East Orlando

The 5th Annual Bite Night presented by Publix Aprons Cooking School was held at the Orchid Garden & Ballroom at Church Street this past Monday.  Bite Night is the grand finale of Bite30 and the premiere of Bite Magazine 2018.  The event featured over 20 of the city’s top local restaurants and chefs serving bite-size samples of their most creative dishes, plus an open bar, live entertainment, silent auction and benefiting Edible Education Experience.  Chef Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon was awarded with the inaugural Bite Award for her outstanding contributions to the culinary community.

Upcoming events: United We Brunch flash sale is happening now! It’s just like Bite Night, but Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas, Bacon & Eggs! Get tickets at UnitedWeBrunch.com

(Source credit: Orlando Weekly)

Duck & Drake Kitchen – Ouinoa Verde Sliders – Edamame, Garbanzo & Quinoa Patties with Avocado Aioli served with Root Vegetable Chips

Tartine Orlando –  Crab and Shrimp Stack with Avocado Mousse, Spice Crème Fraiche and Pickled Onions

El Buda – Shrimp Chicharron with Peking Style Duck

K Restaurant – Seasonal Florida Fish/Crudo with Traditional Accompaniments and Gazpacho Sauce

Urbain 40 – Yellowfun Tuna Tataki, Wakame & Pickled Vegetable Slaw, Gochujang Aioli, Cilantro Oil & Sweet Soy, Cahaba Farms Spicy Greens

Publix Apron Cooking School – Butter Poached Florida Rock Shrimp, Corn Nage, and Handmade Pasta

Hunger Street Tacos – Octopus Aquachile

Hibiscus Tomatillo Avocado Cilantro

Watermelon in Mezcal

Key Lime Mousse Chile Pequin

The Glass Knife – Spumoni Cake Bite

The Glass Knife – Mini Crème Brûlée Doughnut

The Glass Knife – Lemon Meringue Tart

The Stubborn Mule – Cauliflower Salad

The Tipsy Cookie – Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookie, Royal Caramel Apple Cookie

Andy’s Frozen Custard – Vanilla Custard with Crushed Oreos

Crudo – Huckleberry Tomato, Arugasabi, Lemon, Salmon, Grouper, Tuna

Key West Pink Shrimp on a Grit Cake with Tase Gravy

Orlando Meats – Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts 

Orlando Meats – Port Rillettes – Fermented radish, sourdough, kewpie

Tartine – Cinnamon Sugar Pork Rinds with Cream Cheese Glaze

Escargot with Garlic Herb Butter served with House-Made Petite Danish Cup

Pizzeria Roberti – Beet and Mozzarella Salad with Hazelnut Whip

Won this cooler bag from the Topgolf prize wheel

The Sugar Sow – Bacon Mac N’ Cheese

Publix Aprons Cooking School – Mahi-Mahi Ceviche, Toasted Fennel Salted Watermelon Slices

Artisan’s Table – Kielbasa Sliders – Creamy Mustard & Onion Sauce

Devine Wine & Grill – Beet Salad with Ahi Tuna

Cuban Mojo Chicken

Violectric – an electric string quintet plus keyboards and drums performing classic and modern rock tunes.  They were amazing!

First Watch will open their newest location in Waterford Lakes, next to Chuy’s, on Memorial Day, May 28.  This location is different than the rest of their Central Florida locations because it is about 1,000 square feet larger and includes its own bar.

Fun facts:
– First Watch is a Florida-based company. They opened their first restaurant in Maitland in 1993.
– They now have 300 locations nationwide.
– They don’t use microwave ovens, heat lamps, or fryers.

The dining area is modern and spacious.


The Waterford Lakes location is the second location with a bar, the first is Jacksonville.

Million Dollar Bloody Mary, Cinnamon Toast Coconut Milk

Pomegranate Sunrise, Morning Glory, Vodka Kale Tonic

Lemon Ricotta Pancake with Scrambled Eggs, Bacon. Side of Seasoned Potatoes and Biscuit.

 Smoked Salmon & Roasted Vegetable Frittata with Salad and Ciabatta Toast.

Roast Beef & Havarti Sandwich

Housemade Granola


Kale Tonic (Non-Alcoholic).  I need more of this fresh juice in my life!

Be sure to check out the new First Watch – Waterford Lakes soon for delicious breakfast or brunch and amazing service!  Shout out to our wonderful server, Myles.  He is the best!

(Source credit: First Watch)

First Watch
1448 N. Alafaya Trail Suite 150. Orlando, FL 32828
(941) 907-9800
firstwatch.com

Not only is May National BBQ Month, it is also the kick-off month of Sonny’s BBQ 50th Anniversary.  Join Pitmaster Bryan Mroczka and his team for a month packed of Wayback Wednesday deals and special offers for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend.

