Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pollo, Shrimp, Beef & Lobster

This past weekend, I went with my parents, aunt, uncle and cousin over to Jacksonville for a leadership conference, along with another man from our church as well. I will be sharing all about the conference later this week (it was amazing and it deserves some well-thought-through time and writing), but for now I just want to share all the crazy amounts of delicious food we consumed in the three days...

I ate soooo much during this trip, and didn't even regret one single calorie. I think it's because it felt a little bit like a vacation, and calories definitely don't count when you're on vacation. So, here are just the most yummiest things from our trip to Jacksonville.

Whenever we go on trips together as a family, we always make it a point to eat at places we don't have at home. Tallahassee has a decent amount of chain restaurants, and so we avoid those whenever possible while we're away. Even if we eat at a chain restaurant while out of town, we make sure it's one we don't have back at home.

Warning though, there are lots of delicious looking pictures below. Don't continue if you're a little hungry... :)

Pollo Tropical: This was my first time ever eating at Pollo Tropical, and I stinking loved it. So much so that I didn't even have time to take a picture of my actual food before I scarfed it all down. The only thing left was the empty plate and this paper cup refilled full of delicious mango tea.

Seven Bridges: great place, great food. Definitely try this one if you get a chance. Mama and I both ordered different things, then split them equally since we couldn't decide just one thing we wanted. So we shared Blue Crab Stuffed Chicken, and Mac-&-Chicken pasta. Both were amazing, but the crab stuffed chicken was definitely my favorite.

Tapestry Cafe: we went to this cute little cafe for breakfast Friday morning. It was only like half a mile from our hotel and very convenient. It's a little Euro-style cafe, owned by a very sweet little Greek lady. She makes all the coffee and food herself, and we all loved it. Everyone but me got breakfast sandwiches, but I got that amazing looking Belgian waffle, and added strawberries and chocolate on top, accompanied by a white chocolate mocha latte. Whoa, that baby was amazing and I ate every bite and drank every sip.

Cruisers Grill: So this can't actually be considered a new place, because I've eaten here manyyy times. BUT, we don't have one in Tallahassee, so it's still fair game while away from home. The one I'm most familiar with is in St. Augustine (where I went to college) on St. George Street. It's delicious and not expensive, and the food is always super fresh. They don't even have heat lamps, so everything is brought out when it's ordered and made. So good. And once again I was too busy stuffing my face to take any pictures of the actual food... oopsie.

Ragtime: This restaurant is kind of a "tradition" during this conference weekend, being that we've done it two years in a row now. Well, I wasn't there last year, but my family went. It's a really neat place on Atlantic Beach in Jax. Apparently it's a very popular place, because it was packed and the atmosphere was thriving. I enjoyed my meal, and the restaurant in general, and would definitely go back here again next year! I had shrimp & lobster tacos, with parmesean cheese grits. Holy crap those tacos were soooo good.


CamiCakes Cupcakes: The Friday we were there was my Aunt Suzanne's birthday, so we found this adorable little cupcake shop to treat everyone for her birthday. And we got lucky! They give you a free cupcake if you come in on your birthday! So yay for her! And my dad's was Sunday, so they were super nice and gave us his for free too, since we wouldn't be able to come in on Sunday since we were from out of town. Such good cupcakes, such very nice people.

One of those delish-looking raspberry ones was mine. Sooo good.

Mimi's Cafe: So I've actually been here before too, but only once, and not for breakfast, and  we don't have one at home - so again, it still counts. It's a little bit of a French restaurant, but not one of those fancy-schmancy kinds. It's a bit more low-key than that. I had the cinnamon brioche roll, and man that thing was full of carbs, and fully of yummyness. It tasted like a combination of soft cinnamon toast crunch cereal, and a pecan spin. Remember those things?! Yum.


Bono's BBQ: Saturday lunch time didn't come until around 2 pm, after that huge breakfast at Mimi's, but we still managed to squeeze in one more meal. I hardly ate any of my food here, but what I did have was yummy. I mainly only ate the po'boy bbq sandwich (because I was still too full for the beans and corn), but I enjoyed it and would eat it again for sure.

And then on our way home, we just had some "snacks" instead of eating a real meal. Megan and I both got a soft pretzel from Auntie Anne's from the Avenues Mall before leaving Jacksonville, and I smothered that baby with a couple packets of mustard. Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks, and big ole soft pretzels are just as delicious in my book. Also, we stopped in Live Oak on the way home, and I tried Krystal burgers again for the second time in my life, and I actually liked it this time around! I didn't like it the first time for whatever reason, but I guess my taste buds changed, because I ate two on the way home, and actually wished I had one more!

So there's all our crazy amounts of foods and yummies that we ate over the last weekend. Whoa, that's a lot. And that's actually not even all, because I tried a bite of at least a couple other people's meals every time. So I sampled just as many meals as I ate. But every single bite of it was so tasty and delicious, and we had a good time together around the table.

Happy eating and much love!

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