Authors Posts by Katherine Nguyen

Katherine Nguyen

Katherine Nguyen is currently a Dental Hygiene student at Valencia College. She has a major in Molecular Biology and Microbiology and minoring in Health Service Administration from the University of Central Florida. She enjoyed playing soccer and was captain of an intramural team for 4 years at UCF. Photography is her favorite hobby since 2008; she is very diverse in the field, but her favorite sub-fields are portraits, culinary and maternity photography. In her free time, she tutors students from elementary to college level as well as volunteers at Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, FL. Link: Katherine Nguyen Photography

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Fun times at Adobe Gila’s run Tuesday-Sunday at Pointe Orlando with their indoor and outdoor bars as well as live music.

We started our journey on their menu with their Hand Crafted Guacamole made fresh to order from rice avocados and their freshest ingredients. Although the menu says the same words, each word rings true in my opinion.

The Brisket Sandwich, served with french fries, is absolutely flavorful. Make sure to try the brisket on its own, which you’ll taste the smokiness of the delicious brisket. This is my favorite item on the menu.

Ahi Tuna Tacos with a drizzle of cucumber wasabi sauce, served with yellow rice and black beans. The ahi tuna is seared nicely and the cucumber wasabi sauce adds an interesting and smooth touch to the dish. If you’re not a fan of wasabi, this sauce may not be your favorite; however, it may grow on you.

Chorizo Burger is one of the many unique Gila Burgers on the menu, served with seasoned french fries. This Chorizo Burger is a grilled burger topped with spicy chorizo, Pepperjack cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo. The burger is very tender and moist even if it was served to us well done.

When at Adobe Gila’s, you should try their pork. We decided to have it as our protein with the fajitas. It’s prepared with Mojo sauce with grilled peppers and onions. Lettuce, fresh pico de gallo, cheese, and tomatoes are on the side for you to wrap on your own with flour or corn tortillas. The pork is flavorful and moist. No regrets in picking this option as our protein!

Don’t forget to order a drink with your delicious food. How about a Coconut Margarita or Adobe Colada? The Adobe Colada, among other Bikini Drinks, at Adobe Gila’s will come with a festive souvenir glass you are able to keep!

For more information, please visit Adobe Gila’s.

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We deeply enjoyed visiting our local Cheddar’s to try some made-from-scratch recipes and the new bone-in 10 oz. Bourbon Glazed Pork Chop, with a scratch-made glaze. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen has a menu built on simple, honest and natural ingredients. Each of Cheddar’s scratch-made recipes are hand-crafted with care and time since 1979.

While waiting for our dishes, we tried Cheddar’s Painkiller, which is nice and smooth. It also has a delicious ring of roasted coconut nibs. Cheddar’s Painkiller is made of Pusser’s rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, orange juice, toasted coconut rim, topped with nutmeg. Limit 2 per guest… I wonder why.

Homemade Onion Rings are fresh-cut, hand-battered and made to order. They are served with homemade ranch and Cajun dipping sauce. The sauces are ok for the onion rings, but they are delicious on their own as well.

Chips & Homemade Queso with a side of seasoned ground beef. The cheese was slightly on the salty side.

Citrus Miso Glazed Salmon is on the lighter side of the menu for dinner. It consists of hand-cut salmon fillet glazed with citrus miso sauce and served over seasoned rice with a side of steamed broccoli. The salmon was cooked well, tender and moist; as it should be. The citrus miso glaze is sweet, but it does not overpower the salmon itself.

Half rack of in-house, slow smoked Baby Back Ribs with grilled or fried shrimp served with two sides of your choice. Each bite of the tender ribs leaves a hint of smokiness. We ordered grilled shrimp and it has its own flavors that are unique to the ribs. The shrimp are made well and not chewy, like how it is when someone overcooks them.

We have two made-from-scratch sides here, Mac & Cheese and Broccoli Cheese Casserole. The Mac & Cheese is my favorite side from Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. I quite prefer it over the Broccoli Cheese Casserole as I’m not a fan of casseroles.

New bone-in 10 oz. Bourbon Glazed Pork Chop is a center-cut, bone-in pork chop on a bed of mashed potatoes and topped with bourbon glaze and homemade onion rings. Served with one side. The pork chop is very tender, moist and flavorful. Congratulations to Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for being able to appropriately season their pork chop as it is usually hard to do so.

Our side was their housemate coleslaw, which was delicious and refreshing.

20 oz. Bone-In Ribeye is made to order and served with two sides of your choice. The ribeye was seasoned very nicely and I am craving more of it as I type this. The Baked Sweet Potato and Buttered Off-The-Cob Corn are both delicious sides to have.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen has a number of delicious desserts on their menu. Their Dessert Minis option allows you to try three types in a shot form. Here, we pick Key Lime Pie shooters after Manager Tim suggested how it is as delicious as his mother’s homemade Key Lime Pie. The Key Lime Pie at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is made with specific limes from Key West, Florida and Manager Tim wasn’t lying about how delicious these mini Key Lime Pie shooters were.

For more information, visit Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen.

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Cocina 214 can be found in Winter Park of Orlando, FL and a new location opened in Daytona Beach, FL. Tasty Chomps was happy to make a stop into the Winter Park location to see what they have to offer us.

Margaritas at Cocina 214 are high-quality, fresh and strong. Cocina 214 serves their margaritas on the rocks or frozen with a rim of salt. The frozen margarita was my favorite of the two.

What’s great is how the margaritas made at Cocina 214 is extremely fresh and high-quality as they don’t use high-fructose mixes or low grade tequila. All citruses used are freshly squeezed with a juicer on site. If you’d like a sweeter option, try the frozen margarita mixed with sangria that is served at Cocina 214.

Start with the Cocina Trio and a fresh batch of tortilla chips. The Cocina Trio includes guacamole, queso blanco, and a fire-roasted salsa. Each of these, as well as other ingredients and items, at Cocina 214 is prepared daily and throughout the day as needed. Each of the Cocina Trio items were delicious and I cannot seem to decide which is a favorite.

The Fried Avocado Bites are lightly breaded and fried sliced hass avocados served with a chipotle cream sauce. The fried avocado slices are a tad bland if not dipped into the chipotle cream sauce, but the sauce is slightly spicy so be warned.

When ordering tacos, each option on the Taqueria menu comes with 3 tacos; rice and beans can be added for $2. We tried two types of tacos – the Rotisserie Chicken and Brisket. The tacos can be served on flour, corn, or wheat tortilla shells. Cocina 214 prides itself on being very flexible with patient dietary needs.

The Rotisserie Chicken tacos included veggie rice, queso fresco, roasted corn, and sautéed poblano salsa on the side. This dish is slightly bland, but the chicken itself is very moist and tender.

The Brisket tacos consists of beef brisket, pico de gallo, sautéed onions, and Monterrey Jack cheese on flour tortillas with a side of fire-roasted salsa. The brisket is flavorful, yet a little dry. This has to be my choice of tacos at this location, with extra lime because I love a touch of citrus.

Tex-Mex & Mexican Essentials include a number of options, which includes Chicken Tamales. The order of Chicken Tamales comes with 2 Tamales with rice, beans, serrano peppers, tomatillos, chicken, cilantro, garlic, and topped off with a ranchero sauce. The Chicken Tamales were delicious and full of flavors. The rice is more on the soft side, but comes with a number of different flavors you wouldn’t taste in the Tamales and beans.

For more information, check out Cocina 214.

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Something Fishy will celebrate their anniversary exactly two-years after they first opened their doors on February 24, 2016 with a special Two-Year Anniversary Block Party to be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Owner Patrice Phillips is a warm and welcoming character towards all of her customers. I came in as a stranger, left as a friend after trying a number of things Patrice surprised me with from the menu created by her husband, Owner and Chef Terence Phillips.

