Pitmaster Brandon Manly teaching us how to make some delicious eats for the holidays.

We were invited to check out this free and public event hosted by Sonny’s BBQ last Saturday at Williams Sonoma on Park Avenue in partnership with Peterbrooke Chocolatier.  I loved that the event landed on a Saturday afternoon because I frequent the popular Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings so I was able to pick up a few things and walk over to the cooking demo afterwords.  During our cooking demo we learned how to make Stuffed Pork Loin with Cranberry Agave Glaze, Smoked Turkey, Gruyère Potatoes, and Chocolate Bacon Holiday Bark.  Everything was delicious!

Sonny’s BBQ – Winter Park
3390 University Blvd Winter Park, FL 32792
(407) 671-2002

Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
300 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 644-3200

Williams Sonoma – Park Avenue
142 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 628-5900

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It was my 29th birthday so I had to take a picture with Mayor Buddy Dyer to kick off my birthday!

Sonny’s BBQ, one of the nation’s largest and most popular barbecue chains has announced a new location for its highly anticipated “Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown” which has been hosted at the Central Florida Zoo for the past two years.  On Saturday, March 3, 2018, Sonny’s BBQ will host its third annual event at Tinker and McCracken Fields, part of Camping World Stadium.  The all-day event will feature live music with top country artists, food vendors, a kid zone area, and cooking demonstrations for all BBQ enthusiasts.

“We’re looking forward to hosting ‘Sonny’s Smokin’ Barbecue’ in Orlando for the first time and welcoming some of the best pitmasters from around the world to share their tips and techniques,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “Barbecue is a big deal in the South so the competition should be fierce and fun.”

This great event also hosts one of the nation’s biggest bbq competitions.  This invitation-only competition brings together the nation’s top pitmasters in one arena for an epic barbecue battle.  Teams are judged on five different meat categories: chicken, ribs, pork, brisket and a mystery meat, which will be announced at the event.  The grand champion team will receive $20,000. The total prize pool totals $68,000.

Bryan Mrockzka (Award-winning Head Pitmaster), Montana Coleman (Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown co-organizer), Bob Yarmuth (CEO), Mayor Buddy Dyer, Barbara (Sonny’s BBQ director)

The Sonny’s BBQ catering team were amazing and friendly!

Chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, mac and cheese.  It was such a classic bbq meal that tasted DELICIOUS!!

News 13 interviewing Mayor Buddy Dyer

Rib demonstration

Gifts for everyone that was in attendance.

Be sure to check out the annual Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown at their new location Camping World Stadium (1 Citrus Bowl Pl, Orlando, FL 32805) on Saturday, March 3, 2018!

Tickets are available here for pre-sale for $12 through November 12, and $15 through March 2.
Kid’s 12 and under are free.
VIP tickets can also be purchased for $40.
(Source credit: Sonny’s BBQ)

James and Julie Petrakis are really committed to bourbon & barbecue.   They own the popular gastropub Ravenous Pig and James Petrakis was voted Best Chef in Orlando ’17.   On April 10,  James & Julie Petrakis along with James’ brother Brian opened the doors to their newest project The Polite Pig, a fast-casual barbecue & bar joint located at Disney Springs.

James & Julie Petrakis cook book sold at The Polite Pig

James & Julie Petrakis believe that the best thing to go with barbecue is beer and bourbon so they built a bourbon bar.

Hop Salt Pretzel – with Beer Cheese Fondue and IPA Mustard

The Southern Pig Sandwich – with Fennel-apple Slaw, Tangy Mustard BBQ, Duke’s Mayo, and Smoked Pork. Served with a Pickle Spear
Brisket Sandwich– with Pimento Cheese, Lil’ John’s BBQ, Picked Jalapeños and Crispy Onions. Served with a Pickle Spear
Sweet Potato Tots – with Parmesan Cheese
– Crispy Brussel Sprouts– with Whiskey-Caramel
– BBQ Cauliflower – Paprika Sour Cream
BBQ Sausage Hoagie – with IPA Mustard, Peppers and Onions, Cheddar Sauce, and Pickle Relish. Served with a Pickle Spear

This was the best meal that I have ever had at Disney Springs and I cannot wait to go back to The Polite Pig for more.  The barbecue had the perfect balance of flavors, the brussel sprouts were the best brussel sprouts I’ve ever had in my entire life, the bbq cauliflower was surprisingly good, and the sweet potato tots were crisp and seasoned just right.

