Happy Wednesday to my followers and readers! To me it felt like a Monday… it was my first day back to work after a 5 day vacation. The nice thing is that even though it felt like a Monday, it really is Wednesday, and the weekend will be here again before I know it. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit more about my trip and then we’ll get into the good part – the FOOD!
My friend Jenny and I have talked about going to the Yeungling Shamrock Marathon Weekend races for a couple of years now. We finally decided that 2019 would be our year and signed up for the Dolphin Challenge – an 8k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. Thanks to Jenny being a part of several Run Disney groups, she knew quite a few people running the race, and even had a place for us to stay. I could go on and on about the people we met and spent the weekend with, but I’ll save that for another blog. And don’t worry… a race recap is coming. Now on to the food!
We purposely left Michigan at 5-ish in the morning on Thursday so that we would be in Toledo around 6:30am when Chik-Fil-A opened for breakfast. It was my first time having breakfast there, and it did not disappoint! I love biscuits and can be a bit of a snob about them at times – the chicken biscuit sandwich lived up to my high expectations. I also really enjoyed the cute little hashbrowns and of course had some Diet Dr. Pepper.
We were back on the road, and decided we had better figure out a way to eat some pie, because it was 3/14 – Pi Day. And we especially needed to make pie happen since my friend Jenny is a mathematician. A quick stop at McDonald’s just before we left Ohio made our wish come true.
Next stop – lunch! We stopped in Charleston, West Virginia at Cracker Barrel. I got my all time favorite Chicken ‘n Dumplins with sweet baby carrots and sweet potato casserole on the side. The sweet potato casserole was… ehh… not my favorite. I wouldn’t order it again. But my tried and true eats did not disappoint. Nor did the black cherry soda that I gave a whirl – yum!
One of the reasons we stopped at Cracker Barrel is because they had PIE! Jenny was especially excited because it was Buttermilk Pie. It was my first time ever trying it – it was yummy. Very rich, so I’m glad that we split it. The strawberries made for a nice fresh and fruity touch.
We ended up spending close to two hours at Cracker Barrel – between eating, chit chatting, and then sitting outside on the porch in a rocking chair soaking up the sun, time flew by! It was an absolutely beautiful day. In some areas we saw temperatures in the 80’s. So we had to enjoy it while we could.
Of course this meant that we would be getting to our friend Kat’s house later than expected and we didn’t want to hold her up for dinner. We told her we would just grab drive thru on our way. She told us that she did not mind waiting for us and that she was planning on making goat cheese stuffed chicken with roasted tomatoes and broccoli. Even though Jenny and I had just eaten, our mouths were watering, so we asked Kat if she was SURE she didn’t mind waiting on us, and when she said she didn’t, we were like YES PLEASE bring on the food! I am so glad that we didn’t insist on fast food because Kat’s dinner was probably the best meal I had all weekend.
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of Kat’s tasty meal to share with you but she was kind enough to share the recipes that she used. Check them out!
- Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese
- Roasted Tomatoes
- Broccoli – Kat says broccoli was normal roasted broccoli – toss with preferred oil, salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings – she used garlic and wine seasoning. Roast at 450 until crispy.
Friday was another big day for us. We knew that it was our only chance that weekend to sleep in, so we took advantage of that. I had Lucky Charms for breakfast – yes, sometimes I eat like a child and I’m okay with that. We took our time getting ready… so much time that when we were finally on the road, we realized we were all hungry again! Kat took us to a restaurant called Decoys that had a beautiful deck overlooking the river. We sat outside to soak up the sun and enjoyed a delicious meal together. We shared an appetizer of crab dip with pita chips and we all ordered almost the same exact meal – crab cake sandwich! I got mine with the sauce on the side, Jenny got hers without onions, and Kat got hers with sweet potato fries.
It was a long day at the expo. We started by picking up our bibs and our race swag, then picked up bibs and race swag for other people, and finally perused the vendors. Later in the afternoon Kat left us to go pick up another running friend that would be joining us, Jacque, and Jenny and I stayed the expo. We waited anxiously for the Facebook Live with Bart Yasso and Meb Keflighizi, getting in line for the meet & greet with Meb. We were about 4th in line to meet him… and were SO excited that we got to shake his hand, take a picture with him, and he signed our bibs for us! Jacque and Kat rejoined us, we picked up the remainder of the bibs and swag, and then it was off to dinner.
