Hot Dogs

Duffy’s Sports Grill welcomes you to try their new features this football season as you cheer on your favorite team to win with your family and friends!

Share some loaded nachos with Nachos, Seven Ways to Sunday with housemate corn tortilla chips topped with slow simmered black beans, creamy white queso, pico de gallo, cilantro-onion relish, locally grown jalapeños, sour cream, fresh guacamole, and your choice of protein. The price varies by protein. For us, we picked the seasoned ground beef, which was slightly more salty than I’d like, but this dish is great to share with friends or a party of one.

After a plate of nachos, try the Smokey Brisket Burger Melt which is served with a side of french fries. This dish is tender and filled with flavor. It has to be my favorite of all the football features. However, I do wish it was a bit more moist.

The Lobster Roll is a taste of New England bites made with fresh lobster and it is served cold. Have a taste with some fries or coleslaw.

Maybe you’re not a brisket or lobster person. How about a beef hotdog? Duffy’s Sports Grill offers the Frito Dog, which is a chargrilled, all natural, uncured beef hotdog served with Duffy’s signature chili, cheddar jack cheese, onion, signature sauce, and Fritos. I’m a sucker for hotdogs and this is a different twist. It was definitely a mouthful.

Don’t forget to wash down the delicious bites with some cocktails! Here, we have the Pineapple Martini and Gummy Bear Martini. Both were made well.

For more information, visit a Duffy’s Sports Grill location today!

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Orlando finally has a Shake Shack to call its own – the New York based burger joint created by legendary restauranteur Danny Meyer will open this Wednesday July 30th 2014 at 119 North Orlando Avenue at the intersection of West Morse Boulevard in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park. Locals may know it as the “Trader Joe’s Plaza,” familiar with the parking issues that already exacerbate the trip to the area.

But despite the parking issues, the trip is so worth it, and here is why:

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1. The Original Shackburger – Ok, maybe this might not be so surprising, but this juicy, flavorful burger is one of the best in town in a very crowded field, and despite its small stature, the burger packs a lot of satisfying punch. As a burger traditionalist, nothing beats a good quality burger patty topped with cheese, tomato, and lettuce. The bun is a bit soft for me, but altogether the burger is definitely a heavy hitter among the many burger contenders in Central Florida. Note, the fries here are the crinkle cut, rather than hand cut fries available else where. They tasted fresh and crispy.

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ShackBurger – Cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce

 2. The SmokeStack Burger – Spicy bacon? yes please – The SmokeShack is a Cheeseburger topped with all-natural applewood smoked bacon, slightly sweet and surprisingly spicy chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce.

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SmokeShack – Cheeseburger topped with all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce

3. Something really delicious for our vegetarian friends – the ‘Shroom Burger – no, Shake Shack isn’t serving up those frozen soy tofu burgers you see at all the other burger joints. This ‘Shroom burger is house fried battered portobello mushroom filled with oozing, melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce – it pleasantly holds its own on the menu and is definitely a highlight amid the meatier burger menu.

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‘Shroom burger is house fried battered portobello mushroom filled with oozing, melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce

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4. A Local Flair with Audubon Park’s P is for Pie Bake Shop in their “Concretes” – Little known fact about this Winter Park location of Shake Shack – they are using local Audubon Park bake shop P is for Pie’s Key Lime Pie for their Key Lime Pie Oh My Concrete vanilla custard dessert – a very nice local touch. See the full menu here

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Another sweet local touch – Shake Shack in Winter Park will also donate 5% of sales from the Winter’s Wonderland concrete to the local non-profit BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, a local non-profit that provides year-round support for children and families in Orlando and Central Florida who are facing cancer and other hematological illnesses.

5. Stunning Hidden Lake Views at Shake Shack in Winter Park – It’s not just for the particularly good burgers – juicy, flavorful, tender on a soft bread bun – but also a great reason to visit is to see the stunning sunset views over Lake Killarney. Really lovely, beautiful place to have a burger and a shake or a “concrete” frozen custard ice cream, and kick back and relax in Central Florida.

