Local Love

Whew, I am loving these busy weeks but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am looking forward to a few low key nights next week. Let’s get to it!

Keep St. Pete Local Launch Party

St. Pete has been flourishing with a live local movement and it’s really been at the forefront (at least for me) in the past 6 or so months. Keep St. Pete Local is a new business alliance that has recently formed to be a resource for businesses and residents alike about living local. They had their launch party this past Tuesday and Jon and I attended.

The party took place at Nova 535, which I’d been to before, but never for a party. It’s really a cool space. Brick walls and tons of unique art hanging. Cool lighting and awesome local music playing. They have an upstairs too with an outside patio that’s a nice place to hang if the crowd gets to be too much for you. There was a lot of local restaurants that brought food, but we didn’t end up getting our hands on any. We were only there about an hour. Long enough for one drink and to hear a little bit about KSPL’s plans.

Really neat thing they did was write questions on paper on all the tables for people to answer. Great way to let everyone voice their opinions.

After we left we were HUN-GRAAAY so we headed to Taco Bus. Taco Bus = Love.

We were still alive and kickin’ after our burritos and decided to end the night with a drink at nearby Steelhouse Brewery. They don’t seem to get a lot of foot traffic, but it really is a cool little hole in the wall type of place. Nice atmosphere, nice people, nice everything!

Bonefish Grill

Wednesday I had a Junior League meeting at Bonefish Grill. I haven’t been here in forever. Jon and I used to go, then I think we had a few bad experiences and stopped going. It was really good though! Prices are definitely steep. My total was about $30 for one drink and an entree. I tried their new Winter White Cranberry Martini. I’m not normally a martini person and was afraid it’d be too strong. But it actually turned out to be super sweet, which was what I was in the mood for. We got an order of Bang Bang Shrimp (duh) for the table. So good. For an entree I had the crab cakes, which were just perfect. Lots of lump crab with little filler. They flaked perfectly and the remoulade with them was a great side kick. My sides were mixed veggies and the potatoes au gratin. The potatoes were very cheesy, but in a good way 🙂

Ale and the Witch Birthday Party

Happy 1st birthday to our fav place ever, The Ale and the Witch. We stopped by last night to show our support and have a nightcap. It was extremely crowded so we didn’t stay long. I had the Blackberry Pear Fox Barrel cider, which I thought would be too sweet, but it was actually just right! Very similar to a lambic. They had some local restaurants giving out food for just $2, but we didn’t partake. Although I was jonesing to try Farm to Fork Organics‘ mac and cheese.

Up on deck is First Friday tonight, then Les Miz tomorrow plus fun with Jon’s fam!

What fun things do you have planned for the weekend?

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Wow, has it really been almost a week since I’ve posted?? Oops. Sorry folks, lots of fun has been happening over here!

Thursday

When I last left you it was a day where I actually got to go into work late. With no food in the house I asked my friend Lora if she wanted to meet up for lunch. Off to Meze 119 we go!

This was my second visit and Meze didn’t disappoint. They’re proved their consistency. (At least with the food…our waitress didn’t know how to smile.)

Cyprus BLT with house salad.

Last time I was here, Lora got this and it looked so good I vowed to try it next visit. Tempeh bacon, panko encrusted tomato, olive tapenade, caramelized onions and syrian cheese on a whole wheat pita makes this sammie filling yet healthy tasting. Never had syrian cheese…loved it! It kind of tastes like mozzarella. The house salad was also bigger than expected and overflowed with my beloved sundried tomatoes. Love the vinaigrette they use also.

Friday

After work and a long Saturday ahead of me all I wanted to do Friday was drink wine, eat pizza and watch a movie. Only part of that happened. Pizza was nixed and we ended up getting Taco Bus. Aka the food I could eat every day for the rest of my life and be fat and happy.

The chochinita pibil burrito never gets old. But the butternut squash centro did. Don’t think we’ll get it again. We’ve gotten it a few times and finally realized we’re not big fans.

Weekend

Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in awhile.

I started off hugging strangers at Keep St. Pete Local’s Free Hug Fest. Sounds strange I know, but it was really a great thing. The idea formed from it being National Hugging Day and also KSPL’s goal to bring together the community and support local businesses. Basically residents could sign up for hugging shifts that were located throughout downtown St. Pete. You hold a sign that says “Free Hugs” and wait for people to ignore you, give you a nervous look or actually come up to you and ask for a hug. The mayor even gave out free hugs! I was a lone hugger on my block and while I felt a bit strange it was nice to start off the day with hugs!

Then it was off to Edible Peach Patch, where I joined fellow Eckerd alums and St. Pete residents in building a garden for a local elementary school. I helped dig 3 feet into the ground. My arms were sore for 2 days.

Later that night Jon, my mom and I went out for dinner at Moscato’s Bella Cucina. I had been here once with my mom before and was so thrilled to have finally found an authentic Italian place. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good this time 😦 I had the Linguine Pesto and substituted angel hair and added grilled chicken. It was ok, but not as good as the Chicken Saltimbocca I had last time. Jon got a shrimp pasta dish, which was served in a small bowl and looked like a child’s portion. There was also very few shrimp and he said the pasta, although fresh, was undercooked. I was so excited to show off this place to him so this was definitely dissapointing. He also noted that the majority of the wines they had were not Italian. I wrote a review on Yelp though, and got a nice response from the manager. She said they’d take my comments into consideration and to also note that they would be having grand re-opening soon and were trying to get rid of all their current wines to make room for more Italian wines. I still have hope for this place! Plus my mom likes it so I know I’ll be back 🙂

Besides the food, I love the live music they have. There was a guy who knew the band playing and actually randomly sang a few opera songs. He was so good and it was so cool! The whole restaurant literally fell quiet while he was singing.

After dinner and after we dropped my mom off, Jon and I decided to go back out to The Ale and the Witch, which is by far our fav bar in St. Pete.

Hot cider with more awesome live music.

Sunday was uneventful unless you think furniture shopping is exciting. It’s not.

But Lamb Provencal is.

So. Delicious. I’m so spoiled.

Monday

Jon’s sister and a friend came to stay the night with us Monday since they were in town for a conference. This week is also his sister’s birthday so Jon made her a special dinner of homemade spinach pasta and lamb ragu.

I really should have turned on the light for this pic.

For dessert I picked up some goodies at Sweet Divas, which I’d been dying to try. I asked the woman there (who happened to be one of the owners) to just give me some of her favorites. I ended up with 4 different kinds of chocolates and 3 cupcakes. The chocolates did not disappoint. The only one I wasn’t a fan of was the dark chocolate grand mariner. Not sure why, just wasn’t my fav. But the dark chocolate salted caramel was definitely the table favorite. Also on the plate is a milk chocolate champagne (in the shape of a cork!) and a white chocolate key lime.

The cupcakes weren’t as good. I loved the frosting, but we all agreed the cake part was a bit dry.

Overall a fun and gluttonous night!

More fun things coming up this week!

How has your week been so far?