Sunday, February 17, 2013

Apple Runner

by Meghann on February 17, 2013

Two big races are happening around Tampa and Orlando next weekend (Gasparilla and runDisney’s Princess Half Marathon) and it’s a shame they’re happening next weekend and not this weekend. Talk about incredible weather for a race! It was in the 40s when I woke up around 8:00am this morning (cooler weather = the option of sleeping in on longish run days) and absolutely gorgeous outside. Next weekend’s weather forecast calls for highs in the mid-80s. Yikes. Further proof you never know what kind of weather you’re going to get when you run a race in Florida during the winter months. It can be awesome one weekend and really hot the next.

I took advantage of the great running weather outside and even pulled on a long sleeve top for the occasion (something that has happened less than 10 times this year).

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As I joked on Instagram this morning, Floridians rarely have a chance to run in long sleeve tops so when the weather drops we like to take advantage. Even if that means a short sleeve shirt probably would have worked just fine.

My long run for the week was set at 6 miles. The best part about training for a speedy 10k, and not a half or full marathon, is the fact that my “long” runs are all under double digits. There’s nothing wrong with a good double digit run, but it is nice having your long run for the week done in less than an hour.

We were out of fruit in the house so I took a slight detour and made a pit stop at Publix for an apple. After I bought the apple I carried it for the two or so miles I had left to run. I thought it would be a little awkward, but it was no worse than carrying a water bottle. I wanted to get a yogurt too, but feared it would explode in the bag. The apple seemed a littler sturdier.

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Luckily the apple survived.

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Derek and I had plans for brunch at noon so I made us both small breakfast plates to hold us over until then.

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Apple, peanut butter, nuts, and bread. Just enough to calm our hunger, while still leaving room for more food in two hours.

Brunch was at Mangroves in South Tampa.

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Mangroves recently launched a new brunch menu and invited some local bloggers out to try their new food items.

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What’s brunch without a mimosa?

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On the outside Mangroves resembles a cozy old house, but on the inside it’s been completely redone to represent a modern restaurant and bar. It’s full of clean lines, low lighting, and industrial fixtures.

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The menu was full of traditional brunch items with a southern twist.

We started with the chicken and waffles, which had a spicy cajun syrup that worked well with the dish.

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The french toast reminded me more of bread pudding than french toast. The inside had an almost custard like texture and was extra rich. It was delicious, but all you needed were a few bites to have your fill of the dish.

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The spicy sweet potato hash browns were sadly not my favorite. A few of the potatoes were a tad undercooked and the spice wasn’t as spicy as I was hoping.

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The avocado, bacon, and blue cheese salad was my favorite dish of the morning. The avocado and blue cheese were so creamy that you didn’t even need dressing. The mango and bacon grilled cheese served on the side was also a winner. I’ve never thought of combining mango and bacon before, but it totally works.

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All in all it was a great a menu and I would happily return for brunch again. However, Mangroves is a little pricey, so it would have to be for a special occasion.

What’s your favorite brunch item? I really liked today’s salad, but generally gravitate towards waffles or something sweet when out for brunch.

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