Double Layer Chocolate Cake

We got to chat it up with Dick & Marti Waters, owners of Palm Ridge Reserve.  They are the suppliers of the whiskey for The Polite Pig and their distillery is an hour away north from the Polite Pig, near the Ocala National Forrest.  What makes their business so special is that they have no employees, it basically just a husband and wife team giving it their all every single day since 2009.  They produce a premium, handmade, micro-batch whiskey.  From fermentation to distillation and barreling to bottling, it’s all done by them, by hand, on their farm.

Farm to table whiskey.  They use small barrels because the sloshing in smaller barrel breaks down the whiskey faster.  Dick Marti told us that the best place in the world to make whiskey is in Florida because the humidity helps the barrel sweat from condensation.

The four grains they use to make bourbon: Florida corn, barley malt, flake dry, & rye malt

Be sure to check out The Polite Pig for some delicious bourbon & bbq soon!

The Polite Pig
1536 Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32830
(407) 938-7444

Hey, food friends!

You’ve seen the news, you’ve watched videos of families in need on Facebook Live, and you’ve probably heard about celebrities dropping big money.

As Orlandoans, helping Texans may feel out of arm’s reach, but there’s so much that we can do collectively.

Here is a growing list of restaurants that are doing their part to aid Texans.

Let’s explore how to eat responsibly.  

Where to Eat

  • Chuy’s | All Locations
    • With 9 locations across Houston and Corpus Christi, this brand is definitely feeling the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. To help, it is selling a limited edition T-shirt at all locations for $10. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Chuy’s Redfish Relief Fund, which supports employees experiencing financial hardships due to disasters, emergencies, and other life-changing circumstances

  • Sonny’s BBQ | All Locations
    • Nothing says Texas like barbecue… On September 6, all 113 locations will donate 10% of sales to Operation BBQ Relief, an organization that mobilizes pitmasters and barbecue enthusiasts to areas in need to help prepare and serve barbecue
  • Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
    • $1 from each chocolate star lollipop sold until September 10 
    • 10% of chocolate covered popcorn sales during the week of September 4-10
    • The store will also be collecting cash donations, and anyone who donates at least $5 will receive their choice of a free chocolate covered Oreo or pretzel rod

Safe Bets

There’s often a little bit of confusion and trepidation about donating to large charities. Oftentimes, only a small percentage funds actually hit the homes of the people you indeed to help.

Here are some that are collecting funds and donations responsibly.

Feeding Children Everywhere

With FCE, you can donate, start a fundraiser and know that 100% of proceeds raised through this fund will be used for Harvey disaster relief! And if you purchase this shirt, 40 meal will be donated. That’s a deal! 

Second Harvest Food Bank | Orlando, Daytona Beach, West Melbourne

All locations are accepting non-perishable food donations for Texas flood relief

Undies For Everyone 

1. Purchase new underwear here

2. Collect new, packaged underwear and mail it to the address below. If you’re purchasing, they recommend Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. UFE doesn’t process or give out anything but underwear!

Undies for Everyone
1700 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005

3. Give cash and Undies for Everyone will purchase wholesale

The Emeril Lagasse Kitchen House | Orlando

Chef Kevin Fonzo is partnering with Chef Tiffany Derry to raise money via the Edible Schoolyard and Kevin Fonzo Foundation. On Sunday, September 10 from 12-3 p.m., visit The Emeril Lagasse Kitchen House and Culinary Garden as they host a kid-friendly “Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale”! They will have fresh lemonade available for sale, as well as some incredible baked goods donated by some amazing local pastry chefs!