Wayback Wednesday deals – available for dine-in only.

•  Wednesday, May 2 – $0.50 salad bar or $0.50 draft beer (limit three per guest) with entree purchase*
•  Wednesday, May 9 – $5.99 All-You-Can-Eat Chicken*
•  Wednesday, May 16 – 50% off Signature Pork favorites (Pulled or Sliced Pork Dinners, Baskets, and St. Louis Rib Dinners)
•  Wednesday, May 23 – $6.99 St. Louis Rib Dinners
•  Wednesday, May 30 – $5 Original Sliced Pork Big Deal, no substitutions

Mother’s Day and Memorial Day – available at selection locations.  Check with your local Sonny’s BBQ for the specials they will be offering for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend.

•  Mother’s Day, May 13 – All moms who dine at Sonny’s on Mother’s Day will receive a free meal voucher for their next visit between May 14-June 3, 2018**
•  Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28 – $29.99 Meal Deal for four with a whole chicken, pound of Pulled or Sliced Pork, three pint-sized Sidekicks and choice of bread; add up to four drinks for just $1 each

**Voucher includes (1) free entrée with the purchase of another entrée that is of equal or greater value up to $15. Excludes All-You-Can-Eat. Valid at participating locations only.

Pictures below from our most recent media dine:

Fried Okra – A deep-fried Southern favorite. Fresh okra, chopped, breaded and fried to a crisp.

Redneck Egg Rolls – Loaded with Pulled Pork, homemade coleslaw and Pepper Jack cheese with a side of smokey Ranch dip.

Sonny’s Sampler – Pulled Pork, Sliced Brisket, 1/4 BBQ Chicken and Sweet & Smokey St. Louis Ribs, Potato Salad.

Sonny’s Steakburger – original Steakburger, topped with Cheddar, Swiss or American Cheese and served on a fresh toasted bun with a side of fries.

Be sure to check out a Sonny’s BBQ near you this month for some delicious classic barbecue, unbelievable Wayback Wednesday deals, and Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Weekend specials!

(Source credit: Sonny’s BBQ)

Sonny’s BBQ – Winter Park
3390 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32792
(407) 671-2002
http://sonnysbbq.com

 

Grilled center cut filet – filet mignon, grilled and seasoned perfectly, fingerling potato, radish, sugar snap peas, charred scallion oil & roast shallot sauce. (MY FAVORITE!)

Marlow’s Tavern is a bar & grill chain offering American pub fare in a classic setting with sports playing on the televisions.  The menu at Marlow’s Tavern changes three times a year.   We were invited to check out the new spring/summer menu at Marlow’s Tavern – Waterford Lakes (near UCF) and we really enjoyed everything we ate.  The food was delicious and the service was very welcoming and accommodating.  I highly recommend checking out Marlow’s Tavern – Waterford Lakes for any occasion.

That’s Not Mai Tie – Cana brava rum, raspberry syrup, orgeat, Myers dark rum & fresh lime.

Firecracker shrimp – Szechuan tempura shrimp, red & poblano peppers, peanut, cracklin spicy sauce. It was amazing!

Pastrami egg roll – Montreal smoked pastrami, Napa cabbage, sautéed onions, carrot, smoked thousand island sauce in a crispy egg roll.

Chicken tortilla – prestige farms chicken, sliced thin, crisp field greens, avocado, tomato, carrot, cucumber, fresh cilantro, tortilla, honey lime vinaigrette. One of the best salads I’ve ever had!

Side of fried okra.

Chicken salad wrap – house-made curry chicken salad, romaine, broccoli slaw, golden raisin, fresh cilantro, grilled tortilla.

Marlow’s special of the day – Blackened mahi sandwich – served on a ciabatta bun with a jicama slaw and house made citrus aioli.  

Grilled Atlantic salmon – jumbo cous cous, broccoli, carrot, red onion, golden raisin, parsley, toasted almond & port wine reduction.

Seared jumbo scallops – simply seasoned & perfectly seared, roast jalapeño corn grits, Spanish chorizo, poblano, roma tomato, roasted tomato fondue, palsied olive oil.

N.Y. style cheesecake – classic creamy vanilla cheesecake, strawberry, powdered sugar and cinnamon crisp.

Thank you Executive Chef Matt Tolson for an amazing nine-course meal and superior hospitality!  We really enjoyed everything that we ate and thank you Laura Richeson for hosting us!

Be sure to check out Marlow’s Tavern – Waterford  Lakes soon to taste their new spring/summer menu,  it is delicious!

