cafe

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I previously visited Peach Valley Café in the Dr. Phillips area a few years ago and had a lovely breakfast of Belgian waffles and sausage. The restaurant, based out of New Smyrna Beach and part of the Stonewood Restaurant Group, recently expanded to the SoDo District (South of Downtown Orlando), the third in the Orlando area after the aforementioned Dr. Philips and Heathrow locations.

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I was recently invited by the folks at Peach Valley to a media brunch event to sample some of their menu items. The restaurant is located in a plaza, tucked away from Orange Avenue near a Publix. Large open windows along the building give the space a lot of Florida sunshine and light, providing a bright, airy feeling inside. Surprisingly, I was told that they are busiest during rainy days compared to sunny days, maybe because there are so many things to do in Central Florida when the sun is out and there is more of a need for comfort food in those down weather days.

Peach Valley Cafe specializes in brunch and breakfast items, all prepared in house with fresh ingredients, with many healthy and light options for those new year’s resolution conscious diners. However, I am not one of those diners.

The first thing we had were the apple fritters, a popular mainstay at Peach Valley, served tableside with a shake of brown sugar and cinnamon and a side of strawberry or pumpkin yogurt dip. The fritters were good, fresh and fluffy, lightly sweet and fun to dip. I can see why so many people rave about these little apple cinnamon bits of joy.

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Peach Valley Cafe’s Apple Fritters – served tableside

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Peach Valley Cafe’s Apple Fritters – with their dipping sauces.

One of our favorite items was the Chicken and Waffles, prepared with fried chicken, pillowy Belgian waffles, and blueberry butter and cajun syrup. Though the fried chicken may have needed some more seasoning, the waffle, chicken, and cajun syrup made for a winning combination of texture and tastes.

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Chicken and Waffles, prepared with fried chicken, pillowy Belgian waffles, and blueberry butter and cajun syrup

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Stuffed French Toast was another highlight here, made with a creamy peach and strawberry filling, and housemade blueberry syrup.

 

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For those veggie lovers, try the vegetable and egg croissant benedict, made with flaky croissants, beefsteak tomatos, asparagus, spicy red onions, and poached egg with hollandaise sauce and breakfast potatos.

 
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Peach Valley uses a state of the art Kindle Fire based ordering system that allows the waiters to quickly send the orders over to the kitchen.

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Our waiter, a young gentlemen studying to become a doctor at UF, suggested to us the delicious Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wrap, a wrap stuffed with corn and black bean salsa, pico de gallo, fresh mixed greens, and a creamy ranch dressing. It was refreshing and tasty, and maybe one of my favorite wraps ever.

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Santa Fe Chicken Salad Wrap

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Peach Valley’s Shrimp and Grits, New Orleans inspired

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Home made peach cobbler a la mode!

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Hours
Monday –Friday 7am-2:30pm, and Saturday and Sunday 7am-3:30pm

Peach Valley Café on Urbanspoon

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I recently took my significant other out for her birthday and treated her to a nice day out at the spa at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes. The Ritz Carlton Hotel is located off of John Young Parkway just south of SR 528. This spa actually placed in the top ten best resort spas as part of a recent Conde Naste Traveller magazine survey. Inside the Ritz Carlton just downstairs from the spa is the Vitale Spa Cafe, where one can enjoy some very delicious offerings while sipping tea with a beautiful view of the pool side.

The Vitale Spa Cafe offers some very healthy dishes ranging from salads to wraps and sandwiches, and also surprisingly, bento boxes. If you choose the bento box, you can have your pick of one protein from the list:

Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken
Grilled Shrimp
Teriyaki Glazed Salmon
Grilled Snapper
Grilled Marinated Tofu
Filet Mignon Brochette
and also a Choice of 3 Sides:
Soy Glazed Mushrooms
Indian 3 Bean Salad
Soba Noodles
Mixed Greens
Tomato & Avocado
Fresh Fruit
Citrus & Hearts of Palm
Farro Salad

My partner chose the bento box with the Grilled Snapper with Fresh fruit, soy glazed mushrooms and mixed greens. The snapper was grilled to perfection, tasty and not too dry or too flaky. It reminded me of the way my dad used to grill fish in the backyard on summer afternoons when I was a child.

I chose to get the Seared Ahi Tuna with Heirloom Tomato and Baby Arugula, Soba Noodles, with Wasabi-Sherry Vinaigrette. The tuna was seared just right and was extremely fresh and red, just the way I like it. The tomato, arugula, and soba noodles all went well together with the wasabi sherry vinaigrette.

What I enjoyed most about my experience at Vitale Spa Cafe was its emphasis on fresh, healthy ingredients while also making the full flavors of the ingredients jump out in their dishes. The ingredients all went very well together and I was very pleased to find this unexpected gem of a cafe inside the Ritz Carlton hotel.

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A look inside the Vitale Spa Cafe
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Bento Box with Grilled Salmon and soy glazed mushrooms, fresh fruit, mixed greens.
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The Seared Ahi Tuna with Heirloom Tomato, and baby arugula, soba noodles, with a Wasabi Sherry Vinaigrette 
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Bon Apetit

The Vitale Spa Cafe is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. from Sunday – Thursday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday & Saturday. Located inside of the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Orlando Grande Lakes at 4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32837 USA.

Vitale Spa Cafe on Urbanspoon

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