Orlando

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The Glass Knife opened just a few months ago and is already popular among the “ladies who lunch” of Winter Park. They’ve learned from their first missteps and have continued to refine their processes – for example, a more prominent sign guiding new customers to the counters to take their orders.

The bakery/restaurant/cafe was developed by local entrepreneur Steve Brown, as a way to share his memories of baking alongside his mother, Jacque, who was a fond collector of Depression-era glass cake knives.


The culinary team is led by Executive Chef Stuart Whitfield, who has worked for Four Seasons, Le Cirque, David Burke & Donatella, and The Walt Disney Company.

The Glass Knife’s Spring debut lineup includes: new macarons, lemon and chocolate tarts, artisanal flatbreads, their newest doughnut, the PB&J, and their newest pastry, the Coconut Blackberry.

I enjoyed the PB&J donut, but the Coconut Blackberry was my favorite. An outstanding pastry with complex textures from crunchy to soft to sweet and citrusy – quite delicious.


Mediterranean Flatbread
Sweet fig butter, goat cheese, Neuske’s Applewood-smoked bacon and caramelized onions topped with arugula, shredded Gruyere cheese and finished with a mission fig balsamic drizzle and lemon creme fraiche


The PB&J
Filled with layers of the Glass Knife’s own peanut butter cream and tangy raspberry jam, touched with a vibrant purple, hibiscus glaze and topped with peanut butter stripes and golden, house-made peanut brittle


Coconut Blackberry
Intricate layers of aromatic blackberry pate de fruit, coconut dacquoise and zesty yuzu jam enveloped in a lush coconut mousse atop a buttery shortbread base finished with blackberry cream, touches of fresh blackberries, coconut, microgreens and edible 23-karat gold leaf.

 

Tonkotsu ramen bar.  It was delicious!

We were invited to experience the Sakura (cherry blossom) Festival, a month-long celebration of the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms at Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs.

The restaurant was decorated with Instagram-worthy décor, showcasing the pink blooms of the Sakura. Similar to the festivals in Japan, guests attended a series of ticketed events and enjoyed special menu items inspired by the Japanese cherry blossoms.

The month-long Sakura Festival concluded with a family fun day inspired by the traditional Matsuri (festival) of Japan.  We got to enjoy unlimited sushi, ramen, yakisoba, street food, mochi, cocktails/mocktails, origami artist, calligraphy artist, games and giveaways.  You definitely need to experience this one of a kind event for yourself next year!

Celebrity Disney expert Lou Mongello and I.

A station in partnership with their Disney Springs neighbors, Uniqlo.

Okinawa Breeze – strawberry kiwi limeade (mocktail).

Winter Sakura – cherry calpico soda (the best mocktail in the world!).

Onigiri.

Shrimp tempura, california, spicy tuna, spicy salmon.

The back side of the previous dish.

Eel & avocado sushi.

Okonímiyaki.

Takoyaki.

Tonkotsu ramen.

Dango – kinako (roasted soy flour), mitarashi (sweet soy glaze), kurogoma (black sesame).

Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinag preparing mochi.

Mochi.

Calligraphy artist writes guest’s name in Japanese.

Origami artist.

Ramune ring toss.

Ramune ring toss prizes.

Connect 4 with candy prizes.

Yakitori.

Yakisoba.  It was sooo good!

Be sure to check out the 2nd Annual Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs next year!  You will love it!

(Source credit: Morimoto Asia)

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs
1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
patinagroup.com/morimoto-asia/sakura
(407) 939-6686

Recognized as the region’s premier food and wine pairing event, the 26th Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala at Walt Disney World Resort featured unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by 23 of Central Florida’s top chefs, along with thoughtfully paired fine wines.  The evening also included a sparking wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips. 

This year they served over 460,000 individuals and raised a record-breaking $300,000+ towards the fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida.  95 cents of every dollar raised is invested back into the community to fund critical programs.

Chef’s Gala – what a tasteful way to make a difference in the world!

All beverages were generously donated.

All silent auction items were generously donated.

Live performance by an amazing band

Flying Fish – Disney’s BoardWalk: Chef LT Majoras
Cool Water Lobster and Slow Poached Shrimp, Spring Melon, Hearts of Palm, Shaved Serrano and Cava Vinaigrette

SLATE: Chef Jacob Woolf
Smoked Brisket, Jalapeño Creamed Corn, Charred Scallion Vinaigrette and Annatto Oil

Artist Point – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Chef Michael Gonsalves
Sweet Maiz Soup – Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Spring Radish, Ramp Mole, Greens

Urban Tide – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Chef Jared Gross
Plantain-Crusted Atlantic Cod, Roasted Red Beet and Crème Fraiche Mash, Kumquat Mostarda

Todd English’s bluezoo – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort: Chef Jason Wiggin
Crispy Puffed Rice Shrimp, Wasabi Pommes Puree, Sweet Thai Chili

Shutters – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: Chef Mark Donovan
Caribbean Goat Curry with Fragrant Island Rice and Cilantro-Lime Crema

Hemisphere – Hyatt Regency Orlando: Chef Jeffrey Powell
Chilled California-Style White Fish Ceviche with House Fried Corn Chips

Ale & Compass Restaurant – Disney’s  Beach Club Resort: Chef David Hutnick
Slow Smoked Pork Tenderloin, Bacon Jam, Vermont Cheddar Grits, Barbecue Gastrique and Herb Salad

The Turf Club Bar and Grill – Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: Chef Dan Marozzi
Pan Seared Salmon Slider – Seared Ora King Salmon, Horseradish Pickled Cucumber Slaw, on a Dill Gougère

blu on the avenue: Chef Tony Krueger
Hot Smoked Scottish Salmon, Dukkah Drop Biscuit, Bacon, Pickled Serrano, Aged Maple Syrup, Flowers

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs: Chef Yuhi Fujinaga
Foie “PHO”, Kona Kanpachi, Shiso

Latitude and Longitude – Orlando World Center Marriott: Chef Kyle Anderson
Low-Country Perloo Carolina Gold Rice, Chicken Thighs, Andouille Sausage, Florida Rock Shrimp

The Hollywood Brown Derby – Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Chef Craig Schleider
Spicy Togarashi – Crusted Ahi Tuna, House-Made Kimchi, Bamboo Rice and Ginger-Soy Glaze

STK Orlando – Disney Springs: Chef Aaron Taylor
Goat’s Milk Ricotta with Crushed Peas, Mint and Charred Spring Onion

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Mandazi

Jiko – The Cooking Place – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Chef Eddie Mendoza
Isitambu – Zulu-Style Samp, Beans with Oxtail and Quail Egg

Tiffins – Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: Chef Robby Sayles
Blanquette de Veau, Crispy Sweetbreads, Forest Mushroom Ragout and Charred Pearl Onion

 

Le Cellier Steakhouse – Epcot®: Chef Kevin Downing
Lamb Loin, Confit Marble Potatoes, Spring Vegetable Vinaigrette and Pinot Noir Syrup

Primo by Melissa Kelly – J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes: Chef Eric Santiago
House-Made Casarecche Pasta, Lake Meadows Duck Confit, Local Mushrooms, Ramp Pesto and Shaved Pecorino

Bull & Bear – Waldorf Astoria Orlando: Chef Richard Brown
Seared Shrimp Scampi with Pinot Grigio Butter, Black Venus Rice Risotto and Parmesan Cheese

Cinderella’s Royal Table – MAGIC KINGDOM Park: Chef Axel Martinez
Blood Orange Braised Beef Short Rib, Melted Leek and Kohlrabi Puree and Sweetie Drop Peppers

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company: Roast Master Chris DeMezzo
Made-to-Order Specialty Coffees

Amorette’s Patisserie – Disney Springs: Pastry Chef Yoly Lazo Colon
Amorette’s Petite Signature Cake – Chocolate Chiffon, Raspberry Pate Fruit, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Biscuit, Dark Chocolate and Cherry Mousse

Gideon’s Bakehouse: Owner Steve Lewis and Chef Nicole Beebe
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie and Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie

Epcot® Bakery Team: Pastry Chef Noah French
Meyer Lemon Tart with Mandarin Orange Jam

Beautiful and breathtaking fireworks are the perfect way to end an amazing night.  Be sure to check out this amazing event next year!

