This past weekend brought not one, not two, but THREE blogger extravaganzas! It was so much fun to meet up with foodies, some that I had met before and others that I feel like I’ve known forever!
Friday: Blogger Dinner at Cafe Laguardia!
Mara came to pick me up around 4:30 and we made a quick Starbucks run before meeting up with our foodie friend and Michelle to head to the restaurant. Once we got there, we met up with Shannon and spent the next couple of hours doing nonstop gabbing! There was so much to talk about! Everything, from Shannon’s modeling jobs (including shoots with her Mister!) to Mara’s upcoming nuptials to my college connections with Michelle. The time flew by and all of these bloggers are just as sweet and interesting as they appear in their posts. I hope we can all meet up again! Michelle gave me some great info on becoming a food reviewer in the city, which I am looking forward to applying for when I graduate and move downtown Yay!
I appreciated all of you who looked over the menu and gave me suggestions. You made my choice easy! I started with the Havana Black Bean Soup (with a fried plantain on the side!).
It was pure black bean and not too salty, which is exactly what I was looking for. As for my main course, I went with the majority and chose the Cuban Veggie Combo. Oh. my. goodness!
(Sorry for the flash pictures – the restaurant was really dark!!)
This was amazing. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the white veggies at the top of the picture are boiled cassava, which is a root vegetable that Mara informed me was also known as yucca. I had never had it before, but it was awesome. It tasted a lot like mashed potatoes in terms of texture, but had it’s own unique flavor. I need to find it at the store!
The blackened food at the top of the picture was fried plantains. Another heavenly treat that I shared with the girls. I think everyone at the table agreed that they were great! And you can’t go wrong with white rice, more black beans and a tomato + lettuce salad. This meal was fabulous. Thanks for picking out such a great restaurant, Mara! You know your way around the city 😉
We were too full for dessert, but Mara was kind enough to provide goodies for later!
Thanks again for a good time, ladies! Here we all are (stolen picture from the other ladies’ blogs):
From left to right: Mara, foodie friend, Michelle, a weirdo, and Shannon!
Saturday: Meet-up with Karla!
On Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with a “blog reader” but, more importantly, a very good friend named Karla. I first “met” Karla back in August 2008 when she commented on my blog. We realized we were both journalism majors with a huge passion for health and nutrition. Eventually, our comments back and forth to each other on my blog became more and more massive, so she emailed me instead We’ve been writing each other ever since, and I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to meet her, since I feel like we’ve already become great friends!
We were thinking about going to SELF’s Workout in the Park, but in the end decided to do breakfast at Walker Bros. and a tour of the city instead! I had my favorite Mediterranean omelette, which I had them scramble with egg whites.
I also had some toast with strawberry jam. Once we were fueled and ready to go, we headed down to the Green City Market. I had never been but had heard great things about it from Mara, so I was excited. My photojournalism assignment for the week is to take pictures of a fruit or vegetable (I know, right?!), so I tried out my skills. Here were some of my best shots.
Purple asparagus! There was a huge table of it. There was also a stand with a lot of mushrooms.
And here’s me trying to be artsy with some sage
I had a great time walking around the market with Karla. I ended up buying a loaf of fresh bread and it was full of whole grains + seeds. My favorite! After the market, we continued our walk down into the city (yes, we did a ton of walking for those of you familiar with the area!). We walked all the way to Michigan Avenue and down to Millenium Park. We took a picture with the tulips and made our way around the Bean into the Grant Park area. Then we came back up toward Michigan Ave. and FINALLY found SELF’s Workout in the Park (my bad). We decided it looked like a lot of fun and made a promise to meet up again for it next year!
On our way back to the car, I stopped in my tracks when we passed Fannie May.
Look familiar? I swear I did not get my header from their site! It was pretty funny and I thought you would all appreciate it, so I had to snap a picture 😉
We headed back toward school and then I gave Karla a tour of my campus before we headed over to Red Mango. I got the original flavor with blueberries + coconut, but somehow managed to forget to take a picture. Crazy! It was delicious.
I had such a fun time with Karla! Both of our birthdays are in May, and she brought me some goodies.
I can’t wait to try the Bender Ball (I love the name, haha!), and I’ve already broken into the beauty kit and the absolutely GLORIOUS ginger snaps she baked for me and Bobby.
Bobby and I both agree that these are amazing! Thanks so much, Karla! The funniest part was that we both got each other the exact same birthday card from Target. We are two-of-a-kind!
Whew! Still with me?
Sunday: Blogger Brunch at Pita Pete’s!
Last but not least, I had the pleasure of meeting Lora and another foodie friend on Sunday morning for brunch. They were both kind enough to come to my campus area to eat. We were originally going to go to a brunch place, but decided to forgo the long line and hit up something less “breakfast-like” instead. After walking around, we ended up at Pita Pete’s, one of my favorites!!
Unfortunately, my camera died, so I didn’t get a picture of the group But I had an AMAZING “naked pita” with falafel, fresh veggies, chipotle hummus and chickpeas. Seriously, best salad I’ve ever had! I got the pita on the side, too, which made it extra good!
It was really great to chat with Lora and our foodie friend. They are both sweet people!! Lora and I have plans to do some fun races and events in Chicago. If I haven’t said it before…I am SO excited for graduation! I can’t wait to be an urbanite!
Wow, recaps take a long time to write! There goes the morning 😉 I better get my butt in gear for the long day ahead! I hope that you all have had an enjoyable week so far!