During Gasparilla Distance Classic Weekend in Tampa, Florida, we ran the half marathon. If you are up for a challenge, you can do all the races, which consist of 5K and 15K on Saturday and the Half Marathon as well as the 8K on Sunday. The half marathon is a flat course with plenty of aid stations. The first 5 miles are on Davis Island. The last 8.1 miles of the race are on Bayshore Boulevard. So there is only one overpass to get in and out of the island and the rest of the course is flat! There are a few spectators cheering you through Davis Island but the bulk of on-course entertainment is on Bayshore. The bulk of the spectators cheer you on at the finish line and they are so great! The medals we earned - both the pirate-themed medal for the Gasparilla Half Marathon and the gigantic Treasured Chest Challenge medal for running this one and the 2019 Donna Half Marathon in Jacksonville earlier this month. The one thing I like to caution anyone about when I recommend this race is this: you never know what the weather will be like and it is usually extremely humid, so hydrate and keep up with any nutrition that you have been successful with in the past during long runs. Last year, we did not hydrate enough and got really sick after the race so we could not attend the after party (so sad because the Columbia Restaurant was there with great food!). So this year, while it was overcast, it was still very humid, so hydration in South Florida races is key. I recommend this race to anyone. It has a generous time limit, I’ve never seen someone picked up for going too slow (just encouraged to finish on the sidewalk) and is a fun and flat run.
We have shown you several great dishes this week from Asian Kitchen. Owner, Lisa Larkin, and her staff are killing it in this fast and fresh arena, and they’ve only been open two months! This time we feature one of my favorites and a great “carbo loading” kind of meal, Pad Thai. But in this case, remember that you can choose your protein! So we tried it with the brisket that they smoke right here with their own spice rub, too! It was so tender. The barbecue went perfectly with the peanut flavors that are traditional in the dish and the noodles were cooked perfectly and just soaked up both to provide the perfect bite. Textures were out of this world as well. The soft scrambled egg, freshness of cilantro, the crunch of both peanuts and bean sprouts, as well as the almost opaque noodles meant so much goodness and variety in every bite!
We indulged in a refreshing original cocktail at Sociale Italian Tapas and Pizza Bar. We want to come back and try their tapas and pizza for sure. What a way to celebrate the completion of your race! It was their watermelon margarita called La Zia. It includes tequila, lime, muddled jalapeños with the seeds and watermelon purée made fresh. Krystal, bartender at Sociale Italian Tapas and Pizza Bar took us through a demo and let us try it. It was refreshing, slightly sweet, the acid from the lime was great, and the spice from the jalapeños is not overwhelming! We can’t wait to come back to Tampa and have a meal at Sociale Italian Tapas and Pizza Bar as well as indulge in some cocktails named after specific areas from around Tampa Bay! Hope to see you there!
THAT’S A WRAP
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