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Food Shack – Jupiter Florida


Food Shack – Jupiter Florida

During the holidays I was able to check out a popular little place by Jupiter Beach as well as catch up with an old friend from high school. The place is called Little Moir’s (pronounced Moyer) Food Shack, or just Food Shack for short.

I’ve always drove by this place and noticed the long lines waiting outside its door. Trusting in the wisdom of crowds, I made a guess that this place may be worth a visit.

After about a 20 minute wait, my friend and I are ushered into the “Food Shack“. Inside, the decor is definitively “beachy” themed with tikis, oceany memorabilia, and tropical colored lights make it feel like some dive bar near the Florida keys rather than the Palm Beaches. The place is small (no wonder there is always a line) with probably no more than 25 seats in the whole place.

Jupiter is not known for great or cutting edge cuisine, but the Food Shack is an exception. The menu is updated daily and contains mostly seafood with a pacific twist.

We begin our order with an appetizer: the Fried tuna and basil roll with wasabi dipping. My friend Jesse comments that “it’s really good.” I concurred. For our entrees, he had the sweet potato crusted yellowtail over greens with green beans, mango, and a garlic lime dressing while I had the butternut and rosemary crusted yellowtail over greens with asparagus, apple, pears and a tomato lime dressing. The dishes were creative and executed very well.

My friend Jesse, Princeton grad and Stanford Med student,
ready to devour his plate and conquer its soul

Food Shack on Urbanspoon

New York, New York


I am heading for another Tasty Chomps adventure in New York City this weekend! Where should I go? 😀

Golden Lotus – Dim Sum – Orlando


Golden Lotus – Dim Sum – Orlando

For a city with a relatively thriving Asian population, Orlando is surprisingly lacking in the delicious dim sum department. Sure there are establishments out there that serve dim sum, and some proclaim they do but really don’t (Dim Sum Feast in Pine Hills does not – its a buffet). Of my visits to various Chinese restaurants in our area, I believe that Ming’s Bistro still stands firmly as the best for dim sum, if you don’t mind the weekend crowds.

If you are not in the downtown area, there is one other place in Orlando where I can trust their dim sum to be deemed delightful: Golden Lotus.

Situated in awkward Wal-Mart Plaza on the corner of John Young Blvd and Sand Lake Rd, you might visit it if you are headed to or coming from the Florida Mall just a few street lights away. The place is often sparse on the weekdays but can get quite busy on the weekend. They serve dim sum every day till 4 pm.

Inside, at first glance it may seem to be another stereotypical “Chinese” restaurant, but take a look closer and you will find delicious wonders within.

Although the die hard dim sum fans who love the “authentic” push dim sum carts may be disappointed that Golden Lotus only serves their dim sum the “list” way, I actually love that they use this method rather than the former. The reasons are simple: I hate waiting for a slow moving cart who by the time reaches your table, has either a) ran out of desired dish b) not have the dish at all or finally, c) is stale/cold from sitting there all day.

I’d much rather order on a list and at least assure that my food is hot and fresh and I get what I want.

Anyways, Golden Lotus has some delicious food ….

In case you forget what is what they have a helpful little menu outside with photos and corresponding names:

other delicious items on their menu:


one of the most popular dishes:
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (or Ha Gow in Cantonese)
Steamed Pork dumplings (siu mai)

Shark Fin Dumpling
( i think its actually rice vermicelli noodles inside…)

Fried Shrimp Dumpling

Fried Shrimp Dumpling (chomped)

Shrimp rice paste (don’t ask me why its called rice paste)

Singapore sweet bun

Sweet Egg custards

Beef Chow Fun Noodles

Dan Dan noodles (it was ok)

Overall, I would highly recommend Golden Lotus for some good, fairly priced authentic Chinese food and would rate it 2nd only to Ming Bistro . Also try the Szcheuan Beef Noodle soup here, a huge steamy bowl of deliciousness.

Golden Lotus Chinese on Urbanspoon

“EAT LOCAL” Slow Food Orlando Week!


The Orlando chapter of Slow Food USA is working to raise awareness of the Slow Food philosophy in our Central Florida community and are starting the first-ever Slow Food Orlando Eat Local Week for the last week of January, the 25th-31st 2010

At least 20 local farmers and artisans and over 20 restaurants including Primo, Journeys at Alaqua, and The Ravenous Pig will be participating. You can read more about the specific goals of Eat Local Week on our website at

Slow Food Orlando

Padrino’s Cuban Bistro – Cuban – Orlando


Padrino’s Cuban Bistro – Cuban – Orlando

We are lucky in Central Florida to live in an area relatively rich in Latin American culinary offerings. Puerto rican lechoneras, Colombian, Peruvian chicken joints, Cuban establishments and more abound in the Orlando landscape. They are mostly mom and pop type operations with small store fronts and the customary hole in the wall type atmosphere. Padrino’s, a small family owned restaurant with three branches in Florida, is one of the few exceptions to this rule.

