Winter Park

Loaded Pulled Pork Tots | $7.99: Crispy tater tots seasoned with their Signature Pork rub, loaded with Pulled Pork, queso, onion straws, and Sonny’s Sweet Sauce.

Did you know? Sonny’s BBQ created #nationalpulledporkday back in 2016 when they prepared a 2,012 lb pulled pork sandwich and it broke the Guinness World Record title of the “largest serving of pulled pork”.  After the record-breaking event was over, all of the food was donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

To celebrate #nationalpulledporkday this year, Sonny’s BBQ is bringing all-new flavors and combinations to the table.  Can you say donuts and tots?  Sonny’s Head Pitmaster Bryan Mroczka crafted three limited-time menu items, and from October 12 to November 4, guests can enjoy the loaded pulled pork tots pictured above as well as:

Sweeter Carolina | $8.99: The Sweet Carolina you know and love piled high on a Signature Sweet Tea- glazed donut.

Pork ‘N Donut | $7.99: The Original slow-smoked Pulled Pork stacked high on a Signature Sweet Tea- glazed donut drizzled with Sonny’s Sweet Sauce.

Sonny’s BBQ is also givin’ away FREE pulled pork for a whole year so text “pork” to 73165 to enter!

 

 

K Restaurant invited us to taste a sample menu of what you can expect to receive during Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. Here is a look at the menu we got to try.

The evening began with three appetizers. The first on the list was Deviled Eggs. It contains mustard egg yolk, tomato jam, bacon lardons and herbs. 

We then moved onto Crispy Brussels Sprouts containing hot sauce honey, bacon lardons and herbs. 

The last appetizer was Duck Liver Mousse. On it was seasonal accompaniments, grilled chiabatta bread and herbs. This item is not always served on the menu.

Just like the appetizers, we were served three entrees. We hit the ground running with Eggplant Parmesan as the first entree served. It contained panko breaded eggplant, tomato and eggplant ragu, fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese and basil. 

Afterward, the Seasonal Fish was served. It was a fresh serving of Cobia fish. According to the restaurant, they caught it the previous day at New Smyrna Beach. The fish was plated with vegetable risotto, herb butter and micro green salad. 

The very last entree was called Pork Porterhouse. It had creamy polenta, seasonal vegetables, and cider barbecue sauce. 

Afterward, we were served three desserts – Chocolate torte, Chefs Choice Cheese Cake (seasonal)and French Toast Bread Pudding. 

Shown below is the Chocolate torte with salted caramel buttercream. It is actually flourless (gluten free)!

Next up was the Chefs Choice Cheese cake. The cake is seasonal and does vary. Our cheese cake had more of a chocolate base and was very delicious. 

We also got to taste this amazing French Toast Bread Pudding. It had pecan streusel, cinnamon maple glaze, and vanilla ice cream. 

K Restaurants Executive Chef, Chad Phelps says, “I ate here during magical dinning month several years ago and enjoyed it and came back on and off throughout the years and eventually bought it when I heard the restaurant was for sale.”

As for how the menu is put together, it depends on what’s growing locally and what’s available. Phelps’ favorite menu item is the pork chops. He also has a liking for the brussels sprouts. After being fried, they are tossed in honey and sriracha sauce. The restaurant is well known for them.

Magical Dining Month continues now through September 30! Make sure to check this place out. In addition, one dollar from each meal goes towards Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida through Visit Orlando.

K Restaurant is located on 1710 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804. You can also check them out on their website at https://www.krestaurant.net/

Go to MagicalDining.com to view more menus and restaurants.

Get ready to roll!  Free Sushi Day at P.F. Chang’s is this Thursday, September 20 and you’re invited!


On Free Sushi Day, guests get a FREE California Roll or Spicy Tuna Roll, no purchase required, 1 per person; dine-in only.  This offer is valid nationwide excluding Gainesville, Atlantic City, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and airport locations.

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Dine-in only. One redemption per person. For more information, please visit freesushiday.com

Pictured: Ahi poke bowl, California roll, crab wontons, spicy tuna roll

P.F. Chang’s – Winter Park
436 Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 622-0188

P.F. Chang’s – Millenia Mall
4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 345-2888

In honor of National Guacamole Day coming up this Sunday, September 16, I wanted to celebrate this very important food holiday by sharing with you all a DELICIOUS guacamole recipe from Cocina 214, an award-winning Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurant located in Winter Park and now Daytona Beach.

The name Cocina 214 is a combo of the Spanish word for kitchen, “cocina” and the Dallas area code, “214”.  The idea for opening the restaurant developed when two of the owners from Texas missed the Tex-Mex & Mexican food that they had grown up with.  They wanted the same authentic, freshly made quality food in Winter Park so they partnered together to create bold flavors dishes – all served in a vibrant, elegant setting.

Keep scrolling to see how Carmen from Cocina 214 – Winter Park prepares their famous guacamole using simple and fresh ingredients.  Detailed recipe to follow.

Pick 6 ripe avocados

Wash and dry cilantro 

Cut avocado in half and remove the pit

Separate the avocado from the skin using a spoon

Squeeze one fresh lime over the avocados

Add diced tomatos/red onions/jalapeños mixture

Chop then add cilantro

Add black pepper to taste

Add kosher salt to taste

Mash firmly

Fold then serve in a smaller bowl

Cocina 214’s Guacamole
(Serves 8 people)
Amazing, creamy, fresh guacamole, made with simple ingredients.  Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, nut-free recipe.

Ingredients
6 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime juice
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
1.  Scoop the avocados in a large stainless steel mixing bowl.
2.  Add the squeezed lime juice and coat the avocados.
3.  Fold in the remaining ingredients and mash them all together.
4.  Garnish with fresh tortilla chips or skip all the hassle and head over to the closest Cocina 214 nearest you and order some delicious Cocina 214 guac! 🙂


Stop by Cocina 214’s happy hour from 4:00-6:30pm, Monday through Friday for guac, queso blanco, fire-roasted salsa and housemade tortilla chips all for only $5!

Cocina 214 – Winter Park
151 E Welbourne Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 790-7997

Cocina 214 – Daytona Beach
451 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
(386) 456-3168

cocina214.com

(Source: Cocina 214)

PIMENTO CRUNCH SANDWICH- crispy chicken, homemade pimento cheese, bibb lettuce, sea salt potato chips, bacon

PDQ, the abbreviation for “People Dedicated to Quality” opens today on the corner of Minnesota and Orlando Ave.  We got a first look of the restaurant yesterday during their media preview and we were very impressed with this new addition in the Winter Park area.  At PDQ you can expect great service and great-tasting food that is always fresh, never frozen.

This is their fourth location in Central Florida with two more locations coming soon in Waterford Lakes & Altamonte Springs.

Chef Mark’s son, Riley, working hard at the PDQ opening.

Riley’s mom told me that this was his 5th PDQ opening!

PDQ – Winter Park operator Cody Langford with his new crate!!  Every PDQ operator gets to design their own crate.

THAI PEANUT BOWL – crispy chicken, broccoli, mango salsa, peanuts, toasted coconut, rice, thai peanut sauce

YIA YIA’S GREEK SALAD – grilled chicken, mixed greens, red bell peppers, marinated cucumbers & tomatoes, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, feta, hummus, pickled onion, lemon-chile vinaigrette

CHILE-LIME CORN – sautéed corn with feta & scallions

ZUCCHINI FRIES – hand-breaded fresh zucchini with choice of homemade sauce

LOADED TOTS

HAND-BREADED TENDERS WITH FRIES

ALL THE SAUCES!

