Frenchy’s 35th Stone Crab Weekend Block Party

We’ve always loved the food at Frenchy’s in Clearwater Beach, FL, and we also absolutely love crabs. So when we heard that Frenchy’s was doing their 35th annual Stone Crab weekend block party, we decided to go. Not for the party, but for the food!

Saturday came, we hesitated to go. “The parking usually sucks and I’m afraid if we would get stuck there because of the traffic or drive in circles to find a parking spot.” I dreaded.

We still drove to Clearwater Beach because even if we can’t find a parking space, then we could at least show my mom Clearwater Beach for the first time. It wasn’t the best time as it had been raining for most part of the day. Additionally, the sun was actually about to set as we were heading out. Fortunately, we arrived at Clearwater Beach with still a little bit of sunlight, but the sun had already set. We went to the parking lot on the north side of the beach, because it was closest to the venue.

As we arrive at the parking lot, it was no surprise that the lot was full. I was telling my husband, “it’s ok we can just go have dinner else where.” Chris tried encouraging me by saying, “Who knows? We might get lucky.” I nodded. We just completed our first lap around the lot. Then, as we were about to start our second lap, a driver from a distance flagged us down and signaled that they were leaving. We had to back up a bit to give them room to vacate the parking space and make way for us. “Appreciate it. Thank you!” Chris said as he was giving a quick wave towards the driver and his passenger for their kindness. Turning towards me, Chris says, “See? We got lucky.” We sure did! As there was still another car behind us. But we were able to get this one because we were in the right place at the right time. Yup, we sure did get lucky!

Once we got in the event (which was a free event, by the way), we realized that we had to buy tickets to be able to buy food — the stone crab claws and the grouper sandwich that Frenchy’s is famous for. I’m actually surprised that this was not a grouper sandwich festival (which I think they should have one, if they don’t have one yet).

Each ticket is equivalent to a $1.00 value. If you ask me, I feel like I’d rather order this straight from the restaurant with no hassle of buying tickets. Also, I feel like the price seems a bit higher than usual. I could be wrong. But then again, I shouldn’t be shocked as I was in Clearwater Beach, where most times, things are priced for tourists and not for locals.

Grouper Slider (Fried)

The grouper tasted fresh. But the sandwich itself was dry, because they don’t put any sauce or dressing. You would have to season or dress it yourself. So, before taking a big bite, it would be best to check to see if it has any sauce or dressing.

Stone Crab Claws (Medium)

The stone crab claws were definitely medium in size. We didn’t order the bigger ones as we wanted to share. If you notice the sign above, you get less claws when you order the bigger ones — which makes sense! For the flavor of the stone crab, it was deliciously sweet and fresh.

Grouper Slider and Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries

Yes, you see that name right – Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries. So those on top of the fries are actually crab meat. They were delicious. As a tip, you will need a fork to eat this. Actually, make that a spork! So that you can scoop the crab meat along with your fries.

Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries

There were also bands at the block party. But we were only able to watch the band Never Stop Believin’ (Journey Tribute Band) perform, which I believe would have been the best band among the line up. The band truly sounds like Journey! It was crazy how the lead singer’s voice sounded like Journey’s lead singer. It’s almost as if they were playing a CD and that the band were just lip synching.

Several songs were played, most of which we didn’t know the words to the song. (Sorry, blame it on our being Millenials) Until they got to Open Arms. (Now, that I know!) I was also waiting for Don’t Stop Believing. But it was still too early for their set to be singing the most popular Journey song. We decided not to stick around and headed over to an ice cream parlor to get desserts. After finishing the ice cream, we went to the pier and enjoyed some fresh breeze before going home.

35th Frenchy’s Stone Crab Weekend Block Party
Address: 41 Baymont Street, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
October 25 – 26, 2019
http://www.stonecrabweekend.com

ASL 10.26.2019 (Clearwater Beach, FL)

Photos
Website: aineephotography Instagram: aineephotography happyfoodtrips

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck – Tampa, FL

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Hello Kitty Cafe Truck – Tampa, FL

For years, I have been missing opportunities one after another.  I even contemplated on driving to Miami to be able to at least get a glimpse of this uber cute food truck.  Now that they’re back in Tampa, I was finally able to get to see the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck in person.

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Saturday morning, I saw a text message from a friend.  It was a picture of a news segment and showed the internationally famous logo of a cat that has no mouth. I was excited but didn’t say anything to Chris.  While sipping coffee and talking about the things we could do today, Chris said, “We can do all that as long as we go somewhere before 8pm.”  “Why?” I asked.   “It’s a surprise.”  Looking at him and I smiled, “Oh I know what it is.”  He looked back and tried to check and see if I really knew.  Then I said, “Hello Kitty.”