Go Fund Me

Check out the different families and organizations that are sharing their stories in order to get help.


There are so many organizations in need of a hand.  Orlando Vegans is partnering with Clean The World tomorrow, Saturday, September 2. Sign up here!

 Words of Encouragement 

All too often we talk about people impacted by natural disasters as victims. We have to remind ourselves and the people impacted that they are victors. They need to be reminded that they are strong, resilient and able to overcome. I’ve started a Google Doc for everyone to share the love by writing encouraging notes. The hope is that we can share with charities and outlets in Texas to pass along to locals!

Here’s to foodlantrophy and lots of love.

Snack on,

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


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C & W Barbeque in Oviedo

It’s a tiny little old, one room shack in downtown Oviedo, blink and you might miss it. But C & W BBQ serves up some very good que despite its small size – with huge portions – enough for dinner and lunch the next day. There’s a little wood burning oven in the kitchen – and you can see everything is home cooked.

Order inside the house – barbecue pulled pork, chicken, or ribs with sides of collard greens and mac and cheese and more. Save room for their amazing home made sweet potato pie – it’s one of the best slices of pie I’ve had in Central Florida. Sit outside and enjoy the outdoor Florida fall weather.  The C in C & W is for Ms. Cora Mae who runs the restaurant.

C & W Barbecue
298 Geneva Dr, Oviedo, FL 32765
Phone: (407) 285-5097
Open Mon – Saturday

C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
Collard greens, mac and cheese, pulled pork, and chicken at C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
C & W Barbeque in Oviedo
Sweet Potatoe Pie at C & W Barbeque in Oviedo

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Chef-owner John Rivers and Chef Whitney Miller of The COOP, a Winter Park neighborhood restaurant, introduced “A Southern Affair,” a new cooking demonstration series that launched on March 16. For this series guests are invited to a demo hosted by Rivers, Miller and/or a visiting guest featuring an easy-to-make, Southern-inspired recipe, followed by a sampling of the dish and an open format question and answer session on The COOP’s indoor patio.  The interactive and intimate experience offers the unique opportunity for guests to learn from and sample dishes with award-winning chefs from near and far. The first event of the series kicked off last month with Crawfish-Pimento Mac n’ Cheese and White Chocolate Bread Pudding Beignets.


Every Wednesday, 30 to 40 guests are invited to a demo hosted by Rivers, Miller and/or a visiting guest featuring an easy-to-make, Southern-inspired recipe, followed by a sampling of the dish and an open format question and answer session on The COOP’s indoor patio.  The interactive and intimate experience is set to take place on the third Wednesday of every month and will offer the unique opportunity for guests to learn from and sample dishes with award-winning chefs from near and far.


The two will kick off the first event of the series with Crawfish-Pimento Mac n’ Cheese and White Chocolate Bread Pudding Beignets. DSC02712Chef John Rivers helping out with the Crawfish Mac N’ Cheese.


Then both Chefs got their hands dirty for the white chocolate bread pudding beignets.


At the end of each demo we got a little sample of each to know what it tastes like for when we cook it at home. The Mac N’ Cheese were creamy with a bit of a kick.
DSC02728The beignets were crispy out the outside and fluffy and sweet towards the core.


Overall the event was quite informational and fun as we got to learn how to make the tasty dishes while also interacting with the Chefs.

I’m excited for the next live demonstration happening on April 27th with Chef Greg Richie of Soco Thornton Park! Richie will join Chef John Rivers and Chef Whitney Miller for a cooking demo and tasting of some Southern favorites.

Here’s a little clip of how the event went!


13.7 mi · 610 W Morse Blvd
(407) 843-2667




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Though they now have moved onto larger pastures at 1600 W. Fairbanks Avenue, 4 Rivers Smokehouse had their original location at 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave. – where B&B Junction stands now. B&B Junction, if you haven’t been yet, serves up some of the best burgers in town – you need to visit them asap!

