Wow. I haven’t put up a new review in nearly a year. I feel derelict in my responsibilities as a food blogger.
I can put the delay down to a few reasons. One, like many people, I am a creature of habit. I tend to frequent favorite places over and over. Many of my favorites have been reviewed already, and I don’t really want to go over a restaurant’s entire menu. Therefore, I avoid updates to existing reviews. Second, I’ve been cooking at home most of the time. I could start adding my own recipes to the site, but that’s not the purpose of this blog. Finally, MG’s dietary requirements have changed. She is gluten and diary free. This point kind of relates to point one. Because of these restrictions, going to new places can be a pain in the ass. Heck, finding new places can be a pain in the ass.
Sometimes, my reason has just been good old fashioned laziness. I go to a new place and I just forget to pull out my phone and take a few snaps. On other occasions, I am with a group of people and get tired of answering the same questions.
Why are you taking pictures?
For my food blog.
You’ve got a blog? So what are you, some kind of restaurant reviewer?
I’m a guy that likes to eat out and is sharing my opinion of the places I’ve been.
So what makes you such an expert?
I’m the guy that plunked down my hard earned cash for a meal. Just like you can tell your friends that you tried a new place and it was awesome, I can write a journal of my opinions.
Nevertheless, there is one surefire way to find new restaurants: Travel.
MG and I were once again in the Sunshine State, and we needed to eat. Near the Museum district of St. Petersburg, we found Meze 119.
As you can see from the sign, they are a vegetarian bistro. They also have a bunch of gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan dishes. I have no problem with vegetarian or vegan meals. What I’m not crazy about are phony meat options. When I eat vegetarian meals, I don’t want something that tastes like meat or tries to imitate the structure of meat. If I did, I would eat meat.
Everyone calm down. I know that some people can’t eat meat for religious or physical reasons. It just ain’t me.
Instead of getting entrees, we decided to pick various appetizer options. We started with this little sampler plate of the classic hummus, garlic hummus, and baba ganoush ($8.50). The usual options for dipping are white or wheat pita. I asked our waitress which one she preferred, and she recommended the white. (Good call.) The pita was fluffy and tasty. The stuff at the top of the picture is gluten-free chips. They were not to my liking, but MG was pleased to have the option and found them tasty. The classic hummus is uncomplicated. The garlic in the garlic hummus is a nice element, but I’m not a huge fan of big chunks of roasted garlic. I found myself cutting it into smaller pieces to smear on my fluffy pita. The baba ganoush is a must-order. The texture was wonderful, almost creamy like the hummus, but bursting with flavor.
The cauliflower was roasted with some curry and possibly a little garlic. The dipping sauce was some sort of mustard and other spices. I really enjoyed the dish, but I am a fan of cauliflower anyway. MG was not a fan. Then again, she does not really like cauliflower.
What MG did really enjoy was the falafel ($8.00), as did I. I was skeptical when I first saw them. Take a good look at the photo. That’s not a trick of lighting, the falafel really does look burnt. However, they were not. They were really crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside. The tzadiki sauce was also very good. This is also a must order.
Mezze119 is a nice option for the meat and/or dairy free. If you’re visiting the Dali Museum or some of the many bars that are around this area, I highly recommend giving them a try.
119 2nd St N
St Petersburg, FL 33701