(Source credit: Chef’s Gala)

Chef’s Gala – Epcot Showplace
200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
(407) 939-5277
ChefsGala.org

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Hawkers Asian Street Fare opened its newest location in Windermere, and the team couldn’t be more excited!  We were invited to meet the team, tour the space, and enjoy complimentary dinner and drinks with the Hawkers family this past weekend during their VIP experience event.  Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Windermere has a beautiful, vibrant, and inviting atmosphere. The street food was good and the hospitality was top notch!

They are in soft opening mode starting today.  Their official grand opening date is on Monday, April 23.

THAI ICED TEA

‘NAM-NOM ROLLS – chilled rice wrap, crunchy spring roll, chicken sausage, lettuce, cucumber (my favorite appetizer!)

#DIMSUMCRUNCHYBALLS – shrimp, pork, crispy spring roll batter

SINGAPORE ‘CHILLI’ CRAB – national dish of Singapore, soft-shelled crab, house-made chili garlic sauce, fried bao bun

STREET SKEWERS – three per order, cooked over 1000° wood burning grill.  Choice of: crispy chicken skin, Korean octopus, beef bulgogi, chicken bulgogi, satay chicken, lemongrass pork

HAWKER WINGS – five per order, battered or naked, with choice of sauce: Thai chili, hainanese, honey sriracha, chuan jerk, five spice, spring onion ginger

PO PO LO’S CURRY – a signature recipe shared by their family for generations.  Choice of: chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu.  Served with white or brown rice.

CANTON COD – wok-seared with bell peppers and onions

My mom & I

Behind the scenes shot

TIGER SALAD – poached octopus, cilantro, carrots, scallions, celery, cucumber, rice wine vinaigrette

GREEN PAPAYA & SHRIMP – carrots, basil, cilantro, mango salsa, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, Vietnamese vinaigrette

My mom & I with the co-owner of Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Allen Lo.  Thanks for the food, hospitality, and gift bags!

Assortment of desserts


Sake tasting

We got to design our own shirt!

My mom designed this shirt

The shirt that I designed

Be sure to check out the new Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Windermere!  Their grand opening will be on Monday, April 23!

Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Windermere
9100 Conroy Windermere Rd suite 110, Windermere, FL 34786
(407) 583-6334
eathawkers.com/windermere-fl/

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Typically, I’m not a VIP kind of girl.  Just ask my husband about our very first date at Wendy’s when I couldn’t have been happier with my chocolate frosty (yes, I was only fifteen years old, but my love of Frosty’s remains the same).  However, on a beautiful night in Orlando, date night with one of our best couple friends, attending Beard In Baldwin Food & Wine Festival in Baldwin Park, you have to go VIP all the way!  After all, purchased tickets benefit The James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program, and grant you admission to a private cocktail event inside The Osprey Tavern (one of my favorite restaurants).  VIP or not, this festival on Saturday night, April 14th, was worth every penny, considering the insanely delicious food and drinks we tried from some of the best restaurants in the Orlando area.  My bucket list (restaurants I plan to visit – I’m not into bungee jumping) has grown tremendously!

I could go on and on about every dish, every drink, from every restaurant we tried (seriously, there wasn’t one thing I didn’t like).  But, in consideration of your time and my rambling, here is a glimpse of a few fantastic eats:

Tamale Co.
Mole Tamale – Mexican Sauce Cooked with Chocolate Abuelita Banana, Mexican Spices and Seeds
Bites & Bubbles
Salmon Cake with Lump Crab, Champagne Citrus Sauce and Micro Greens
Orlando Meats
Reuben Tartine with Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Thousand Island Dressing, Rye Bread
Dixie Dharma (Vegan)
Beet Tartare – Beet with Macadamia, Spring Onion, Nettle Oil
Black Rooster Taqueria
Fish Taco – Beer Battered Fish, Organic Corn Tortilla, Red Cabbage, Mayo, Avocado, Cilantro, Radish, Lime
Highball & Harvest
Duck Pot Pie & Stuffed Squid – Wild Onion Bisque, Duck Rillette, Corn Smut Cracker
Terralina Crafted Italian (Opening Soon at Disney Springs)
Nonna’s Pork Ragu – Over Polenta Topped with Pecorino Romano Cheese
SOCO (Southern Contemporary Cuisine)
Duck Confit on Foie Gras Buttermilk Biscuit
Partner/Executive Chef Greg Richie of SOCO

The VIP event inside The Osprey Tavern not only included specialty hors d’oevres and cocktails, but a close-up view of several prominent chefs preparing the dishes: Jeremiah Langhorne (The Dabney in Washington, D.C.), Frank Anderson (The Rez Grill, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa), Soraya Caraccioli-Kilgore (MadLab Creamery in Miami), and Jeremy Ford (Stubborn Seed in Miami).  These terrific chefs worked alongside Chef de Cuisine, Elek Kovacs and Pastry Chef, Kristy Carlucci of The Osprey Tavern.  I can’t forget to mention Master of Ceremonies, Chef Norman Van Aken of NORMAN’S at the Ritz Carlton Orlando, 1921 in Mount Dora, and Three Restaurant and No. 3 Social Rooftop Bar & Lounge in Miami. I was among culinary celebrities!  Thanks to the open kitchen inside the beautiful Osprey Tavern, I had an up-close view of the chefs hard at work on their signature plates, before they were magically whisked out to attendees by the professional and polite waitstaff (shout out to Frankie of The Osprey Tavern).  As we dined on these freshly-made hors d’oevres, we also enjoyed an array of cocktails, wines, and champagnes, while mingling around the beautiful bar that takes center stage in the restaurant.  The Osprey Tavern is cozy and inviting, but also elegant.  Imagine a visit to grandma’s house, after grandma won the lottery, and completely renovated her home to look like a classy cottage in The Hamptons. Here’s a “taste” of the VIP event:

The Osprey Tavern Bar
The Osprey Tavern Open Kitchen
Chefs In The Osprey Kitchen
Dessert Table by Chef Kristy Carlucci
Banana Nutella Tartlets by Chef Kristy Carlucci (My Favorite Dessert)
Orange Cardamom Shortbread Cookies with Chocolate Topping by Chef Kristy Carlucci
Woodford Manhattan – Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Vermouth Mata, Angostura
‘In A Garten” – Basil Infused St. Augustine Gin, Raspberry Chamomile Syrup, Lemon Oleo, Lime
Bearded Redhead – Pineapple Infused St. Augustine Vodka, Cappelletti, Lemon
Autumn Olive Farms Pork Belly by Chef Jeremiah Langhorne – Grilled Ramps, Pickled Spring Onions, Black Garlic, Mustard and Dill
Warm Celery Root by Chef Jeremy Ford – Crackling Maitake, Mustard, Herbs and Blossoms
Smoked Trout Dip by Chef Frank Anderson – Poblano-corn Vinaigrette, Tortilla
Roasted Pheasant Roulade by Chef Elek Kovacs – Charred Corn Relish, Spring Ramps, Foie Gras

I will never forget my night attending Beard in Baldwin; especially, the fabulous food and drinks.  The VIP experience gifted my husband and me with a personal look at several outstanding chefs bustling in the kitchen, and the chance to mingle with other foodies like ourselves (one couple shared a memorable story of their wedding reception inside The Osprey Tavern – “I think it’s time for a vow renewal” – I said to my husband).  Being a VIP has grown on me, and to my family’s dismay, I may not be such a low-maintenance date after all.

 

Source:

Beard In Baldwin

Restaurants Mentioned:

Tamale Co.

Bites & Bubbles

Orlando Meats

Dixie Dharma

Black Rooster Taqueria

Highball & Harvest

Terralina Crafted Italian

SOCO-Southern Contemporary Cuisine

The Osprey Tavern

 

 

 

 

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We were invited to a vineyard style lunch with Master Sommelier George Miliotes and winemaker Andy Erickson from Leviathan as a preview to George’s location opening this Spring in Disney Springs.

Wine Bar George will be the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida.

During lunch, I experienced a preview of what’s to come with future winemaker events at Wine Bar George and it left me wanting more.

