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

32 local brewers came together at the Central Florida Top Brewer Festival on May 17. All of the brewers had to draw four ingredients out of a hat to come up with a beer. They chose a one grain, one hop and two other random ingredients. Each brewer got a chance to show their creativity. Guests were given three beer caps and chose their top three brewers by giving them one of their caps. At the end, the attendees and the judges score come up with an overall score that determines the winning beer. “We quickly determined that we were making a brown ale, more of a dessert style because we wanted to insert some caramel malts in there,” states Josh Greenberg, co-owner of Wolf Branch Brewing. Greenberg goes on to say they partnered with The Glass Knife which is a dessert shop located in Winter Park, Florida.

They wanted to partner with someone in the community who did exceptional dessert pairing. The Glass Knifes’ Executive Chef, Stuart Whitfield, decided to put together a small tart dessert. The center of the tart contained lemon boysenberry cream.

The winner of the competition was Intracoastal Brewing Company. Their competing beer was called “Rip Current”. It contained biscuit, comet, elderberries and oak chips. According to Intracoastal, their beer was “brewed with lactose then fermented on huge amounts of black currants and elderberries with a touch of vanilla beans and American oak chips”. Rip Current was actually my favorite beer out of all the ones I tasted. Its unique red color led into an almost sour taste which worked well for this beer.

“We definitely wanna continue this festival. We wanted to collab with bloggers, restaurants… just any local business that’s gonna be able to be highlighted for the creativity and awesomeness,” said Oscar Bowen, co-founder of the Central Florida Top Brewer Beer Festival.

Sharing some of the other beers I tasted…here is the “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” by Bowigens Beer Company. The ingredients are, (as stated by Bowigens), “red x, cascade- cryo hop, tomato, dandelion root”. The style is Bloody Mary Gose.

Here is the “Candyman, Candyman, Candyman” by Deadly Sins Brewing. According to Deadly Sins, their ingredients are “Munich, Newport, jellybeans and limes.

Here is the “Peep This MF!” by Hood’s Up Brewery. They state their ingredients to be, “flaked wheat, centennial, watermelon and marshmallow peeps”.

Bowen says they would like to have at least 80 vendors at the next festival. He would also like to make it an annual fest. 

I’m worried about my husband. A couple weeks ago, he ate at a vegan restaurant…and liked it. Last week, he made a sandwich with vegan cheese and vegan mayonnaise. But, it wasn’t until he came home with vegan bacon from Publix, that I knew he had truly gone to the dark side. This may not seem suspicious to most, but this is coming from a man who rolls his eyes when I suggest humus as an appetizer, and who proudly wears a t-shirt with the phrase Part Wolf embroidered on the front. So, twenty questions later, the five stages of grief behind me, I now accept the fact that my husband isn’t a complete traitor, he just simply likes eating vegan (on occasion). Hey, I can be vegan too (on occasion), and after eating at Dixie Dharma and Valhalla Bakery, I can eat vegan AND love it!

Dixie Dharma and Valhalla Bakery are both located inside Market on South in Downtown Orlando on South Street. I had the pleasure of trying Dixie Dharma’s Beet Tartare during the Beard in Baldwin event a few weeks ago, and I immediately knew I would visit the establishment soon (don’t tell my husband). To my over-joyed surprise, upon entering Market on South, I also found Valhalla Bakery (I stalk their donuts on Instagram). My vegan dreams came true: dinner and dessert! Now, this was by far not a date night. In a moment of sheer insanity, my husband and I decided to go as a family of four. Our ten-year-old son is an adventurous eater, but our seven-year-old daughter is not. Our chances of a happy dinner is always 50/50. Thankfully, Market on South is a kid-friendly environment with inside and outside seating, and tons of local craft beer and wine to choose from. Which is exactly what we ordered first: Quantum Leap Winery Kaley’s Rescue Red and Quantum Leap Winery Garda White. Both drinks were the rescue we needed. The red and the white are smooth and easy on the palate, with no bitter aftertaste. Thank you, Market on South, for a heavy pour (see…kid-friendly).

Quantum Leap Winery Garda White, Quantum Leap Winery Kaley’s Rescue Red

While we sipped on wine and the kids drank their Martinelli’s Gold Medal Apple Juice in the old-school glass bottle (the kids loved this), we decided on dinner. Thankfully, Dixie Dharma offers vegan hotdogs. A perfect choice for my picky-eater! But, will she be fooled…stay tuned. My son, a huge lover of chili, cheese dogs, ordered the HillBilly Chili Dawgs. My husband (#1 healthy eater) ordered four Nopales Tacos, and I ordered the Florida Fried Green Tomato (the secret’s in the sauce…get it?). Our meals would not be complete without sides. Dixie Dharma offers three different versions of mac and cheese: original, garlic, and buffalo. We decided on the original and buffalo, plus a side of Crispy Brussels and Cheesy Homies. Don’t forget: everything you are about to see is 100% vegan.

HillBilly Chili Dawgs with Cheesy Homies
Nopales Tacos
Florida Fried Green Tomato with Crispy Brussels and Original Mac and Cheese
Buffalo Mac and Cheese

My son’s chili dogs (of course I had a taste), were no ordinary hotdogs. Two vegan, not-dogs in pretzel buns, covered in house-made, Indian-spiced, chili and cheese sauce, with blackened onion and scallions. The chili alone was amazing! It was spicy but also sweet, and I loved the texture of the hearty beans. After two chili dogs, my son tapped-out (a win for my husband and I), and we finished off his side of Cheesy Homies. I need a bigger plate of these. Imagine a bowl of mini baked potatoes covered in cheese…and then imagine yourself smiling.

Tacos with jackfruit and cactus…any takers? I know that sounds crazy, but, it’s truly delicious, and it completely satisfied my need for meat. My taste buds were fooled! The Nopales Tacos are made with jackfruit carnitas, smoked Nopales cactus, blackened onions and corn, chili lime aioli, and pickled radish on a grilled corn shell. I love tacos: steak, chicken, fish, and now…jackfruit and cactus! I am simply amazed by the taste of these tacos. The jackfruit and cactus is tenderly cooked and shredded, creating a perfect bed for the crunchy pickled radish and tangy aioli. These are no dainty tacos, they are filling. We mistakenly ordered more than we had room for…but guess who is having them for lunch tomorrow…me (I bet you guessed my husband).

Finally, on to my dish: the Florida Fried Green Tomato. A delicious sandwich of Texas toast, thick-sliced green tomato, breaded, and deep-fried, with smoked, eggplant remoulade, toped with garlicky kale and the house chow-chow. Crunchy and tender at the same time. The tomato is sweet and lightly breaded, giving it an airy feeling instead of the greasy, fried food effect. My husband liked this sandwich so much, he finished one of my halves (and that’s why I’m eating his leftover tacos). My side of mac and cheese, made with creamy cashew, was silky and velvety, cheesy-perfection, with a crunchy, bread crumb topping. The Buffalo Mac and Cheese was just as good as the original, but with a spicy kick from the buffalo sauce. The Crispy Brussels were also outstanding! Charred in all the right places, mush-free (is that a word), without the bitter aftertaste some brussels sprouts dishes can have. Honestly, I know brussels sprouts get a bum rap, but Dixie Dharma does them proud.  So, did we enjoy our dinner? Was my daughter fooled by her vegan hotdog? What do you think:

Dinner is Done

Obviously, we loved our dinner at Dixie Dharma, and we will return, more than just occasionally. Dinner is done, but there is always room for dessert! My son, who couldn’t eat another bite, mysteriously had room for a S’mores Bar, while the rest of us shared Coconut Cream Pie and a Sprinkled Vanilla Cupcake. All egg free, dairy free, and vegan (not gluten free…that’s a whole other conversation). Thank you, Valhalla Bakery, for these fantastic goodies! I was shocked by the amount of sweets to choose from: cookies, brownies, blondies, doughnuts, pies, cakes, cupcakes, you name it!