Something Fishy has a number of soups, which they rotate in and out each day. The Lobster Bisque served here is thick and creamy with small bits of lobster as well as appropriately seasoned. Many locals tend to call daily to see what the Soup of the Day is and often request to be on a calling list when their preferred soup rotates onto the menu.

Cauliflower with a Kick is spicy and battered with Aleppo pepper and served with avocado aioli. The sauce cuts down on the heat of the cauliflower and also tastes delicious with french fries as well as everything else on the menu. The cauliflower is nice and crispy, which isn’t what you normally imagine cauliflower being.

The Salmon Tacos are made with blackened salmon, Cole slaw, and black bean and corn salsa in a soft taco topped with a drizzle of the avocado aioli sauce. The salmon is fresh and made just right.

The basket of Fried Swai (house fish) has a very mellow flavor and a great texture. There is an oh-so-slightly crunch from the batter, but that doesn’t overpower the delicate texture of the fish itself. It can be served with some lightly seasoned fries, which I mentioned to be delicious with the avocado aioli sauce.

The North Atlantic Cod photographed here is served with jasmine rice and broccoli, two of the many sides you can choose from. The fish is seasoned and cooked well, just like all of the fish I’ve tried at this visit. You can taste the saltiness of the fish, but it blends well with how it is made and served. You can also combine the fish with the rice to make the fish’s saltiness more subtle.

The Strawberry Cake is part of a number of cakes making up “Something Sweet” desserts. There is nothing fishy about any of the desserts served at Something Fishy. This Strawberry Cake is moist and filled with fresh strawberries. It has fruit in it so it’s healthy, right? The slice is on the sweeter side of the spectrum, but it will entice your sweet tooth.

Being at this restaurant and eating with Patrice was like eating and catching up with your mom-away-from-home. She makes sure you’re happy and doing well. She has an open ear to hear about your day and a great story on hand to get a laugh out of you. Not only will you crave a smile and hug from Patrice after you leave, but you’ll crave of the food she serves constantly. Be warned, you may lose sleep drooling about their food.

Make sure you stop by on Saturday, February 24, 2018 for a special Two-Year Anniversary Block Party. Try the delicious foods offered by Something Fishy, meet the family behind the restaurant, and check out the artwork created by Patrice’s daughter.

Swim by Something Fishy, where the food speaks for itself, located at 2107 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka, FL 32703.  Something Fishy is open for lunch and dinner and serves a full menu daily until close.  For updated hours of operation and more information, call 407-703-4850 or visit

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March 1, 2018, The Brass Tap teams up with another local brewery, Bowigens Beer Company, to host a Girl Scout Cookies & Brews pairing party in Orlando, FL. The Brass Tap, itself, began its franchise in Tampa, FL. This location on Mills Ave is the first to open in Orlando, FL three years ago.

Recently, we were invited for a preview of the pairing and we had a little fun.

The Girl Scout Cookies & Brews pairing includes:

  • Bow N Berries (ABV 4.3%) is paired with Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs)
    • This combination resembles a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The peanut butter from the cookie will cut the acidity of this beer.
  • Roschelle Roschelle (ABV 6.5%) is paired with Caramel deLites
    • It is like having cookies with your morning cold brew coffee. Notes of coffee from the beer and coconut from the cookie are enhanced.
  • Bow 9 (ABV 6.5%) is paired with Lemonades
    • A New England style IPA will be replacing the Bow 9 the day of the event
    • This was my favorite pairing. You’ll have to try it yourself to figure out why it’s my favorite!
  • 7 Layer (ABV 5.5%) is paired with S’mores
    • The S’mores cookie is interesting and is loaded with flavor. The 7 Layer beer consists of 7 different malts with flavors mixing with those of the S’mores smoothly.

We had a bite of a cookie before a sip of the beer paired with the cookie. You could also take a sip before taking a bite. OR, you could dip your cookie into the beer if you are brave enough.

The Brass Tap is a dog friendly establishment that brings “craft beer experience” to a whole new level. With 60-80 taps and over 100 bottles in many of our locations, you’ll be sure to find a beer that suits your palate’s needs. Experience live music every weekend while relaxing on our open air patio. Limited wine and cigar offered as well. Come see what craft beer culture is all about.

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Once again, Miami-style nightclub and restaurant switches up their menu for your enjoyment while watching their live show. Check out some items you can find on Mango’s updated menu.

Classic Chicken Parmigiana – A nice twist to an Italian dish.

Shrimp served in plantains

Margarita Flatbread – Delicious and fresh with a number of textures.

Lobster Ravioli – They do not skimp on the amount of lobster in these raviolis swimming in a nice sauce.

Cuban Sandwich – served with potato wedges. Cuban Sandwiches are a must in Florida.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Braised Beef Ravioli

Churrasco Flatbread

Ropa Vieja Tacos

Passion Fruit Lemonade and Blueberry Lemonade – shaken, not stirred.

Mango’s Tropical Cafe is also a charitable location as they donated a $100 gift certificate and VIP access to a lucky winner of a raffle, where proceeds go towards proper oral hygiene education for children within our local community. This raffle will be ending March 12, 2018. For more information and to participate, contact Stephaniea at

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Apopka’s adored, family-friendly, fresh seafood restaurant “Something Fishy” proudly announces their two-year anniversary this February.  Taking home top honors at Taste of Apopka and recognized among Best Seafood in Apopka in its first year, Something Fishy specializes in fresh seafood cooked to order that’s grilled, seared or fried, served in a variety of selections from delicious fish tacos to decadent crab cakes.  The ever-evolving menu, crafted by self-taught, skilled Chef and Owner Terence Phillips, features starters, salads, build-your-own fishy bowls and classic seafood entrees with a fusion of new age, fresh flavors and innovation served straight from “Chef T’s” kitchen.  Joined by wife of 24 years Philanthropist Patrice Phillips, Terence fulfilled his lifelong dream opening Something Fishy, which is a reflection of Phillips family gatherings and celebrations.

For the two-year anniversary, the 1500 square foot, fast-casual restaurant with influences of South Hampton, Long Island will unveil a refreshed menu and new seating arrangements.  Something Fishy will also be introducing “Something Sweet”, their in-house bakery addition, along with implementing more catering and business lunches To Go programs.

“We could not be more excited to celebrate the second year of Something Fishy,” says Terence and Patrice Phillips.  We are beyond grateful for the love, encouragement and support from family and friends and the community who have embraced us in our first year, and we look forward to welcoming even more Central Florida seafood lovers into the Something Fishy family this year and for many more years to come.”

Something Fishy will celebrate their anniversary exactly two-years after they first opened their doors on February 24, 2016 with a special Two-Year Anniversary Block Party to be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018.

Swim by Something Fishy, where the food speaks for itself, located at 2107 E. Semoran Blvd., Apopka, FL 32703.  Something Fishy is open for lunch and dinner and serves a full menu daily until close.  For updated hours of operation and more information, call 407-703-4850 or visit

Duffy’s Sports Grill invited us to check out some items from their menu, new and old. Duffy’s Sports Grill consists of 35 locations throughout Florida (including Orlando!) and more than 80 TVs in each location. It is the perfect place to catch your favorite team game or sit back and enjoy a great meal.

Of course, it was after work and the weekend began so we decided to check out some drinks. We discovered with delight that ordering the S’mores Girl Scout Cookies specialty Martini comes with cookies. Who doesn’t like an adult version of milk and cookies? The martini is very tasteful and nice for a night with the girls.

If you are not too fond of a milky liquor, how about Pear…fect Martini? Or two because Duffy’s Sports Grill offers 2 for 1 drinks all day every day. Music to your ears, right?

Loaded Potato Skins include bacon, scallions, jack & cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Textures ranging from smooth/creamy to crispy creates a nice touch to the savory flavors.

