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  • February 6, 2023St. Petersburg Wins 2023 Tampa Bay Food Fight

    Social Roost’s Chef Susan Burdian Captains St. Pete for the Win Via Press Release from Social Roost – This past Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023, Social Roost participated in the Tampa Bay Food Fight (TBFF), a charity benefiting Metropolitan Ministries. TBFF is an annual event hosted at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Tampa; with Battle of the Chefs as the main event. Team Tampa and St. Pete consisted of five Executive Chefs and one team Captain, who took the main stage to prepare some of the best food in the Tampa Bay area, which was presented to a panel of Judges comprised of James Beard award winning Executive Chefs. This year, Executive Chef, Susan Burdian of Social Roost was hand selected as the Captain of Team St. Pete. She composed a team of Executive Chefs including Chef Lee Aquino from Teak/Birchwood, Chef/owner Matt Smith of The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge, Chef Jason Gordon of Cap’s Steamer Bar, Chef Chris Falzon of Crown & Bull, Chef Mike Malone of Tropicana Field/Tampa Bay Rays, and Chef Mike Roberts from Wild Child. They competed against Team Tampa who was Captained by Executive Chef Ann Kearny of Oak & Ola. Chef Kearny’s team consisted of the Executive Chefs from The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Counter Culture, On Swann, Edison Food Lab, and Cru Cellars. We are very happy to announce Chef Susan Captained Team St. Pete to a triumphant victory bringing the trophy back to St. Pete for 2023! In addition to the Executive Chef’s who competed, countless other restaurants competed for the People’s Choice Award for Best St. Pete Restaurant, Best Tampa Restaurant, and Best Tampa Bay Cocktail. The winner was based on dishes and cocktails each restaurant served at the event. We are happy to announce Social Roost won Best St. Pete Restaurant and Best Cocktail in Tampa Bay. Social Roost made history that night, as there has been no other restaurant (Tampa or St. Pete) in the history of this event whose Chef Captained their team to victory, won Best Restaurant (St. Pete or Tampa) and Best Cocktail Tampa Bay. We are extremely proud of our team, whose participation along with Social Roost charitable contributions assisted in raising over $600,000 for Metropolitan Ministries. For more about Tampa Bay Food Fight please visit https://tampabayfoodfight.org/