GENERAL TSO BOWL – available for a limited time only so it get it fast before it’s gone!

Be sure to check out PDQ – Winter Park the next time you are in the area!

PDQ – Winter Park
925 S Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 605-2312
eatpdq.com

We were invited to The Alfond Inn for an exclusive press preview featuring a Hamilton’s Kitchen new menu tasting with Chef Stephen Doyle, a happy hour art tour of newly installed art as part of the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art with new Cornell Fine Arts Museum Curator Gisela Carbonell, and a champagne toast finale in the Conservatory, in honor of The Alfond Inn’s 5th anniversary on Saturday, Aug.18.

In the last five years, The Alfond Inn has made it on:

  • Travel + Leisure Best 100 Hotels in the World
  • Travel + Leisure Top 15 Best City Hotels in the Continental U.S.
  • U.S. News & World Report Top Hotels in Orlando, Condé Nast Traveler
  • Readers’ Choice Awards Top 10 Hotels in the U.S.
  • Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards Gest Hotels in Florida
  • AAA Four Diamond Award
  • Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Walnut Crusted Halibut – orzo pasta, petite spinach, lemon-dill Amish butter

Lemon Sage Chicken Gnocchi – Lake Meadows Chicken, basil-ricotta gnocchi, summer vegetables, lemon-herb butter sauce

Seared Grouper Papparadelle – housemade pappardelle pasta, fresh peas, asparagus, pecan bacon, parmigian cheese broth

Colorado Lamb Lollipop Chops – local mushroom risotto, balsamic maple bliss glaze, caramelized Brussels sprouts

Thank you for the invite, Kathy Hernandez & thank you for hosting us, The Alfond Inn!

The Alfond Inn
300 E New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789
thealfondinn.com
(407) 278-8159

Pork Chop – sweet potato puree, collard greens, onion jam

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is fast approaching!  We were invited to James Beard Award nominee, The Ravenous Pig to preview their 3-course (appetizer, entrée and dessert) Magical Dining Month menu.  The menu is available to the public Friday, August 24 through Sunday, September 30 for $35 plus tax & gratuity. This year, through Visit Orlando, one dollar from each meal will benefit Best Buddies and Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.

Choice of Appetizer

Steak Tartare – capers, egg, shallot, toast

Shrimp & Grits – Cape Canaveral shrimp, Anson Mills grits, green tomato chutney, chorizo oil

Gatherer Salad – baby greens, avocado, pickled beets, radish, goat cheese, pistachio granola, herb vinaigrette

Choice of Entrèe

Mushroom Risotto – summer mushrooms, parmesan broth, chili oil with black truffle supplement

Black Grouper – chana masala, cucumber raita

Pork Porterhouse upgrade

Choice of Dessert

Coffee Panna Cotta – persimmon sorbet, chocolate cardamom shortbread, compressed persimmons

Spiced Citrus Cake – elderflower chantilly, bay leaf crumble, poached pears

Thank you Sweet Rockaway PR for the invite and thank you Chef James Petrakis and The Ravenous Pig for the amazing service and dinner!  Be sure to check out The Ravenous Pig this year for Magical Dining Month!

For more information, please visit: visitorlando.com/magicaldining/restaurants/The-Ravenous-Pig/44356/

The Ravenous Pig
565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 628-2333

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Happy Hour just got a lot happier in Winter Park.

First, there were Happy Hour drink specials from 4 –7 p.m., then a second round of Happy Hour drink specials added from 9 p.m. – close … and now, Bulla Gastrobar in Winter Park is adding tapas to the Happy Hour lineup.

From 4 – 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday, guests can enjoy discounted tapas and half off all beer, wine and liquors at the bar.

· Bulla’s happy hour is available daily from 4-7 p.m.

· All beer, wine and liquors (including cocktails) are half off for happy hour

· $2 pours of draught craft beer, $3 bottles

· $6 craft cocktails

· $4-$5 glasses of sangria

· $4.50-$8.50 glasses of wine

· Three boards and nine small plates are featured on Bulla’s new happy hour

We got a sneak peek at the new menu for your viewing pleasure:

Chef Mariano Vegel showcases the new flatbreads on the menu

BOARDS
CHEF’S BOARD 18. Tetilla, Manchego, Jamón Serrano, Chorizo de Cantimpalo, olives
CURED MEATS 14. Jamón Serrano, Coppa, Chorizo de Cantimpalo
CHEESES 14. Tetilla, Murcia al Vino, Manchego

$5
HAM CROQUETTES Serrano ham, fig jelly
PATATAS BRAVAS Crispy potato cubes, spicy brava sauce, aioli
ANDALUSIAN GAZPACHO Spanish chilled vegetable soup
PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN Blistered shishito peppers, sea salt
POTATO TORTILLA Traditional Spanish omelet, caramelized onions, garlic aioli

$8
SAUTÉED GARLIC SHRIMP Brandy, pepper flakes (no bread)
PINTXO MORUNO Cumin marinated grilled pork skewers, mojo verde, Greek yogurt
KALE SALAD Barley, roasted beets, Spanish goat cheese, lemon maple dressing
ALBÓNDIGAS Veal and pork meatballs, Manchego, tomate frito

CHEF’S BOARD 18. Tetilla, Manchego, Jamón Serrano, Chorizo de Cantimpalo, olives

HAM CROQUETTES Serrano ham, fig jelly

PATATAS BRAVAS Crispy potato cubes, spicy brava sauce, aioli

ANDALUSIAN GAZPACHO Spanish chilled vegetable soup

PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN Blistered shishito peppers, sea salt
POTATO TORTILLA Traditional Spanish omelet, caramelized onions, garlic aioli

SAUTÉED GARLIC SHRIMP Brandy, pepper flakes (no bread)

PINTXO MORUNO Cumin marinated grilled pork skewers, mojo verde, Greek yogurt

KALE SALAD Barley, roasted beets, Spanish goat cheese, lemon maple dressing
ALBÓNDIGAS Veal and pork meatballs, Manchego, tomate frito

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Cinco Tacos + Tequila offers total sensory experience, focusing on exceptional service, elegant presentation and a fun atmosphere. 

Located in Winter Park/Florida, Cinco Tacos + Tequila offers Cali-Mex dishes with a twist and artistic flair. Signature dishes include Adobo Fried Chicken, Cali-Mex Samosas, Pizza Stand Nachos and a variety of street tacos. There’s also a large selection of drinks to choose with some delivering an element of surprise to wow the table.

The restaurant would be a great place to have dinner or brunch with friends. The brunch menu has a wide selection of small plates and bottomless tableside mimosas and bloody marys. Brunch will only be offered on the weekends for $32. I loved trying out the brunch items and the Adobo Fried Chicken & Churro Waffle was my favorite!

Fun Fact: The restaurant concept is backed by Actor Mario Lopez, former NSYNC member Chris Kirkpatrick, local venture capitalist Michael “Q” Quatrini and restaurateur Greg Pranzo.

