October 16, 2013

If invited to Datz Dough, go!

Some words of advice: if someone ever invites you to Datz Dough, GO.

I was recently invited to attend a tasting there with the Tampa Bay Bloggers (organized by the fabulous Denise), and I went. I'm not stupid. And, I was not disappointed.

Tampa Bay Bloggers photo by Gerardo Luna

There was bacon brittle involved, people. Bacon. Brittle. Don't ever pass that up.

When I arrived, I was greeted with a Prickly Pear Mimosa. Yeah, that was as good as it sounds. It included sparkling wine, mandarin/tangerine puree and prickly pear syrup. And, it was pretty.

Next up was the Passport Salad. Reading the description, I was not overly excited about this salad. After tasting it, I was overly excited about this salad. It was made up of Belgian endive, Spanish olives, Turkish figs, French goat cheese and crispy Italian garbanzo beans. The sweet, the salty, the crunchy. It was all good.

I was excited about the next dish: Not Yo Mama's Mac & Cheese. It definitely wasn't. Well, the only mac and cheese my mama ever made was the kind out of a Kraft box. This was about 1,000 times better than that. It was cheesy with a crunchy cayenne panko topping. The topping was my jam.

Are you ready? Are you really ready? Because it's bacon brittle time. The bacon brittle came on a pan-seared scallop in The Sea & The Swine. It is as awesome as it sounds. I loved this. Loved it. But, when you think about it, what is not to love about candied bacon?

Steak is one of my true loves in life. You probably think I'm kidding. I'm not. So, when I saw steak on the menu, I was pumped. Then, I read that it involved a valronah chocolate coffee sauce. And, I wasn't as pumped. I'm a salt and pepper on my steak kinda girl because it's so delicious it doesn't need anything else. But, I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by the sauce. Plus, it wasn't like the steak was drenched in it. You could dip as you wanted. The steak came with a blue cheese cheesecake. I was hesitant on this one, too. I'm not a blue cheese fan. I don't hate it, but it's not my favorite. But, I'm all about trying everything. So, I tried it, and I'm glad I did. It was rich and blue cheesy and I couldn't eat it all, but I was happy with my few bites.

Top left: Passport Salad; bottom left: Not Yo Mama's Mac & Cheese;
top right: The Sea & The Swine; bottom right: The Steaks are High

In the midst of this deliciousness, another drink arrived: the Bobby Boucher Spritz. I loved this drink before I ever tried it just because of the name. It included cherry heering liqueur, overproof bourbon, Benedictine and sweet vermouth. I like Bourbon (thanks to a bourbon schooling by my Kentucky friend, Erin), so I liked this drink. If you don't like bourbon, you probably wouldn't. You can just give yours to me.

We also got the opportunity to try Chef Domenica Macchia's speciality, duck fat fries. Wow. Just wow.

To finish off this delicious night, we ended with a Banana Foster Boozy Shake.  I like banana foster. I like shakes. I thought I'd be crazy about this. When it arrived, I knew I wouldn't. It had ... whipped cream on the top. Ick. That is one thing I really, really don't like. I'm weird, I know. So, even though I tried to scoop it off, I still felt like I was drinking it.

Whipped cream doesn't deserve to be photographed.

Have you ever had bacon brittle? No? Do it. Now. Have you ever been to Datz or Datz Dough? If you were there, what was your favorite item? If you weren't there, what do you think would be your favorite?

October 15, 2013

This "week" in running: week 5

So, this week in running is pathetic. I shouldn’t even call it a week in running. It was one day. Just one day. Sheesh. I think that’s the least I’ve ever run in a week while training for a half marathon. I guess being sick will do that to you.

After last Saturday’s disastrous 10K-5K challenge while getting sick, I didn’t run again until Thursday of the next week. Exerting any more effort than required to get to work, return home, walk the dog and return to bed was about all I could manage.

I was still a little iffy on Thursday about running. I still was feeling weak, but I figured I’d give it a shot. I’d either have success or collapse in a wilted pile on the ground. It seemed worth it to me. Thankfully, the wilting pile did not happen, and I actually had a really great run. Like the best run I’d had since the Spring. Yes, that long. Why? It’s finally a few degrees cooler than the surface of the sun. This makes a big difference, people. Huge.
So, while the 800-meter repeats were tough (as they always are), I did not feel like puking when I was done (like in the past). And, the hill repeats after that were tough, but not unbearably so. And, the run back was not horrible either. In fact, it was actually pretty good. Thank you, Fall!

Are you a hot or cool weather runner? Ever have a pathetic week in running?

October 8, 2013

This week in running: week 4

If this week could be summed up in a word, it would be “sick.” And, not the good kind of sick. The actually sick “sick.” Ugh.


I woke up not feeling great. I thought I’d sleep it off and run later in the evening. I attempted this. I made it 1.5 miles before I had to walk-crawl 1.5 miles home.

1.50 miles


I had grand plans of running 8 miles after work. Problem: I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I thought I’d give it a shot on the treadmill at the craptastic gym. If I didn’t feel good midway through, at least I was close to home. I made it one mile (one measly mile) before the heat got to me. I called it and headed home. Failure again.

1.0 mile



I finally felt better, and I was able to run a slow 3 miles. The view was nice, and I felt pretty decent considering the previous two days.

3 miles


Due to Running Buddy Lori being injured, she gave me her bib for a race on Saturday. This made Thursday an easy speed work day with the running group to have fresh legs for Saturday.

1.5 miles


I woke up not feeling great (different than earlier in the week). My throat was on fire, I was on fire (temperature-wise), and I had a headache. I shook it off, got ready and headed to the race (I actually don’t feel great a lot of mornings because mornings and I just don’t get along, so I was hoping it was just that … but I really knew it wasn’t). I proceeded to run the worst 10K of my life. Then, I walked the 5K portion of the 15K challenge. Yuck. I spent the rest of Saturday getting sicker with Sunday being spent debating how important drinking liquid or going to the restroom really were … because both involved a 10-foot walk.

RunKeeper's version of my 10K

6.2 miles

Do you try to run while sick? Ever have to cut runs short? Do you panic like me about not being ready for a half marathon in three weeks?

October 1, 2013

This week in running: week 3


The first half of this run was awesome. You can probably guess where this is going ... the second half was not. It was probably because I forgot fuel and felt myself slowing fading toward the end. I ended up walking more than I wanted and cutting it 0.5 miles short. I'd love to see what would have happened if I had fuel, but I didn't. And the run is what it is. And I saw a beautiful sunrise.

7.5 miles


I felt like running, but it was raining, so I headed to the craptastic gym. I picked the wrong treadmill, and it stopped mid-run. I tried everything, but it would not restart. So, I had to switch treadmills. This is why I call it the craptastic gym, people. I listened to Katy Perry's "Roar" on repeat the entire run. I envisioned myself roaring to the condo board about their crappy gym.

2.5 miles

It should not have to be like this.


It seems like I either love speed work night or hate it. This week, it was love. Maybe I got all my hate out at the craptastic gym. The 800-meter repeats seemed tough (per usual), but manageable (not always the case). It was one of those times that everything seems right with running (these periods are usually short-lived, so I try to savor them when they happen).

3.0 miles

Ever have a treadmill quit on you mid-run? Anyone else obsessed with "Roar," too? Do you have a love-hate relationship with speed work?