Valhalla Bakery – Take Your Pick!
Coconut Cream Pie
S’mores Bar and Sprinkle Vanilla Cupcake

My poor son, we all had a couple bites of his S’mores Bar, which was chocolatey, chewy goodness. The Coconut Cream Pie was luscious and rich, and refreshingly not too sweet. Our Sprinkle Vanilla Cupcake had the perfect amount of thick, vanilla frosting, to match the spongey, vanilla cake. It had the ideal frosting to cake ratio. By the way, when it comes to sweets, my daughter is adventurous (she tried all three desserts without being asked, and loved them all).

No, I’m not a true vegan (neither is my husband, don’t let him fool you), but I am a fan of creative and tasty dishes…which Dixie Dharma and Valhalla Bakery have mastered with their vegan fare. Therefore, I am a huge fan of Market on South, and I am greatly looking forward to my next meal there (sans kids).


Dixie Dharma

Valhalla Bakery

Quantum Leap Winery

Market On South


Recognized as the region’s premier food and wine pairing event, the 26th Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala at Walt Disney World Resort featured unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by 23 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines.  The evening also included a sparking wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips. 

This year they served over 460,000 individuals and raised a record-breaking $300,000+ towards the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida.  95 cents of every dollar raised is invested back into the community to fund critical programs.

Chef’s Gala – what a tasteful way to make a difference in the world!

All beverages were generously donated.

All silent auction items were generously donated.

Live performance by an amazing band

Flying Fish – Disney’s BoardWalk: Chef LT Majoras
Cool Water Lobster and Slow Poached Shrimp, Spring Melon, Hearts of Palm, Shaved Serrano and Cava Vinaigrette

SLATE: Chef Jacob Woolf
Smoked Brisket, Jalapeño Creamed Corn, Charred Scallion Vinaigrette and Annatto Oil

Artist Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Chef Michael Gonsalves
Sweet Maiz Soup – Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Spring Radish, Ramp Mole, Greens

Urban Tide – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Chef Jared Gross
Plantain-Crusted Atlantic Cod, Roasted Red Beet and Crème Fraiche Mash, Kumquat Mostarda

Todd English’s bluezoo – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort: Chef Jason Wiggin
Crispy Puffed Rice Shrimp, Wasabi Pommes Puree, Sweet Thai Chili

Shutters – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Chef Mark Donovan
Caribbean Goat Curry with Fragrant Island Rice and Cilantro-Lime Crema

Hemisphere – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Jeffrey Powell
Chilled California-Style White Fish Ceviche with House Fried Corn Chips

Ale & Compass Restaurant – Disney’s  Beach Club Resort: Chef David Hutnick
Slow Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Bacon Jam, Vermont Cheddar Grits, Barbecue Gastrique and Herb Salad

The Turf Club Bar and Grill – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Chef Dan Marozzi
Pan Seared Salmon Slider – Seared Ora King Salmon, Horseradish Pickled Cucumber Slaw, on a Dill Gougère

blu on the avenue: Chef Tony Krueger
Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon, Dukkah Drop Biscuit, Bacon, Pickled Serrano, Aged Maple Syrup, Flowers

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs: Chef Yuhi Fujinaga
Foie “PHO”, Kona Kanpachi, Shiso

Latitude and Longitude – Orlando World Center Marriott: Chef Kyle Anderson
Low-Country Perloo Carolina Gold Rice, Chicken Thighs, Andouille Sausage, Florida Rock Shrimp

The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Chef Craig Schleider
Spicy Togarashi – Crusted Ahi Tuna, House-Made Kimchi, Bamboo Rice and Ginger-Soy Glaze

STK Orlando – Disney Springs: Chef Aaron Taylor
Goat’s Milk Ricotta with Crushed Peas, Mint and Charred Spring Onion

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Isitambu – Zulu-Style Samp, Beans with Oxtail and Quail Egg

Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Chef Robby Sayles
Blanquette de Veau, Crispy Sweetbreads, Forest Mushroom Ragout and Charred Pearl Onion

Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot®: Chef Kevin Downing
Lamb Loin, Confit Marble Potatoes, Spring Vegetable Vinaigrette and Pinot Noir Syrup

Primo by Melissa Kelly – J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Chef Eric Santiago
House-Made Casarecche Pasta, Lake Meadows Duck Confit, Local Mushrooms, Ramp Pesto and Shaved Pecorino

Bull & Bear – Waldorf Astoria Orlando: Chef Richard Brown
Seared Shrimp Scampi with Pinot Grigio Butter, Black Venus Rice Risotto and Parmesan Cheese

Cinderella’s Royal Table – MAGIC KINGDOM Park: Chef Axel Martinez
Blood Orange Braised Beef Short Rib, Melted Leek and Kohlrabi Puree and Sweetie Drop Peppers

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company: Roast Master Chris DeMezzo
Made-to-Order Specialty Coffees

Amorette’s Patisserie – Disney Springs: Pastry Chef Yoly Lazo Colon
Amorette’s Petite Signature Cake – Chocolate Chiffon, Raspberry Pate Fruit, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Biscuit, Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mousse

Gideon’s Bakehouse: Owner Steve Lewis and Chef Nicole Beebe
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie and Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie

Epcot® Bakery Team: Pastry Chef Noah French
Meyer Lemon Tart with Mandarin Orange Jam

Beautiful and breathtaking fireworks are the perfect way to end an amazing night.  Be sure to check out this amazing event next year!

(Source credit: Chef’s Gala)

Chef’s Gala – Epcot Showplace
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277

Second Course: Black sesame and vanilla cake with amaretto infused ganache (moist & delicious, my favorite!)

Have you heard of the new vegan bakery CayCakes Bakery?  They’ve only been open for half a year and are quickly becoming one of Orlando’s popular vegan bakeries.  Superstar soccer player Alex Morgan recently tweeted that CayCakes Bakery is one of her favorite spots in Orlando for vegan food.

We were invited to their inaugural “Last Course Dinner” this past weekend and we really impressed with their vegan desserts and their venue at Lake Eola Heights was perfection.

The First Course:  Crème Pâtissière with sou vide pineapple infused with vanilla and star anise

Third Course:  Activated charcoal chocolate cake topped with powdered matcha and lavender

Last Course: Grilled oats with macadamia nuts and agave topped with a grilled peach drizzled with olive oil and star anise, vanilla and cinnamon infused oatmilk ice cream

Co-owner of CayCakes Bakery, Cayden Fielder

Be sure to follow them on IG at @LastCourseOrlando for more information and tickets to their upcoming dessert dinners!