We’re taking a trip down memory lane here today, back to the summer of 2012. A simpler time – memories of eating ribs and bbq in the tiny shop where it all started, just in time for the Fourth of July. As tiny as it may be, it now has grown to over 4 locations locally in Central Florida and one in Jacksonville and another in Tampa in the works.

Here it is…so tiny now that we see it again…but the potential was there….


Still got the cherrywine sodas…

The smoked beef brisket – always a classic…SONY DSC

Look at those tender ribs….SONY DSC

The burnt ends sandwich – made with the ends of the brisket….classic…SONY DSC

Banana dream – always wonderful pastries here, too, and now they have a whole sweet shop insideSONY DSC

BBQ Smoked wings…SONY DSC

Still got the great sides…SONY DSC

Fin. Trip down memory lane.


This Latin, Asian, and Southern American BBQ fusion joint in Orlando’s Mills 50 district has a nice list of bites, including Matambre smoked brisket sandwiches topped with egg, Indian Butter chicken tacos and the Latin plantain and fried yuca sides.

But it’s all about the Oakwood Smoked St. Louis Barbecue Ribs here. Succulent. Juicy. Sweet, yet refined. Delicious. When you can get it, it’s really good. The problem is that it is can sell out fast, so call ahead and make sure they’ve got some ready for you.

Founded by Thomas “Tito” Ward Esteves, the founder of the Treehouse Truck, one of the first so called gourmet food trucks in Orlando, Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa is a an ode to his family’s deep love for food. Barbakoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taino people, from which the term “barbecue” derives.

The menu consists of sandwiches, tacos, platters, and sides, all done very well.

The Oak-smoked St. Louis ribs (half-rack $14.99, full $22.99) are truly among the best, if not the best, ribs in all of Orlando – slow-cooked with a crispy surface yet tender, fall of the bone meat within and a nice sweet flavor. Try it with the crispy sweet fennel apple salad.


The Indian butter chicken ($2.95), flavored in Indian an orange tikka currry sauce and topped with pepitas, jalapeno and cilantro – this was a favorite and definitely would order again.


The open faced Matahambre sandwich ($8.99), features slices of Oakwood smoked brisket with dabs of chimichurri sauce,  grilled tomatoes and topped with an over easy fried egg – and slathered a bit too much with mayonaisse. Accompanied with grilled corn on the cob, smokily charred and sprinkled with pepper, lime and salty Mexican cotija cheese



Click to add a blog post for Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa on Zomato

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American Q is a new restaurant located just outside of Downtown Disney, spawned as a collaboration between the new B Hotels & Resorts and the acclaimed New York City restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill Management, bringing a “Brazilian rodizio” take to traditional American barbecue.


With an industrial, farmhouse-chic vibe,  the flatbed of a 1950s cherry-red, Ford F1 pickup truck houses an all-you-can-eat appetizer and salad buffet with homemade soups and chili, a baked potato bar, peel-and-eat shrimp, a selection of hot and cold seasonal vegetables, and a variety of salads.

A delectable selection of smoked meats and poultry, from the Carolinas and Kansas City to Latin America, are carved tableside by “cowboy/cowgirl” servers.

We were recently invited to check out the new place and found some great barbecue, and lovely sauces, but also some areas that greatly needed improvement, particularly overall service and improving on the buffet bar.


Upon arrival, we were greeted by our server, but were never explained the directions regarding the buffet vs. a la carte option. So we were a bit at lost what to do after sitting down and getting our drink orders in –  do we go to the buffet bar or do we wait to get our orders in so that the server knows what we are each getting?


Our server was very nice, though, and was very cordial throughout the evening, and I am guessing it is more of a management or procedural issue. Hopefully they will improve on this soon.