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Bonus: you can even play ping pong back here on the Shake Shack branded table tennis area while you enjoy your burgers and shakes in the patio on Lake Killarney.
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PRESS RELEASE: SHAKE SHACK TO OPEN FIRST-EVER ORLANDO, FLORIDA, LOCATION ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 30TH

Beloved Burger, Hot Dog and Frozen Custard Stand Parks it in Winter Park

NEW YORK, NY – July 29, 2014 – It’s a Shack world after all! Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) is proud to announce it will open its fourth Shake Shack® in Florida on Wednesday, July 30th, at 11:00AM.

The newest addition to the Shack family is located at 119 North Orlando Avenue at the intersection of West Morse Boulevard in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park.

Established in 2004 in New York City’s Madison Square Park, Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, griddled-crisp flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, craft beer and wine, and much more. A fun and lively community gathering spot with widespread appeal, over the past decade Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following in Florida and around the world.

“We opened our first Florida Shake Shack in Miami Beach four years ago. We’ve had our eye on Central Florida for some time, and we’re thrilled to finally be a part of this community and further our commitment to the state,” said Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti. “Being located alongside Lake Killarney is ideal, and we look forward to having locals and visitors alike join us for a ShackBurger on our outdoor patio space complete with fire pit, lounge chairs, and even a ping-pong table.”

Like its Sunshine State predecessors in Miami Beach, Coral Gables and Boca Raton, Winter Park’s menu will feature all the Shake Shack classics, plus a selection of delectable frozen custard concretes to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings.

Exclusive to the Winter Park Shack is Winter’s Wonderland (vanilla frozen custard, marshmallow sauce and crispy crunchies). A long-time fan favorite that originated at Shake Shack’s flagship location in NYC will also be offered, the Shack Attack® (chocolate frozen custard, fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie dough and Mast Brothers Shake Shack dark chocolate chunks, topped with chocolate sprinkles). Last but certainly not least, is a beloved classic from the Miami Beach Shack that will now be served in Winter Park as well, the Key Lime Pie Oh My (vanilla frozen custard blended with a slice of key lime pie from Orlando’s own P is for Pie Bake Shop).

As part of its community outreach efforts and mission to Stand for Something Good®, the Winter Park Shake Shack will donate 5% of sales from the Winter’s Wonderland concrete to BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation, a local non-profit that provides year-round support for children and families in Orlando and Central Florida who are facing cancer and other hematological illnesses. Learn more at www.basecamp.org.

In keeping with Shake Shack’s eco-friendly mindset and commitment to green architecture, the interior walls of the Winter Park Shack are clad in once lost century-old lumber that was recently salvaged from Northern Florida’s Suwannee River. The Shack also features energy-efficient kitchen equipment and lighting. Chairs and booths are made from lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and tabletops are made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes. To keep guests virtually connected, free Wi-Fi is available.

For more information, including a list of all current Shake Shack locations, please visit www.shakeshack.com.

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Chicken Dog – Shake Shack chicken, apple and sage sausage

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Chocolate Shake

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Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

Photos by Krystle Nguyen

Located in a rather desolate corner of Alafaya and Colonial Drive, ‘Kesh restaurant serves up an intriguing menu of sandwiches and flavors with an international flair, truly a hidden gem.

A visit to ‘Kesh, right next to the Orange County DMV, is like playing a game of food roulette. You literally never know what to expect – the menu changes daily, dependent on the whim and creativity of Chef Jerry Helminski.

The shop is sparse, with a layout similar to a deli  – which it may have been in a previous time – with Chef Jerry manning most of the make-shift open kitchen area and doing his best to serve up creative street food dishes.

The dishes, though humble in name, are full of flavor and have a certain finesse to them, thanks to the culinary training of the chef.

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The menu, sandwiches, shakes, and snacks – always changing

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Chicago style Dog

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Yakiniku beef sliders at Kesh

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Chef Jerry grew up on the west side of Chicago, though starting out in architecture, after some jobs in the restaurant industry and becoming intrigued, began apprenticing at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California and working in some of America’s most renowned resorts and hotel kitchens in Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Houston, and Amelia Island.

