Turning 28 at the Market

Just Fine and Dandelion

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Guess whose birthday it was last week? That's right. Yours truly. The big 2-8. My goodness, what a lackluster age to turn. This time last year, I didn't know it but I was taking part in a series of events that would almost lead to my demise.

No joke, last summer was one of those summers where you look back and it makes sense why Britney Spears cut off her hair in 2007. So this year, I was just excited about putting the past year behind me.

When my friends started asking me weeks in advance, "What do you want to do?" I felt the shrug and roll of my eyes in my response because I was genuinely uninterested in the idea of being disappointed two years in a row.

But my lackadaisical attitude wasn't going to keep April 25 from coming. The next thing I knew, every single day of the week was a night I couldn't remember with people I couldn't forget.

It started on Tuesday at The Corner Pub (of course). When the clock struck midnight, my boo thang, my friends and my CP family sang me "Happy Birthday" while my "cake" was sat in front of me.

And by cake, I mean a chicken tender smothered in hot sauce with a single lit candle and a side of ranch! (I've never been a huge fan of cake.)

And after dinner at my fave restaurant – Bahn Thai in Ballantyne – on my actual birthday the next night, I couldn't ask for a better surprise.

That's when those same people I was with on Tuesday (plus some) pulled the ultimate okiedoke.

Even though I was exhausted after what felt like a week-long birthday celebration, I agreed to go on a double date with my friend and her boyfriend at Dandelion Market.

I was exhausted, and all I could think about on our way to dinner was how excited I was to enjoy a glass of wine and great wine before heading home to go straight to sleep. But it's just never that simple in my world.

The boyfriend and I parked in the parking deck next door to Dandelion Market (which, by the way, is not validated at the popular restaurant).

When we walked in, I noticed my friend and her boyfriend sitting at the bar waiting on us – of course we were late. After what I would later describe as an awkward encounter, we walked upstairs to be seated.

When we got to the top of the stairs while I was looking for the table we were going to be seated at, I heard all of this commotion coming from the center of the room.

I glanced to see who was causing all the ruckus and that's when I realized it was my CP family and friends! They'd organized this entire situation and I was absolutely clueless.

But I digress. All that was to give you a little insight into Dandelion Market. If you haven't heard by now, this venue is more than just a bed of drunken madness at 1 a.m., it's also a highly popular destination for brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

I'd only been there a couple times for food, however, I'd had a decent experience eating the food.

This time, all 15 or so people in attendance settled on one thing - Everything at the Market for $295 (dine in only).

What madness is that you ask? Oh, just every single thing on the menu for less than $300.

I'm not going to lie, even though I cosigned the decision, I was nervous. What if I didn't get to taste everything I wanted? What if I was still hungry after the fact?

Both reasonable questions to ask, wouldn't you think?

Nope, not even relevant questions at all. The special comes in three waves of food. By the second, I was full beyond words. By the end of it, everyone had that look when you eat too much and you know you could fall asleep at the drop of a dime.

Not to mention, there was so much left we could've fed three to five more people!

My favorite items: sweet potato gnocchi, fried brie salad, sweet and spicy green beans, sausage stuffed poblano pepper and the pork belly.

However, maybe the only reason those were my faves is because I was too full to appreciate everything else? I know one thing, Everything at the Market is perfect for parties 15 or more (and birthdays).

If you haven't been to Dandelion Market yet, plan a trip before the market menu item goes up. They're open seven days a week.

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