Eat, Sip, Indulge St. Pete food tour

February 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Last night my friend Ali and I left our kids with a babysitter and headed to downtown St. Pete for an Eat, Sip, Indulge food tour.

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Back in August she and I went on the Eat, Sip, Indulge Gulfport food tour and really enjoyed it.

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We bought that tour with a Living Social deal and when Ali noticed it pop up again on Living Social we bought two of them to use for the St. Pete tour. Our vouchers were expiring soon so last night was the night, even though Chad and Ali’s boyfriend Mark both have pool league (on the same team) on Thursday nights and it required getting a babysitter.

The St. Pete food tour began at Savory Spice Shop.

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When you walk into the spice shop you are overwhelmed by the delicious, spicy aroma. All of the walls are lined with rows and rows of herbs and spices, from the exotic to the mundane.

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Paul Bailey, the owner/manager of the St. Pete Savory Spice Shop, told us about the store’s philosophy, and how their 400+ herbs and spices are hand-ground weekly in batches and that their more than 160 blends are original recipes and are hand-crafted.  Both are offered for sale in as little as half ounce and in either bags or bottles.  Savory Spice Shop also offers extracts, sauces, spice ware and even more specialty items.

Paul said that he tells customers that when it comes to herbs and spices, if they don’t have it, you don’t need it.

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I mean, they have six different varieties of paprika!

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Pau had samples of their dill dip seasoning blend and nacho cheese seasoning blend made into dips for us to try along with some apple cider infused with mulling spices.

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The dips were very good, but the apple cider was seriously delicious.

I purchased some of their spiced vanilla bean sugar at the Angels After Dark shopping event back at Christmas time, and I really hadn’t planned on buying anything last night.

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But everything in the shop is available to sample, and Ali tempted me with a sample of their black truffle Italian sea salt.

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This stuff is über expensive. A tiny bottle is $22 and an even tinier baggy inside of a bottle is $11. But after tasting it, I couldn’t NOT buy some, so I bought the smaller quantity. While I had my wallet open I also splurged on some chocolate-dipped crystallized ginger. OMG.

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Seriously, if you don’t want to spend lots of money on a tiny bit of SALT, then I would recommend not ever trying a sample of this stuff. It is that good. You will hand over money.

The next stop on our food tour was Le Macaron, which appropriately enough is a French pastry shop.

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These little yummies, about the diameter of a half-dollar, go for $1.85 a piece…

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and if they are all as good as the salted caramel macaron that I tried then they are worth it.

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It’s two $.93 bites of amazingness.

Le Macaron also has beautiful Norman Love chocolates for $1.75 a pop.

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As a bonus our sweets were served by a handsome guy with a French accent. I think I’ll be back some time.

Stop number three on our food tour was Meze 119.

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I visited Meze 119 once before as part of the St. Pete Bike ‘n’ Eat, and enjoyed the samples then very much so I was happy to be trying it again.

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First we were brought a variety of hummus options to try, including very spicy, olive, roasted garlic, fava bean, and eggplant varieties.

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All of them were amazing, but the table favorite appeared to be the eggplant since that bowl was practically licked clean. I think my personal favorite was either the very spicy or the roasted garlic.

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Next we were brought small portions of the shepherd’s pie and the barbecue “chikk’n”.

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Everything at Meze 119 is vegetarian and many of the menu items are vegan. The shepherd’s pie was great and I really loved the fried basil on top of the bbq “chikk’n”.

Our tour guide for the evening was Chane (pronounced “Shane”) and as we walked from one stop to the next he gave us tidbits about St. Petersburg history.

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He was great and I could tell he was a natural entertainer, so I wasn’t surprised when he told us that he was the singer in a blues band called The Black Marys.

The next stop on our tour was Crowley’s Downtown.

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Our little group had a table in the back room…

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where we were given some info about the menu and the scene at Crowley’s. We were also given a sample of their famous Reuben egg roll with Thousand Island dip.

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That was one half of a seriously indulgent and delicious egg roll. This was my first time visiting Crowley’s, but I would be more than happy to go again. They have live music and according to Chane, the band playing there last night was one of his favorites. We didn’t get to hear them though because they were still setting up as we were leaving. What was their name again Chane? Leave it in the comments. The t-shirt brigade here was the band last night:

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Our next stop was Wood Fired Pizza.

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Chad and I ate at Wood Fired Pizza once before in March 2012 when I had my first jalapeno margarita (awesome)…

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and when we tried the pistachio pizza and one topped with Brussels sprouts!

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Last night we were offered a margarita pizza (just cheese) and a pepperoni pizza.

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I think they should have offered up some of their more exotic varieties, but these were delicious as well.

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They told us about the pizza oven that came all the way from Italy and how the pizzas cook in 2-3 minutes at 800°. We also learned that they make all of their own mozzarella in-house and have perfected a very smooth and almost “creamy” dough that makes their pizza very special.

The last stop on our St. Pete food tour was St. Pete Brasserie.

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Chad and I went there once…

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back in October 2011 when apparently my hair was very long. I remember super awesome dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives.

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I was also there fairly recently for an IRunMommies holiday party.

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There are those martinis again!

Last night we were there for dessert.

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This was definitely the “indulge” part of our Eat, Sip, Indulge evening.

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Oh, who am I kidding? The whole evening was pretty indulgent and fabulous. I had a great time spending the evening with my fab pal Ali and Chane was a great tour guide.

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Chad and I are definitely going to have to go check out The Black Marys some time…they play at Wood Fired Pizza. Sounds like a good excuse for another jalapeno margarita.

Thanks for a fun evening Ali!

Cya.