Happy 2018, Food Friends!

Can we all agree that glitter and unicorn desserts are so 2017? Well maybe not, but a girl can dream.

I caught up with some of Orlando’s coolest chefs to find out what they see coming to a table near you in 2018, and here’s what they had to say.

The Verdict:

  • Crazy desserts are out; smaller, savory sweets are in
  • Asian eats are here to stay
  • RIP to unnecessary gluten-free dishes
  • Say hello to veg cuisine, it’s here and it’s not playing

HAWKERS Asian Street Fare – Kaleb Harrell 

“Ethnic desserts – We are revamping our entire dessert line because we feel customers are ready. Desserts that have a savory edge, are fruit-based, or just have ingredients outside of mainstream will gain popularity as the size of desserts decreases. Today’s customer would rather have a few bites of something amazing to end their meal than a bowl of corn syrup.

Savory cocktails – This one has been on the fringe for a while, but I think 2018 is the year for savory cocktails to take hold.  Think meat stocks, dry rub ingredients, and vegetable instead of fruit juices. 

Fast and fresh – This is the mecca for market share in lunch business.  A few companies are doing well and expanding quickly, but it’s a race to see who keeps consistency. Virtually every diner is looking for a fast, and ultra fresh lunch option. How many days can you eat a Chick-fil-A salad for lunch?

Vinegars and sours – Fermented flavors are gaining more popularity and will continue in the next year. Look for pickling, fermenting, gourmet mustards, and generally bold flavors in small quantities to continue.  Cheese and charcuterie are amazing, but the accoutrements are starting to take center stage.”

Black Rooster Taqueria – John Calloway

“I think we will see a lot of cauliflower. Gluten-free has reached its peak, so we will see more artisan and/or rustic breads and people milling their own flours.

Mexican will still be everywhere, but I believe Indian food is the next big cuisine.

Food as medicine will also be a big focus. From all of the juice bars to doctors and nutritionists prescribing specific foods and diets, we’ll be getting back to our roots with the earth healing our bodies.”

K Restaurant – Michelle Hulbert

“I think there will continue to be interest smaller desserts – that are portion-control friendly. Over-the-top, gigantic desserts will be a thing of the past. The healthier sides of sweets will include more seasonal fruits.  I think in general we will see a larger focus on vegetables as the star and less starch-heavy dishes.”

K Restaurant –  Ryan McLaughlin

“I think in 2018 we will see a continued movement toward more vegetable-forward dishes, a dedicated focus on limiting food waste, and an even stronger movement within the chef community to support small, sustainable farms that are focused on the ethical treatment of animals.”

Tapa Toro – Wendy Lopez 

“I see familiar foods becoming more prominent on menus at restaurants. Think pork rinds and hot dogs. They will be reimagined with new ingredients and presentations.

I think we’ll start to see lesser-known cuts of meat appear on menus around town – like Vegas strip and Oyster steak. We’ll start to see more family-style dining options at restaurants. At Tapa Toro, we see groups of people passing plates around the table. Why commit to one entree when you could try a little bit of everything?”

Pizza Bruno – Bruno Zacchini

“I’ll start with pizza! For me, I see Neapolitan pizza still going strong but new styles and types will become the next thing from Detroit squares to Roman thin crusts and artisan slice pies with farm-to-table ingredients. Pizza has so many styles most people have never seen so it’s really wide open.

Overall fast casual is going to keep happening and moving forward with counter service places and places focusing on singular dishes done extremely well.  Flavors for me are Middle Eastern, more regional Asian (think Bangrak), and Italian, of course! I also think that in 2018 we’ll continue to see veg-centric cuisine making its way onto more menus.”

Valhalla Bakery + Valkyrie Doughnuts – Celine Duvoisin 

“I see a bubble bursting of the stuff on stuff on stuff on stuff. (Not that I’m not going to do excessive shit until it dies.)

I think that more Asian popularity will happen, I foresee a rise in proper ramen coming to town and possibly Asian desserts. We’ve hit this wall of sugar hell, with no one hitting the less sweet almost savory desserts.

Hopefully an end to the gluten-free obsession.

My fingers are crossed for more Mediterranean-type places that focus on macro-based foods as fuel instead of insanely over designed places that don’t have the food to seal the deal.”

Is this roundup missing something, or are you seeing a trend worth sharing? Comment below and cheers to new year!

Snack on,
Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!


With the recent addition of The Gourmet Muffin to the four other bake shops in our Audubon Park Garden District, at the intersection of Corrine Dr and Winter Park Rd, we’ve reached a critical mass – and the time has come for us at Tasty Chomps to officially call the area our “Orlando Bakery District”.

It’s all arbitrary and very unscientific, but this corner of Orlando now has the highest concentration of bakeshops featuring pastries and other baked goods in our region.

So throw your carb and calorie counter out the window, here is:

A Guide to Orlando’s Bakery District:

Olde Hearth Bread Company

Address: 3201 Corrine Dr – East End Market Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 622-0822

From croissants to peanut butter cream cookies, you can find the retail arm of the Olde Hearth inside East End Market. The veritable mother of fine artisan baking in Orlando, Olde Hearth Bread Company was founded in Orlando in 1988 by culinary artisans Shannon Talty and Janice Talty, each with classical training in some of our nation’s most acclaimed bakeries.

Their original vision was to “establish a retail and wholesale business offering high quality artisan breads and pastries.” Unbleached and unbromated flours and preservative-free ingredients are essential to their baking process. Minimal automation and a commitment to old-world “hand-made” processing ensures their breads are pure and flavorful.

Blue Bird Bake Shop

3122 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 228-3822

Specializing in cupcakes, Blue Bird Bake Shop features flavors from Red Velvet to Sweet Cakes, Ch-chocolate to Peanut Butter & Jelly, rotating on a daily basis.

They bake everything from scratch daily, and also offer brownies, cookies, scones, muffins and other bakery fare.

P is for Pie Bake Shop

Address: 2806 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 745-4743

P is for Pie Bake Shop specializes in artisan pies, pie pops, & desserts. Everything is scratch baked fresh by hand.

Everything is made from scratch, by hand, incorporating natural, seasonal and local ingredients to every extent possible.

Whole and small pies are available on a first come first serve basis on Fridays and Saturdays. Order your pies aheaed though to be sure at least 24 hours for sweet pies and at least 48 hours for savory pies.

Gideon’s Bakehouse

3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

This relatively new gothic/Victorian themed cookie shop inside the East End Market has been lighting up Instagram feeds everywhere with their wild chocolate chip cookies. Cookies are a must, but they also serve up cakes, pies, and dessert coffee. Get there early cause they sell out.

The Gourmet Muffin

Address: 2909 Corrine Dr Suite B, Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 751-4134

Owner-Chef Catherine Hilgerson hails from New Orleans, baking in some of the finest bakeries in that region. She carries her muffin creations throughout Central Florida, as far as Gainesville at local farmer’s markets. But now, she has found a home in the Orlando Bakery District (officially the Audubon Park Garden District), selling also Italian cookies and specialty coffees.