Crispy Calamari is dusted in seasoned flour and garnished with crispy cherry peppers, served with marinara and spicy kickin’ bayou sauce. They weren’t kidding when they said the spicy kicking’ bayou sauce had a kick to it, but is nice with the appropriately seasoned calamari.

Seasame-Crusted Ahi Tuna is seasoned, seared in sesame oil and served with cucumber salad and Soba noodles in Asian dressing. Each item on this plate is chilled and has its own flavor unique to one another. I’m not mad we ordered this dish and would order it again!

These ribs are dressed with Duffy’s Sports Grill’s new Korean BBQ Sauce. The ribs have tender parts and crispy sections depending on where you take your bites. The delicious sauce has a balance between sweet and spicy. Also, I hear it is great on wings when it comes to watching a game or in general.

Of course, I can’t go to a sports grill without ordering wings. This is a plate of hot boneless wings served with blue cheese and celery. The hot sauce here is on the vinegar side of the hot sauce spectrum.

Blackened Beef Tenderloin Tips served with Horseradish cream sauce and the options of two sides. Here, we decided on grilled zucchini and sweet potato fries as our sides. The tips were room temperature, but delicious; it would be a greater delight if they were hot. The grilled zucchini were fresh and had a crunch to them, which was to my liking. The sweet potato fries were made well and sapid.

As there is the S’mores Girl Scout Cookies specialty martini mentioned above, there’s a S’mores Girl Scout Cookies specialty involving cupcakes that you could order for dessert. $1 from each order of the cupcakes and/or martinis will go towards Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida!

For more information  check out the Duffy’s Sports Grill website.

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Take a musical journey through the Caribbean during this interactive dinner show. Enjoy authentic food, songs and dances inspired by the islands. Savor the vibrant colors, delightful tastes and rich sounds of the Bahamas, Cuba,  Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad. This is your island escape. Come do the limbo, jump into the conga line and take part in the festivities. Now on Fridays!

Includes all-you-can-eat buffet, plus complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Wine, beer and Planter’s Punch are also complimentary for those ages 21+.

CARNAVAL TICKET: $71** adult, $36** child (ages 3 – 9)
Children under age 3 complimentary.

PRIORITY TICKET: $81** adult, $41** child (ages 3 – 9)
Sit closer to the action with seating in the first two rows of tables nearest the stage.
Children under age 3 complimentary.

Dinner Buffet Seating: Begins at 6pm
Show: 7pm – 7:45pm

Under the outdoor Cayman Court pavilion at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

PARKING: Complimentary self parking (with validation stamp) or $5 valet parking.

AGES: All ages welcome.

Buy tickets at this eventbrite website.

Photographs of the food and event are below. Check out the menu for the event!

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One of the world’s tastiest holiday traditions will receive a “Florida-style” twist with the debate of a limited time only “Feast of the Seven Fishes” menu at Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar. This menu is offered from December 24, 2017 to January 6, 2018, including a seven-course seafood and wine Christmas Eve extravaganza to kickoff the celebration.

The December 24 dinner will begin at 6:30pm and is limited to the first 25 guests. We were invited to taste the menu as a sneak peak to provide everyone insight of what is to come!

The Bahamian Conch Fritters are served with a mango sauce. The mango glaze adds a nice sweetness to the conch fritters. Conch fritters are crispy, yet smooth in textures. The flavors are mild without the mango sauce.

The Red Grouper Ceviche is fresh and cooked nicely with a lemony zest.

The Smoked Rainbow Trout Fish Dip is a tad salty, but balanced when eaten with some saltine crackers. The trout has a texture similar to tuna. Be careful as it may have bones.

The reception snacks above are paired well with Col De Salici Extra Dry Prosecco, which is a vintage Prosecco.

The Mayport Shrimp on Grit Cake with Seafood Gumbo Sauce was cooked really well. The grit cake is crispy on the outside, while smooth and creamy on the inside. The shrimp was caught off of Jacksonville, FL.

The Nueske’s Applewood Smoke Bacon-Wrapped Scallop with Butter Beans has an abundance of textures and flavors that blend well when eaten all together. When taken apart, the bacon may be salty so make sure you’re eating it with the scallop and butter beans. The scallop is very delightful and cooked well. The butter beans were very smooth and a type of bean I would like for someone who is not fond of beans.

The savory and salty plates are paired with the Stags Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc. It is very smooth with so many notes of fruit. The fruit notes are prominent in smell before it hits your palate.

The Whole Fried Hog Snapper and Black Sea Bass with Smothered Tomatoes & Okra is paired with Spatz & Hall Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast.

  • The Fried Hog Snapper is very fresh with a corn flour seasoning. The meat has a slight sweetness to it.
  • The Black Sea Bass is slightly dry in certain sections, but very tender and moist in other regions because the moistness depends on what area you pull the meat from. Nonetheless, the fish is very fresh! The outside is very crisp and flavorful.

The Lobster Ravioli is very fresh and house made. It is served with a Seafood Bolognese Sauce that brings it all together. The lobster ravioli even tastes great alone without the sauce if you are sensitive to red sauce. It is paired with Stags Leap Wine Cellars Hands of Time Red that is full in flavor.

The oyster of the Gulf Oyster Shooters (featuring Tito’s Vodka) is very fresh. There is a rim of Old Bay around the glass that goes well with the shot. It is absolutely earthy as it is suggested by the menu.

The Famous Carrot Cake is famous for a reason as it is moist and has a chewy texture to it, which is delightful in my opinion.

The Red Velvet Layer Cake is very moist and thick as it coats the palate. The cakes are paired with the Prunotto Moscato D’ Asti. The Prunotto Moscato D’ Asti is very smooth and delightful for a dessert wine as I am not usually fond os sweet wines. This dessert wines is not as sweet as the usual dessert wines that are paired.

For more information, please visit Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar or their “Feast of the Seven Fishes” Facebook Event.

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Wall St. Plaza Cantina brings a new Feliz Hour taco menu with new tacos and deals you can only get on Tuesdays between 2-7pm. We were invited to try each as well as Terremoto’s new tequila.

The tacos can be served on soft white flour, white corn tortilla, or hard yellow corn shells. The white corn tortilla is a tad dry for my fancy, but the hard yellow corn shell was good. Yet, our favorite has to be the soft white flour tortilla.

  • Taco de Pescado (back left) – white fish grilled “a la plancha” and topped with shredded cabbage and cilantro cream. The grilled fish is tender and has a good kind of unique taste.
  • $2 Tuesday Taco (back center) – choose ground beef or shredded chicken. In this case, we tried the ground beef. It’s a traditional taco of Wall St. Plaza Cantina on a hard yellow corn shell with shredded iceberg lettuce as well as topped with Monterrey and cheddar cheese. It is simplistic, yet delicious.
  • Pollo Frito (back right) – fried chicken strips tossed in a house honey chipotle sauce before being topped with shredded cabbage and cilantro crema. This was my favorite taco of the night. Sweet with a slight hot kick to the end. The chicken has a crispy coating from being fried; yet, it does not heat up the cabbage and cilantro crema, which makes me very happy for it not to do because the cabbage and cilantro crema adds a fresh touch to the taco.
  • Tico Taco (front center) – house braised, shredded pork with onions, cilantro on a white corn tortilla and a signature tico sauce. The shredded pork is slightly dry,  but the flavors are nice. The onions add a nice crunchy texture to this dish.

Terremoto was present with their jalapeño lime infused tequila as well as their churro infused tequila. You can have them in a margarita form or shot form. Both are tasty depending on your mood!

For more information, please visit Taco Tuesday.

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On Monday, Dec. 11, K Restaurant launched their first, monthly, Yappy Hour. To inaugurate this series of tail-wagging fun they have partnered with Woof Orlando from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Orlando locals are invited to bring their furry four-legged friends out and enjoy free spent-grain dog treats made from local breweries and enter-to-win two raffles with prizes including gift certificates for a free grooming.

