Yelp’s Livin’ La Vida Local

November 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Last night, after a very busy weekend, Chad and I got to leave the boys with a sitter and head out to Datz in south Tampa for an Elite-style community Yelp event, called Yelp’s Livin’ La Vida Local (tons of reviews for the event at that link!).

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Our sitter arrived at 5 p.m. and we were out the door by 5:02. We arrived at Datz at about 5:30 (for the 6:00 p.m. event) and got the very last parking space in Datz’ tiny lot.

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I knew this was going to be a very popular event and that parking was limited. We were happy to get there early and hang out in the front parking lot that had been turned into a patio.

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People lined up to get their wrist bands for the event.

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This event was open to anyone with a Yelp account that included a real photo and a real name. You didn’t even have to have any reviews. There were no +1’s…every one had to have an account and RSVP individually. I created a Yelp account for Chad just for this event.

While we waited for the doors to open we got to peruse the menu for the night.

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We also got to munch on some truffle parmesan popcorn.

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I was drinking soda water, since they had not started serving real drinks yet.

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I saw spoke to several friends who were also milling about the impromptu patio, and my friend Meghann took this photo for us:

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Arms-length date night:

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As we entered Datz I was handed a Winter White Cosmo, which was tasty and wintry…

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but was also super sweet and didn’t taste very strong.

We also passed the Chicken ‘N Waffle cone bar as we entered.

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The chicken was delicious with maple syrup, but the waffle ice cream cone didn’t add much to the experience. Chad remarked that he would liked to have just had a plate of the chicken.

Datz had stations set up all over the restaurant for various drinks and food. Servers were also walking around serving drinks and food. We continued to explore the restaurant, saying hello to friends as we saw them. I have quite a family of Yelp friends now! It’s fun to see the same people, active Yelpers, at all of the events. A stranger also told me that she reads my blog and that’s always flattering and exciting. It also always freaks me out and makes me immediately self-conscious.

The next food item that magically appeared before us was the house-made chips with blue cheese drizzle.

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I really loved these and so did Chad even though he is usually not a fan of blue cheese. The sauce was kind of sweet, like a Vidalia onion dressing mixed with blue cheese. We gladly ate more of these later when they came around again. Through the course of the night we got to try every item on the food menu and all of the beverage items also except for the wine. We never had to “stalk” a server or hang out by the kitchen. I felt that the food was plentiful and generous, as I will show you.

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One whole area of Datz was sort of the “dessert” area, with a variety of sweets available. Toffee to Go had a cute display and they kept the toffee trays stocked all night. Yes, it was all you can eat toffee!

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Delicious toffee.

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The hummus and crudité shooter:

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This was good, but really nothing special.

We stopped by the Fat Cat hot sauce table and I tried the surprisingly mild ghost pepper sauce.

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It was so delicious that we bought a bottle.

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We ventured upstairs…

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where we ordered at the bar. I tried the Local V6 vodka bacon bloody Mary.

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This was my favorite cocktail of the evening. It was very spicy and tasted rich and delicious. There was a piece of formerly crispy bacon in the bottom of my cup at the end. I saw others walking around with pieces of bacon sticking out of their cups. I don’t know if the bacon added anything to the drink, but it was kind of fun. Unless you are a vegetarian.

We did try a vegetarian dish next, the veggie bunny chow.

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The vegetables had a nice curry flavor, but they did not seem to go with the enormous puff pastry.

After exploring the loft area of the restaurant, we decided to head outside to the patio for a minute to just chill out and have a little bit of a romantic moment, just the two of us. Chad got me a mulled cider martini with Siesta Key Rum and V6 vodka.

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This drink was very delicious and seasonal. It tasted like fall, with a kick. I loved it, but still say the bacon bloody Mary was my favorite.

While we were on the patio we were served a short rib bunny chow.

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The short rib was delicious and went with the puff pastry much better than the curry.

Once we had enough togetherness we ventured back inside where Chad procured pulled pork BBQ sliders.

