PASSPORT: Yelp’s 50 Shades of Plaid

November 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Last night was the fourth installment (third for me) of Yelp’s Passport to Downtown St. Pete.

Tuesday night was Yelp’s the Mac Daddy at MacDinton’s.

Wednesday night was The Gallery of Yelp at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery.

And last night was Yelp’s 50 Shades of Plaid at The Birchwood.

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Chad and I had been to The Canopy, the rooftop bar and lounge at The Birchwood. But we had never been to The Birchwood proper, so I was excited for this event.

I scoured my closet and Chad’s closet for plaid items. Apparently we are not really plaid people. Chad had one plaid tie and I had one plaid skirt (that fit me), so I put this together:

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I decided to do the pony tails and wear my glasses in an attempt at a sort of perverted school girl look. Did it work?

Then I found some plaid earrings in my little drawer of holiday jewelry:

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So I would be adding at least three shades to Yelp’s 50 Shades of Plaid.

I did have one other plaid skirt but it was too small for me. Luckily, my date Val is smaller than me, so it fit her perfectly. So technically I added four shades of plaid to the party.

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Val and I headed downtown and couldn’t find a parking space anywhere near The Birchwood. There was an event going on at the Museum of Fine Art which may have contributed to the lack of parking (on all sides of North Straub Park). We eventually parked in a parking deck about six blocks away. It was a gorgeous evening for a walk, but when wearing heels I prefer the shortest walk possible. We did get to parade our plaid a bit, though. That was good. Finally we made it to The Birchwood.

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Our e-mail instructions said to meet at The Canopy on the roof.

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It is dark and romantic everywhere at The Birchwood, so many of my photos are blurry. I chose not to subject anyone to a flash.

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The elevator at The Birchwood is sloooowwww, so there was plenty of time to take blurry selfies.

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Finally we made it to the roof.

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The Canopy was packed and we could see that the area by the bar was roped off and full of plaid.

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We checked in at the Yelp desk and spoke with a few friends. They told us that there was wait staff bringing drinks to the tables, but that it was very slow. They advised us to get in line at the bar if we wanted a drink more quickly, so that’s what we did.

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The complimentary drink list included Dragonberry Mojitos and Pumpkin Cheesecake Martinis, both of which sounded amazing. However, I was still trying to be a good little NSNG’r (no sugar, no grains), so I paid for a cocktail and got a NorCal margarita (silver tequila, club soda, lime).

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It was delicious and I nursed it all night.

There was really nowhere to sit in the Yelp area, and after walking half a mile and standing in line for 20 minutes we wanted to sit. So we ventured out into the lounge area of The Canopy in search of seats.

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We had to play musical chairs for a few minutes with people coming and going, but eventually we found a spot.

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The view from The Canopy is awesome.

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Eventually we got kind of lonely without our Yelp friends, so I found some nice people who let us squeeze onto the sofas with them.

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Still nursing my one awesome cocktail.

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When we were standing in line for a drink I did see some servers passing hors d’oeuvres, but by the time we got our drinks I couldn’t see any food anywhere. Once we got back to the Yelp area I asked a server whether there would be any more food and nobody seemed to know. The hors d’oeuvres were supposed to include:

-Lobster BLT – Lobster salad, candied bacon, frisee, cherry tomato
-Citrus Cured Smoked Salmon Crepe – caramelized onion, mascarpone garni
-Maryland Style Crab Fritter – tomato confit aioli
-Red Curry Chicken Spring Rolls – coconut-Thai basil dipping sauce
-Beef Picadillo Open Faced Empanada – cotia cheese, pico de gallo, pebre sauce

I was hopeful of at least being able to eat the filling of the empanadas, but alas, we never got any food at all. Apparently some people got lots of food. I guess the food was laid out at 7 p.m. and Valarie and I didn’t get there until about 7:30, by which time it was too late to get any food. It was disappointing, but I guess you win some you lose some. I was also disappointed that the event was at The Canopy and not in the restaurant at The Birchwood. While the view at The Canopy is superb, my experience the last time Chad and I went there and this time combined have not created the best impression of The Birchwood. While I would have liked to have tried the food at The Birchwood, I’m not sure I would be able to convince Chad to go there again when we have so many other fabulous restaurant options in Tampa Bay.

That being said, I still had a fun evening with Valarie and my Yelper friends.

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Thanks for all your hard work on these events Brett!

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I’ll be Yelping again tonight, and like I’ve said a hundred times…you should be Yelping!