Ren Fair, Honda Grand Prix and Anthony Bourdain

Hi all! Not a lot has been going on, but this past weekend was SUPER busy. Def one of those weekends where you feel like you need a weekend from your weekend 🙂

I got two free tickets to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival through work so Jon and I decided to go early Saturday. I’d never been and was so excited to go!

 

It was definitely an experience. I thought it was so cool how they transform this field into a village. Everyone is in awesome costumes and has their own “character” that they play. We walked around and looked at all the vendors first and got an idea of what kind of shows were going on.

Luckily we ran into a friend who works at the Festival and after we watched her guide the Maypole we got some tips from her on what shows to see.

We ended up watching a band called, Craic, for awhile. They were pretty awesome. They played on bagpipes, pots and pans and even swords!

We also got peaks of a few other shows. I really wanted to see the jousting, but we ended up missing it. Saw a little fencing and comedic play fighting. Jon even threw tomatoes at someone! It was the Renaissance version of a dunk tank. Too bad I didn’t get any pics :/

After walking around for 2 hours we were starting to feel the sun and also wanted lunch. In trying to think of places in Tampa we could go to I remembered hearing awesome things about Boca, a restaurant in Hyde Park. So we headed there. The most exciting thing about this place is that they focus on fresh, organic and local food.

Our service was also excellent. The waitress did a great job of walking us through the menu and was attentive without being too attentive.

We were hungry so we ordered the Nor-Cal flatbread to start with.

Confit pulled chicken, artichokes, goat cheese, spinach and pomegranate syrup. I liked this at first, but the more I ate the more I wasn’t impressed by it. The actual flatbread was awesome and the perfect texture. But the whole dish as a whole was missing something. Jon thought the artichokes got lost and I always prefer having cooked spinach on pizzas/flatbreads…it’s easier to eat and melds better.

Then the sandwiches came…

I got the Grilled Chicken Sammie, which had smoked chicken, house smoked bacon, manchego cheese and fresh fruit preserves. Served on a pretzel bun with a side housemade BBQ potato chips. This was my kind of meal. I loved this sandwich. The mix of cheese, smoked meat and fruit was perfect and I mean really, you can’t go wrong with house smoked bacon. BBQ chips are my fav so I was uber excited about seeing them on the plate. They could have used a bit more flavor, but they were very good.

Jon ended up with The Italian which had prosciutto, soppressata, tomato, burratta, basil and pimento pesto. I had a few bites and this was also excellent.

With full bellies we headed back to St. Pete and had dinner plans with friends. We spent the night hanging out at their place and had an awesome dinner of smoked pork, roasted asparagus and pureed sweet potatoes. I was exhausted and ended up falling asleep while we were watching The Sitter.

Good thing though because the movie seemed terrible. And for those who have seen it…what an odd way to start a movie amiright?

We had another long, but fun day Sunday too. The day started off with going to our friend Karen’s place to watch the Honda Grand Prix. She lives in a condo building downtown that looked over one of the turns.

Best seat in the house!

I’d never seen a car race before so this was very exciting.

I didn’t take any pics of the food spread but my oh my were there delicious choosings! Firehouse deli subs, buffalo chicken dip, bean dip, pizza bread, cupcakes and more. Karen knows how to throw a party and set the mood with the cutest Grand Prix themed decorations.

I made Edible Perspective’s Chocolate Yogurt Dip to contribute and served it alongside fresh strawberries and graham crackers. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but it was more of a grey color than a nice chocolate color. I think because we only had dark cocoa powder so I used that? Jon also thought it wasn’t sweet enough. I ended up adding an additional tbsp of cocoa powder and think I should have added another dollop of maple syrup as well.

After the race we headed home to get changed and ready to head back to Tampa. We were going to see Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert at the Straz Center!

We stayed longer than expected at Karen’s and were trying to get in some rest time before Tampa so we left later than planned. We were hoping to grab a quick dinner and drink at Taps, which is across the street from Straz. It was crazy busy though (and the hostess/server was rude) so we ended up skipping dinner for the time being. We were so hungry after the show and of course it’s 9 p.m. on a Sunday and just about everything is closed. Luckily, our trusty Taco Bus is open 24 hours on Sundays! Thank goodness.

Anyway, we were in the mezzanine for the show so we couldn’t quite make out Anthony’s and Eric’s faces, but it was a good time. They started off by “drilling” one another with questions and then sat down for a conversation about a chef’s responsibility for their patrons. They talked about the importance of sustainability and eating local, which was awesome. Then they took a few audience questions, which was nice. Would have been nicer if people had asked better questions 🙂 Overall it was a fun show, but very much like just watching them on TV.

5K Training Update

I am so pumped for Friday’s race! I have my last run today before the race and my pace has been getting better and better with each run. I had to break down and buy some leg compressor sleeves though, because I was starting to get shin splints pretty bad. Hopefully they really work!

I ran 3 miles Monday without stopping and was so impressed with my body. Following a training schedule has really helped and I’m so proud of what my body has accomplished.

I’ve been using the MapMyRun app during my outside runs and I highly recommend it. Since I don’t have the money to spend on a fancy Garmin I rely on the app to tell me how far I’ve gone and what my average pace is. It’s really helped!

And speaking of outdoor runs…I don’t think I’ll ever be able to run on a treadmill again. I’ve had to a few times since starting to run outside since I don’t always have time to drive downtown for a run. But it is SO boring. Watching TV doesn’t help because I usually can’t hear it and loose interest fast since I don’t know what’s going on.

See you later this week with a race recap!

Do you have a Renaissance Festival in your area? What about restaurants that focus on local food? See any good shows lately?

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