Whole Foods Market Hosts Free Cheese Tastings Tonight

Courtesy Whole Foods Market
There's only one thing better than cheese and that's free cheese. That's why Cheese Nights at Whole Foods is turning us on so much.

This totally free event is happening tonight at Whole Foods Market in Fort Lauderdale and if you're a cheese lover you've got to come out and get your cheese on.

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PDQ's National Children's Book Day Drive: Donate a Book, Get a Free Meal

Exchange a book for this.
Obviously, if you're checking out Clean Plate Charlie, you're into two things: good food and a good read. So are the people at PDQ, the fast casual restaurants that stand for "people dedicated to quality".

The Tampa-based chain that specializes in fresh hand-battered chicken tenders, made-to-order sandwiches, and fresh salads, is hosting a book drive in honor of National Children's Book Day.

See also: New Fast Food Concept PDQ Now Open in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale

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Parmageddon Returns: Whole Foods Market Attempts to Break Cheesy World Record

Courtesy Whole Foods Market
Crack that cheese! Now we just need a steaming bowl of pasta!
If you've ever perused the Guinness Book of World Records, you'll see a lot of insane world records -- like the one for the most parmesan cheese wheels cracked simultaneously. The record was set by Whole Foods market on March 9, 2013, when a total of 426 cheese wheels were cracked at 28 different WFM markets worldwide at exactly 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The event was called Parmageddon, a fitting name to the cheesy stunt.

If for some reason you missed the fun, it's all going down tomorrow when Whole Foods attempts to break its own record at the Parmigiano Reggiano Crack Heard 'Round the World.

At exactly 3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, you can witness a world record being broken (hopefully) as you watch cheesemongers in your local Whole Foods crack an 85-pound wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano. They're going for the record, which means that at least 427 giant wheels of cheese will have to get cracked for the goal!

That's not all. There are lots of cheese freebies and fun in store, along with lots of photo ops. Here's a list of participating locations in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

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Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Delray Beach This Weekend: Meat the Hotdoggers

Mat McBane
The Wienermobile. Seen around town.
In this age of politically-correct food and organic farm-to-fork dining, we'll share our guilty pleasure.

The hot dog.

Sorry, Farmer Joe. Your beautiful produce is great, and we love a good heirloom tomato, but every now and again, we get a hankering for a hot dog, resting in a white bread roll, slathered with plenty of yellow mustard. That's called comfort food at its best. Which is why the thought of having our picture taken with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile gives us a frisson of pleasure.

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Burger Beast's Burgie Awards: Watch the Recap (Video)

Screenshot via YouTube
Thousands of people gather to enjoy food trucks at Burgie Awards.
Thousands of fans of food trucks, beer, and music gathered in downtown Fort Lauderdale's Esplanade Park this past Saturday for the fifth Burgie Awards.

The Burgies were, of course, created by South Florida food blogger Burger Beast as a way to acknowledge trucks and restaurants that specialize in affordable comfort food. The evening saw a huge crowd eating, drinking, and enjoying the balmy winter weather before the big moment -- the actual awards.

The big winner of the evening was Blue Collar restaurant in Miami, which took home awards for best fries and best restaurant. Broward/Palm Beach winners included Charm City (Best Burger), Mojo Donuts (Best Doughnut), and Rolling Stove (Best Food Truck Broward/Palm Beach).

See also: The 5th Annual Burgie Awards at Esplanade Park - Slideshow

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Gulfstream Park Celebrates 75th Birthday with 75 Cent Cocktails, Hot Dogs

Gulfstream Park via Facebook
Celebrate 75 years of racing with 75 cent cocktails.
South Florida is a relatively young part of the country. While other cities boast taverns where our founding fathers drank ale while writing the Constitution, our history is fairly new. But that doesn't mean we don't have some grand dames to admire.

Take, for example, Gulfstream Park, which celebrates its 75th anniversary of the first thoroughbred race ever run there on Saturday, February 1 with races, a costume contest, and 75 cent cocktails and food!

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Hukilau 2014: The Final Blowout Set for June

Monica McGivern
Drink up one last time.
Tikiphiles we've got some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Hukilau 2014 is going to be bigger and better, with five days of music, entertainment, and Tiki drinks scheduled at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and the Mai-Kai from June 11 to 15.

The bad news is that this, the 13th annual Hukilau will be the last...ever.

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South Florida Fair Returns January 17 - February 2: Time for Fried Oreos!

Laine Doss
The Krispy Kreme burger. Now in low-cal (just kidding).
The South Florida Fair is back and that means time to chow down on all manner of fried and sugary treats.

The fair, which takes over the South Florida Fairgrounds from Jan 17 - Feb 2, 2014 features rides, concerts, pig races, high divers, and animal exhibits. But we're in it for the glorious, greasy, fried food.

Because we're considered food professionals, we're sharing five tips for you to enjoy the fair food.

See also: Five Best Food and Drink Events in South Florida This Weekend: South Florida Beer Week, Bus Loop, and More

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Aventura Wine and Food Festival Promoter: "This Is a Lesson Learned"

Thumbnail image for aventurawineandfoodfestival.jpg
Aventura Wine and Food Festival via Facebook
Yesterday, Clean Plate Charlie received a number of emails and phone calls regarding the Aventura Wine and Food Festival, held this past Sunday at Gulfstream Park.

None of them were good.

One industry insider -- who prefers to remain anonymous -- told us, "There were only about six check-in counters that I could see, and they were slow as snails, 'cause they had to check each printout coupon and then put wristbands on." And "they didn't think about the basics like trash bins, duh! It was disgusting having spilling plates of food in teeny bins. There were black trash bags which didn't look very appetizing."

We contacted Diego Ciola, marketing manager for the event promoter, South Florida Festivals, for comment and received the following email today:

See also: Aventura Wine and Food Festival: Long Lines, Food Shortages UPDATED

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Cooking Channel's Eat Street to Film Palate Party at Funky Buddha Brewery

Palate Party via Twitter
Eat Street films Palate Party. You're invited.
Eat Street, the Cooking Channel show that highlights the best food on wheels is returning to south Florida to shoot some food trucks.

We know our trucks are high quality, but we also suspect the fact that the production crew is from Canada has something to do with their filming around Florida in January.

This weekend, the crew is in Orlando, filming for a few days before heading south to Funky Buddha on Friday, January 17 to film Palate Party for a future episode.

See also: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Bottle Day: Funky Buddha's Epic Beer Festival Is Next Week

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