Cinco Tacos + Tequila **NOW OPEN**

Complimentary chips and salsa will begin every meal, and guests can add to the experience with Tableside Guacamole.
Jalapeno Rellenos // Blanched and battered jalapenos, cotija + avocado ranch dipping sauce
Queso Fundido Con Chorizo // Chihuahua cheese, white cheddar, sauteed peppers and onions, chorizo + warm flour tortillas
Ceviche de Camarones // Fresh shrimp ceviche served on sliced cucumber
**Brunch Menu** Guacamole toaste + patatas bravas
**Brunch Menu** Barbacoa Benedict
Korean BBQ Pork Belly // Pickled red onion, jalapeno + gochujang

 

**NOW OPEN**

Cinco Tacos + Tequila

What pairs well with a great conversation? Great food, that’s fresh to order, and imported from Spain. Located in Winter Park, FL is an amazing restaurant called Bulla Gastrobar.

The chef described every dish to our table, and I found myself eating food and talking about it at the same time. That’s when you know you’re at a table full of foodies!

The Lemongrass Collins has easily become one of my favorite drinks of all time. It’s the right amount of refreshing, and as you can tell the bartender does not skip out on the rosemary.

Ingredients are St. Germain, Wint & Lila gin, lemongrass syrup, cucumber.

I also ordered the Proper Gin & Tonic. The star anise was a surprising touch!

Ingredients are Wint & Lila gin, lemon peel, lime wheel, star anise, Fever Tree tonic water.

First up was a meat and cheese plate. My favorite was the Manchego cheese and the fresh olives coming in every shape and size. You can just taste how fresh each ingredient is.

Cured Meat & Cheese Plate:
Jamon Serrano
‘Fermin’ Serrano ham, aged 15 months

Chorizo de Cantimpalo
Mildly spicy pork sausage from Segovia

Manchego
Sheep’s milk, nutty, sweet, tangy flavor, aged 6 month

Murcia al Vino
Goat cheese from Murcia, wine cured rind, sweet & smooth flavor

House Marinated Olives
Thyme, orange peel, garlic

Pan de Cristal con Tomate
Toasted crispy ethereal bread brushed with fresh tomato

Huevos Bulla
Eggs, homemade potato chips, Serrano ham, potato foam, truffle oil
The eggs come unbroken, until they get to the table! The server mixes up the dish before it’s served. The homemade chips add a perfect crunch to this savory dish.
Montaditos
Brisket, tomato marmalade, guindilla, tetilla cheese
My favorite dish of them all. The bread was toasted to the right second, the meat was tender, and the tomato marmalade was amazing. Also, the pepper is not spicy, it was delicious!

Sangria Blanca
Cava, peach schnapps, triple sec, strawberries, blueberries

Grilled Octopus Salad
Roma tomatoes, cucumber, croutons, lemon
The best part about the octopus was the charcoal edges. Absolutely delicious. And it was paired with fresh to order vegetables.
Paella
Valencia style rice, calamari, prawns, clams, shrimp, red sofrito, saffron
 
The rice and seafood complimented each other so well. Every last bit of the paella was eaten.
Fun fact: Tuesday, March 27th 2018 is National Paella Day! Scroll to the end of this article for special event details*
Bullfighter
Bulleit bourbon, Aperol, Dow’s Port, lemon juice, cranberry
Churros Con Chocolate
Traditional fried dough, chocolate sauce, dulce de leche
My favorite dessert of the two that I tried. The Churros are just a cute bite size,  fried to the perfect texture, and I’m obsessed with caramel, so the caramel dip won me over.
Torrija
Caramelized brioche, turrón ice cream, honey.

I left Bulla Gastrobar full and happy!

*In celebration of “National Paella Day,” the chefs at Spanish Winter Park restaurant Bulla Gastrobar will prepare massive paellas on the restaurants patio during happy hour. You’ll have the opportunity to observe how the paellas are made and will receive complimentary samples to enjoy on the patio, which will be decked out in festive decor! Bulla Gastrobar will also be offering $5 red sangrias all day long and will raffle off a $50 gift card to a lucky guest. Happy hour is between 4pm-7pm and 9pm – close!

 

By Gina Nguyen

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We were invited to check out the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Winter Park and we got to try a few of their menu items.  I LOVE smoothies.  They are my favorite thing to consume whether I am at work, home, or just finished a grueling workout and want something ice-cold and replenishing in my system to hold me over until I get ahold of some food.  Fortunately, Tropical Smoothie Cafe sells smoothies and hot items, so you can get both on the same stop.  The new Winter Park store is beautiful, bright, clean, and inviting and the smoothie and hot items were fresh and delicious.  You can expect to see me in line tomorrow morning trying to win free smoothies for a whole year!

Detox Island Green (seasonal) – Spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, banana & fresh ginger (naturally sweetened).   The serving is generous, the smoothie had a great consistency and it tasted fresh.  I really enjoyed the fresh ginger in it too, since it’s so good for you!

Cali Chicken Club Flatbread – Bacon, smashed avocado, tomatoes, romaine, mozzarella & basil garlic mayo.  This was my favorite!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap – Made it vegetarian by substituting the chicken strips with Beyond Meat®Chicken-Free Strips, no lite ranch & mozzarella, and adding extra avocado & veggies.  It includes tomatoes, romaine and buffalo sauce.  This was my second favorite!

Turkey Bacon Ranch Sandwich – Bacon, tomatoes, a romaine spinach blend, swiss & lite ranch on ciabatta

Kale & Apple Slaw – It was really good.  The best kale & apple slaw that I have ever had in my life.  I loved the flavors of their sweet dressing, apple slices and julienne carrot married together to balance out the kale which is naturally bitter but so good for you as well!

Be sure to drop by the new Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Winter Park early tomorrow,  January 10, for your chance to win FREE smoothies for a year!  They open at 7:00 A.M.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Winter Park
501 N Orlando Ave. Ste. 209B Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 637-5002
tropicalsmoothiecafe.com

Pitmaster Brandon Manly teaching us how to make some delicious eats for the holidays.

We were invited to check out this free and public event hosted by Sonny’s BBQ last Saturday at Williams Sonoma on Park Avenue in partnership with Peterbrooke Chocolatier.  I loved that the event landed on a Saturday afternoon because I frequent the popular Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings so I was able to pick up a few things and walk over to the cooking demo afterwords.  During our cooking demo we learned how to make Stuffed Pork Loin with Cranberry Agave Glaze, Smoked Turkey, Gruyère Potatoes, and Chocolate Bacon Holiday Bark.  Everything was delicious!

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

Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
300 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 644-3200
http://peterbrookewp.com

Williams Sonoma – Park Avenue
142 S Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 628-5900
williams-sonoma.com/stores/us/fl/winter-park-park-avenue

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SEARED DIVER SCALLOPS – Simply Seasoned & Perfectly Seared, Carrot Puree, Roasted Parsnip, Bacon and Sweet Pea Hash, Roasted Tomato Fondue, Parlied Olive Oil (MY FAVORITE!)

We were invited to the media preview of the new menu items at Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park and we absolutely enjoyed every single thing we ate, and that’s rare at a media preview dinner.  As a health conscious food blogger I dread media preview dinners that consist of mostly carbs but Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park did an amazing job hosting a dinner that was on the healthier side and packed with lots of protein and vegetables.  The toast appetizers were added last minute, but I still enjoyed tasting them and I don’t think I will ever find toasts as good as the ones at Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park.  Each piece was delicious with the perfect ratio of bread to topping.  They would be a hit at any party.  Their seared diver scallops dish stole the show and were the fan favorite of the night at our table.  The scallops were the best scallops that I have ever eaten in my entire life, the dish had the perfect amount of mixed vegetables and bacon, and the carrot puree changed my life.  I actually craved MORE of the carrot puree because it was so creamy and delicious.  The service was very welcoming and accommodating.  I highly recommend checking out Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park for any occasion.  We will definitely be returning soon.