Another area for improvement – the flat bed truck was impressive but the salads and even the mac and cheese were rather pedestrian and uninteresting, especially when compared to other rodizio buffet style salad bars in the area.


The strongest aspect of dining at American Q: the smoked meats from the beef brisket to the turkey, all had great flavor, accentuated by the variety of barbecue sauces available at the table.


DEVILED CRAB STUFFED EGGS – blue crab & rémoulade – the yolk was a bit runny for what I was accustomed to for deviled eggs

JERK CHICKEN WINGS – mango chow and ALLIGATOR BOUDIN – roasted tomatoes, peppers & okra

The highlight of the meal
The highlight of the meal





Hibiki whisky, chai simple syrup & Angostura bitters


HOUSE BAKED CORNBREAD – served at the end of the meal, apparently here at American Q it takes a while for cornbread to get to the table.

CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING – warm apple compote, another highlight of the meal – dessert

American Q on Urbanspoon

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Hidden inside the Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue is a 90 minute foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ family friendly musical starring six young actors set in the Wild, Wild West, and offering endless buckets of fried chicken and ribs. And, surely, plenty of corn and cheese to go around the table the whole night.

When it launched on June 30, 1974, the high-energy dinner show was created in the heyday of dinner theaters for Walt Disney World guests with a summer college intern cast. This September, the musical dinner show celebrates its 40th Anniversary.


“Hoop-Dee-Doo was upbeat, and guests came for the corny jokes, good food and lots of fun,” said Forrest Bahruth, show director, Disney Parks & Resorts Creative Entertainment and the original choreographer for the dinner show. “Forty years later, the heart is still in it, the energy is still there.”

Marilyn Kay Magness was one of those summer college interns who played the part of Dolly Drew in the original cast, and is still with Disney over 40 years later. Today, she is executive creative director, Disney Parks, Creative Entertainment and she accompanied us recently on a media dinner to showcase the 40th anniversary of the dinner show.

Throughout the night, you could feel that Marilyn was watching the latest cast for the musical revue with a careful eye and commenting on the little changes here and there to the routine that had been made over the years.

For example, the routine for the dessert was originally “Apple Pie Hoedown” until it was replaced with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” in 1979 when Disney discovered that the strawberry shortcake could be made with a little higher profit margins.


As that first summer ended and guests were clamoring for more, Walt Disney World Entertainment already was auditioning a full-time cast, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue opened as a permanent show on Sept. 5, 1974. Today, it’s one of the country’s longest-running dinner shows and has presented more than 37,000 performances. More than 10.5 million guests have seen the high-spirited show.

And while Hoop-Dee-Doo has been fine-tuned over its 40-year run, the heart of the show never has changed: a slice of Americana, old-fashioned family fun and heaping helpings of good, down- home food. It was like what nostalgia would feel like if you were growing up in America in the 1850s.

Performers sing, dance and act their way through the timeless classic. “I love to go and hear kids squeal with delight at Six Bits, but also hear strong American ballads,” says Vazzana. “Families tell me it’s the first time they’ve seen a Broadway-style show – it’s obtainable and accessible, quintessential Disney.”


Looking Back

In true Disney fashion, Walt Disney Imagineers designed Pioneer Hall in authentic Wild West style with 1,283 hand-fitted pine logs from Montana and 70 tons of stones from North Carolina to re-create a look from the late 1800s. The building opened April 1, 1974.

Themed entertainment is always part of the Disney story. While Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was being written and cast, a group of country-Western musicians called The Star-Spangled Washboard Band opened in Pioneer Hall, according to an historical timeline by Larry Billman, author/writer and Disney entertainment consultant, who was the author and writer of the original show.

Bob Jani, the director of Entertainment for both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, saw the potential for a “dinner theater show” and hired Billman. After multiple rewrites (the first version was called “We’re With You, Mother McCree!”), Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was born.

