Saturday, March 13, 2010

blogger meetup

I heart food bloggers! And food blog readers! And food bloggers’ friends!

Last night we had a Northern Virginia meetup- there were Allie, her best friend Katherine, Maya, Stephanie (who doesn’t have a blog but who we spent the whole evening peer pressuring into starting one) and me.

I figured it’d be nice to bring something edible to a gathering of foodies. And a woman needs cupcakes on her birthday. It was Allie’s birthday. Thus, chocolate cupcakes.


I totally winged it on the recipe. And then drizzled them with caramel, just in case.

I wrapped hers up in a recycled but still cute container, and went ahead and brought everyone else one too!


And then the awesome birthday girl made everyone the Rosie’s granola bars I’ve been lusting over in her blog! They are GOOD.

So the locale was Sunflower, a vegetarian restaurant Allie had already blogged about a few times. There are two locations, one of which is close to me and one of which is REALLY close to me, but I hadn’t been to either. I was stoked to try it out!

Watching a bunch of foodies read a menu that was like five pages long was pretty hilarious. Everything sounded so good! Maya, being a food-sharer of my own heart, suggested splitting some things, so she and I went halfsies on the following. To start:


Cold Basil Roll:
Jicama, carrot, lettuce, dry spiced tofu, vegi-ham, basil wrapped in rice paper.

I voted for this. I am a jicama fiend. It was refreshing, not wildly exciting. It was improved by the peanut sauce that came with it.

Followed by:


Sunflower’s Satisfaction
Sautéed special monkey mushrooms, snow peas, soy protein
and chick peas in a mildly hot & sweet orange sauce with red
chili. Garnished with Shanghai cabbage and red bell peppers

I didn’t see a ton of the promised mushrooms- there was lots of YUMMY bok choy, a good amount of snow peas, and some red pepper. The chickpeas were a nice, not necessarily traditional touch in a Chinese-type dish.  And the fake meat was really yummy and nicely textured and the sauce, though in my opinion it did not merit the chili pepper by its description on the menu, was very flavorful. Definitely ginger in there.

We saw kabocha on some of the menu items and were stoked. It’s like, the ultimate food blogger food. But when we asked if we could have it added to the above dish, our waitress made a face and said it wouldn’t go. Which really turned out to be true. So we got it on the side.


Kabocha is always nice. Though I think if we’d thought about it we wouldn’t have bothered. Since that little bowl was $4…

Anyway, we got our food, and then we talked, and we ended up staying at the restaurant (hahaha, monopolizing a prime table on a Friday night) for THREE HOURS!

It’s totally awesome hanging out with other blog fans! Yes, the other girls were strangers to me, but we all arrived with lots of shared interests and stories and we all speak the same language! And we talked about all the other blogs on a first name basis, hahaha.

Everyone (poached from Maya’s blog):

blogger meetup

Allie, Maya, me (yeurgh I am never letting someone who only speaks Mandarin cut my hair again!), and Stephanie.

So fun!

Also, I hate fonts. People think my name is Illeana, or Lleana, or other stupid things because capital I’s so often look like L’s. This is why I go by Lele on the internet.


Anais said...

So fun!!! There are actually a few food/health bloggers where I live and I'm thinking we should totally do a meet-up!

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen said...

Oh how I love dining with a group of foodies...

Maya said...

I should have realized they would over charge for something like kabocha! Oh, well. Hey, we tried three different things for the price of 1 menu item. Not too shabby! I'll go back to my post now and edit your name, I didn't realize you preferred Lele on the interweb! My b. Something super adventurous for the next meet up sounds like a plan!

MelindaRD said...

Sounds like a great blogger meet up. I love getting to try new vegetarian restaurants.

Anonymous said...

I wished I lived up north instead of down here in Va Beach sometimes! It's such a great area (despite the cost difference) with tons to do.
A close friend of mine took me to Sunflower when I visited her in Burke, VA and I adored it. The meals were huge and very filling. Glad you had such a good time!

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Molly said...

Ah looks like a bunch of fun! I have never had a bloggie meet up! I wish wish I get to do one soon/find someone who lives by me!!

Anonymous said...

That looks like an amazing time! I fully support your use of caramel drizzle for safety purposes as well.

Rachana said...

I really wish to meet my blogger friends... looks like you had a great time:)

Mom on the Run said...

Blogger meet ups are the best. I get to have another one next week. It is nice to know there are like minded people like yourself out there.

Jess said...

I love reading about blogger meetups! It must be awesome not to be the only pulling out your camera when the food arrives :)
<3 jess

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

Yay! Thanks for the shout out! I'm working on this whole blog thing, don't worry! :) We definitely need to do this again though! PS - if you still want to apply to the job at ASPH, I'll put in a good word for you! :)

Allie (Live Laugh Eat) said...

Hey Ileana!

Thanks for coming to celebrate my birthday with me :) Sorry it took me forever to comment. I read the post but then remembered I never left you a thank you comment...and then going back to school killed all free time haha. I LOVED the cupcakes--they were delicious. I can't believe you winged (winged??) that!

I had a great time!