MARINATED OLIVES – Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Lemon, Rosemary

OH NUTS! – Cashew, Pecans, Almond, Filbert, Peanut, Candied, Rosemary, Caribbean Spice

ARTICHOKE & ARUGULA – Toasty Rosemary Ciabatta, Whipped Ricotta, Artichoke, Baby Arugula, Balsamic, Lemonette

FIG & BACON – Toasty Rosemary Ciabatta, Whipped Ricotta, Black Mission Figs,
Caramelized Onion, Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon, Balsamic Glaze

ROAST TOMATO – Toasty Rosemary Ciabatta, Whipped Ricotta, Pomodoro Sauce, Parmesan, Parslied Olive Oil

STEAK FRITES – Bavette Steak (The Butchers Favorite), Tiny Green Beans, Steak House Fries, Roasted Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Peppered Gravy

CHICKEN STACK – Prestige Farms Chicken, Roasted Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes, Blistered Grape Tomatoes, Green Beans, Roasted Chicken Glace, Fines Herbs, Parslied Olive Oil

Prickly Pear Margarita & Carbernet Sauvignon

Be sure to check out Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park soon for their new menu items and pick up a gift card before December 31, 2017 to score a complimentary bottle of Michelle Brut holiday champagne!

Marlow’s Tavern – Winter Park
1008 S Orlando Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 960-3670
http://marlowstavern.com

 

Three things that I love:
1.  4 Rivers Smokehouse – I used to work for 4 Rivers Smokehouse Catering back in 2015.
2.  Winter Park – I went to elementary school, middle school and high school in Winter Park.
3.  Supporting charity events – who doesn’t?!

Combine all those three things that I love and what do you get? COWS ‘N CABS.

Central Florida’s annual Cows ‘n Cabs returned for its seventh year on Saturday, November 11 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Hosted by 4 Rivers Smokehouse founder John Rivers and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue, the event benefited the After-School All-Stars and Elevate Orlando.  This 21+ up charity event returned to 150 North New York Avenue in Winter Park’s Central Park West Meadow and featured more than 30 of Central Florida’s top restaurants including 4 Rivers Smokehouse, The Ravenous Pig, Hunger Street Tacos, Holler & Dash, and Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen.

This is a must attend event for all food enthusiasts.  Cows ‘n Cabs does it right year after year and they are always getting better!

Cow ‘N Cab – Beef Over Creamy Polenta & Cabernet Reduction

The COOP “Fiesty chicken” – Fried Chicken Topped With Lettuce, Pickle, & Fiesty Sauce On A Slider

4 Rivers Smokehouse Sweet Shop – Chocolate Wine Cupcake, Red Velvet Hot Chocolate with House-Made Cream Cheese Marshmallows

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits – Dominick, Wine and Spirit Specialist

Soco Restaurant in Thornton Park – Confit of Pork Rilette with Pickled Apples, Mustard, and Pumpernickle Crostini

Tamale Co. – Cochinita Pibil Tamale and Carne Asada Tamale

The Sanctum – Buffalo Chickun Slider and Bleu Cheez Wedge Salad

Luke’s Kitchen and Bar – Luke’s Crab Cake with Celery Lemon Tartar

STK (Disney Springs) – Dry aged Sirloin of Beef with Smoked Poblano Pepper-Pumpkin Seed Puree and Pickled Butternut Squash

Foxtail Coffee – Cold Brew

Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen – Pork Tenderloin “Pastrami” Banh Mi Sandwich, Truffle Aioli and Pickled Vegetable

Drew Estate

Dove Tale

Tapa Toro – Sliced Corned Beef, Braised Red Cabbage, German Potatoes

Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park – Mini French Macarons, Chocolate Covered Bacon, Chocolate Covered Popcorn

Holler & Dash – The Four O Seven

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen & Bar – House Ceviche and Shrimp with a Grit Cake

Grey Goose

Fantasy Fare Food Truck (Disney Springs) – Achiote-Orange Rubbed Salmon Taco

Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar (Disney Springs) – Smoked Duck Carnitas Bao

The Daily Poutine (Disney Springs) – French Fries, Beef Poutine Gravy, Mushrooms and Cheese Curds

D-Luxe Burger (Disney Springs) – Curried Lamb Burger

F&D Kitchen / F&D Cantina – Guanjillo Chili and Black Bean Quinoa Chili

1921 by Norman Van Aken – Five Spice Crispy Chicken Wings, Fish Sauce Caramel & Thai Herb Salad

Norman’s – Guava-Pasilla Barbecued Pulled Pork Tostada with Black Bean Puree

Morimoto Asia (Disney Springs) – US Wagyu Beef Nigiri, smoked soy, fresh wasabi

Hunger Street Tacos – Fried Avocado Taco, Panko breaded and fried avocado, shredded cabbage, red onion, serrano-lime crema, cilantro, queso cotija

Urbain 40 – Umami-laced Angus Brisket & Short Rib Burger Slider, Caramelized Sweet Onion Compote & Pimento Cheese

The Ravenous Pig – Green Eggs and Ham

The Polite Pig (Disney Springs) – BBQ Cheddar Sausage on Mini-Bun

K Restaurant – Cider Braised Pork Jowl, spiced apple sauce, brussels sprouts salad

Pizza Bruno owner – Bruno Zacchini III

Taverna Opa Orlando – Mini Souvlaki

Hawkers Asian Street Fare – Pork Belly Dumplings and Singapore “Chili” Crab

Sus-Hi Eatstation – Sushi bowl

Amorette’s Pastisserie/ The Ganachery (Disney Springs) – Assortment of Sweet Delights

P is for Pie – Christmas Story Hand Pie with Roast Duck, Caramelized Onions, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Goat Cheese
Salted Honey Bourbon Hand Pie and Caramel Maple Pumpkin Pie

Pop Parlour

For more information, please visit www.cowsncabs.com.
(Source credit: Cows ‘n Cabs)

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition in remembering deceased ancestors and friends.  We were invited to the inaugural Day of the Dead event at Cocina 214 and I had a great time celebrating this Mexican tradition for the first time.  The event offered delicious light bites and two exclusively-themed drinks such as the “Alma Buena” that came with a flashing LED multi-colored ice cube and a shot of Black Raspberry Sangria to pour into your drink for a fun swirl of colors and also the “La Mariposa” that was served with a rim of sugar and butterfly gummies on a pom-pom food pick.  The event also included fun activities sponsored by el Jimadaor such as the color your own shirt station which they gave away free shirts for and the promotion table where they gave out free scarves to everyone who filled out a quick survey.  First come, first serve.

Cocina 214 in Park Avenue of Winter Park is known as a vibrant, hip, brunch, lunch, dinner restaurant, with a lively, yet relaxing atmosphere. It’s edgy yet approachable and perfect for family and friends.  They are building their second location at 357 S. Atlantic Avenue Daytona Beach, Florida 32118 with the same concept as the original location – contemporary Mexican and Tex-Mex kitchen with authentic dishes that combine bold flavors and the freshest local ingredients all served up in a vibrant, elegant and fun setting.

