Fried

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

We were invited to Taste of Haiti Orlando’s pre-event “Foodies Night Out” sponsored by Bistro Paradise Restaurant and Tele Anacaona DGTV to try a variety of delicious traditional Haitian dishes.  We had such a blast with media guests and the beautiful Mrs. Haiti International who joined us for a wonderful evening of laughter, chatting, getting to know about Haitian cuisine and of course EATING & EATING some more!  

The vibrant cultural event Taste of Haiti Orlando, a culinary, music and arts festival is taking place this Saturday, May 5th from 2pm-8pm at the picturesque Gaston Edwards Park on Lake Ivanhoe – 1236 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida.  Joining this year’s cultural extravaganza is the award winning “Twoubadou” (“too – baa- doo”) artist Beethova Obas.  Beethova has successfully blended traditional Haitian Music with conscious lyrics and harmonies reminiscent of Creole Jazz mixed in with Afro beat rhythm.

The food was incredible and only a glimpse of what will come at Taste of Haiti Orlando.  Tickets are $10 and is guaranteed to be a ton of fun.

Kudos to our talented chef, Chef Widline Pamphile.  It was my first time eating Haitian food and it certainly won’t be my last!

(Source credit: Taste of Haiti Orlando)

Taste of Haiti Orlando
Saturday, May 5th from 2pm-8pm
Gaston Edwards Park – Lake Ivanhoe
1236 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida

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.

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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.

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Where To Get Your Fix

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Oreo doughnut from Donuts To Go

Around Town

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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!

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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.

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“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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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So. Much. Fun.

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue on Urbanspoon

Chicken and Waffles with Bourbon Maple syrup at The Coop

Update: Saturday April 19, 2014 –

The Coop has officially opened! Here are a few shots from our recent visit on a Saturday afternoon. The line, of course, was out the door…

The hours are:

Monday – Friday
11-2 and 5-9

Saturday
11-9

Sunday – Closed

The phone number is: 1-407-THE-COOP ((407) 843-2667) – They are not taking to -go orders yet, so you’ll have to wait in line for now!

Looking at the line at the Coop
Looking at the line at the Coop
Outdoor line
Outdoor line
Interior of The Coop - mismatched chairs and tables, family settings...
Interior of The Coop – mismatched chairs and tables, family settings…
The line at The Coop, inside!
The line at The Coop, inside!
Counter service - reminded me of Boston Market a little bit...
Counter service – reminded me of Boston Market a little bit…
The menu in the back.
The menu in the back.
I think it would help to label the dishes
I think it would help to label the dishes
Assembly line / Fast Casual concept
Assembly line / Fast Casual concept
Fried Chicken with Cinnamon bread pudding and mac-n-cheese sides at The Coop - the chicken was a bit too peppery today
Fried Chicken with Cinnamon bread pudding and mac-n-cheese sides at The Coop.
Shrimp N Grits
Shrimp N Grits with Tasso Ham
The Fried Seafood Basket at The Coop
The Fried Seafood Basket at The Coop
My friend's Fried Green Tomatoes and Mac-N-Cheese
My friend’s Fried Green Tomatoes and Mac-N-Cheese
Chicken n Waffles and watermelon from The Coop
Chicken n Waffles and watermelon from The Coop

Overall impressions on first visit, definitely worth a try, despite some missteps. The assembly line nature at the counter could be improved to enhance overall experience – it all seemed a bit rushed once getting to the front. The fried chicken was a bit too dry and there seemed to be a bit of a heavy hand with the black pepper today. The mac and cheese was fabulous, though, as was the shrimp and grits with tasso ham. I am sure they will figure out all the kinks and have a lot of success in the coming days, though.

The menu

Photo Apr 19, 4 28 40 PM

Photo Apr 19, 4 28 18 PM

Photo Apr 19, 4 28 25 PM

Photo Apr 19, 4 28 32 PM

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Original Date posted – February 13, 2014

For the past year or so, Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse has been quietly tilling away at the kitchen in search of the perfect recipe for fried chicken, quietly testing his recipes and hatching ideas in creating a new refined Southern menu for The Coop (http://asouthernaffair.com/), and the results are astounding.

To say my mind was blown when tasting some of the dishes at a recent preview of the menu is an understatement. The chicken and biscuit, for example, may sound innocuous at first, but the fried chicken, made with dark thigh meat instead of white breast meat – which tends to be dry, was tender and juicy while the biscuit itself was a little sweet and fluffy and together with the bourbon maple syrup – it was divine. I do reckon that bourbon maple syrup that they’ve come up with is going to be a favorite in any Southern kitchen for years to come.

Chicken and biscuits made with juicy fried dark chicken thigh meat
Chicken and biscuits made with juicy fried dark chicken thigh meat

John Rivers wants The Coop to be a place known for its refined, not “gourmet”, Southern comfort food, something that you’d feel welcome to eating at home on your porch on a weekend Florida afternoon, with dishes like the low country shrimp and grits, made with savory, flavorful grits cooked in a chicken/shrimp broth and tender sausage and tasso ham made from a home recipe. The menu has hints of both New Orleans Cajun cuisine and Carolinas low country southern food from the shrimp po boy sandwiches to the Charleston Shrimp Perloo, a dirty rice dish that’s a cousin of the jambalaya and more distantly the Spanish paella. The Coop is much more than about just fried chicken.

