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Blogging in Real Life @ Don Jose’s

The funny thing about blogging is that when you start, it’s just you alone in front of your computer screen typing up words, pressing publish, and then hoping that somehow someone was going to read it.

But pretty quickly, you realize that there’s an entire community of people doing the exact same thing. Over time, blogging becomes more than you just writing into cyberspace, and turns into a community that you’re interacting with. Most of the time that’s just through blog posts and comments. But sometimes,  the blog worlds and the “real” world to collide, and you actually get the opportunity to talk to someone face to face.

Why am I getting all sappy on you about this? Well, last night I had my very first blogger meet-up, or, as EC has been referring to it all week: my blind date. Blogger meet-ups are a strange thing. Even though you don’t really know the people you’re meeting, you sort of feel like you do because you stalk them online follow their blogs. So even though you’ve never spoken a word to each other in your life, you have a pretty good idea what to expect.

Last night, Becky, Bekah, Lindsay, Melissa, and I all met at Don Jose Tequila’s indjt_diningroom Federal Hill to take  advantage of Providence Restaurant week. This was my first time at Don Jose’s and it did not disappoint! Unlike most other restaurants during Restaurant Week, we were able to choose food off the full menu. Dinner included a drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert. A whole lot of delicious food.

Because I know that each of these lovely ladies will be posting a recap on their lovely blogs (that you should check out), I figured I’d just tell you 5 little lessons from my night at Don Jose’s.

1.) Federal Hill actually has good food that’s not Italian.

If you know anything about the Federal Hill area of Providence, it’s that it’s known for its collection of amazing Italian restaurants. And I’ll admit, whenever I have dinner there, I overlook all other restaurants and pick an Italian place. But not anymore! I was so impressed by how delicious the food was at Don Jose’s. Oh, and the drinks – those were pretty amazing too. I got a glass of Sangria – perfect drink on a summer night.

DSCN0452It’s important to balance your alcohol with plenty of fresh H2O 😉

2.) People never actually talk like you would imagine them to.

It’s a funny thing to “hear” someone’s voice through their writing and then really hear it in real life. I’m always surprised – but in a good way. :) I think reading their blogs from now on will be like what happens when you see a movie before reading the book. Once you’ve seen and heard the actors, you can’t help but picture them and hear their voices while you’re reading. Now that I’ve heard how these ladies talk, it will be impossible not to hear that voice through their writing, which will make it even more fun to read.


Appetizer #1 – chips and fresh guacamole

3.) Blogger Meet-ups are not awkward.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this was surprising, but it’s true! Just because you read someone’s blog, doesn’t necessarily mean you have things to talk about in person. And I’m not the most out-going person in the world, so I knew I wasn’t exactly going to be the life of the party. But when you get a group of people together that all have similar interests, the conversation comes easy…especially when you have this woman to regal you with stories about the little ones she teaches. Oh my goodness…public health is definitely way less exciting! 😉


Appetizer # 2: Ensalada de Mango – The stars were definitely the mango and goat cheese. An amazing combo. I’ll admit that I didn’t know what those pink things were – but I avoided them for fear they were onions

4.) Mexican food is not very photogenic.

Okay, so this wasn’t exactly a surprise or a lesson, but it’s true! I opted to just get the veggie burrito for my meal, and even though they tried to make it pretty with a drizzle of sour cream, you tell me – does that pile of brown mush look particularly appetizing??


Regardless of how it looked, it was pretty delicious. Typically, vegetarian burritos just contain beans, rice, and cheese…tasty, but boring. I really liked that Don Jose’s filled the burrito with actual veggies (zucchini, peppers, etc) and then served the beans and rice on the side. And I also appreciated that the guac was in a separate little cup so I could add on however much I wanted. I hate how it usually gets lost in burritos.

5.) If you have a fear of being the center of attention, don’t go to Don Jose Tequila’s on your birthday.

The entire restaurant is involved in the celebration. While we were eating, the music suddenly got extremely loud and a festive version of “Happy Birthday” started piping over the speakers. Several waiters walked out with dessert and a huge sombrero for the unsuspecting birthday diner.

Sadly, we didn’t have anyone celebrating a birthday in our party, but that didn’t mean dessert was any less amazing. Never before have I proclaimed dessert as my favorite part of dinner while at a Mexican restaurant. But last night, Don Jose’s surprised me again. I ordered the Chocolate Tamale – one of the fudgiest, most delicious desserts I’ve ever had.


It’s hard to say what was in this exactly, but it was some sort of half-baked brownie pudding cake. From now on, I will make all of my brownies like this! Even after a drink, chips with salsa and guacamole, a salad, half a burrito and beans and rice, I had no problem polishing this baby off.

After taking pictures of all this food, I realized that we didn’t all actually take a picture of the group. So if you want to see what these ladies look like, you’ll have to head over to their blogs!

All in all, it was a really fun night. The food and conversation were both amazing. When EC texted me later saying: “How’s your date?” I could honestly tell him that I had a great time. It’s funny to think that these people live right by me, but I never would have known if it weren’t for blogging. I love how the internet has a way of making the world feel small.

22 Responses to Blogging in Real Life @ Don Jose’s

  1. Such a fabulous take on our “date!” I was really hoping everyone had as much fun as I did! You right on the photos – my food was so not pretty, but so good! The pictures don’t do it justice.

