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:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Outstanding Burgers, Atmosphere at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville

Photo by Mike Blank,
By Guest Blogger Mike Blank, 

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,
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 order 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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Always Happy at Bonefish Grill

While Bonefish Grill has been around Central Florida with two locations for a few years, people tend to forget the restaurant when planning a special night out with family or friends.

We visited the Longwood location recently and had a wonderful experience overall. I ordered my favorite specialty cocktail there: the Black Cherry and Guava Mojito. With fresh mashed cherries and a light feel, this is a delicious drink. We also tried the Pineapple Martini, which was refreshing and not too sweet.

Unfortunately, our appetizer was not the best. While the Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche has great flavor, the scallops were overcooked and rubbery. However, the flavor and quality of our entrees made up for that. We both ordered that night's specials. The hubby had Imperial Sea Bass: Chilean Sea Bass stuffed with crab, shrimp, scallops, and a lemon caper butter sauce. The crab stuffing was delicious and the bass was perfectly cooked. All the flavors came together to make a delicious meal. I ordered the Chilean Sea Bass with a side of Jasmine Rice. I actually like this preparation of the bass better: simply wood-grilled with butter. The fish flaked nicely and I enjoyed each delicous forkful, even if the portion size was too small.

On this night, we decided to splurge on entrees priced at around $24 each. However, Bonefish Grill offers several small plates and appetizers that allows for an affordable night out, especially during the restaurant's great happy hour. I recommend the Bang Bang Shrimp, Mussels Josephine, and the Wagyu Beef & Ginger Dumplings.

Let me know your experience at Bonefish Grill in the comments section below!

Friday, May 2, 2014

New Favorite Food: Chia Seed Peanut Butter

I am so glad that I was sent samples of Bliss Nut Butters to try, otherwise I never would have known about this great-tasting and healthy peanut butter! Where else can you find peanut butter that is sweetened only with honey - not sugar or corn syrup - and contains a touch of sea salt, not regular salt? 

Plus, two of the flavors contain chia seeds, which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and a host of other cool things. Thanks to Bliss Nut Butters, I began researching more about chia seeds' benefits and found that they also help control blood glucose levels and can be used as an egg replacer!

But I digress. I want to tell you about the amazing flavor of the nut butters. Cinnamon Chia Seed is my favorite - I now plan to start adding cinnamon to any peanut butter that does not have it. So amazing. And the Chia Seed and regular Peanut Butter flavors are also delicious. This is the way my friend described the flavor of the Chia Seed Peanut Butter: "I really like the texture and crunchiness of it, but my favorite is the touch of honey. Just sweet enough without the artificial taste." It is great that her young son has been eating it like crazy too!

The flavors and the health benefits make Bliss's peanut butters my new favorite. Sorry, Jif!

Where to buy: While Bliss Nut Butters are not in Central Florida stores yet, they can be ordered on their web site and they are reasonably priced! Visit:!buy-online/c1anq