Welcome to the first Foodie Friday with me – your February Foodie Editor, Bobbie. I blog over at Living in Retrospect, and I’m so excited to hang out with you this month!. This month’s theme is “Together” which is oh-so-fitting since Valentine’s Day is coming up. Don’t worry, we’ll cover Valentine’s Day foods this month, but there is more to being “Together” than romantic love – which is why I’d like to start the month by celebrating a different type of together.
This is the together of food and new friends – a together that we found on the Missouri Women Bloggers Springfield, Missouri Press Tour, sponsored by the Springfield CVB. Five bloggers came together knowing nothing about one another (except what we could find on our about pages) and met with one awesome tour guide who took us on a trip through Springfield’s culinary delights. There’s no better way to come together than by sharing new and delicious food.
It all started at Fire & Ice on Friday. We smiled tentatively and spoke about the basics – husbands, kids, blogs, jobs… and food. We all tried flash fried spinach, which was surprisingly delicious.
And then half of the table ordered the scallops (which looked awesome). I seriously thought about those scallops, but ended up choosing the Mushroom Tortellini and Baby Scallops instead. The sauce was so rich, and there were large mushroom slices and small scallops throughout the entire dish. And it was sprinkled with what I believe was Paprika which gave it a truly deep flavor. This set the tone for a great weekend of food and fun.
The next morning, we made glass suncatchers, which is a unique and creative experience. By the time we made it to Relics Antique Mall and Tea Room, we were starting to get a little hungry. And once we’d walked around the aisles for an hour and a half (so many treasures to see), we were ready for lunch. We ate with the owners of Relics and the mayor of Springfield, and once again… the food was delicious. Half of the table ordered the Waldorf Chicken Salad, but I had to be different. I chose the Relics Chicken Club which was phenomenal. I loved the pesto mayo. Plus, I upgraded my chips to the salad and had the grapefruit vinaigrette which was delicious as well.
And then there was dessert… the Decadent Vanilla Cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. It was perfection in a cheesecake – not so rich you couldn’t eat the whole slice, balanced flavors, moist fluffy texture. It was so good.
By dinnertime, we were all getting a little more comfortable around one another. “This is the terrible thing about weekend events. By the time you really get to know and like everyone, it’s over!” I remember saying. We ended up eating at Civil Kitchen and Tap, and honestly… the service started off a little shaky. Apparently, it was their busiest night since they had opened, and it took a long time for us to get waited on. BUT, when they did figure out their mistake… they went above and beyond to rectify it. Our waiter’s name was Tyler, and he was hilarious. Since we’d had to wait so long, they ended up giving us free drinks, appetizers, and desserts! That’s a huge testament to their customer service, and by the time we left, we were all fans of Civil Kitchen and Tap. The food was decadent. I had the steak, and the monkey bread for dessert. All the ladies at the table said the Creme Brulee was the best they had ever tasted. Unfortunately, my phone was dead by this point from all the instagram-posting, so I don’t have any pictures.
The next morning, we started out at Hurts Donuts where we taste tested unique donuts. I ordered the salted caramel donut and tried the cinnamon roll (that thing is massive), the Streussel donut, and the Fruit Loops Cereal Killer donut. We were all hesitant to try the Cereal Killer, but it was honestly my favorite. Breakfast was a blast. We were really laughing and having a good time now. All that food certainly helped bring us together. It felt more like a group of friends hanging out for breakfast than a group of strangers eating and reviewing food.
For lunch, our final meal together (for now), we ate at Aviary Cafe. I had the blackberry lemonade (which came highly recommended by my friend who lives in Springfield). I could drink that stuff All. Day. Long. It was really sweet, and so delicious. I had the Hen and Pine (without pine nuts) and Pommes Frites. Their fries were delicious, and the crepe was good – though not quite as exciting as I had hoped. I told Fawn that I was ordering it without pine nuts because I’d heard on Facebook that pine nuts can leave a nasty taste in your mouth for weeks in rare cases. She told me that she was the one who had posted that on Facebook, and we both laughed.
By the end of the trip, we were all exhausted and I was certain I wouldn’t be able to eat food for a week. But we had also come together. We showed up as random bloggers (and our host from the CVB), but we left as friends. I guess that’s the power of food – it brings us together.
Tell about a time when food brought a group you are in together. Share in the comments.
Oh, and if you would like to participate in awesome experiences like our Springfield Press Tour (and are a blogger in or around Missouri), be sure to join the Missouri Women Bloggers. We’d love to get to know you.