Students from the Disney World Fine Arts College Workshop program, an 11-week work experience program, auditioned for the three female and three male character performers in Hoop-Dee-Doo: Six Bits Slocum and Dolly Drew (comic relief), Jim Handy and Flora Long (the singers), and Johnny Ringo and Claire de Lune (the dancers).

“The college students sent us video auditions, and we had more than 600 applicants,” said Bahruth. The cast arrived at Walt Disney World Resort in early June for quick rehearsals, and the show opened on June 30, 1974.

Through the decades, the show saw some small revisions to songs and dance numbers, but the basic premise – a Wild West show in an old-timey music hall with a romantic leading lady and man – always remained as the guests clapped, stomped their feet and sang along, all the while sharing an all-American dinner around a communal, “please pass the cornbread” table.


The Food

Today, servers dish up about 900 pounds of fried chicken every night, and cooks spend about six hours each day just breading the chicken. Add 400 pounds of pork ribs, slow cooked starting at 11 a.m. daily on a big outdoor smoker.

For sides, there’s 120 pounds of corn, 400 pounds of potatoes to be mashed and 30 gallons of baked beans. It takes 15 gallons of strawberries and 12 gallons of whipped cream to make the strawberry shortcake dessert.

Servers are part of the show, happily slamming all-you-care-to-eat metal buckets of ribs and chicken on the tables as they sing and dance their way through the dining room. Beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks are part of the menu.


Side salad at the Hoop-de-doo
Side salad at the Hoop-de-doo
Corn bread at the Hoop-de-doo
Corn bread at the Hoop-de-doo
Corn and baked bean sides at the Hoop-de-doo
Corn and baked bean sides at the Hoop-de-doo
Baked beans at the Hoop-de-doo
Baked beans at the Hoop-de-doo
Fresh fried chicken at the Hoop-de-doo
Fresh fried chicken at the Hoop-de-doo


Strawberry shortcake at the Hoop-de-doo
Strawberry shortcake at the Hoop-de-doo

The Show Today

With three shows nightly at 4 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., guests can select from three different seating options based on floor or balcony tables. (Price includes tax and gratuity.)

Ages 10 and older    

Category 1 – $66.99

Category 2 – $61.99

Category 3 – $56.99

Age 3 to 9-                        

Category 1 – $35.99

Category 2 – $30.99

Category 3 – $29.99

Category 1 is first-floor level with tables nearest the stage. Category 2 is either a table on the first floor behind the Category 1 seating below the balcony or in the center of the balcony. Category 3 tables are on the right or left side of the balcony on the second floor.
For reservations, book online or call (407) WDW-DINE up to 180 days prior to your visit.


Fun Facts

• Today one member of the original cast from the college program still works for Disney – Marilyn Kay Magness, who played the part of Dolly Drew. She’s executive creative director, Disney Parks, Creative Entertainment.
• An early draft of the show was titled The Whoop-Dee-Doo-Revue, which was revised to Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
• Principal songwriter was Tom Adair, who also wrote words for the score for Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” and the “Mickey Mouse Club.”
• In 1979 the song “Apple Pie Hoedown” was replaced with “Strawberry Short Cake Walk” when shortcake replaced apple pie on the menu.
• The writers added a nod to Disney legacy with “The Legend of Davy Crockett,” skit, complete with a coonskin cap and bear puns.
• Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue was part of the opening entertainment at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, with Larry Billman and Forrest Bahruth directing and staging the new version. The show played there until 1995.


So. Much. Fun.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue on Urbanspoon

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St. Louis Ribs, Pork Shoulder and Brisket

Brought to you by the founders of Fork In The Road, Chef Bryce Baluff and Nelson Hom, the recently opened Southern Moon Smokehouse on Curry Ford  Road brings classic barbecue like pulled chicken, smoked beef brisket and ribs with home made sauces to the Conway neighborhood. The location was most recently home to Holy Smokes Barbecue restaurant.

