Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers book club

June 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm

[Note: Most of this was written around noon today, but then I clicked on the wrong link and my laptop was viciously attacked by a virus. It took me the rest of the day, broken up by karate and physical therapy, to get my computer virus free and working again. Thanks to my genius husband for helping me with that, although I’m proud to say that I actually did the virus cleaning myself with his e-mailed instructions (e-mailed to our desktop computer). So now the rest of this is being written past my bedtime. People who create computer viruses will suffer the wrath of karma, I have faith.]

Last night I crossed the bridge to Ybor City in Tampa for the first Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers book club meeting.


We met at The Bricks of Ybor.


I chose the location based on a recommendation by one of the TBLB’rs (thanks Carolyn!) and awesome Yelp reviews. I was very excited to be meeting up with these cool ladies and discussing a lovely book, but I was also psyched to try the food at The Bricks.

The book we chose this month, recommended by Steph (of Kitchen Kilometers), was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.


The book is sort of a memoir, or collection of stories, surrounding some amazing recipes. Molly Wizenberg writes the popular food blog Orangette. We plan for all of the TBLB book club selections to be books written by bloggers or about blogging. Luckily, there is a wealth of these books to choose from.

The Bricks was very accommodating of our little group, pushing tables together for us. Our server was so nice and took a (bad cell phone) group photo for us:


Here’s a slightly better one that I took with the DSLR:


(Left to right: Monica, Steph, Julia, Rachel, Debbie)

I loved the “hole in the wall” atmosphere of The Bricks. The walls are lined with funky local art for sale.


I was happy to see a specialty cocktail menu and ordered the “brick, paper, scissors” martini.



It was delicious and I had one with our appetizer and one with my meal. The table shared the “Bricklayer” nachos to start.


The nachos were just okay, but the house-made salsa on the side was awesome.


We wasted no time diving into talking about the book.


I was skeptical when I realized that this was a recipe book, but really it is so much more. I was thoroughly drawn into the narrative and really enjoyed it. Molly Wizenberg has an engaging voice in her writing style. She tells a good story.

[edited later to add: Ack! I meant to also say that every single recipe in this book sounds amazing. Her writing style and her recipes make you want to immediately make every single thing in there. We all agreed on this!]


For my entrée I finally decided on the Bird and Pig.



I waffled for a while and had order anxiety because I was really drawn to the ahi tuna BLT on the menu, but in the end I went with the Bird and Pig because so many people raved about it on Yelp.


It was really good and I didn’t have order remorse. But next time I’m going to try the ahi BLT just to see which is better. The baked potato salad was yummy too.


Our conversation often strayed from the book and we talked about all kinds of stuff. Of course there was lots of “blogger” talk, but somehow we also talked about Sister Wives and The Duggers for quite a while. It was really helpful that Steph brought some discussion questions that we used to get us back on the “book club” track whenever we strayed for too long.


I had a blast hanging out with the TBLB ladies and can’t wait for the next meet-up!


Nice people are awesome.

Originally I was also going to run down today in this same post, but now it is WAY past my bedtime and I’m over it. I’ll try to catch up tomorrow, because of course many fascinating things happened today. Cya.