Authors Posts by Ricky Ly of

Ricky Ly of

Ricky Ly founded in 2008 as a local Orlando food blog dedicated to finding the tastiest bits and pieces of Orlando as well as around the world. His first book, Food Lovers' Guide to Orlando: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers' Series) is available now on and Photography is taken using a Canon EOS 6D and a Sony Nex-3. E-mail him at tastychomps(at) Google

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The Glass Knife opened just a few months ago and is already popular among the “ladies who lunch” of Winter Park. They’ve learned from their first missteps and have continued to refine their processes – for example, a more prominent sign guiding new customers to the counters to take their orders.

The bakery/restaurant/cafe was developed by local entrepreneur Steve Brown, as a way to share his memories of baking alongside his mother, Jacque, who was a fond collector of Depression-era glass cake knives.

The culinary team is led by Executive Chef Stuart Whitfield, who has worked for Four Seasons, Le Cirque, David Burke & Donatella, and The Walt Disney Company.

The Glass Knife’s Spring debut lineup includes: new macarons, lemon and chocolate tarts, artisanal flatbreads, their newest doughnut, the PB&J, and their newest pastry, the Coconut Blackberry.

I enjoyed the PB&J donut, but the Coconut Blackberry was my favorite. An outstanding pastry with complex textures from crunchy to soft to sweet and citrusy – quite delicious.

Mediterranean Flatbread
Sweet fig butter, goat cheese, Neuske’s Applewood-smoked bacon and caramelized onions topped with arugula, shredded Gruyere cheese and finished with a mission fig balsamic drizzle and lemon creme fraiche

The PB&J
Filled with layers of the Glass Knife’s own peanut butter cream and tangy raspberry jam, touched with a vibrant purple, hibiscus glaze and topped with peanut butter stripes and golden, house-made peanut brittle

Coconut Blackberry
Intricate layers of aromatic blackberry pate de fruit, coconut dacquoise and zesty yuzu jam enveloped in a lush coconut mousse atop a buttery shortbread base finished with blackberry cream, touches of fresh blackberries, coconut, microgreens and edible 23-karat gold leaf.


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The weather is beautiful in one of those two or three brief moments of the year where Florida is not yet doused in sweltering afternoon showers and heat. That means it’s food festival season!

Here are two “Tastes” from two cities going on right here in Central Florida this week:


April 18, 2018 | 5 PM – 8 PM | Winter Park Farmer’s Market
Winter Park’s Ultimate Foodie Festival

Taste of Winter Park showcases more than 40 of Central Florida’s top chefs, bakers, caterers and confectioners for a fun evening at the Winter Park Farmers’ Market. All-inclusive tickets feature unlimited samples of signature dishes, refreshing beverages and decadent desserts.

Beverages include a selection from the Terlato Wines portfolio, including pairings with select vendors, and signature cocktails featuring Hendrick’s Gin.

Taste of Winter Park features popular eateries and new destinations sure to become your new favorite. Vendors must be members of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in order to participate.

Keep up with Taste of Winter Park and participating restaurants year-round, plus receive advanced notice for ticket sales on our social media channels.

For additional information on this event, contact Ally Stricker at or 407-644-8281.

Early Bird Tickets: *Only available until March 16, 2018

$45 Chamber members (in advance)
$60 Non-members
$400 Pack of Ten Tickets
Taste of Winter Park Tickets

$50 Chamber members (in advance)
$65 Non-members & everyone at the door
$450 Pack of Ten Tickets
For the ultimate experience, be a VIP Guest:

Private Tent
Seated Tables
?Corkcicle Stemless keepsake cup
Unique Food and Drinks with no line
45 VIP parking spots (New England Ave. lot across from Central Park – first to arrive, first served – pre purchased tickets only)
Premium bottles of wine for sale


Admission includes food, beer and wine from some of the areas best restaurants and bars!

Every spring, the Rotary Club of College Park hosts the Taste of College Park Food & Wine Festival. The festival takes place at the Historic Dubsdread ballroom. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 6:00pm.

The Taste of College Park combines food, wine, music, silent & live auctions for an extraordinary evening in College Park. Nearly a dozen local restaurants and distributors provide the food and wine; local retailers supply items for the silent and live auction. College Park businesses and Rotary Club members sell nearly 500 tickets.

Whether you are a local foodie looking to sample the latest fare from College Park’s best restaurants or a resident looking to enjoy an evening sampling great wines and listening to music, the Taste of College Park Food & Wine Festival is a casual and fun evening for everyone.

The Taste of College Park Food & Wine Festival is the Rotary Club of College Park’s premier fundraising event and one of the largest events in the College Park Community. In previous years, the club raised more than $30,000 for local charities including Ronald McDonald House of Orlando, Princeton Elementary, Lake Silver Elementary, and scholarships & awards for College Park students.

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The Taiwanese Food Festival is put on by the local Orlando Taiwanese American community once a year, featuring games, food, and entertainment in a commercial park off of Orange Blossom Trail and SR 528.

Taiwan is one of my favorite places in the world to visit, not just for their friendly people and beautiful landscape, but also because of their amazing street food culture. The food of Taiwan features specialties from all over the mainland China due to migration trends after 1949 as well as its own homegrown cuisine.

Every evening, countless night markets pop up around the island featuring dishes like Taiwanese sausage in a rice bun, to  giant fried chicken chops, and more.

One of our local celebrities, Eddie Huang of Fresh off the Boat fame, and his parents are members of the Taiwanese American community here in Orlando.

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Orlando is experiencing a moment with ramen – from the expansion of Domu at East End Market to the southwest and southeastern parts of the county as well as the continuing of new offerings of the dish at other local and new Japanese restaurants.

Just outside UCF in East Orlando, Taipei 101 has been offering up Taiwanese street food for years. Recently, they began serving their own ramen, coming in the pork tonkotsu, miso, and spicy miso versions.

Taiwan has a complicated history with Japan, as Japan did colonize the island for several decades in the earlier part of the last century, leaving behind cultural as well as culinary influences. Ramen, the popular noodle soup originally brought to Japan by Chinese immigrants and adapted in Japan, has made its way back to Taiwan. Taipei 101’s pork tonkotsu ramen was filling and quite tasty with pork chashu, boiled egg, and other toppings. A great value at $9.50.

This is on their special board menu which changes once in a while with other new popular Taiwanese street food items.

They also continue to serve their popular bento lunch boxes, featured here is the pork belly with rice box.

Taipei 101 – 3050 Alafaya Trail #108, Oviedo, FL 32765


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The stars must have aligned for the foodie gods because there are three huge events all happening the same night centered around food for good causes. Don’t miss out this weekend!

Here they are:

Beard in Baldwin Food and Wine Festival benefitting the James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program
Baldwin Park – 4899 New Broad St. Orlando, FL 32814
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – General Admission 7-10 pm
VIP Early Access 6-7 pm
VIP Experience inside Osprey Tavern 7-9pm


General Admission: $110
VIP: $175
*Must be 21 and up

Join us in beautiful Baldwin Park as we celebrate the Orlando culinary scene. A complete experience, the evening will feature an intimate food and wine festival with picturesque Lake Baldwin and Harbor Park as the backdrop. More than 25 top tier local restaurants will be serving flavorful dishes each paired with a fine wine, crafted cocktail or local brew.

For those seeking a more exclusive experience, the VIP admission includes everything above along with a private cocktail event taking place inside The Osprey Tavern.

Help Support the Next Generation of Great American Chefs in Partnership with The James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program.

Chef’s Gala benefitting Heart of Florida United Way

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 – 6:30pm
Walt Disney World
Epcot World Showplace

Exciting news for foodies and wine enthusiasts of Central Florida! For the 26th year, more than 20 of the region’s top restaurants will gather for Heart of Florida United Way’s Chef’s Gala, a fundraiser benefiting local hunger and homelessness programs. Hosted by Walt Disney World, this gastronomic adventure offers unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by award-winning chefs, each paired with a fine wine.