I recently visited with our friend Chris Roberts of, and left mostly impressed, especially with the house smoked ribs and the house made sauces. The service was excellent as well – our server was knowledgeable and friendly throughout the meal.

You can pick from the “meaty” menu items such as smoked St. Louis style ribs, pulled chicken, pork shoulder, sliced brisket, pork belly, beef short ribs, and for our vegetarian friends, pulled/chopped jack fruit. The sides range from the typical favorites like mac and cheese (really good), baked beans, braised greens, slaw, fried green tomatoes, and more.

They just opened so there are still a few things to be completed – the brewery next door, for one, is still under major construction.

Menus are not printed, but rather they are written on the large chalkboards on the walls at Southern Moon, making you have to turn your head awkwardly around to look at the menu to order depending on where you are seated. The prices for the menu items, particularly the sides, seem to be a bit high above the norm for the working class neighborhood area. It would be nice to have a combination option where you could pick a meat and a side or two for under $10.00. Or maybe have half-portion prices for the sides for those who don’t want to share with their dining companions.

The housemade sauces makes everything at Southern Moon Smokehouse standout –  ranging from a smokey Texas style, Kansas City sauce, Alabama White sauce, Carolina Gold Mustard sauce, and a spicy barbecue.

Overall, my favorites were the St. Louis ribs and the mac and cheese. I thought the breading on the Fried Green Tomatoes, although different, was a bit too dry for me. The pork shoulder and beef brisket were similarly a bit too dry, but improved with a little dabbling with the house made sauces.

I will return again soon to try more dishes as I do believe there is great potential for Southern Moon to rise and shine.

“Better Q and Better Brew open now.”



Menu at Southern Moon
House made Cream Soda
House made Cream Soda – refreshing, delightful
Southern Moon's buffalo wings with buttermilk ranch
Southern Moon’s buffalo wings with buttermilk ranch – enjoyable, although not too distinctive. Would be nicer if they were smoked!
St. Louis Ribs, Pork Shoulder and Brisket
St. Louis Ribs, Pork Shoulder and Brisket – the ribs were fall off the bone tender and smokey
Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese – delicious, would be even better if the sauce was a little thicker
Pork Shoulder and Beef Brisket
Pork Shoulder and Beef Brisket – I think I enjoyed the brisket the least
St. Louis Ribs
St. Louis Ribs
Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes – the batter was interesting, but needed something…
Chris Roberts of Eat Local Orlando
Chris Roberts of Eat Local Orlando
Expansive Bar area to the left of the restaurant's main dining area
Expansive Bar area to the left of the restaurant’s main dining area

Southern Moon on Urbanspoon

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Just in time for the Fourth of July, I received this really cool barbecue concept in the mail from the Pig of the Month BBQ Club, which arrives ready to eat within 30 minutes. It’s all the great taste of bbq without having to wait hours and hours for it to cook. They not only ship babyback ribs (Texas or St Louis Style), but also bacon and sausage and pulled pork as well – I guess this is a case when pigs really do “fly”.

Born from the love of BBQ coupled with a burning desire not to wear a suit to work every day, founder Lea Richards launched Pig of the Month in January 2011.

Today, Pig of the Month delivers homemade and ready to eat barbecue ribs, pulled pork, BBQ sauce, Southern-style side dishes, and locally sourced desserts to homes all over the country.

They also use only certified humane and natural meats from DuBreton Farm and source local ingredients, organic herbs, and spices and even offers gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions.


The meats arrive in a box with dry ice that keeps them frozen and allows the meat to stay preserved in its state. After that you can either freeze it or put it in the oven for about 30 minutes and have meat ready to eat.

Everyone from truck drivers to talk show hosts to famous chefs have chowed down on Pig of the Month’s smoked meats including Whoopi Goldberg, Iron Chef Michael Symon, Paula Deen, Stephen Colbert, Chelsea Handler, and a couple more that can not be mentioned.