Alma Buena “ The Good Soul” – EL Jimador Tequila, Blue Curacao, Sweet & Sour, Agave, topped with Black Raspberry Sangria
The intent of day of the dead is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed.

La Mariposa “ The Butterfly” – EL Jimador Tequila, Blood Orange Liqueur, Fresh Lime, Agave, splash of Soda
According to traditional belief among Michoacán’s Mazahuas the monarch butterflies are souls of ancestors who return to Earth for their annual visit.

Color your own shirt station, sponsored by el Jimador.

Free el Jimador scarf for filling out a quick survey.

Tortilla chips and salsa

Fried Avocado Bites – lightly breaded hass avocados fried served with chipotle cream dipping sauce (Vegan)

Mushroom & Spinach Quesadilla – sautéed mushrooms, fresh spinach

Brisket Quesadilla – beef brisket, pico de gallo

Trio of guacamole, queso and fire-roasted salsa

Rotisserie Chicken Tacos served with veggie rice, queso fresco, roasted corn on corn tortillas.  Served with sautéed poblano salsa.

If you missed out on the Day of the Dead festivities this year, be sure to drop by Cocina 214 and check out their updated Happy Hour menu full of delicious new cocktails and quick bites served up with a twist.  You don’t want to miss the annual Day of the Dead event next year!

(Source credit: Cocina 214)

Cocina 214
151 E Welbourne Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 790-7997
http://cocina214.com

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TR Fire Grill in Winter Park is sweetening up the fall season with its all-new, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake.  Guests can take advantage of one of the most beloved flavors of fall by heading to the restaurant and taking a slice out of seasonal comfort.

Guests can also pair the decadent dessert with a favorite entrée of their choice including the new seasonal menu items such as: Smoked Pork Tenderloin topped with cherry pinot wine sauce, Wood-Roasted Lamb Chops, or Smoked Boneless Beef Short Rib.  New drinks with catchy names such as “Doctor’s Note” and “Fire In The Apple Tree” are now available.

We were invited to try the classic menu items, seasonal menu items and new drinks.  The food was good, the interior of the restaurant is phenomenal and the service was great!  More pictures from our experience below.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin – Red and green apples, cider & moonshine reduction, cauliflower purée and bacon cannelloni beans. (Seasonal)

Wood-Roasted Lamb Chops – Minty salsa verde, Asiago risotto, maple glazed carrots. (Seasonal)

Smoked Boneless Beef Short Rib – (All-Natural Beef) Cabernet wild mushroom ragu, Asiago risotto, maple glazed carrots. (Seasonal)

(NEW) Fire In The Apple Tree – Ole Smoky Apple Pie moonshine, Fireball cinnamon whisky, apple cider, cinnamon simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, Angostura orange bitters, Four Roses “Yellow Label” bourbon float

(NEW) Doctor’s Note – Courvoisier V.S. cognac, Four Roses “Yellow Label” bourbon, strawberry simple syrup, Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters, fresh mint

Bacon & Eggs – Mustard glazed pork, jalapeño deviled eggs, barbecue potato chip dust, pickled red onions

Fried Okra – Peppercorn ranch dressing (available during Local Hour)


Jalapeño Soup – Chipotle sour cream (It’s amazing!)

Market Salad – Glazed star fruit, grapes, balsamic glazed grilled Bosch pears, tangerines, cucumber, roasted walnuts, feta cheese, focaccia crouton, guava raspberry dressing (Great salad!)

Espresso

Strawberry Lemonade

Lemonade

The production crew shooting a video with executive chef Bob Gallagher.

TR Fire Grill is conveinently located across the street from the new Whole Foods Market in Winter Park, FL.  Be sure to check out the new pumpkin spice cheesecake, seasonal menu items and new drinks at TR Fire Grill soon!

(Source credit: TR Fire Grill)

TR Fire Grill
1035 N Orlando Ave, Unit 101
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 708-3600
trfiregrill.com

Fast-casual chain Cafe Rio Mexican Grill will give a free meal and drink to the first 300 people that are at the ribbon cutting ceremony promptly at 10:30AM on Wednesday, October 4.  Cafe Rio Mexican Grill will be opening its first Florida location at 1050 N. Orlando Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789, located in the same plaza as the new Whole Foods.  The new Winter Park restaurant will mark the company’s 111th national location.

Cafe Rio and the Winter Park chamber welcomes the public and the media to join them for their grand opening.  The restaurant will host their signature “giant burrito” and ribbon cutting.  In keeping with their tradition of giving back to the community, Cafe Rio will give a $2,500 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida during the grand opening festivities of events.  “This demonstration of social responsibility on the part of Cafe Rio is a great indicator of their approach to service and to community-building,” said Greg Higgerson, Vice President of Development at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “Because they care, more than ten thousand meals will reach the plates of low-income families, children, seniors, veterans, and others who are struggling,” he added.

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been serving its loyal customers fresh Mexican food since 1997.  Their menu is inspired by the traditional Mexican cooking found in the Rio Grande region of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas, and New Mexico.  Cafe Rio specializes in serving its customers the highest-quality, made from scratch Mexican meals, using only the freshest ingredients.

They are a scratch kitchen with a strict “no freezer and no microwaves” policy in all of their locations.

Each Cafe Rio restaurant features a wide-open kitchen.

Guests can clearly view sauces simmering, team members hand scooping avocados, chopping tomatoes, grilling meats and squeezing over 1000 fresh limes each and every day.

Fresh tortillas are made in house and are available in flour, corn, or wheat.

Nachos – Crispy handmade tortilla chips piled high with a blend of Mexican cheeses or chile con queso, your choice of beef, chicken, or pork, black or pinto beans, Pico de Gallo, sour cream, and fresh guacamole.

Tostada – A corn tortilla topped with your choice of meat, cilantro lime rice, black or pinto beans, fresh cut romaine lettuce, Pico de Gallo, crispy tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream, and cotija cheese. Choose your dressing, but they recommend the house dressing.

Salad – A large freshmade flour tortilla, baked with cheese and filled with black or pinto beans, cilantro lime rice, your choice of chicken, pork, beef and romaine lettuce. Topped with Pico de Gallo, fresh guacamole, tortilla strips, cilantro, cotija cheese and your choice of insanely delicious dressing.

Enchilada – Fresh corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, sauce, and your choice of beef, chicken, or pork. Baked in an oven, served with black or pinto beans, and topped with additional cheese and sauce.

Tacos – Fresh flour tortillas, stuffed and overflowing with your choice of mouth-watering beef, chicken or pork, a blend of Mexican cheeses, crisp romaine lettuce, and Pico de Gallo. Homemade, handmade and handheld.

Burrito A delicious, hand-made tortilla stuffed full with cilantro-lime rice, black or pinto beans, cheese and your choice of meat, then baked in an oven. Optional side of pico de gallo and shredded romaine lettuce.  Get it Enchilada Style – baked with Cheese & Sauce.

Fresh Lime Pie – Fresh Squeezed Lime Mixed into a Creamy Blend, Baked in a Crumb Crust.  Made fresh every morning with hand-squeezed limes and a graham cracker crust, this one’s a fan favorite.

Famous Tres Leches – A light, creamy, fluffy cake baked fresh every morning and soaked in three types of milk

 The Horchata beverage is a must try!

Children six and under eat FREE!

Download the free CAFE RIO app and get a free $5 food credit.