Muffin flavors range from banana and chocolate chip to raspberry and more. My favorites are the “cruffins”, croissant-muffin hybrids, sometimes filled with cannoli cream, other times filled with strawberry mascarpone depending on the day and new ones are always rolling out.

Churro Bread Pudding by Tapa Toro

Hi, food friends! Did you know that in August 2016, 7.1 trillion gallons of water fell during the Louisiana floods? Lives were lost, and more 140,000 homes were destroyed. I was deeply impacted and decided to create Good Through Food, a new Orlando-based organization that strives to make lives better through food-related efforts. This past Monday, we launched the first initiative to help called Project 001. Louisiana, which includes local restaurants creating and selling Louisiana-inspired dishes and desserts to help raise funds for those in need.

From October 24  through October 31, local restaurants are selling a Louisiana-inspired dish to help raise funds for the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, a Louisiana-based charity that seeks to assist South Louisiana residents, which make up the majority of the 30,000 people that were displaced from their homes because of the floods, only to return to neighborhoods they couldn’t recognize. Chefs and restaurants will donate 25, 50 or 100 percent of proceeds to the charity.

5 Participating Restaurants: (Eat one dish or eat them all to give back):


1. Tapa Toro: Churro Bread Pudding

2. Taverna Opa: Loukomades (Greek Beignets) — check out how to make them here!

Audubon District

3. P is for Pie: P is for Pecan Caramel Hand Pie + Coffee

Historic Longwood 

4. Collette’s Clean Eats: Shrimp, Blue Crab & Turkey Sausage Gumbo with Organic Brown Rice

Mills 50 District 

5. Black Rooster Taqueria: NOLA Pork Belly Taco

Please share your dishes on Instagram using the hashtag #GoodThroughFood. For more information, visit Restaurants can still sign up, so spread the word.

Connect on social media on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the video below to learn more.

Thank you so very much for your support, it means everything!

Let’s do good together…

Snack on,
Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!

Shareable Images for Social:do-good eat-and-give join-us lets-do-good


Assortment from DG Doughnuts
Assortment from DG Doughnuts

Oh, doughnut. How I love thee. You see, my love for this oh-so-sweet snack is pretty deep.

Every day seems to be a food holiday, but today happens to be a bit near and dear to my belly.

It’s National Doughnut Day, people!

To set the mood for this writing session, I warmed up a glazed doughnut from DG Doughnuts, and I must say it was definitely good.

unnamed (9)
Major at Little Blue Donut Truck

Who knew these fried pieces of goodness had so much history? Dating back to the 1800s, doughnuts can be found around the globe in various countries from Israel to Finland.

Round, square, long, glazed, sprinkles, stuffed, plain— they really do come in all shapes and sizes.

Here in Central Florida, local bakeries are getting onboard with what food enthusiasts are craving and dishing out some unique sweets. Now I know that I didn’t include every shop. I’ve only included the ones I’ve visited, so please comment with your favorite spot.

If You Doughnut Know, Now You Know

Before you head to your favorite bakeshop, check out this handy guide below.


Where To Get Your Fix

IMG_9695 (1)
Oreo doughnut from Donuts To Go

Around Town

Mint Chocolate Chunk and Rosemary’s Berry doughnuts from Valhalla Bakery

Vegan Goodness 

Delivery Only 

I’m off to the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival tonight, where I’ll be double-fisting Revolution Doughnuts! Follow me on Instagram at @MajorCreates with the hashtag #MajorTravels.

Snack on,

Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!



Well, hello!

I’m Major,’s newest contributing food writer. To kicks things off, I’ve conducted a Q&A with myself (we all talk to ourselves, right?).

My stories will include everything from chef interviews, recipe features and industry news to kitchen gadgets, healthy eats, foodie fashion and even workout tips to keep the pounds off!

Check back for stories and send suggestions! And, if you catch me cruisin’ down Orlando Avenue sipping cold brew blasting NPR, holla at me!

Q: When did you fall in love with food? 

A: October 4, 2006 was the day that my love affair with food began. It all started with a sweet introduction to Blue Bird Bake Shop’s Downside Up cupcake.

Q: Where are you from and what do you do? 

A: I’m a New York native turned avid Orlandoan. By day, I’m publicist at a super cool PR/creative agency in downtown Orlando, and at night, I’m fighting the good fight against boring snacks as a foodpreneur with Project Pop, my organic kettle corn company.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with top chefs and restaurants throughout the country, so I know my way around the kitchen. I am also obsessed with fitness, so check out my Instagram to follow my gym chronicles!

Q: What are you currently drinking? 

A: My everyday, fail-proof drink is Dandelion Communitea Cafe’s iced coffee with plain soy milk and one pump of agave. Go in, and tell them Major sent you. You will not regret it! I also just purchased a great bag of beans from Lucky Goat Coffee Co. in Tallahassee. It’s pretty amazing.

Coffee Shop

Q: What is always in your fridge?

A: Homemade cold brew, coconut water and at least three different types of organic greens

Q: Where do you shop for groceries? 

A: You can find me on Saturday mornings at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, or shamelessly running around Trader Joe’s, while juggling 15 items in my hands.


Q: What’s your earliest memory of food? 

A: My dad would sit me down for hours on Saturday mornings to sip water straight from fresh coconuts, while he watched karate movies. I have my dad to thank for my obsession with all things coconut.

Q: Current obsessions? 

A: Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar’s Vegan Tuna Melt,  Ashley Brooke Design tumblers, Bearded Brothers’ organic energy bars and Orlando-themed tanks from Go Big Tees.

Q: Where can we follow you on Instagram? 

A: @Majorcreates + @EatProjectPop

Snack on,
Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!


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Sugarbuzz Dezert Company is a new and upcoming bakery known for their delicious desserts, especially their cookies and pies. Ron James, the founder and owner, attended the San Francisco Baking Institute before starting his business while working full-time at another job. Ron invited us into his bakery and we were more than happy to take a little tour of their bakery, hear about the history and the making as well as photograph some delicious treats. Our visit consisted of a pleasant conversation and desserts with flavors that lived up to their beautiful presentation.


They are known for their pies and cookies, but they also sell cupcakes and slices or whole cheesecake and cakes. All of Ron’s desserts are made from scratch – including the delicious caramel for the cookies you’ll soon see below.


The Peanut Butter Pie is absolutely creamy in every bite in contrast to its chocolate crust and dark chocolate sauce on top. Alone, this reminds you of chocolate peanut butter cup candies, but whipped cream and shaved chocolate peanut butter candy bar is actually added to amplify the heavenly taste.


The Key Lime Pie is a classic charmer that is tasteful for a hot summer day. It’s a sweet and tart dessert due to its fresh squeezed key lime juice.


The Chocolate Cream Pie is perfect for any chocolate lover because it has dark chocolate filling on a chocolate sandwich cookie crust (before topped with whipped cream).


The Chocolate Cheesecake is an alternate to the Chocolate Cream Pie and it has gluten free options available. It’s also made with deliciously rich dark chocolate and a chocolate cookie crust. This is one of my favorites because I love creamy dark chocolate and have been looking for a nice chocolate cheesecake to savor.


At Sugarbuzz Dezert Company, a variety of cookies are created including the Snickerdoodle above and the cookie below with pecans, caramel and sea salt, which contains the caramel Ron made from scratch.