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  • February 1, 2023

    Steak is great, but when it comes to this meat and potatoes duo, it’s all about the potatoes baby. I’ve been itching to recreate this recipe with my own spin for a long time now. I actually had plans to make it for our Christmas dinner this year, but realized I was already fighting a losing battle when it was already Christmas morning and I hadn’t started the 15 hour process – oops. Yes, you read that right – a 15 hour process. Is it worth it? Yep. Was I skeptical initially? Sure was. All you need to properly execute this recipe is some potatoes, a mandolin slicer (crucial), a good amount of fat (duck fat, butter or olive oil), some flakey salt and a bit of patience. This two-day method does not disappoint and is actually quite simple. The process begins by slicing peeled potatoes ultra thin with a mandolin slicer. Then, toss them in fat and salt, stack them in a loaf pan and pop them into the oven at a super low temperature for a few hours. I used Olive Oil this time around because I had a lot on hand but I also highly recommend duck fat oil. At Rollin’ Oats, you can find EPIC brand cage-free duck fat oil and that would work quite well. Remove the potatoes, cover and weigh them down and then refrigerate for 12 hours (I prep the potatoes in the evening and let them hang in the fridge overnight). After the waiting period, slice, fry and eat with dipping sauce of choice. You *can* fry the potatoes in the air fryer as an alternative; however, it does not yield quite the same product. The potatoes do not get as crisp, but if you’d like to make them this way, heat your air fryer to 400F and cook the potatoes for about 8-10 minutes. If you’re going to fry them the way that I suggest – in oil – definitely use an oil with a high smoke point. A lot of recipes recommend peanut oil but I prefer to use avocado oil. Rollin’ Oats sells Primal Kitchen’s avocado oil and that’s what I utilized for this recipe. I turned my potatoes into a steak frites type of moment by pairing them with a lovely filet from Rollin’ Oats. They offer lots of quality grass-fed steak cuts from Thousand Hills that are sure to satisfy. You don’t have to have these potatoes with a steak though. They make for a great side dish for most any main and would be idyllic as a snack for the upcoming super bowl with a dipping sauce of choice. 15 Hour Potatoes and Steak Don't let the 15 hours scare you – the majority of that is either cook or rest time. These are going to become your new favorite potatoes. MandolinCandy ThermometerDutch OvenLoaf Pan 2-3 Yukon Gold Potatoes (Medium to large in size)1/4 cup Olive Oil (Or other fat like duck fat or butter)2 cups Avocado Oil (Other oil with a high smoke point will work as well)1 1/2 tsp Salt (Plus more as needed)Steak (This is optional, but it makes for a great dinner. I recommend a filet or a strip.)Dipping Sauce (Also optional, but an aioli or other dip makes for a great accessory to the potatoes)Flakey Salt (Like Maldon, to hit the potatoes with post-fry. This is optional – you can use whatever salt you have to finish.) Preheat oven to 250F. Peel potatoes and slice very thin with a mandolin slicer. Toss in a bowl with 1/2 cup olive oil (or fat of choice) and 1 1/2 tsp salt (plus more, as needed).Layer potatoes in a tight stack in a parchment-lined loaf pan. Cover with another sheet of parchment and bake for 3 hours.Remove from oven, weigh down the top of the parchment-topped potatoes evenly with cans or other heavy kitchen objects. Refrigerate for 12 hours (I allow this part to take place overnight). Remove weights and parchment and carefully invert potatoes onto a cutting board. Cut the potatoes into even 1" stacks and then cut all of those evenly in half.Heat oil in a dutch oven or pot with high walls over medium high heat. When the heat reaches about 375F, carefully drop in potatoes one at a time until a few are in the pot. Fry, turning occasionally, until potatoes are golden all over but not burnt – 3-5 minutes (keep an eye on them!). Remove from oil, hit them with a good sprinkle of salt and allow them to cool on a rack set over a baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining potatoes.While your potatoes are frying, prepare your steak of choice. I chose a filet and salted it all over and allowed it to sit at room temperature for 40 minutes before cooking it. I season with pepper and then sear it off for about 6-7 minutes, flipping occasionally, until I've reached a nice medium rare. Slice up and serve the steak along side the potato stacks with dipping sauce of choice and perhaps a drizzle of chili crisp, herbed butter or chimichurri on your steak. Appetizer, Side DishAmerican15 Hour Potato Recipe, Appetizer Recipe, Potato Recipe

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  • January 20, 2023Serbian Mediteran Restaurant: a Traditional Serbian and Balkan Style Food Experience