Just north of Kissimmee on John Young Parkway, south of the SR 417, Padrino’s sits in a relatively new plaza offering its delightful, beautifully crafted Cuban dishes both traditional and with a twist.

I would dare to say that Padrino’s is the best Cuban restaurant in Orlando with the food that my partner and I enjoyed on this one late afternoon.

The decor is definitely classy, dark browns, paintings of various scenes from Cuba, a set area for Cuban musicians and performers, and a bar.

Beginning our meal we are given a plate of fried banana slivers with garlic and oil. The dish is beautifully presented, like delicate, edible fingers outstretching from the basket.

Similarly, our first order of empanadas come beautifully arranged with a unique, sweet, quava based salsa in the middle of the plate. The ground beef filled appetizers tasted as great as they looked.

For our main entrees, my partner orders the lush ropa vieja, made with shredded flank steak slow cooked with green peppers and onions in a tomato sauce and served with white rice, black beans, and sweet plantains. She loved it.

My order of lechon asado, slow roasted moist and tender pork, marinated with citrus mojo and topped with sautéed onions, was a bit dry for my likings on this occasion. On a return trip I tried the vaca frita, marinated shredded flank steak grilled to a crisp and topped with sauteed onions, and was much more delighted with the taste.

Overall the experience was enjoyable and memorable for the great tastes and presentation as well as overall good service. I would definitely come back again.

Tasty Chomps rating!
4.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!!

Padrino's Cuban Bistro on Urbanspoon

Einstein’s Bagels


I always enjoy a good bagel and Einstein’s Bagel Bros, although a chain, serves up a great tasty bagel. I was in the mood for a nova lox and bagel this early morning and decided to drop by the store on US 17/92 at Orange Ave in Winter Park for a bite.

Although the bagel was good, I still reminisce with bittersweet nostalgia about the delicious bagel I had eaten at Russ and Daughters in New York

I always love some salmon, cream cheese, and a bagel in the morning sunshine.

Einstein Brothers Bagels on Urbanspoon

Pi Delta Psi Winter Banquet at UCF


Pi Delta Psi Fraternity Winter Banquet at UCF

I had the pleasure to attend the annual winter banquet at UCF this past weekend, featuring a unique array of delicious buffet foods both from Filipino grocery store De Guzman as well as some home made Latin American influenced dishes. Overall, it was a pleasurable event with great moments and memories with loved ones and friends alike. A great way to end the year.

I liked the chicken adobo from De Guzman the most, made with chopped chicken pieces with bone-in marinated in saucy adobo spices. Although there have been a few Filipino restaurants to come and go in Orlando, De Guzman’s Grocery store has been one of the more reliable places to get your dose of enormous (jk theyre small) lumpia egg rolls and other Filipino dishes (you may have to call ahead). The store sits just west of the SR 417 interchange on SR 50/Colonial Drive.

With over 200 people in attendance at the banquet hall near UCF, the stroll competition, video competition, and dance off were all at the same time hilarious, heartwarming, and at times, disturbingly lovely.

Although this beef may look tasty, it was my least favorite item of the night =(

Chicken adobo from De Guzman

Rice with pigeon peas and a look at pancit, the national noodles of Phillipines

De Guzman Oriental Food Mart on Urbanspoon

Peach Valley Cafe – Dr Phillips Area – Orlando

Peach Valley Cafe – Dr Phillips Area – Orlando

I stumbled upon Peach Valley Cafe early one morning on my way to meet a friend. I was in the mood for breakfast and decided to check Peach Valley Cafe out, tucked inside a shopping plaza at the end of Dr Phillips Blvd at the intersection with Conroy Windermere road.

The feeling of Peach Valley Cafe is decidedly “American”, very simple tones and smiling faces on the waiters this morning. Its interesting that they name the place Peach Valley when there’s only like one item with peaches on it, but I digress.

I am brought to my table where I order the Belgian Waffle with a side of turkey sausage links and a glass of milk. The Belgian waffle was sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with some butter. Overall, a great, tasty breakfast for me.

My breakfast looking lovely at Peach Valley Cafe

The Turkey sausage links, healthier than regular sausage links perhaps?

Belgian Waffle, get in my belly!

Syrupy sweets

I can taste it…

Peach Valley Cafe on Urbanspoon

ChanuIKEA¼ | 7pm Fre 18 Dec 2009 | Åttonde Night of Chanukah


Viktigt: Detta resultat konstverk Àr (nÀstan) helt i Google Translated svenska.

Important information: This performance art is (almost) completely in Google Translated Swedish.