Sugarbuzz Dezert Company is found in a little nook next to a nail salon.


  • 4339 Edgewater Drive, Orlando, FL 32804


  • Tuesday-Friday 10:30am-6pm
  • Saturday: 10:30am-5pm

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In 2008, Gigi Butler founded Gigi’s Cupcakes after her brother suggested she do so in Nashville with her delicious cupcakes. Although she struggled in the beginning, it is now a dream come true. We were invited, happily, to attend a tasting event at the Gigi’s Cupcakes located in Orlando, FL.


Gigi’s Cupcakes have their own bakers and decorators at least location every day to customize each cupcake however you wish. For instance, you could have a single layer of icing in a rose pattern, two layers or three. Gigi’s Cupcakes is known for their three layers of icing as well as their gluten cupcakes that are as delicious as “regular cupcakes”. The new Gluten Free cupcakes offered every day means there are at least 3 flavors offered each day rotating in and out. The cupcakes can come in sizes from mini to large. Not only do they sell cupcakes, but also cookies, cakes, cheesecakes, candles, lip balm, aprons, mugs, etc.


Gigi’s Cupcakes switches up their cupcakes everyday, but do have some that are consistent throughout the week. If you read the pamphlet about the cupcakes, you’ll see how the descriptions there are very similar to my descriptions. That is because their descriptions are on point to what I experienced and was cute to see how similar it is after I’ve written down my own descriptions!


The Lemon Dream Supreme is sweet, moist and soft with a hint of lemon. Neither sweetness nor the lemon flavor overpowers your taste buds. Prepare yourself before taking a bite because you’ll feel like you’re floating in mid air with lemon cupcakes dancing all around you. It’s a dream come true when it comes to lemon and cupcakes.


In the description on the menu for Miss Princess, it says this is made with fresh strawberries. The menu does not lie to you, as you can taste how delectable it is. You also get a creamy frosting and a fondant crown on top. This is a favorite for the little kids to believe their little princes and princesses.

Even though I don’t fancy this combination, the Chocolate Salted Caramel (not photographed individually) has a luscious taste in each chew. Once you’re done, all of the flavors linger in your mouth and makes you want another bite because it messes the tastes of saltiness and sweetness really well.


The Midnight Magic cupcake is crispy on the outside and moist as ever on the inside. Each taste of the frosting gives a hint of semi-sweet chocolate fresh to the mouth as if you took a sip of cold chocolate milk, which is a nice touch.


The Wedding Cake cupcake has a very light taste. I think the one I tried was drier than other cupcakes, but the core is still moist as promised. This is vanilla cupcake with nothing really exciting. It is great if you’d like a simple cupcake for the day.

The Triple Chocolate Torte (not photographed individually) is one of my favorites because it has rich, dark chocolate with a fudge brownie texture for each bite I took. It is also gluten free (flourless). Although you’re eating a cupcake, you don’t have to feel too guilty because it’s made of dark chocolate, which is good for your health.


In the Strawberry Shortcake cupcake, I found bits and pieces of fresh strawberries inside the cupcakes. This is so precious and delicious! I recommend buying this for yourself and your kids.


The Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cheesecake is so creamy. There isn’t an overpowering taste of cheesecake like what you may have experienced from other cheesecakes outside of Gigi’s Cupcakes. These are small, cute and a nice portion size although they are a bit dense.


Have a preview of the other cheesecakes offered at Gigi’s Cupcakes from Turtle and Classic Cherry to Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

Gigi’s Cupcakes will be on Undercover Boss on CBS Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 8pm EST. This episode will showcase employee interviews, photos, promotions and special offers on Gigi’s products.

For more inquiries of cupcake flavors, please visit the online site for Gigi’s Cupcakes here:

For Valentine’s Day, Gigi’s Cupcakes offers a special menu for all to order gifts for that special someone. Please see the site for more details and all the options. Gigi’s Valentines Special Menu will be available Friday, February 13 – Sunday, February 15, 2015; however, pre-orders are recommended.

Gigi's Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

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The sweet smell of gingerbread is in the air…and Blue Bird Bake Shop has added new holiday flavors to celebrate the season!

Nestled in the Audubon Park Garden District is a chic bakeshop offering a variety of sweets made from scratch and in small batches daily. Blue Bird Bake Shop charms the community with their delectable cupcakes, specialty coffee drinks, and other sweet treats.

Blue Bird Bake Shop has added six seasonal favorites to its daily cupcake flavor rotation, along with baked treats like “Not your Grandmother’s Fruitcake” scones, Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies, Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies, Mini Apple Cranberry Pies, and Chocolate Chunk Cherry Cookies.

Holiday Cupcake Flavors include:

Tip: Every first Friday of the month is Cupcake Happy Hour from 5pm – 7pm. All cupcakes are just $2.00!

Peppermint Bark // Chocolate cake studded with chocolate chips topped with peppermint buttercream icing and finished with chocolate curls and crushed candy cane
Chocolate Rum Ball // Chocolate cake with chocolate chips with a drizzle of golden rum, and topped with chocolate rum buttercream, then rolled in chocolate jimmies
Gingerbread // Gingerbread cake with cream cheese icing topped with slices of candied ginger
It was so good I had to take capture another picture – I love gingerbread anything!
Gingerbread Cupcakes
Chocolate Rumball + Peppermint Bark Cupcakes
Strawberry + Chocolate Cupcakes
Downside UP + Upside Down Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie + Apple Cranberry Pie
Whoopie Pie



The holiday cupcakes were perfection and paired well with a cup of Top Hat Holiday Roast. My favorite was the Gingerbread cupcake – which I wish I could eat every day! Of course I will stay loyal to the cupcake flavor that made me fall in love with this bakery in the first place ~ the Neapolitan.

Neapolitan Cupcake // Layered chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cupcake iced with strawberry buttercream

Blue Bird Bake Shop
3122 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 228-3822

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Off of Park Avenue on Morse Blvd, Croissant Gourmet, run by French Pastry Chef Francois Cahange, is one of the many joys that I think of when wandering around Winter Park’s popular shopping and restaurant area.

In addition to some of the best French pastries in town, also serves up some very delectable sandwiches, quiche, crepes, and salads for lunch.

Two display cases hold the wonders of Croissant Gourmet: fruit tarts topped with raspberries and blueberries, éclairs, Napoleons, assorted croissants, apple turnovers, macarons, and many more all made fresh and locally.


The beautiful pastry cases
The beautiful pastry cases
Jalousy pastry
Jalousy pastry
Almond Croissants
Almond Croissants



Plain croissants
Plain croissants




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Boardwalk Bakery at Disney’s Boardwalk was recently renovated and expanded, allowing for a greater selection of baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches to a selection of beverages, both hot and cold. The setting is like what you’d find maybe at a 1920’s bakery shop along New Jersey’s Boardwalk area with checkered floors and capped attendants.

Some of their sandwich offerings include the Maine Lobster Roll, roast beef, oak grilled salmon, and pork loin while their baked goods run the gamut from apple tart to fruit tarts, cupcakes, napoleons, croissants and danishes.




