Authors Posts by Tiffany Nguyen

Tiffany Nguyen

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"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31 - Tiffany is a native of Orlando, Florida. Born and raised in "The City Beautiful" she has witnessed many vast changes to the city since she was a toddler and she is excited for what's to come for her hometown. Tiffany graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in General Business. One of her long-time dreams came true when her family's restaurant, Saigon Noodle & Grill - Bumby got invited by the Food Network to film an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" with Guy Fieri and special guest Food Network Star winner Justin Warner. You can follow her on IG at @bytiffanynguyen.

Aussie Mate Burger – Beef pattie, caramelized onion, grilled bacon, egg, American cheese, lettuce, tomato & beetroot on a sesame bun.

We were invited to The Golden Pod – Restaurant & Bar on International Drive (located next door to The Tilted Kilt) for a media preview with other local foodies and our experience was simply amazing.  The Golden Pod is Orlando’s best kept secret.  They have high quality food and superior service in a pleasant environment.

Here are some interesting takeaways about The Golden Pod:

  1. The owner is from Australia.
  2. They make their own chocolate in house.
  3. They serve grilled kangaroo but I wasn’t ready to try it so I ordered the Aussie Mate burger (picture above) and it was really tasty.
  4. You can print any photo on your coffee via cellphone.  Selfie lattes, anyone?
  5. They are open daily until 2am.

For our appetizer, we ordered the crispy calamari and it was fried to perfection.

A Superfood Bowl – Brazilian acai, banana, almond milk and topped with granola, seasonal fruit, and pink chocolate pearls (optional).  Easily one of the best açaí bowls I’ve ever had.

My friend Gustavo (@dafoodie) ordered the Trio of Sliders and he tore them up!
– Pulled pork with slaw and spicy dressing
– Crumbled and chickened tenderloin, avocado and arugula
– Beef with cheese and tomato chutney

My friend Anthony ordered their Cookies ‘n Cream Shake and he enjoyed it!

Gustavo’s wife, Mary, ordered their Vanilla Love Pod and she loved it! It’s a chocolate dome over vanilla ice cream, pear compote and hazelnuts.  Warm chocolate sauce is poured over the chocolate dome to melt it down before consumption.

For more information, please visit: thegoldenpod.com

The Golden Pod – International Dr.
7653 International Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 776-9206

We were invited to experience Orlando’s newest dinner show, Orlando Forum Rock Dinner Show located at 6362 International Drive, Orlando FL 32819 (near the old Wet n’ Wild) and we absolutely loved everything about it!  They have great entertainment, delicious and fulfilling dinner, friendly staff, and a relaxed & intimate atmosphere.

During our media dinner, we watched Elvis, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Prince, and Katie Perry for a whole hour of popular high energy covers and choreographed dancing that will keep your eye on stage.  They not only looked the part but they also sounded the part, making it really fun to sing along to every song they performed.  The backup singer and backup dancers were all perfection as well.

These Vegas-style nightly dinner shows are available every day of the week starting at 6:30pm.  For the full names of the cast, menu, tickets prices, and more, please visit: orlando-forum.com

Seasons 52 is launching a fixed-price menu just in time for fall!  The restaurant’s Harvest menu allows guests to choose a soup or salad, entrée and Mini Indulgence dessert for just $29.95.  The menu features the freshest ingredients that autumn season has to offer – like Bosc pears, mushrooms, butternut squash and Caulilini – and is available now through November 21.

We were invited to Seasons 52 – Altamonte Springs to taste their new Harvest menu and we were very impressed with our entire visit.  The food was so good and fresh and the best manager I’ve ever encountered, Claudia Ortiz (who started there as a server, then bartender, then got promoted to manager) and her staff took care of us really well.  You can’t go wrong at Seasons 52 – Altamonte Springs.  Highly recommended!

STARTER
Select a cup of soup or salad:

– Butternut Squash Soup

– Porcini Mushroom Bisque. I highly recommend!

or

– Spinach and Caramelized Bosc Pear Salad
– Organic Field Greens

 

ENTREE
Select one:

– Cedar Plank-Roasted Salmoncrushed potatoes, Caulilini, grilled lemon, dill-mustard sauce.  I highly recommend!


– Wood-Grilled Filet Mignon
roasted mushrooms, Caulilini, Yukon mash, red wine sauce.  I highly recommend!

or

– New! Mediterranean-Style Australian Lamb Shank* – sautéed green beans, Yukon mash
– New! Venison Chop* – venison ragout, Caulilini and sweet potato mash
– New! Short Rib Lasagna* – mozzarella, grass-fed beef Bolognese

 

MINI INDULGENCE
Select one:


– Pumpkin Pie or Poached Pear Cheesecake

* Entrees exclusive to the Harvest menu.

Guests can complement their meal with recommended wine pairings available for an additional cost by the glass or try a seasonal cocktail, such as the Pearfect Storm.

For more information, please visit: seasons52.com/events/harvest-menu

Seasons 52 – Altamonte Springs
463 E Altamonte Dr. Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
(407) 767-1252

In honor of National Sandwich Day today, I wanted to share with you all some exciting insider foodie news!

Earl of Sandwich, located in Disney Springs behind Ghirardelli, is releasing their holiday menu this Monday, November 5th.  Their holiday dishes will stay on the menu until the rest of the year.  I got to take a sneak peek and taste of what’s to come this delicious holiday season at Earl of Sandwich.

(NEW!) Holiday Ham Sandwich – Ham, cheddar, yams & cranberry sauce on freshly toasted artisan bread


Holiday Turkey Sandwich – Turkey, cornbread stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce & mayonnaise on freshly toasted artisan bread

Peppermint Brownie

Be sure to stop by Earl of Sandwich and try their new holiday dishes next time you are at Disney Springs!