Vad: ChanuIKEAÂź

NĂ€r: 7pm Fre 18 Dec 2009 | Åttonde Night of Chanukah [Google Maps]

Kostnad: Gratis

“Det var kul! Det var fabulous, och kreativ ocksĂ„! Jag Ă€lskade den reaktionen regelbundna IKEA shoppers…” – Genevieve Kubersky (KonstnĂ€rlig ledare, Voci Dans)

“Liksom en massa stor konst, allt detta Ă€r underförstĂ„tt i subtil metafor, inte knuffades i ansiktet.” – Rick Jones (BildkonstnĂ€r)

Brian Feldman (BÀsta performance konstnÀr, Orlando Weekly BÀsta of Orlando 2009), inbjuder er att tillsammans med honom för detta judisk-svenska fest dÀr du kan bestÀlla allt utanför IKEAŸ Orlando Restaurang menyn, pÄ din bekostnad, och sedan Àta tillsammans under de senaste natt Chanukah. Det kommer att finnas dreidels, kommer det att finnas elektriska menorahs kommer det att finnas svenska FishŸ. Om du rÄkar ha en Dreidel eller en elektrisk Menorah, ta det! (Ju mer Chanukahier!)

Efter middag, kommer vi att vandra, precis som vĂ„ra förfĂ€der gjorde, genom IKEAÂź Ljus avdelningen och förenas i sĂ„ng Peter Yarrow’s (Peter, Paul & Mary) Chanukah klassiker, “Light ett ljus.” NĂ€sta Ă„r i Älmhult!

Credit: ChanuIKEAÂź myntades av Brian Feldman far, Edward Alan Feldman, som en del av Cracker BarrelÂź Old Country Chanukah.

Detta sjÀlvstÀndigt arbete inte sanktioneras, rekommenderats eller sponsras av INGKA Holding B.V., IKEA Holding S.A., Inter IKEA Systems B.V. eller IKEA North America Services, LLC.

LĂ€nkar: (Brian Feldman) (@ChanuIKEA pÄ Twitter) (Facebook HĂ€ndelse) (Pressmeddelande | Google Dokument)
NÀr referenser pÄ Twitter, anvÀnd hashtags #chanukah #hanukkah

Brian Feldman Projects Ă€r Central Florida premiĂ€r experimentella time-baserad konst. Middagar pĂ„ scen med det verkliga livet familjer, hoppa frĂ„n stegar i 24 timmar, gruppresor i Google översatt svenska via IKEAÂź – det Ă€r vad vi gör.

Kawaii Bento Boxes


Kawaii Bento Boxes: Cute and Convenient Japanese Meals on the Go

“I have to make her food look like something she recognizes,” said Ms. Chen, 42, a stay-at-home mother in San Leandro, Calif. “If her boiled egg is shaped like a bunny and it is holding a baby carrot, she’ll eat it.” – NY Times article..

As a fan of Japanese food, I came across this book the other day after reading an article in the New York Times about the recent upswing in bento boxes used in lieu of the traditional “lunch boxes”. Its basically a creative way to make your lunch look using every day food items. This book in particular was helpful in illustrating the different items and masses of pictures of the different arrangements for these lunch bento boxes. some pokemon bento boxes

A bento box meal (single portions of different foods packed in one reusable container) is a Japanese tradition that lends itself well to today’s busy lifestyle. Although bento boxes are available to take out from restaurants and food stands, they are most frequently prepared at home, very often by parents wishing to provide their children with delicious, healthy, fun–and environmentally responsible–lunch and snack-time alternatives.

Kawaii Bento Boxes offers dozens of recipes and menus. For each box, the authors include detailed instructions for cooking, seasoning, decorating and assembling the components as well as an icon indicating how long it will take to prepare. The meals are not just easy to make, they are tasty, nutritious and economical, with each portion carefully calculated so that there are no leftovers. There are also suggestions for the right container for each meal. Most of the ingredients used are familiar and available to American cooks. Here are whimsical creations like soccer balls and animal faces made from shaped rice, tulips cut from dyed hardboiled eggs, hearts and stars carved out of vegetables, and much more. Perfect for parents looking to liven up their children’s school lunches or park snacks, or for busy people who want to fix a quick and cheerful meal to take to work, Kawaii Bento Boxes highlights the Japanese passion for making food a treat for the eyes as well as for the mouth.

doesn’t it make you want to eat it all up!?!?

Toojay’s Gourmet Deli – Waterford Lakes – Orlando


Toojay’s Gourmet Deli – Waterford Lakes – Orlando

Back again to our favorite outdoor mall/tween day care center, Waterford Lakes. This time its for Toojay’s Deli where I decided to visit to hanker down on my craving for a nice pastrami sandwich. (Flashback: Katz’ Deli in NYC and their ginormous pastrami sandwiches)

Originating from the island of Palm Beach in 1981, Toojay’s Deli has actually won over 50 awards for “best” deli. I came to see what all the fuss was about.

The Counter at Toojay’s Gourmet Deli – Waterford Lakes – Orlando

Inside, Toojay’s has a very comfortable and homey feeling, with plenty of seating and a large deli counter to boot.

Although the prices may seem a bit high here at Toojays, its all about the quality. I order the pastrami and with the suggestion of the lady at the counter I get it with cole slaw and Russian dressing, a favorite. It would be my first time ordering a pastrami with cole slaw and it actually was pretty good, slightly creamy.