Maine Lobster Roll – with Buttered Chive Mayo, on a Split Top Roll with choice of Cucumber Salad or Chips $16.29



BoardWalk Bakery on Urbanspoon

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One of my favorite bakeries in town, Iced Bakery, recently found out they have made finalist status in the food category in Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards,  the only bakery in central Florida nominated and presented with finalist status.

I am so very excited for them in the competition!


Martha Stewart’s American Made honors makers, small-business owners, and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style. American Made Award finalists were chosen from more than 3,000 nominees.

Following their nomination into the awards on September 29, 2104, a panel of judges from Martha Stewart Living magazine selected finalists in the food category.  Judges include Thomas Joseph, Director of Food Product Development, Sarah Carey, Food Editor at Large, Lucinda Scala Quinn, Food Executive Editorial Editor & Jennifer Aaronson, Food Editorial Editor.

Martha Stewart presides as head judge.

Iced Bakery was founded in 2010 by  foodpreneurs Marc Adams & Rod Gambassi.  Modernizing family recipes led to the creation of Iced Bakery’s extensive sweet and savory menu including award winning cakes.

Voting for the final awards begins Sept 15 and ends on Oct 3

Iced Bakery’s baked goods can be found on the company website and at restaurants/coffee shops throughout central Florida.  Wedding & celebration food service is available from Jacksonville to Tampa to Miami.

Iced Bakery Fixed Tarts
Iced Bakery Fixed Tarts
Marc Adams & Rod Gambassi of ICED Bakery
Marc Adams & Rod Gambassi of ICED Bakery


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When I first heard about a pie shop opening in Audubon Park, I instantly thought of “Pushing Daisies,” an amazing series that used to air on ABC about a Pie maker who had the ability to resurrect the dead. In this series, the pie maker was able to touch wilted or not so alive produce and bring it back to life with full flavor, making his pies the best in town! There is also a huge thing about resurrecting dead people and not being able to kiss the love of his life but we won’t get into that.


Pushing Daisies, a cancelled television show that once appeared on ABC

This beautiful Pie shop is located down the road from the beautiful East End Market and is home to an extraordinary array of bath-bomb sized pies and more. Before you go, please call to make sure they are open as the shop closes its doors once it sells out of products, which seems to happen according to the owner, Tara Gould.

Her pies are as beautiful as the shop, which is accented with varying shades of wood surfaces and dim lighting through what looks like mason jar bulbs.

The sun shines through just enough to illuminate the faces of happy employees showing off pie to excited customers.

I wouldn’t really consider this a spot to work and lounge. This is more of a “Devour pie with friends and leave without any kind of judgement” kind of place, and be prepared to pay between $3 – 5 for a single serving. The pie makers here are committed to creating miniature artisan treats with fresh and local ingredients.

I asked Tara why she decided to open this Pie shop and her response was “I didn’t want to regret it when I was in my sixties.”

After chatting with Tara for a few minutes, I found out that she possessed true passion about her products. She used to bake pies when she was in college. Unlike other girls her age, she was busy creating tasty pies instead of partying. However, I’m sure she’d be the life of any party if she brought those pies with her.

Okay, so now we know that Tara had her priorities in order when she was growing up. Without further delay, here’s what you can expect at P is for Pie but make sure you call because the menu changes with the season – sometimes daily! Oh, and did I mention Tara has plans to extend her hours? That’s right. You can get your pie all the way until 9p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Yes, this means you are able to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner and before you go out for a night on the town. What could be better?


Piefait copy

Rosemary Peach and Lemon Cream Piefait (I totally named it the Piefair)


Blackberry Lemon Cream Mini Pie with Walnut Thyme Streusel 


Caramel Pecan Hand Pies 


Blueberry Cobbler 


Oatmeal Cream Pies 


P is for Pie Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

In my pursuit to discover the sweet spots of Orlando, I stumbled upon a neighborhood establishment located in the Milk District off of Primrose/Robinson Street at the former location of Spooky Black Cat Cafe.

Se7en Bites has been in business with some of the best restaurants in Orlando, delivering creative dessert mini-pies to locations such as Pom Pom’s and Blue Bird Bake Shop.

Owner and Pastry Chef Trina Gregory-Propst is now expanding upon her magical pies and fabulous desserts to offer breakfast, brunch, lunch, and locally blended coffee from her new storefront.

Chef Trina elevates simple ingredients to create sweet and savory signature recipes that will satisfy your taste buds.

Favorites include her signature Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie, Homemade Biscuits with Peach Ginger Jam, Savory Breakfast Bread Pudding with Hollandaise, Pimento Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwich and the Meatloaf Sandwich, a throwback to downtown’s classic Sandwich King (Se7en Bites is in the former Sandwich King location). Weekend must-tastes are the warm Cinnamon Rolls and Biscuits and Gravy.

And, if you’re wondering…the name “Se7en Bites” has quite a special meaning in Chef Trina’s life and food philosophy. Chef Trina has maintained an amazing 187-pound weight loss for more than seven years. Her gastric bypass surgery limits her to just seven bites of each meal, which inspires her to make every bite count.



Chicken Pot Pie
Comfort food classic. This signature recipe is house-made with celery seed crust and filled with hearty ingredients. It was hard to put the fork down!



Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie
Happiness in a tin can – my personal favorite. Brought this pie home with me and it only took one bite a day to satisfy my craving – and cherish the pie a little longer. Made with a salted butter crust mixed with caramelized pecan filling in dark chocolate.



Iced Coffee (left) and Orange Blossom Iced Tea (right)
The coffee is cold brewed overnight to create a full bodied rich taste. I also found the Orange Blossom Iced Tea to be refreshingly different and delightful to have for any time of the day. The tea combines a citrus and floral flavor that is fresh and not too sweet.



Dark Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Bacon Crumble Cupcake
Dark chocolate salted peanut butter cupcake topped with Italian butter frosting , bacon bits, and peanut brittle.


Hybrid of a donut and muffin. Cake donut dipped in brown butter cinnamon sugar.


Chocolate Chip Coconut Biscotti


Hazelnut Coffee Cake
A modern twist of Trina’s grandmother’s recipe. Hazelnut brown sugar coffee cake with brown butter glaze.


Dark Chocolate Stout Cake
Dark chocolate salted pudding layers topped with sliced crumbs to create rich texture.


Pumpkin Spice Shortbread and Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cream Cake.


Pumpkin Spice Shortbread and Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cream Cake. Celebrate Fall with some seasonal sweets!



Pom Moon Pie Ingredients
Graham cracker sandwich with a vanilla bean bacon crumble marshmallow center dipped in chocolate. Dedicated to Pom Moongauklang from Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria. The moon pie captures the perfect blend of crunchiness, saltiness, and sweetness!

Se7en Bites is a new neighborhood gem that is becoming popular among the locals. Many of the dishes are house-made using genuine whole ingredients with consistent quality. The oak paneled walls and booths creates an inviting space for a casual breakfast or lunch. I will have to visit soon to try out their special breakfast items!


For more information, visit:

Pastry Chef/Owner: Trina Gregory-Propst
General Manager: Kevin Thornton

Address: 207 N Primrose Dr, Orlando, Florida 32803
Phone: (407) 203-0727
Hours of Operation
Tue – Fri: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm
Sat – Sun: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Se7en Bites Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Photos taken by Krystle Nguyen with the Nikon D5000 DSLR

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First there was the Cronut and now the kind folks at the chocolate lover’s paradise – Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park (300 S. Park Avenue , Winter Park, Florida 32789) – have created the Broissant, a doughnut-croissant hybrid.