Three sauces are also available including

Key West — Inspired by a dinner cooked up by an altruistic stranger who treated a family member’s jellyfish sting in her beach shack, these ribs are rubbed with coriander, cumin, and coffee, slathered with a tropical-and-citrus-fruit BBQ sauce, and smoked over Cherry wood, which burns lower and slower when it’s (A.C.) green.

Mild and Tangy Love Me Tender — This barbeque sauce will have you saying, Cattleman who?
This is a slow simmered family recipe that is both tangy, sweet, and a bit spicy all at the same time.
It’s a tasty blend of ground black pepper, brown sugar, and worcestershire that makes up this silky red sauce.
We’ve been know to throw this sauce on everything from baked potatoes to grilled cheese sandwiches to good old chicken. Multiple award winner and as seen on QVC

SWEET AND SMOKEY CATTLE KING TEXAS BRISKET AND BBQ SAUCE — A little bit tomato goodness, a little bit of smokey flavor, and a lot delicious, here’s a barbecue sauce Michael Symon called “divine”. It can take grilled chicken to delicious new heights and ribs to a master level. The perfect mix of sweet, salty, savory, and smokey, this barbecue sauces is as wonderful slathered on burgers and brats as it is on pizza and sandwiches. It’s a 3 time award winner for a reason.

Mouth Watering BBQ Delivered EVERY month from Pig of the Month!

The meat is in the oven and I’ll have an update later this week on how it turns out!





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The third location of 4 Rivers Smokehouse is now open in Longwood, Florida at 1855 West State Road 434, Suite 230.  Located about 7 miles northeast of the flagship smokehouse on Fairbanks Avenue, the Longwood space can be found in the IOA shopping center and measures more than six times the size of the Winter Park location and nearly three times the size their Winter Garden location. 

Exclusive to this location, 4 Rivers Smokehouse launched “The Sweet Shop,” an in-house bakery helmed by Executive Pastry Chef, Amanda Eubanks. The all-things-sweet storefront offers breakfast pastries and desserts along with a full ice-creamery.  

The Sweet Shop will offer over-sized signature chocolate chip cookies, piled-high layer cakes, creative takes on whoopee pies and homemade pies made with vodka-infused crusts such items like Potato Chip Cupcakes with soda frosting; Texas Bourbon Pecan Pie Bars and Chocolate Oreo Whoopee Pies.

Keeping to their Texas-rustic design approach, the Sweet Shop offers vintage, Southern hospitality with a playful throwback to a country-style malt shop.  Check it out today!

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Keller’s Real Smoked BBQ in Winter Park Florida



Ah, the great American past time of slowly roasting and smoking meat over a pit, the bittersweet aroma of charred barbecue meats. From Texas to Tennessee, the south is known for its delicious styles of “que”. Although Florida does not rank high among the greats of BBQ renown, here in Central Florida we are lucky to have a few places that have been stepping up to the plate and bring us some enjoyable delicious barbeque.


Located on the corner of Goldenrod and University Boulevard, Keller’s Real Smoked BBQ sits tucked in the back of a mini shopping plaza. Keller’s is a popular spot for locals (special shout out to Mike B over at the Reign streetwear store nearby for the tip!) to go for lunch as their lunch specials provide superb bbq.
On this afternoon, I met up with my brother Chris, for some afternoon delights. He orders the barbeque pork ribs with fries and I order the sloppy pork sandwich with a side of green beans.

The Sloppy Pork Sandwich (Keller’s rendition of the Sloppy Joe only so much more delicious than your school cafeteria’s sloppys) is a creation of pure porkly pleasures. Its made of slowly smoked, savory and tender barbecue pulled pork in a sweet and tangy sauce all inside of a sesame seed bun. Not only is it absolutely tasty but its also quite a large and filling sandwich, scoring high on the value and happy charts. The sloppy pork sandwich is something I will definitely come back for again!!

Chris got the ribs and fries!
The Sloppy Pork Sandwich

its huge

Keller's Real Smoked Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

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