Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fuji Sushi is Stil One of Our Favorites

I have gotten in the habit of eating just average sushi. Sushi that is pretty good, but I only pick it up or eat out because it is close to home, such as Mikkado Sushi in Lake Mary. This is a fact I was reminded me of on our recent visit to Fuji Sushi Japanese Cuisine in Winter Park, Fla., with friends.

I savored each bite because I had not tasted sushi so fresh and delicious, with such unique flavors, for so long. I tried two rolls that were new to me: the Honolulu Roll, which featured crispy coconut shrimp, chopped peanuts and mango, with a sweet misco
sauce. It is one of my new favorites and the sauce paired perfectly with this roll. I also had the Louisiana Roll, which included cooked crawfish, avocado and sesame seed. I expected this to be spicier and more flavorful, but I still really liked it.

Friends tried the Alaska Roll, a delicous combination of raw salmon and cream cheese and the Black Widow Roll, which has soft shell crab, scallions, spicy mayo and eel sauce. This is another really tasty roll. The Volcano Roll is another one of our favorites - especially that delicous sauce on top. 

Let us know your favorite sushi spot in Central Florida!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Where to Celebrate Valentine's Day in Orlando

There are so many romantic restaurants to choose from in Central Florida, that we wanted
American Gymkhana
to tell you about just a few that you may not have thought of. While some are five-star, upscale restaurants, others provide a very nice atmosphere on a budget.

Here are some of Flavorful Excursions' top choices:

1. Bull & Bear, inside the Waldorf Astoria. We had the most romantic dinner date and best food in Central Florida when we ate at this steak and seafood restaurant. Every appetizer, entree and dessert is unique and executed perfectly. Because of its price tag, this is a restaurant to reserve for special occasions.

2. Emeril's Tchoup Chop. This is a another restaurant that foodies will appreciate. We love the new chef's Hawaiian-inspired and healthy dishes, such as meat and veggie skewers from its Robata grill and the Ahi Tuna Poke Rice Bowl. Don't forget dessert, which is different every night. One recent feature was Baklava Cheesecake! While it is an upscale eatery, there are some affordable apps and happy hour specials that will help you stretch your dollars further.

Emeril's Tchoup Chop
3. Shula's 347 Grill. We have romantic dinners here often, in part because it is close to home but we also love that we can have an affordable meal in an upscale atmosphere. Servers and staff and always professional and friendly. While you can spend more to order Shula's delicious filet or scallop entree, you can save money by choosing one of their delicious burgers or the Mahi Sandwich. Its Happy Hour app and cocktail specials are also not to be missed. Just make sure you leave room for dessert. They make the most delicious Apple Cobbler and Creme Brulee, and we love their homemade sorbets.

4. Highball & Harvest, inside the Ritz Carlton Orlando, is a true farm-to-table eatery that has gotten rave reviews. Chefs pick produce from the garden on-site to use in the Southern-inspired dishes, such as Shrimp and Grits and Chicken and Dumplings. I can't wait to try this restaurant for myself.

5. American Gymkhana. This is another new restaurant that I haven't yet been able to try, but have heard wonderful reviews about its food. And it's atmosphere is perfect for a special occasion. The restaurant serves modern Indian and fusion cuisine and it is featuring a special $65 6-course tasting menu for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Where Alton Brown Will Eat in Orlando

When Alton Brown arrives in Orlando for his Alton Brown Live Show at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday, February 7, he will want to check out all the local eats.

While restaurant suggestions on Flavorful Excursions' Facebook page have included upscale restaurants such as The Ravenous Pig, K Restaurant and the Rusty Spoon, those are not the places we predict he will eat. Judging by his stops in all other cities along his tour, Alton looks for the local diners, the hole-in-the-wall places that have been there forever, and those with delicious, fatty and fried foods.

Based on that criteria, we believe the great culinary educator and TV personality will choose Donut King in Winter Park. The shop has been a fixture in Sanford for years, and recently expanded to Winter Park. Alton will love Donut King's version of the cronut, and anything chocolate. Other possible breakfast stops include The Coop and Cask & Larder. Even though Cask & Larder is more upscale than many restaurants Alton visits, it has - some believe - the best Southern brunch in town.

Beefy King will likely be Alton's lunch stop, we predict. More than 42 years old now, Beefy King is known for the best roast beef sandwiches in Central Florida. Other possible stops include 4 Rivers BBQ and Hawkers Asian Cuisine. While we don't think Alton will travel to Maitland, he should also check out the decades-old Kappy's Subs. Locals know it has the best greasy fries, hot dogs, cheeseburgers and sandwiches around.

Where do you think Alton Brown should eat while in Orlando? Please below or on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/flavorfulexcursions.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Yes, You Can Eat These Flowering Cupcakes!

I have found delicious new cupcakes in Central Florida! Baker Jamie Hyman is creating gorgeous centerpieces with a myriad of cupcake flavors. I am here to tell you that they don't just look pretty. They are also some of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten. I was lucky enough to be invited to a tasting of some of Babycakes Arrangements' treats this weekend. The cupcake itself is so light and moist. The frosting is also light and delicious. Not like many fake-tasting frostings. What more can you ask for in a cupcake?

While she has been baking cakes and cupcakes for friends and events for years, Hyman just recently made Babycakes a full-time business. And I'm so glad she did. She is offering something different than any other cupcake shop, with her beautiful centerpiece displays that can be
used for weddings, birthdays and other events. She makes all sorts of custom cupcakes, such as one for a couple who wanted a gender reveal. The baby's gender was hidden in little cake balls inside the cupcakes!

To put in your order for Valentine's Day - or just to satisfy your sweet tooth - call Babycakes at 321-277-4549 or visit www.babycakesarrangements.com. Your cupcakes will be delivered to your door!