Things that I love right now:
I’ve made an oath to myself to include yoga into my fitness schedule once a week. I have a friend who’s quite the yogi so I usually go where she goes, which led me to YogaBlu. Beautiful space, great staff and probably the best class I’ve taken in the Tampa Bay area. I go to Destry’s YogaFlow class, but unfortunately she’s moving in a few weeks 😦 Time to test out another teacher!
My fitness routine consists of a lot of cardio and some weight lifting, which leaves my muscles sore and tight. Yoga is pretty much the only thing that really helps me stretch out…plus I just love that “yoga high” you get after a class.
I’ve been exercising regularly since I was 18. But I never really knew what the hell I was doing. I knew how to run and that’s about it. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I started getting into yoga and zumba classes, and thus realizing I really loved a group class setting. After my friend taught a zumba class at F4F I went on their website and saw all of the other types of classes that were taught. Most of the classes were boot camps and I decided to give one a whirl. It. Kicked. My. Butt. And I loved every minute of it. The setting was also very comfortable. It’s mainly an all women fitness studio…there are a few co-ed classes offered and the occasional guy will show up (usually dragged by his girlfriend). Most of the classes are taught by owner, Rebekah Reidy, but she just recently hired a new trainer to take some of the load off. The best thing about the classes is that they are always different, which means you never get bored. And it’s not all boot camps…there’s an awesome circuit style weight lifting class called Pink Iron (one of my favs), yoga, pilates and running clinics. Whether you’re just starting to get into working or you’re training for a marathon, this is a great place to go. The price is also the cheapest in St. Pete at $10 a class, but if you’re over your budget one week you can hit up an Open Gym, which is free.
I’m really on a health food kick right now so after a sweat session at F4F on Monday I headed to Rollin’ Oats for the weekly grocery shopping. I hadn’t been in there in ages so it took me a bit to find everything I needed. Plus their aisles are so narrow that two carts can barely fit down one. But I was all googly eyed at all of the different products and definitely got a bit grab happy, which showed when all of the goodies were rung up. I want to keep shopping at local health stores, but going to try another one in the area to see how prices compare.
I’ve always hated counting calories. And a lot of times for a lot of reasons I think it’s silly. At the same time I practically do it every day. I’ve tried a food journal and online website, but I’ve always fallen off the wagon. But ever since I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone I’ve been going pretty strong. They make it so super easy to find different foods, and they have even added a barcode scanner feature. It’s important to note that I’m not a crazy calorie counter who is doing it to loose weight. I in no way am looking to loose weight (my fitness focus is strictly in the tonage area). I mainly like to track my cals so I know that I am eating enough. Or it’s nice to know that I have extra wiggle room at the end of the day for dessert or an extra drink 🙂 Anytime I go out to eat I pretty much stop counting for the day, because please…it’s pretty much worthless at that point. You can also keep track of how many calories you burned during a workout, and it automatically adds it to your allotted calories.
The boy and I have driven past this place a few times and it’s always been on our list of “places to try”. So this week when they popped up on Groupon I snatched that puppy up right away. After a long few days and lack of motivation to cook we decided we wanted to go out to eat last night. I remembered the Groupon and the decision was made.
What we drank:
The boy drooled over the draft German beer selections and promptly ordered one 🙂
He also chose one of their premium house wines for me, which was a really delish Riesling. Light and fruity and not too sweet. It was also served in the most adorable glass I’ve ever seen:
What we ate:
Not the best I’ve had, but you can never go wrong with tons of garlic butter 🙂
Noodles were very tasty, but were under seasoned. We doused it with salt and pepper and it was much better.
Pounded breaded pork loin stuffed with swiss cheese and prosciutto served with lyonnaise potatoes, cooked carrots and the most amazing red wine, mushroom sauce.
Wurst Plate (his)
Mine was good, but next time I want this (I’m truly a meat and potatoes gal at heart). Bratwurst, Debrizinger and Veal loaf sat happily on the plate alongside sauekraut and german potato salad.
Viennese Nut Cake
Lots of nuts and buttercream, but we both wished it had more cake.
Overall, everything was delicious. And the atmosphere was wonderful…the decor is adorable right down to the antique cuckoo clock. And authentic German music played through the speakers sealing the deal that I want to visit Germany/Austria one day. To top it off the staff was super sweet and it definitely felt like a great neighborhood place…while we were there the staff seemed to know everyone who was walking through the door, welcoming them with hugs and boisterous hellos. We could definitely get used to that.
Things that I definitely don’t love:
I remember Gratzzi being one of my first dining experiences when I moved to St. Pete. I remember walking up the stairs of BayWalk and entering the restaurant and being impressed by the simple elegance of the decor. And I remember the food being really good. This was six years ago so I can’t really get any more specific than that. But as the years went on in their BayWalk space the food got worse and worse, and eventually I stopped going. So when they closed it was not a big surprise. But ever since they reopened in their new location I’ve been highly curious…everytime I walk by the dining room seems to be full and I’ve heard rave reviews both from critics and people walking out of the restaurant.
Finally, after a long yoga class my friend and I decided to give it a whirl. The decor resembles their old space, but with a bit more of a modern flair. I really liked how they had smaller booths for two rather than chairs. Our waiter was very nice and accommodating. The menu looked exciting and filled with classic Italian favorites. I ordered the Rigatonacci alla Vodka, one of my favorite Italian dishes that I rarely let myself order. My friend got the Chicken Piccata. Needless to say neither one of was impressed. I still can’t pinpoint what I didn’t exactly like about my dish…it was definitely too salty and lacked much other flavor. My friend picked at her chicken, which she said was too oily. We determined that we may come back, but only to sit at the bar for happy hour and maybe sample some apps. More frustrated than disappointed by Gratzzi since it’s so hard to find a good go-to Italian place in the Tampa Bay area.