We were invited to Tony Roma’s on International Drive to try their limited-time only “Spice So Nice” menu, available now through Dec. 23!  We were very impressed with our visit from start to finish.  The food was packed with bold flavors and cooked to perfection and the service was top notch.  Be sure visit Tony Roma’s on I-Drive as soon as possible to enjoy these dishes crafted to bring the flavor before they are gone!

Jalapeño Buffalo Shrimp – Enjoy a double dose of heat with these crispy shrimp tossed in Buffalo sauce and packed with bits of fresh Jalapeños. Cool it down with classic ranch dressing for dipping.

Chimichurri Salmon – The bright flavors of their chimichurri sauce pair perfectly with grilled salmon, served with saffron & kale rice and seared garlic green beans.

Black Pepper Ribs & Filet Medallions with Horseradish Butter – Their World-Famous Baby Back Ribs get an added boost of flavor with a new black pepper BBQ sauce. Enjoy a half rack alongside two tender filet medallions topped with horseradish butter for a hint of heat. Served with hearty mashed potatoes and seared garlic green beans.

Spiced Cider Romatini® – The flavors of cinnamon apple pie with a boozy kick make this cocktail a great way to start or finish a meal. Crafted with Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine®, Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey®, apple cider and lemon juice, it’s served chilled, but sure to warm you up.

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Cobbler – Apples and cranberries spiced so nice with cinnamon and baked with a crunchy cobbler topping. Served warm with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

After dinner, the media team got to make our own spices with Brandon, the owner of Tony Roma’s on I-Drive!  Thank you Brandon for your hospitality!

Tony Roma’s – I-Drive
8560 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 248-0094

For more information about Spice So Nice, please visit tonyromas.com/tr_specials/spice-so-nice/tonyromas.com

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2018 event will feature more than 25 of the region’s top chefs and a live performance by acclaimed country music recording artist Angie Keilhauer

WINTER PARK, FL., Sept. 18, 2018 –Cows ‘n Cabs, one of Central Florida’s premiere culinary and philanthropic events, returns to Winter Park’s West Meadow on Saturday, Nov. 3 for its seventh annual evening of gourmet food and fine wine pairings in the name of charity. Co-hosts John Rivers, Founder/CEO of 4R Restaurant Group, and Dave Larue, Vice President of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, will welcome more than 25 of the area’s most talented chefs, who will serve their signature dishes to raise funds for After School All-Stars Orlando and Elevate Orlando.

In addition to food from James Beard Award-nominated chefs and professionally curated beverages, guests at the western-themed soiree will enjoy live music by acclaimed country music recording artist Angie Keilhauer. Recognized in 2017 by Rolling Stone as one of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” Keilhauer will her perform her signature style of “beach-friendly country and roots rock” at Cows ‘n Cabs while attendees stroll between the various food and wine stations.

“Everyone at 4R Restaurant Group is excited for this year’s edition of Cows ‘n Cabs,” said Rivers. “It’s amazing to see how much the event has grown each year with the help of the participating chefs and sponsors. We’re very proud to have donated more than $525,000 to local charities since 2012 and look forward to adding to the number this year.”

Among the participating restaurants at this year’s Cows ‘n Cabs: 4 Rivers Smokehouse, The Coop, The Sweet Shop, 4R Barbacoa Cantina, 1921 by Norman Van Aken, Dixie Dharma, Foxtail Coffee Co., K Restaurant, Pharmacy, Tamale Co., Tapa Toro, Taverna Opa, The Glass Knife, Terralina Crafted Italian, Pizza Bruno, Buttermilk Bakery and more.

Once again ABC Fine Wine & Spirits looks forward to the opportunity to work directly with some of the state’s best chefs to curate a Cows ‘n Cabs beverage program to compliment their amazing culinary offerings,” added Larue. “We have hand selected more than 200 wines, along with some of our favorite cocktails and craft beers for this year’s event, and can’t wait for another wonderful evening to help support After School All-Stars Orlando and Elevate Orlando.”

VIP entry for this year’s Cows ‘n Cabs begins at 6 p.m. General admission is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cows ‘n Cabs tickets can be purchased here.

Sponsors for the 2018 Cows ‘n Cabs include Southern Glazier’s Wine & Spirits, Jameson, Grey Goose and Beam.

For more information about Cows n Cabs, visit: www.cowsncabs.com.

ABOUT COWS ‘N CABS
Established in 2012 by John Rivers, Founder/CEO of 4R Restaurant Group, and Dave Larue, Vice President of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Cows ‘n Cabs celebrates Central Florida’s thriving culinary scene by assembling the region’s most talented chefs in the name of charity and pairing their signature creations with expertly curated beverages.

The open-air, country-western themed event occurs every autumn in Winter Park’s West Meadow and also features live music, dancing and a silent auction. Each year, numerous James Beard Award-nominated chefs, along with 25-plus popular local restaurants, join co-hosts John Rivers and Dave Larue in making Cows ‘n Cabs one of Central Florida’s most anticipated culinary events.

Cows ‘n Cabs is a non-profit organization with 100 percent of its proceeds benefitting local charities – After School All Stars and Elevate Orlando. Since the inaugural event, Cows ‘n Cabs has raised more than $525,000 for the two charities.

(Source: Bo Morris)

We were invited to Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine to check out their newest location in Lake Nona.  This is their third location in the Central Florida area along with locations in Winter Park and Dr. Phillips.  The restaurant itself is simply breathtaking, you will find one-of-a kind pieces imported from Turkey throughout the whole restaurant which makes for a beautiful ambiance.  The food was full of flavor, hearty, and served in generous portions, perfect for sharing.

