Musical Monday - Lazy Bones

Finally got around to watching Season 2 of The Walking Dead last week (when I should have been blogging) & have been listening to Wooden Shjips ever since. Lazy Bones appeared in Episode 10 & you can find lots of their other tunes on YouTube. My current fave is Flight:

On the theme of lazy bones: I still need to share Part 2 of the Urban Brew & BBQ experience! Sheesh! Thanks for your patience - it will post sometime this week. (If you missed my first visit to this St. Petersburg neighborhood joint, click here for details and tasty photos.)

We've been busy cramming as much fun as possible into the last days of summer. School starts tomorrow & The Dude isn't too thrilled. He tends to move to the beat of his own drum when given the chance and is just not a fan of getting up early. Of course neither am I. I have a hunch an extra large pot of coffee will be a must over the next couple of mornings. 

How about a final sleepy earworm for the day from They Might Be Giants? Tune into this ditty & try not to yawn - I dare ya.

What are you listening to today? Want to share? Looking for something new? Click Here ---> Cathy Kennedy's Stories will be happy to get you started over at the Musical Monday Blog Hop.


Great Food Truck Race Distraction,erm,Marathon

Pop-a-waffle crew photo nicked from FoodNetwork

Sidelined tonight when my husband tuned in to the Great Food Truck Race Marathon on Food Network. I missed most of this season the first time around and really wanted to see an ole-buddy in action. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Scott, the gent on the right, back in our salad days. (Sorry couldn't resist). We both attended the Maine Summer Arts Program in high school and then kept in touch until college. 

Scott Stanley

If you've been hanging around this blog for awhile, you may recall this smiling face from my 2012 post promoting Scott's KickStarter campaign, Spin Your World: Bring Flag Dancing to High School.

While Scott made his KickStarter goal (& thanks again to the ArtSnark readers who helped!), I'm waiting to see how he & his breakfast-food buds do in the 2013 FoodTruck Race. I have a hunch they aren't going to make it past the Top 3 (& refuse to check google to see what happened).  Soooo... the Urban Brew & BBQ review part 2 has been postponed until tomorrow. 

(And for those of you who are wondering where the heck are the artsy posts, all I can say is thanks for your patience. It has been one heck of a challenging summer but the art dry spell is coming to an end. So, please stay tuned.)

Want to find out more about Scott's handmade flags? Visit http://spinyourworld.com/ 

Missed the Spin Your World Kickstarter post? Click Here

Into Food Truck TV? Be sure to catch the season 4 premier over at FoodNetwork. Click here for details.

Into Food Truck FOOD? Be sure to attend the World's Largest Food Truck Rally in Tampa, FL on August 31st. Find details at http://greatfoodtruckfest.com/ http://www.facebook.com/100TruckRally and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/100truckrally.


Gardening Blues

day 119 shooting into the sun / plumbago

I am just over 1/3 of the way through the 365 days in a garden project! With art & blogging falling to the side this summer, one thing I have managed to keep up with is posting a garden-themed picture a day over on Instagram. View all the photos at Instagram.com/Artsnark.

day 110 lantern
day 110 lantern

Some days I'm out back in my pjs, stalking bugs ... even before coffee. Others days have found me in the rain, trying to keep the iphone dry while clickety-clicking. There have even been a few last minute quick & dirty snaps shot before the last light fades.   

day 118 under the passionvine
day 118 Under the passionvine

Started on a whim, as a way to play with instagram and keep an eye on my plants, some days this project has been my only creative outlet. 

If you are enjoying the pics, keep following. If you prefer flickr , they are in my photostream  http://www.flickr.com/artsnark ; Please note: I'm behind on updating sets though. There is also a board on pinterest, http://pinterest.com/artsnark/365-days-in-a-garden/ - although I am behind on updating that one too. 

Hope to catch up on loads of stuff when school starts next week, including those photo-sharing updates.... and a return to more consistent blogging!  If you are in the bloggity neighborhood Saturday, pop by for part 2 of my Urban Brew & BBQ review. If I don't catch you until later, best wishes for a creative day & wonderful weekend!


Urban Brew & BBQ review

Woo - eee! This summer sure went by in a flash! After a couple of crazy-busy months, I decamped with the family to the beach some fun, food & fishing. The plan was to catch up on blogging too, but we decided to stay unplugged for a while longer. Now I'm back, batteries recharged and with lots of fun stuff to share... starting with a couple of recent visits to St. Pete's new Urban Brew & BBQ.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by the restaurant. At the end of July Urban Brew & BBQ invited the Tampa Bay Bloggers to sample their food & drink in exchange for some honest reviews. All opinions shared here are my own. 