    The dining on 4th St. N. is nothing to sleep on. Sure, there are plenty of hip new spots opening in other areas throughout St. Pete, but let’s not forget to shed light on the under the radar gems that have been under our nose, are ultra consistent and have been loved by people for years. Enter, Serbian Mediteran Restaurant. More times than not, I find myself researching a new restaurant that I have plans to dine at prior to visiting. After engaging in a few different searches on various social media channels and google, I was able to locate only a Facebook page and a slew of positive remarks about the restaurant scattered all across the web. Because of this, my husband and I didn’t know what to expect upon arrival. The moment we opened the doors, we were greeted with a quaint and immaculate dining space. Four tables (that could seat 4-6 people) were situated inside and a small handful outside as well. Silly me, because of the recent updated appearance of the space, I assumed that the restaurant had maybe been around for a few years at most. Oh, how I was wrong. After chatting with the owner of the restaurant, Brano, I learned that he in fact opened this family owned and operated restaurant 17 years ago when he and his family moved to the United States from Serbia. Brano has been living out his passion in the kitchen for the past 40 plus years. The level of detail, service and care that he gives to his restaurant and customers is the utmost genuine. During our entire meal, he seated us, waited on us, prepared our food, served our food, bussed our table and ran our payment at the end of our meal. As I mentioned, the tables are limited but large enough for a small group each. Because they do close most evenings at 8:00PM, and 7:00PM on Sunday, thoughtfully planning your arrival for dinner at Siberian Mediteran is suggested. This is especially recommended on the weekends. We stopped in for an early dinner around 5:00PM on a weekday and were the first ones in for dinner. When we left an hour later, the tables inside were all occupied and a handful of folks were in and out for their meal to-g0. In addition to dinner service, Siberian Mediteran Restaurant also serves breakfast every day beginning at 8:00AM. It’s always been somewhat of a task finding somewhere open for breakfast (that isn’t just a coffee shop) at that time of day. The restaurant serves items like pastries, omelets and morning necessities like Americanos and espresso, so be certain to keep them in mind to satisfy breakfast cravings. The menu at Siberian Mediteran Restaurant is broken down into a few different categories: appetizers and breakfast, grilled entrees, specialties, soups and salads, beverages and desserts. Alcohol is not served here, but there are plenty of other enticing and refreshing options available. We landed on Cockta and the Schweppes bitter lemon. The Cockta was incredibly interesting. My husband described the flavor of it perfectly though – it tastes like Pepsi with a hint of candy necklace. When I tasted it for myself, I couldn’t deny it. He was totally right. The Schweppes flavor was zingy and bright. It reminded me of any other kind of lemon-lime soda or sparkling water. When it came down to the food, we didn’t have much of a clue what to order. The only item I knew we had to get was the Cevapi due to rave reviews. Aside from that, we gave Brano the reigns and asked him to guide us through the favorites. The first two items Brano pointed out were the Cevapi and the Pljeskavica (aka the gourmet burger) and they hit the table first. At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes as to the size. This large ground beef patty is seasoned with Balkan style spices and served between two pieces of traditional pita bread. Along side the burger, and most everything else, you’ll find sour cream, onion and tomato. The Balkan style spices on that patty are absolutely incredible, bursting with savory notes. The pita bread was surprisingly light and airy and paired perfect with the beef. This one can easily be shared between two. The Cevapi comes in two sizes – small and large. The smaller size has five minced beef links and the large comes with ten. Cevapi is also served on the traditional pita bread with the standard accoutrements on the side. This dish is traditionally found in the countries of Southeastern Europe. Ordering the smaller size was definitely the right move for us…and we still had leftovers. Leftovers that we definitely are not mad about because the minced beef links were totally on point. When you visit Siberian Mediteran Restaurant, be sure to order this one. The other crowd favorite that Brano pointed out was the Karadordeva Snicla (type of schnitzel) and then we took it upon ourselves to order Raznjici (chicken shish kabobs). The kabobs were simple yet satisfying as is with just the right amount of seasoning and time on the grill. They too are served with the onions and such, along with some traditional pita bread and French fries on the side. This portion was definitely a lot more manageable than the other dishes we had and would be quite suitable for a meal for one. This schnitzel was unlike any I had ever had before. It’s comprised of breaded and fried rolled boneless pork roast that is stuffed with cheese and ham and ladled with a silky smooth and luscious sauce. Also on the plate with the schnitzel, you’ll find the same accessories as the kabobs. In my opinion, the schnitzel is another non-negotiable when dining here. The menu isn’t limited to just one and each one sounds as enticing as the last. For my next visit, the Becka Snicla (Wienerschnitzel) is undoubtedly what I’m opting for. I was […]

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  • January 19, 2023Oaks on 4th Makes an Outstanding First Impression