The event will be held at Epcot Showplace on Saturday, April 14 from 6:45 – 10 p.m. and also includes a sparkling wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips.

Participating Restaurants
Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
blu on the avenue
Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Cinderella’s Royal Table at MAGIC KINGDOM Park
Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Hemisphere at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Latitude & Longitude at Orlando World Center Marriott
Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot
Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs
Primo by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Shutters at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
STK Orlando at Disney Springs
The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Turf Club Bar & Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Todd English’s bluezoo at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort
Urban Tide at Hyatt Regency Orlando
Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs
Epcot Bakery Team
Gideon’s Bakehouse
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Purchase Tickets
Tickets are available by visiting Individual tickets are $325, couple ticket package is $600 and corporate ticket packages are $3,000.

Cattle Baron’s Ball benefitting American Cancer Society

Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel · Sat, Apr 14, 2018 @ 06:00 PM
The American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball brings together cowboys and cowgirls for an evening of western-themed fun, and raises funds to help the Society finish the fight against cancer.

This year’s Cattle Baron’s Ball will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando!

Festivities begin at 6 p.m., with a reception that includes a silent auction, followed by a gourmet dine-around, featuring food from many of Central Florida’s finest chefs, a live auction and incredible entertainment.

The Orlando Cattle Baron’s Ball promises a toe-tapping, knee-slapping, rip-roaring good time, all for a great cause!

So grab your hat, pull on your boots, and join!

For almost 20 years the Cattle Baron’s Ball and the American Cancer Society has donated over $15 million towards Cancer Research. This year will be empowering as the focus is on children’s cancer. The 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball is 6 weeks away and for the first time in many years it is close to being a sold out event. Below is an empowering video of what we don’t know about kids cancer. Visit us at to see how you can help these children #kidscancer #cattlebaronsballorlando #acs #fightcancer #support #donate #passion #makeithappen #children #americancancersociety

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Black Bee Honey is a non-profit business founded by the youth in the Parramore Kidz Zone program. The business started with the dream of providing youth an opportunity to learn firsthand entrepreneurship skills while simultaneously enriching the lives of their community members by providing raw honey.

This start-up business, run by PKZ youth, will offer high quality honey for sale at the Parramore Farmers Market while providing work related educational and entrepreneurial experiences, further developing the youth of the Parramore Community into future workforce leaders.

Black Bee Honey comes from Dadant & Sons in High Springs, FL, one of the top businesses in the beekeeping field. PKZ are selling six different kinds of honey, including:

Saw Palmetto
Orange Blosom

Once the raw honey is purchased from Dadant and Sons, PKZ Inc. employees jar and label the honey at the Dr. J.B. Callahan Neighborhood Center in Parramore. The honey will be sold at a booth during the Parramore Farmers Market for $12.


The mission of Black Bee Honey is to provide Parramore youth an opportunity to operate and manage their own business while simultaneously providing the residents of the greater Orlando area high quality, nutritional, honey. These simultaneous provisions introduces an intangible wealth into the community by investing in underserved youth who will later invest in the community.

The mission stands on four pillars: Ethics, Education, Community, and Wellness.

These core values help communicate who we are and provide everyone here at Black Bee Honey with a sense of purpose and meaning to guide their work. We strive to have the highest possible ethical and moral standards for ourselves as we honor our commitment to serving our customers and our community.

Black Bee Honey isn’t just about how healthy our products are. It’s also about creating a healthy community, physically, socially, and economically.

Parramore Kidz Zone Youth Employment Program has created PKZ Inc. as an entrepreneurial enterprise. PKZ Inc. will function as a learning tool by giving students in the Parramore area a chance to start their own business. Their first venture is Black Bee Honey.

When and how did this program begin?
The PKZ Black Bee Honey program started in 2017 before the official opening of the Parramore Farmers Market. Students looking to learn entrepreneurial skills spent months before the farmers market debut working on a business plan, attending an online business course and developing marketing tools. When the market opened in January 2018, students shifted into sales and customer service, attending the market each Saturday to sell their product.

How is it impacting the community now?
The program has inspired the youth involved on an entrepreneurial level, demonstrating that it’s possible and obtainable to start a business, while also contributing to a larger picture issue – in this case, food deserts in our community.

What are some things students learn from the program?
Students are learning entrepreneurial skills relating to operating a business, including understanding profits, sales and management.

How can the community get involved and help?
Support PKZ by visiting the Parramore Farmers Market each Saturday! For a full schedule, visit:

For more info, visit:

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, which runs from February 28-May 28, 2018.

This year, there is a special marketplace called “The Honey Bee-stro” Hosted by National Honey Board. As we all know, the humble honey bee plays an integral part in our ecosystem, helping to pollinate our plants as they go about their day. One of my favorite dishes this year is the Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle from this booth. Not too heavy, but just enough with a nice sweet brittle crunch with the rice.

Here are my other foodie favorites from the festival:


Northern Bloom – Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato
La Isla Fresca – Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple
The Honey Beestro – Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle
Smokehouse – Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle

As always, there are also a ton of topiaries to see at the Flower and Garden Festival.

Here are some of our favorite topiaries for 2018:

Here is the menu for all the marketplaces for EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018:

The Berry Basket


Lamb chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique – $7.25,
Field Greens with fresh Strawberries, Crisp Quinoa, Strawberry Vinaigrette and Spiced Pecans (V) – $5.00,
Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Gelato (V) – $4.50,


JDub’s Brewing Company Blueberry IPA, Sarasota, FL – $4.25
Island Grove Blueberry Moscato, Hawthorne, FL – $6.00
Twinings® Green Tea Berry Mint Julep – $8.75
Twinings Green Tea Berry Mint Julep (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Northern Bloom


Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF) – $6.50,
Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables – $6.75,
Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato – $4.50,


Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky – $11.75
Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic) – $4.50,
Unibroue Maudite Amber Ale, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Unibroue À Tout Le Monde Saison, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Unibroue Éphémère White Ale, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Beer Flight – $11.00

La Isla Fresca


Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro – $6.25,
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce – $6.75,
Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions – $5.25,
Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple – $4.25,


Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA – $4.25
Tropical Freeze with Cruzan Mango Rum – $9.50
Tropical Freeze (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Cider House


Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage and Branston Dressing with Pears – $10.50,
House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare – $5.25,
Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries (V) (GF) – $4.25,


McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, West Seneca, NY – $4.50
Florida Beer Company Caribé Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL – $4.50
Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI – $4.50
Cider Flight – $10.00
Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, California (Non-alcoholic) – $4.75

The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board


Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle (GF) (V) – $4.50,
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, charred vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Watercress – $5.25,
Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses (V) – $4.75,

Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL – $5.00
Orange Blossom Brewing Co. Orange Blossom Pilsner, Orlando, FL – $4.25
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka – $10.25
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Pineapple Promenade


Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips – $7.50,
Pineapple Soft-Serve (V) – $5.00,


Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Savannah, GA – $4.25
Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI – $4.25
SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple, Atlanta, GA – $4.25
Pineapple Beer Flight – $9.50
Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL – $11.75
Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Titusville, FL – $4.25
Pineapple Soft-serve with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum – $10.25
Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25,
Pineapple Soft-serve with Fanta (Non-alcoholic) – $5.75,

Jardin de Fiestas


Pork Taco: Slow-braised Pork Taco served with Apple Relish, Goat Cheese and Chile de Árbol Sauce – $6.25,
Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles served with Chorizo, Mexican Cream and Cotija Cheese – $5.95,
Capirotada: Bread Pudding served with Rompope – $4.25,


Tiger Lily Sangria – $10.25
Rose Margarita – $11.50
Violet Cassis Punch – $12.25
Daisy Spicy Beer – $6.75

Lotus House


Spicy Meatballs with Crispy Tofu – $5.00,
Fried Chicken Dumplings with Peanut Sauce – $6.25,
Vegetable Spring Rolls (V) – $4.50,


