There’s a running joke in Tampa that people who live in South Tampa rarely go north of Kennedy Boulevard. Technically, I live downtown and the smidgiest smidge north of Kennedy, but apparently I’m still grouped with South Tampanians. This is neither a fortunate nor unfortunate thing, just a random fact.
A random fact that is mostly likely responsible for the delayed discovery of a new favorite: Rollin’ Oats Market & Cafe.
The “Cooking with Tofu” class started at 6:30, but I arrived a bit early to check out the cafe. Sesame egg salad on a spinach wrap? Uh heck yeah! I also ordered a teeny side of summer bean salad because I wanted to try something else from the magical case of food.
Arriving early, I was able to meet Katrina before she began preparing Polenta Lasagna and Mocha Ricotta Cream. She was completely radiant and held my attention for the entire session. For anyone that’s ever sat through a class/meeting/movie/anything over 15 minutes, you can appreciate that holding my attention is a near impossible task.
I have to admit that I was weary of the Polenta Lasagna. My experiences with vegan ricotta in the past have been less than satisfactory. And I purchased pre-packaged polenta once, had no idea what to do with it, ate it plain, and deemed it gross.
I’m glad I gave both components a second chance, the package deal was good! I was the first of fifteen attendees to finish my entire plate and I’m fairly certain my helping was significantly larger than most!
After the first recipe sampling, I was confident the Mocha Ricotta Cream would be tasty as well. Oh how I like being right! I really enjoyed the use of coffee extract and I’m looking forward to testing it out in a modified version of The Chocolate Lover’s Tart.
I stayed after the workshop to pick up a few groceries and couldn’t believe how reasonable the prices were. I looked for the three-ish items that I know how to price gauge and they were either the same or less than what I usually pay (I think). I ran this idea by Katrina and she informed me that they try to set their prices 10 to 15 percent below the suggested retail price. Score!
And some more of my cents… Before tonight, I felt as though the idea of a neighborhood grocer was extinct. But from the second I stepped into Rollin’ Oats, well… Let’s just say I called my mom on the way home to brag that I had just discovered the Cheers of grocery stores.