The trip was short, but well worth it for the running and food, but most of all because I got to see my darling sister, her husband and my nephew-dog, Cooper love bug schmoopy doo. Oh, and Bindi the cat, too. 😉
The half marathon was at Ft. Desoto park, south of St. Pete. For reasons I won’t bore you with, the start was delayed almost 40 minutes, which didn’t help the heat situation. It suffices to say that going from doing my long runs in 15 degrees, to racing in 75-80 degrees with humidity was kind of a shocker. But I hydrated at every station (in addition to my fancy hydration pack with Skratch and ice in it) and kept a nice even pace to run the whole way and finished with a respectable time. I am smiling here at the finish because Molly is yelling my name super loud. I also ran right into the water – something I’d wanted to do for the last two hours.
Upon arrival in St. Pete, we were whisked away by our hosts to Rollin’ Oats – a scrumptious market/cafe – for lunch. I was so hungry and didn’t get to take any photos, but please please visit there while you are in St. Pete – great lunch spot, and so many yummy plant-based options. We also stocked up on various potato salads, slaws, curried chickpea and tempeh salads, roasted brussel sprout salads, which we at two of the nights atop greens for dinner. Delightful.
The night after the race, we ate at Meze 119, which is self-described as “Modern Authentic Middle Eastern” – all vegetarian with about 40% of the menu being vegan. The food was flavorful, creative and satisfying. Molly and I had the Meze-Naide to drink which was a lemonade concoction with mint – ooof did that hit the spot. We had an app that was a savory puff pastry of some sort and for an entree, I ordered a stuffed pepper (barley, kale and mushrooms) – sounds pretty boring – it wasn’t. In fact, I liked it so much I recreated it at home – which I will share soon.
The following day we hit Leafy Greens Cafe which pretty much blew my mind. Everything was raw vegan. It’s in this nondescript spot on Central Ave, with a couple tables on the sidewalk – so ordinary looking for a place that will make your tastebuds explode. All the photos I took are a few bites in, so please excuse, because we were so eager to try everything. All of it was beautifully presented, and most importantly, delicious. We all had the Thai Curry Soup for a start, which is served chilled – I don’t know what it is about lime, coconut and ginger, but wow. I won’t repeat all the ingredients – but take a look at their menu here.
Molly had the Tuscan Pizza.
Mary and I split the Caesar Salad and the Tacos. It was crazy good.
They also have an assortment of organic teas, with fruits and spices, which you steep in these cute cups and then place on top of your glass filled with ice and the tea drains down. You can have a second steep if you like. I think mine was green tea with mango – yum.
Anyway – that’s it for St. Pete! I will be retuning next fall and winter!!!!
Take good care of yourself this week.