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Meze 119

by Meghann on September 8, 2011

When I moved to Tampa in March I was determined to keep up with the local scene. I started following a few dozen new Tampa-ians (Tampans?) on twitter, subscribed to all local blogs I came across, and, if your Facebook page had ‘Tampa’ in the title, I was a new fan.

I’m obsessed with all things local and have had a blast discovering a new area through the eyes of social media. πŸ™‚

One of those Facebook pages that has been so helpful, is facebook.com/ThingsToDoinTampaBay (it doesn’t get any more obvious than that, right?). The page is great for sharing new events coming to the area, updates on local attractions, and reviews of Tampa Bay restaurants, hang-out spots, and night life. I like to check the page for inspiration when I’m bored and looking for something to do.

The other week a review for a new vegetarian restaurant in St. Petersburg caught my attention when it popped up in the newsfeed. After a quick read through, my mouth was salivating and I knew I had to check out. I’m always looking for an excuse to visit my friend, Callie, across the bridge and this seemed like a good one.

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Hi Callie!

We met for lunch this afternoon at Meze 119 in downtown St. Pete to see if the restaurant lived up to the hype!

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Funny story…. they actually changed the sign while we were dining. What you see above is what we saw when we walked in and what you see below is what was there when we left.

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I like the second one better anyways. The prime colors really makes the sign POP.

Meze 119 only recently opened it’s doors earlier this summer and prides itself on serving ‘traditional Middle Eastern food with a modern flair.’ It’s small and quaint, but I think the intimate atmosphere only adds to the appeal.

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The menu is 100% vegetarian with fresh, all-natural ingredients. There are no faux-meats here, just a heavy emphasis on beans and veggies – yum!

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Callie and I started with the Hummus Sampler (baba ganoush, regular hummus, and chef’s special)

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Served with warm whole wheat pita

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The dips were all heavy on the garlic and spice, but also heavy on the flavor. The texture was grainy and natural (which I liked – smooth hummus never tastes authentic to me) and extra thick meant extra filling – at the end it looked like Callie and I had barely made a dent, even though we both felt like we stuffed ourselves silly on dip!

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Sticking with the sampler theme, I also went with the salad trio for my main course. I couldn’t decide what I wanted and always appreciate when restaurants give me the option to try a little bit of everything.

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The regular salad had been doused with vinegar and had a delicious pickled vegetable flavor to it.

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The Moroccan carrots had been coated with a spicy, cinnamon-heavy marinade that left them sweet and chewy.

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My favorite was the falafel. Sooo much flavor was packed into that tiny green ball of yumminess.

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All in all, I’d say Meze 119 was a great vegetarian lunch spot. Everything that passed us was beautifully presented and smelled amazing, we were both happy with our meals, and the prices weren’t bad either. Now, if only this place would move across the bridge to Tampa. πŸ˜‰

Blogging Legal Guide

Callie and I had a great lunch discussing life, mini athlete, and her latest venture, Blogging Legal Guide(!).

Since social media (and blogs) are such a new frontier, the law can seem pretty fuzzy about a few things – think copyrights, giveaways, disclosures, etc. I know I’ve had first hand experience with blogger contracts, creating an LLC (not as hard you’d think it would be), and various other legal aspects that left me scratching my head once or twice.

Callie noticed the lack of accessible information out there regarding blogs and blogger rights; and decided to put her law degree to work by creating a blog that answers a few of those question in one spot. She’s still working on getting content in there, but I think the idea is FABULOUS and can’t wait to read along!

Basically, Callie rules! πŸ™‚

Head over to the Blogging Legal Guide now (or twitter!) and let her know if there are any particular topics you would like to see covered. πŸ™‚

The Rohre Dress

After having the pleasure of working with Five BambooΒ on the Healthy Living Summit shirts, I basically fell in love with the company. Not only are the clothes made of a sustainable bamboo lyocell fabric and super soft and comfortable(Check out the HLS hoodie they sent me and swoon <- also the hoodie can be found online HERE for $39! use the code HLS2011 for 25% off!), but the five brothers and sisters who run the company are incredible to work with.

