You run one of the region’s most popular foodie Instagram accounts. Where did the idea for Tampa Noms come from?
A few years ago I was traveling in Washington, DC, and I didn’t know where to eat or where to go. I tried using Yelp, but I was overwhelmed with the number of options in the area, and I didn’t have any great images [available online] to know what my food actually looked like when it was served. I soon found this awesome Instagram called @DCfoodporn, and that’s when the idea hit that I wanted to do the same thing for Tampa’s growing food scene.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about being an influencer?
I think a big one is the amount of time, work, and thought that goes into building your content. It’s almost as much as a full-time job without the pay. You really have to love what you’re doing and hustle at it.
If you could only eat at one South Tampa restaurant again for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
I would forever eat at Noble Rice. I love the quality of the food; sushi has always been my favorite. But I think what is such a standout is the staff. Every time I go I learn so much about the food and the process. You honestly feel like family when you’re there.
Do you have a favorite Tampa food trend? If so, what is it?
At first I really enjoyed watching the growing availability of frosé a few years ago. I first tried it at Franklin Manor, and now it’s everywhere, but what really has me intrigued is CBD and what everyone is doing with it.
Where do you like to take guests visiting the Tampa Bay area from out of town?
I always take my friends to my favorite spots to eat, including Bodega, Datz, Rooster & the Till, Hidden Springs Ale Works, Revolution Ice Cream and Armature Works. If it’s not a food spot, it is usually gonna be a cute photo-worthy spot like Fancy Free Nursery.
What is your favorite local restaurant for a special occasion and why?
What’s your favorite local hole-in-the-wall or hidden gem restaurant?
Chop Chop Shop [in Seminole Heights], hands down. I could go there every day. I love the flavors and the freshness, and ultimately the portion. It’s always consistent and so good. I’m not ashamed to admit this, but I had a photo that I took at their restaurant as my iPhone background for about six months.
What’s a restaurant or food item you’ve tried in another Florida city that we need in Tampa?
Lightning round. What is your favorite local:
Dessert? Matt’s Fatty Rolls Ice Cream from Revolution Ice Cream
Burger? The St. Petersburg from Locale Market
Taco or burrito? My Cheesy BF Tacos from Datz (they remind me of the breakfast tacos I would eat in Texas growing up)
Sushi roll? Spider roll from anywhere
Healthy food? Bowl from Fresh Kitchen as long as it has those amazing glass noodles and barbecue chicken
Cocktail? The Lion’s Tooth from Mandarin Heights
Craft beer? Banana Hammock from Hidden Springs Ale Works
Coffee/tea? Carrot Cake Latte from TeBella