MIXED APPETIZER (Karisik Meze) – A combination of Humus, Babaganoush, Sautéed Eggplant, Tabbuli, Ezme, Cacik, Haydari and Zetinyagli Yaprak Dolma

LAVAS (Hollow Bread) – Our signature, baked- to-order bread creation. Highly recommended for all soups & appetizers

FRIED CALAMARI (Kalamar Tava) – Crispy fried calamari served with a light pine nut infused sauce

LAMB SHANKS – Seasoned to perfection with our authentic Turkish spices and seasonings, braised slowly over 5 hours with a medley of fresh carrots, onions & bell peppers until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. Served with rice pilaf.

GRILLED SEA BASS (Levrek Izgara) – Fresh Mediterranean sea bass (whole or fillet), chargrilled and served with mixed green salad & choice of rice pilaf or french fries

CHICKEN ADANA KEBAP – Grilled skewers of hand-ground chicken seasoned with fresh garlic, red bell peppers, light hot peppers & parsley

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE – A rich mousse made with Peterbrooke dark chocolate and a hint of Turkish coffee

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BAKLAVA – Peterbrooke chocolate, freshly ground hazelnuts and flaky filo dough topped with citrus infused syrup

PISTACHIO BAKLAVA – House-made baklava with layers of crispy, thin pastry dough filled with pistachios and topped with citrus infused syrup

Be sure to check out Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine next time you are in the Lake Nona area!

Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine – Lake Nona
6900 Tavistock Lakes Blvd. Orlando, FL 32827
407-313-2506
bosphorousrestaurant.com

CRISPY CANTON: Crispy egg noodles, pork, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, spring onions, savory soy sauce

We were invited to Hawkers Asian Street Fare to check out their new fall/winter menu and we were very impressed with our tasty visit.  Fans can experience seven new menu items at all locations now through Spring!

“Our inspiration for the dishes come from our desire to curate a menu that closely reflects what one might find on the streets of Asia.  Authenticity is what we’re focusing on so that we can offer a taste of the unique experiences that we’ve had while eating through the streets of Asia.”  said Kaleb Harrell, Co-Founder of Hawkers Asian Street Fare, pictured below with Co-Founder Allen Lo.


PRAWN CHIPS: Crispy puffed prawn chips dusted with Hawkers’ Five Spice seasoning (only available at the bar)

CHICKA-RONES – (not new but a must try!) Filipino-style crispy chicken skins tossed in jerk seasoning

‘DRY-POT’ CAULILINI: Celery, spring onions, red peppers, Szechuan peppercorn

SALT-N-PEPA RIBS: Crispy pork riblets, ginger, serrano peppers, garlic, onions

ROTI CANAI – (not new) This appetizer is a classic and a must for every Hawkers visit!

SEOUL HOT CHICKEN STEAMED BAOS: Two per order, steamed buns, filled with Seoul hot chicken

SHANGHAI STIR FRY: Steamed rice cakes, pork strips, shiitake mushrooms, spring onions, napa, bean sprouts, lo mein sauce

JO-HÉ BAG O’ DONUTS: Tender pastry puffs rolled into a doughnut shape, deep-fried to perfection and tossed in a cinnamon-sugar

SPIKED THAI TEA – I heard raving reviews about this adult drink from other people at my table.  I ordered mine non-alcoholic and it was still super delicious!

To find the location closest to you, please visit eathawkers.com/locations/

We were invited to a media event at SUSURU, a retro Japanese izakya (gastropub) located in Lake Buena Vista near Disney Springs to preview the new space and unique food & drink menu.  We were very impressed with our visit.

SUSURU will feature a yakitori grill that will cook meat over a Bincho-tan charcoal.  The restaurant will also feature a sake bar with Japanese unique craft cocktails created by Nadine Rodriguez, also known as “Typsy Gypsy”, a very talented and worldly mixologist in Orlando.  Guests will be able to experience a Japanese gastropub, something Orlando has not experienced before.  The goal of SUSURU is to recreate the “fun, friendly atmosphere with communal eating” that the owner experienced while living and traveling in Japan.

SUSURU is the sister concept of College Park’s Jade Sushi & New Asian owned by Lewis Lin and managing partner Kenny Ly.  They are anticipated to be open in early October 2018 at 8548 Palm Parkway, Orlando, FL, with dinner only service to start.

(Source credit: SUSURU)

Astro boy mule

My Kewpie boba tea – garnished with Kewpie baby, cotton candy, pocky stick

Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette)

Yakitori (chicken)

Radish salad

Tomatoes

Grilled mushrooms

Yakitori (chicken)

Grilled brussels sprouts

Tori paitan ramen – chicken chashu, creamy double chicken broth, fried burdock root, shoyu soft egg, scallions

Tsukune – Japanese chicken meatball, yakitori tare. sauce: orange, miso, wasabi, spicy mentaiko, cheese

Matcha tiramisu

Thank you SUSURU for the gifts!  You must check out SUSURU for a one-of-a-kind experience when they open in late October!

SUSURU
8548 Palm Parkway, Orlando, FL
Instagram & Facebook: @susuruorl

Loaded Pulled Pork Tots | $7.99: Crispy tater tots seasoned with their Signature Pork rub, loaded with Pulled Pork, queso, onion straws, and Sonny’s Sweet Sauce.

Did you know? Sonny’s BBQ created #nationalpulledporkday back in 2016 when they prepared a 2,012 lb pulled pork sandwich and it broke the Guinness World Record title of the “largest serving of pulled pork”.  After the record-breaking event was over, all of the food was donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

To celebrate #nationalpulledporkday this year, Sonny’s BBQ is bringing all-new flavors and combinations to the table.  Can you say donuts and tots?  Sonny’s Head Pitmaster Bryan Mroczka crafted three limited-time menu items, and from October 12 to November 4, guests can enjoy the loaded pulled pork tots pictured above as well as:

Sweeter Carolina | $8.99: The Sweet Carolina you know and love piled high on a Signature Sweet Tea- glazed donut.