We had the pleasure of welcoming Rohre from Five Bamboo at HLS this year and, the minute I met her at the Friday night cocktail party, the first thing out of my mouth was ‘LOVE your dress!’ The first out of hers? ‘Thanks! It’s my namesake piece from our dress line!’

That’s when I knew I had to have it. Not only was it super cute, but knowing it was made by Five Bamboo meant it was going to be super comfortable. I ordered my own almost as soon as I got home and today I finally had a chance to take it for a test run.

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LOVE the Rohre Dress! It’s flattering, comfortable and it has POCKETS! I wore it casually with some sandals, but the style could also be fancied up with some heels and worn out for drinks. I feel as if I’m wearing pajamas that I never want to take off. It’s glorious. (Also, hat tip to Callie for the many compliments – I think I know what I’m getting her for her birthday now. πŸ˜‰ )

Here’s the link for the online store (in case you’re interested in one) and be sure to use the discount code HLS2011 for 25% off your purchase!

I’ll end this post on a random note.

As I was posing for the photo above, a random guy passing us on the street decided the dress needed a hat.

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Random, right? (or just a bit creepy)

Or, maybe he’s also picking up on Derek’s hints that I need to start brushing my hair before I leave the house?

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Who has time to brush – frizzy hair all the way!! πŸ˜‰

1 Cat @Breakfast to Bed September 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I call my Tampa friends Tampons.
Cat @Breakfast to Bed recently posted..I’m Naked Under My Clothes

2 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

HA! That’s a good one! πŸ™‚

3 Chloe (In Fine Feather) September 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm

I also have a 5 Bamboo dress – my friend Caitlin works for the company & I LOVE their clothes. Super flattering & comfy.

Meze looks like my kind of place! Being a new vegetarian I’m always interested to see what kind of vegetarian-friendly restaurants are available to me πŸ™‚
Chloe (In Fine Feather) recently posted..Weekend Contagion

4 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Caitlin was my contact for all the HLS stuff! She’s so sweet! Such a small world πŸ™‚

5 Chloe (In Fine Feather) September 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I was wondering about that! I know she does a lot of PR stuff for them – how great πŸ™‚
Chloe (In Fine Feather) recently posted..Weekend Contagion

6 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I need to get some clothes from there–SO cute πŸ™‚

I am a huge fan of falafel, and that place looks yummy. Wish I lived in Tampa!!
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Fats + Thankful Thursday

7 Shanna, Like Banana September 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Love love love all veggie restaurants..so easy for me to find something that way!

That dress looks fab on you!

My Five Bamboo shirt didn’t wash up well (super pilly)..hope the dress doesn’t do that!
Shanna, Like Banana recently posted..Something on my mind…

8 Angela @ Momethis September 8, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Cool place, I’ll have to check it out since I’m close. Thanks for the Blogging Legal Guide. I’ve been wondering about different topics so I’ll take a look.
Angela @ Momethis recently posted..Cinch Day 2 + Freebie Stuff

9 Liv September 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Meghann, I’ve commented previously but have held back because my intention is not to be mean, but only to offer constructive criticism. PLEASE start proofreading your posts. Really. There is just no excuse – especially now that you are a full time blogger. Mistakes and misses every now and again are totally understandable, but it is clear you either 1) do not proofread at all or 2)do it so quickly, it’s just completely ineffective. I’m assuming “…lived up to the height” was really supposed to be “…lived up to the hype.” This is just one of the many grammatical errors in this post but I’ll leave it at that. Not only will readers start to take you more seriously but I guarantee the freelance opportunities will increase as well. Also, I do like the dress! Very flattering.

10 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hi Liv, Thanks for the heads up – I corrected my error. I usually do a quick read through of my posts before I hit publish, but rarely catch everything because my brain knows what I mean to say, but my eyes are so tired of looking at it that it misses some errors. I usually go back an hour later, reread it, and edit it more. It’s hard because I’m trying to get three posts up as quickly as possible and sometimes I don’t have time to wait an hour and go back and read it before hitting publish. So, publishing and then going back is the best option. πŸ™

11 Cait's Plate September 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I was totally sold at warm whole wheat pita bread and hummus. I mean really, is there anything better in this world?
Cait’s Plate recently posted..Fruit & Veggies

12 Rachel Wilkerson September 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

1. I came across the blogging legal guide last week and LOVED it! So necessary!!

2. That dress? Is amazing. Question: how clingy is it?? I love the waist/pockets but I could see those pleats kind of clinging to the tummy area and making a girl look pregnant. Thoughts??