George and Andy gave us a sneak peek of details not released to the public about Wine Bar George.

For instance, they will have wines on tap along side a number of beers selected by George and his Executive Chef. Aside from the wines on tap, George plans on having over 140 different wines on the menu to have a glass or an entire bottle.

Speaking of the menu, it’ll mention a number of unique signature dishes that are small plates to share or large dishes suggested for sharing family style. I only say it is suggested because I could probably consume the entire dish myself.

The Grilled Romaine with dressing and pecorino wafers salad is a nice added to the menu by Executive Chef Ron as a request by George’s daughter who requests it at almost every gathering. The pecorino wafers line the bowl; they add texture and a sharp flavor to the salad.

This Jicama-Kholrabi Salad with mint vinaigrette and pickled jalapeño is very unique and refreshing. Great for a warm day in Florida…which consists of 364 days a year.

Executive Chef Ron (left), Winemaker Andy Erickson (center) and Master Sommelier George Miliotes (right).

For more information, please visit Wine Bar George.

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Whether you decide to sit outside in the warm Florida sun or inside the unique restaurant, Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill have a number of drinks and meals for you to enjoy. You can find Harry’s inside Rosen Centre Hotel along with many of their other restaurants serving a variety of cuisines to please your palate.

Here is a little insight to the poolside restaurant menu.

Cayman Island Calamari – Crispy Island Spiced Panko Calamari served with Cayman Aioli. If you are not fond of the calamari texture, this is a calamari dish for you as it is more crispy than anything from the panko coating. The Cayman aioli sauce will add a nice flavor to the crispy appetizer.

Island Coconut Shrimp – Crispy Coconut Gulf Shrimp usually served with Orange Chili Sauce. These shrimp are a decent size and fresh. They are lightly seasoned and also go well with the Cayman aioli sauce on our plate.

Oh My “Gorgonzola” Dip – with Caramelized Onions, Garlic, Roasted Tomatoes & Artichokes served with Baked Roti Bread. The dip itself is very flavorful and one bite will not be enough. In my opinion, I would prefer the dip with the to stones over the roti bread. Maybe you could try it both ways and let us know your preference!

Island Mahi Mahi Wrapped in Banana Leaf – Island All-Spiced Mahi wrapped in Banana Leaf. Served with Jasmine Rice, Coconut Curry and Mojo Tostones. The Mahi was slightly dry, but a little drizzle of lemon will help that as well as add a nice citrus kick to brighten up the coconut curry flavors. The jasmine rice had notes of coconut as well as it was topped with coconut shavings.

Jamaican Jambalaya – Chicken, Shrimp and Chorizo Sautéed with Onions, Peppers and Tomatoes with Zesty Creole Sauce served over Rice and Beans. This dish is a favorite of Harry’s and we can see why. The proteins are prepared on the side and added to the sauce when ordered, which allows alterations to occur when clients have allergies. The sauce is already slightly spicy, but you can crank up the spicy level by letting your waitress and chef know your preference on spice level when given a scale of 1-10. We tried the dish with a level 9 on the spicy scale and we were not disappointed; don’t worry, we could still taste the other flavors this dish offered.

Trio of Tropical Sorbets – Mango, Coconut and Pineapple served in a Chocolate Wafer Shell with Fresh Fruit. We were aware of the delicious dessert alternatives, but we wanted something light after our full meals. The coconut sorbet was our favorite of the three.

Zested Mojito – Bacardi Limon Rum with Fresh Muddled Mint and Lime Shaken Vigorously and Topped with Soda. The drink was made strong and delicious. The mint added was not so fresh and the notes of mint were masked by rum.

Pineapple Upside Down – Svedka Vanilla Vodka and Malibu Coconut Rum Served Neat with Pineapple and a Splash of Maraschino. This drink was sweet like fruit punch, which hid the taste of alcohol. This can be very dangerous if you plan on having a few. At that point, go with a bucket deal that they have at this restaurant. If you’re not a fan of sweetness, squeeze a lemon into the drink and it’ll cut the sweetness for you.

For more information on the cocktail bucket deals and Harry’s in general, please visit Harry’s Poolside Bar & Grill.

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We were happy to explore Lion’s Pride, which is a Soccer Pub & Grill found on Church St. of Downtown Orlando, FL. As stated by their motto, “Big screen soccer action for every game; great food at every seat,” they did not disappoint.

This elite soccer fan-den showcases past and present game memorabilia, club level seating, semi private suites, and a private dining space. A stadium experience is provided in a comfortable soccer-centric environment when you are unable to hop in the stands at the stadium yourself.

The menu features sports bar favorites elevated to a new level. Local and fresh ingredients, signature drinks and the very best craft beers compliment the diverse menu served by a welcoming staff. Lucky us, we experienced a Five Course meal pairing that highlighted a number of delicious meals found at Lion’s Pride.

Peppered Tuna with avocado relish and cilantro lime slaw served with a mini draft of Blue Moon and a fresh orange wedge. The tuna was so fresh it swam onto my plate. Each item on this plate had its unique flavors and we could not have enough of the flavors. Warning: a bite of each all together will make your tastebuds dance.

Petite Brisket Tacos with shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomato, Queso Blanco & chipotle aioli served with Sam Adams Winter Lager. These tacos were juice and the tortillas were fluffy. Chef created another delicious item on the menu as all the flavors of these tacos blended well.

If you are a salad person, how about the Caprese Salad with red and yellow vine ripe tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil oil and balsamic glaze? This was paired with a 2015 Terra d’ Oro Blended Chenin Blanc. Lion’s Pride was not kidding when they said their ingredients were fresh. The basil oil and balsamic glaze are very light and do not overpower the freshness of the salad.

Shrimp & Lobster Risotto with creamy parmesan served with Lion’s Pride Signature Hand Muddled Marquita. The risotto was cooked perfectly, but please make sure the staff is aware of any allergies in advance.

Also, the drink packs a powerful punch but it is healthy with all the citrus in the drink, right?

Blue Cheese Filet with garlic Boursin mash potato and red wine demi glaze served with a 2015 Emmolo Napa Valley Merlot. Be sure to notify your waiter/waitress your preference in temperature for the filet. I had forgotten to notify the staff of my preference, yet they know me so well. The filet is very moist, tender and expressed mineral flavors; the mineral flavors make each of the filet unique to one another and enhanced by the blue cheese.

If you’re not a fan of red meat, how about a salmon? The salmon was cooked well, very moist and fresh. The Chef does not cringe at the thought of substitutions as he is here to accommodate to everyone’s nutritional needs.

The desserts include a Chocolate Mousse and a Romeo & Juliet pastry served with lion’s Pride Famous whiskey based Red Sangria and Passion Fruit Pureed Champagne respectively. The Romeo & Juliet is a guava and cheese pastry that is a warm hug to your tastebuds. Both desserts were great, but the chocolate mousse was my favorite. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Feel free to hand me your portion if you don’t love chocolate as much as I do.

If this post hasn’t persuaded you to visit, maybe knowing that their Happy Hour runs to 8pm will convince you to stop in. For more information, please visit Lion’s Pride.

Kevin Pabis, son of local food bloggers Richard and Irina Pabis (@celebritychef4u).

We were invited to Main Event Entertainment to eat, bowl, and play!  The food offerings were all delicious!  You have to try their Skillet Mac & Cheese which consists of cavatappi pasta, grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, creamy blend of melted cheeses, green onions topped with CHEEZ-IT crumbs.  CHEEZ-IT are one of my life-long favorite snacks.  Throw some of its crumbs on top of a loaded-baked chicken/bacon mac & cheese and you’re golden.

Tomato Caprese Skewers – served with balsamic drizzle (these were super popular at our table, a blogger’s son said that it was his favorite dish!)

Calamari – zesty marinara sauce and fresh shaved parmesan cheese

Chicken Quesadilla – grilled chicken, jack & cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo &fresh made pico de Gallo (this was my mom’s favorite dish!)

Roast Beef Dippers– shaved roast beef, horseradish mayo, lettuce, tomato, red onion served on buttery garlic knot bun

Italian Pesto Pizza – fresh basil, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, creamy basil pesto,feta, mozzarella & provolone cheese

Assorted Dessert Bars – lemon, raspberry rhapsody, pecan chocolate chip, & caramel, oatmeal

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts – with salted caramel and raspberry sauce

A variety of gelato.