Pork ‘N Donut | $7.99: The Original slow-smoked Pulled Pork stacked high on a Signature Sweet Tea- glazed donut drizzled with Sonny’s Sweet Sauce.

Sonny’s BBQ is also givin’ away FREE pulled pork for a whole year so text “pork” to 73165 to enter!

 

 

We were invited to check out the new Lucky’s Market in Winter Park yesterday for their Friends & Family Night before their grand opening tomorrow, Oct. 10.  The store will be kicking off with a Bacon Cutting Ceremony at 8:30am with samples of their smoked-in-house bacon and a check presentation to some of their amazing nonprofit partners.  The address of the Winter Park store is 7580 University Blvd. Winter Park, Florida 32792.

Lucky’s Market – Winter Park has a lot to offer at very affordable prices.  Pineapples can be found right now for only .77 cents each and Lucky’s Market coconut water is only 4/$5.  What a steal!  Also, 10% of profits from all Lucky’s brand products are reinvested into the community.  I’m beyond excited to become a regular at this new grocery store just two minutes away from my house.

Pro-tip: Lucky’s Rewards app is a handy tool to download before you shop.  It will give you a $5 off $25 coupon for downloading it, plus it gives you a $5 coupon for every $100 you spend!

Lucky’s Market – Winter Park
7580 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
(407) 681-6618
luckysmarket.com/winter-park-florida/

We were invited to check out the new Saltgrass Steak House in Lake Buena Vista (near the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets) and we were very impressed with this Texas-based chain restaurant owned by Landry’s Inc.  We had a flawless steak dining experience and the service was second to none.  Our server was very friendly and down to earth, he actually started at the Saltgrass Steak House in Texas so he was very knowledgeable and his recommendations were spot on.  While I was ordering my Silverstar Porterhouse Steak I was about to upgrade it with sautéed mushrooms/onions toppings but our wonderful server stopped me in my tracks and suggested that I get an off the menu topping of crab meat/pepper flakes/scallions/lemon butter and I’m so glad he did because it really took my steak to the next level.

Fun fact: the owner of Landry’s Inc. also owns the Houston Rockets professional basketball team, a team that a few of my friends have played on, so it really doesn’t get any better than that!

Complimentary house bread

The “Range Rattlers” are sooo good and spicy!  I highly recommend these as your appetizers.  Shrimp, jack cheese and cilantro, wrapped in a jumbo jalapeño, then battered and fried and served with a side of ranch dressing.

The Wedge Salad was very satisfying.  The dressing was sweet and the lettuce was deliciously crisp.

My friend ordered the New York Strip with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce (our server’s #1 steak recommendation) with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, herb butter with a side of herb rice.  He enjoyed his meal.

Sweet Potato Fries

Be sure to check out Saltgrass Steak House next time you are in the Lake Buena Vista area!

Saltgrass Steak House
8850 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 560-0440
saltgrass.com

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Unique presentation from Liam Fitzpatrick’s

And the winners of the 2018 Orlando Burger Battle are:

1st Place:
People’s and Judges’ pick:  Orlando Meats’ Mini Mid Rare burger – Grass-fed beef, provolone, bacon xo sauce, garlic aioli, French roll.

2nd Place:
Judge’s pick: Shula’s 347 Grill


People’s pick: Yak & Yeti – Disney’s Animal Kingdom


3rd Place:
Judge’s pick:  Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers


People’s pick: Luke’s Kitchen and Bar

More photos below from the 2018 Orlando Burger Battle:

Taking the shuttle to Orlando Burger Battle

I called shotgun

Live concert by The Supervillains

T-Rex Café at Disney Springs

Metro Diner

The Edison at Disney Springs

Dovecote

Liam Fitzpatrick’s

Drive Shack

Rainforest Café

Rainforest Café

4 Rebels Kitchen & Bar

Duffy’s

White Wolf Cafe

Drafts Westgate Resorts

B Resort’s American Kitchen & Bar

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Dining in the Dark is a Lighthouse Central Florida original that has grown in scale and popularity since it was first introduced in 2010.  Attendees are treated to a multi-course, gourmet meal prepared by celebrated, local chefs and are served by members of the Orlando Police Department’s SWAT team — who navigate the pitch-black room outfitted in night-vision goggles.  After dinner the lights slowly come up and diners are encouraged to offer telling, empathetic, testimonials about their experience.  Featured menu selections were from Muddy Waters Orlando, B&A Catering, Oudom Thai & Sushi, Soco Thornton Park & Wildtree.

My thoughts:  The event was well-organized and the guest servers from Orlando Police Department SWAT team were all focused and treated us with genuine respect and humility.  I have never experienced service like that before in my entire life.  They have all inspired me to become a better person and I am grateful to have these wonderful men as role models for our community.  I never got the name of my guest server, maybe because he did not want to make it about him, but I trusted him and felt safe with him taking care of our table.  As a naturally quiet & independent person, it was eye-opening, literally, to experience how important communication is when one of your five senses, sight, is taken away from you.

3 hours later, after the lights were turned back on, I felt humbled and empathetic towards those who live with blindness or any degree of vision impairment everyday.   It was definitely the most humbling experience in my entire life.

I couldn’t tell you what we ate (they all tasted delicious, by the way) but I do know one thing that’s for sure.  I have nothing bad to say about the service and I believe that everyone should experience the Dining in the Dark dinner at least once in their lives if they want to be truly humbled.

For more information, please visit lighthousecfl.org

Table 10!  Photo courtesy of Dining in the Dark

They slowly introduced light to us.