13 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I have a belly and it’s not clingy at all. The pleats are actually great at hiding that area – the pockets act as distracting camouflage.

14 Lara @ TresLaLa September 8, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Ack. Now I must have Mediterranean food for lunch! The dress does look awesome, but I’m sad they don’t make clothes larger than a Large… A big girl’s got to wear cute stuff, too!
Lara @ TresLaLa recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday – Take 1

15 Kendall (On An Inhale) September 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I need this dress!!! I’m housing hummus as we speak…
Kendall (On An Inhale) recently posted..On A Lighter Note

16 Heather @ Better With Veggies September 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I *think* that might be the same restaurant (is it a chain?) that I went to last year in NYC – the menu and photos of your food look really familiar. I thought it was yummy and remember thinking we need one in Atlanta! πŸ™‚ I’ll have to check out that clothing company – love the dress!
Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Ordering a Better Dinner Out

17 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

According to the site – it’s the only one http://meze119.com/ But I’m sure there are identical places all over the U.S πŸ™‚

18 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life September 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hahaha that is hilarious that some random guy thought you needed a hat and gave you one to wear. I wish there was a purely vegetarian restaurant around my area, but there is not πŸ™ The food looks amazing at Meze!
Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life recently posted..Big News on The Vegetable Life!!! *Giveaway*

19 Mia September 8, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I just had to tell you that in Israel, the land of hummus, the hummus is VERY smooth (unlike the grainy American variety). When my husband finally came with me to Israel to visit my family he was shocked by how smooth the hummus was.

20 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday September 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Cute hat. It works with the outfit!

Hummus should be creamy. Veeeeery creamy. That’s the way my Lebanese family makes it and that’s the way all the best Lebanese restaurants make it. I’m a hardcore hummus snob.

21 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Ha! I’m strange then because I like it grainier. Guess I need to find a Lebanese family to make me the good stuff.

22 Kate September 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Love the dress! What size is that?

23 Midwestern Magnolia September 8, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I would also love to know the size. I didn’t see a size chart on the website, and I would like to order one. It’s adorable!

24 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I’m wearing the medium in the Rhore, but I also have the Artemis dress in a small and it fits great. I’m 5’4 is that helps.

25 Meghann September 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

It’s a medium.

26 kathleen @ the daily crumb September 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

i love dresses with pockets!

such a great idea callie had. i am an attorney as well and have always wondered about the legality of some blog happenings. i actually just emailed callie to see if she needs any help1

27 Meghan September 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Ooo we are going to St. Pete later this month, I will add that to our possible dinner location for Saturday night!
Meghan recently posted..Working out

28 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather September 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Dresses with pockets rule the world! Such a cute restaurant… I really like that second sign more too. Goes well with the inside of th me building too.
Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather recently posted..Homemade Take ‘N Bake Taco Pizza

29 Rachel September 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Love the dress! I love dresses with pockets but they’re hard to find.
Looks like a great restaurant too! Humus totally makes a meal.
Rachel recently posted..Bread sampler

30 Hilary September 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Oooh, I already wanted a Rohre dress…even more so now! And that legal website sounds super-helpful….and that food looks AMAZING!
Hilary recently posted..Do you ever….?

31 CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ September 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I love that dress! Im currently wearing my HLS shirt right now and loving how soft and stretchy it is! I put at least three 5 bamboo things on my christmas list!!
CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ recently posted..The Challenge

32 Sophie September 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Love the dress πŸ™‚ Following local people on twitter etc is such a good idea – I’ve just moved to a new town so hopefully will be able to find some new things to try!
Sophie recently posted..Parents Get Lost.

33 Lisa (bakebikeblog) September 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm

oooooh love the dress!

34 Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope September 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I went there recently and it was delicious. I got this “BLT” sandwich and omg, it was so delicious. I highly recommend it!!
Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope recently posted..My Welcome Home Surprise!