Oolong Peach Bubble Tea (Non-alcoholic) – $6.75
Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango and Orange Juice – $8.75
BaiJoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut and Pineapple Juice – $11.00
Plum Wine Cooler – $8.75
Tsingtao Lager – $3.50

Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market


Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (V) – $4.25,
Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions and Herb Sour Cream – $4.50,
Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese – $5.00,
Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries – $4.25,


Hugo-Charles De Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint – $9.50
Paulaner Original Munich Lager – $4.50
Ayinger Bräu Weisse Hefeweizen, Munich, Germany – $4.50
Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager – $4.50
Beer Flight – $10.00

Primavera Kitchen


Frittata di Asparagi: Asparagus Frittata, Mixed Greens and Citrus Dressing (GF) (V) – $7.00,
Fritto Misto: Crispy Shrimps, Zucchini and Spicy Sauces – $8.00,
Ravioli: Maine Lobster Ravioli with Vodka Sauce – $12.00
Panna Cotta al Melone: Cantaloupe Panna Cotta (GF) (V) – $5.50,


Pinot Grigio – $8.00
Chianti – $8.00
Prosecco – $9.00
Corbinello – $9.00
Moscato – $9.00
Bellini: Sparking Wine and Peach Purée – $10.00
Frozen Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila – $10.00
Moretti Lager L’Autentica – $5.50
Moretti La Rossa – $5.50

The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews


Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw – $6.75,
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle – $7.25,
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños – $6.50,
Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V) – $4.00,


Zen of Zin Old Vine, California – $5.25
Central 28 Brewing Company Sunshine Greetings Orange Hibiscus Wheat Ale, DeBary, FL – $4.25
3 Daughters Brewing Phantasmas Spicy Double IPA, St. Petersburg, FL – $4.25
Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout, Clearwater, FL – $4.25
Beer Flight – $9.50
Frozen Lemonade with Firefly Blackberry Moonshine – $11.75
Frozen Lemonade (Non-alcoholic) – $3.50



Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side (V) – $5.95,
Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger – $6.50,
Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice (GF) – $6.75,


Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail – $6.50
Karatamba “Dry Wave” Sake – $8.00
Sapporo Draft Beer in a Kampai Cup – $4.25

Taste of Marrakesh


Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad – $6.00,
Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili Ranch Sauce – $5.00,
Walnut Honey Baklava – $4.00,


Desert Rose: Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur – $8.00
White Sangria – $6.00
Casa Beer – $4.00

Florida Fresh

Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream – $6.50,
Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Stone-ground Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish – $6.75,
Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue – $4.50,


Florida Orange Groves Winery Key Lime Sparkling Wine, St Petersburg, FL – $11.75
Tampa Bay Brewing Company Quat Seasonal Fruit Ale – $4.25
Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, Sarasota, FL – $4.25
First Magnitude Brewing Co. Monarch Milk Stout, Gainesville, FL – $4.25
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Tamiami Florida Gin – $11.75
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25
Beer Flight – $9.50

Fleur de Lys

Tarte à la Tomate Provençale: Provencal Tomato Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Pastry Crust (V) – $5.50,
Canard Confit Aux Gnocchi à la Parisienne: Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi – $5.75,
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop (GF) – $4.95,


La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75
Kir Pomegranate: Sparkling Wine, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur – $7.95
Cabernet Sauvignon, Village de France – $4.95
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – $4.50

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Carts Specialty Festival Offerings

Showcase Coffee Cart: Orange Blossom Twist — Frozen Orange Pineapple topped with Vodka – $9.99
Disney Traders Port of Entry Coffee Cart: Garden of Guava — Frozen Pink Guava topped with Rum or Vodka – $9.99
Future World East: The Final Lap — Iced Tea topped with Frozen Passion Fruit with Vodka – $9.99
The American Adventure: Strawberry Piña Colada — Frozen Piña Colada and Strawberry with Rum – $9.99


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Morimoto Asia Sakura Festival

Enjoy a month-long celebration of the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.The restaurant will be decorated with Instagram-worthy décor, showcasing the pink blooms of the Sakura. Similar to the festivals in Japan, guests can attend a series of ticketed events, and menu specials dedicated to the cherry blossoms.

Events include: 

  • Happy Hour with the brewmasters from Crooked Can Brewing Co.
  • Late night whiskey pairing  and bites with Suntory
  • Seas of Japan 101
  • Morimoto Asia’s Guest Chef Series with Chef Hitoshi Sugiura
  • Ramen Seminar and Tasting
  • Matsuri Festival

Every day of the festival, enjoy special menu items inspired by the Japanese cherry blossoms during lunch and dinner service: COCKTAIL | BEER | APPETIZER | DESSERT

A variety of special events will take place during the festival:

Crooked Can Happy Hour, Sakura Festival
Crooked Can Happy Hour

Thursday, March 15 | 5-7PM

Tickets: $25

Kick off the festival with Crooked Can Brewing Company’s brew masters to taste the Sakura Kolsch, available only at Morimoto Asia paired with Pan-Asian bites.

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Yogurt marinated chicken, grilled over binchotan, with spicy peanut sauce
 Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls
Rice wrapper filled with local vegetables, Cape Canaveral Shrimp, served with hoisin sauce
Sakura Ebi and Ginger Onigiri
Sakura shrimp, and pickled ginger mixed with our Koshihikari polished rice shaped into a ball with a nori wrapper
Sakura Mochi
Soft rice pancakes filled with sweet red azuki bean paste
Pulled Soy-Ginger braised Pork Sliders,
Sakura Slaw
Braised pork ribs, Japanese BBQ sauce 
Suntory Japanese Whiskey Pairing, Disney Springs
Late Night Suntory Pairing

Friday, March 23 | 9-11PM

Tickets: $32

Japanese Whiskey-based cocktails presented by Suntory paired with lite bites at Morimoto Asia’s Forbidden Lounge. Accompanied by DJ Jimmy Joslin.

Japanese Madai Snapper Carpaccio, Chinese Style
Crispy Skin Berkshire Pork Belly
House Smoked Sakura Sea Trout, Szechaun Pepper Sauce
Hong Kong Style Curry Fried Rice
Almond Milk Tofu Jelly, Peach, Osmanthus Flower Sauce
Taste From The Seas of Japan Educational Series
Taste From the Seas of Japan

Friday, March 30 | 4-6PM

Tickets: $45

Every week, Morimoto Asia’s sushi chefs spend time educating the restaurant’s staff about the varieties, quality and the traditional process of breaking down the fresh fish delivered from Japan that is served. Now guests have the opportunity to attend this educational seminar learning and tasting about the seas of Japan while enjoying a sake sampling.

Morimoto Asia Guest Chef Series, Sakura Festival
Morimoto Asia’s Guest Chef Series

Tuesday, April 3 | 7-9PM

Tickets: $120

Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinaga and Chef de Cuisine Hung Huynh welcome Chef Hitoshi Sugiura to kick off Morimoto Asia’s Guest Chef Series. The chefs will prepare a collaborative six-course Pan-Asian dinner, paired with wines from across the globe. Chef Hitoshi has a history of creating unique menus for restaurants and events while having received acclaimed notoriety including the “Top 8 Chef” at Italy’s 2017 Vegetarian Chance competition. Chef Hitoshi currently leads the team and menu creation as Executive Chef of Patinstella Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

Ramen Seminar & Tasting Disney Springs
Ramen Seminar and Tasting

Saturday, April 7 | 12-3PM

Tickets: $36

Spend the afternoon learning about the various types of Asian noodles and how they are made. Following the seminar, guests will visit multiple ramen stations to taste different types of ramen dishes.

Matsuri Family Fun Day at Sakura Festival
Matsuri Festival

Sunday, April 15 | 12-4PM

Tickets: $45

The festival ends with a family fun day inspired by the traditional Matsuri festival of Japan. Guests can enjoy multiple Pan-Asian street food stations, 4 beer and cocktail stations throughout the interior and exterior of the restaurant. Gaming stations will include traditional Japanese carnival games, shuffleboard, origami artist, calligraphy artist, giveaways and a station in partnership with our Disney Springs neighbors, Uniqlo.