For more than 20 years, his passion has been driven by one simple rule: “Learn something new every day.” His love for learning and mentoring, in addition to being part of 5 hotel openings, has sharpened and broadened Jerry’s general management competencies, as well as his restaurant concept development skills.

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Jerry has cooked for world leaders, dignitaries and celebrities including US President, George Bush Sr., the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, Mayors of Galveston, Lyda Ann Thomas and Joe Jaworski, actor Anthony Hopkins, singer Rod Stewart, radio personality and voice actor, Casey Kasem, Astronaut and US Senator, John Glenn, hosted former WWF professional wrestling heavy weight champion, Hulk Hogan’s daughter’s birthday party, among others.

Jerry has also promoted the culinary trade through fund raising efforts since 1992 with the homeless and hunger relief organization Share Our Strengths. He is a member of the American Culinary Federation.

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We talked with Chef Jerry about ‘Kesh and his inspirations.

Where does the name ‘Kesh come from?

The name ‘Kesh is short for Marrakesh, from the city in Morocco. My wife is from Morocco and we have been several times. In particular the marketplace there is an unbelievable experience…Jemaa el-Fna. While I don’t always have Moroccan dishes on the menu I am inspired by the excitement the memories of my time there.

What are some of your favorite food memories?

My favorite food memories are all family moments from the Christmas dinners with my family to my first dinner in Morocco with my wife’s family.

Tell us about the inspiration for the menu at Kesh – it is very diverse with elements from Asia to Africa.

The inspiration for the menu at ‘Kesh comes from all my travels. I love recreating classic ethnic dishes as well as putting my own spin on those dishes. Street food from all cultures is where I start and most times what I find at the markets and food supplies takes me the rest of the way…lately a lot of the menu comes from suggestions and what I call challenges from my regulars. For example, one regular asked me if I make good crabs cakes? Challenge accepted…lol.

How did the Supper Clubs start? What can guests look forward to?

Supper Club was an idea I always had planned, based on my food memories as I mentioned above…(dinner at the table with family and friends.) However, it took a spin when again customers wanted to see me do more than “sandwiches”. I did not want to compromise what I started with as far as menu prices. So I adjusted the Supper Club to be a little more upscale than originally intended. But never pretentious.

Guests can expect as I like to say at the start of the dinner…”good food, good friends and good music.” And sometimes bad dancing by me. .(have to be at the Supper Club to see that…lol)

Chicken K'dra - Moroccan style chicken with chickpeas and zucchini
Chicken K’dra – Moroccan style chicken with chickpeas and zucchini

Through out your career, do you have any special moments that you have had that you’d like to share? 

The fondest memories I have from looking at my career so far would be my time spent working with my mentor Chef Bernd Mueller at three different hotels…Marriott, Gaylord Palms & Omni. He taught me more than I could ever explain. The best moments where working side by side with him at the Croc’s pool grill at the Omni with three other cooks in a kitchen designed for one cook…lol

Where would you go on your off days?

Days off now are spent spending time with my wife & son, going to my favorite Asian market JM on O.B.T. and Sushi take out from either Mikados or Suki Hanna.

Cheesy Breakfast Tots - with scrambled eggs and ham
Cheesy Breakfast Tots – with scrambled eggs and ham

This is kind of like asking who is your favorite child, but … what is your favorite dish and why?

Being raised in Chicago my heart will always have a place for a good steak (very rare) and Chicago style hot dogs. But I admit to having an unhealthy obsession for Asian food…Sushi, Spicy Thai Food and traditional Chinese food (mostly made at home as most Chinese restaurants food is too “Americanized” hence why I Love going to JM Oriental Market. The owner always gives me fun things to cook with. Got some black mushrooms, fermented black beans & dried shaved black fungus!

Chef Jerry - master of the kitchen at 'Kesh
Chef Jerry – master of the kitchen at ‘Kesh

On every other Saturday, check out the Kesh Saturday Supper Club and enjoy a 4 to 6-course tasting menu delicately prepared by Chef Jerry Helminski. With dishes in the past have ranged from Maple-Sake Cured Salmon Belly to Prawns braised in sweet and sour sauce, you’ll never know what to expect.