    You may have blinked and missed the transition between the former Quickies BBQ and its replacement, Oaks on 4th. I feel like I remember one day hearing Oaks on 4th was coming and the next day it was open. Opening in early December by the owners of Bascom’s and former sous chef of Café Ponte, they have quickly made a splash in St. Pete. I’ve visited three times since opening and every time I went it’s been bustling with customers. The first time I visited was on Christmas Eve Eve. My mom and I decided to check it out and sit at the bar after a long day of shopping. Three bartenders assisted us through the night, but the one who truly made an impression was Mike. He is entertaining, knowledgeable about the menu and knows how to make a great martini. My second visit was for brunch and last visit was for a sit-down dinner. Each experience I’ve had so far at Oaks has been a different, but great experience. The staff and management are all welcoming and friendly. With the lack of quality higher-end restaurants, other than Noble Crust, between downtown and Gandy, Oaks has been a welcome addition to the area. I have visited Oaks so many times, you can only imagine the number of dishes I have tried. So I am going to do this article a little bit differently and rank my dishes from favorite to least favorite, although there were no bad dishes. Then I will share the cocktails that I’ve had on my visits. 1. Ribeye Steak The steaks at Oaks are brought over from Bascom’s, so you know they’re high quality. The menu at Oaks varies nearly every day, including the steaks they serve. When I dined, they were serving a Ribeye which I was very happy about, as that is my favorite cut of steak. It is coffee crusted and cooked over an open grill (the grill is actually a focal point of the restaurant and can be seen from virtually every seat in the house), then topped with glazed mushrooms, and served with a side of sherry pepper cream sauce. We ordered the steak medium-rare and it could not have been cooked more perfectly. The steak spoke for itself without dipping in the sherry cream sauce, but when dipped in the sauce it made it one of the best bites of steak I’ve ever had. 2. Half Chicken The Half Chicken is a sous vided chicken glazed with smoky hot honey that is fried to crisp the skin. The chicken is extremely juicy on the inside and the skin is crispy on the outside. I am a chicken skin lover and was ripping off the skin and eating it by itself. It was almost candy-like. The dish is served with a pan sauce gravy, but it is honestly unnecessary since the chicken is already so flavorful and delicious. 3. Steak Tartare I’ve know I’ve said it at least once in another article somewhere, and I’ll say it again and again… if there is a tartare or carpaccio on a menu, I am ordering it. At Oaks, it’s no different. Oaks serves a Steak Tartare that is mixed with green apple, spicy peppers, fried capers, truffle, sriracha and topped with an egg yolk. Served on the side is pickled veggies and house-made chips. The dish is extremely savory but is rounded out by the slight sweet and tarte flavors from the green apple. I would never have thought to put green apple in a tartare, but it is the perfect addition. 4. Mushroom Bisque The one dish I knew I wanted to try before ever visiting Oaks and having only looked at the menu is their Mushroom Bisque. My first visit, they were sold out. My second visit, it wasn’t on the menu. Finally on my third visit it was available. I actually almost forgot to order it (I think I had nearly given up hope at this point) and put in a last minute order so I could try it. The soup is a combination of button mushrooms and gold potatoes, then finished with truffle cream, chives, crispy mushrooms, and porcini dust. This was a true umami flavor bomb. If this is available on the menu, it is not to be missed. It may be the best soup I’ve ever had. 5. Potato Chips House-made chips are one of my favorite items to find on a menu. Oaks serves their house-made chips alongside many of their dishes, including their pimento cheese and steak tartar. But, you can also order just the Potato Chips topped with honey drizzle, balsamic glaze, crumbled blue cheese and green onion. They are the ideal bar snack alongside a tasty cocktail. 6. Spreads & Breads The Spreads & Breads is available on the brunch menu. A simple, yet delightful dish served with grilled bread to top with whipped ricotta and a marcona almond pesto. 7. Spicy Shrimp The first time I visited, I wasn’t enraptured by the spicy shrimp on the menu and just looked past it. Until I saw someone nearby order it and could smell it from across the bar. When I dined again we decided to order it and it did not disappoint. Six shrimp swim in a slightly spicy (could be spicier), flavorful garlic sauce topped with roasted pepper and served with grilled bread to sop up the sauce with. 8. Plate Cake When my friend and I went for brunch, we were both a little boring with our entrees. I had been craving blueberry pancakes over the previous week, and when I saw it was on the menu I knew I had to order it. As they call it at Oaks, the “Plate Cake” is a jumbo buttermilk pancake with the options of chocolate chip, blueberry or plain. It’s served with maple syrup, sausage links, and hashbrowns. The pancake was crispy around the edges and fluffy in the middle… just […]

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  • January 17, 2023Williams Sub Shop: For All Your Sandwich Cravings Open Since 1958

