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| Culture |

Tobacco Road's Flying Tomato Smash & Bash Returns to Cure Your Aggression

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Between South Beach Wine & Food Festival anticipation and Lil Wayne's frustrating attacks on some of Miami's most beloved residents, it's been a stressful week. But before you punch somebody, remember: With this weekend comes relief. Relief, in the form of shiny, red, grenade-shaped edibles to be launched at the nearest sucker. Line 'em up and knock 'em down at Tobacco Road's second annual Flying Tomato Smash & Bash, this Saturday.

"That's how it is. You go in, you get hit with tomatoes. There's no way around it," Laura Hirata, bartender at the Road, says of the event, inspired by Spain's infamous Tomatina Festival and a tomato surplus.

"The owner here has a farm in Homestead. It happened because he was unable to sell [the tomatoes], so we use them for this event," she says.

Twenty-five thousand pounds of fruit (or vegetable; to hell with the long-standing debate) returns for gastronomic warfare behind the restaurant. Guests will enjoy the Road's usual mix of live music, DJs, and food and drink specials. (Of course, they'll probably be covered in red sauce as they do.) It's an all-day food fight that goes beyond messy -- it's not for the faint of heart. People are warned to stay away if they're not going to go hard.

"I would suggest wearing goggles. Last year, some participants got a tomato in the eye, and of course it stung... Someone got it in the back of the head pretty bad," Hirata says.

It's recommended that attendees wear clothing they don't mind splattering, and bring an extra change of clothes. Teaming up with a battle partner is also suggested, as having one's back exposed is inevitable. By the end of it, the Road looks like a bloodbath; it takes about a week to clean up. It's not something anyone should miss, especially if you're carrying a ton of pent-up frustration. Of course, try not to maim anyone. New Times doesn't need to feature another weird headline about killer tomatoes.

Check out last year's Flying Tomato Smash & Bash:

Flying Tomato Smash and Bash takes place at Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave., Miami, Saturday, February 23, noon to midnight. No cover charge, but a $20 tomato-throwing fee, 21+. Call 305-374-1198.

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