One of my birthday gifts was a gift card to Locale Market from my Uncle Mark & Aunt Cynthia. I LOVE getting gift cards and consumable gifts – I’d much rather enjoy a great meal than get another physical thing to fill up space in my home that I might not even use.
I wrote a longer post about Locale a few months back the first time I visited. I just want to buy out the entire market – but it’s a lot higher price than my go-to Trader Joe’s. We’ve found that their pre-made meals are well worth the trip though and actually not a bad price at all for the quality you get.
Their menu changes seasonally, so there were different choices this time than our previous visit. This time, Lance had their spice-rubbed brisket with herbed potatoes, braised greens, and red onion jus. I ordered the peanut-crusted Faroe Island salmon served over vermicelli noodles with salmon skin cracklings, radish, and sweet chili dressing. I was happy that they carried cans of St. Pete Brewing's Orange Wheat so I could drink something local with my meal.
I would expect either of these dishes on a high-end restaurant menu for twice the price. The portions were surprisingly large – especially the brisket. And it’s clear that their chefs know what they’re doing when they create these dishes. We ate our meal out on their patio (a pigeon kept inching closer hoping we'd drop some crumbs, but unlucky for him, we ate everything...)
Afterwards we headed to Pair O’ Dice Brewing in Clearwater for their Stout Smackdown. As part of Tampa Bay Beer Week, they paired about a dozen different stouts with cupcakes from Culinary Nerds Cakes. I was surprised that they had so many beers on tap – not only the huge variety of stouts, but also porters, IPAs, and pale ales as well.
We got two cupcakes – one chocolate/peanut butter and the other chocolate/coffee. They paired great with our stouts, especially the Hot Cocoa Imperial Stout! Lance had his with a pint of Let It Rye’d IPA, which won a gold medal at the 2015 Best Florida Beer Championships.
I’m becoming a big fan of spicy beers. Their Chili Little Joe Stout was great, but my favorite was the Mexicali Jalapeño Lime Pale Ale. The lime cut the spiciness so it was perfect – I’d love to try that beer with Mexican food. Somehow we always forget to bring our growlers from home when we visit breweries – otherwise I would have brought some home.
Locale Market is located at 179 2nd Ave North St. Petersburg, Florida 33701 and is open 10am – 9pm Monday – Saturday and 12pm – 8pm on Sunday.
Pair O’ Dice Brewing is located at 4400 118th Ave N #208, Clearwater, FL 33762 and is open 4 – 10pm Wednesday & Thursday, 4 – 11pm Friday, 3 – 11pm Saturday, and 1 – 7pm on Sunday.