Thank you Reggie Timones for being my last minute plus one!

These leftover desserts were the only dishes that I got to actually see.

All the lights were turned back on so that guests can share testimonies about their Dining in the Dark experience.

Thank you chefs for preparing such delicious creations for a wonderful cause!

Police chief John Mina

(Source: Dining in the Dark)

The MEZZ
100 S Eola Dr #200, Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 704-6268
mezzorlando.com

Atlantic Salmon with cucumber & fingerling potato salad, cucumber horseradish broth, cucumber slaw.  Seriously, it was the BEST salmon I’ve ever had!

Thank you everyone that came out to the Tasty Chomps x Magical Dining x DoveCote (voted Best Restaurant 2018 by Orlando Magazine) meet-up hosted by Visit Orlando with special guest Aldo Ferrari!  This year through Visit Orlando, $1 of each meal during #MagicalDining (click here for more info) will benefit two charities: Best Buddies & Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.

Thank you Cory O’Born from Visit Orlando for gifting us all with official 2018 Visit Orlando Magical Dining wine glasses afterwords, it was a nice surprise after a great dinner!

Follow Tasty Chomps Food Blog on facebook to find out where we will be meeting up next!  I just realized that I didn’t get the black & grey shirt memo but I was wearing a black uniform at work beforehand so that should at least count for something, right?!

Left to right: Shan Li, Kasie Wade, Cory O’Born, Aldo Ferrari, Patrick Rosario, Marvin Zarra, Frank Galeano, and then there’s me!

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup with Florida rock shrimp, basil & olive oil

Ham & Cheese Grits with house-made rogue mayo

Pork Cutlet with potato pancake, caper brown butter, beurre blanc

Chocolate Mousse with marshmallow fluff, bay leaf crumble, marinated strawberries

Dovecote crème brulee

DoveCote Brasserie
Bank of America Center, 390 N Orange Ave #110, Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 930-1700
visitorlando.com/magicaldining/restaurants/DoveCote-Brasserie/46031

We were invited to attend the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony of the new The H Cuisine, located in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips.  The interior was stunning, the food was really good and the service was perfection!

“The H Cuisine offers a diverse Mediterranean menu prepared by chefs with international experience, gained from working at some of the finest restaurants around the world. Combined, they have traveled to more than 70 countries to learn about different tastes, foods and ingredients, and bring what they have learned from these culinary adventures to Orlando.

The open kitchen counter allows guest to enjoy different styles of fire cooking methods and feel the warmth of the live fire as they watch the chefs preparing exclusive menu items.  Guests can also enjoy table-side experiences with the chefs when they order select items from the menu.

The bar at The H Cuisine serves a wide range of domestic and imported beverages, including beer, wine, raki and cocktails with premium liquor options available.   Coffee enthusiasts will love another signature menu item at The H – Turkish coffee.

The H Cuisine is the perfect new spot for local and visiting foodies, business, convention and group meetings, and life celebrations.” -The H Cuisine


The H Cuisine offers indoor and outdoor seating.


The H Cuisine is owned by local entrepreneurs, Ahmet Ozhamurkar (left) and Fuat Hasaglu (right).




Co-owner Fuat Hasaglu with his son.


Chef Duran with the amazing wait staff.


Chef Duran with the talented kitchen staff.






Rack of lamb

Tenderloin

Music by the talented ladies of Vioelectric

Burrata with cherry tomato and micro greens

Steak tartare with bone marrow, so delicious.

Sweet bread with veal brains – incredibly healthy and good for you.

Amazing presentation from Chef Duran.

Lamb.

Steak spaghetti, so delicious and melts in your mouth.

Chateau filet – amazing!

We were invited back to The H Cuisine for a more intimate meal with Chef Duran.

Chateau filet


The complimentary house appetizer is Turkish yogurt with whipped fried mint, topped with olive oil and “gypsy bread”.

Strozzapreti – “The Priest Strangler” pasta recipe from Emilia – Romagna.  Served with “Flaming Parmesan Wheel” sauce.

I’m very excited to have this new food experience in the Central Florida area.  You must check them out soon!

The H Cuisine 
7512 Dr. Phillips Blvd, Suite #80, Orlando, FL
(407) 930-3020
thehcuisine.com

Get ready to roll!  Free Sushi Day at P.F. Chang’s is this Thursday, September 20 and you’re invited!


On Free Sushi Day, guests get a FREE California Roll or Spicy Tuna Roll, no purchase required, 1 per person; dine-in only.  This offer is valid nationwide excluding Gainesville, Atlantic City, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and airport locations.

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Dine-in only. One redemption per person. For more information, please visit freesushiday.com

Pictured: Ahi poke bowl, California roll, crab wontons, spicy tuna roll

P.F. Chang’s – Winter Park
436 Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 622-0188

P.F. Chang’s – Millenia Mall
4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 345-2888

Plant Street Food Tour Owners & Experience Guides, Matt Kent & Alyssa Hostetler are all smiles at The Whole Enchilada’s one-of-a-kind rooftop bar.

Launched in August, Plant Street Food Tour is a new walking food tour owned by Matt Kent & Alyssa Hostetler, a Winter Garden couple who are passionate about showing off the culinary scene on Plant Street in Historic Winter Garden.  They have hired their friends as Experience Guides, all of whom are foodies and entertainment professionals from the theme park and theater market in Orlando!  The food tour lasts from 90 mins to 2 hours and consists of taking a brisk walk down historic Plant Street with many tasty stops along the way, sampling delicious food and drinks from a variety of restaurants while learning some surprising history about downtown Winter Garden and their many small businesses.