The sandwich is superb and delightful on my tastebuds. It satisfied my hunger for some good deli sandwiches or at least held it over until my next trip to New York 😀

I’ve got to come back and try their desserts and black and white cookies as well as their famed corned beef sandwiches next time!

Pastrami with Cole Slaw and Russian Dressing
Toojay’s Gourmet Deli – Waterford Lakes – Orlando

Pastrami with Cole Slaw and Russian Dressing
Toojay’s Gourmet Deli – Waterford Lakes – Orlando

Toojay's Gourmet Deli on Urbanspoon

Chaat House – Pakistani – Orlando

Chaat House – Pakistani – Orlando

Chaat House – Pakistani – Orlando

Chaat House is a Pakistani eatery, sitting on Orange Blossom Trail just south of the SR 528 / Fl Turnpike interchange in a small strip mall. A sign out front proclaims that they have the best spicy gyro in Orlando. There’s no turning back.

Inside, the restaurant’s walls are painted vibrant oranges and saffron yellows. You order at the counter, next to a impressive glass display case of Pakistani bakery treats and desserts. Looking around the room, there are giant photos of their menu items adorning the walls: the Lahori Chicken, Spicy Gyro platter, chicken wing platter, and various chaats all over the place.

Inside the Chaat House in Orlando

Desserts and bakery items – Chaat House

The writing is on the wall – Chaat House

“Chaat” is a plate of savoury snacks, typically served at road-side tracks from stalls or carts in India and the rest of South Asia. Chaat House is like the Pakistani version of Burger King, but better because they serve Pakistani fast food rather than crap. They even have a bun kabab, a pakistani version of the hamburger (The bun kabob was not that great and I actually really didn’t like it.).

On our first visit, we began by ordering the samosa, two potato and vegetable stuffed and fried pastry goodies.

Samosas – Chaat House

I also tried the “pani puri” chaat, made with a light hollow, round fried dough and filled with spices and chickpeas. It was a nice appetizer to start our meals with.

Pani Puri Chaat – Chaat House

My partner order the Shawarma platter, a large plate of basmati rice, herbs, and shawarma meat, a spiced mixture of beef and lamb. Quite delicious and probably the one of the best items on their menu.

Delicious Shawarma rice platter! – Chaat House

Also ordered is the Lahori Chicken, a slightly spicy whole roasted chicken platter. It was pretty huge and we had plenty left over for dinner. Overall the chicken was pretty good, and definitely tasted home cooked.

Lahori Chicken – Chaat House

On another occasion, I went for the Spicy Gyro platter with the Chaat House special seasoned fries. The spicy gyro was not as spicy as I had expected or proclaimed, but tasty nonetheless, and it was huge.

Spicy Gyro and Chaat Fries – Chaat House

The Gyro is huge

Come to me…

Its always a pleasure to find great, authentic food in Orlando and Chaat House fits the bill quite well. Plenty of families, Pakistani and non alike, all came through Chaat House and seemed enjoyed their meals here. Definitely try out the Shawarma Platter!

Tasty Chomps rating
4 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!!

Chaat House on Urbanspoon

Stardust Coffee and Video – Audobon Park – Orlando


Stardust Coffee and Video – Audobon Park – Orlando

Stardust Coffee and Video, founded in 1970.
There is a off beat feeling about the place. I could imagine poets, artists, hipsters and disaffected rebels inhabiting inside, working on a new project on their macbooks while sipping a latte. I like it.

The Counter @ Stardust Coffee and Video in Orlando (Audobon Park)

At the counter, I order a grinderman sandwich, made with chicken, pesto and goat cheese (made from free range goats of course) with hot sauce. There is a delightful kick to the sandwich and I do enjoy it. I should have maybe ordered a half order since it was quite large. I also enjoy a spinach salad with it. I sip it all down with a mocha latte to warm me up from the rainy day going on outside. The coffee was a lot better than any cup I’ve ever had from Starbucks, rich and deep.

The Grinderman Sandwich @ Stardust Coffee and Video in Orlando

The Grinderman Sandwich @ Stardust Coffee and Video in Orlando

a Cup of Mocha Latte at Stardust Coffee and Video

In addition to serving up some great coffee and sandwichs, they have a huge video collection for rent with hundreds of obscure and independent films. There is a small stage bedazzled in red streams for performances and other such spectacles. All in all, it is a pretty cool place to go to grab a bite to eat, meet up with a friend, or just hide away for an afternoon.

A Look inside Stardust Coffee and Video

The Film collection at Stardust

All the World is A Stage

Stardust Coffee and Video

1842 E Winter Park Rd

Orlando, Fl 32804
(Google Map)
Phone: 407-623-3393

Stardust Video & Coffee on Urbanspoon

Alton Brown of Good Eats of Food Network Visits Orlando


Alton Brown of Good Eats of Food Network Visits Orlando

For a Book Signing at Costco

12/12/09 – Alton Brown

Good Eats – The Early Years

East Orlando / University Boulevard


alton brown visits orlando on costco site

credit to:

Asian Chao at UCF


Asian Chao at UCF

Asian Chao is tucked inside, no not a mall, but the UCF Student Union…

Ah, the UCF Student Union, home to the offices of the UCF Student Government Association, the Grand Pegasus Ballroom, Registered Student organization cubicles, study lounges, and most important of all…the Food Court…Aka the Knight’s Court. (clever, UCF)

Recent remodelings of the food court in the UCF Student Union brought some great touches to the place, especially great is the new addition of Asian Chao. I am usually not a fan of fast food style Chinese food, but when you’re on campus, its the closest thing you’ve got. We make due with what is given.

