Eye on Travel

Radio Guest List—Tampa Bay, Florida—December 5, 2015

Locations in this article:  Columbia, SC Tampa, FL

tampabayThis week’s broadcast of the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show comes from the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Bay, Florida. Situated along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Tampa Bay is a city surrounded by bodies of water, and there are more than 100 tributaries that flow into Tampa Bay. Partially thanks to the port and international airport, Tampa Bay has a rich culture, history, and a diverse population. Joining us to speak about the ethnic diversity of the city—as well as give insight into its association with cigars—is author and journalist, Wallace Reyes, Ph.D. Then, Owner and Executive Chef of the award-winning restaurant Edison, Jeannie Pierola, talks about the progression of Florida’s food scene in the last ten years.

Travel Editor for The Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney, gives an inside view of why hotels have started moving away from third party sites for bookings. Also joining us is contributing journalist to the Tampa Bay Times, Sharon Wynne, who talks about why Tampa is a great place to visit, both because it is walkable and because it is an easy drive to the beach. There’s all of this and more when this week’s broadcast of Peter Greenberg Worldwide comes from the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida.

Click here to listen to the show, streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 5, 2015. Call in with your travel questions at 1-888-88-PETER (1- 888-887-3837) or email peter@petergreenberg.com (Write “Ask Peter” in the subject line).

Jeannie Pierola, Owner and Executive Chef of Edison, talks about how foodie culture has caught up with Tampa—the average guest is now more sophisticated. She also explains how she tries to express her home, Ybor City, through all of her cooking.

Sharon Wynne, Contributor to the Tampa Bay Times, gives her top restaurant picks in Tampa and explains the beauty of the city with its bicycle- and walk-friendly Riverwalk.

Wallace Reyes, Ph.D, Tampa Bay-based Historian and Journalist, describes how Ybor City is a melting pot, housing different ethnicities such as Chinese, Germans, Cubans, Hispanics, and Italians. Then, he talks about Tampa Bay’s rich history and why it is known by many as the cigar capital of the world.

Shaun Drinkard, Executive Director of Friends of the Riverwalk, talks about how the Riverwalk concept began 40 years ago and really picked up speed in the last 10 years. Included in this revitalization project are eight major restaurants, cultural institutions, and historical monuments.

Andrea Gonzmart, Fifth generation owner of Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, explains why the restaurant remains a Tampa staple to this day. The main restaurant hosts 15 dining rooms and staffs over 1,000 employees.

Chef Chad Johnson of the Epicurean dissects the palates of guests, pointing to the fact that everyone likes comfort food for dinner, but many patrons do not invest time in a hearty breakfast. They have found that their ground dried beef hamburgers fly off the shelves, but consumers tend to steer away from heavier breakfast staples like biscuits and gravy.

Scott McCartney, Travel Editor for The Wall Street Journal, details why hotels now want more rooms back from third parties and why customers booking through those sites are the first to be bumped if the hotel is overbooked. He also shares the secrets of how to get a room even if the hotel is sold out. One trick is to request an “out of order room” and say that as long as everything is functional, you’ll take it.