Billards.

VIP bowling lanes.

Bar area with alcoholic beverage options.

Bowling alley.

A variety of arcade games.  Everyday deal:  1/2 price games 10pm to close.

Local food bloggers Ashelyn Vazquez (@orlandomag) with her guest, and Sean (@orlandofoodguys).

Samantha (@samantheah) & Mattia Joyce Castellano (@mattia_joyce) racing on the motorcycles

Carolina Grabova (@carolinagrabova) plays a racing game for her instagram story.

My favorite game at the arcade was their zombie-killing game in the first ever roam-free virtual reality room.  I don’t have a photo of it but I do have a video clip of it on my instagram (@bytiffanynguyen). Imagine a game that doesn’t feel like a game.  Where your body is the controller and your mind believes it’s real.  It was so realistic that other attendees were seriously spooked after they finished playing!  I enjoyed playing it though and I am looking forward to coming back and playing it again.  Be sure to check out Main Event Entertainment next time you are in the I-Drive area to experience the zombie-killing game for yourself!

(Source credit: Main Event Entertainment)

Main Event Entertainment – Pointe Orlando
9101 International Dr Suite 1032, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 352-3300
mainevent.com

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The Taiwanese Food Festival is put on by the local Orlando Taiwanese American community once a year, featuring games, food, and entertainment in a commercial park off of Orange Blossom Trail and SR 528.

Taiwan is one of my favorite places in the world to visit, not just for their friendly people and beautiful landscape, but also because of their amazing street food culture. The food of Taiwan features specialties from all over the mainland China due to migration trends after 1949 as well as its own homegrown cuisine.

Every evening, countless night markets pop up around the island featuring dishes like Taiwanese sausage in a rice bun, to  giant fried chicken chops, and more.

One of our local celebrities, Eddie Huang of Fresh off the Boat fame, and his parents are members of the Taiwanese American community here in Orlando.

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Orlando is experiencing a moment with ramen – from the expansion of Domu at East End Market to the southwest and southeastern parts of the county as well as the continuing of new offerings of the dish at other local and new Japanese restaurants.

Just outside UCF in East Orlando, Taipei 101 has been offering up Taiwanese street food for years. Recently, they began serving their own ramen, coming in the pork tonkotsu, miso, and spicy miso versions.

Taiwan has a complicated history with Japan, as Japan did colonize the island for several decades in the earlier part of the last century, leaving behind cultural as well as culinary influences. Ramen, the popular noodle soup originally brought to Japan by Chinese immigrants and adapted in Japan, has made its way back to Taiwan. Taipei 101’s pork tonkotsu ramen was filling and quite tasty with pork chashu, boiled egg, and other toppings. A great value at $9.50.

This is on their special board menu which changes once in a while with other new popular Taiwanese street food items.

They also continue to serve their popular bento lunch boxes, featured here is the pork belly with rice box.

Taipei 101 – 3050 Alafaya Trail #108, Oviedo, FL 32765

 

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The stars must have aligned for the foodie gods because there are three huge events all happening the same night centered around food for good causes. Don’t miss out this weekend!

Here they are:

Beard in Baldwin Food and Wine Festival benefitting the James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program

https://www.beardinbaldwin.com/
Baldwin Park – 4899 New Broad St. Orlando, FL 32814
Saturday, April 14, 2018 – General Admission 7-10 pm
VIP Early Access 6-7 pm
VIP Experience inside Osprey Tavern 7-9pm

– TICKETS –

General Admission: $110
VIP: $175
*Must be 21 and up


Join us in beautiful Baldwin Park as we celebrate the Orlando culinary scene. A complete experience, the evening will feature an intimate food and wine festival with picturesque Lake Baldwin and Harbor Park as the backdrop. More than 25 top tier local restaurants will be serving flavorful dishes each paired with a fine wine, crafted cocktail or local brew.

For those seeking a more exclusive experience, the VIP admission includes everything above along with a private cocktail event taking place inside The Osprey Tavern.

Help Support the Next Generation of Great American Chefs in Partnership with The James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program.

Chef’s Gala benefitting Heart of Florida United Way

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 – 6:30pm
Walt Disney World
Epcot World Showplace

Exciting news for foodies and wine enthusiasts of Central Florida! For the 26th year, more than 20 of the region’s top restaurants will gather for Heart of Florida United Way’s Chef’s Gala, a fundraiser benefiting local hunger and homelessness programs. Hosted by Walt Disney World, this gastronomic adventure offers unlimited sampling of signature dishes prepared by award-winning chefs, each paired with a fine wine.

The event will be held at Epcot Showplace on Saturday, April 14 from 6:45 – 10 p.m. and also includes a sparkling wine reception, live music and a silent auction filled with unique items and trips.

Participating Restaurants
Savory
Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
blu on the avenue
Bull & Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Cinderella’s Royal Table at MAGIC KINGDOM Park
Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
Hemisphere at Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport
Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Latitude & Longitude at Orlando World Center Marriott
Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot
Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs
Primo by Melissa Kelly at JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
Shutters at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
SLATE
STK Orlando at Disney Springs
The Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Turf Club Bar & Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Todd English’s bluezoo at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Resort
Urban Tide at Hyatt Regency Orlando
Sweet
Amorette’s Patisserie at Disney Springs
Epcot Bakery Team
Gideon’s Bakehouse
Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company
Purchase Tickets
Tickets are available by visiting www.ChefsGala.org. Individual tickets are $325, couple ticket package is $600 and corporate ticket packages are $3,000.

Cattle Baron’s Ball benefitting American Cancer Society

Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel · Sat, Apr 14, 2018 @ 06:00 PM
www.cattlebaronsballorlando.com
The American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball brings together cowboys and cowgirls for an evening of western-themed fun, and raises funds to help the Society finish the fight against cancer.

This year’s Cattle Baron’s Ball will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando!

Festivities begin at 6 p.m., with a reception that includes a silent auction, followed by a gourmet dine-around, featuring food from many of Central Florida’s finest chefs, a live auction and incredible entertainment.

The Orlando Cattle Baron’s Ball promises a toe-tapping, knee-slapping, rip-roaring good time, all for a great cause!

So grab your hat, pull on your boots, and join!

For almost 20 years the Cattle Baron’s Ball and the American Cancer Society has donated over $15 million towards Cancer Research. This year will be empowering as the focus is on children’s cancer. The 2018 Cattle Baron’s Ball is 6 weeks away and for the first time in many years it is close to being a sold out event. Below is an empowering video of what we don’t know about kids cancer. Visit us at www.cattlebaronsballorlando.com to see how you can help these children #kidscancer #cattlebaronsballorlando #acs #fightcancer #support #donate #passion #makeithappen #children #americancancersociety

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Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort is no spring chicken.  Opening more than two decades ago, Olivia’s may not be the new kid on the block, but this somewhat hidden Disney gem with mouthwatering food will never go out of style.  Words like glamorous or trendy may not be the first to come to mind, be that as it may, the restaurant is a class-act with a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere, a laid-back Florida Keys feel, and filled with staff that make everyone feel at home.  After my recent dinner here, I can’t help but wonder – Why don’t I come here more often?

A Friday night outing with close friends on vacation from New Jersey, during the typical chaos of spring break in Orlando, at the most sought after vacation destination in Florida, can be stressful to say the least.  Layer in five energetic children that have spent a very long, hot day in the park, finding a place that is family-friendly but also appealing to a grown-up’s palate (not that I don’t enjoy Disney’s chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese) was a must for all of our sanity.

In a uniquely Disney way, Olivia’s Café came to the rescue!  After the typical musical chairs that comes with a large group trying to navigate a restaurant table, we take our seats.  The kids are all happily plugged-in to electronic devices (desperate times call for desperate measures), and the first question our cheerful waitress asks – Would anyone care for a drink?  All four adults answer in unison – Yes!!!  I ask the waitress, as a foodie usually does, to please bring me one of their most-popular, signature cocktails, and a few minutes later, she gifts me with a Turtle Krawl.  This sweet, but not too sweet cocktail tricks your senses into believing you’re lying on a white-sand beach, and not watching your son spill his entire glass of soda all over the table.  Pineapple and orange juices blend nicely with the tang of lime juice, while three different rums (because one is never enough) marry together in beautiful coconut rum, spice rum, and white rum harmony.