A long time ago another “Chinese” place existed in the student union but it blew really bad and so it went the way that most bad places go… it closed.

Asian Chao is actually not bad, the rice is pretty fresh and tasty and the bourbon chicken is not too greasy and not too sweet, just right.

And that is what I usually get here at Asian Chao. Pretty good price too for around $6 with fried rice and two side orders. With thousands of UCF students passing by every day I can imagine this place to be a sure hit for years to come as long as they keep up the quality and tastiness of their food…

Bourbon Chicken and Fried rice and Szechuan chicken from Asian Chao at UCF
my favorite dish at Asian Chao

Asian Chao on Urbanspoon

Pollo Pio Pio – Peruvian/Colombian – Orlando


Pollo Pio Pio – Peruvian/Colombian – Orlando

Pollo Pio Pio
is actually a small family owned Latin American franchise that can be found from New York to here in Orlando in two places: South Semoran Blvd and on International Drive. I visited the south Semoran Blvd location to explore the culinary delights within.

Pio Pio, roughly translates to “chick, chick”, is the sound chickens in Latin America might make. So it correlates that this place would specialize in some good tasty chicken dishes. More on that in a little bit.

Upon arriving at the plaza on South Semoran in a predominately Latin American part of Orlando, one may be subject to find the outer shell of Pollo Pio Pio to be a bit ‘sketch’, but don’t judge this book by its cover. Stepping inside, you will be pleasantly surprised by the dark wood and soft lighting and overall quite elegant decor of Pollo Pio Pio. The atmosphere is friendly and the waiters are decked in sophisticated all black attire.

A Look Inside Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

I first order some calamari to start, a freshly fried and tasty appetizer. The arepa is fine but I guess I am not a big fan of corn cakes.

Fried Calamari at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

A Arepa at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

We also order a side salad, topped with a gratuitous amount of buttery avocado (probably an entire avocado is sliced on top of my salad), with a side of a deliciously creamy dressing. Skip the empanada as there are better tasting empanadas elsewhere here in Orlando, but definitely get the 1/4 chicken meal with rice and beans.

Salad…topped with a lot of avocado at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

Empanada at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

The rotisserie chicken here is delicious, crisply crackly skin infused with herbs and succulently meaty. Although the chicken was good, I feel that it may have been better if it was a bit more flavorful than it was.

1/4 chicken rotisserie at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

The steak is alright but I would stick with the chicken here at Pollo Pio Pio. For a drink, definitely get the mango smoothie, a sweet, thick and refreshingly fruity drink made fresh and a bit tart.

Steak at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

Mango smoothie at Pollo Pio Pio Restaurant

Tasty Chomps Rating!!!
3.5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps!!!

Pollo Pio Pio on Urbanspoon



In this diagram by the NY Times, two monkeys are fed different amounts of calories a day…
The experiment found that the monkey fed lower amounts of calories slows aging…

High Tide Harry’s – Seafood – Orlando

High Tide Harry’s – Seafood – Orlando

@ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

High Tide Harry’s sits just north of one of the top ten deadliest intersections in the United States, Semoran Blvd/SR 436 and Colonial Drive / SR 50. This is one of the many reasons why there is a huge new overpass being constructed in that area to avoid and reduce the number of pedestrian and vehicular accidents occurring out here. Shiver me timbers.

@ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

First of all, High Tide Harry attracted me from the road with its huge, beatific sign with giant crabs attacking it. It made me want to run over and save the building from this crustaceany invasion. by eating the attackers. chomp….chomp.chomp.

Stepping inside, you may notice the interior design to be reminiscent of a ship galley or a old bar, definitely some type of dive…

A Look Inside @ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

The best thing to get here is the dozen oysters, at $4.99 its a great deal! The oysters are pretty good and I am happy to report there were no disagreements with my tummy.

A Dozen Oysters for $4.99 every day @ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

slurp the oyster @ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

After the oysters my friends and I enjoy our meals. The hush puppies arrived first, replenished with a delectable, sweet cinnamon butter dip.

Hush puppies with Cinnamon butter @ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

I also had some “blu stu”, a stew made with fresh blue crab meat ($3.99). I thought the blue crab was excellent and the stew was altogether decent.

Blu Stu – Blue crab stew @ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

I ordered the soft shell crab sandwich, a whole soft shell crab fried and plopped between two buns with a side of fries and some cole slaw. ($8.49)

I am doing my part to stop the crab invasion @ High Tide Harry’s in Orlando

Overall, High Tide Harry’s was pretty good, with decent prices (a lot of items were under $10.00) and that’s a deal for seafood!

