While I was planning my last minute trip to Orlando last week, a fellow blogger friend Lee from MySentimentExactLee asked if I'd like to meet up for dinner. Y'all know how much I like to eat! Of course I said "yes" without a moment's hesitation. Then she asked if she should invite some other bloggers that live in the area. Double yes!
As we neared our departure date, I think I became just as excited about my blogger meetup and my daughter and niece were about going to Disney and SeaWorld!
We made plans to have dinner Wednesday night at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, which was literally across the street from my hotel. I have been to the one in Coconut Grove in Miami - in fact, I began my 30th birthday bash there three years ago! I love that place! But once I walked into the Orlando location, I knew I was in for an entirely different experience - it was twice the size and the atmosphere was completely different.
First of all, there was a handsome artist painting right in the doorway. How cool is that?
As I got myself checked in, I met one of the other bloggers attending the dinner, Jessica from The Unemployed Mom and we began getting to know each other a little while we waited for the others to arrive.
We only had to wait a few minutes while they set up our table and it seemed as though within minutes they were bringing out their famous sangria and bottles of wine for us...let me tell you, that sangria? It's famous for a reason. It was delicious! I normally order mojitos at my local Cafe Tu Tu Tango, but once that sangria was on the table, I was a convert. A mixture of wine, brandy and fruit...they were wonderful! A few of the bloggers don't drink so guess what happened to their glasses? You guessed it - I took 'em.
And their food? OH. MY. GOSH. So wonderful! We began the night with a few dishes of their choosing: Chilled Mediterranean Spinach Dip and Roasted Pears on Pecan Crisps...then followed that up with Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls, Baked Goat Cheese and Marinara Dip, Cuban Grilled Steak Skewers, Gator Bites and Flat Bread Pizza.
I personally ordered the steak skewers and they were so good that I didn't really want to share. It was so much fun passing around the plates and tasting a bit of this and a bit of that. My favorite ended up being their famous Cajun Chicken Egg Rolls - they were a little spicy but not too spicy. And the dipping sauce? Drool-worthy.
Dessert? Holy smokes, don't even get me started on dessert. They are incredible, and they are sized for sharing...I ordered the Brownie Sundae and I almost cried when the server brought it to me. It was gigantic. Becca from MamaB Blog ordered the Cheesecake Lollipops and somehow, I managed not to jump across the table and take them for myself. The blogger sitting next to me, Jennifer from Double Duty Mom, ordered the Banana Pizza...oh my gosh, how sweet that smelled. If any of us were on diets that night, they were definitely blown once the desserts arrived!
I love the family style dining experience and doing that with tapas is so much fun! You really interact with your party and comparing what everyone likes the best is a great way to keep the conversation going if it falls into a lull. Well, that didn't really happen because we were a bunch of blogging mommas - we are social by nature, so conversation was never lacking at our table!
One of the highlights of the evening was when their mime came to our table and did a little show, followed by a magician. I am serious, they actually had entertainment! It was so much fun to play along and laugh at their antics while we enjoyed our meal. To make the experience even more enjoyable, we were actually seated directly in front of one of the artists working on a project that night! You can see the artist behind the magician in this picture.
I had a fantastic time with the other bloggers and I am so grateful to Lee for arranging the dinner. Also? A huge shout out to Troy Wilson, the manger of Cafe Tu Tu Tango, for taking such great care of us while we were there! He is wonderful! It's no wonder the restaurant is so successful with such a great manager behind it!
So my first blogger meet up was a smashing success. I left the restaurant happy and excited to go home and work on some of the ideas that they other bloggers bounced around the table and determined to reach out and somehow meet more bloggers in my area so that I can do this more often!
If you live anywhere near Orlando, or plan to visit the area soon, you must add Cafe Tu Tu Tango to your itinerary. You will not be disappointed!