place to commemorate the assassination of Julius Caesar than the Brass Tap?

After a very friendly and engaging social hour with NPC, 


we decided to order some food from their Menu.

Pot stickers,


fish and chips,


pizza flat bread,


a house salad with Iceberg and Romaine lettuce, smoked Gouda, onions, dried cranberries, Italian dressing and chicken,


and pulled pork tacos.


I cannot speak for the other menu items, but the tacos were average at best. I have the sense that food is not why people come to the Brass Tap, but more for their beer selection. I am not much of a beer drinker, but came here for the NPC meeting. In that regard I found their members friendly and engaging, and I would come back to another NPC meeting. All in all, a very good day out on the Ides of March. Et tu, Brew te?

That's that for another post on Forks.

The Brass Tap
895 Wiggins Pass Rd.
Naples, FL 34110
(239)631-6397


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sizzle, a Quarterly Publication of the American Culinary Federation

The American Culinary Federation is a professional organization of chefs, cooks, food industry professionals, food enthusiasts and a food blogger or two.  They have about 200 chapters and almost 20,000 members. They offer training, accreditation, scholarship and certification to foster professional growth in the culinary arts.

They publish a free quarterly periodical, Sizzle



Sizzle features culinary trends, cooking demonstrations, features on leading industry chefs and recipes. It's also available as a free app on Apple, Android and Amazon Kindle devices.

For the Spring 2016 digital issue of Sizzle, click Here. I think you will find many things of culinary interest in this publication. 

It's a wrap for another post on forks.


American Culinary Federation
180 Center Place Way
St. Augustine, FL 32095
American Culinary Federation