Like any well-made, cronut-like dessert, the dough is carefully laminated– at Peterbrooke, this is a four-hour process. If you’re aren’t familiar with laminating — it is a baking term for a folding process of alternating layers of dough and butter when making pastries such as croissants and danishes. The more folds or “turns” laminated dough has, the more flaky the finished pastry will be.

The broissants are all made to order treats, coming in two sizes and include toppings:

Broissant (Full size with toppings): $4
Broissant Pépites (Three minis with toppings): $3


Peterbrooke offers the following seasonal flavors of Broissants; however, additional flavors may be available upon request:

· Pumpkin Cheesecake *NEW*

· Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel

· Ceylon Cinnamon & Sugar

· Peanut Butter with Nutter Butter and Milk Chocolate Ganache


Pepites and Broissants in dough form


Owner Kevin Wray fires up the fryer to get the broissants in


Freshly fried broissants to order, ready for toppings


Cinnamon and cane sugar broissant


Pumpkin cheesecake broissant


Pumpkin cheesecake broissant


Peanut butter with nutter butter and milk chocolate ganache




Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Broissant



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Photos via Briarpatch Restaurant

Cronut craze continues to spread – the coveted creations of James Beard Award nominated pastry chef Dominique Ansel were recently seen on the Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon.




The wildly popular hybrid between a donut and croissant have been spotted (shout out to our reader Tida Ann M. for the tip!) at Briarpatch restaurant in Winter Park, FL, known there as a “flaky doughnut.”

Briarpatch, located off of Park Avenue and known for the brunch and delicious home made ice creams, started making these “flaky doughnuts” just a few weeks ago and according to sources, “they keep getting better and better.” They are currently priced at $3.75 each and are served with a maple glaze.

They currently make 10 of the cronut-like pastries during the weekdays and more on the weekends, often selling out.

No long lines around the block for these babies like the ones found in NYC…yet.

Briarpatch Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour
252 Park Avenue North
Winter Park, FL 32789
407) 628-8651


This is the “second” spotting of the cronut in the wild here in Orlando, with the first being Chefs James and Julie Petrakis’ croissant-donut at Cask and Larder, available during brunch, and served with a bourbon peach jam & almond glaze.

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Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie re-opened this past winter at Disney’s Epcot – France Pavilion at the World Showcase after being closed for quite some time for construction.

The original Boulangerie Patisserie was a small, a teensy bit cramp, but still a very popular spot for French pastries at Epcot.

The new digs are much larger, with an underground market type feeling, and bright, beautiful menus on widescreen TV’s, as well as mesmerizing display cases of pastries and sandwiches.

Upon entering, you are corralled through a hectic line to the front where you place your order with one of the young French exchange students staffing the bakery. The pastries shine from their display cases alongside pre-made sandwiches and quiches. Behind the counters you can see the young staff running about, prepping and toasting sandwiches, or caramelizing sugar on creme brûlées with blow torches.

The menu contains a plethora of classic French pastries, hot and cold sandwiches, quiches, soups, salads, and coffee.

I chose the Croque Monsieur sandwich – Toasted Ham and Cheese, but found to be a bit of a disappointment. The cheese on top was too burnt and overdone, the sandwich bread was a bit flavorless, and the ham within was a bit too salty. Maybe I should have chose from the list of croissant sandwiches instead, or just stick to the pastries.

For dessert pastries, you can choose from a list that includes Chaussons Aux Pommes – Apple Turnover, Creme Brulee – Caramelized Vanilla Custard, Eclair – filled with Vanilla or Chocolate Cream, Mango and Coconut Mousse cake, Raspberry Mousse cake, Chocolate Mousse, Napoleon – Puff Pastry with Cream, and for the healthy minded, Yogurt Mousse with Berries.

I chose the multilayered Napoleon, truly a delectable, flaky and delicious treat and probably my most favorite rendition of the pastry.

Overall, next time I would probably try some more pastries, definitely the napoleon, and maybe some other sandwiches, definitely not the croque monsieur.

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Entering the boulangerie Patissierie

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Beautiful display of croissants, eclairs, and mousses

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The napoleon – one of the best I have ever had

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Cold sandwiches are available on baguettes

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Caramelizing the creme brulee

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Chicken and ham sandwiches

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Chocolate Mousse dessert and tarts

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Croque Monsieur – The cheese on top was overburnt, the sandwich bread was a bit flavorless, and the ham within was a bit too salty.

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Outside the bakery is the seating area

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The exquisite Napoleon puff pastry dessert with cream

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The crowds can get a bit crazy here in France

Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie on Urbanspoon

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Located inside one of the many “hidden garden” courtyards along Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park, The Bistro on Park Avenue is a beautiful gem waiting to be discovered. A few friends and I decided to visit one morning for a Sunday brunch and enjoy some omelettes and eggs benedicts. The Bistro on Park Avenue has an outside patio dining area, as well as a sun room, covered inside area, and an oyster bar.



For an appetizer, I ordered half a dozen fried oysters, which came out quite tasty and crunchy with a nice remoulade sauce accompaniment.


I ordered the Smoked Salmon Benedict with a side of breakfast potatoes. I enjoyed the smoked salmon part, but found the eggs to have been overdone (no longer runny) and the English muffin was a bit dry. Overall, the food was enjoyable though a bit overpriced it seemed. I would probably have to return to try some more of their offerings before making a final verdict.


Smoked Salmon Benedict
English muffin with tender smoked salmon topped with
poached eggs and home made hollandaise


California Benedict
Roasted portobello mushroom, tomatoes, avocado with two
poached eggs, topped with home made hollandaise.


Andouille Sausage Omelet
Three egg omelet with andouille sausage and
cheddar-Jack cheese. $12


The Bistro on Park Avenue on Urbanspoon


After our brunch, we decided to walk down along Park Avenue to explore some of the shops and bakeries for a little something sweet after our meal. Sweet Traditions French Bakery and Cafe was, luckily, a few short steps away and we picked up a little almond croissant from the place to share. The croissant was scrumptious and sweet with the yellow almond paste slathered in the center, dusted with some confectionary sugar.






Sweet Traditions French Bakery & Café on Urbanspoon

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Ooh la la! This French bakery in the heart of Orlando’s College Park district helmed by husband and wife team Stephanie and Philippe Cahagne is truly a little delight. You might recognize the Cahagne family name – Philippe is brother of Francois Cahagne who runs the fabulous French bakery Croissant Gourmet in Winter Park.


Philippe Cahagne, who owns Les Petits Pleasures with his wife Stephanie. They recently won best dessert at the Taste of College Park hosted by the Rotary Club of College Park

On College Park’s main thoroughfare Edgewater Drive, this little patisserie, with light lavender-colored walls, features many sweet pastry pleasures. The goods run the gamut: from buttery, flaky chocolate almond croissants, to fruit tarts topped with strawberries and blackberries, little morsels of sweet, slightly crunchy macarons, decadent slices of vanilla flan, coco rochers, moist moelleux apple sponge cakes, chocolate eclairs, Napoleons, and ever more.


