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Plant City Observer Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 2 months ago

Eat, drink and be merry

Plant City is offering a culinary experience like no other with the creation of the Dine Small Downtown event.
by: Breanne Williams Staff Writer

For one night only Plant City is offering a night of legendary culinary creations and one-of-a-kind deals with the  inaugural Dine Small Downtown.

This collaborative initiative challenged three local chefs to create unique offerings that have never been seen

Courtesy of Vicky Saunders. The Strawberry Tap's smoked crab cake on top of a savory pancake.

before in Plant City. Tickets can be redeemed at The Strawberry Tap, The Corner Store and Norma’s Plant City Cuban Sandwich Shop. Several local businesses are also taking part in the action, offering discounts and free merchandise.

“You’re supporting local restaurants that typically are buying a lot of these quality products locally and helping to continue to grow and evolve Plant City’s culture,” Vicky Saunders, co-host of the event said. “People should shop and dine small. The stuff they’re creating is awesome, it’s the type of unique offerings you would normally only be able to find in a big city. Now we can get these creative dishes right here.”

The Corner Store is featuring a charcuterie board and organic sangria with fruit. The Strawberry Tap has a smoked crab cake on a savory pancake. For its drink, it has a “water boy,” which is watermelon vodka with watermelon puree and a sugar rim and melon balls. Norma’s has created house-made barbecue pork rind nachos. It also has a strawberry lemonade spritzer for its drink.

Tickets are $30 in advance and can be purchased on the Dine Small Downtown Facebook page or Eventbrite and $40 day of. Only 40 tickets are available.

Attendees check in at The Corner Store and pick up the tickets. From there, it’s a self-guided tour. You can start and end at any of the three restaurants. Show your online ticket order to A Peace of Plant City for 25% off one item, at Tub Treats for a free shower steamer and at The Mercantile for a free gift.

Courtesy of Vicky Saunders. Norma's house made barbecue pork rind nachos and strawberry lemonade spritzer.

The idea was dreamed up by Brian Adatto, owner of The Strawberry Tap, and Cynthia Diaz, owner of The Corner Store. Saunders got on board and soon after Clay Hollenkamp, creator of Join the Circus Productions, joined the mix. He and Saunders molded the dream into a small bites and drinks tour.

“I think it’s important that people come down here because this downtown has a lot of places trying to make things happen,” Hollenkamp, co-host of the event, said. “If we don’t support them, they will disappear… Look at what these restaurants are doing. The Strawberry Tap does such interesting things with its menu, it isn’t your standard pub food. You can’t find anything like it anywhere else. Look at Norma’s, it’s a Plant City staple and we need to keep it downtown. The Corner Store? It’s stood the test of time for a reason.”

The special event pairs with the car show downtown and Krazy Kup’s five year anniversary celebration. After enjoying the meals at Dine Small attendees can easily spend the rest of the evening wandering the streets of Historic Downtown.

“There’s this saying I love, ‘When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance,’” Saunder said. “That’s so true. When you buy from a big business or a corporation those CEOs aren’t thrilled to have you specifically as a customer, they aren’t dancing. But when you pop in a local restaurant or a local store, you’re actually impacting lives. Why wouldn’t you want to be the reason someone is dancing?”



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