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For the 26th year, more than 20 of the region’s top restaurants will gather for Heart of Florida United Way’s Chef’s Gala, a fundraiser benefitting local hunger and homelessness programs. Hosted by Walt Disney World at Epcot Showplace, this culinary adventure offers unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by award-winning chefs, each paired with a fine wine. The event will be held on Saturday, April 14 from 6:45 – 10 p.m.


  • Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table at MAGIC KINGDOM Park
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot
  • Shutters at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
  • Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
  • The Turf Club Bar & Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
  • Latitude & Longitude at Orlando World Center Marriott
  • blu on the avenue
  • Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
  • Primo by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
  • STK Orlando at Disney Springs
  • Urban Tide at Hyatt Regency Orlando
  • Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs
  • Todd English’s bluezoo at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort
  • Hemisphere at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport


  • Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs
  • Epcot Bakery Team
  • Gideon’s Bakehouse
  • Se7en Bites

Through the generosity of sponsors, like Walt Disney World, as well as the participating restaurants that donate all the food, 95 cents of every dollar raised at the event goes directly to community programs aimed at alleviating hunger and homelessness.

Tickets are available by visiting Individual tickets are $325, couple ticket package is $600 and corporate ticket packages are $3,000. Sponsorships are also available by emailing or calling (407) 835-0923



About Heart of Florida United Way
Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. Last year, it raised and managed $24.4 million throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. HFUW is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income, health and basic needs. It operates United Way 2-1-1, Central Florida’s information and assistance, crisis, suicide and referral helpline; Volunteer Resource Center; Gifts In Kind Center; Emergency Homelessness Services; and the Ryan White Part B program, which administers more than $2 million to provide HIV/AIDS services and referrals. HFUW impacts more than 650,000 individuals annually through its direct service and funded programs. United Way partners with local businesses, government, other charities to increase awareness of local health and human service issues and to inspire hope, provide options and create possibilities for people in need. Visit for more information, or call (407) 835-0900.

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This may be the first time I am jealous of Tampa in my adult life.

Just opened on Thursday, February 1, Armature Works at the Heights is revitalizing the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood. It’s got a huge food hall called the Heights Public Market, comparable to the ones you may see in big cities like New York or San Francisco.

With its unobstructed view of the Hillsborough River, the $16.5 million redeveloped historic structure which once housed the city’s trolleys, has been reinvented as a community destination with innovative eateries, Heights Public Market, reimagined event spaces and an exclusive coworking space.

It features multiple events venues, a 13,000-square-foot co-working space, the Southern-inspired full-service restaurant Steelbach and Heights Public Market, a market-style food hall that brings together 14 new food vendors to Tampa Heights.

Nearby, Ulele and the Hall on Franklin have opened within walking distance of the Heights in recent years.

These are the 14 concepts that are open or will open in the public market:

  • Ava, wood-fired pizza restaurant
  • Astro Ice Cream Co.
  • Zukku, which serves Sushi, burritos and bowls
  • Butcher BBQ, which will also provide meats for Steelbach
  • Cru Cellars, which features organic wines
  • Cocina Taqueria
  • Fine & Dandy Emporium, the official Armature Works bar with craft cocktails, beer and wine
  • Graze 1910, which serves breakfast, brunch and dinner all day – think modern American diner
  • Hemingway’s, which serves Cuban cuisine, sandwiches and breakfast
  • Ichicoro Imoto Ramen
  • Inside the Box, Metropolitan Ministries’ salad and sandwich concept
  • Surf and Turf, which will be the first vendor in a rotating three-month lease stall
  • Swami Juice, acai bowls and cold-pressed juices
  • Union Coffee and Tea by Commune + Co., pressure brew, full espresso bar, drip coffee

ARMATURE WORKS – 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602 –

Check out the photos by our friend Don Nguyen – you can follow him at

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BurgerFi is one of the country’s fastest-growing, award-winning gourmet burger joints. They brought on The Beyond Burger as a response to the growing mainstream demand for plant-based protein.

BurgerFi offers The Beyond Burger in two ways: a more traditional style burger with onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, or a vegan green style either wrapped in lettuce or served on a vegan bun.

The Beyond Burger is “plant-based” burger, which uses beet juice to “bleed,” and is made of peas. It also packs 20 g of plant-based protein and has no GMOs, soy or gluten. The beets used in the beyond burgers give the patty a red-meat appearance have led some in the media to remark that the burger “bleeds” beet blood.

Overall, the burger was surprisingly delicious – and I would definitely order it again. A wonderful alternative to meat-based burgers, without the red meat guilt, but with all the great tastes and textures.

For those meat eating friends, there’s still the regular burgers and Kobe beef hot dogs to try!

4100 N Alafaya Trail #125-131, Orlando, FL 32826
538 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
4750 The Grove Dr, Windermere, FL 34786

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10th Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest This Weekend at Lake Eola


10th Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest

The two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 30 of Orlando’s premier restaurants, 50 domestic and international wines, and live entertainment.


Downtown Orlando on Robinson Street along Lake Eola


Saturday, February 24Noon to 9 p.m.

Sunday, February 25:  Noon to 7 p.m.





Admission is $18 per person, per day with advance online purchase (ends Friday).  Admission at the door is $20 per person, per day.

Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.


Subject to change without notice.

Saturday, February 24

  • Nicholas Marks –1:10 p.m.
  • Sidereal –2:40 p.m.
  • Flor –4 p.m.
  • Lovelytheband –4:40 p.m.
  • Blue October –5:35 p.m.
  • Echosmith –6:50 p.m.
  • Plain White T’s7:55 p.m.


Sunday, February 25

  • Evan Taylor Jones –1:05 p.m.
  • The Caribbean Crew –2:55 p.m.
  • Adam Moreno –4:30 p.m.
  • Mondo Cozmo –5:55 p.m.

STAY SOCIAL:             

  • Like Downtown Food & Wine Fest on Facebook
  • Follow @DTFoodWineFest on Twitter and Instagram
  • #DTFoodWineFest

The Fest is produced by Entercom Orlando (formerly CBS Radio Orlando) in partnership with the Central Florida Chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. A portion of the proceeds benefit UCF Foundation, Inc. and Valencia Foundation.

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Scenes from this month’s fabulous wine dinner presented by Chef Huy Tin at Seito Sushi Baldwin Park featuring Talley Vineyards wines! Delicious from start to finish!

Seafood Chawanmushi steamed egg custard with key west pink shrimp, pacific oyster, ikura, white tosa
Wines from Talley Vineyard
Sunomono salad – kyurizuke, salted european cucumbers, sea beans uni marinated scallop, octopus, white ponzu
Seafood Pasta – Homemade noodles, uni, mentaiko, ossetra aviar

Moriawase nigiri
Mushroom Gyoza with foie gras, shiitake and oyster mushroom and porcini dashi
Duck – Tokyo Turnips, chicken liver mousse, rillete of confit leg with asian pear compote
Hanger steak – rainbow carrots, purple osaka mustard greens, miso parsnip puree, five spice chocolate demi glace
Rice Pudding – mochi, dragon fruit, coconut ice cream, sesame cookie

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by Sarah Bolandi

Foxtail Coffee owners have officially announced the grand opening date for Foxtail Farmhouse (Instagram | Website) to be on Saturday, February 10th.

Doors will open at 8 a.m.–midnight; more specifically the sliding barn door that connects Foxtail Coffee to the new adjoining Farmhouse space. These will be the set hours for Farmhouse with the connecting door closing off Foxtail Coffee at 10 p.m. daily.

The long-awaited expansion aims to bring more seating to the adjacent flagship location of the local coffee shop. In addition to more space, Farmhouse boasts a siphon bar, a silo coffee bean bar, craft cocktails on tap, local bites and four new “experiential” coffee items.

