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It’s the O

by Meghann on May 16, 2012

I discovered a new restaurant in St. Pete today.

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Thanks to this girl.

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It saddens me to announce that my first official Tampa Bay friend is leaving me. :( She went and got herself re-knocked up, found a “dream job,” and is heading south at the end of this month. How rude. Totally selfish if you ask me. What about all your Tampa Bay friends, Callie?! What about us?! :-P

I’m just kidding, of course. In all honesty, I’m really happy for my friend and wish her and her family nothing but luck and happiness. I’ve known for a while that these were her goals and it’s been fun to watch them become reality. I’m so proud of you, Callie!!!

I’m just lucky I was able to sneak Callie away for a celebratory lunch out. The girl has been closing up shop on one job, training for another, and trying to find a place to live come next week – she’s crazy busy! Fortunately, at the top of her to-do list is to indulge at some of her St. Pete favorite spots before she moves out of town. One of those favorites was O Bistro off of Central. It’s a favorite local spot that I’ve only recently heard of and had been meaning to try. Callie told me to trust her – this place was good.

She wasn’t kidding. Everything from the attentive service, to the smiling happy customers, to the delicious food was amazing. The menu was full of classic sandwiches and salads with a twist and all of the food that I passed on the way to the table had my stomach growling. Everything looked and sounded great.

Callie insisted that the eggplant fries were top notch and what this place was known for. She ordered a side for us to share.

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Fried eggplant is hard to do right since the vegetable tends to soak up the oil, but these were perfect. The battered deep-fried eggplant was strangely light and not greasy at all. They were also addicting, it was hard to just stop at one.

I ordered the Artichoke and Palm salad, which looked deceivingly small and was surprisingly filling.

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It was more toppings than mixed greens, which made for a heartier, filling salad. I loved the ultra-thin sliced red onion and the blue cheese. Those two totally made the salad. :)

We finished our meal with a shared piece of O Bistro’s famous carrot cake. According to Callie, this cake is legendary.

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It’s really not hard to persuade me to split a slice of carrot cake – it’s easily one of my favorite desserts. This carrot cake was moist and spicy. I especially enjoyed the super thick cream cheese frosting. It’s the kind of icing where all you need is just a tiny taste to satisfy that sugar craving. The slice was huge. Callie and I each ate a 1/3 of it and boxed the last 1/3 to take home. It’s currently sitting in my fridge waiting to be devoured tomorrow. It’s such a shame that Derek doesn’t like carrot cake. ;)

I gave Callie exactly 1.1 million hugs before saying good-bye and heading back over the bridge to Tampa. The plan was to work at the Starbucks in South Tampa before heading to swim practice at 5:30. I arrived at Starbucks, ordered a misto, ran into an old friend (Hi Sarah!!!), and got a ton of work done. 5:00 rolls around and I decide to take the ipad and get a little reading done in the parking lot before practice. I get in my car and realize my lovely swim bag – which I was so proud of myself for packing before I left – isn’t there. I left it at home. Fail. No swim practice for me.

I tweeted my coach to let him know about my massive error, but it ended up not being a big deal as he promptly turned around and canceled practice due to weather (good thing, too, since it started storming right about the same time we would have been jumping in the water).

My new goal was to do the PM Tone it Up workout at home, but the rain made me lazy (and I had a thunder-scares-the-crap-out-of-me dog who refused to leave my lap). Instead Derek and I watched Ironman 2 (we felt inspired after watching The Avengers) and made soup.

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Perfect answer to a rainy evening, wouldn’t you say?

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The soup was randomly thrown together and included sweet potato, tempeh, navy beans, zucchini, mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, and vegetable broth. For a spur-of-the-moment soup, it was pretty tasty.

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Soup needs carbs. My carb of choices was a leftover bagel from Sunday’s brunch.

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Hit the spot. Totally hit the spot.

What’s your favorite rainy day meal?

Unfortunately, it looks like the rain took out cable box. Derek is on the phone with the cable company right now trying to sort it out. Cross your fingers!

Good night!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jane May 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I have never seen eggplant fries on a menu – what a fun concept. Let us know how Iron Man 2 is – I haven’t see it yet, but have the same itch since seeing The Avengers over the weekend!

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2 Meghann May 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

I had never seen it before either! Only bits and pieces – not sure why I never saw the full movie. I liked it. Just as entertaining as the first one and had a pretty decent storyline for a sequel. I’d recommend it as a good flick to watch on instant play.

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3 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

That carrot cake looks AMAZING! My mouth is watering and that just isn’t fair…haha!

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4 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I love carrot cake, that looks so good!

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5 Sana May 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Glad you did not have to actually miss swim!

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6 MrsSwan May 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Callie’s blog link is bad. Just need to pop the in the front. :)

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7 Meghann May 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

thanks. looks like I left it out, but it’s all fixed now :)

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8 Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana May 17, 2012 at 12:02 am

Aw, it’s always sad when good friends move away…now you’ll just have an excuse to go and visit her in her new home :)

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9 Kat @ Balance & Spice May 17, 2012 at 4:26 am

Wow, those look totally delicious. Also, so on board with the “soup needs carbs” – a soup without some side is not a meal, it’s a snack in my opinion. ;-)

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10 Meghan @ Run With Meg May 17, 2012 at 4:44 am

Thunder scares my pup too. Her vet told me its because her ears are hyper sensitive to sounds in that decible range. Wow that carrot cake looks amazing!

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11 Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 17, 2012 at 6:37 am

I want that carrot cake! Wow! I love when carrot cake has LOTS of good cream cheese frosting! Yum! :)

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12 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope May 17, 2012 at 7:14 am

That carrot cake looks amazing! I haven’t had carrot cake in such a long time. Need to change that :)

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13 Hillary May 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

Carrot cake is one of my favorites too, but my boyfriend will hardly ever share it with me. He’s convinced that anything that isn’t chocolate doesn’t count as dessert : )

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14 Meghann May 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

Derek is the same way!

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15 Kathy May 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

Carrot cake = YUM! And its so HUGE! Double YUM!

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16 Reenie May 17, 2012 at 7:31 am

OMG…….that carrot cake ~ yum!!

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17 Emily N May 17, 2012 at 8:01 am

Wow, that is one heck of a slice of carrot cake!

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18 Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete May 17, 2012 at 8:21 am

I think your camera shrinks things. As big as that piece of carrot cake looks, it was way bigger in real life! :)

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19 Meghann May 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

haha – I was thinking the same thing! it was HUGE!

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20 Cait's Plate May 17, 2012 at 9:41 am

Oh my gosh – those eggplant fries!!! I want them!

Congrats to Callie and her family – that’s so exciting :)

As for rainy day meals – give me a grilled cheese and a bowl of soup and I’m a happy camper!

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21 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City May 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

Did you see the vegetarian minestrone soup recipe Runners World sent out this morning in their daily e-mail? Your soup looks similar and just as delicious!

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22 Meghann May 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

I haven’t, but I think most vegetarian minestrone soup have the same basics – veggies, beans, tomato, and pasta (though I’m missing the pasta in mine!) :)

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23 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights May 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Oooh, eggplant fries! And your salad looks delish!

My favorite rainy day food would have to be a good quality macaroni and cheese!

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