We were hungry and quite thirsty by the time we got to Waterman’s for dinner. They were really busy so we went to the bar to grab appetizers and drinks. We were introduced to the famous Waterman’s Crushed Cocktails and oh. my. goodness. Let’s just say… they were dangerously delicious… and I may have tried a few flavors! I’m not sure which one was my favorite. Pictured here is a black cherry lime. Yum!
After drinks in the bar, we ordered our food. I chose the “Just Seafood” dish, which was excellent. The whipped potatoes were fluffy and flavorful, the sauteed veggies were tasty and cooked perfectly, and the seafood was just delightful. Although the crushed cocktails may have influenced it, I think this was the best meal we had out on the town the whole weekend.
Saturday morning we woke up nice and early for the 8k. I had a Clif Bar on the way to the race – and Paula, if you’re reading, it was longer than 15 minutes before the start! We had a shamROCKIN good time at the 8k and got lots of comments on our costumes. We enjoyed a couple of Yeungling beers and Irish stew at the after party before heading to Citrus for post-race brunch. They had a few good St. Patrick’s Day special drinks going on. Jenny got a Bloody Mary, which I tried but it was too spicy for me. So instead I ordered an Irish coffee – gotta keep it festive!
I had a hard time deciding whether to get pancakes or order eggs benedict for my meal. I chose the Beach Benedict since I had tried pumpkin pancakes the last time I was in Virginia Beach. And oh man – I chose well! This was probably the best eggs benedict I have ever had. It was fresh avocado & tomato, sautéed spinach & two poached farm eggs on an English muffin topped with Hollandaise Sauce. Absolutely amazing.
We went back to Kat’s house to relax for a little while before heading out to dinner. I think we all ended up taking naps. Our dinner plans took us to Fellini’s, which offered good carb loading choices for everyone. Jenny and I tried a pineapple margarita that left a little to be desired. It didn’t have much pineapple flavor and to me tasted like it was made with bottom self tequila. The drinks were disappointing.
The food was okay. We ordered bacon wrapped scallops as an appetizer. They were delicious! The dipping sauce that came with them wasn’t super thrilling – it tasted like mayonnaise with a slight kick of dill. But the scallops were great on their own. As for our pizza, I think we may have misread the menu. We ordered a Hawaiian pizza to split since it sounded good to us both. When it arrived, it did not have any sauce on it. Now that I look at the menu, it looks like some pizzas state that they have tomato sauce on them and some of them don’t, so I think that was our mistake for overlooking that. The crust was really good – somewhere between a thin and hand tossed. The toppings were pretty small and not very flavorful. Overall it was not awful, but it was kind of a let down since we had been looking forward to the meal. Other people seemed to really enjoy their food so I would love to give the place another try some day.
Sunday was the big race day. Kat was an awesome race mom and escorted us to where we needed to go, including to McDonald’s to get breakfast. I had an egg white delight McMuffin without cheese, and Jenny had a regular egg white delight McMuffin and large sweet tea without ice – her usual go to before running. During the race I had birthday cake Gu and s’mores Gu. No pictures of these beauties to be had. We celebrated well during the after party, enjoying the post-race snacks and beer. Kat treated us to homemade salsa with tortilla chips when we got back to her house and we relaxed again for a while before heading out for our final meal together.
For dinner on Sunday, we went to Jessy’s Taco Bistro. We shared a plate of steak nachos and chips with queso. A huge plus was that the nachos had plenty of queso on them without making it soggy. The homemade tortilla chips were amazing, as was the salsa. I ordered a Mexican coke to go with my meal – it came in a glass bottle and was wonderful. I chose the chicken tortilla soup and chicken taco salad for my dinner. The taco salad came with so much chicken! It was very fresh tasting. The tortilla soup was tasty but a little too salty for me. It did have fresh avocado chunks in it which were delightful.
Monday came and it was time to head home. We thanked Kat for her hospitality and headed out onto the road. We grabbed breakfast at Bojangles because I had never tried it before. I got another chicken biscuit breakfast sandwich. And the verdict is… I like Chik Fil A better!
So that’s it – my “What I Ate Wednesday” recap of all of the delicious foods I got to try while on vacation in Virginia. Let me know if you’ve been to any of these places before, if you try the recipes I posted that Kat used, or if you’re dying to try some. It was such an awesome trip with some incredible people… I can’t wait to share more about it. Stay tuned for my race recap, coming soon!!