I discovered a new restaurant in St. Pete today.
Thanks to this girl.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Perfect answer to a rainy evening, wouldn’t you say?
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.
Soup needs carbs. My carb of choices was a leftover bagel from Sunday’s brunch.
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!