We were able to experience what “Doggie chaperones” can expect when it comes to tongue-in-cheek Yappy Hour dishes from Chef Ryan McLaughlin as well as drink specials as K Restaurant is excited to share that they just received their full liquor license.

Crispy Pig Ears are fried with dates pepper hot sauce and herbs. The pig ears are sliced thinly to make them crispy like a chip. They are lightly salted and delicious with or without the hot sauce. Be careful, the hot sauce is thick and has a major kick to it.

“Pawsta” is fried ravioli with ricotta filling. Served on marinara with pecorino cheese and herbs. The fried version of ravioli is very airy like a puff pastry. Each ingredient subtly blends well together upon the palate.

“Milk Bones” are veal bone marrow bones with charred bread and radishes. The bone marrow is very smooth and works well with the bread and radishes. The charred bread adds a saltiness to each bite. We almost ordered a second round of this dish!

The Cosmo-paw-litan (left) is made with vodka, orange shrubb, lime, and cranberry juice. A simple drink to socialize with. The Snoop Dog (right) was our favorite out of these two. The Snoop Dog is made with gin and pineapple juice; it is like a tropical version of a Screwdriver.

Since we were still slightly hungry after all the samplings, we ordered the Ricotta Gnocchi off the main menu, which changes up from time to time so you can come back to try new items all the time. The Ricotta Gnocchi is made with duck confit, butternut squash, garden greens, brussel sprouts, and sage veloute. Everything is made in-house and as fresh as possible for each order. Our specific plate was a tad more salty than I would prefer, but the dish is still delicious nonetheless.

The Ricotta Gnocchi was paired nicely with a 2014 Carmenere made in Valle Del Maule, Chile. This wine has a smooth and solid flavor with notes of spices, black cherry and blackberries.

For more information, visit the K Restaurant & Wine Bar Event Page.

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We may have found our new favorite hang out location. Orange County Brewers open industrial design features exposed brick walls, wood accents, a beautiful Florida-themed mural and customized ceiling design, long tables/group interior seating and outdoor seating via patios in the front and rear of the brewery.

Inside or out, it is pet friendly so bring your furry four-legged puppers!

In addition to regular food and drink service, OCB will offer tours, and Brewmaster Amanda will organize multiple group activities that will involve education for anyone who would like to learn more about beer. OCB beers will also be distributed via City Beverages.

Led by Head Brewer Amanda Roberts, the brightly-colored, 3,400 square-foot facility located on the corner of Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street, will brew a variety of different styles of beer, including Ales, Lagers, Pilsner, Stouts, IPAs, Hefeweizen and Porters.

Whether you are a beer lover or not, you’ll end up finding a beer at OCB that you will love with the help of Amanda and her beer-loving family. Order a flight to try a number of beers or go big with a full glass! Also, OCB offer a wide selection of wine if that tickles your fancy.

Orange County Brewers will include a full service craft pizza kitchen with a wood-burning oven called “Orlando Pizza and Wing Co.” serving pizza, wings, salads and sandwiches.

These wings…are brilliant. From the time OCB open, they start to smoke their wings. The skin is wonderfully crispy while the meat is tender and juicy.

Try the wings with some sauces. Our favorite sauces include: Classic Buffalo, Strawberry Jalapeño and Pineapple Habanero. The Classic Buffalo is our #1 choice; keep in mind that not all buffalo sauces are delicious, but this is excellent. The Strawberry Jalapeño is very fresh and we believe it will taste great with salads too. The Pineapple Habanero is unique and delicious with a slight kick at the end.

The Mac & Cheese Pizza is creamy and savory. with a chewy, yet crispy crust. It was the first time I tried a Mac & Cheese Pizza and this was not a let down.

The Tree Hugger Pizza is full of flavors and textures. The goat cheese makes the pizza different from others and it is quite different. This is a healthier choice when choosing a pizza.

Orange County Brewers is located at 131 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801.

Hours of Operation

  • Sunday thru Wednesday 11:30am-12am
  • Thursday thru Saturday 11:30am-2am

Happy Hour

  • 4pm-7pm

For more information, call 407-914-2831 or visit and

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Join Bahama Breeze Island Grille for Thanksgiving Dinner. It is the first time where select Bahama Breeze locations in the Central Florida area will be open on Thanksgiving for guests to enjoy an exclusive, one-day only Thanksgiving menu 11am to 11pm.

Of course, we were given a preview to give you an insight on what is served. As we waited for our Thanksgiving Dinner, we had a Jumbo Lump Crab Stack to lead up to the entrée. It consisted of premium jumbo lump crabmeat stacked high with chilled shrimp, avocado and fresh mango. Each ingredient was fresh and abundant to share between two.

The Bahama Breeze Thanksgiving Dinner includes sliced jerk turkey and pork with island-inspired sides. These sides were cornbread stuffing, cranberry-pineapple chutney and guest’s choice of mashed potatoes or cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes.

The meats were seasoned well, while others may believe it is a bit over salted. The gravy was delicious and broth-based. The cornbread stuffing is rich and savory with each bite. The garlic mashed potatoes are delicious, but I fancy the cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes (as seen in the corner of this photograph).

When you think you’re done, Bahama Breeze also has a Pumpkin Praline Pie. It is a pumpkin pie with a crunchy praline topping, served with whipped cream and cinnamon as well as a pudding-like consistency of sauce. The sauce is subtle and delicious when combined with the pie. The pie is delightful and a traditional end to a Thanksgiving dinner.

Little do you know, the pie was not the end for us. We ordered The Rum Raid, which is a featured and limited addition to the menu. It is great for parties of at least two people. It is considered to be the “Ultimate island experience” with 8 rum-filled drinks of the Caribbean.

Shipwrecked (blue drink in the back) and One Love (with the green pineapple stirrer in the former photograph) are two of our absolute favorites from The Rum Raid. Drinking these made us feel as if we were laying somewhere on a beautiful beach with absolutely no worries on our minds.

Another featured and limited time cocktail is the Coquito, which is a Puerto Rican holiday favorite. It is rich, creamy and rum-spiked. It is made with Silver Rum, Coco Lopez and sweet milk topped with ground cinnamon. This creamy cocktail is found in a different category of favorites as the texture is different from the cocktails of The Rum Raid.

For more information, please visit Thanksgiving Dinner at Bahama Breeze Island Grille.

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We were invited to the recent Chef’s Night event on Oct 18, 2017 at Second Harvest Food Bank. It was a mashup of 4 chefs, with Jim Colbert of PrimeTime Kitchen taking the lead.

Friends that accompanied Jim included Chef Tello Luna from Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill, Chef Bryan Thoman from Canvas Restaurant & Market, and Chef Bruno Fonseca from Millenia 106 Restaurant. Here, they all join in the photo with the Second Harvest Food Bank culinary team.

Hors d’oeuvres were the focus of Chef Tello Luna and paired with

  • Mexican Shrimp Cocktail – poached shrimp, spiced tomato juice, cilantro, onion, and jalapeño.
  • Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cup – Atlantic salmon, cream cheese, and lemon juice. A cup a bite; very smooth and fresh.

The appetizer was made by Chef Bryan Thoman’s team.

Chef Bryan’s Wagyu Beef Cheek Tamale with Kombuca Squash Puree and Mole Negro had great flavors that blended well on your palate. The tamale is very soft and the beef is very tender. The garnish added a fresh feel to bring the dish together.

Chef Bruno Fonseca created the Mahi Crudo with carrot ginger sauce, cashews, carrot, and a pickled mushroom salad.. The Mahi itself was cured in coconut milk. This dish was paired with Snowbirds, Gruner Veltliner, Lake Chelan, Washington, 2016. This white wine is very smooth and fitting for the dish. Good choice.

The Mahi was fresh, but some bites were a little fishy from a sauce. The coconut milk was very subtle. The pickled salad blends well with the fish. My favorite was the delicious carrot ginger sauce.