Tasty Chomps RATING
3.5 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!

925 N. Semoran Blvd.
Orlando, Florida
(AT 436 & HWY 50)

High Tide Harry's Seafood on Urbanspoon

Los Autenticos Cuban Cafe – Orlando


Los Autenticos Cuban Cafe

The construction along Colonial Drive is pretty daunting, and with all the pedestrian traffic accidents going on (see, its probably easier to try to avoid the whole area.

But by doing so you may be missing out on some hidden shops in the area…such as Los Autenticos Cuban Cafe! Actually it’s easy to miss even without the construction going on.

Located in a small plaza a little west of Goldenrod, Los Autenticos Cuban Cafe is a small, hole in the wall type place with great sandwiches that I would personally choose over Subway’s any day. On this night I choose to order the “Cubano Especial” or Cuban special made with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard on a large cuban bread. The sandwich is grilled flat and served hot, all for $5.99.

The sandwich is delectable and I enjoy the different flavors in the sandwich, tasting the flavors of Cuba and Latin America.

I also order a mango smoothie to enjoy, a thick, fruity delicious drink to wash down the sandwich with.

Hole in the walls are my friends

Los Autenticos Cuban Cafe on Urbanspoon

7339 E. Colonial Dr. #1
Orlando, FL 32807

A Snapshot of Thanksgiving 2009

A few snap shots to remember the feast that was

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving Fried Turkey

Thanksgiving Fried Turkey Legs

Green beans with Bacon

Green beans with fried onions

Thanksgiving Honey baked Ham

Slicing through some Thanksgiving ham

Thanksgiving Macaroni and Cheese

Thanksgiving meatballs

Thankskgiving potato salad with more bacon

Thanksgiving Turkey number 2 – roasted turkey

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows

Vietnamese curry duck for Thanksgiving? why of course

Thanksgiving pumpkin cheesecake from cheesecake factory

Thanksgiving Deviled Eggs

A Plate at Thanksgiving dinner

Vietnamese men with heineken on Thanksgiving

Vietnamese women with “Paris by Night” on Thanksgiving

Pho is great on any holiday or occasion

Thanksgiving Turkey Wishbone…

What is your wish for this holiday season??

Orlando Sentinel’s Best Bets 2009 – Tasty Chomps!


Tasty Chomps!! A Blog On Tasty Eats finished as a Finalist!!
in Orlando Sentinel’s Best Bets for 2009
along with TheDailyCity behind columnist Scott Maxwell for

Best Local Blog/Blogger 2009!

Thank you to all those fans out there who voted for us,
next year we’ll get Scott Maxwell 😉

Here is the Link to all the Reader’s Choice for
“Orlando Sentinel’s Best Bets for 2009”

Orlando Japan Festival


Orlando Japan Festival

The woman in her kimono gently rolled a ball of sugar in her hand and mixed it with a pinch of water. Like a magician, with the sleight of her hand, she began to transform the puddy-like mixture with each stroke into a crane, outreaching its neck and wings and began to paint it pink and red with food coloring. The children looked up at the magical edible creature in awe. Ah, the sights of the annual Orlando Japan Festival.

I’ve always been a fan of festivals. I love the excitement of the crowds as they meander through the stalls, the entertaining performances on display, and most of all, the delicious food that you can only buy with cash money at a festival.

It was to my delight to find not one but over 4 different stalls that served various Japanese food items a la street vendor at the Orlando Japan Festival. Rangetsu, Sushi Tomi, Sushiology, Mikado, Japan Food Aki, and more all brought out their weapons to the foray. From sushi to yakisoba to teriyaki chicken, the vendors ran a wide gamut of traditional Japanese offerings.

Hardboiled eggs in sauce

My picks of the day were from Rangetsu. The first few Orlando Japan Festivals were actually held on the premises of Rangetsu, with its blue terraced roofs and large outdoor pond scenery. But I suppose in recent years the festival had outgrown the walls of Rangetsu and it was decided to move the festival to the Hunter’s Creeks plaza off of John Young Blvd just south of SR 417.

I chose takoyaki, a popular Japanese dumpling sold on the streets and made with batter and stuffed with octopus pieces and spices. The takoyaki are round and soft with the pleasant rubbery texture of octopus when you bite them.

Also, I choose chicken karaage, a fried style chicken dish with soy sauce, and yakisoba, the long wheat noodles served with chicken and red ginger. All of these items totaled less than 9 dollars, not a bad deal!

Overall the food was great, but it was the combination of street food, anime cosplayers, vendors, taiko drummers, dancers, and the lady with the masterful edible sugar creatures that made this Orlando Japan Festival special.