Plant Street Food Tour offers 5 different food tours: Mornin’ Sunshine Brunch Tour, The Flavorhood Tour (the tour that I got to experience), Booze & Brews, A Sweet Treat, Date Night, or you can customize your food tour to your specific tastes and group size, making it perfect for any special occasion.

Prices start at $30 per person, but you can save $5 on any tour by using promo code CHOMP5 at checkout on plantstreetfoodtours.com

We began our tour by meeting at the Citrus Fountain on the intersection of South Boyd St and Plant Street.  Fun fact:  The spot where the Citrus Fountain is located was once a railroad track used to ship oranges.

First stop: Chef’s Table at the historic Edgewater Hotel

Duck fat fries with aioli from Chef’s Table was the first dish on our food tour.  I could not stop eating them, they were seriously addicting!  I wanted to eat all of it in one sitting but Matt let know me to save room for the other culinary delights that were remaining on our food tour so I took a few bites and packed the rest of the fries in a to-go box.  I am glad that Matt warned me because I was full by the end of our 2 hour food tour.

Everything is made from scratch at Chef’s Table.  Pictured: Mini beef wellington.

After dinner, we got to meet the manager at Chef’s Table, Matt Womick.

The cuban sandwich from Savoree were sooo good!  It was the best cuban sandwich that I’ve ever had!

The pastry selection at Axum Coffee.

Snickers iced coffee from Axum Coffee, it was good.  This coffee shop gives away all of their profits to a variety of charities.

Hasselhoff tacos and skrimp tacos (yum!) from The Whole Enchilada.  I loved the ambiance of their rooftop bar, I would have not known about this rooftop bar had it not been for the food tour.  I am so grateful and I am excited to share this restaurant with my friends.

Pastries at Rosallie Le French Cafe

Pistachio gelato

Plant Street Food Tour makes exploring Winter Garden’s historic downtown area cool, fun, and tasty!  For more information, visit plantstreetfoodtours.com

Miso ramen, roti canai, Korean twice fried wings

Want to win FREE Hawkers takeout for a whole year?  Of course you do!  Here’s how to play: order some delicious Hawkers takeout and they’ll slip in an exclusive Hawkers magnet in the bag.  Snap a creative photo of your magnet, post it on social media and tag @eathawkers with the hashtag #yearofthehawker, and you’ll be entered to win!  Contest ends on October 7, 2018 or while supplies last.

My mom & I and our delicious Hawkers takeout with Hawkers co-owner, Allen Lo!

RESTRICTIONS APPLY
1. (1) magnet per order
2. September 10 through October 7
3. For carryout customers only
4. Does not apply to any 3rd party delivery service orders
5. Contestants must use the event hashtag to be entered to win
6. One Winner will be chosen and notified via social media
7. While supplies last
8. Promotion applies to food and non-alcoholic beverages only
9. (1) $100 gift card per month for 12 consecutive months

For more information and official rules, visit eathawkers.com/contests/

Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Orlando
1103 N Mills Ave Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 237-0606

Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Windemere
9100 Conroy Windermere Road Suite 110 Windermere, FL 34786
(407) 583-6334

Bull & Bear’s Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail – chasseur sauce, potato pave, fresh arugula salad

We were invited to Waldorf Astoria Orlando for a media preview of their 8th Annual Food & Wine Weekends happening every weekend starting September 14, 2018 through November 11, 2018 at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.

The sister hotels are hosting Food & Wine Weekends, a complement to Epcot Food & Wine Festival, to celebrate fine wine & culinary arts designed for those who truly savor the artistry of fine culinary preparations.

Food & Wine Weekends features innovative dishes from their renowned restaurants, unique food and wine pairings, intimate chef talks, and interactive demonstrations.

The Taste of Zeta Asia

Mount Fuji Signature Roll – Crab salad, cucumber, tuna, yellowtail salmon, wasabi mayo, tobiko, micro cilantro

Kanji Signature Roll – Spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, sriracha, micro cilantro

Short Rib Bibimbap – Short rib, fried egg, blanched spinach, namul, Japanese rice, gochujang sauce

The Taste of La Luce

Lasagna Napolinata – Mozzarella di Bufala, tomato, basil

Risotto Duo Di Mare – Shrimp, scallops, saffron, English peas, oven roasted tomato, reggiano gremolata

The Taste of Bull & Bear

Petite Filet of Beef and Stuffed Lobster Tail – chasseur sauce, potato pave, fresh arugula salad

Raspberry mint mocktail

Bar du Chocolat at Peacock Alley, Saturdays 6:30pm-10:30pm – A decadent selection of à la carte chocolate treats hand-crafted by Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s world-class pastry team.  Highlights include chocolate truffles, exotic chocolate cakes and bowls of beautiful bon-bons.

La Pâtisserie: Master Pastry Class at Sir Harry’s, Fridays 4:30-5:30pm – Learn the secrets of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando world-class pastry team as they host a complimentary gourmet baking demonstration. From delicate pastries to the perfect cookie, you’ll learn tips on how to make, bake and decorate the perfect dessert.

Pop Culture at MYTH Bar, Saturdays 8pm-10pm

Home-made, fresh fruit popsicles, creamy organic ice pops and adult poptails!  Choose from a variety of gourmet toppings, including hand-dipped chocolate, caramelized almonds, sweet coconut and chocolate vermicelli.

For more information, please visit WaldorfAstoriaOrlando.com/food-wine and HiltonBonnetCreek.com/food-wine.

(Source: Waldorf Astoria Orlando)

Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-5500

Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
14100 Bonnet Creek Resort Ln, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 597-3600

In honor of National Guacamole Day coming up this Sunday, September 16, I wanted to celebrate this very important food holiday by sharing with you all a DELICIOUS guacamole recipe from Cocina 214, an award-winning Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurant located in Winter Park and now Daytona Beach.