Pre-dinner canapés will be served from 7:30 – 8:00 p.m.
First dinner course is served at 8:00 p.m.

$41 per person (includes pre-dinner canapés, 4 to 6-course tasting menu and paired beverages).
$72 per couple (includes pre-dinner canapés, 4 to 6-course tasting menu and paired beverages).
Group discounts available for parties of 4 or more.
Dress code: resort casual.
No children under 12, please.

Seating is limited so reservations are required.
Please call 407.203.0801 or email us at info@keshrestaurant.com by noon on Friday.

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Kesh Restaurant and Deli on Urbanspoon

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Hot Dog Heaven is an Orlando institution, very popular for their Chicago style hot dogs. Yes, it may seem strange that one of the longest standing Orlando restaurants is known for something out of the windy city, but remember, Orlando is a city of transplants and who wouldn’t want to move here from Chiberia after the long winters they’ve had recently?

Since 1987, Hot Dog Heaven has been specializing in Chicago Hot Dogs – prepared with 100% Vienna Beef products on poppy seed buns and topped with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, pickle, and hot peppers.

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Inside, the decor is minimal, a few bar stools and outside, some seating to enjoy the nice Central Florida weather and some street views of Colonial Drive.

Service needs some work – during my visit, the teenaged cashier attendant seemed like she’d rather be some where else that day and the other employees had the same sort of annoyed attitude. Maybe it’s Chicago style hospitality to go with the Chicago style hot dog?

My hot dog was good, toppings were fresh and nice – but I couldn’t help wonder what all the fuss is about, especially given the price. Maybe it is nostalgia, a yearning for a simpler time when Orlando had a lot less culinary options to choose from.

Chicago style hot dog at Hot Dog Heaven
Chicago style hot dog at Hot Dog Heaven

The location is right off of busy State Road 50, just west of the new SR 436 / Semoran Blvd flyover, and can be a bit difficult to get to if you don’t know when to turn. Look for the giant Hot Dog Heaven forked weiner sign.

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Hot Dog Heaven on Urbanspoon

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Kona Dog (formerly Hula Dog) is a new place that opened up recently on International Drive (Orlando’s tourist district) where business is booming. With quite a few places closing in the past few years on International Drive (an empty and and abandoned Bennigan’s restaurant sits just next door from Kona Dog), it is refreshing to see new restaurants opening up and becoming successful and flourishing because people love what they have to offer.

What Kona Dog has to offer is something new and unique to our area, and according to the Kona Dog manager, the first one of its kind to open in the continental United States. Kona Dog is a tiny shack that serves up big hot dogs made hawaiian style: they serve their Boar’s Head hot dogs with home made hawaiian bread and sweet and spicy sauces made right on the premises.

For $6.95, you can get a Kahuna combo which comes with hot dog, chips and a drink. First you pick a “dog” with choices ranging from the traditional all beef hot dog, a spicy sausage dog, or a veggie dog made with soy. Then you pick a “Hula Sauce” from the original “garlic lemon”, spicy jalapeno, or hot chili pepper to go with the dog. Then you pick a fruit sauce from coconut, pineapple, mango,and banana. And then finally a “mustard” from pineapple, mango, spicy brown, or yellow mustard.

I chose the spicy jalapeno all beef hot dog with pineapple fruit sauce and mango mustard. The hot dog actually was quite huge. I would say it was at least a foot long hawaiian roll that it was served in. The hawaiian roll was very unique, a sweet, fluffy and filling bread that they insert the dogs in. The hot dog and sauces, though subtle, provided quite a fun and sweet flavor. I would definitely come back and get some more dogs from this small and humble shack.

For more info, visit
http://thehuladog.com/
Address: 6312 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819


Kona Dog on Urbanspoon


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Find Kona Dog on International Drive right by the Congo River mini Golf park!

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The Manager is a friendly guy at Kona Dog

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The Menu at Kona Dog, its on a surfboard!

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om nom nom 

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