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Cigar City Beer Wishes and Tater Tot Dreams... 

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Okay, so it wasn't Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but it WAS drinking and eating for a great cause. You don't have to ask me twice. My friend, Joe, voluntarily arranged World Wish Day to celebrate 33 years since the very first wish was granted by Make-A-Wish. Since then thousands of wishes have been granted including one to Joe's son, hence his passion. So, on this day, certain World of Beer locations partnered up with Cigar City Brewing and Orlando Brewing and all proceeds from sales of designated beers went to Make-A-Wish. I spent my night at World of Beer Carrollwood where servers were offering up half of their tips and the Hott Mess food truck contributed proceeds from food sales. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday evening, not bad at all. I considered not attending due to my burgeoning cold, but sometimes you have to say to yourself, "Suck it up, princess!" and drink craft beer and eat fried goodness for the kids. The kids!!!

CCB offered up some Hotter Than Helles for our charitable indulgence. I had my fair share and ventured out to the Hott Mess truck to check out the grub. Whilst there I had some fun chatting with Heather and Damion, the proprietors of said truck. I must say, since my Keep'n It Reel post the food truck community has been so welcoming and I'm extremely appreciative. Getting to know wonderfully cool people who make deliciousness for the masses has been awesome and I look forward to spending more time with them all.

I decided on my bites for the night and traveled back on in to destroy. If tater tots smothered in tasty absurdity are your thing then Hott Mess Tots are for you. I couldn't possibly finish them all because I devoured my Bacon Wrapped Deep Fried Hott Dog but I intentionally bought them to share with my most beloved beer wench at WoB Carrollwood, Becca, who was graciously offering up half of her tips on her day off the night before finals. She. Is. Dope. Go see her. The tots are everything you could want from tots that are covered in ground beef, bacon cheese sauce and chipotle lime crema with a garnish of chopped scallions. My hot dog had a perky sun-dried tomato relish on it and how could I possibly complain about a fried hot dog wrapped in bacon? The only fault was the bun which couldn't quite stand up to all of the awesomeness piled atop.

Cold advancing, I said my goodbyes and was beside my car when I realized that I liked and respected these people enough to properly say goodbye and tell them my humble opinion. Not only were they extremely receptive but I then got to spend a lengthy amount of time chatting with Heather, the mastermind behind Hott Mess. I learned that this is a family run business that works around Damion's military schedule and puts their 15 year old daughter to work. Not your typical first job but it does allow great experience and the opportunity to buy all of those shiny toys.

The Hott Mess truck has been around for just over a year and is consistently busy. Heather reiterated my point from my previous post that you've got to be extremely passionate because it's not all fun and games. It's really nice to come across people who are doing it for the right reasons. I've met people in food service on both ends of the spectrum and considering my fangirl affection for the industry I appreciate those that are in it for the love, which is what it takes to succeed.

Interesting tidbit which anyone my age will appreciate: the Hott Mess sandwich is inspired by the Canteen Lunch in the Alley loose meat sandwich which inspired the "Lanford Lunch Box" signature sammie in the sitcom Roseanne. All Midwestern, U.S., where Heather is from. Fun, right? I thought so.

These days in the fabulous Tampa landscape there is a food truck for everyone. Or in my case, all of the trucks are for me. Let's put the 'Roach Coach' mentality to bed once and for all and enjoy what this awesome community has to offer. Go hit a rally, experiment, be adventurous. And if you need a hungry partner in dine, just ask, I'm in.

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