The name Cocina 214 is a combo of the Spanish word for kitchen, “cocina” and the Dallas area code, “214”.  The idea for opening the restaurant developed when two of the owners from Texas missed the Tex-Mex & Mexican food that they had grown up with.  They wanted the same authentic, freshly made quality food in Winter Park so they partnered together to create bold flavors dishes – all served in a vibrant, elegant setting.

Keep scrolling to see how Carmen from Cocina 214 – Winter Park prepares their famous guacamole using simple and fresh ingredients.  Detailed recipe to follow.

Pick 6 ripe avocados

Wash and dry cilantro 

Cut avocado in half and remove the pit

Separate the avocado from the skin using a spoon

Squeeze one fresh lime over the avocados

Add diced tomatos/red onions/jalapeños mixture

Chop then add cilantro

Add black pepper to taste

Add kosher salt to taste

Mash firmly

Fold then serve in a smaller bowl

Cocina 214’s Guacamole
(Serves 8 people)
Amazing, creamy, fresh guacamole, made with simple ingredients.  Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, nut-free recipe.

Ingredients
6 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime juice
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
1.  Scoop the avocados in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.
2.  Add the squeezed lime juice and coat the avocados.
3.  Fold in the remaining ingredients and mash them all together.
4.  Garnish with fresh tortilla chips or skip all the hassle and head over to the closest Cocina 214 nearest you and order some delicious Cocina 214 guac! 🙂


Stop by Cocina 214’s happy hour from 4:00-6:30pm, Monday through Friday for guac, queso blanco, fire-roasted salsa and housemade tortilla chips all for only $5!

Cocina 214 – Winter Park
151 E Welbourne Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 790-7997

Cocina 214 – Daytona Beach
451 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 456-3168

cocina214.com

(Source: Cocina 214)

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Immerse yourself in a world of aroma, taste, sound and texture – all in total darkness!

Featured menu selections from Muddy Waters Orlando, B&A Catering, Oudom Thai & Sushi, Soco Thornton Park & Wildtree.  Guest servers from Orlando Police Department SWAT.

This unique culinary experience is meant to offer a glimpse into the world of vision loss and heighten a sense of empathy toward those who live with blindness or any degree of vision impairment.

Dining in the Dark is a Lighthouse Central Florida original that has grown in scale and popularity since it was first introduced in 2010.

Attendees are treated to a multi-course, gourmet meal prepared by celebrated, local chefs and are served by members of the Orlando police Department’s SWAT team — who navigate the pitch-black room outfitted in night-vision goggles. After dinner the lights slowly come up and diners are encouraged to offer telling, empathetic, testimonials about their experience.

For tickets, please visit the link below:

lighthousecfl.org/DITDtickets

 

(Source: Lighthouse Central Florida)

The official grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony with Guy Fieri, Chef Mickey, and Robert Earl (founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood) at the flagship location of Chicken Guy! yesterday morning at Disney Springs. 

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri and restaurateur Robert Earl’s newest concept, Chicken Guy! is now officially open at Disney Springs!  I was invited by their publicist Maria Wyatt-Uhl to attend their grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday morning to welcome both owners alongside Disney Executives and Mickey Mouse.  The event was open to the public and a big crowd of fans arrived to show their support.  Following the ceremony, Guy Fieri passed out samples of different menu items to the crowd so that they can get a taste of his newest and tastiest creations.

Chicken Guy! is located on the right side of Planet Hollywood in Disney Springs.  They are a fast-casual chain dedicated to serving delicious, succulent chicken tenders paired with a wide variety of flavorful sauces, 22 different dipping sauces to be exact, meant to please all palates and all for a great value.  Every single menu item is under $9.  The chicken tenders are all-natural, antibiotic free, never frozen, hand-pounded to maximize crunch and breaded fresh every day.  The chicken tenders are then soaked in lemon juice, pickle brine and buttermilk, and infused with a house blend of herbs and spices to deliver flavor and texture.

The innovative packaging at Chicken Guy! makes the food portable and easy to carry-out so you can trek around Disney Springs and explore all that it has to offer but you can also take advantage of their indoor/outdoor seating too if you’d like.  The interior of the restaurant is fun and spunky, just like Guy!

This is Guy Fieri and Robert Earl’s first Chicken Guy! location, their flagship location, as they plan on opening more Chicken Guy! restaurants across the country.  Their Las Vegas location is opening soon!

(Source: Chicken Guy)

There are 22 different sauces at Chicken Guy!

So many choices of sauces!

Southwestern Sandwich – Pepper jack, special sauce, avocado crema, cumin lime mojo, charred corn, roasted peppers, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, & crispy tortilla strips

Big Bite B.L. A.T. – Crispy smoked bacon, lettuce, avocado crema, tomatoes & buttermilk ranch

Tasty sides include: Mac Daddy Mac n Cheese & Loaded Fries smothered in SMC (super melty cheese) and topped with chopped grilled chicken, bacon, and green onions.

Flavortown Frozen Treat: Triple Double Mint – Hand-spun mint chocolate soft serve, crushed Oreo© cookies, chocolate mints, chocolate syrup & fresh whipped cream

The Sauce Slinger!

Robert Earl, founder of Planet Hollywood and co-owner of Chicken Guy!

Be sure to check out Chicken Guy! the next time you are at Disney Springs!

Chicken Guy!
1506 E Buena Vista Dr suite a, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(407) 560-8180
chickenguy.com

I was invited to hang out with John Rivers, Founder/CEO 4 R Restaurant Group, at an exclusive grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony for the newest 4 Rivers’ concept – 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck!  Following the ceremony I got to enjoy a taste of the 4R Cantina Barbacoa signature dishes.