The bakery, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, also serves up some scrumptious hot sandwiches, quiches, and crepes for those wanting something more savory to go with the sweets. In the mornings, you can see the Cahagne family and staff at Les Petits Pleasures running about the kitchen area in their black aprons and head wraps, baking up their next creations.

When available, try their vol-au-vent, which means “windblown” in French, a flaky, delectable puff pastry stuffed with chicken, mushroom, Swiss cheese, and a creamy, rich béchamel sauce.

The Hawaii croque monsieur is a playful twist on the traditional grilled ham, Swiss cheese, and béchamel sandwich, topped with pineapple. You will fall in love with everything here, mon amis. It’s all about the little things in life.


Moist moelleux apple sponge cakes and coco rocher



Vol – au – vent – puff pastry with mushrooms and chicken




Les Petits Pleasures on Urbanspoon

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Off of Park Avenue on Morse Blvd, Croissant Gourmet is one of the many joys that I think of when wandering around Winter Park’s popular shopping and restaurant area. In addition to some of the most gorgeous pastries in town this little French bakery, founded by brothers Francois and Phillipe Cahange, also serves up some very delectable sandwiches, quiche, crepes, and salads for lunch. Brother Francois is a patissier, a classically trained pastry chef, from France with a resume that includes several restaurants along the famous Champs-Elysees in Paris. Brother Phillipe along his wife Stephanie have recently started their own bakery shop in nearby College Park called Les Petits Pleasures.


Two display cases hold the wonders of Croissant Gourmet: fruit tarts topped with raspberries and blueberries, éclairs, Napoleons, assorted croissants, apple turnovers, macarons, and many more all made fresh and locally.

Try the almond croissant, a flaky, buttery croissant with a nice sweet, creamy filling of almond paste and topped with almonds and dusted with confectionary sugar. Also good is the rectangular jalousie pastry, similar to a strudel and a play on jalousie-style windows, it’s filled with almond cream and raspberries.

The croque madame sandwich, a variation of the croque monsieur, is deftly made with ham and Gruyere cheese, hand-dipped in egg, then pan-fried in butter to a nice crisp. Finally, the croque is topped with a luscious golden-yellow yolk, sunny-side up egg. The egg yolk oozes down the sandwich when you cut into it, preferably with fork and knife, and eaten together the Croissant Gourmet’s croque madame makes for a truly transcendent experience.

The shop is a bit small and narrow, with only a few tables inside and a bar stool area near the glass case for the bakery items. It can get a bit awkward for patrons who want to sit and enjoy their meal along the bar area with out getting bumped into by others browsing the pastries or lined up to order by the register. Sit outside and enjoy the nice Florida weather with your pastries and people watch those people walking by on the Avenue.

C’est si bon.

Pass me another croissant, s’il vous plaît


Video from ChatChow TV interview with Chef and Owner Francois Cahange


Display of pastries at Croissant Gourmet


Fruit Tart pastry


Napoleon pastry


Almond Croissant and Jalousie


Chocolate Croissant


Chicken salad croissant sandwich


Croque Madame topped with fried egg

Croissant Gourmet on Urbanspoon


If you’ve ever been out to Lake County on scenic County Road 48, you probably have heard of this authentic little German bakery called Yalaha Bakery, housed in a rather quaint country village building off the road – like out of a scene from the Sound of Music. Known for their hearty multigrain and rye breads and mouthwatering pastries, Yalaha Bakery has been a culinary staple in Lake County for over 17 years now with many a foodie venturing out to the shop there to sample their freshly baked goods.

In August of 2011, co-owners Juergen and Anna Marie Klumb opened a charming little neighborhood outpost near downtown Orlando off of Orange Avenue just across from Lake Ivanhoe (in the Ivanhoe Village District, just a few shops south of Ethos Vegan).

Anne Marie Klumb manages this location, staffed by friendly and helpful workers who are eager to help out with suggestions. The local Yalaha Bakery in Orlando has their breads and pastries shipped in from their home-base bakery in Lake County fresh each morning.

An impressive wall of freshly baked German style bread loaves and rolls line up one side of the bakery, ranging from pretzel breads to rye to pumpernickel and more. The bread here is of high quality and made with fresh, natural ingredients – free of preservatives and chemical additives. A case of traditional German deli meats, bratwursts, and sandwiches sits on one side of the shop, and an espresso machine stands nearby ready to serve up some great cappuccino and coffee for the early risers.

But to me, the main attraction is the beautiful display of colorful, sweet pastries and cakes at the center.

German apple pies, peach and apple strudels, black forest cake, apple Normandy, lemon ginger cookies, frangipan butter cookies filled with raspberries, and more, line the display, beckoning your sweet tooth to bite in through the glass case. So many choices – it can be a bit overwhelming when you want to try them all.

I would recommend the bee sting cake, a unique, moist cake filled with Bavarian cream and topped with almonds and orange blossom honey, a truly delightful treat. It comes as a huge square, big enough to share, but you won’t because you’ll want to savor it for later, thinking of those rolling hills and country village houses, the place where Yalaha bakes magic into their pastries and breads.

Yalaha Bakery on Urbanspoon


Artistic interpretation of the Yalaha Country Bakery in Lake County


Pretzel cheese loaf – try it


Display of pastries




List of daily bread


Black forest slice cake


The bee sting, filled with bavarian creme, topped with almonds and orange blossom honey

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Off of Park Avenue, just north of Morse Blvd, you can walk down an alleyway corridor with a beautiful koi pond and stumble upon, next to Paris Bistro restaurant, a small French confectionary shop called Le Macaron. An offshoot of the original store in Sarasota, the purveyors of this bakery shop are recent French immigrants who take pride in their assortments of chocolates, macarons, and house-made gelatos. The decor reminds me of a small boutique shop, minimalistic and modern. There is some seating available outside.


I first tried macarons at last year’s Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation charity event. These French confectionaries are small, crispy and airy round shells made from fresh ground almonds and soft meringue. They are like creme filled cookies like a mini whoopie pie, made with fresh ingredients and care, some crunchy some chewy, all delicious.

The macarons come at $1.80 each, a pretty price to pay for the small desserts, but I suppose that’s why the French don’t have as big of a problem with their diets as we do in America where food is often times cheap and in great quantity, while compromising their quality.

The macarons are available in the following flavors:

Belgium Chocolate, Ginger Bread, Sicilian Pistachio, Creme Brulee, Caramel Salted Butter, Candied Ginger Chocolate, Black Vanilla from Madagascar, Lemon, Fresh mint, Raspberry, Passion Fruit Black Chocolate, Basil White Chocolate, Chesnut, Walnut, Crunchy Praline, Black Currant (Cassis), and Colombian coffee.

Time will tell if this is a new trend or a quick fad, but I hope Le Macaron will stay, as macarons have been popular for so many hundreds of years. Open from Monday – Sunday 10AM – 10PM.

Gelatos available at Le Macaron of Winter Park


Chocolate truffles at Le Macaron


Assorted Macarons from Le Macaron

Featured in this recent Michelle Phan youtube video for Lancome – “The Macaron Look”

Le Macaron on Urbanspoon

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