Yesterday I put up a teaser post for this recap because I really did need a day for it to sink in that I organized and pulled off a whole, successful event!
Saturday was the first organized Columbia Food Blogger Meetup, and I arrived at the fairly newly opened Cafe Caturra 30 minutes early to set up. Upon arrival I quickly met the manager James, and got started on the Pinot Grigio that they have on tap! If you have any further interest in their wine on tap setup or anything else about the restaurant, ask to speak to James and he’ll be happy to tell you more!
I’m not going to lie- it was 4:30 exactly and I was sitting there drinking alone, fretting that I was going to stay alone and that no one would show up. Luckily during my second glass, everyone started arriving!
We quickly got into some wine, and James brought out some rum punch for us. The only time that they serve liquor is going to be for their Saturday and Sunday brunches. Great idea to start out with the hard stuff early on, right?! I like this philosophy.
The punch was really great- sweet but not too sweet, with a tartness to it that completely covered up any hint of alcohol within. Basically, the perfect party drink for all of these smiling faces!
We quickly got to ordering, and got a lot of small plates to share with the table, and some of us got things for our own dinner. Here’s a smattering of what we crammed onto the table:
Pimento cheese (and a stray crostini)
Mac and cheese
That’s all the shots I got, and I am certain that you’ll be seeing what others ate more specifically on their own blogs because there was a lot of cameras on (and hovering slightly above) the table, which just warms my heart! How many people look at you like a nut when you’re in a restaurant hovering a camera over your food? It’s nice to have company!
Before I go on a tangent let me get back to the food. Everything I ate was excellent. I was thoroughly pleased with my mac and cheese was was warm, gooey, and boasted I think three to four different types of cheeses with a contrasting crunchy crust on top. The caprese crostini was better than I thought it would be! The balsamic reduction drizzled on top provided a sweet counterpoint to the savoriness of the bread, cheese and tomatoes, and the bread wasn’t so crisp that it sent crumbs flying everywhere. I’ll definitely order this again for the whole table next time I go with friends or family.
I can say I honestly don’t remember eating the pimento cheese (I’ll blame it on being socially buzzed), and the hummus was good and creamy. There was traditional, kalamata olive, and red pepper hummus and believe it or not I even tried the olive hummus and didn’t hate it. That’s saying something there, since olives are my #2 food enemy.
Did I show off these goodie bags yet? I don’t think so, so here’s our spread! (Not pictured is a full size bottle of Maurice’s BBQ sauce that I had to fight my husband off from til after the event!)
I look forward to hanging out with ya’ll again and other Columbia food bloggers in the area! Keep your eyes open for more information on another meetup in maybe August or September, or if you want to spearhead an outing, let me know and I’ll be glad to help out. In the meantime I am looking to create a Facebook group or some other message board system so that we can all keep up with foodie happenings around town, or if anyone wants dinner companions, or anything tasty and related!