35 Sara@RunningInPinkProject September 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm

And Ill add this to my list of “places I must go after I move to Tampa” πŸ˜€
Sara@RunningInPinkProject recently posted..Pumpkin Sighting

36 Katie September 9, 2011 at 1:00 am

Hi Meghann,

I’ve been reading your blog for at least the last two and a half years. Lately though, I’ve been bothered by the disregard for what packaging the foods you promote, and buy, comes in. There are lots and lots of pictures of products in tons of unnecessary plastic packaging on your blog.

I get that your sister works for Mix1 and all, but plastic recycling is largely a myth. As well, plastics are playing a major role in degrading the environment, as they stick around forever! Your Mix1 bottle gets 1 use and then spends an eternity degrading with the millions and millions of other bottles (where do they all end up?). The hard plastics are particularily damaging, as they take much much longer to decompose. Why not try making more smoothies at home instead? I know it is less convenient, but it doesn’t take 500+ years to decompose.

I know you don’t claim to be an environmentalist or anything, but you seem to at least care a little (for instance, you mentioned liking the dress made out of sustainably farmed bamboo).

Your blog is also definitely not alone in my critique. I have this across the blog world (and with bloggers who try to be much more “green”).

I hope you understand that I am not trying to be a jerk— just giving some honest feedback. Thanks for reading.

Here are some links about plastic if you’re interested:

http://www.ecologycenter.org/ptf/misconceptions.html
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/06/63699
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/business/energy-environment/23green.html
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/oceanissues/plastics_albatross/

37 Katie September 9, 2011 at 1:02 am

Eh sorry, meant to put this in your other entry.

38 Dina September 9, 2011 at 6:22 am

That dress is cute and very flattering. I like the color combinations they offer, it makes it easier for people like me who have a hard time telling what matches.
Dina recently posted..Bloggers Invade El Bodegon

39 Allison September 9, 2011 at 8:22 am

Haha the hat guy is too funny! I brush my hair but I RARELY blow dry my hair before I leave the house πŸ˜› It takes too much time and I care too little haha
Allison recently posted..Stay Dry Tomorrow!

40 Katie September 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

Ooh, yet another reason I need to head over to St. Pete at some point in the near future: that restaurant sounds right up my alley; I love when restaurants offer “sampler” type options.

Great dress! I always have a few comfy dresses to go around town in…it doesn’t take much effort to throw them on, but I always feel much more put together (than if I were to just throw on shorts/yoga pants and a tee shirt)!

41 Brittney September 9, 2011 at 9:25 am

Thanks for the great dress suggestion! I love it, just purchased that and the hoodie, super cute for fall time!
Love your blog ps.

42 Ali @ Ali Runs September 9, 2011 at 9:36 am

What a great restaurant! I love the dress, it looks very comfy and flattering! πŸ™‚
Ali @ Ali Runs recently posted..Send Help

43 Judy September 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Hi All,
I want to thank you Meghann for your wonderful review of our restaurant! I want to clarify a few things that were mentioned:
Meze 119 is the ONE and ONLY , we are not a chain, and NO, there is NOTHING like us, we are UNIQUE!
We DO offer faux meats, we are NOT talking about the type of products you can get off your grocers’ shelves but quality, delicious, healthy products that veggies, flexitarians and carnivores alike will love! These products will be incorporated into our new menu, plus our amazing chef, Jason, always has one as a special of the day.
Our food is FRESH, HEALTHY and DELICIOUS. We make everything we serve in house, even our sinfully yummy desserts! We are VERY accommodating- we try to meet dietary needs of all our patrons whether they are vegan, gluten intolerant, veggies… our goal is to do our best to PLEASE everyone who walks through our door!
We offer outside dining, great for those with pups- we even have a new menu specifically created for our furry customers [Sidney’s Sidewalk Cafe]. Our brunches put all others to shame! Meze 119 has kidz menus as well!
Meze 119 has an extensive beer and wine list—again, nothing you’ll find elsewhere.
The team at Meze 119 is AWESOME- come in and say “Hi” to Dean, the owner/manager; Judy and Hal, owners who do a little of everything; Colleen, Mikey, Savon, Ellen- servers extraordinaire; Jason, executive chef; David, sous chef; and Chris and Aaron, kitchen support staff ! We can’t wait to meet you and do all we can to help you have an extraordinary dining experience!

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