Thursday, July 3, 2014

Craving Great Mexican? Visit Mexico in Epcot

We dined at San Angel Inn at Mexico in Epcot for the first time this week. Do you know the restaurant I am talking about it? Seating is right in front of the water and the huge Aztec Temple replica. The atmosphere and the food is delicious as well. 

We were pleasantly suprised at the flavor and quality of the food at San Angel Inn. We loved the Enchiladas, Pollo a las Rajas and Arrachera con Chilaquiles. The chicken in the Pollo a las Rajas was very tender and flavorful, as was the poblano rice. The enchiladas were delicious and not too spicy. The Arrachera con Chilaquiles featured a New York strip steak cooked perfectly with layers of corn tortillas fried and topped with queso fresco. Very yummy!

Like other Disney restaurants, entrees are fairly pricy ($20-$30 each), but there are cheaper options with appetizers, soups, and salads. 

Have you dined here? If so, let us know which dishes you liked best.

Monday, June 23, 2014

My New Favorite Chocolate Coconut Oil

I started using coconut oil in my cooking and smoothies, soon after my niece told me about its health benefits. Good coconut oil will give you an energy boost, strengthen your immune system, improve concentraton, and make your hair and skin look fabulous, among a number of other benefits. But the trick is getting high concentrations of the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) in the coconut oil.

Since I don't understand all that stuff, I decided to let the experts do it for me. I recently tried Quoquos'  Coconut Oil with Sunflower Lecithin. It has the right concentration of coconut oil with sunflower lecithin, which contributes to memory support and fat digestion. Yeah, these are all things that most of us want more of. More importantly, though, I want coconut oil to taste good. Some have a weird texture that make them hard to swallow. This one is smooth - and delicious. I actually like taking it by the spoonful, but I also love using it when cooking my eggs in the morning. 

Another great benefit of this product is that they sell a Coconut Oil with Coco Choco Boost, which contains organic cocoa. Oh wow - this is so good in my smoothies! I would suggest trying about a spoonful of the Coco Choco Boost with 1 banana, crushed ice, and peanut butter. No sweetener is needed, since the coconut oil has a sweet flavor. 

Order either the plain or Coco Choco flavor at www.quoquos.com, and let me know how you like it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Great Food, Fun at Cafe Tu Tu Tango

Photo: Cafe Tu Tu Tango
When I go out to eat, atmosphere is really important to me. That's partially why I chose Cafe Tu Tu Tango on International Dr. in Orlando for Father's Day lunch. It is so much fun to be able to dine amidst a plethora of local art, including one beautiful painting that was being completed by the artist that day. The art - especially in a family of artists and photographers - makes a great conversation piece!

However, I don't think the restaurant had enough staff on for Father's Day. Even though it was only half full for lunch, the service and food was SO slow. The staff was friendly, though, and the food was great. 


Argentinian Chimmichurri Steak
Cafe Tu Tu Tango is a tapas-style restaurant, so it is great to order a couple plates per person, and then share those with the table. The Dynamite Shrimp was probably everyone's favorite: the crispy shrimp was cooked just right, and the flavor was great. My family also suggests ordering any of the wood-fired pizzas. The Asian Steak Skewers were cooked to perfection and had a great flavor. And, the Argentinian-Style Orange Chimmichurri Steak with Lemon Manchego Grits provided us with delicious flavors that were different than we have had before. 


Photo: Cafe Tu Tu Tango
I ordered the Lemongrass-Hazelnut Crusted Whitefish with Noodles. The flavor of the fried fish, noodles and chimmichurri-style sauce all worked together perfectly. However, the fish was too greasy. I also had the Shrimp and Grits, which is truly a winner. The shrimp is swimming in a perfect crispy bacon and carmelized onion broth and the grits are creamy and delicious.

The verdict: go there for the atmosphere and food; avoid busy times and holidays!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Something Different at Tea and Tea

I'm not sure who developed the Tea and Tea concept in Winter Park, Fla., but I'm glad they did! It is certainly a different, relaxing and enjoyable experience. Tea and Tea makes original blended teas with juice, fresh fruit, and cream, to order for each customer.

I loved the atmosphere when I walked into Tea and Tea. It is clean and quiet, and I feel like it would be a comfortable place to work alone or socialize with friends. It is small, however, so seating may be limited. 