As the Turtle Krawl works its magic granting peace among us four, the waitress suggests many appealing appetizers, but when she says onion rings from the “secret menu”, that’s it! Onion rings are most often a good pick to begin with, onion rings from a “secret menu”, they have to be even better…and yes, they were amazing!  Crunchy, salty, fried, golden rings with a pop of sweet from the cooked onions.  We ate our “secret menu” onion rings feeling like VIPs.  Well, that was us, until we slowed down enough to look up from our munching to see that several other tables also had them.  The jealously subsided faster than it was felt, most likely because of how delicious these secret menu onion rings are.

When it was time to order our entrees, I perused the menu of several dishes that I imagined were all incredible: Plantation Key Pork Chop, Tortuga Seafood Stew, Seven Mile Sea Scallops.  Finally, after several minutes of waffling, I asked the waitress, yet again, for Olivia’s most popular entree, and she recommended one dish that gets a lot of attention: Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken.  After eating this dish, I can clearly see why this southern jewel is the most popular girl in the class, and not in a mean girl kind of way.  Boneless chicken breast so tender, I envision it marinated in the buttermilk for days, and so delicate I barely used my knife to cut it.  The chicken’s crispy exterior is perfectly complimented by the southern gravy that has a perfect amount of spice and is smooth as silk.  Tender and crunchy chicken, creamy southern gravy, nestled on top of crisp green beans and buttery, smooth mashed potatoes.  Comfort food to the max.

I managed not to eat my entire dinner plate, considering the fact that I wanted to unbutton my jeans, a clear warning sign of when to stop, but…there’s always room for dessert!  Our waitress made the kids’ day with DIY sundaes, and she made my day with Banana Bread Pudding Sundae.  It was so sweet of her to bring my husband an extra spoon to share, and he really did put up a good fight, but that dessert had my name written all over it.  A warm bread pudding with a Bananas Foster topping and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream that slowly melted on top…heavenly!  The bread pudding was moist (sorry, I hate that word too), the bananas foster was syrupy and luscious, and the ice cream was velvety, sweet.  A perfect ending to our dinner.

A successful dinner in the books, I will not let too much time pass without returning to Olivia’s Cafe.  Kids, or no kids, it is a perfect spot for a delicious meal and a serene atmosphere.  A classic Disney resort restaurant, I hope you venture to soon, and if you’ve already been, go again…and order the Turtle Krawl.

Olivia’s Cafe

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

1510 N Cove Rd. Orlando, FL 32830

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/old-key-west-resort/olivia-cafe/

 

 

Second Course: Black sesame and vanilla cake with amaretto infused ganache (moist & delicious, my favorite!)

Have you heard of the new vegan bakery CayCakes Bakery?  They’ve only been open for half a year and are quickly becoming one of Orlando’s popular vegan bakeries.  Superstar soccer player Alex Morgan recently tweeted that CayCakes Bakery is one of her favorite spots in Orlando for vegan food.

We were invited to their inaugural “Last Course Dinner” this past weekend and we really impressed with their vegan desserts and their venue at Lake Eola Heights was perfection.

The First Course:  Crème Pâtissière with sou vide pineapple infused with vanilla and star anise

Third Course:  Activated charcoal chocolate cake topped with powdered matcha and lavender


Last Course: Grilled oats with macadamia nuts and agave topped with a grilled peach drizzled with olive oil and star anise, vanilla and cinnamon infused oatmilk ice cream

Co-owner of CayCakes Bakery, Cayden Fielder

Be sure to follow them on IG at @LastCourseOrlando for more information and tickets to their upcoming dessert dinners!

Photos by: Terrence M. Gross

We were invited to the first “Guest Chef Series Dinner” at Morimoto Asia last night during their inaugural Sakura Festival.  Our guest chef was Executive Chef Hitoshi Sugiura and he was exceptional.  Chef Hitoshi flew in all the way from Japan for the event and was joined by Morimoto Asia’s very own Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinag & Chef de Cuisine Chef Hung Huynh.  All three chefs prepared for us an collaborative six-course Pan-Asian dinner, paired with wines from across the globe.  Morimoto Asia plans on hosting a Guest Chef Series Dinner every quarter.

Chef Hitoshi has a history of creating unique menus for restaurants and events while having received acclaimed notoriety including the “Top 8 Chef” at Italy’s 2017 Vegetarian Chance competition. Chef Hitoshi currently leads the team and menu creation as Executive Chef of Patinastella Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

Fresh cherry blossoms that were flown in from Japan for the inaugural Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia.


First Course (Chef Hitoshi)
Bouquet – daikon, tofu, ginger, sesame seed puree, hazelnuts, maple syrup (almost too beautiful to eat!)

Second Course (Chef Hitoshi)
Spanish Mackeral with Shiso Sauce – Spanish mackerel, broccoli, Japanese mustard, shiso (this was one of my favorites!)


Third Course (Chef Hung)
Wok-fired Maine Lobster – ginger, scallion, jalapeño, zucchini noodle


Fourth Course (Chef Hung)
Roasted Poussin – goji berry koshihikari rice, Chinese sausage, foie gras, chicken jus


Fifth Course (Chef Yuhi)
Mishima Reserve Wagyu Ribeye – slow braised rib cap, porcini dashi, morels (simply elegant and wonderfully rich, another of my favorites!)

Dessert – Sakura and Peach Bavarian with Sakura Gelato

Our talented pastry chef


Cheers to our wonderful host, Sommelier – Eric Bandauski.

Guest Chef Hitoshi Sugura. Many thanks for making the long journey to celebrate with us.  Well done chef!

The ceiling fixture colors were modified to reflect the spirit of the Sakura Festival.

Be sure to grab your tickets to the inaugural Sakura Festival at Morimoto Asia – they will be hosting a series of events until Sunday, April 15!

(Source credit: Morimoto Asia)

Morimoto Asia – Disney Springs
1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
https://www.patinagroup.com/morimoto-asia/sakura
(407) 939-6686

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Crazy Empanadilla – Pastry Filled with Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomato, Lettuce, Beef & Mayo/Ketchup Sauce

We were invited to a media preview at SeaWorld Orlando to sample their Latin-inspired menu that will make its debut tomorrow at their annual Seven Seas Food Festival.  The festival runs each Saturday and Sunday, February 17 through April 29, 2018 and will feature a variety of international street food including Mexican, Caribbean, All-American, Florida, Mediterranean, North Atlantic, Pacific Coast, German, Polynesian, Gulf Coast, Asian, Brazilian, and Latin.

Enjoy local craft beers and exciting new flavors while you explore culinary marketplaces throughout the park plus enjoy live performances from top country, rock and Latin music artists.

Upcoming concerts:

  • Eddie Palmieri – Saturday, March 31
    3:00 p.m. at Bayside Stadium
  • El Gran Combo – Sunday, April 1
    3:00 p.m. at Bayside Stadium
  • Yandel – Saturday, April 7
    3:00 p.m. at Bayside Stadium
  • Jerry Rivera – Sunday, April 8
    3:00 p.m. at Bayside Stadium
  • N’Klabe – Sunday, April 15
    3:00 p.m. at Bayside Stadium

Reserved concert seating starting at $19, availability is limited.

Pincho de Pollo con Tostones
Skewered, Flame-Grilled Chicken Finished with a Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce, Served with Fried Plantains

Mofongo with Carne Frita – Garlic Mashed Plaintains with Onion Mojo, Served with Fried Pork (my favorite!)

Empanadilla de Pollo
Pastry Filled with Chicken

Bacalaítos
Thin, Crispy Salted Codfish Pancake

Lechón Asado
Traditional Roasted Pork Rubbed with Caribbean Seasonings, Pigeon Peas, and Choice of Ripe or Sweet Plantains

Mashing tostones to make mofongo

Executive Chef Héctor Colón talks about the new Latin-inspired menu offerings at this year’s food festival

Be sure to check out SeaWorld’s Seven Seas Food Festival!  You will love the international food!