The pink truck was just going to be in the area for a day.   Even though I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for some time now, we didn’t go there right away.  We ended up doing something in the backyard — a few things that we’ve been putting off.  We really didn’t leave until late afternoon to head to the mall, where the Hello Kitty Cafe Truckwas parked for the day.  We still had plenty of time thought.  Usually around this time, the crowd would have thinned out and we wouldn’t have to wait so long to get a cookie or pastry.  I wasn’t really sure what I would find when we get there.  I also don’t know why, for some reason, I thought that I might be able to order a sandwich shaped like a Hello Kittylogo.  Sorry to say, I didn’t see any sandwiches on the menu.

We got to the mall and was able to miraculously find parking right away.  I didn’t know where it would exactly be, as I assumed it would be parked somewhere outside the mall.  Chris, having been preparing to surprise me, he already had this info and knew where it would be.  Wow! He really prepared for this.  I followed his lead.  We went inside the mall. I thought we would just go through the mall to get to the other side.  We didn’t go to the next door, but instead turned left.  Ahh maybe we’re going through another door, I thought.  Nope! My eyes lit up as I saw a cute pink truck towards the end of the hall.  I was surprise to see it inside the mall.  As in previous years, I had seen the photos and videos of the pink truck being parked outside.  Inside is good, I thought.  It won’t be hot.

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There were only a few people in line, which was good because it meant we won’t have to wait that long.

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I looked at the menu and noticed that many are already sold out.  Luckily, there were still some macarons and cookies.  I kept going back and forth between the 2. But in the end, I was able to leave with Hello Kitty Macaronsand Hello Kitty Cookies and a FREE Hello Kitty Tote.

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The cookies and macarons are just so cute! I’m going to have to fight the urge of eating them right away.  When I can’t fight any longer and we eventually eat them, I will let you guys know how it tasted.  Don’t worry, I don’t think I can resist that long!

Ainee 02.16.2019 (Tampa, FL)

Photos
Website:     ainee photography                          Instagram:  ainee photography

Check out the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck’s schedule of upcoming events:
Facebook:  hellokittycafetruck                         Instagram:  hellokittycafetruck 

Hello Kitty Macarons

 

Hello Kitty Macarons

Hello Kitty Macarons from Hello Kitty Cafe Truck.
Price: $16.00

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Hello Kitty Macarons

These cute macarons, not macaroons, didn’t stand a chance!
We thought we could wait before eating them because they were just so cute. Nope! I took one look and then hurriedly took a couple of photos. Then that was it! We ate all the macarons. All 5 of them! I love Hello Kitty but I guess I love food more.

They were delicious! I admit that at the beginning I didn’t expect much on flavor because I considered this food more of a novelty (edible) item, rather than actual dessert. I was surprised when I took my first bite.

Chris and I were splitting each macaron so that both of us could try each flavor. So after my delightful first bite, I had to stop myself from eating the whole macaron before Chris could try it. Now, I’m not saying that they have the best macarons because that would be an exaggeration. To be honest, I haven’t eaten that many macarons in my life. However, I have had several macarons that were better than these cute pastries. The bottomline is they were good and I would surely have them again.

Chris and I were not sure of the macarons’ flavors. But here is a list of what we both believe to be the possible flavors:

  1. Red – Strawberry
    • It tasted like strawberry. If we’re wrong, it could be cherry. But our final answer is strawberry.
  2. White – Vanilla
    • I would really say that at first bite it tasted like vanilla. But this was the one that has the subtlest of flavors among the 5.
  3. Blue – Chocolate
    • The filling tasted like chocolate. It was really delicious. I would want to eat another one of these.
  4. Orange – Pineapple
    • It’s a little bit tarty. It tasted familiar. But the sourness made us lean towards pineapple. The second choice was mango, then orange was the very last of our guess. But we both agreed with pineapple.
  5. Green – Green Tea (Matcha) or Pistachio
    • At first bite I thought it was green tea (matcha) but a few more small bites and it tasted a bit nutty. That’s why we thought that maybe this is pistachio and not green tea.

My favorites are:

  • Based on flavor: Blue and Green Macarons — Strawberry would be the 2nd runner up.
  • Based on design: Blue and White Macarons. I love the shade of blue that they used on the blue macaron and I love the simple design of just having a cute bow on it. The white one can’t be missed on design as to having the Hello Kitty face on it.
  • Both design and flavor: The blue macaron came out as the winner for having both delicious flavor and cute simple design.

At the time of this writing, we have not eaten the Hello Kitty Cookies yet. As soon as we get to eat them, I’ll try to post how they tasted. I’m hoping it’s as good as this one.

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ASL 02.16.2019 (Tampa, FL)

Photos
Website: aineephotography Instagram: aineephotography

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
Facebook: hellokittycafetruck Instagram: hellokittycafetruck

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck – Tampa, FL