The selection of hot, iced, and wellness teas is unlimited. You can ask staff to make you your own blend, so you can definitely have something different each time you visit. On the very hot day I visited, I chose to try one of Tea and Tea's Signature Refreshing Blends. I ordered iced Red Sky, a caffeine-free strawberry and kiwi herbal tea, with peach, mango, pineapple juice and fresh lemon. The flavors were not overpowering and everything blended together nicely. It really was a refreshing drink!

On my next visit, I want to try one of Tea and Tea's Signature Cream Blends, such as Brazilian Chocolate or Pecan Pie. Yum! An added bonus: Iced Bakery supplies Tea and Tea's desserts. Everything that the local bakery makes is delicious, but you will want to try the Magic Bars (with bacon!) and the Nutella Cookies.

Where: Winter Park Village, 480 N. Orlando Ave., Ste. 126

Friday, May 30, 2014

Avenue Thai and Sushi Gets Both Right

When I was craving Thai food the other night, I decided to visit a place I have been wanting to try for months: Avenue Thai and Sushi on Park Ave. in Winter Park, Fla. I am really glad I did! It was surprising to see an affordably-priced restaurant with a great atmosphere and food on Park Ave.

I tried the Green Curry, which featured the perfect mix of sweetness from the coconut milk and hot spice: not overdone, but not too little. The chicken was slightly overcooked, but I liked the flavor so much that I didn't mind too much. The dish was $12.95, and I had leftovers for lunch.

I have heard great things about Avenue Thai and Sushi's many sushi rolls, too. My friends love
Photo Courtesy Avenue Thai & Sushi
the Mango, Soft Shell Crab and Tempura Shrimp roll, along with the Spring Rolls and Chicken Satay dish. Next time I visit, I will try more sushi rolls, and let you know how they are.


If you have been dying to try Avenue Thai and Sushi, now is the time! There is a Refer Local deal that is $10 for $20 worth at the restaurant for a limited time only. Here is the link: https://referlocal.com/offers/winter-park/10-for-20-to-avenue-thai-and-sushi.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Outstanding Burgers, Atmosphere at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Photo by Mike Blank, www.jumpingborders.com
By Guest Blogger Mike Blank, 
JumpingBorders.com 

We recently visited Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for National Hamburger Month, and had such a wonderful experience that we will return many times. It was not only the delicious hamburgers, apps, and desserts that impressed us, but also the atmosphere and attitude of the servers that made for such a special night. 

This was not like any other restaurant visit. We sat on the newly expanded porch on a breezy Central Florida evening, listening to very talented musicians as we sampled Margaritaville's delicious margaritas. Chef Daryl brought us the "Drunken" Shrimp Skillet appetizer, which is sauteed with Tequila Key Lime butter and is served with a delicious baguette. It is unlike any shrimp appetizer I have tasted!

Photo by Mike Blank, www.jumpingborders.com
Of course, we had to try Margaritaville's renowned hamburgers. One of our dining companions loved the Bayou Burger, and everyone agreed that the Baja Burger is one of Margaritaville's best burgers, because of the addition of the fresh avocado and Pico de galo. A nice addition to the burgers was the choice of regular French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries, which were delicious.

Even though we were stuffed, we made room to taste some of the restaurant's many great, unique desserts. All are great, but we really loved the Carrot Cake dessert and the Chocolate Hurricane, which is vanilla ice cream with brownies, candy bars, shortbread cookies, bananas, and nuts. It is the perfect sundae!

The attention to detail and attitude of the servers also makes for an unforgettable dining experience. We definitely recommend this spot to family and friends. Don't forget: parking is free at Universal Orlando Citywalk after 7 pm!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Great Cajun Food, Atmosphere at Tibby's

This was our second time dining at Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen - its new location in Altamonte Springs - and, once again, we had a great experience. It was busy but not jam-packed on a Friday night, so service was quick and friendly in the bar area.

We ordered different dishes than last time, when we had the Seafood Gumbo and etouffee. The Blackened Chicken Pasta wth lemon butter sauce, artichokes, and roasted peppers, has such an amazing flavor! It is spiced well and the heat doesn't drown out the flavor. We also ordered the "Fried Shrimp Po-Boy" sandwich, which was delicious, but flawed. We ordered it with the Remolaude sauce and, unfortunately, that drowned out the flavor of the delicious shrimp.

For dessert, you must ordered the beignets, which are fried crispier than other beignets I have had, topped with a generous heaping of powdered sugar. It's the perfect sweet ending to a Cajun meal.

One note: Tibby's tends to pour drinks a little strong, which is good in most cases, but made our Mai Tai taste not quite right.