(Source credit: SeaWorld Orlando)

SeaWorld Orlando
7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

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When I heard that STIR was opening in Ivanhoe Village, I thought this place might be another restaurant in the long line of businesses that have occupied the space on the corner of Virginia and N. Orange.

However I was proven quite wrong. STIR is a restaurant that is at its heart, a refined version of Southern cuisine.

According to their owners “The menu at STIR is designed to be creative yet practical. With this STIR wishes to maintain an approachable menu.  STIR will introduce exciting menu options, including a brunch, appetizer, lunch, full dinner menu, desserts, and signature cocktails that draw in new and local guests in our city of Orlando.”

All food was delicious but the stand outs for me were the Pork Puff Pasty and Pork Tenderloin.

After sampling their menu I truly think this restaurant is about Southern Traditions and Ingredients Refined, quite frankly not to be missed.

Southern Caviar
Three cheese creamy blend with artisan bread

Buffalo Calamari
garlic buffalo sauce, house made blue ranch, celery carrot slaw

Pork Puff Pastry
braised pork cheeks, shallots, cheek ju, and fresh chives

Shrimp and Grits
succulent shrimp with bacon and red pepper in buttery and creamy stone-ground grits

Pork Tenderloin
herbed corn, baby carrots, and mixed greens

Dessert
Chef’s Selected Trio

Orange Avenue

 

Sunset Sangria

Chef Chastity Harvey and her culinary team.

 

STIR Restaurant and Bar

https://stirlakeivanhoe.com/

1409 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32804,

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Black Bee Honey is a non-profit business founded by the youth in the Parramore Kidz Zone program. The business started with the dream of providing youth an opportunity to learn firsthand entrepreneurship skills while simultaneously enriching the lives of their community members by providing raw honey.

This start-up business, run by PKZ youth, will offer high quality honey for sale at the Parramore Farmers Market while providing work related educational and entrepreneurial experiences, further developing the youth of the Parramore Community into future workforce leaders.

Black Bee Honey comes from Dadant & Sons in High Springs, FL, one of the top businesses in the beekeeping field. PKZ are selling six different kinds of honey, including:

Wildflower
Saw Palmetto
Gallberry
Sourwood
Orange Blosom
Tupelo

Once the raw honey is purchased from Dadant and Sons, PKZ Inc. employees jar and label the honey at the Dr. J.B. Callahan Neighborhood Center in Parramore. The honey will be sold at a booth during the Parramore Farmers Market for $12.

BLACK BEE HONEY MISSION

The mission of Black Bee Honey is to provide Parramore youth an opportunity to operate and manage their own business while simultaneously providing the residents of the greater Orlando area high quality, nutritional, honey. These simultaneous provisions introduces an intangible wealth into the community by investing in underserved youth who will later invest in the community.

The mission stands on four pillars: Ethics, Education, Community, and Wellness.

These core values help communicate who we are and provide everyone here at Black Bee Honey with a sense of purpose and meaning to guide their work. We strive to have the highest possible ethical and moral standards for ourselves as we honor our commitment to serving our customers and our community.

Black Bee Honey isn’t just about how healthy our products are. It’s also about creating a healthy community, physically, socially, and economically.

Parramore Kidz Zone Youth Employment Program has created PKZ Inc. as an entrepreneurial enterprise. PKZ Inc. will function as a learning tool by giving students in the Parramore area a chance to start their own business. Their first venture is Black Bee Honey.

When and how did this program begin?
The PKZ Black Bee Honey program started in 2017 before the official opening of the Parramore Farmers Market. Students looking to learn entrepreneurial skills spent months before the farmers market debut working on a business plan, attending an online business course and developing marketing tools. When the market opened in January 2018, students shifted into sales and customer service, attending the market each Saturday to sell their product.

How is it impacting the community now?
The program has inspired the youth involved on an entrepreneurial level, demonstrating that it’s possible and obtainable to start a business, while also contributing to a larger picture issue – in this case, food deserts in our community.

What are some things students learn from the program?
Students are learning entrepreneurial skills relating to operating a business, including understanding profits, sales and management.

How can the community get involved and help?
Support PKZ by visiting the Parramore Farmers Market each Saturday! For a full schedule, visit: http://www.cityoforlando.net/economic/parramore-farmers-market/.

For more info, visit: http://www.cityoforlando.net/parramorekidzzone/black-bee-honey/

We were invited to media dine at Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar nestled in Restaurant Row on Sand Lake Rd.  My favorite part of our lunch was the fresh guacamole that is made tableside and served with seasoned “Rocco’s chips”.  They are the best chips and guac that I have ever had in Orlando.  I highly recommend them!

Surf & Turf – marinated grilled steak, chorizo, sweet potatoes, chicken and shrimp in a roasted garlic verde sauce.  Served sizzling in a traditional lava rock molcajete with our tortillas, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, guacamole, sour cream

Dining with a view

Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundae – vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, buñuelo, whipped cream, honey salted peanuts

Be sure to check out Rocco’s Taco’s soon for some of the freshest Mexican food in town!

Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar
7468 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 226-0550
www.roccostacos.com/orlando

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, which runs from February 28-May 28, 2018.

This year, there is a special marketplace called “The Honey Bee-stro” Hosted by National Honey Board. As we all know, the humble honey bee plays an integral part in our ecosystem, helping to pollinate our plants as they go about their day. One of my favorite dishes this year is the Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle from this booth. Not too heavy, but just enough with a nice sweet brittle crunch with the rice.

Here are my other foodie favorites from the festival:

 

Northern Bloom – Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato
La Isla Fresca – Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple
The Honey Beestro – Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle
Smokehouse – Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle

As always, there are also a ton of topiaries to see at the Flower and Garden Festival.

Here are some of our favorite topiaries for 2018:

Here is the menu for all the marketplaces for EPCOT’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018:

The Berry Basket

Food

Lamb chop with Quinoa Salad and Blackberry Gastrique – $7.25,
Field Greens with fresh Strawberries, Crisp Quinoa, Strawberry Vinaigrette and Spiced Pecans (V) – $5.00,
Warm Wild Berry Buckle with Pepper Berry Gelato (V) – $4.50,

Beverage

JDub’s Brewing Company Blueberry IPA, Sarasota, FL – $4.25
Island Grove Blueberry Moscato, Hawthorne, FL – $6.00
Twinings® Green Tea Berry Mint Julep – $8.75
Twinings Green Tea Berry Mint Julep (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Northern Bloom

Food

Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF) – $6.50,
Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables – $6.75,
Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato – $4.50,

Beverages

Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whisky – $11.75
Maple Popcorn Shake (non-alcoholic) – $4.50,
Unibroue Maudite Amber Ale, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Unibroue À Tout Le Monde Saison, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Unibroue Éphémère White Ale, Chambly, Québec – $5.00
Beer Flight – $11.00

La Isla Fresca

Food

Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro – $6.25,
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce – $6.75,
Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions – $5.25,
Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple – $4.25,

Beverages

Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA – $4.25
Tropical Freeze with Cruzan Mango Rum – $9.50
Tropical Freeze (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Cider House

Food

Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage and Branston Dressing with Pears – $10.50,
House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare – $5.25,
Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries (V) (GF) – $4.25,

Beverages

McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, West Seneca, NY – $4.50
Florida Beer Company Caribé Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL – $4.50
Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI – $4.50
Cider Flight – $10.00
Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, California (Non-alcoholic) – $4.75

The Honey Bee-stro Hosted by National Honey Board

Food

Roasted Cauliflower with Buckwheat Honey Carrot Puree, Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, Honey Blistered Grapes and Sunflower Brittle (GF) (V) – $4.50,
Honey Tandoori Chicken Flatbread with White Cheddar Cheese, charred vegetables, Clover Honey Sour Cream and Micro Watercress – $5.25,
Local Wildflower Honey-Mascarpone Cheesecake with Orange Blossom Honey Ice Cream garnished with Fennel Pollen Meringue Kisses (V) – $4.75,
Beverages

Florida Orange Groves Winery Orange Blossom Honey Wine, St. Petersburg, FL – $5.00
Orange Blossom Brewing Co. Orange Blossom Pilsner, Orlando, FL – $4.25
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze with Blueberry Vodka – $10.25
Honey-Peach Cobbler Freeze (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25