Takoyaki or Octopus balls from Ran-Getsu at the Orlando Japan Festival

Chicken Karaage from Ran-Getsu at the Orlando Japan Festival

Yakisoba with Chicken from Ran-Getsu at the Orlando Japan Festival


Find out more about the Orlando Japan Festival here:

Ran-Getsu of Tokyo on Urbanspoon

Shin Jung – Korean – Orlando

Shin Jung – Korean – Orlando

The meat sizzled on the iron plates in front of us, smoke rising into the vents above the tiny house. The bulgogi and kalbi marinated meats hissed and crackled as the flames flickered below the grills. The smell of Korean barbeque is always intoxicating, especially if you are eating at Shin Jung.

Shin Jung Korean restaurants sits on Colonial Drive just west of Bumby Avenue in a little house-like structure with a green roof. The dining area is tiny, maybe less than 40 people can fit in here at one time. The entire building smelled the wonderful aroma of delicious food cooking.

But the problem about being in a small place with lots of bbq fumes is that the fumes literally stick to your skin, your hair, and your clothes, thus I would recommend showering after your experience at shin jung and also do not wear any fancy clothes or anything that you wouldn’t mind reeking of korean bbq stank.

The Interior @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

An average meal here averages about $20 and up, a bit pricey considering that you only get one complementary bowl of korean rice, but its enough to get full. Definitely come with friends though as it takes at least 4 people to make the meal worth it.

Our party orders the traditional dishes: soon tofu, a spicy tofu style soup and one of my favorites here at Shin Jung, kimchijigae, a kimchi spicy soup, seafood pancake, bulgogi and kalbi. Our meal is served with tiny dishes of pickled cucumbers, cabbage, bean sprouts, anchovies, and other delectable appetizing items.

Seafood Pancake @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

Soon Tofu soup @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

Kimchijigae soup @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

Free assorted bachchan @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

The Grill @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

@ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando

Meat on the grill @ Shin Jung Restaurant, Orlando


Shin Jung on Urbanspoon

The Ravenous Pig – Winter Park Florida


The Ravenous Pig – An American Gastropub – Winter Park Florida

As the sun’s rays retreated behind the clouds in the western sky and the air in the dusky late Central Florida afternoon began to settle, I parked my car along N Orange Avenue in Winter Park and took my partner by the hand as we walked together toward The Ravenous Pig, renown as an American Gastropub, for a dinner out on the town.

The Ravenous Pig may sound like a barbeque place, at first, specializing in pork dishes or something along those lines, but contrary to their name they only have a few dishes that actually emphasize pork (they do have a suckling pig roast once a month however). The Ravenous Pig specializes in a menu that changes by the season and emanates from the chef’s inspiration.

The whole trip was a spur of the moment decision, I had always wanted to try The Ravenous Pig out as I have heard rave reviews about it from friends and professionals alike. The quandary with being spur of the moment at The Ravenous Pig is that there may be a wait time for a table. They emphasize, and I recommend as well, to place reservations for a table before hand to ensure a table. However, if you so choose to take the risk of walking in, you will have to wait in the bar area for a first come first serve basis. Luckily our wait for a booth was only 10 minutes as the line wasn’t too long.

@ The Ravenous Pig – A view toward the Pub area

Inside, the Ravenous Pig is decorated in classy browns and layers of bricked walls. Our server for the evening is sweet and attentive, checking up on us throughout our meal and quite friendly.
For starters we begin with the Crab Hush puppies ($7) a twist on the traditional hush puppy appetizers, made with charred corn, bacon, and served with a orange-habenero aioli.

My partner mildly enjoys the Pacific Halibut ($27), olive oil poached, with provincial summer gratin, olive tapinade, in a tomato fennel broth, though she is not a fan of the olive tapinade.

@ The Ravenous Pig – Crab Hush puppies ($7)

@ The Ravenous Pig – Pacific Halibut

Steak Frites ($24), is a porcini marinated flat-iron steak served with their signature truffle fries and tarragon aioli. The steak was tender and grilled perfectly with a warm outside and a cool red inside, just the way I like it. Truffle fries are basically like shoestring french fries with a hint of truffle mushrooms. The tarragon aioli sauce that accompanies the dish was very unique and all in all the dish was very creative.

@ The Ravenous Pig – Steak Frittes

@ The Ravenous Pig – I enjoy my meat this way

@ The Ravenous Pig – with the Tarragon Aioli sauce

@ The Ravenous Pig – The Frittes in Steak Frittes

For dessert we enjoyed the Custard ($7), served with a coconut cream frozen souffle’ and white chocolate macadamia biscotti crisps.

@ The Ravenous Pig – “The Custard”

@ The Ravenous Pig – The Custard

@ The Ravenous Pig -The coconut cream frozen souffle

@ The Ravenous Pig – The
white chocolate macadamia biscotti crisps

Overall I definitely enjoyed my meal at The Ravenous Pig. I would come back just to check out their menu and all the creativity that they put into it. It’s surprisingly refreshing to see such ingenuity in their dishes and I wish more Central Florida restaurants practiced this philosophy, although I do have reservations about their pricing. I would want to come back to try their Pub Burger ($12) since its pretty cheap hah.