    On your lunch break? Need a quick bite to eat? The next time the craving strikes, plan a visit to Williams Sub Shop to indulge in some of the best sandwiches and salads in St. Petersburg. Williams Sub Shop has been serving iconic sandwiches since 1958 and if you’ve never been, you must go. Ask anyone that’s been in St. Pete that long and they’ll tell you to go. Williams Sub Shop is located on the corner of Tyrone Blvd and 38th Ave N. You can’t miss it. Once you walk through the doors, you’ll instantly feel like a regular. The vibe gives off a major family-friendly atmosphere and the staff makes sure everyone leaves satisfied. They don’t just serve regular ole sandwiches at Williams Sub Shop, nope, they serve juicy, meaty, fresh, jam-packed 10-inch sandwiches. You can order any sandwich as a salad too. So now you have no excuse even if you’re kicking off the new year low-carb. If you’re like me though, you make exceptions and you’ll order all of the sides because the salads here are all homemade and how can you say no to fresh potato salad and coleslaw? As I walked in I knew I would most likely be ordering an Italian sub, it’s my go-to, favorite sub. I heard that the Yum Yum Sub was iconic and something special. There was one other person in the shop who chimed in to tell me he’s been coming here for years and always orders the Yum Yum Sub served “All the Way”. He said there was no other way to order at Williams Sub Shop. The staff at the counter also encouraged me to order it. Bonus: It’s kind of fun to say “I’ll have the Yum Yum Sub served All the Way”. The Yum Yum Sub is roast beef, turkey breast, ham, bacon, provolone cheese, and mayo. You can order it hot or cold with shredded mozzarella cheese on top. “All the Way” style means you’ll be elevating your sandwich with pickle relish, onions, tomatoes, oil, spices and hot pepper relish. I ordered the full sandwich but pictured is the 5 inch cut in half since I was sharing it with Aunty Karen. The other half was just as good when I demolished it on the beach the next day. Given the hype surrounding this sub, I’m pleased to say that it blew me away. It was delicious, filling, and very flavorful. There’s not a thing I’d change about it. As stated, I love an Italian sub and the one at Williams Sub Shop was delightful. This “Old Fashioned” Sub comes with ham, cooked salami, capicola, pepperoni and provolone cheese. I ordered it “All the Way” as well. This well-known classic sub is perfect for any other sandwich aficionado out there for a savory bite. A side of ranch is the perfect pairing here. It’s homemade and I literally could have drank it, it was that good. I love condiments, especially ranch, and if you like a little pizazz then you should dunk your sandwich in it too. Chow down on their tuna in the form of a salad for a crisp and refreshing meal. Their tuna was astounding. It’s served on a bed of lettuce and topped with your choice of add-ons, we went with the hot pepper relish and oil and vinegar dressing. Choose a size and enjoy. This is the medium, a good size if you’re really hungry or want to share. The tuna salad is a hot seller and for obvious reasons, it was well seasoned and perfectly creamy. Their sides burst with flavor and are the perfect addition to your sandwich or salad. Choose between their Redskin Potato Salad, Greek Potato Salad, Coleslaw and Tuna Macaroni Salad. You can order it as a side, ½ pint or regular size pint. All of the salads are homemade and yes, they are dreamy and creamy. The staff was so kind to us and they brought us every side to try. The Redskin Potato Salad was good, a safe order that will be comforting and filling. The Greek Potato Salad, however, is my favorite of the two because of the additional zesty bite you get. There’s a little tang that had me basically licking the bowl clean. The Coleslaw was the runner up as its cold and crisp texture was light and semi sweet. I don’t usually like coleslaw because sometimes the texture gets to me, but I’d have to define the one at Williams Sub Shop as perfection. The Tuna Macaroni Salad was also very tasty. It’s a classic side and doesn’t leave you feeling overly full since it’s served cold and even though there’s macaroni, it’s still a light refreshing bite. They offered to take our picture, how cute! I love going on lunch dates/food reviews with Aunty Karen. The majority of the people that stopped in requested their orders to-go. The staff is pretty quick to get orders out and even during their afternoon rush they kept a steady flow and positive attitude. After devouring all the sides, half of the Yum Yum Sub, half of the Italian Sub, and a few big forkfuls of the Tuna Salad, I was completely floored. Williams Sub Shop is that familiar sandwich shop that’s been around for years and years and you wonder why you didn’t come across it sooner. It’s a hole in the wall gem that I look forward to visiting every time I’m passing by.

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