Jim Colbert created a Braised Short Rib, Smoked Gouda Risotto with garden peas, asparagus tips, and honey crisp carrots. It was paired with Quantum Leap, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon.

The tender braised short rib was full of flavor. The risotto was creamy and smooth, while the carrots were soft with a pop of sweetness from the honey.

Back at it again, Chef Tello Luna closes the show with a Chocolate Torte with Pecan ice Cream and Orange Vanilla Sauce. I can tell you now, the man knows his desserts!

In the kitchen, the chefs work side by side with the Second Harvest Food Bank team to bring a delicious menu alive from beginning to end.

The chocolate torte was very thick and coats the palate well – my kind of dessert. The strawberries and orange vanilla sauce adds a twist to the chocolate cake. I can’t stress enough how this was the best dessert I have had in a long time.

The dessert was paired with a Quantum Leap, Kaley’s Rescue Red, Red Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2014.

As the chefs and Second Harvest Food Bank culinary team work together. They enjoy some nice tunes by KitchenKillaz.

Sous Chef John Dizon of Second Harvest Food Bank even stopped by and spoke on Facebook Live posted by KitchenKillaz.

Here are more shots of the event behind the scenes for your enjoyment.

While you wait for the next Chef’s Night, take part with us in Scouting for Food. On Saturday, November 11, 2017, Central Florida Boy Scouts of America will once again be collecting food for our hungry neighbors. Last year, our community helped provide over 96,000 pounds of food for our neighbors in need. For more information, check out Second Harvest Food Bank’s Scouting for Food.

Scout for food Nov 11

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Texas de Brazil is an authentic churrascaria featuring a continuous dining experience that blends the unique culture of Brazil with the generous hospitality of Texas. Founded as a family-owned business in 1998, Texas de Brazil now has 53 domestic and international locations.

The menu features a vast selection of grilled meats, a 50-item salad area and a la carte dessert selections.

Warm sides include baked cinnamon bananas, which taste like warm apple pie.

The pork parmesan is cooked well and has a nice flavor. In my opinion, the chicken parmesan is more salty than the pork.

The bacon wrapped chicken is cooked well as the bacon is crispy, while the chicken is tender. The fattiness of the bacon adds flavor and juices to the chicken.

Filet mignon wrapped in bacon has a nice texture all around, but the bacon makes this item super salty.

The garlic picanha has a nice crispy coat with a tender center.

The lamb shank is gamey when the outer layer is received. It is a different flavor from an inner layer cut, which tastes more mineral-like.

Filet mignon plain without bacon has great flavors and you can taste the smokiness.

The plain filet mignon is my absolute favorite dish at Texas de Brazil and would come back for this alone.

The Brazilian sausages had flavors similar to a New Orleans flavor. There were notes of salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes evenly blended.

The service at the Orlando Texas de Brazil was lovely as everyone was friendly and attentive. The servers make sure you enjoy the dishes cooked to your desired preference with how well you prefer your meats to be cooked. Everyone had a lighthearted smile and acted as a family at Texas de Brazil.

For more information to plan your visit, please check out the Texas de Brazil website:

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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is bringing back its popular fall treat, the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed® doughnut, for a limited time in October, answering customers’ calls for more opportunities to enjoy this delicious fall indulgence.

  • On Friday, October 13 and 20, the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed® doughnut will be available only after 6 p.m. for “Friday Night Spice.”
  • On Thursday, October 26, customers can enjoy the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed® doughnut all day in celebration of National Pumpkin Day at participating Krispy Kreme shops across Central Florida:
    • Krispy Kreme Daytona Beach – Open 24 Hours
      • 980 W International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114
    • Krispy Kreme Winter Park – Drive thru Open 24 Hours
      • 1031 S. Orlando Avenue (17-92), Winter Park, FL  32789
    • Krispy Kreme Millenia – Open 24 Hours
      • 4080 Millenia Blvd., Orlando, FL 32939
    • Krispy Kreme Kissimmee – Open 24 Hours
      • 5310 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
      • (192 / Mile Marker 11.5), Kissimmee, FL  34746

“Guests were so enthusiastic about the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed doughnut when we first brought it back for one day last month. But their enthusiasm on social media and at our shops has only intensified since then, so we’re pleased to bring it back – again,” said Jenny Bellanca, vice president of operations for Florida Family Foods LLC, an authorized franchisee of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.

The Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed doughnut is the same Original Glazed doughnut that Krispy Kreme customers know and love, but with a hint of cinnamon and pumpkin spice flavor, transforming the classic into the perfect fall treat. To find a participating shop in the U.S. or Canada, visit

Celebrate the return of the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed doughnut by using the hashtag #PumpkinSpiceOG and tagging @krispykreme.

Not only were Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed doughnuts are making an appearance, but a few Halloween themed doughnuts have come out of the closet as well in these dark nights.

Reese’s join with Krispy Kreme on a peanut butter crunch of an adventure this season.

The Birthday Cake doughnut has a delicious filling similar to frosting on a birthday cake, but it is not overpoweringly sweet as you may think. Want to eat a birthday cake, but not interested in buying an entire cake? Take a bite of this doughnut instead.

Don’t forget to grab a Pumpkin Spice drink while you’re there for a doughnut. Krispy Kreme offers iced, frap, and hot versions of Pumpkin Spice coffee. Our favorites include the frap and iced versions…mostly because it is still 90 degrees in Central Florida.

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Texas de Brazil partnered with The Fladgate Partnership and local chocolatiers in 22 cities to offer Port Wine & Chocolate Tasting events that help raise additional funds for the American Red Cross. The exclusive 90-minute tasting classes offered between October 17 – 26 begin at 6:30 p.m. in each location.  Class size is limited to 25 participants and $40 of the $45 ticket price will be donated to the nonprofit.

“Port is a versatile, fortified wine that offers a variety of styles fitting nicely into the sweet-wine selection trends we’re experiencing in our restaurants nationwide,” says Rodrigo Davila, Texas de Brazil’s wine and spirits director.  “Guests at these events will learn why ports can be the perfect appertif, after-dinner drink, or refined accompaniment to a decadent dessert,” he adds.

Guests are greeted with a Croft Port of Manhattan before joining the seated class led by port ambassadors who guide participants through tasting and pairing notes on several port categories and share a brief history of port wine.

This event had chocolates from local Orlando chocolatiers.

  • The Manhattan is strong and warms all the way down to your stomach.
  • Upper left chocolate is a 65% dark ganache paired with Bin ’27 from Portugal. The wine has berry and woodland notes. It is very sweet and smooth, which helps balance the smooth chocolate that coats the palate.
  • Upper right chocolate is a Port Wine cheesecake reduction chocolate is very sweet. It is paired with the Taylor Fladgate 2012 blend that spent 5-7 years in oak. The wine has a longer finish and is a favorite of mine.
  • Lower left chocolate is a salted caramel with a liquid center that is very sweet. It is paired with a Croft, which expresses itself with spices and was exposed to more oxygen for a longer time period.
  • Lower right chocolate is an apple pie chocolate. The chocolate has an apple pie crust at the bottom. This piece is very unique and delicious; it is not too sweet and has a smooth texture from the apple combined with the crunch of the crust and woody flavored chocolate shell. It is paired with the Taylor FLadgate 20 that has butterscotch notes. This wine is also great with walnuts alone.

Local chocolatiers will also share their tasting notes providing guests with a wealth of information and new experience.

Guests will enjoy passed appetizers including garlic picanha, Brazilian sausage, and chicken wrapped in bacon from the Texas de Brazil grills which complement other bites offered during the pairing session.

Featured ports and pairings will include: Fonseca BIN 27 Reserve Ruby Port with cheese; Taylor Fladgate Late Bottle Vintage Ruby Port with dark chocolate; Croft Reserve Tawny Port with dried fruits and nuts; and the Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port with milk chocolate.