Promo codes for $5 more food credit: wpflcp, wpfljb, wpflid.  One code only.  Expires October 22.

Be sure to make it out to the grand opening of Cafe Rio Mexican Grill in Winter Park on October 4 at 10:30am to snag your free meal and drink!

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill – Winter Park
1050 N. Orlando Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
(321) 422-2099
www.caferio.com

 

Hey, food friends!

You’ve seen the news, you’ve watched videos of families in need on Facebook Live, and you’ve probably heard about celebrities dropping big money.

As Orlandoans, helping Texans may feel out of arm’s reach, but there’s so much that we can do collectively.

Here is a growing list of restaurants that are doing their part to aid Texans.

Let’s explore how to eat responsibly.  

Where to Eat

  • Chuy’s | All Locations
    • With 9 locations across Houston and Corpus Christi, this brand is definitely feeling the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. To help, it is selling a limited edition T-shirt at all locations for $10. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Chuy’s Redfish Relief Fund, which supports employees experiencing financial hardships due to disasters, emergencies, and other life-changing circumstances

  • Sonny’s BBQ | All Locations
    • Nothing says Texas like barbecue… On September 6, all 113 locations will donate 10% of sales to Operation BBQ Relief, an organization that mobilizes pitmasters and barbecue enthusiasts to areas in need to help prepare and serve barbecue
  • Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park
    • $1 from each chocolate star lollipop sold until September 10 
    • 10% of chocolate covered popcorn sales during the week of September 4-10
    • The store will also be collecting cash donations, and anyone who donates at least $5 will receive their choice of a free chocolate covered Oreo or pretzel rod

Safe Bets

There’s often a little bit of confusion and trepidation about donating to large charities. Oftentimes, only a small percentage funds actually hit the homes of the people you indeed to help.

Here are some that are collecting funds and donations responsibly.

Feeding Children Everywhere

With FCE, you can donate, start a fundraiser and know that 100% of proceeds raised through this fund will be used for Harvey disaster relief! And if you purchase this shirt, 40 meal will be donated. That’s a deal! 

Second Harvest Food Bank | Orlando, Daytona Beach, West Melbourne

All locations are accepting non-perishable food donations for Texas flood relief

Undies For Everyone 

1. Purchase new underwear here

2. Collect new, packaged underwear and mail it to the address below. If you’re purchasing, they recommend Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. UFE doesn’t process or give out anything but underwear!

Undies for Everyone
1700 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005

3. Give cash and Undies for Everyone will purchase wholesale

The Emeril Lagasse Kitchen House | Orlando

Chef Kevin Fonzo is partnering with Chef Tiffany Derry to raise money via the Edible Schoolyard and Kevin Fonzo Foundation. On Sunday, September 10 from 12-3 p.m., visit The Emeril Lagasse Kitchen House and Culinary Garden as they host a kid-friendly “Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale”! They will have fresh lemonade available for sale, as well as some incredible baked goods donated by some amazing local pastry chefs!

Go Fund Me

Check out the different families and organizations that are sharing their stories in order to get help.

Volunteer

There are so many organizations in need of a hand.  Orlando Vegans is partnering with Clean The World tomorrow, Saturday, September 2. Sign up here!


 Words of Encouragement 

All too often we talk about people impacted by natural disasters as victims. We have to remind ourselves and the people impacted that they are victors. They need to be reminded that they are strong, resilient and able to overcome. I’ve started a Google Doc for everyone to share the love by writing encouraging notes. The hope is that we can share with charities and outlets in Texas to pass along to locals!

Here’s to foodlantrophy and lots of love.

Snack on,

Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!

 

I’m an absolute sucker for a new menu launch. And an even bigger sucker for anything with Indian flavors. When I heard that Create Your Nature had both, I made it my mission to head over to sample some of the new dishes.

Back in October 2016, when the fruit-and-grain concept opened, I distinctly remember feeling that Orlando finally got a restaurant that it actually needed. Admittedly, this spot is one of my favorites in town. I truly believe that this summer should be all about healthy eats and consuming ingredients that are approachable, easy to pronounce, and super flavorful.

If you’re seeking a place with healthier options or if you’re working on a lifestyle change, such as going vegetarian or vegan, this is your new favorite spot.

During my recent visits (I’ve been six times in the last two weeks), I’ve tried many of the new items, and here are my favorites:

ROCK THE CASBAH – creamy, slightly sweet with a touch of heat

1.Rock the Casbah – Signature oat bowl – $5.5 / $8.5

Cashews, Raisins, Coconut, Coconut Milk, Turmeric, Cardamom, Harissa Oil

2. Cacao-a-Bunga – Smoothie bowl: $12 (Photo above) 

Blend: Blueberries, Banana, Cacao Powder

Toppings: Chocolate Granola (Bonus: It’s made with probiotics!), Almonds, Coconut, Banana, Cacao Nibs

3. Holy Frijole – Salad: $7.50 / Available over greens for $1 extra

Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Corn, Tomato, Green Bell Pepper, Cilantro

Dressing: Lemon Balsamic, Chipotle Olive Oil

HOLY FRIJOLE – savory and slightly sweet

Click here for the entire new menu.

Create Your Nature

1284 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789

www.CreateYourNature.com

Snack on,

Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!

 

Hey, hey!

So you want to eat cleaner, huh? Every year, millions of Americans head to the gym with the hopes of dropping the holiday pounds, but as many of you know – the secret in the weight loss sauce is really what you consume. For a moment, let’s picture a new you — a you that likes kombucha, tea instead of a frappé and sometimes maybe a salad instead of the fries (blasphemy, I know!)

If you’re reading this, you probably love to eat just as much as I do, so consider committing to make small, but impactful changes every week until they become habits.

Let’s raise a smoothie to the new you in 2017 and explore my favorite places to eat clean in and around Orlando. Because hey, a little kale salad here and there never hurt anyone.

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Eats: Mixed, raw and clean options 

1. The Sanctum | Colonialtown North

Major’s Pick: Shiva Salad (Half Salad) Massaged kale, roasted butternut squash and house-seasoned tempeh with pink lady apples, celery, carrots and raisins. All tossed in curried peanut dressing and finished with candied walnuts, toasted chickpeas and flaked coconuts

2. Dandelion Communitea Cafe | Mills 50 District

Major’s Pick: The Giddyup ($6 on Mondays!): tempeh chili topped with blue corn chips and fresh diced tomatoes. Served with vegan queso or organic dairy cheddar cheese. Get in a bowl or wrap, and check out the new menu! (Tell them Major sent you.)

3. Infusion Tea | College Park

Major’s Pick: Nut & Honey wrap: local honey, organic cashew nut butter, bananas, strawberries, and granola for a sustaining wrap

4. Create Your Nature | Winter Park

Major’s Pick: Nutty By Nature bowl: blueberries, banana, organic granola, almonds, walnuts, pecasn, chia seeds, hemp seeds and local raw honey

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Drinks: Cold-pressed, blended and over ice options 

1. Juice Bar | The Milk District

Major’s Pick: Hale to the Beet Down: apple, kale, orange, lemon ginger

2. Juice’d | Thornton Park

Major’s Pick: Kale Smoothie: apple, banana, ginger, kale, mango, pineapple, spinach *add coconut water

3. Grounding Roots | College Park

Major’s Pick: Sweet Potato, Pineapple & Red Apple

4. New Moon Market | College Park

Major’s Pick: Cheeky Monkey: almond milk, banana, oats, almond butter with maca powder

5. Skyebird | Audubon Park

Major’s Pick: Thai Hot: spinach, celery, cilantro, orange, apple, lime, lemongrass and jalapeño

Share your food adventures with us on Instagram! I’m so excited to see what you let your palate explore in the year!