Relaxing over a tasty lunch with some of the Tampa Bay Bloggers was a welcome break in July. Great food, fun atmosphere and friendly folks made for a much needed break in a hectic month. This place has a urban-rustic vibe that encourages chilling out and chatting up your neighbor. A 30 foot long mural shows Central Ave. in St. Petersburg as it might have looked 100 years ago. My photo didn't come out due to a misbehaving phone. Click here to visit Urban Brew's website for a great pic and more info.

The bar runs the length of the space. There is also a handful of tables inside and out. On the aside, as word gets out about this new spot and their great beer selection, I bet there will be a bit of a wait during peak hours. 

The textured wall of salvaged Augusta Brick (which originally paved the streets of old St. Pete) is the perfect backdrop for a row of shiny taps and shelves of glasses. The glasses come in different shapes to best highlight the characteristics of each beer. All beers served here are available in half-pours too.

The chalkboard lists a rotating assortment of craft beers with their type, state & alcohol content. We were told that each beer is from a different brewery, with no beer costing over $7.00.

root beer in front, iced tea in back

There is even a non-alcoholic root beer from the Abita brewing company on tap. It had been a long time since I'd sipped a root beer - I found it less fizzy that expected and very sweet. I decided to stick with my refreshing unsweetened iced tea (but sampled some beers on my next visit).

By the way, the bathroom floors in this place are one of those Pinterest projects that everyone saves... but only the very persistent attempt. The mosaics of 5000+ varnished pennies in the restrooms have absolutely nothing to do with the food and drink but are too hipster-cool not to share here.

On with the show! When signing up, we were told we'd be sampling some pulled pork, coleslaw and brownies. It was a good thing I came hungry, as we were each given a tray loaded with tasty treats to try. 

A quick tour: 

On the bar are four sauces for customizing your 'cue. I am sauce-crazy, so this made me very happy! They are spicy, tangy, sweet & extra sweet. The spicy sauce was definitely my fave and it mixed well with the tangy and sweet.

Next is a small black bowl of homemade baked beans. These are cooked with smoked meats and molasses for extra flavor. I have to honestly admit to a strong aversion to baked beans, but wanted to make sure I tasted everything. They were very sweet, and while still not my thing, tasted pretty good. The bean fans in the group said they were fabulous.

On the upper left of the tray is a bite of kielbasa wrapped in prosciutto. I have disliked kielbasa since childhood... until now. This was really tasty - just the right amount of juicy, crispy and salty.

A couple of the sides we tried were the potato salad (mixed with cream cheese) and coleslaw. Both are made with less mayo than you usually find, which is a plus for me. The fresh roll on the bottom left was from Giovanni's in Clearwater. These are also the rolls used for the sliders. 

There was also homemade sausage, a special & not on the menu. Mine was on the dry side, which was fixed by dipping into some sauce. 

Next up, the smoked meats: Urban Brew uses a dry rub similar to Memphis style. They trim, smoke and rest the meats so they are tender and not fatty at all. There were baby back ribs. I'm more of a country-rib gal (BBQ blasphemy, I am told) but this was one of the better baby back's I've tried. On the far right is the pulled pork, delicious by itself. No sauce needed. 

Urban Mac & Cheese

And this, friends, is my new holy grail. Made when ordered and served with the small skillet it is cooked in, this tasty side is loaded with four savory cheeses and covered in crispy bread crumbs for a truly mac-tastic experience. This time, I had to share.... next time, I am getting my own!

I had to leave early but caught a photo of this yummy looking skillet apple crisp first. I'd sampled a spoonful of just the caramel earlier, which was infused with juicy apple goodness. A skillet Ghirardelli's brownie was also served.

Since I missed out on the sweets, wanted to try the beers... and just kept thinking about the Urban mac & cheese, a second visit was definitely in order. When my Mom had a hankering for some BBQ earlier this week, we popped over for lunch. One of these days I hope to share that meal too (with photos) - just need to get around to it.

For more about Urban Brew & BBQ, including details on the decor, a menu and what is currently on tap visit http://www.urbanbrewandbbq.com. And if you're feeling peckish pop on over to 1939 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL.


Music Monday - I'm Back!

Got a bit o' James Brown to kick me "off that thing" tonight. I can't believe it has been a whole month since my last post! Life tossed a few surprises my way and something had to give - in this case, it was the blog.

But.... now I am back! And I've got giveaways, interviews, WIPs, finished projects and lots of other goodies in the pipeline - so keep checking in. Later this week I will share my gustatory musings about some tasty BBQ that I enjoyed recently in St. Pete.

Since it is Music Monday, pop on over to DeniseIsRunDMT and take in some other Musical Musings in today's blog-hop. Maybe you'll stumble over something that makes you "dance till you feel better!"