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These were awesome.

We headed back upstairs so that I could hang with a huge group of Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers!

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We are now also known as the Yelp Lady Mafia since we have infiltrated and taken over Yelp Tampa Bay! Hey, follow the bloggers to awesomeness. Yelp is a good thing. Hello awesome free date night filled with delicious food, hand-crafted cocktails, and nice people. Yelp rules, as do the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers.

I took the opportunity, among friends, to show off my triathlon tattoos, which I had not scrubbed off at the time.

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Other items we were passed which I did not photograph included the Reuben bites, mini Kobe meatloaves (my favorite food of the evening), margherita & piggy flat breads which were all delicious. The food was plentiful and convenient all night for us, as were the drinks. Well done Yelp Tampa Bay and Datz!

Everybody ventured downstairs eventually to get desserts. We tried some gelato from Gelateria del Duomo, and ogled the desserts case.

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We redeemed our chocolate tickets for some super fancy William Dean chocolates. These chocolates appeared in The Hunger Games!

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They were beautifully decorated and the chocolatier gave us an explanation of each one.

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Chad gave me his tickets, so I got to choose four pieces.

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I picked out my favorites and we said our goodnights to all of our friends. It was a really fun evening filled with great conversation with friends, time with my love, and lots of food and drinks. Thank you so much Yelp Tampa Bay and Datz!

Once we got home and I drove the babysitter home, we settled in to watch The Walking Dead and I enjoyed my four chocolates:

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Ahhh. Great end to a fabulous weekend.

I skipped over the triathlon post because it’s going to be epically long. Maybe even a slide show. Cya.

Datz Tampa on Urbanspoon

Run & Restore, hip pain, swimming, TBLB book club

November 8, 2012 at 11:33 am

Dinner Tuesday night:

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Went back for seconds:

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Tuesday night I went to Run & Restore with Christie of Karna Fitness. The first thirty minutes is a run or walk, followed by a thirty minute Restore the Core class.

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I decided to try a little running. I haven’t run at all in months. The last time my hip was painful was after my exercise marathon at Fitbloggin’. Without the hip pain, I feel like such a slacker for not running. I think maybe I’m just being lazy because running is HARD and I don’t really like running. Maybe this time I could run again and it would be fine.

We set off from the park towards downtown St. Pete.

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We stuck 100% to the sidewalk/pedestrian path, so there was no issue of running in traffic in the dark.

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I was running with my friend Britt at the beginning, and we had not gone a quarter of a mile when I felt the first twinge of pain in my hip. I dropped to a walk and let Britt go on ahead.

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Because I rarely learn a lesson when it comes to fitness, I continued to do walk/run intervals.

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When I hit one mile at about fifteen minutes, I turned around and headed back to the park.

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I love downtown St. Pete so much.

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Even though I was feeling some pain in my hip, it felt good to run again, even in intervals.

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Of course I was the last of the group to make it back to the park, but I would have been even if I had run the whole thing. There were tons of people out on the path and it is very public with really no place you could be raped or secretly attacked, so I felt totally safe running “alone”.

Back at the park we did a thirty minute version of Restore the Core.

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I’m a little behind because yesterday (Wednesday) was busy, so I’m writing this on Thursday morning. My inner thighs are still sore from this Restore the Core workout on Tuesday night.

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Squeezing that ball really works!

Tuesday night was spent glued to social media and watching the election returns on television. What an amazing night. I loved that I felt like I got to share the whole election night experience with all my friends through social media. Four years ago seems like forever ago in terms of social media communication. I hope we can all put our political differences aside now and get back to having fun and loving each other. We are all still the same people we were before we knew everything about each other’s political views via social media.

On Wednesday morning my hip was seriously painful. I was walking with a pronounced limp and feeling quite elderly. Stupid stupid hip. I just can’t run. For a long, long time at least. No more trying. For a while. I took ibuprofen all day yesterday (every 3 hours).

