People, I am TELLING YOU! There are things to be EXCITED ABOUT! About THIS BLOG!!! I know, I keep mentioning the style/design changes that are “coming.” However, after dedicating this weekend to the changes, I’m on anticipation overload. Bear with me and get ready to fall in love! Although I’d hoped to reveal all the newness this week, I’m going to give a little more breathing room – just in case. I’m willing to commit to Christmas Day as my deadline for the reveal. With any luck, the fresh look will be an early Christmas present (from me to you. And also to me, let’s be honest) and appear before December 25th.
Truthfully, I spent the past weekend thinking about almost nothing other than Jeans and a Tank Top. However, it’s me – so when I say “almost nothing,” you can just assume that food/eating never left my mind. Between Friday and Sunday night I experienced four new food establishments. Apparently I was feeling good enough about sticking to PiYo for three full weeks that I was willing to throw it all out the window on delicious eats. Friday night we had steaks, bacon-wrapped scallops (in two different marinades), and potato salad from Ryan’s Meat Market. Publix has always provided me with delicious deli meats, but there’s something nice about having your own local meat shop, just like having a local fish market.
Saturday morning we tried a Vietnamese-French restaurant, Alesia. Opting to eat French on this visit, the lobster bisque, Croque Madame and a fresh baked brownie a la mode were all decadent. The bisque was served with freshly-baked French bread, the Croque Madame was made with mornay sauce instead of regular bechamel, and the brownie nearly melted under the weight of the spoon. The interior has high ceilings, local art on the walls, wood tables and lots of windows. It felt cozy and welcoming. There’s also an outdoor patio that looked lovely – but we opted to stay indoors to keep toasty.
After an afternoon of creative brainstorming (which was more frustration than success), we headed to dinner at Pete & Shorty’s. Yes, it’s a chain, but somehow I’d never been before. The drive there was a bit rough. Apparently Pinellas Park holds a Christmas parade at 6pm on a Saturday night… on the largest, most used, cross-town boulevard. Once we made it to the restaurant, we chose a booth near the window in order to watch the parade go by. Not really necessary. Perhaps parades are always more appealing to children, but I feel as though parades today are crap compared to what I saw as a kid. Then again, maybe that’s just because it was P. Park. Dinner was fine, but I’ll admit the best part was a seasonal white chocolate peppermint martini. Yum!
Sunday saw a breakthrough on the creative process and an insanely difficult round of PiYo. Obviously, that meant pizza. Instead of ordering in from one of the major pizza chains, we opted for a local pizzeria, Joto’s. Joto’s is exactly what all neighborhood pizza spots should be. A family-run business, the interior is slightly stuck in time, but comfortingly so. Hanging lights over the tables are all tiffany-style with Budweiser and Michelob logos or scenes. The walls are covered in a mix of faded sports paraphernalia and beer advertisements, along with a few yellowed prints of the family – dad making pizza with his young daughter, likely twenty years ago. Beverages are served in large red plastic cups. And the pizza was sublime. Fresh toppings, perfect crust – not too sweet or overly buttered, cheese that stretched infinitely between slice and pie, and slice and mouth. I am embarrassed, but also not surprised, that we ate an entire pizza. I did try getting a salad, to be healthy. What arrived at the table was a bowl of shredded cheese with some iceberg lettuce hidden underneath. Skip the salad.
Between working on the blog and eating, a very successful weekend, if I do say so myself! What did you accomplish (or eat) over the break?** Lobster bisque photo by Jeans and a Tank Top. All other photos have been sourced from the interwebs. Ryan’s Meat Market photo courtesy of their own website. Alesia’s photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Times. Pete and Shorty’s photo courtesy of Clearwater Daily Photo. Joto’s photo courtesy of Google.