Tasty Chomps Rating!
4 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS!!!!

Lunch: Tuesday – Saturday — 11:30 am-2:30 pm
Dinner: Tuesday – Thursday — 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Friday – Saturday — 5:30 pm-10:30 pm

Ravenous Pig on Urbanspoon

Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant – International Drive – Orlando

Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant – International Drive – Orlando

Journey down to the land of tourists and conventioneers to discover the hidden culinary delights of authentic Japan. Central Florida may be abound with “modern” Japanese restaurants suited and updated for the American palate, but I find quiet comfort in the nostalgic, down-home style feeling of Hanamizuki, a restaurant renown for its Kyoto-style cuisine and some of the freshest sushi this side of the Pacific.

Located off of International Drive just south of Sand Lake Road, Hanamizuki sits in an old plaza neighboring the Sleuth Mystery Dinner Show of Orlando and The Crab House. Its odd to find this gem juxtaposed next to a cheesy dinner show and overpriced chains that abound along I-drive.

On my first of many visits, I am joined with my old friend Cuong. We are sat by Yoko, a charming and friendly waitress who has grown kinder with the years, with a certain wit to her as well. She’s probably one of my favorite waitresses there at Hanamizuki but they all provide great service. Looking around, we notice that we are the only non-Japanese customers in the place, a fortuitous omen for the restaurant.

The decor of Hanimizuki is simple: shades of light green walls framed by terraced roofs, silhouetting an image of a Japanese temple. With the sounds of the shamisen playing in the background, the ambiance is serene and tranquil. A perfect place to go for a meal with a friend and chat away the afternoon.

What sets Hanamizuki apart from the rest is its authentic Japanese cuisine. The chef at Hanamizuki prides himself on the quality and taste of his offerings from the fresh sashimi to the delicious noodle bowls and more.

At Hanamizuki and most other restaurants in Japan there are hardly any “special” rolls, despite what we may be led to believe with the confluence of super-crunchy-crazy-ninja-bonsai-sushi-rolls drenched in mayo and drizzled with sweet syrups or other crazy toppings stateside. The maki (rolls) at hanamizuki are simple and fresh, a taste of the divine.

We begin with one of the few special rolls at Hanamizuki, “The Hanamizuki Roll” is a roll made with cooked salmon, eel, egg and flying fish roe topped with baked sesame seeds. The roll is one of the best I have ever tasted despite being simple and devoid of any special spicy mayo volcano sauces. It is indeed a remarkable roll.

The Hanamizuki Roll

Noodles! on their Lunch Menu

I also order the Shio Butter Ramen ($7.50) and if there are any better ramen bowls found in Orlando I have yet to find it. Get out of your mind the prejudices of those 29cent instant nissen ramen noodles that fed you through college, this ramen is the real thing the imitation could never hold a light to. The broth is deeply flavorful with the taste of butter and salt, the noodles are made fresh and tasty. The boiled egg, the bamboo shoots, chashu pork slices, scallions and everything else melt together in a sea of deliciousness. I could come back again and again just for this dish. (And I do just that over the past few weeks…)

Shio butter Ramen

In addition to the shio butter ramen, we ordered a half order of their fried rice. Fried rice is a very simple dish and is often preconceived as greasy and all in all just ok. The fried rice at Hanamizuki however, to phrase a friend, is like crack. The rice is fresh, cooked with slivers of scallions and eggs and topped with slices of red ginger, and is among the best fried rice dishes I have ever tasted in my life. Its important to note though that the ramen and the fried rice is offered only during lunch time which ends at 2PM daily.

The Fried rice at Hanamizuki
(my anti-drug)

Fried Rice at Hanamizuki

According to the book “Art of Sushi”, hundreds of years ago ramen and other noodle shops were popular for lunch and dinner in Japan. However a huge fire that burnt down half the capital started by the noodle shops’ hot stoves caused the government to put a ban to selling these noodle soups during dinner. This event catapulted the little street food that didn’t need any fire to popularity: sushi.

Tuna Don bowl!

Alaska Roll at Hanamizuki

Alaska Roll

Sushi at Hanamizuki!

Delicious Sushi at Hanamizuki


On a separate trip to Hanamizuki, I was also able to sample some of my partner’s nabeyaki udon noodle soup and I must admit again it was the best udon noodle soup I have tasted in Orlando, with a flavorful broth unrivaled by any.

Nabeyaki Udon Noodle Soup at Hanamizuki Orlando!

Nebayaki Udon noodle soup

Yakitori Chicken

Hanamizuki’s Fried Chicken

Gyoza Dumplings

Onigiri Rice balls

Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce based)


Its the simplest things that are the hardest to do well. Simplicity and perfection. Nirvana is found in every bite here at Hanamizuki. Itadakimasu!

Tasty Chomps Rating!!!
5 out of 5 Tasty Chomps

bye bye mr doggieHanamizuki
8255 International Dr # 136
Orlando, FL 32819-9350
(407) 363-7200

Hanamizuki Japanese on Urbanspoon