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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

#FoodieChats twEAT up! (Twitter Meetup) at Applebee's

A photo posted by #Foodiechats πŸ‘‰πŸΌπŸ”πŸ•πŸ£πŸ€πŸ‰ (@foodiechats) on

Last night I was privileged enough to join 11 cities Nationwide in the Foodie Chats Monday Night Football meetup. Applebee's generously sponsored the event, and it was a great night all around. I invited two of my friends out, along with my wonderful boyfriend, B, to join me while I live-tweeted with Foodies across the nation.

Buffalo, St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas, and Kansas City(to name a few) all joined in at 8pm ET to the #FoodieChats hashtag along with Applebee's twitter account for the fun. It was a Nationwide networking event that got foodies together, allowing us to share blogs, ideas, and fun pictures. The very fun #BurgerSelfie was a favorite...

The designated Applebee's for Kansas City was the one located at 6800 Johnson Drive, which is extremely close to the highway and very easy to get to. Parking was not bad at all(a problem I often have with chain restaurants) and we found our seats quickly. When I informed the hostess that I was the Foodie Chats Ambassador for KC, the manager promptly came(sharply dressed, I might add) and escorted us to a table with lots of natural light by the window.

Disclaimer: Just so you know, I'm making that face because of how unbelievably pale I look in that shot. Because I am the opposite of pale. I am full of melanin thanks to my extremely Filipino mother. I am dark as Hell.

The night began with cocktails. I ordered a jalapeno mango margarita, while Emi stuck with the Bourbon/Whiskey-based drinks. Halie got a strawberry-lime margarita; B(oyfriend) was my designated driver so he stuck with the water, but had a few sips of mine. I wasn't a fan of the bourbon drink, and the strawberry-lime margarita was good, but I was definitely happy I stuck with the jalapeno margarita.

I will say this: I wish that the garnish wasn't an actual slice of just raw jalapeno, with seeds to get freely stuck in my straw. Maybe they could make a jalapeno syrup instead, and then make candied slices for the garnishes? I could be splitting hairs; but I am a very annoying foodie like that...splitting hairs, and all.

I had been starving myself all day, so we got an appetizer sampler platter, consisting of the Kobe Meatballs(in chunky marinara), wonton tacos, and potstickers.

I wasn't a fan of the potstickers, as they seemed to be lacking in any real filling or flavor, and the wonton tacos were just okay. I really liked the meatballs, though they were a touch dense for my taste. The sauce they came in was pretty tasty, though, with big chunks of tomato and red pepper. B and I polished that off while Halie and Emi enjoyed the other two.

When our burgers came, we took a big #BurgerSelfie, but I could barely fit us all in because my arms are too short. I got the Mushroom-swiss burger, Emi got the All-Day-Brunch burger(with sweet potato fries), Halie got the Triple Bacon burger and B got the Angry Texan(which was basically a burger combined a pulled pork sandwich + jalapenos). We hoarked everything down pretty quickly, and didn't take any more pictures for another half hour while we answered the Q & A.

FoodieChats have their live tweeting events every Monday night at 8pm ET. Questions are asked, answers are live-tweeted back, and we all bond over that. Questions are formed like this:

And then we all tweet back using A6/A9/A32/A-whatever and get to have a real open forum like that. Here's what it looks like:

Yeah. I Reddit. So what.
And it goes on for 10 questions! This whole process takes a couple of hours, and is a lot of fun. I personally gain followers every time I do the FoodieChats, and I know that I gain a few more people to follow and network with each time. The beauty of social media is that we can all connect over something specific, something that you can share, something that you can not feel alone about anymore. It feels good to feel connected, especially about something you are passionate about.

I feel like Social media has a lot of stigmas, even though a good portion of the population uses it. I feel like the people over 40 don't get it because they think we're just staring blankly into these little "idiot boxes" that we carry in our pockets... The truth is we are all connecting and learning from each other, reading articles and networking, sharing photos and sharing experiences. I am so violently pro-social media that it's not even funny; I love seeing tweets and my friends' selfies. I love seeing things trend. I love seeing people bonding together over food and fun. I love the hivemind and the feeling of being connected.

I feel like only the people that are truly unhappy are the ones that are bothered by how other people enjoy their lives. Why do the older generations get so mad about us taking photos, taking selfies, sharing our experiences on social media? Why can't we just have fun and enjoy our memories that way? Why is it so wrong to say "I am here"?

I can't speak for all, but I personally keep such detailed records of what I do and where I go and with whom I do things because Alzheimer's runs in my family and I'm terrified I'll forget my amazing and beautiful life. I keep such records because I want to be able to smile and look back at my life as a teenager, as a 20-something, as a 30-something, and be able to say: "Wow, I had fun." I don't want my life to just slip away. I want to look back and be reminded of my wonderful friends, of my wonderful pets, of my family and places I've worked. I want to look back on the things I've cooked, the blogs I've written, and say "I had something to say." I want to look back on my life as a spider admires her web, and say "well done, madam." I want to look back on old pictures of myself and say "I was beautiful."

Also, "Damn that's a large animal"

Applebee's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoI love my life and I love my experiences. I love food. And I love everything about where I've been so far, even though I've had some downright horrible experiences. I love them because these experiences have shaped me as a person, and I am very proud of the woman I have become. I don't think we love ourselves enough; I think that girls, especially, are taught to self-criticize and be quiet and not rock the boat. I feel like we're taught that it's somehow shameful to express anything that differentiates us from a hooker or a doormat. I feel like women are so scary for some men that the thought of us being whole people with brains and opinions of our own is so freaky that it just makes their dicks shrivel up and murder people. Looking back on my life will be an excellent snapshot of what life was like in 2015 and so on, and I can't wait until I'm 80 and am looking through my Timehop to see what kind of life I lead... But I'm getting ahead of myself. Onto dessert:

I was feeling PMS-y, so I figured we could all benefit from sampling four desserts. The s'more's churros was a favorite, but the Triple Chocolate cake was honestly my favorite. The brownie was reminiscent of the kind your mom would bake out of the box, and the pretzels were good, but not great. Did they say "chain family restaurant"? Absolutely. But what's wrong with that? Kansas City is the original home of Applebee's, and therefore a pioneer in how you eat....kinda.

I know that you may think that Applebee's isn't the foodie destination, especially for such an exciting town like Kansas City, that has a thriving food scene...but let's be honest: there's something to be said for knowing exactly what you're getting, and knowing that it'll be consistent. There's no real risk in a dinner at Applebee's, and that feeling of solidarity in an ever-changing world can be a good thing.

The point is this: Foodie Chats is fun, and you should give it a try. And follow me on twitter, if you haven't already.

Happy eating and happy Tweeting!

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