Marlow’s Tavern – Waterford Lakes
547 N. Alafaya Trail, Building J1, Orlando, FL 32828
(407) 757-0606
http://marlowstavern.com

Haitian cuisine is sometimes lumped in with “Caribbean cuisine”, with crossovers from Cuban, Jamaican, Dominican, and Puerto Rican cuisine. Despite the shared commonalities of rice and beans, plaintains, and stewed vegetables, there are quite unique characteristics to Haitian cuisine, owing to its rich history and culinary heritage of French, African, the Taíno natives, Spanish and Middle Eastern influence, comparable to that of creole or criollo (Spanish for creole) cooking with flavors full of spices and peppers.

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The Taino natives who lived on the island of Hispaniola gave the “barbecue” method of smoking meats to the cuisine, while the African slaves brough over by the Spaniard colonialists brough okra, ackee fruit, taro, pigeon peas, red beans, chayote, and spices. After the Treaty of Basil in 1659, the French took over the western half of the island, and brought with them their love for pastries, breads and cheeses still popular today in Haiti.

The flavor base of much of Haitian cooking is epis, a combination sauce made from cooked peppers, garlic, and herbs, particularly green onions, thyme, and parsley. It is used as a basic condiment for rice and beans and is also used in stews and soups.

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Kreyol Kafe on the east side of Orlando, off of Colonial Drive, just east of Alafaya Trail is a Haitian restaurant that is run by Nadege Trotter, a Registered Nurse who has been cooking Haitian food since she was a teenager. Though there are a few Haitian establishments on the west side of Orlando, there are not any in other parts of town, including the east.

Nadege told us, “I love my culture and I think it has a lot to offer, from food to art. I decided to open the kafe because as a new generation Haitian I wanted to bring a flavor that other cultures can come in and immersed themselves in and be really surprised. Also, there’s no Haitian items in this side of town.”

I stopped by for lunch recently and ordered the fried pork special, which comes with rice and beans, a salad, and an extra spicy pepper sauce concoction that you use to flavor your meal according to your tastes. Be forewarned – do not underestimate the spice power of the pepper sauce.

The fried pork was nice and crispy, and the rice and beans was quite flavorful.

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My favorite dish was the legume, or “legim”, a thick vegetable stew consisting of a mashed mixture of eggplant, carrots, chayote, spinach, watercress and flavored with epis, onions, garlic, and spices.

The Haitian patty (pate), not to be confused with the Jamaican patties, are made here at Kreyol Kafe with ground beef or chicken surrounded by a softer flaky crust.

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The dessert here at the bakery section of Kreyol Kafe is called the “Tablet” peanut drop. “To make the tablet dessert, we roast the nuts and add sugar, ginger and cinnamon and so forth,” Nadege told us.

Overall, a reasonably priced meal and a nice introductory restaurant into Haitian cuisine at Kreyol Kafe.

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Kreyol Kafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Once upon a time, Halal Philly Cheese Steaks and Gyros occupied the space on the corner of Colonial Drive and Semoran Blvd.

There it was, since 1996, this corner mom and pop type place serving up hot, fresh philly cheese steak sandwiches and gyros.

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Then in 2012, the shop moved to this location on East Colonial near Goldenrod Road. This was because of the new overpass interchange built in that location to prevent pedestrian accidents/deaths (named one of the top 10 deadliest intersections in America a few years ago by Transportation of America).

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The space inside this strip mall spot is sparsely decorated, save for a fantastical space mural on the wall. The Philly cheesesteaks are out of this world, it subtly proclaims.

The space mural - foolish earthlings don't know how good they got it here
The space mural – foolish earthlings don’t know how good they got it here

The menu is also rather limited in scope, with gyros, salads, cheesesteaks, and burgers making up the majority of menu. But, the flavors are there – hot, fresh, griddled meat and cheeses all melting and sizzling together on the stovetop, handled with care by the friendly and welcoming owner/cook Mr. Iskender aka Alex Kurnaz.

The fries also arrive hot and fresh, crispy.

If you so desired, you could even get a philly style gyro sub sandwich.

Either way, it’s a good place to go if you are hankering for a great sub sandwich and hot fries without the pretenses.

Follow them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HalalGyro

Mr. Iskender aka Alex Kurnaz of Halal Philly Cheesesteaks and Gyros
Mr. Kurnaz of Halal Philly Cheesesteaks and Gyros
Philly Cheesesteak - big and fresh
Philly Cheesesteak – big and fresh
Gyro
Gyro
Burger, a favorite of Mr. Ali Kurnaz, son of Mr. Kurnaz
Burger, a favorite of Mr. Ali Kurnaz, son of Mr. Kurnaz

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Menu at Halal Philly Cheesesteaks and Gyro
Menu at Halal Philly Cheesesteaks and Gyro

Philly Cheese Steaks & Gyros on Urbanspoon

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