    I can’t wait to plan another gathering :)
    Becky´s last post ..The Comforts of Home

  2. I realized we didn’t take a photo either! Blogger meet-up virgins!!

  3. So jealous of your date. Hopefully we’ll be having one soon in DC?! :)
    Alex @ IEatAsphalt´s last post ..Baby Cakes

  4. “I love how the internet has a way of making the world feel small.” That’s a great line! Especially because we usually think it’s the opposite, that the Internet makes the world seem HUGE.
    Katie @ Health for the Whole Self´s last post ..Your Body and Your Bank Account

    • Or maybe I should say: “I love how BLOGGING makes the internet (slash world) seem small.” Because that’s really what it is, I think. :)

  5. As I’ve told the others, so jealous. They are like blind dates, but I hope you have more hot matches in your future. What a fun evening. And it’s official, if I don’t get to a Mexican Restaurant tonight, I’ll be crushed.
    Nichole´s last post ..Tri-ing is Better

  6. Awesome stuff! I just read Becky’s blog about this and just as I told her, it sounds like you had a really fun time. I haven’t been blogging for long, but I’ve been on the internet in other ways (early forms of social media) that has allowed me to meet some really cool people. So much so that one of the people I’ve met over the years is from Washington DC, and my girlfriend and I housed him and two of his friends when he came to check out the Olympics way back in February. We had SUCH a good time and they were able to check out the Olympics on the cheap :) Win-win for everyone.

    Glad you had a good time!

  7. I love the idea of a blogger meetup! And I agree that it starts to feel like you know everyone even before you ever see each other face to face. Glad you had a good time!

  8. I love blogger meet-ups. It definitely is like a blind date. I was sooooo jealous going to my first one because all of the other bloggers already knew each other. But it was so easy and now I have more friends :)
    Jen´s last post ..Getting Through the Long Run

  9. Oh Lauren…thank you so much for what you wrote to me on my blog. You made me tear up…especially that last part. Thank you girl…your words mean so much!
    Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly´s last post ..The Race That Never Was…

  10. i love that too- the internet totally makes everything compressed into a bubble almost and nothing really seems too distant to even unattainable.

    THIS PLACE IS FANTASTIC! and yes the brown mush looks appetizing to me!

    have a great day Lauren <3


  11. It was such a fun night and I love your recap especially the part of voices! How true.
    Bekah @ runtrackmind´s last post ..Shopaholic

  12. Wow. I loved your recap — it was much more refreshing than most of the recaps of blogger meetups I’ve read. You put the meaning back into blogger meetups, and for that, I think you are awesome. :-) All of your eats at Don Jose look great, too, but especially the brownie tamale. I’ve been longing to make tamales since, well, forever (mainly, I admit, because of the fancy-exotic look it gives), and even though I’d been planning to make salty ones, I’m always open to new ideas. Especially when they involve chocolate. :-)

    xo Aletheia
    aletheia´s last post ..This is My Blog

  13. I have yet to have a blogger meet-up. I think the first time I’ll meet other bloggers will be at the Healthy Living Summit in August. I’m actually getting really nervous! I’m not that outgoing, either, so I’m already giving myself pep talks on getting out there are meeting people. Man, this does sound like dating!
    Lizz @ Leading the Good Life´s last post ..Birthday Celebrations

  14. Sounds like such a fun outing! I had my first blogger meet up in NYC with the lovely Robyn of Ramblings of a Wanna be Writer and Runner and then my second blogger meet up was just this last Saturday.

    I love blogger meetups…I think you need to make a trip to Minnesota soon! :)
    hbobier @ Basil Vodka´s last post ..Pesto and Vegetables

  15. haha I agree with all your bullet points! I’ve only done 1 meet-up but it really is like a blind date. And I love when bloggers post videos on their site for the reason you mentioned above- people talk/act different than what you’d expect them too!
    Danielle (Runs on Green)´s last post ..Awkward turtles

  16. Haha. Erica from Itzyskitchen and I always forget to take pictures together. I love meet-ups. We’re doing one on Monday and we’re going to meet a new blogger. So exciting. Remember that Vega protein you really wanted to try? I won some on another blog. When it comes I’m going to send it to you! I’ll shoot you an email when I get it to get your address. Have a great day!
    Lindsay´s last post ..Just Can’t Get Enough

  17. It was great meeting you! Dinner was a lot of fun and I love the 5 things you learned. :)

  18. And good luck in the race!!!
    Melissa´s last post ..New Balance rock&tone Sneakers

  19. Blogger meetups are so fun… but I haven’t done many. Probably why I’m pretty excited to be going to the Healthy Living Summit in a few weeks!

    Mexican food is by far my favorite. And that place looks amazing… 😉
    Amy B @ Second City Randomness´s last post ..I’m Gonna Hit My Head

  20. I see you love Mexican Food as much as me! I love going to a mexican place on my bday as I feel it is an “get out of eating and drinking whatever I want on my bday pass”…..=O

  21. Fun! I am looking forward to being able to meet some bloggers in the future (post-Africa). I can imagine how you expect it to be so awkward but then it isnt at all and then the fact that it is not awkward is in its own way awkward :) so fun though!
    Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards)´s last post ..Wine Tasting for dummies in the Western Cape

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