Labor Day

Hey friends! Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day! I had today off, but The Chef had to work 😦 Before I get too far into today, though, let’s talk about this…

This my friends is Pho. From Pho Quyen, our new go-to Vietnamese place, where we had dinner Sunday night. I’ve had pho once or twice before, but was never really into it. The Chef loves it though. I normally get BBQ Beef on top of Vermicelli, which I love, but this time I really wanted soup. So I decided to join The Chef and ordered pho. Traditionally, you get pho with not only rare slices of beef, but also tendon and all sorts of errie sounding parts. While The Chef is all about this, I just had to go with the slices of beef only 🙂 This was SO good. It’s really all in the broth. Such flavor! And the thai basil is really the most important mix-in. What I love most about these types of dishes is that you add all of your own additional flavors: soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin, chili paste, siracha…they all go in the pool at our table! I’m so glad I decided to try pho again because now I’m officially a fan.

After dinner we headed to a friend’s for game night. Board games that is! We played a mix of charades and pictionary. What entertainment! Lots of fun with fun people.

Today, my friend had another meetup with her Florida Frugalista’s meetup group. We had brunch at Cassis. It wa sorignally going to be at Red Mesa Cantina, but they ended up being closed 😦 Cassis was wonderful though. It is a bit overpriced, but I still really like the food.

I had the smoked salmon sandwich with bacon and dill sour cream.

Mmm…this was so good! It was huge! I like smoked salmon, but I can only take so much so I actually pulled a few pieces off. And they make their own bread, which takes this sandwich to a whole other level. My sandwich was accompanied by a glass of white sangria. Didn’t get to snap a photo, but it was pretty, light, fruity and yummy!

We had a group of 7 girls and had a great time getting to know one another. I’m really digging these meetups…everyone is so nice! We extended our time together a little more by going down the street to Paciugo for gelato. I actually wasn’t in the mood for gelato and decided on a mango and raspberry sorbet mixture, which was just what I wanted. So light and refreshing.

Once I got home I spent 2 hours cleaning the apartment and then went down to the gym for a run. I’ve been real bad with my work out routines for the past few weeks so I was determined to move today. Earlier in the day I did The Fitnessista’s Cardio Ab burner, so pairing it with an afternoon run made me feel so much better.

When The Chef got home from work (yes, poor thing had to work) I was hoping we’d use up the chicken that’s been sitting in the fridge. But he was tired and didn’t want to cook. We finally decided on picking up Thai, butour fav place was closed! We called one other place that was also closed and then gave up. After a few minutes of pondering The Chef jumped up and got to work on this…

Chicken Piccata! Perfect. I’ve been craving pasta and Italian lately so this was just what I needed.

We always try to make dinner special with candlelight 🙂 And it’s a rule we always turn off the TV and put on music instead. Usually only when we cook…takeout is another story 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I could use another vacation day!

Conversation Starter: Do you dine in front of the TV or at the table?

Low Key is the Key

After a long, strenuous week there’s nothing like a low key weekend with your favorite gal pals.

Friday I was uber tired and didn’t want to do too much. The Chef had gone home for the weekend and I needed dinner so my friend and I decided to meet up. We decided on Three Birds Tavern, which is a regular place for us. One of the few restaurants in St. Pete that is consistently good.

We started off with sharing the veggie egg rolls, which was a special that night. They were chock full of avocado and had a nice bit of spice to them.

For my entree, out waitress had me at “diver sea scallops” when reciting the specials.

Partnered with bacon brittle and paired with mashed potatoes and their signature garlic spinach this was a perfect Friday night dinner. Kendra was our waitress and was so nice and conversational. We had a little problem with receiving the happy hour special…we arrived before 7 but by the time someone came to our table it was after 7…but she fixed it right away.

After dinner we were in need of a sweet treat. Gelato! It took awhile since it was a Friday night, but we eventually found a spot close enough to Paciugo.

Extra dark chocolate and creme caramel…marriage made in heaven.

Accompanied with a walk through the park.

We rounded off the night with a glass of champagne in my friend’s courtyard.

Saturday I had to wait on a plumber…luckily he came early so I didn’t have to wait around most of the day. I worked on a present for a friend’s bridal shower (details will be in an upcoming crafts post). Then I headed to my friend’s place again so we and another good friend of ours could lounge by the pool while sipping on margaritas. We took a trip to Taco Bus as well…you would have thought it was Cinco de Mayo rather than Labor Day weekend 😉 It was a perfect not too hot, not too sunny type of day and was oh so chill.

We took a stroll downtown and stopped for a drink at Mandarin Hide. I can’t really take most bars on a weekend because they get so crowded and obnoxious. Luckily we found our own little corner and had fun people watching, which included a group of sailors and a bachelorette party haha.

Today I had a bridal shower to go to at Parkshore Grill. I normally don’t like the food there, but today it was really good! I had the Parkshore Burger that was topped with maytag bleu cheese, bacon and caramelized onions. Served with a side of vegetable salad, which was broccoli and cauliflower in a light dressing with a little cheese. The bride used to work there so she was able to tell me that they make most of their stuff in house and nothing is frozen.  All meat and seafood is fresh and some of it’s local. It was a small party with a few girls I’ve never met so it was low key and fun. They had done the bachelorette party the night before so it was fun to hear about all the shenanigans 🙂

The Chef just got home from work…we have a game night to attend tonight. So glad I have off work tomorrow! I love 3 day holiday weekends!

Conversation Starter: What’s on your agenda this weekend? Do you prefer low key nights or nights out on the town?