Partners Alex Tchekmeian and Iain Yeakle, the brains behind Foxtail Coffee (Facebook Website) say that the Farmhouse features the world’s largest coffee siphon bar, equipped with 14 individual burners.

As a continuation of their existing partnership, DoveCote will manage the majority of their food items, inclusive of vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipes. Next to fresh bites and sandwiches, Farmhouse will feature items from local bakeries, Valhalla and Bluebird Bake Shop as well as Macaw! Foods.

Complementing the enhanced menu, guests can also enjoy wines, ciders, and bubbly options, all curated with the help of DoveCote and Courtesy Bar owner, Gene Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s craft cocktail inspirations are in the same spirit of his downtown speakeasy.

As for the experiential items, guests can find unique coffee-infused picks like a Shakerado and the Deconstructed Latté.

“The Farmhouse closes off completely for private events but still connects to Foxtail Coffee. This allows us to have private events [at the Farmhouse] and still have Foxtail Coffee open.”-Alex

Unlike any of their other locations, the Farmhouse will also cater to the after-hours crowd. Directly mirroring the coffee wall will be a wine bar featuring local wines, coffee and wine pairings as well as other specialty cocktails.

Foxtail Farmhouse is located next door to sister space Foxtail Coffee at 1282 Orange Avenue in Winter Park [GMap].

Here is a FIRST LOOK inside the gorgeous new Foxtail Farmhouse:



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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and a romantic weekend in Orlando offers unique and affordable ways to celebrate. We’ve collected special deals for the perfect Valentine’s Day weekend, from hotel packages and romantic dinners to couples’ massages and sunset airboat tours.

Hotel Packages & Amenities

  • B Resort & Spa will be offering a B Together Couples Massage from February 15, 2018 to February 28, 2018. The massage is infused with rose essential oils and includes champagne and chocolate truffles. Prices for massages vary.
  • Caribe Royale is offering a  Romance Package that includes two nights in a deluxe king suite with jetted whirlpool tub, full American buffet breakfast for two, welcome wine and tuxedo strawberry amenity, late check-out and dining credit at their restaurant The Venetian Chop House.
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando will be offering a Couple’s Day at the Spa featuring a complimentary glass of wine and special truffles.  Couples will be able to enjoy the Healing Honey Treatment and receive a small bottle of the signature honey along with a complimentary Luscious Lips enhancement. Available only on February 14, 2018.
  • Hilton Orlando will be offering different couple experiences including: In Room Dining with chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne, as well as a private cabana rental including a half dozen red roses wrapped, a bottle of sparkling wine and food credit.  In Room Dining experience is available for $110 and cabana rental for $300.
  • Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate will offer their “Love and Luxury” package, which includes luxurious accommodations, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered to the room upon arrival and late check-out.
  • The Spa at Reunion Resort will offer a warm stone advance peptide couples massage.  It is approximately four hours long and concludes with a Reunion Manicure and Pedicure. Cost is $310.50.
  • Orlando World Center Marriott is offering a “Recapture the Romance” package February 9-10 and February 16-17, 2018. This offer includes dinner for two at Siro: Urban Italian Kitchen or Latitude and Longitude, “Light-Up-The-Night” laser light show, accommodations and two-hour Kids Club experience for up to two children ages 4-12. Prices begins at $329 per night with code ROM.

Valentine’s Day Dining

  • Luma – Recognized as one of the “Top 20 Restaurants in the state” LUMA on Park offers a romantic atmosphere, progressive American Cuisine and opportunity to check off a bucket list item. Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery offers locally-sourced, daily menus that feature delectable dishes including: Massachusetts Diver Scallops with freekeh, tri-color cauliflower, jalapeño butter, pickled cipollini onions or Border Springs Lamb Shoulder with glazed root vegetables, snow pea fondue, golden raisins, shiitake mushroom over a bottle of wine from their extensive list. 

  • Prato – Prato celebrates cuisine from Italy’s rich culinary landscape, seamlessly blending Italian classics with modern techniques and seasonal ingredients. The rustic, communal atmosphere is perfect for a casual celebration; and who doesn’t like house-made pizzas and baked entrees made with Prato’s authentic Acunto wood-burning ovens crafted in Naples, Italy?  Enjoy their beloved Widowmaker pizza with Hazelnut Romesco, Cavolo Nero, Fennel Sausage and a Farm Egg or  Squid Ink Torchio with Braised Clam Amatriciana, Smoked Paprika Pangrattato over a couple of craft cocktails before splitting a Sticky Date Cake.

  • Luke’s Kitchen – Head to Maitland for a low key dinner at Luke’s Kitchen & Bar and movie. Enjoy carefully curated oysters from the raw bar and entrees cooked over an open fire grill and rotisserie alongside classically-inspired craft cocktails followed by an independent film right next store at the Enzian Theater.
  • The Capital Grille has special Valentine’s Day eve offerings for 2018 – perfect for Orlando residents looking to extend the holiday with their loved one. On February 13, The Capital Grille is offering guests a generous evening with complimentary Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé NV, Champagne and hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. In an atmosphere of relaxed elegance, The Capital Grille will thrill guests with hand-cut, dry aged steaks, artisanal ingredients and our award-winning wine list of over 350 selections.Reservations are now open for Valentine’s Day Eve, as well as Valentine’s Day for those looking for a more traditional experience. For guests looking for a last-minute reservation on Valentine’s Day, The Capital Grille’s Concierge app offers #ReservationRescue, whereby one lucky procrastinator will have the chance to secure a table for two at 7 p.m. on February 14. To enter, guests are simply required to download the app and select their favorite restaurant for a chance to save the day.
  • Eddie V’s – For the perfect pair, Eddie V’s is offering elevated pairings for Valentine’s Day featuring famous champagnes with their ideal oyster counterparts. Guests can enjoy half a dozen oysters, including Pink Moon and Thatch Island oysters, complimented by a half bottle of champagne hand-selected by our Advanced Sommelier. For the perfect Valentine’s Day toast, guests can choose from Ruinart Blanc De Blancs, Moët Rosé Impérial or Krug Grand Cuvée. In addition to the special offerings listed above, Eddie V’s menu of fresh and flavorful seafood will still be available to order. The restaurant also boasts an award-winning wine list of over 300 selections, as well as hand-crafted cocktails. Reservations are now open.
  • American Kitchen Bar & Grill invites guests to a four course dinner by Chef Venoy Rogers available only on February 14, 2018. Dinner pricing begins at $39 per person.
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando announced that both their restaurants, Ravello and Capa, will be offering a prix-fixe four course meal on Valentine’s Day. The price is $75 per person at Ravello and $155 per person at Capa. Guests will also receive complimentary Prosecco and chocolates for spa guests.
  • Hilton Orlando will be offering a three course prix-fixe Lover’s Menu for Two at Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Restaurant. Price is $175 per couple and it’s available only on February 14, 2018.
  • Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit will celebrate romance on February 14 with a Valentine’s Day Menu for Two. Price for dinner is $85 per couple.
  • Taverna Opa will be hosting their “Forget Romance, Let’s Dance” dinner event on February 14, 2018, complete with Belly Dance Entertainment and Greek-Style celebration. Admission is $85 per couple.
  • Villas of Grand Cypress will be offering an elegant candlelit five course dinner available only February 14, 2018. Available for $118 per couple.
  •  Canvas Restaurant & Market – 13615 Sachs Ave, Orlando, FL, 407.313.7800 – In addition to their regular a la carte menu, Canvas will be offering a few Valentine’s Day specials. Menu Highlights:  Prime Beef Tenderloin; 10 oz. bone-in, mole, sweet corn purée, charred shishito peppers ($50), Lobster Tail; Butter poached, artichoke hearts, housemade pappardelle, tarragon-citrus beurre blanc, and shaved black truffles ($45)

  • Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen, 6967 Lake Nona Blvd, Orlando, FL, 407.955.4340 Menu Highlights:  Gulf oysters on the half shell (6) with Tobikko caviar, watermelon, yuzu ($15), Roasted beef tenderloin for 2 or 4 to shareShiitake mushroom “bacon”, double butter mashed potato, Josper charred broccolini, beet crisps, red wine reduction – For two guests, ($38 for 8 oz.), For four guests, ($75 for 16 oz.). Red Velvet Cheesecake; Champagne marinated strawberries ($4.50)

  • Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi, 7972 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL  32819, 407.370.3359, Open Wednesday, February 14 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a la carte specials or Four-Course Prix Fixe for $70. Plus, join a special “Sushi Making 101” class onSaturday, February 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and create lasting, fun memories with your loved one! Tickets to sushi class available HERE. Available a la carte or Four Course Prix-Fixe for $70: Tsukiji Market Moriawase $29, chefs omakase, Gomadare Cha Soba $22, japanese sea bream, ginger, wasabi, scallion, dashi, Barentain Makisushi, $17, chef’s special Valentine day sushi roll, Strawberry Shortcake, $7, ume jam, tamari ganache

  • K Restaurant & Wine Bar, 1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804, 407.872.2332 – Recently purchased by Chad Phelps back in July of last year, K Restaurant has a new “refreshed K.”  This Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will be offering a special menu for $100 for two people, in addition to their regular a la carte menu. Menu Highlights: Oysters; mignonette, Foie Gras custard, madeira glazed wild mushrooms, grilled bread, Lobster; Israeli couscous, English peas and tendrils, beurre rouge, Filet; potato and mushroom gratin, creamed greens, veal demi-glace, White Russian Chocolate Cake, Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

  • Paradiso 37, Disney Springs, 1590 E Bueno Vista Dr., Orlando, FL, 407.934.3700, For Valentine’s Day, Paradiso 37 will be celebrating by serving guests a Valentine’s Day inspired prix-fixe menu at $39 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Menu highlights: Lobster Bisque with Sherry, Ginger Honey Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon; Roasted Vegetables, Cilantro Rice, and Grilled Lemon, Molten Lava Chocolate Cake; Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Fresh Berries

  • Pizza Bruno, 3990 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32806, Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018, Time: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. You got a pizza my heart! Get cheesy with Bruno Zacchini as you join us under the stars for a romantic Valentine’s Day experience. Pizza Bruno will host a couple’s pizza making class which will include hands-on instruction, small bites, DIY pizza, dessert and wine. This unique date night experience is $80 per person, plus gratuity. Let’s get saucy. Space is limited. Purchase your tickets today!

  • The Polite Pig at Disney Springs , 1536 Buena Vista Drive, Orlando, FL 32830 Have a smokin’ Valentine’s Day at The Polite Pig in Disney Springs with a la carte menu selections including signature dishes like the Smoked Chicken Wingswith pickled carrots; House-Smoked Brisket with coffee rub; The Southern Pig Sandwich with pulled pork, fennel-apple slaw, tangy mustard bbq and Duke’s mayo; and Crispy Brussels Sprouts with whisky-caramel.. Visit www.politepig.comfor more information

  • The Ravenous Pig, 565 West Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL, 407.628.2333, Menu Highlights: Beginning Monday, February 12 through Thursday, February 15, The Ravenous Pig will offer a full a la carte menu, in addition to the below specials. Three Course Seasonal Prix-Fixe Menu – $40 per person, with a portion of proceeds benefitting No Kid Hungry. Chef Curated Specials for Two: Bison Tomahawk Rib Eye Steak, Whole Fish Dinner, Sweet Soufflé Dessert – For more information or reservations, visit or call 407.628.2333

  • The Rusty Spoon, 55 West Church Street, Orlando, FL, 407.401.8811 Menu Highlights: For Valentine’s Day, The Rusty Spoon will offer a full a la carte menu, in addition to chef curated seasonal specials. For reservations, visit or call the restaurant at 407.401.8811.

  • Urbain 40 American Brasserie and Lounge, 8000 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL, 407.872.2640 For Valentine’s Day, Urbain 40 American Brasserie and Lounge will be taking reservations Friday, February 9th through Wednesday, February 14thThey will be celebrating by serving guests a Valentine’s Day inspired prix-fixe menu at $68 per person, plus tax and gratuity. The regular a la carte menu will also be available to guests. Menu highlights: Appetizer Special: Heart Vol Au Vent of Bay Scallops & Rock Shrimp; Cultivated Mushrooms, & Early Spring Crop Asparagus, Champagne-Porcini-Vermont Butter Emulsion , Valentines Plat du Jour: “Marriage of the Land & Sea” Grilled 6 oz. Angus Beef Tenderloin & Herb-Roasted Wild Gulf Shrimp; Celery Root & Potato Puree, Haricot Vert, Young Carrots, Rich Red Wine Truffle Reduction & Sauce Béarnaise, Valentines Dessert Trio: For Couples to Share  

  • Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, 9150 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819,, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House will serve a prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu highlighting elevated cuisine for guests to celebrate luxuriously. Featured menu items include Chilled Oysters with Caviar Mignonette, Simply Prepared Fresh Fish and the Double Eagle Steak – a three-inch thick, 45-Day Dry Aged Double Bone In Prime Ribeye. The prix fixe menu is available from Feb. 9 through Feb. 14 for $90 per guest. Reservations: Call (407) 351-5074

  • Tony Roma’s, 8560 International Dr., Orlando, FL 32819, Menu, Come celebrate Valentine’s Day at Tony Roma’s! Enjoy a special Filet Medallions Combo for only $30. The combo includes your choice of house salad, Caesar salad or Original Classic Potato Soup with Filet Medallions (6 ounces) topped with Cabernet demi-glace, mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. Plus, choice of Grilled Shrimp Skewers or a Half Rack of Baby Back Ribs. Reservations: Call (407) 248-0094


  • Central Florida Nature Adventures is offering a unique Silver River Kayak Tour on Valentine’s Day. Price is $94 per person and the tour lasts about four and a half hours.
  • Wild Florida Airboat Tours will offer 15% off romantic sunset airboat tours and a stroll through the gator park valid form February 12, 2018 to February 17, 2018. To receive discount use code WildValentine online, over the phone or in person.
  • Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures will offer 20% discounts on their sunset tours. After the tour, guests will receive a 10% discount to Boggy Bottom BBQ for a romantic dinner for two.  To receive the discount, guests should call and use special code “VALE18.” This offer is valid February 13, 2018 to February 15, 2018.
  • The Coca-Cola Orlando Eye is offering the “Love is in the Air” package from February 8, 2018 to February 18,2018. This package includes: a private capsule for the couple with priority boarding, a long-stemmed rose, a box of specialty chocolates and a glass of champagne. The price is $110 per couple for the champagne experience and $90 per couple for the non-alcoholic option.



  • Bar Louie at Orlando Airport will host a Stupid Cupid Spotlight Party on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. The party will offer drink specials along with half priced select appetizers and flatbreads.
  • Howl At the Moon will host a Naughty or Nice Happy Hour Party on Friday, February 16, 2018.  It will be complete with games, drink specials, giveaways and live music. Date Night Table Package is also available upon request.
  • Leu Gardens will host a romantic concert on Valentine’s Day featuring Ricky and the Buzzcatz from 7:00pm -10:00pm. Advance tickets are $15 per person and will go on sale on Friday, January 26, 2018.
  • SAK Comedy Lab will offer three shows on Valentine’s Day at 6:00pm8:00pm and 10:00pm.  A Sweetheart Special is also available for $48 and includes admission for two and two drinks.
  • The Alfond Inn in Winter Park will host “A Valentine’s Experience Under The Stars” event on Saturday, February 10, 2018. The event will include cocktails in the Conservatory, followed by a three course dinner on the lawn and live music. The price for this experience is $99 per person.
  • Track Shack will host the Third Annual Run 4 Love 4 Mile, presented by Florida Hospital on Saturday, February 10, 2018. All finishers receive a commemorative shirt and medal. Prices to participate vary and early pricing is available through January 27, 2018. Get $4 off with code LOVERUN18.