The Mexican-inspired eatery offers a variety of new signature dishes, including Taco Cone, Tacos, Burrito Bowl and Nachos filled with choice of meats such as Brisket Barbacoa, Nana’s Pork Sofrito, Chicken Tinga or Grilled Tri-Tip Steak.

Each signature dish can be made vegetarian-friendly using Black Beans and Cilantro Rice as the filling.  The 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck also offers a Squash Blossom Quesadilla as a standout vegetarian option.  Decadent desserts such as Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Nachos are available as well.  Seasonal specials can also be found on the menu.  During September and October, food truck patrons can enjoy the limited-time-only Pumpkin Spice Churro Balls.

The 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck at Disney Springs is the only 4 Rivers location to offer service seven days a week – including Sundays.  Following in the philanthropic footprints of the 4R “Barbecue Ministry,” all net proceeds from sales every Sunday support The 4R Foundation, which in 2017 helped more than 950 local schools, churches and charitable organizations.

4 Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck is located in the Marketplace at Disney Springs, next to Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.

(Source credit: 4 Rivers Smokehouse)

I love a good nacho trio!

Dulce de Leche Churro Balls

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Nachos.  Great dessert!

Squash Blossom Quesadilla – Fresh squash blossom, zucchini, tomato, onion, refried beans, chihuahua cheese, and queso fresco served with a side of pico de Gallo.  It was delicious!

Taco Cone – Choice of Brisket Barbacoa, Chicken Tinga, Nana’s Pork Sofrito, Grilled Tri-Tip Steak, Black Beans and Rice, plus shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, queso, cilantro, jalapeño, and a lime wedge.  I had so much fun eating this!

Chicken Tinga


John Rivers being interviewed by Christina Thomas, voted one of the best bloggers in Orlando!


Congratulations John Rivers and welcome to Disney Springs!!  Be sure to check out the 4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck next time you are at Disney Springs!

4R Cantina Barbacoa Food Truck
Disney Springs, Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830

Fresh and delicious piña colada

We were invited to The Ritz-Carlton for an end of the summer pool bash at Bleu Pool Bar showcasing their new Latin & Caribbean inspired menu.  The food was excellent and the service was phenomenal.  The frozen drinks are always prepared with the freshest ingredients.

BLEU Nachos – Green Chile / Queso Blanco / Jalapeños / Cilantro Crema Guacamole / Pico de Gallo Roasted Salsa



Signature Tacos – Grilled Flour Tortilla / Cilantro Slaw / Roasted Salsa / Crema / Queso Fresco / Pique Verde

Carne Asada – Papaya-Marinated Skirt Steak

Chicken Verde – Roasted Chicken

Crispy Avocado – Tempura-Fried Avocado


BLEU Salad – Mixed Greens / Spiced Tostone / Heirloom Tomatoes / Feta / Crispy Quinoa / Breakfast Radish / Pickled Sweet Onion / Passion Fruit Dressing


Florida Tropical – 
Spinach & Lolla Rossa / Avocado / Mango / Pomegranate / Almonds / Creamy Coconut-Lime Vinaigrette


Conch Fritters – Homemade Jamaican Jerk Aioli


Ceviche – 
Ahi Tuna / Avocado / Mango Salsa / Plantain Chips



Make Your Own Sweet Taco – Assorted Toppings

Tada!!!  What a beautiful ice sculpture!

Be sure to check out the new menu at Bleu the next time you are at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando!

Bleu at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando
4012 Central Florida Parkway Orlando, FL 32837
(407) 206-2400
ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/orlando/dining/bleu

We were invited to the magical Ravello at Four Seasons Orlando for a sneak peek and taste of their Magical Dining Month menu this year.  Our dinner was held in their private demonstration kitchen located in the back of the restaurant and it came complete with our own private chefs and wait staff.  It was truly a wonderful experience to be able to witness and smell all of our meals being cooked right in front of us by their talented and passionate chefs.  The food was outstanding and the wait staff took care of us so well as always.

What is Magical Dining Month?

  • 3 courses – Appetizer, Entrèe, and Dessert
  • Price: $35 per person plus tax & gratuity
  • Over 100 + participating restaurants
  • Beginning August 24 through September 30
  • Through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
    Click here to view menu and make reservations

Fresh dough from Italy

The talented Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi welcoming us to Ravello.

Choice of Appetizer

Frisella | Pappa al Pomodoro | Mozzarella – warm pugliese bread, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella, greens

Chef Riccardo Sala preparing a delicious course for us!

Calamari | Fregola – sauteed calamari, fregola, crunchy zucchini, grape

Choice of Entrèe

Brasato e Polenta – braised beef Piedmont style, Barbera wine sauce, soft polenta

Florida Red Fish | Rapini | Salsa Verde – red fish, bell pepper, broccoli rabe, garlic, salsa verde, potato

Reginette Pasta | Gamberi | Melanzane – shrimp, reginette pasta, eggplant, olives, marjoram, tomato sauce

Choice of Dessert


Torta Della Nonna
– honey, pine nuts, raspberry

Salted Caramel Budino – chocolate, coffee, vanilla cream

Add a Course


Veal -Parmesan-Breadcrumb Crust, Tomato Fonduta

Spaghetti – homemade spaghetti, San Marzano tomato, crunchy basil ($9)

Margherita Pizza – tomato, basil, mozzarella ($16)


Umbria Coffee Tiramisu ($5)

Big thank you and princess kisses to Four Seasons Orlando publicist Dana Berry for the invite & the chefs and wait staff at Ravello for the exceptional meal and service as always!!

Please contact Private Dining Coordinator Robbie Wilcox at (407) 313-6914 if you’d like to reserve the private demonstration kitchen for your next event.

Ravello at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
10100 Dream Tree Blvd Orlando, FL 32836
(407) 313-6161

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