My 2012 TFBA Awards Ballot

By William Kristoph

I promised that once the winners of the 2012 TFBA Awards were fully announced that I’d reveal my votes so that you guys can pick at them if you want. Let me say, that I do my best to not rip anybody to shreds in my reviews. That’s not what I want to do. Also, there are still many places in Tallahassee that I haven’t tried. So, if you didn’t rank on my ballot, don’t assume it’s because I don’t like you. I probably just haven’t had your food yet!

Voting was weighed and we were asked to pick up to our top 3. You’ll see there were many instances that I didn’t vote for three and some where I didn’t vote at all.

My 2012 TFBA Awards Voting:

1. Best Bar – 1. The 4th Quarter
2. Best Appetizer – 1. Samrat Onion Bhujia, 2. Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp
3. Best Asian Restaurant – 1. Sakura, 2.
4. Best Bakery – 1. The Cake Shop, 2. Treva’s Pastries & Fine Foods
5. Best BBQ – 1. Piggy’s BBQ
6. Best Breakfast – 1. Uptown Cafe, 2. The Egg Cafe
7. Best Brunch – No vote.
8. Best Cajun – Harry’s
9. Best Casual – 1. Village Pizza, 2. Ray’s Steel City, 3. Kool Beanz
10. Best Catering – No vote.
11. Best Cocktail – No vote.
12. Best Coffee Shop – 1. Craig’s Killer Coffee, 2. Starbucks
13. Best Cuban – 1. Cuban Grill, 2. Gordo’s, 3. Habana’s Boardwalk
14. Best Deli – 1. Bagelheads
15. Best Dessert – 1. Lofty Pursuits, 2. FGF, 3. Treva’s
16. Best Fine Dining – No vote.
17. Best Food Truck – 1. The Turnover Cafe
18. Best French Fries – No vote.
19. Best Greek / Mediterranean – 1. Captain Pete’s
20. Best Burger – 1. Bird’s, 2. Monk’s, 3. Tomahawk
21. Best Happy Hour – No vote.
22. Best Hibachi – 1. Sakura
23. Best Hotdog – No vote.
24. Best Indian – 1. Samrat
25. Best Italian – 1. Buca di Beppo, 2. Bella Bella
26. Best Locally Owned – 1. Bagelheads, 2. Paisley Cafe
27. Best Lunch – 1. Bagelheads, 2. Paisley Cafe
28. Best Mexican – 1. La Fiesta, 2. La Hacienda
29. Best Outdoor Dining – No vote.
30. Best Pizza – 1. Mike’s Stone Baked Pizza, 2. Momo’s Pizza, 3. Decent Pizza
31. Best Seafood Market – 1. Southern Seafood
32. Best Seafood Restaurant – 1. Harry’s 2. Bonefish Grill
33. Best Southern – No vote.
34. Best Special Occasion – 1. The Melting Pot, 2. Sakura
35. Best Sports Bar – 1.Hobbit Hoagies, 2. Tomahawk Sports Bar, 3. Andrew’s
36. Best Steakhouse – 1. Longhorn’s
37. Best Sushi – 1. Sakura, 2. Masa
38. Best Thai – No vote.
39. Best Wine List – No vote
40. Best Wings – 1. Wing Street at Pizza Hut, 2. Hobbit Hoagies, 3. The 4th Quarter

Please leave me a comment. I’m happy to explain my votes! 🙂


What Should Tallahassee Eat? – Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza

***Disclaimer: The Tallahassee Food Blogger’s Association was invited to tour and taste test Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza. As part of it, I personally sampled pizza and salad for free. In no way did anyone at Joe Mama’s ask or imply that it should influence this review.***

By William Kristoph

TFBA Meetup

As part of the first ever #TFBA meetup, we were able to tour Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza, check out the kitchen and talk with Devon, one of the owner-managers in Tallahassee (along with her brother) and Jim, her dad, the creator and owner of the original Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza in Port St. Joe, FL. Devon greeted and seated us with a smile and a ton of info about Joe Mama’s Pizza. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, featuring a modern feel with black and white photography of local areas. The wood fired oven is visible from the dining area, as is the bar area. I’m normally not one to comment on atmosphere, but Joe Mama’s is the only pizzeria that I feel would make for a romantic date night. It fits the Mid Town area and target audience perfectly.