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Updated 1/29/2018

TORI TORI will be a japanese pub opening in the Mills50 district at 720 N. Mills Avenue this summer. It will be a sister concept to DOMU and created by Sonny Nguyen (chef/owner of DOMU) with partner Johnny Tung.

This concept will be part of the “DOMU Dynasty” also coined as the “Double-D Group” which will be the umbrella for all of Nguyen’s current and future concepts.

“With much success and recognition of DOMU over the past year, I felt like I had to do more for our city to really put us on the map. I felt like there was a missing piece that I think the people of our city deserve to experience and is growing popularity in major cities around the country. What we’re creating is a staple to everyday Japanese culture and bringing a piece of that to Orlando. With the same mindset that was set forward for DOMU, expect the concept to come from “me” and to pack an edge of going against the grain. Meaning, that every detail will be curated from the design, to what we offer, and how we offer it. We will be sticking to true Japanese roots but will have my modern take on a lot of things.”

More details will be released on the concept as time permits but in the meantime follow them on Facebook and Instagram @ToriToriPub


Spotted at the long vacant 4200 SF building located between King Bao and Pho 88 on Mills Avenue hangs a new banner stating simply “Tori Tori – Coming Summer 2018”.

The location of 720 N Mills Ave Orlando, Florida was most recently home to Trung My Asian Market but has sat vacant for many years now.

Little detail is known, but watch this space for more news soon.

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It’s time again to cast your ballot for the best in Central Florida dining in Orlando Magazine’s Dining Awards 2018 Readers’ Choice Ballot! Poll Closes Feb 1!

Voting closes on February 1st, so the next two weeks is crucial to get your vote in. Bonus: a voter will be selected at random and win a dinner for two!

People can vote on their favorites or nominate restaurants. Winners will be revealed in the May Dining Issue, and celebrated at a private ceremony with a plaque and rowdy round of applause.

Make sure to vote LOCAL!!!!

Vote Here:

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Florida-based breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant chain First Watch has recently unrolled a new coffee program, called Project Sunrise, using a new single-origin coffee sourced from women coffee growers in Huila, Colombia.

The coffee program helps support a women-led growers organization called Mujeres en Café in Huila, Colombia.

Traditionally, the coffee growing industry in Colombia has been male-dominated. Due to the country’s decades-long civil conflict, many women in Huila lost their husbands, brothers and sons and have now taken over the family business. Together, they formed Mujeres en Café and embarked on a mission to create sustainable businesses that elevate the lives of their families and improve conditions in their rural communities.

“During our visit to Huila, we met groups of women in several villages who have dedicated their lives to producing great coffee. They are proud of their work and were eager to welcome us into their homes, walk us through their farms and share their stories,” Shane Schaibly, corporate chef and VP of culinary strategy for First Watch, said in an announcement of the new coffee program.

“Each year, we serve more than 8 million cups of coffee in our restaurants. Through Project Sunrise, that gives us 8 million incredible opportunities to support these hard-working women and their families in Huila in 2018.”

The high-quality beans these women grow and harvest in Huila are exported to the U.S. and roasted by the experts at Royal Cup Coffee in Birmingham, Alabama, exclusively for First Watch. The restaurant company pays a premium for these single-origin beans, which will be relayed back to the women farmers in Huila to help improve their quality of life and help facilitate their operations.

Schaibly spent months working with coffee growers and roasters to develop a coffee that would complement the complex dishes, flavors and textures found on the First Watch menu. First Watch’s new Project Sunrise coffee fits the bill – it features a medium body, with hints of cherry, orange, toasted nuts, honey, milk chocolate and caramel, which makes for an ideal complement to First Watch’s variety of fresh breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes.

For more information on First Watch’s Project Sunrise, visit

We were recently invite to try some of the new coffee at First Watch as well as sample some seasonal dishes like the millionaire’s bacon, four slices of hardwood smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne and a maple syrup drizzle, and the cinnamon chip panacake. I enjoyed their new coffee, particularly the rich depth of flavor that complimented the dishes well.

Coconut milk chia seed pudding with fresh bananas, berries, blackberry preserves and housemade granola. Served with whole grain artisan toast topped with almond butter and Maldon sea salt.
Coconut milk chia seed pudding with fresh bananas, berries, blackberry preserves and housemade granola. Served with whole grain artisan toast topped with almond butter and Maldon sea salt.
Millionaire’s Bacon
Avocado Toast
Cinnamon Chip Pancake

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“Where the Locals Eat”

Known as one of the best places for breakfast in Jacksonville, winning multiple accolades, Metro Diner has finally expanded further into the Orlando area near the always brunch-happy UCF area in East Orlando. The first Central Florida is in Altamonte Springs.

Founded in Jacksonville in 1992, over 25 years ago, Metro Diner specializes in breakfast specials and comfort diner food and was recently featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the Food Network. Let the flavor town train roll on!

On a recent visit, the place was packed with local professionals in from the cold on their lunch breaks. People love breakfast and brunch in Orlando and there seems to be more and more options each day.

I ordered their signature Fried Chicken and Waffle – the fried chicken was nice and crispy, but the waffle was the real star – light and fluffy yet also with a nice crisp. The strawberry butter was also a wonderful touch to this sweet and savory dish.

Fried Chicken & Waffle $15.49
Half a fried chicken and a Belgian waffle, topped with powdered sugar and sweet, strawberry butter. Served with their special honey tabasco, sweet and spicy sauce.

Metro Diner
11650 University Blvd
Orlando, FL 32817

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I was born and raised in Palm Beach County so have many memories of Jon Smith Subs growing up. They were the mom and pop corner sub shop where I lived. I was excited to hear that they have finally made their way up to Orlando (though all the way out in Oviedo) and dropped by during the opening recently.

The first Jon Smith shop opened in 1988 in Palm Beach County, FL serving up their signature marinated grilled sirloin steak and real chicken breast subs.

I ordered the Steak Bomb –  Sirloin steak, Grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes & provolone. My sub was quite delicious – the bread was fresh as was the steak. I think next time I’ll try their traditional steak with cheese and forgo the other ingredients – ok maybe I’ll keep the bacon.

The manager/owner was in, a Oviedo native, greeting and welcoming each family and patron entering the shop – it was quite the welcome sight.

Jon Smith Subs – Oviedo
3607 Aloma Ave, Oviedo, FL 32765
Mon-Sat 10:00am-9:00pm
Sun Closed

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Winter, brief it may be, has arrived to Central Florida with the latest frosty blasts covering most of our region this past week.

The Spanish-inspired Bulla Gastrobar has recently debuted their Winter Menu, featuring savory, hearty dishes that will certainly warm any foodie’s appetite this winter.

Here is the menu:

Sabores de Invierno
Winter Menu

Padrones Rellenos $8 – Shishito peppers stuffed with Mahon cheese, encrusted with panko crumbs and a spicy tomato dipping sauce

Caldo Gallego $8 – Galician Soup, White beans, pork shank, chorizo, kale

Piquillos a la Vizcaina $11 – Ground beef and pork stuffed piquillo peppers, bechamel sauce, black currants

Lechon Asado $23 – Slow Roasted Pig, Pork Demi, Panadera Potatoes

Chuletas de Cordero $23 – Lamb Chops, Honey Beer Reduction, Kale, Potato Foam

Some of my favorites from the menu included the:

Padrones rellenos, crunchy panko crusted, stuffed shisito peppers filled with mahon cheese – each bite oozes with warm cheese – perfect.

The Piquillos a la Vizcaina, stuffed piquillo peppers were both savory and sweet – savory from the ground beef and pork and bechamel cheese sauce but also a touch of sweetness from the black currant reduction and nutty sliced almonds.

If you are a fan of lamb chops, try the chuletas de cordero – subtly sweet from honey reduction, it’s a hearty dish with delicate potato foam and crispy kale.

My absolute favorite on the menu is the lechon asado, thrice cooked slow roasted pig with a pork demi sauce and panadera potatoes – thick and juicy, the pork just melts in your mouth with the crispy pork skin is a fantastic treat.