Pineapple Promenade

Food

Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips – $7.50,
Pineapple Soft-Serve (V) – $5.00,

Beverages

Coastal Empire Beer Co. Coco Piña Gose, Savannah, GA – $4.25
Maui Brewing Co. Pineapple Mana Wheat, Kihei, HI – $4.25
SweetWater Brewing Company Goin’ Coastal IPA with Pineapple, Atlanta, GA – $4.25
Pineapple Beer Flight – $9.50
Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL – $11.75
Playalinda Brewing Company Violet Lemonade Ale, Titusville, FL – $4.25
Pineapple Soft-serve with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum – $10.25
Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25,
Pineapple Soft-serve with Fanta (Non-alcoholic) – $5.75,

Jardin de Fiestas

Food

Pork Taco: Slow-braised Pork Taco served with Apple Relish, Goat Cheese and Chile de Árbol Sauce – $6.25,
Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles served with Chorizo, Mexican Cream and Cotija Cheese – $5.95,
Capirotada: Bread Pudding served with Rompope – $4.25,

Beverages

Tiger Lily Sangria – $10.25
Rose Margarita – $11.50
Violet Cassis Punch – $12.25
Daisy Spicy Beer – $6.75

Lotus House

Food

Spicy Meatballs with Crispy Tofu – $5.00,
Fried Chicken Dumplings with Peanut Sauce – $6.25,
Vegetable Spring Rolls (V) – $4.50,

Beverages

Oolong Peach Bubble Tea (Non-alcoholic) – $6.75
Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango and Orange Juice – $8.75
BaiJoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut and Pineapple Juice – $11.00
Plum Wine Cooler – $8.75
Tsingtao Lager – $3.50

Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market

Food

Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (V) – $4.25,
Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions and Herb Sour Cream – $4.50,
Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese – $5.00,
Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries – $4.25,

Beverages

Hugo-Charles De Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint – $9.50
Paulaner Original Munich Lager – $4.50
Ayinger Bräu Weisse Hefeweizen, Munich, Germany – $4.50
Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager – $4.50
Beer Flight – $10.00

Primavera Kitchen

Food

Frittata di Asparagi: Asparagus Frittata, Mixed Greens and Citrus Dressing (GF) (V) – $7.00,
Fritto Misto: Crispy Shrimps, Zucchini and Spicy Sauces – $8.00,
Ravioli: Maine Lobster Ravioli with Vodka Sauce – $12.00
Panna Cotta al Melone: Cantaloupe Panna Cotta (GF) (V) – $5.50,

Beverages

Pinot Grigio – $8.00
Chianti – $8.00
Prosecco – $9.00
Corbinello – $9.00
Moscato – $9.00
Bellini: Sparking Wine and Peach Purée – $10.00
Frozen Italian Margarita with Limoncello and Tequila – $10.00
Moretti Lager L’Autentica – $5.50
Moretti La Rossa – $5.50

The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews

Food

Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw – $6.75,
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider with Garlic Sausage, Chorizo, Cheddar Fondue and House-made Pickle – $7.25,
Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños – $6.50,
Warm Chocolate Cake with Bourbon-Salted Caramel Sauce and Spiced Pecans (V) – $4.00,

Beverage

Zen of Zin Old Vine, California – $5.25
Central 28 Brewing Company Sunshine Greetings Orange Hibiscus Wheat Ale, DeBary, FL – $4.25
3 Daughters Brewing Phantasmas Spicy Double IPA, St. Petersburg, FL – $4.25
Shipyard Maple Bacon Stout, Clearwater, FL – $4.25
Beer Flight – $9.50
Frozen Lemonade with Firefly Blackberry Moonshine – $11.75
Frozen Lemonade (Non-alcoholic) – $3.50

Hanami

Food

Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side (V) – $5.95,
Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger – $6.50,
Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice (GF) – $6.75,

Beverages

Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail – $6.50
Karatamba “Dry Wave” Sake – $8.00
Sapporo Draft Beer in a Kampai Cup – $4.25

Taste of Marrakesh

Food

Harissa Chicken Kebab with Dried Fruit Couscous Salad – $6.00,
Fried Cauliflower with Capers, Garlic Parsley and Chili Ranch Sauce – $5.00,
Walnut Honey Baklava – $4.00,

Beverages

Desert Rose: Sparkling Wine topped with Pomegranate Liqueur – $8.00
White Sangria – $6.00
Casa Beer – $4.00

Florida Fresh

Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream – $6.50,
Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Stone-ground Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish – $6.75,
Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue – $4.50,

Beverages

Florida Orange Groves Winery Key Lime Sparkling Wine, St Petersburg, FL – $11.75
Tampa Bay Brewing Company Quat Seasonal Fruit Ale – $4.25
Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, Sarasota, FL – $4.25
First Magnitude Brewing Co. Monarch Milk Stout, Gainesville, FL – $4.25
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Tamiami Florida Gin – $11.75
Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (Non-alcoholic) – $4.25
Beer Flight – $9.50

Fleur de Lys

Tarte à la Tomate Provençale: Provencal Tomato Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Pastry Crust (V) – $5.50,
Canard Confit Aux Gnocchi à la Parisienne: Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi – $5.75,
Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop (GF) – $4.95,

Beverages

La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice – $10.75
Kir Pomegranate: Sparkling Wine, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur – $7.95
Cabernet Sauvignon, Village de France – $4.95
Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 – $4.50

Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Carts Specialty Festival Offerings
Beverages

Showcase Coffee Cart: Orange Blossom Twist — Frozen Orange Pineapple topped with Vodka – $9.99
Disney Traders Port of Entry Coffee Cart: Garden of Guava — Frozen Pink Guava topped with Rum or Vodka – $9.99
Future World East: The Final Lap — Iced Tea topped with Frozen Passion Fruit with Vodka – $9.99
The American Adventure: Strawberry Piña Colada — Frozen Piña Colada and Strawberry with Rum – $9.99

 

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We were invited to experience the Arnold Palmer Invitational on St. Patrick’s Day and we were treated to a BBQ lunch at their main hospitality during Saturday’s event. The “Birdies & BBQ” luncheon was located at the scenic 9th hole and featured a variety of food from nationally-recognized 4 Rivers Smokehouse from 12-3pm.

Beer from Anheuser-Busch
Whole Pig Pickin’
Carved Beef Brisket
Smoked wings with celery & BBQ beans
Mini cupcakes
Tiger Woods
Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge
9000 Bay Hill Blvd, Orlando
http://arnoldpalmerinvitational.com/special_events/birdies_and_bbq

The Maguires family – Emma, Aoife, Sean, Philip

We were invited to a media preview of the annual Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs. The Mighty Festival runs Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18, 2018.

Guests can enjoy a mighty selection of beers, spirits and craft cocktails to pair with exceptional pub grub and more elegant Irish fare while musicians and dancers perform on multiple stages, indoors and out, from noon-1:30 a.m. March 16 and 10 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. March 17 and 18.  Mighty Festival guests can accent their Irish holiday attire with complimentary face painting available for up to nine or 10 hours each festival day.  On March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis with a cover charge of $10 for each guest age 18 and older.

If you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like the Irish, share these truisms:

  1. Please don’t call the holiday “St. Patty’s.”  It’s either “St. Patrick’s Day” or “St. Paddy’s.”
  2. A shamrock has three leaves (not four – that would be a clover).
  3. Americans invented the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737 in Boston.
  4. Most Irish pubs do a full month’s business on St. Patrick’s Day.
  5. Guinness sell 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day versus the usual 5 million daily.
  6. Raglan Road is America’s #1 Irish Pub.
  7. Green beer is an American invention.  Raglan Road does not serve green beer.

Heritage Tomato Salad – heirloom tomato & rocket salad with shallots, Parmesan crisp & balsamic reduction

Salmon Swoon – Irish smoked salmon served on rush soda bread

Rack of heaven – slow roasted Guinness glazed baby back ribs (so crispy, sweet, and savory.  It was delish!)