Event dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 17: Orlando, FL
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18: Addison, TX and San Antonio, TX: Detroit, MI; Huntsville, AL; Memphis, TN; Richmond, VA; Tampa, FL; Yonkers, NY
  • Thursday, Oct. 19: Chicago and Schaumburg, IL; Columbus, OH; Fairfax, VA; Fort Worth, TX; Miami, FL; Rochester, NY
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25: Syracuse, NY
  • Thursday, Oct. 26: Albany, NY; Baton Rouge, LA; Denver, CO; Washington, D.C.; Westlake, OH

Locations and reservations are found on Eventbrite:


About Texas de Brazil
Texas de Brazil is an authentic churrascaria featuring a continuous dining experience that blends the unique culture of Brazil with the generous hospitality of Texas.  The menu features a vast selection of grilled meats, a 50-item salad area and a la carte dessert selections. Founded as a family-owned business in 1998, Texas de Brazil now has 53 domestic and international locations.  For more information, visit

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Your Pie, the original fast casual pizza concept, opened in Downtown Orlando on Friday, July 14, 2017 at SkyHouse (335 North Magnolia Avenue). The brick-oven pizzeria offers a customizable, down-the-line experience at its more than 40 stores nationwide.

Make sure you eat your pizza fresh so it stays nice and crisp.

Your Pie uses hand-tossed dough, only fresh ingredients, homemade pizza sauces and salad dressings, and offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free pizzas, as well as traditional pizzas. All menu items, including its rotating seasonal menu, are inspired by family recipes from the Italian island of Ischia. The brand also offers local craft beer, wine and Italian-style gelato pairings designed to perfectly compliment guests’ custom pizza creations.

The Great White has prominent notes of the feta, smoothness from the mozzarella, and hints of garlic.

With the Ischia, all flavors blend well and pop at the same time. The fresh tomatoes add a nice touch.

The Lineage is one of my favorites with the spicy Italian sausages.

The BBQ of the BBQ Chicken is nice and not overpoweringly sweet. The chicken is tender, has its own flavors, and juicy.

The Nat hosts the sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto as the stars of the show.

The Southern Heat is a different sort of pizza where the buffalo and jalapeño heat creep up on you. It’s a great pizza to grab when you aren’t sure if you’d like a pizza or wings.

Have some sharable cheese sticks on wheat bread. Who doesn’t like cheese and bread?

Your Pie also has a number of salads, such as the Caprese and Greek House salads.

While you wait for your pizza to come out, have a taste of their ice cream. In my opinion, they aren’t my favorite.

Along with your dishes, you can enjoy a beer, wine, cider, or many other drink options on the menu. There are a few local breweries that supply beers to this location. The Smoke Berry hard cider is pretty great. These ciders have subtle sweetness that does not overpower your tastebuds.

“At Your Pie, we believe that food can be fresh, fast, delicious and experiential,” said Founder and President Drew French. “We want to be the go-to fast casual restaurant where families, friends, colleagues and groups can gather, dine and share memories without having to share pizzas. We’re excited for the opportunity to bring the original fast casual, individualized pizza concept to Orlando and the surrounding communities.”

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Cooper’s Hawk in Orlando, FL of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants hosted an event with Top Chef Winner Jeremy Ford. The collaboration represents the Cooper’s Hawk brand philosophy centering the creation of exciting and memorable experiences for those who love food and wine.

Cooper’s Hawk has the largest wine club in the country and 28 restaurants – and by 2018, will have 5 in Florida. This is the most in any state.

The dinner included four courses with wine pairings and Jeremy had a live cooking demo on site. Chef Jeremy Ford was a little more tipsy each time you look around for him as he will have a new drink in hand each time.

Truffle Fritter with Wagyu Beef & Basil has to be my all-time favorite appetizer. From the crunch of the fritter to the smooth and savory Wagyu beef, any texture craving you may have are satisfied. Have a taste paired with Cooper’s Hawk Lux Sparkling, which was not too sweet or brut.

Char-Grilled Octopus, Crispy Potatoes, Smoked Paprika & Herbs is not too shabby. I wouldn’t mind a second bite if a friend orders it. Having it passed around was nice, but it would be better if you order it and enjoy it warm.

Tomato Gazpacho, Summer Flavors & Olive Oil is not my favorite dish. From each sip, you will experience an abundance of flavors from herbs.

Fresh Mozzarella, Homemade Togarashi, Ponzu & Warm Melted Butter paired with Cooper’s Hawk Lux Chardonnay. The mozzarella was delightful with all the sauces and chilled butter. The Chardonnay was very smooth in itself. Careful, because the waiter may be inattentive and pour the butter all over your legs as it happened to us.

Roasted Halibut, Spring Onion Vinaigrette with Asparagus, Morels & Pistachio can be enjoyed by everyone if a light dish is desired. I brought a guest who did not like fish whatsoever; however, she discovered that she liked this dish. The fish is paired with Clone 27 Sauvignon Blanc Musqué.

Crispy Beef Short Rib, Red Wine Smoked Chili Glaze & Polenta Fries. This dish took a bit longer to come out than we expected and desired as it takes at least 30 minutes to create a wonderful short rib. However, Cooper’s Hawk should have started this dish sooner than right after bringing out their surf dish.

The short rib was unique and savory. The red wine smoked chili glaze was not overpowering and allowed the flavors of the short rib to express itself. Even our pups at home love the bone we brought home! The polenta fries are very smooth and dense. This dish is suggested to be paired with Cooper’s Hawk Lux Meritage.

Strawberry Sundae & Kaffir Lime Meringue is paired with Ice Wine. The strawberry sundae included dairy and sorbet versions for a refreshing or smooth fancy. The sorbet is tart and balanced by the sweetness of the dairy strawberry scoop. The kaffir lime meringue added a nice citrus flavor to the fish. Kaffir lime is believed to be good for the blood and promotes gum health.

For more information of Cooper’s Hawk, please check out their website or pay a visit in Waterford Lakes of Orlando, FL. See you at Cooper’s Hawk with a glass of their wine!

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Meet and Mingle with Fellow Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs

RedCarpetMonday Celebrates Over 10 Years as Central Florida’s Leading Social Business Network

WHAT:  Exclusive RedCarpetMonday® Orlando Business Networking Event.

WHEN:  Monday, June 19, 2017 from 6pm-9pm.

WHO:  Brought to you by RedCarpetMonday, a social business network.

WHERE:  Ace Cafe Orlando, 100 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL 32801.

HOW:  Meet and mingle with fellow business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs from 6pm-9pm hosted at the all new Ace Cafe in Downtown Orlando on Monday, June 19, 2017.  Enjoy complimentary appetizers, (two) drinks, networking and raffle prizes.  Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door.  For tickets and more information, visit

WHY:  For over 10 years, RCM’s stylish, live events provide attendees a place to unwind while socializing, information networking and sharing business ideas with other members.  Past events featured talented entrepreneurs and business owners, senior level executives, local politicians, keynote speakers, fashion shows, fine cigars, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, media coverage, sponsor giveaways, silent auctions and more.

For more news and information about RedCarpetMonday, visit

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Summer is heating up in Central Florida as International Drive’s hottest destination in nightlife and entertainment, Mango’s Tropical Café, welcomes the biggest names in Latin music to their stage with the 2017 Mango’s Summer Concert Series.  With a state-of-the-art sound system and viewing areas from everywhere inside Mango’s breathtaking two-story 55,000 square-foot venue, concert goers will be up on their feet all night long while the hottest artists in Latin music entertain them.  Doors open at 9:30pm.  Shows starts at 11pm, with the fun continuing until 2am.  Pre-sale tickets start at $25 and can be purchased thru or at  VIP options are also available.  The exciting lineup includes:

  • Friday, June 16 – Andy Montañez
  • Friday, June 23 – Osmani Garcia
  • Friday, June 30 – Justin Quiles
  • Friday, July 7 – Coming Soon
  • Friday, July 14 – Jose Alberto “El Canario”
  • Friday, July 21 – Ismael Miranda and Jose Alberto El Canario
  • Friday, July 28 – Tony Dice
  • Friday, August 4 – Pirulo
  • Friday, August 11 – Tony Vega
  • Friday, August 18 – Tito Nieves
  • Friday, August 25 – Noriel

We were recently invited to a media preview for Mango’s and check out their food offerings down in the International Drive area.