Snack on,

Chauniqua Major, but we’re friends so call me Major!

Special Brunch Edition: Cask & Larder partnered with Funky Buddha Brewery for a beer brunch. The event featured a reception with bites and beers, followed by a three-course meal paired with a perfect beer for each course.

Cask & Larder, in Winter Park, Florida, is a local neighborhood gathering spot with a dedication to artisanal foods while creating seasonally fresh dishes. For this event, Cask & Larder reserved the bar area to host its brunch and it was the perfect space for guests to taste the beer brunch menu.

Everything about the menu was exciting and the event exceeded my expectations. It’s hard to pick a favorite because each dish was delicious – the roasted oysters, foie gras french toast, smoked tuna tartine, corned beef hash (with the soft boiled egg!), and ice cream sandwich.

If you would like to learn more about Cask & Larder events, click here to sign up for the mailing list or follow Cask & Larder on FaceBook.

Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA and C&L Pale Ale
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Ramp Butter Roasted Oysters with bacon crumbs ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Hop Gun IPA and C&L Pale Ale
Mini Foie Gras French Toast with pickled blueberries
Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and C&L Wit
Hop Smoked Tuna Tartine with millet bread, pickled kabocha squash, compressed peaches, radish and farro ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen and C&L Wit
Crispy Corned Beef & Hash with bearnaise, picked ramps & mushrooms, ramp green soubise and a soft boiled egg ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Blood Orange IPA and C&L Maibock
Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate stout semifreddo and chicory cookie ~paired with~ Funky Buddha Vanilla Espresso Porter and C&L Coffee Blonde

About Cask & Larder:
Cask & Larder offers southern-sourced seasonal dishes, craft beers brewed on-site and fresh-shucked oysters from our oyster bar. We look forward to serving you good food with casual southern hospitality.

Address: 565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (321) 280-4200
Website: www.caskandlarder.com

About Funky Buddha Brewery
Funky Buddha Brewery was founded in 2010 in Boca Raton, Florida, and is committed to producing bold craft beers that marry culinary-inspired ingredients with time-honored technique. Our mantra is big, bold flavors, made exactingly with natural ingredients. So, for example, if we say a beer will taste like peanut butter and jelly, you can be sure you’ll smell and taste the fresh roasted peanuts and fruity berry jam. Our flagship beers such as Hop Gun IPA and Floridian Hefeweizen, also strive towards big, bold flavor. It’s who we are. Our Brewery is located in the heart of Oakland Park’s new Culinary Arts District.

Address: 1201 NE 38th St, Oakland Park, FL 33334
Phone: (954) 440-0046
Website: www.funkybuddhabrewery.com

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One of our favorite sushi restaurants in town, Umi Winter Park, recently released two new lunch options for $15, changing on what is fresh for the day and filled with chef’s choice items like kimchi fried rice and nigiri. The food at Umi is as delicious and fresh as it is beautiful.

“We challenged ourselves to create and customize something totally unique and high-end for lunch, offering a lot more food and quality than a traditional bento box,” explained Gilles Lorin, concept director for Umi Winter Park.

“It had to be a complete meal, offering raw and cooked items, and be different every day, based on our chef’s choice. The response has been tremendous.”

See the Press Release Below for more information:

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The Bento Tray is available in two choices, either Raw or Cooked.

Each one is served as a complete and balanced lunch with miso soup and ginger salad.

In order to ensure a unique and fresh meal every time, some raw and cooked dishes vary daily depending on what the chef prepares for the week.

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The Raw Bento includes cuts of sashimi and nigiri from Snapper, Yellowtail Hamachi, Bluefin Toro, Salmon and Tuna.

Guests could be presented with a Mini Korean Chirashi Bowl, a Mini Sake Don Bowl or something completely new and different depending on what the chef has in mind that day.

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Standard dishes include Kimchi Croquettes and Bacon-wrapped Cherry Tomatoes.

The Cooked Bento is prepared with a filet of Robata teriyaki-glazed Salmon over a bed of vegetables as well as an order of Chef Stanley’s homemade recipe of Bibimbap.

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Just like the Raw Bento, this tray includes the standard Kimchi Croquette and Bacon-wrapped Cherry Tomatoes and either a Mini Korean Chirashi Bowl, a Mini Sake Don Bowl or something completely new and different depending on what the chef has in mind.

For reservations and information, call (407) 960-3993 or go to www.umiwinterpark.com. Serving lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Serving dinner Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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At the beginning of this month, we were invited to check out the grand opening of TR Fire Grill in Winter Park to try out handcrafted cocktails and dishes.

TR Fire Grill, which is part of Romacorp Inc, is a different concept from their other restaurant Tony Roma’s.

TR Fire Grill displays a more unique and down to earth vibe which prides themselves in fresh local ingredients, and local chef talents to match.

The atmosphere was astounding with live music which they pride themselves of showcasing local talent on the regular.

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The cocktails offered at TR Fire grill were quite delicious, simple ingredients mixed together with expert precision to make a refreshing cocktail.

From cocktails such as The Swindler (shown above), with ingredients such as Fireball Whiskey, Apple Moonshine, Cinnamon, and fresh pressed lemon and lime made to their Wood Aged Margarita which contained Agave Nectar, Oak Aged Tequila, Grand Marnier and lime, all the drinks showcased that night were delectable to the palate however, was sure to put you in a “good mood” after a few drinks.

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The food was splendid with dishes from Hawaiian Ahi Tuna (made with grilled pineapple salsa, edamame, crisp wonton tostada, apricot shallot sauce) to creative dishes such as their Shrimp & “Grits (containing smoked pork sausage, Sam’s Bayou sauce, jalapeno cheddar polenta) – each dish with their own different characteristics and personalities to them.

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Check Them Out!

TR Fire Grill

http://trfiregrill.com/

1035 N Orlando Ave #101

Winter Park, FL 32789

(407) 708-3600

 

 

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Pesce Piccata

Last week we were invited to attend Brio Tuscan Grille to try out some new additions to their menu which were added in late August.

Brio which means “lively” or “full of life” is apparent in the various dishes served to us that night.

Brio’s philosophy is “eat well to live well”, this being said Brio stands by its pledge to create it’s dishes with the freshest of ingredients in order to fully bring to you the taste of the Tuscan country villa.

Mango Grigio (right)
Mango Grigio (right)

We started the night with a Mango Grigio. The featured cocktail of the month of September, this drink which was topped by an orange, was indeed refreshing, a very casual drink I must say, one in which is easy to drink. The Mango Grigio awoken our senses and prepared our palettes for the amazing meals that we were to have for the course of the night.

Tuscan Kale Caesar
Tuscan Kale Caesar

For our appetizer, we were given the Tuscan Kale Caesar -this salad which contains tricolored lettuce, marinated kale, pancetta, tomatoes, chopped egg, croutons, Parmesan and Caesar dressing. It was a very light meal to satisfy our ever so diligent hunger.

The croutons were very soft and not typical of the teeth-shattering croutons commonly found in salads, and even the pancetta (which is essentially Italian bacon) did not overwhelm the light nature of the dish.