Mini Fish & Chips – a miniature version of our famous fish and chips with tartar sauce

Mini Shepherd’s Pie – beef & lamb root vegetables and red wine jus

Gnocchi Sea Gnocchi Do – Potato gnocchi served with George’s bank scallops, crispy pork belly, tomatoes & kale in white wine butter sauce


Apple Crumble – fresh Granny Smith apple crumble with vanilla ice cream & crème anglaise

Mini Bread & Butter Pudding – famous bread & butter pudding served with crème anglaise and butterscotch sauce

Raglan Road & Cookes of Dublin is located behind the pedestrian bridge, across from Morimoto Asia.

Be sure to check out the Mighty St. Patrick’s Day Festival at Raglan Road this weekend starting Friday, March 16 through Sunday, March 18!

(Source credit: Raglan Road)

Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant – Disney Springs
1640 Buena Vista Dr. Orlando, FL 32830
(407) 938-0300

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Morimoto Asia Sakura Festival

Enjoy a month-long celebration of the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.The restaurant will be decorated with Instagram-worthy décor, showcasing the pink blooms of the Sakura. Similar to the festivals in Japan, guests can attend a series of ticketed events, and menu specials dedicated to the cherry blossoms.

Events include: 

  • Happy Hour with the brewmasters from Crooked Can Brewing Co.
  • Late night whiskey pairing  and bites with Suntory
  • Seas of Japan 101
  • Morimoto Asia’s Guest Chef Series with Chef Hitoshi Sugiura
  • Ramen Seminar and Tasting
  • Matsuri Festival

Every day of the festival, enjoy special menu items inspired by the Japanese cherry blossoms during lunch and dinner service: COCKTAIL | BEER | APPETIZER | DESSERT

A variety of special events will take place during the festival:

Crooked Can Happy Hour, Sakura Festival
Crooked Can Happy Hour

Thursday, March 15 | 5-7PM

Tickets: $25

Kick off the festival with Crooked Can Brewing Company’s brew masters to taste the Sakura Kolsch, available only at Morimoto Asia paired with Pan-Asian bites.

MENU  
Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Yogurt marinated chicken, grilled over binchotan, with spicy peanut sauce
 
 Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls
Rice wrapper filled with local vegetables, Cape Canaveral Shrimp, served with hoisin sauce
 
Sakura Ebi and Ginger Onigiri
Sakura shrimp, and pickled ginger mixed with our Koshihikari polished rice shaped into a ball with a nori wrapper
 
Sakura Mochi
Soft rice pancakes filled with sweet red azuki bean paste
 
Pulled Soy-Ginger braised Pork Sliders,
Sakura Slaw
Braised pork ribs, Japanese BBQ sauce 
Suntory Japanese Whiskey Pairing, Disney Springs
Late Night Suntory Pairing

Friday, March 23 | 9-11PM

Tickets: $32

Japanese Whiskey-based cocktails presented by Suntory paired with lite bites at Morimoto Asia’s Forbidden Lounge. Accompanied by DJ Jimmy Joslin.

MENU  
Japanese Madai Snapper Carpaccio, Chinese Style
Crispy Skin Berkshire Pork Belly
House Smoked Sakura Sea Trout, Szechaun Pepper Sauce
Hong Kong Style Curry Fried Rice
Almond Milk Tofu Jelly, Peach, Osmanthus Flower Sauce
Taste From The Seas of Japan Educational Series
Taste From the Seas of Japan

Friday, March 30 | 4-6PM

Tickets: $45

Every week, Morimoto Asia’s sushi chefs spend time educating the restaurant’s staff about the varieties, quality and the traditional process of breaking down the fresh fish delivered from Japan that is served. Now guests have the opportunity to attend this educational seminar learning and tasting about the seas of Japan while enjoying a sake sampling.

Morimoto Asia Guest Chef Series, Sakura Festival
Morimoto Asia’s Guest Chef Series

Tuesday, April 3 | 7-9PM

Tickets: $120

Executive Chef Yuhi Fujinaga and Chef de Cuisine Hung Huynh welcome Chef Hitoshi Sugiura to kick off Morimoto Asia’s Guest Chef Series. The chefs will prepare a collaborative six-course Pan-Asian dinner, paired with wines from across the globe. Chef Hitoshi has a history of creating unique menus for restaurants and events while having received acclaimed notoriety including the “Top 8 Chef” at Italy’s 2017 Vegetarian Chance competition. Chef Hitoshi currently leads the team and menu creation as Executive Chef of Patinstella Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.

Ramen Seminar & Tasting Disney Springs
Ramen Seminar and Tasting

Saturday, April 7 | 12-3PM

Tickets: $36

Spend the afternoon learning about the various types of Asian noodles and how they are made. Following the seminar, guests will visit multiple ramen stations to taste different types of ramen dishes.

Matsuri Family Fun Day at Sakura Festival
Matsuri Festival

Sunday, April 15 | 12-4PM

Tickets: $45

The festival ends with a family fun day inspired by the traditional Matsuri festival of Japan. Guests can enjoy multiple Pan-Asian street food stations, 4 beer and cocktail stations throughout the interior and exterior of the restaurant. Gaming stations will include traditional Japanese carnival games, shuffleboard, origami artist, calligraphy artist, giveaways and a station in partnership with our Disney Springs neighbors, Uniqlo.

Eggs In Purgatory – farm eggs, arrabiata, polenta, and pecorino

We attended a media preview at Pizza Bruno this past Sunday to check out their revamped brunch menu, available every Saturday & Sunday from 11am-3pm and we enjoyed our brunch and experience.  The restaurant gets slammed every evening so your best bet is to get there early for lunch during the week or brunch on the weekends when there is no wait time.


Garlic Knots – Too much garlic, pecorino, chili flake, oregano.  These are a classic appetizer at Pizza Bruno, I highly recommend them!


Kale Salad – Golden raisins, candied pecans, pizza crumb, Emperors Dressing, pecorino.  Most addicting kale sale ever!

Cinnabon Bun,  they were so good and a must for every brunch.


Frittata – Roasted tomato, white cheddar, Arugula salad, Ricotta toast with honey and pine nuts


Shrimp & Grits – Rock shrimp, aribiatta, fried egg, Calabrian oil.  This dish has a little kick to it.

Dutch Baby in two variations.  Wood Fired pancake with amish butter, sea salt, maple syrup.  The taste and texture was like a pancake flan.


Foxtail Coffee Co. Cold Brew

Guaincale & Blueberry in two variations.  It was sweet and savory.  This pizza was popular among our group.

Pizza Amatricana – tomato, chili, red onion, guanciale, and pecorino

The Dude – fresh mozzarella, pecorino, tallegio, lots of black pepper.  This is a classic pizza at Pizza Bruno it was popular among our group as well.  The Dude was my favorite pizza out of the three.

My togo box of all the pizza variations offered

The talented and down-to-earth owner of Pizza Bruno, Bruno Zacchini III working expo.  Thank you for hosting us, you and your staff were amazing!

Be sure to check out brunch at Pizza Bruno soon for their delicious brunch menu and the BEST pizza in Orlando!

Pizza Bruno
3990 Curry Ford Rd, Orlando, FL 32806
(They do not have a phone)
pizzabrunofl.com

 

Peanut Pad Thai With Seasoned Grilled Shrimp
Do you love delicious food, crafty cocktails, and fun games?  If your answer is yes, than KINGS Orlando is the perfect place to be any day of the week!

We were invited to check out KINGS Orlando, an upscale dining and entertainment venue.  During our visit we got to try a few items from their Asian-inspired menu (pictured below) and we also got to bowl.  We had so much fun cannot wait to go back! Our server Kimberly was super friendly, engaging, and down-to-earth.  Her communication skills were on point so we always knew what was going on at all times.  Kimberly was the best server that I’ve ever had and I know she is going to go far in the KINGS company one day SOON!

Free game on Sunday with lunch reservation
Fried Bang Bang Calamari
Buffalo Chicken Wontons
Peanut Pad Thai With Seasoned Grilled Shrimp (my favorite!)
Baja Street Tacos With Seasoned Grilled Shrimp
Private room
Be sure to check out KINGS Orlando soon for food, fun, and more!
Kings Dining & Entertainment
8255 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 363-0200
kings-de.com/orlandokings-de.com/orlando

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