An a la carte menu is available at certain locations throughout the restaurant at certain times and days, but the Dinner & Show “Deluxe” is a 3 course meal primarily offered during shows.

The Gran Picada Deluxe Platter is a little of everything. The Mambo wings are delicious, cooked well, and seasoned just right. Yuca bites are unique on their own. Ham Croquetas were nice and crisp, but did not have much ham; it is a bit dense for my preference.

Mango’s Guacamole Bowl & Chips is delicious, yet on the salty side. The avocado was also chunkier than your usual guac.

The Crispy Fried Calamari had a nice texture and the flavors are mellow. It is served with dipping sauces and lemon, but I prefer to only season it with the lemon.

The Prime Rib is cooked to your preference. It was the best thing we had from the menu. The flavors are to die for.

The Fresh Grilled Salmon Filet was slightly overcooked and dry. The rice served with it was nicely textured and flavored.

Mango’s Famous “Churrasco” Steak was a nice twist from the usual steak. The herbs and spices are very unique and tasteful. The side of sweet plantains were delicious and not overly sweet. However, the sweet plantains are a bit dense.

Masitas de Puerco consists of marinated Cuban-style pork chunks that are fried. The pork is usually marinated for 12 hours or overnight before deep fried at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. This is not my favorite as it was very dry and hard in texture.

The New York Cheesecake is your usual cheesecake. Nonetheless, it is delightful.

The Chocolate Ecstasy will be loved by anyone who enjoys chocolate. The torte is more semi-sweet than sweet, which is preferred when you have it with ice cream and maybe a few other desserts.

Mango’s Mango Flan is a flan with a light mango taste. It is a delicious custard that is thick and creamy. Like other flans, I do like this one.

This large slice of chocolate cake may not be on the menu. It has a cherry sauce drizzle all over along with a icing frosting. This is a tad too sweet for our liking, but our eyes sure like it.

Have a few drinks while you enjoy the show. The Miami Vice Cocktail is my favorite drink here. It was fresh and great for summer. You cannot taste the alcohol at all, which makes it very dangerous!

On the other hand, you could order a fish bowl to share with a few friends or your significant other…or drink all on your own.

Mango’s Tropical Cafe
Address: 8126 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: (407) 673-4422
For more information, please visit Mango’s Tropical Café.

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“We are thrilled to open another restaurant in Orlando,” says Huey Magoo’s President and CEO Andy Howard. “Huey Magoo’s is debuting a fresh new design and introducing wonderful new programs like our ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. Restaurant Row in Dr. Phillips in one of the most bustling dining destinations in the area. We are proud to be the latest edition to Plaza Venezia and look forward to building lasting relationships with our amazing customers in Central Florida.”

Buffalo sandwich: hand-breaded buffalo tenders, Iceberg lettuce, tomato, pepper jack cheese, and jalapeño ranch dressing. Served on warm Texas toast or a toasted bun and crinkle-cut fries. I suggest trying this sandwich with Texas toast as the crispy toast adds a new texture to the sandwich. Eating toast instead of the bun will not overwhelm you with the feeling of having it stuck in your mouth while trying to enjoy your chicken.

Magoo’s favorite: hand-breaded or grilled chicken with mixed greens, cranberries, walnuts, grape tomatoes, and raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing. Very light and fresh for Spring or Summer seasons, especially with grilled chicken. It is a nice meal for lunch and very filling with the amount in each bowl.

Garden Salad: hand-breaded or grilled chicken with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and mozzarella and cheddar cheese. I prefer this salad with ranch dressing and a smaller portion as a side. If ordered, I suggest ordering another dish so you can eat half of this salad with another dish, while saving the other half of the salad for a later time. This works because of the large amount they give you and it will be fresh to have later that day or the next day. More Magoo’s for later!

Garlic Parmesan: self-explanatory. Uniquely delicious. It tastes even better as leftovers.

5 Tenders meal: marinated chicken tenders served with crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast and your choice of a dipping sauce. You can choose from hand-breaded, grilled or buffalo; no matter what you choose, it will be delicious. My favorite sauces for the tenders include Magoo sauce and ranch. Not only will the sauces are great with the tenders, but they are delicious with the fries. Forget ketchup!

If you are not in the mood for fries, you may substitute it for Huey Magoo’s freshly made chips. Share them with friends! I know I have and they think the chips are some of the best. Eat them fast because they will get stale the next day.

Desserts include fabulous cookies. Each cookie is soft and chewy, just how I like it. The chocolate chunk may be my favorite. Huey Magoo’s cookies are freshly baked in-house every day. If you’re not interested in cookies, there are also apple slices. The apples are fresh and sweet.

Background information

Huey Magoo’s was founded in 2004 by Matt Armstrong and Thad Hudgens, two southern boys with a passion for quality chicken and a penchant for serving others. Huey Magoo’s prides itself on providing great tasting chicken tenders in a clean, friendly environment, while showing their love for people. Huey Magoo’s delivers delicious, fresh, cooked-to-order chicken tenders, and they do it to perfection. Huey Magoo’s also gives back a portion of profits to not-for-profit organizations and community groups. Committed to building a culture of excellence in service and food quality by serving only premium hand-breaded or grilled chicken tenders dipped or “sauced” in uniquely flavorful signature sauces, Huey Magoo’s attracts a cult-like following of Millennials, families and neighboring businesses desiring quality, delicious food at reasonable prices.


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Tasty Chomps was invited for an interview with Chef Jeremy at Ocean Prime Orlando located on Sand Lake Road.

Chef Jeremy grew up and learned how to cook as his father was learning how to cook. During that time, Campbell’s SpaghettiOs Pasta and Totino’s Pizza Rolls were all the rage when his father decided to learn how to cook to sustain himself and his family.

Chef Jeremy traveled a lot due to his father being a professor. Chef Jeremy became independent and a self starter at an early age, which was partially because he is the youngest of 5 children in the family.

With learning how to cook at home, Chef Jeremy also started from the bottom at a young age and worked his way up in restaurants in a small town. He continues to feed, not only our community, but his humanity with his passion to work with local charities.

At Ocean Prime, Chef Jeremy and his team plan on adding a new item every year or so after doing extensive research and testing to perfect the item before adding it to the menu.

A sushi section was added a little over a year ago and Ocean Prime Orlando achieved their goal of being more than a steakhouse. Their selection is not just a random list of sushi, they researched and taste tested many ingredients to perfect each item. Plan your next visit with sushi on your mind. I recommend the Prime Roll, Lobster Roll and Hamachi Crudo.

It was a pleasure learning more about Chef Jeremy and try some of his favorite dishes as well as popular items on the menu. Many, include myself, always wonder about the chefs and restaurants I dine at. I believe that knowing a little more about the lives of our chefs and the history of the restaurants will make us feel as if we are on a whole new level with the restaurant and we are more likely to come back.

The Tuna Tartar is a bit too salty from the soy sauce. Aside from that, the tuna is fresh and go well with the wasabi avocado underneath.

The Chilled Crab Meat Cocktail is delicious with a very slight sweetness to it. The sauce will add a dense layer as it is mayonnaise based. In my opinion, I prefer the crab with the slice of lemon that comes with it.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts are soft in texture and earthy in flavors. It has many health benefits, but it still does not sway my liking due to its bitterness.