Devon and Jim
Devon and her father Jim in the kitchen of Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza, explaining their fresh and local approach to food.
Photo by William Kristoph using iPhone 4 and iPhoto

Devon introduced her father, Jim, who laid out the Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza way and gave us a background of the original Port Saint Joe location and this new Tallahassee location. Fresh, local and quality is the best I can sum it up. Top it off by cooking it in a wood fired pizza oven imported from Italy and the owners’ passion for food really shines. Jim and Devon filled us in about anything and everything and had us tour both the oven area and the kitchen. I personally thought they way they roll and stretch their dough was interesting. There is no tossing at Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza, unless it’s the salad made at your table!

Continue reading What Should Tallahassee Eat? – Joe Mama’s Wood Fired Pizza

What Should Tallahassee Eat? – Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack

By William Kristoph

Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack Review

First off, I blew it. I forgot to take pictures. Even while I was watching Mike take pictures all over Bird’s and Joe was busy trying to photo-bomb them, I forgot to take a picture of my burger. Here is a picture of a frog that was a stowaway in my car until I let him out in the Bird’s parking lot, instead. Good luck to the little guy. I hope it makes it downtown.

Tree Frog Stowaway
A stowaway tree frog in my car in the Bird’s Parking Lot.
Photo by William Kristoph using iPhone 4.

The Burger and French Fries

When it comes to a review of a burger, I like to keep it basic. It’s not fair to try some off the wall flavors and then write it up if I don’t like the particular combo I chose. At Bird’s I went with a very traditional 10 oz burger, with lettuce, tomato, cheese and grilled onions. If you like your burgers thick, then Bird’s is for you. As usual, Bird’s cooked mine to a nice medium, with enough pink for my liking but no mooing. The meat is flavorful, and is not overpowered by salt, thankfully. The toppings were fresh and the grilled onions added the sweetness that I wanted.
Continue reading What Should Tallahassee Eat? – Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack

What Should Tallahassee Eat? – Moe’s Southwest Grill

By William Kristoph

Moe’s Southwest Grill (Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL)

Welcome to Moe’s!” If you haven’t set foot inside of a Moe’s before, plan ahead and prepare yourself for the over the top greeting from the staff as soon as you enter the restaurant. Moe’s is mostly a burrito place and they do it quickly and cleanly to get you a calorie-packed lunch. It’s fast food, but it doesn’t taste like it. If you have a craving for a burrito like I did, then head to Moe’s!

The Art Vandelay

Moe's Southwest Grill - Art Vandelay
The Art Vandelay Burrito at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Tallahassee, FL.
Photo by William Kristoph using iPhone 4.

When I go to Moe’s I skip the meat and go with the vegetarian Art Vandalay. Vegetarian? Yes, vegetarian. Trust me, this is not a light lunch. I opt for both pinto beans and black beans, along with rice, pico, sour cream and sometimes guacamole. The beans make this burrito feel “meaty” even though it’s a vegetarian dish. Moe’s tosses in thin tortilla chips with a few different salsas to choose from (or the queso for a bit more money, which I recommend).


Moe’s on Apalachee Parkway is always busy, which means there’s a good turnover of the burrito ingredients and everything tastes fresh. The restaurant stays relatively clean even during the peak times. My big complaint is the buffet-style salsa offering, which is nice for self-service but sort of grosses me out thanks to so many people using it for their chips. Yes, Moe’s is fast food, but fast food isn’t a dirty phrase when it’s delicious in addition to quick. I rated Moe’s “I Like It” on Urbanspoon.

Moe's Southwest Grill on Urbanspoon