My breakfast on Wednesday:

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After breakfast yesterday I put dinner together in the crockpot.

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Three ingredients.

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Recipe for Crockpot Balsamic Pork with Onions from Average Moms Wear Capes. Thank you Christie O.!

Did laundry.

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Cleaned the toilet, but I’ll spare you photos.

Drove to the pool. It was in the low 60’s and it was not too hard to get a lane.

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This pool is open year round and they heat the water November through February. The water felt very warm, even when I first got in. It was great. The sensation of swimming in warm water with cool air was a nice change.

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Getting out into the chilly air when I was done was hard though! I had a great swim and felt like I could have swam another hour if I didn’t have other stuff to do. I did 2500 yards (1.42 miles) in less than an hour. I did my usual 6 X 400 IM, but then ended with a 100 free sprint.

I bought a new punch card for the city pools.

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I hope I’m ready for the TriRock Clearwater Triathlon this weekend. I’m just doing the swim leg of a relay team, and the swim is 1500 meters (about .92 miles) at Pier 60 in Clearwater. My swim wave starts at 6:58 a.m.! I’m excited for the experience of being on a relay team and I’m excited to get an intermediate distance triathlon medal without actually having to do the whole triathlon. Cheater! Winner!

My hip didn’t hurt at all while swimming. I love swimming. I think it actually felt better after the swim, probably both from working it out with no impact and from the ibuprofen.

Lunch:

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Picked up Mack. Ate this while I was making snacks and their lunches for Thursday:

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Prepped acorn squash to go in the oven for dinner (I stuck them in the oven on a slightly delayed start time) :

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(I basically used this recipe for Classic Baked Acorn Squash, except I used less of all of the ingredients listed)

Then Mack and I picked Cal up from the bus stop, took the car pool home, then went to the pediatrician’s office.

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It was packed, with as many “sick” kids as “well” kids. Great. We were only there for Cal’s shots. When he had his “well” visit a few weeks ago it turned out he had strep throat and couldn’t get his vaccines. We had to wait quite a while (great) and Cal did his homework while we waited.

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We didn’t actually have to see a doctor, so once we got called back to the exam room we didn’t have to wait long. The boys always revert back to toddlerhood when they see all the baby toys in the exam room.

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After Cal got his (4!) shots, we dropped him off at karate and Mack and I went home.

I did more laundry, messed around, then started getting dinner together. I took the acorn squash out of the oven.

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I made the balsamic sauce that goes with the crockpot pork and onions. The boys’ dinner:

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I didn’t actually eat this for dinner because I was going out. I took one bite of the pork dish and one bite of the acorn squash and both were delicious. Christie, the balsamic pork and onions was great!

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As soon as Chad got home I headed out to a book club meeting with the Tampa Bay Lady Bloggers. We met at P.F. Chang’s in Tampa.

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It was a little chilly, but we decided to get a table outside rather than wait forty minutes to an hour for an inside table. I could only stay for an hour anyway because Chad had a commitment that conflicted.

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Somehow I got fixated on the vegetarian menu and decided to order the Ma Po Tofu. I thought it was a funny name. Like Mofo Tofu. Spicy, crispy tofu? Yes, please.

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I also ordered a margarita, which my tired brain tried to order with vodka, but don’t worry. I got tequila. It was a very good margarita.

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Rachel, taking a photo of her mojito. It’s just what bloggers do.

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Monica and Rachel both got pear mojitos. I had drink envy, despite enjoying my margarita.

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The book we discussed last night was White Jacket Required by Jenna Weber who writes the blog Eat, Live, Run.

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(Left to Right: Monica of Sweet Bites, Rachel of Runners Tales, Steph of Kitchen Kilometers, me, Casey of Classic with a Pop)

My Mofo Tofu was delicious.

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I only ate a few bites while I was there and then had to box the rest up to bring home.

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I had fun as always hanging out with the TBLB.

Busy day yesterday! Staying home today but trying to work on a couple of projects, like excavating my closet. It’s out of hand.

Cya.