The Chilean Sea Bass is so buttery smooth it melts ineyour mouth. There’s a light sweetness that dances on your taste buds. The sea bass is seasoned lightly and plated with a few pieces of truffle and carrots over whipped potatoes, peas and a champagne truffle sauce made with clam juice. This is one of the most popular dishes at Ocean Prime Orlando, besides the steaks, and I now understand why! I highly recommend this dish.

Bone-in fillet steak is cooked to your liking. It is lightly seasoned with some salt, pepper and butter before it is broiled at 1200 degrees. The steak is tender and moist. It has a unique and robust flavor that is quite earthy.

The Warm Butter Cake has a crisp coating and a warm, melt-in-your-mouth center. It is overpoweringly sweet on its own, which is why it is topped with vanilla ice cream to mellow out the sweetness. A raspberry sauce can be found beneath the cake…this dish is healthy because it has fruit, right?

The Crème Brulée is a must at Ocean Prime. Flavors are subtle and blend well with one another. It is a personal favorite of mine and I continue to have this dish each time I visit no matter how full I am.

Stop by Ocean Prime Orlando for an intimate setting for a date, family gathering or business meeting.


    7339 West Sand Lake Road
    Orlando, FL 32819



  • Monday – Thursday 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Friday – Saturday 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Lounge 5:00 PM – Close

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Ocean Prime’s Orlando and Tampa locations teamed up with The Dinner Party Project to host a sushi pop-up dinner on Sunday, April 9 at 1010 West in Orlando. A percentage of proceeds were donated to The Human Experience (THE) Orlando, a non-profit, private middle school .

Cocktail hour consists of hors d’oeuvres by Ocean Prime and drinks based off of Tito’s Vodka.

Gravlax and caviar with spring pea, cured lemon, fennel, shiso and crispy skin – delicious, smooth and flavorful.

Ocean Prime’s Ahi Tuna Tartare with wasabi avocado and ponzu – very fresh, but it would have been better if it was at a colder temperature. Room temperature tuna tartare is not my favorite. The wasabi avocado was smooth and balanced one another. The ponzu was just right with its seasoning.

Hamachi Duo with beet infused rice, red onion pickle and watermelon radish – Hamachi (Pacific Yellowtail) is my favorite when prepared well as it was done by Ocean Prime. The red onion pickle and watermelon radish gives it a nice twist in flavors.

A selection of popular Ocean Prime sushi rolls including the lobster roll, spicy tuna and prime roll – the flavors of each roll are very balanced, thanks to all the ingredients used. Many will say the prime roll is their favorite because it’s a good choice when you can’t decide whether you’d like some surf or turf for dinner, so why not both?

Ramen featuring king crab, pork belly, mushroom and black truffle – the pork belly was more fat than meat in my bowl. It was also dry without allowing it to soak up some broth. The ramen was slightly overcooked. The broth was delicious on its own.

Kobe beef with crispy rice gomae, mirin butter and unagi – the flavors of the Kobe beef were excellent, but were a bit too well done. The greens were delicious as long as they did not get soaked in the broth because it expressed overpowering flavors.

Coconut sorbet with toasted dashi flakes and shaved micronut – the sorbet was smooth with the right amount of sweetness. It was paired with a Bailey’s liquor drink that can knock you off your feet. For others, there was coffee. The sorbet tasted great with a splash of the coffee as well. It’s a little turn towards Australian coffee.


About The Human Experience OrlandoThe Human Experience is a non-profit, private middle school dedicated to the belief that every child deserves the dignity, respect, and honor that comes with his or her humanity.  They reflect their gratitude for life and its potential in our daily pursuit of academic excellence, community investment, and love for all people.

About Ocean PrimeOcean Prime is a modern American restaurant and lounge from renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. The award-winning Ocean Prime delivers an extraordinary experience with stunning settings, an impressive menu of seafood and prime cuts of steak, signature cocktails, a Wine Spectator-honored wine list and truly genuine hospitality.  From the kitchen and bar, there is an appreciation for ingredients that comes through in every dish. The menu is classic and yet there is a modern sensibility to the preparations which range from lighter fare to indulgent seafood presentations, juicy steaks and decadent desserts.  Each Ocean Prime location is dramatically designed and inspired by the unique energy of the city where it’s located.

About The Dinner Party ProjectThe Dinner Party Project (TDPP) started simply as a gathering of friends, new and old, in Founder Dana Marie Roquemore’s home. Through word-of mouth and social media, The Dinner Party Project has quickly become a favorite way for Orlandoans to connect, in welcoming settings complete with local food and great conversation. While the TDPP brand has grown, each dinner maintains its original intimacy and character—with only eight guests who are randomly selected to attend.

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On Tues., March 21The World’s Largest Wine Dinner took place simultaneously across all 244 Carrabba’s restaurants in celebration of its new wine menu. In a single evening, this four-course wine pairing dinner featured:

  • 7,000 guests
  • 4,000 uncorked bottles of wine
  • 28,000 dishes

The dinner consisted of selections from the restaurant’s new wine list, which features 42 distinctive wines curated by Carrabba’s sommelier Brittany Deloach. The list includes three new varietals, four new appellations, pairing suggestions and flavor profiles for each varietal to guide guests.

“Our guests love to explore new and exclusive dining experiences, and there’s no better way to celebrate the spectacular new selections on our wine list than by gathering together for the World’s Largest Wine Dinner,” said Carrabba’s sommelier Brittany Deloach. “We want to inspire guests to try new wines but – even better – we hope they will be inspired to try new dishes, as well.”

For $40 per person, guests of the World’s Largest Wine Dinner experienced a four-course menu featuring made-from-scratch dishes created by head chef Jay Smith with Deloach’s hand-selected wine pairings, including: Chloe Pinot Grigio (Italy), Pieropan Soave (Italy), Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) and Joel Gott Zinfandel (Calif.).

The grilled eggplant and hazelnut-crusted goat cheese added a nice touch to the common greens of the Insalata Fiorucci. This course paired well with the Chloe Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy. This wine is classically crisp and refreshing.

The pasta has a wonderful spicy touch from the Italian peppers in this Calabrian Cavatappi. The basil is a nice touch with the creamy burrata. You can never go wrong with creamy burrata present. This dish is paired with Pieropan Soave from Italy. The wine dates back to the early 1800s and balances well with the spices of the dish.

Veal Marsala is topped with mushrooms that were slightly more salty than desired. However, the veal itself is very tender and seasoned well. Paired with the Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California to emphasize finesse and balance, but it matches well with the veal and Lombardo Marsala wine sauce.

The Tuscan-grilled sirloin is topped with mushrooms and the Lombardo Marsala wine sauce similar to the veal. It is made medium, but can be adjusted according to your desires. This dish is also paired with the Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California.

Sogno Di Cioccolata “Chocolate Dream” is a rich fudge brownie with chocolate mousse, fresh whipped cream and chocolate sauce. The colder this dish is, the better it will be. The Joel Gott Zinfandel from California was smooth and matched with the dessert. This Zinfandel is not as bold as the Cabernet Sauvignon.

While the World’s Largest Wine Dinner is the official launch of the new wine menu, Carrabba’s will continue to introduce its new wine offering through a limited-time collection of Food & Wine Festival menu features, including:

  • Interesting Gems – New, seasonal selections that allow guests to experience new and notable wines, some of which are exclusive to Carrabba’s; the first edition features Pieropan Soave (Italy) and CasaSmith Barbera (Washington).
  • Festival of Wine Flights – This wine-tasting experience allows guests to explore wines from around the world paired with a small plate. Guests choose from three flights.
  • Signature Pairings – A special menu section that provides wine-pairing recommendations for Carrabba’s made-from-scratch entrées.

Although this event has passed, many wine dinner events are to come at Carrabba’s Italian Grill for your enjoyment.

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