The menu lasts all winter until March so visit soon!

Bulla Gastrobar
110 S Orlando Ave #7, Winter Park, FL 32789

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Had a truly delicious lunch today at Sticky Rice Lao Street Food!

Located on the first floor of Bikkuri in Mills 50, the owners of Sticky Rice has transformed the small restaurant into something resembling an outdoor Laotian night market stall with dark ceilings and low, wooden tables.

The menu is very affordable with most dishes ranging from $4 to $5, perfect sizes for sharing over Laotian beers with friends if one chooses. You’d be tempted to order the whole menu. It reminded me of places my uncles would go to enjoy grilled meats and beers (they serve BeerLao here!) late into the night growing up.

Alot of the food had flavors that reminded me of my childhood, though Vietnam is a neighbor of Laos there are some similarities as well as differences in the cuisine. I loved the char on the grilled chicken wings seasoned in fish sauce and sugar, and the crispy pork rice lettuce wrap which had little crunchy bits and pieces of roast pork.

chicken laab
papaya salad – spicy!
cucumber salad – also spicy!
grilled wings
crispy rice with pork

It’s important to note that the sticky rice order is meant to be eaten with other dishes such as the pork sausages or beef jerky rather than alone – making a perfect combo of carbs and meat. They also had a delicious noodle soup that reminded me of Vietnamese banh canh or udon noodle soup called khao piek sen.

Beef jerky

khao piek sen noodle soup

Another favorite was the pork tapioca dumplings, sticky chewy white balls of tapioca stuffed with crispy pork and garlic!

pork tapioca dumplings

Save room for dessert like the sweet pandan jelly in coconut milk, mango sticky rice, and coconut gelato on purple sticky rice served inside bamboo. We dunked our sticky rice in the sweet coconut milk for that extra sweetness.

Overall very impressed by the food and the authenticity of flavors at Sticky Rice – definitely will bring my family back here to try.

Go soon and with friends and enjoy Orlando’s first and only Laotian street food restaurant!

They are open 11:30am to 10:00pm daily.

Sticky Rice Lao Street Food
1915 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, Florida

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In a world where the customer is always right, is it no wonder that the chipotle style concept where guests get to customize and choose their own ingredients has become more and more popular?

Located in far flung Oviedo/Winter Springs – at the southwest intersection of Tuscawilla and Red Bug Lake – is Big Kahuna’s Island Style Bowl. It’s a chipotlified version of a poke joint where you can order your various raw fish topped with items such as avocado, fried onion chips, mango,  and more all on top of rice and a drizzle of sauce. They slice their fish fresh daily just like they do in the islands and it shows in the taste of the bowl. It’s a small place but the freshness in poke fish is critical for obvious reasons and in this regard Big Kahuna shines.

Make sure to save room for the insane $6 Pineapple Dole Whip Float, it’s essentially a pineapple soft serve paradise served inside a pineapple. Don’t worry they give you straws and spoons so you can dig at it.

Big Kahuna’s Island Style Bowl
1450 Tuskawilla Rd #108 · (407) 543-3700

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Mai’s Bistro is a new fast casual restaurant that has opened up in Orlando’s Mills 50 District, specializing in Vietnamese street food such as banh mi, Vietnamese sticky rice, and banh cuon rice crepes. They bake their own bread and sweets and make everything in house.

On a recent visit, I loved their banh cuon rice crepes and their variety of both sweet and savory Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi). You could get bbq roast pork, chinese sausage, or shredded chicken for savory sticky rice and jackfruit for sweet sticky rice. They bake their bread from scratch on site and their grilled pork banh mi is one of the best i have had. Their staff was very friendly and hospitable. Will try again soon and update!

Mai’s Bistro in Mills 50
830 E Colonial Dr A, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 730-8538

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Pizzeria Roberti can be found tucked in a small corner on the east side of Orlando, off of Curry Ford and Chicksaw Trail.

Here you will find one of the best pizzas in Orlando – from the crispy, tasty house-fermented crust to the house-made mozzarella cheese, Pizzeria Roberti is the real deal.

Joseph Roberti, owner and chef of Pizzeria Roberti, takes a lot of pride in his work and it shows through the quality of the food here.

Roberti tells us, “Our pizza on the surface is a New York Style Pizza, but underneath it is much more complex than that. In reality it is a combination of Artisan style pizza, Neapolitan style pizza, and traditional New York style pizza.”

“Our dough is made from cultivated yeast produced in house similar to the production of artisan sourdough breads (Artisan characteristic). Our sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and less than a handful of all fresh ingredients (Neapolitan characteristic). We bake our pies in a traditional bakers pride pizza oven (New York characteristic), but we cook them at a high heat between 550 and 575 degrees Fahrenheit (similar to a Neapolitan characteristic). Our cheese is a combination whole milk and part-skim Grande Mozzarella (New York characteristic).”

Specialty – Breakfast Pizza – topped with egg, chives, ham, bacon, cheese

“Every ingredient of our specialty pies is produced in house. Our specialty slice pies are often garnished to order not unlike a dish coming out of a high end restaurant. And that is just the pizzas. We also have beer, wine, salads (all dressings made in house), subs, appetizers (such as our homemade fresh mozzarella), pastas (all sauces made in house), and vast catering menu. We are off to a great start in developing our concept and look forward to continually evolve as we grow.

Panko Crusted Mozzarella “Sticks”

“As a kid my father used to take me to a local pizza shop a few days a week and the cooks used to teach me little things here and there. By the age of 8 or 9 I made my first slice pie. Fast forward a bit to 14, I was now living in Orlando, Fl, and about to start high school. I was looking to get started in my cooking career and I got my shot at a neighborhood pizzeria & bar. I started as a prep cook, then learned the hot line, then pizza station, and even serving from time to time.”

Brined and Fried Chicken Wings with Garlic, Parmesan Cheese – Divine

“I liked my job but had ambitions for more, I wanted to pursue a career as a professional chef. As soon as I got my license I took a job on I-drive as a dishwasher in a much bigger and more known restaurant. It was a step backward, but it was also a foot in the door with a successful brand. Fast forward again about 3 years, I worked at few spots around Orlando, most notably the Citrus Club under chef Scott Haegele, and went to culinary school.”

“Upon graduating culinary school I decided to go back to New York to learn how to transition from a cook to a chef. I got my shot, this time with accomplished chef Hung Huynh who took me under his wing, trained me, and gave me the exposure and opportunity to work with many great culinarians.”

“Fast Forward another 4 years, I’m living in Miami, at this point a chef myself running various kitchens. In 2015 I created a company “Motion Hospitality Group” as a hospitality consulting business, with the intention of one day opening a place of my own. Fast Forward to today where Motion Hospitality Group currently owns and operates its first restaurant concept: “Pizzeria Roberti”.”

What are your first childhood food memories?

One of my first memories with food was when I was around 5 or 6, my parents weren’t home and my brother was watching me. He must have fallen asleep or something, and I made an apple omelet. The first thing I have ever cooked by my memory.

What are some of your favorite dishes at Pizzeria Roberti?

My favorite dishes at the pizzeria are the pesto & margherita pizzas, chicken marsala with farfalle pasta, and the pizza dough zeppoles.

What do you like to cook for “comfort food” at home with your family?

My Favorite thing to eat at home is Mom’s Lasagna.

Housemade meatballs – tender, braised, crisp on the outside

The Sauce

“Our pizza sauce consists of a combination of San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy and all fresh ingredients including fresh herbs and garlic. San Marzano tomatoes are known for their natural sweetness and low acidity.”

The Dough

“Our dough is made in house with our specially cultivated yeast, which is fermented on premise. This is an important characteristic of our dough because it creates a more robust flavor and the natural fermentation of our dough, makes it healthier and more digestible.”


Pizzeria Roberti
Address: 2751 S Chickasaw Trail Suite 107, Orlando, FL 32829

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