No wonder Visit Orlando – the official Tourism Bureau for Central Florida – among its list of “Top 10 Reasons for Visiting Orlando in 2014” included The Coop, the only local restaurant among a sea of theme park attractions and developments. Get ready for a very delightful March when The Coop opens its doors in Winter Park for the first time – it will be a year for fried chicken all around. The phone number is 407-The-COOP and the address is 610 West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, FL 32789 – I suggest you bookmark it in your GPS/Google Maps now. The COOP will be open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will be closed on Sundays. For more information, visit www.asouthernaffair.com.

Chef John Rivers presenting the Coop's Chicken and Waffles
Chef John Rivers presenting the Coop’s Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and Waffles with Bourbon Maple syrup at The Coop
Chicken and Waffles with Bourbon Maple syrup at The Coop
Shrimp Po Boy, influenced by New Orleans cajun cuisine
Shrimp Po Boy, influenced by New Orleans cajun cuisine
Charleston Shrimp Perloo - a rice dish from the Carolinas
Charleston Shrimp Perloo – a rice dish from the Carolinas
The Coop's Deviled Eggs
The Coop’s Deviled Eggs
Broccoli salad with cranberries, pine nuts, red onion
Broccoli salad with cranberries, pine nuts, red onion

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Low Country Shrimp and Grits with house made Tasso ham and sausage

Mac and 3 Cheeses - Gruyere, Parmesan, and Cheddar cheese
Mac and 3 Cheeses – Gruyere, Parmesan, and Cheddar cheese
Creamed corn fixin'
Creamed corn fixin’
Cornbread - really good - fluffy, light, sweet, some flakes of corn detected
Cornbread – really good – fluffy, light, sweet, some flakes of corn detected
Possible Menu at the Coop
Possible Menu at the Coop

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PImento cheese, a southern classic
PImento cheese, a southern classic
Chicken Pot pie, so cute so little, so delicious
Chicken Pot pie, so cute so little, so delicious
Fried okra, very delicate fry
Fried okra, very delicate fry
Whoopie Pies - red velvet cake, peanut butter, and more
Whoopie Pies – red velvet cake, peanut butter, and more

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The Coop: A Southern Affair on Urbanspoon

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There are only a handful of land marks in Central Florida that, for whatever reason, have stood the test of time and lasted. Beefy King on Bumby Avenue, Lee and Rick’s Oyster Bar off of Kirkman Road, and Hot Dog Heaven on Colonial Drive stand out in my mind as a few olde Orlando classics, a mythic time period pre-dating the arrival of the Mouse to Orlando.

There is also Olde Dixie Fried Chicken, celebrating its 50th year this year, complete with its huge, colorful sign with a friendly chicken, licking its lips, beneath a Confederate rebel flag bedazzled cap. Yes, Olde Dixie is a proud southern chicken from times of the good old days of the Civil War. Just a reminder that we sometimes forget that Florida is technically, geographically at least, a Southern state, though usually not considered one  as we are pretty much a state of transplants from other states who have come to enjoy the Florida sun since the times of Henry Flager and John D. Rockefeller.

Anywho, Olde Dixie Fried Chicken sits on Orange Avenue about 5 miles south of downtown within the Pine Castle community (originally established in 1870). When you first enter, you immediately feel like you are in another time period, I think I felt transported back to the 1970s. Something in my mind just kept telling me, I should back away slowly…

But, the sound of crackling chicken coming from the deep fryer next to the counter allayed my concerns.

The kitchen is run by a group of women, they seemed like mothers, daughters, and grandmothers all together around the fryer area. You order at the counter where there was a single, simple paper menu of the various chicken pieces, sides, and choices.

You can dine at a table in an adjoining room where the decor probably hasn’t changed much since they first opened in the 1960s; various chicken memorabilia (somehow reminding me of the other, more refined chicken place up the street, Le Coq Au Vin) adorn the walls in the dining room.

I ordered a combo that came with fried chicken breast, a wing, and a leg as well as baked beans and french fries for the side. The french fries were nothing to write home about, and the baked beans were not much better, but they had a comforting familiar taste that I did not mind. The fried chicken was good, kind of like what you would imagine home-style fried chicken would taste. Certainly not the best ever, especially with the out-dated kicks, but it’s comfort food. Better than Kentucky Fried Chicken and Maryland Fried Chicken, on par with Bojangles, but not better than Popeye’s I would reckon.

It’s interesting to note what restaurants have stayed around for so long here in Orlando where it seems things can open and close on a dime. A trait that the older Orlando establishments seem to share is doing one thing, and doing it well. Just like succeeding in life.

Orange County Update – Pine Castle Pioneer Days

 

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The interior of the dining room at Olde Dixie Fried Chicken

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Fried Chicken, Fries, and Baked Beans at Olde Dixie Fried Chicken

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It’s all about that fried chicken y’all.

Olde Dixie Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

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