All the ingredients worked in perfect unison, but I must note that the variety of ingredients allowed the dish to have a different delectable taste with every bite.

Braised Beef Pappardelle
Braised Beef Pappardelle

For the main course, we were given the braised beef papparedelle and the pesce picatta. The papparedelle is a very hearty dish consist of rosemary pappardelle, crimini mushrooms, roasted carrots, red onions and tomato porcini sauce.

Don’t take the size of this dish for granted -this dish which is rich in its flavors will fill you in a very satisfying way.

Besides the papparedelle, the other dish which was in fact my favorite dish perhaps because I am a sucker for seafood based dishes, was the pesce picatta which consist of wild-caught cod, toasted almonds, lemons, capers, roasted garlic sauce, and angel hair pasta tossed with roasted vegetables.

A zesty dish, brought forth by the lemons and garlic which further brings out the excellent flavors of the cod.

Torta di Cioccolata
Torta di Cioccolata

With enough room in our stomachs for dessert, we were given Brio’s signature dessert the Totra di Ciocolata containing a vanilla bean gelato, anglaise sauce, topped with a chocolate drizzle, this dish which was simple yet amazing.

For any dessert connoisseur or sweet-tooth junkies out there, this is a must try, with its warm center and cool gelato top the combinations of its richness is similar to that of a lava cake.

However bring Brio’s culinary expertise and you have perhaps a very delectable dessert.

With locations in Winter Park (the location we attended) and Millenia, Brio is a must try for any occasion whether it be for a date night or a semi-fancy affair Brio is a must go for your needs and will not disappoint with it’s ambience, excellent staff, and even more excellent dishes.

Check Them Out!

http://www.brioitalian.com/winter_park_village.html

 

 

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Cocina |214 is a contemporary Mexican and Tex-Mex kitchen. The name is a combination of the Spanish word for kitchen, “cocina” and the Dallas area code, “214.” The idea for opening COCINA|214 developed when two of the owners from Texas missed the Tex-Mex and Mexican food they had grown up eating. They wanted the same authentic, fresh and quality food here in Winter Park.

Dragon Fruit Local MargaritaWe started off with a this season’s local cocktail – The Dragon Fruit Margarita.
It was a sweet, almost dessert like drink, so personally I like the salt rim to balance out the sugar in the drink. And because it is seasonal, it’s only here for a limited time.

Avocado BitesFried Avocado Bites (10)
lightly breaded hass avocados fried served with chipotle cream dipping sauce. This was almost too addicting, I had to stop myself before I get full from just eating fried avocados. The chipotle cream sauce does sneak up on you with its heat so dip cautiously.

Isidro's CaesarIsidro’s Caesar (13)
romaine, cotija cheese, fried onions strings, grape tomatoes, homemade croutons and Caesar dressing. I actually prefer the fried onion strings over croutons in regular caesar’s salad. It adds a subtle crunch and more flavors.

Mango CevicheMango Ceviche (13)
snapper, serrano peppers, red onion, red bell pepper, citrus, mango. I absolutely love cevhice, and although this one had a bit too much lime for me the mango helped bring back a little sweetness to the sour punch.
Mexican CornMexican Corn (9)
grilled corn, cayenne pepper, lime, cotija, queso fresco. A delicious way to eat corn, that natural sweetness with cheese and loads of spices and hint of lime.

Snapper Frito TacosSnapper Frito Tacos (16)
lightly fried wild snapper, coastal slaw, pico de gallo, chipotle cream sauce. Snapper is much less flaky than cod so it won’t fall all over the place once you bite into it. It all tasted really fresh and the corn tortilla really aids in bringing out the flavors of the tacos. 

Cauli Frito TacosCauli Frito Tacos (13)
lightly fried cauliflower, coastal slaw, red bell peppers, chipotle cream sauce. I personally prefer this over the cod tacos. The fried cauliflower has a sweetness to it that plays so well with cream sauce and a dash of lime juice. This is probably one of my favorite vegetarian options out there.

Snapper VeracruzSnapper Veracruz (25)
fresh wild snapper, tomato, olive, caper, with herb topping and veggie rice. It was nice step away from the mundane salmon dish that’s offered in a lot of other places.

Cheese Enchiladas-Mexican styleCombo Enchilada (14)
3 Enchiladas Mexican-style with romaine lettuce, queso fresco, onions, sour cream, grape tomatoes & veggie rice. A hearty dish, that’s filling and combination of different textures. 

Maria's Gourmet BurgerMaria’s Gourmet Burger (16)
grilled pineapple on an Angus beef burger, Olde Hearth Bread poppy seed bun, Monterrey jack cheese, served with grilled Mexican corn. Everything came together so well on this burger. Especially the pineapple, it was a bit odd, but it really made the burger all the more savory. 

Churrosand of course we ended things lightly with some Fried Churros and Dulce de lechedipping sauce.

Cocina | 214 

151 E Welbourne Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 790-7997

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Swine & Sons Provisions, from the owners of the The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, will expand offerings to include breakfast beginning Monday, July 27, at its 595 West Fairbanks Avenue shop in Winter Park.

The morning menu will feature hot egg sandwiches, quiches, pastries, house cold brewed coffee, espresso drinks and rotating seasonal specials.

Chefs Rhys and Alexia Gawlak of Swine and Sons
Chefs Rhys and Alexia Gawlak of Swine and Sons

Breakfast hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Swine & Sons will continue to serve lunch weekdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and will offer a limited menu consisting of grab-and-go options, charcuterie, beer and wine between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The breakfast menu will not be available on weekends, for now, but the full lunch menu will be served from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

To celebrate the launch of the new breakfast menu, Swine & Sons will offer hot breakfast sandwiches all day (7 a.m. until 5 p.m.) on Monday, July 27.

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Here are a few of the new items:

Breakfast @ Swine & Sons

Sandwiches

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Biscuit Sandwich – Egg, House-Made Canadian Bacon, Tomato Jam

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Fried Chicken and Waffle-wich – Smoked Honey, Pickled Gypsy Peppers, Cornbread Waffle

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Breakfast Focaccia Panini – Egg whites, tomato-basil goat cheese spread, marinated sweet peppers

Plates

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Baked Egg – Grits, Smoked Tomato, Potatoes, Onion, Sausage, Kale

Baked Egg en Croute – Caramelized Onion, house-cured Bacon

Baked Egg en Croute – Spinach, Fontina

Sweets

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Cinnamon Bun

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Chai Spiced Coffee Cake

Bento Boxes

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Smoked Salmon Spread with Bagel Chips

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Salumi and Cheese

Swine & Sons’ breakfast is a collaboration by James Beard-nominated chefs/co-owners James and Julie Petrakis and their Swine & Sons partners, Rhys and Alexia Gawlak.

“Neither The Ravenous Pig nor Cask & Larder are open during breakfast time, so this was the perfect chance to add an option for people to enjoy Swine Family restaurants at all hours,” said James Petrakis.

“Swine & Sons breakfast offers quick takeout for people on the run, as well as a neighborhood hub where guests can read the newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee.”

Swine & Sons will also offer breakfast catering services for local businesses and private gatherings.

For more information on Swine & Sons, visit www.SwineandSons.com or follow on social media at:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/swineandsons
Twitter – @SwineandSons
Instagram – @SwineandSons

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