Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dreaming about chocolate at Universal CityWalk

I'm drooling just looking at the photos of the chocolate creations that will be featured at The Toothsome Chocolate Factory, opening later this year at Universal CityWalk

This 19th century-inspired Steampunk chocolate factory is not only a restaurant with gourmet burgers, seafood, pasta and other dishes, but will also be a cool place to hang out, with smoke stacks and staff wearing Steampunk fashion.

A sneak peek of some of their desserts include Salted Caramel Flan sundae and Chocolate Brownie Bark Sundae, along with Bacon Brittle milkshake and Espresso Buzzzzz milkshake. Will you be at this over-the-top Chocolate Factory when it opens?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fab animals, food at Disney's Animal Kingdom

While Walt Disney World's other theme parks in Orlando typically get much more attention -and attendance - than Animal Kingdom, this park is definitely underrated. It features two Broadway-quality shows: Finding Nemo and The Lion King, as well as fabulous animal sightings, activities for kids and high quality food.

Even though we went on the Safari Tour in Africa around noon, most of the animals were active! We saw three lions, hippos, zebras, elephants and many more native African animals that we had never seen before. We also did walking tours to see more animals - monkeys, snakes, beautiful birds and much more!

The Finding Nemo show was very entertaining - for adults and children alike.

beef gyroWhile we wanted to eat at Yak & Yeti for lunch, the wait was too long. Instead, we checked out the new Harambe Market in Africa, where you can get grilled sausage along with African and Indian dishes and African sodas and a few varieties of beer. My husband had the Beef Gyro, which was delicious and filling, and I had the Chicken Masala. Since I have not had this classic Indian dish before, I can't legitimately compare Disney's masala to others. I can only say I really enjoyed the flavor, as well as the accompanying rice and pita bread.

Meanwhile, we saw cranes and other construction equipment for the planned Avatar Land, which will draw many more visitors to this park! Also going on right now is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Don't miss the beautiful character greenery designs, the food, and the music!


Top reasons to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios

Top 10 favorites at Epcot Food and Wine Fest

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fun Flicks & Yummy Food at Enzian

Chicken Avocado Sandwich, sandwich, pizza, fried oysters, Orlando, Orlando movie theater
Yes, you read the headline right. I had delicious food at Enzian in Orlando. In the past, it has been hit or miss. But in the past two years or so, the cocktails and food have been spot on. 

However, the main reason for my visit to the local, independent theater was to see Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next. A funny, poignant documentary, this will make you think about the way U.S. handles things versus how other countries do - whether you are Democrat, Republican or Libertarian. This is the last week you can see it at Enzian!

oysters, Enzian, pizzaWe enjoyed both our Pepperoni Pizza and Grilled Chicken Avocado Sandwich on our visit.
The chicken was very tender and the glazed bacon and avocado paired perfectly with the chicken and the yummy bun. At Enzian's Eden Bar, we had the fried oysters appetizer which was tasty, but too greasy. We wish the theater featured the more extensive menu from Eden Bar as well.

You will have another great reason to visit Enzian: it is hosting the annual Florida Film Festival soon!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pig Floyd's Delights the Taste Buds

Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa has been open for more than a year and I'm irritated that I am just now discovering its piggy goodness. The funny thing is, I didn't even try the smoked ribs, brisket or chicken on this visit. And we still had an outstanding meal. We also had the opportunity to meet the owner, Thomas Ward, who used to operate the Treehouse Truck food truck (remember The Luther Burger made with Krispy Kreme doughnuts?). Now, Ward has combined good ol' fashioned smoked meat and southern sides with modern Asian, Latin and Indian dishes.
smoked brisket, smoked pork, pulled pork sandwich, pork belly, Orlando, Orlando restaurants
On this visit, we arrived around 8:30 on a Saturday night. I thought that would be late enough to avoid the crowds, but no - apparently everyone had the same idea this evening. Despite the wait in line to order and then to receive the food, we received very attentive service once we were seated. 

We ordered the Pork Belly Taco ($3.49), which features Oakwood smoked and grilled pork belly, dragon sauce, scallions and citrus peanut slaw. This taco was much lighter than you would think and we were delighted by different flavor profiles than we have had before. We also loved the Butter Chicken Taco ($2.95), which has spiced chicken tikka, fresh jalapenos, toasted pepitas, Greek yogurt, cilantro and jasmine rice. Again, these flavors combined perfectly to produce a unique flavor profile. In both tacos, our meat was tender and juicy. 
Orlando, Orlando restaurants, Winter Park, Winter Park restaurants
We also loved the fried plantains and fried yucca. Surprisingly, it is difficult to find restaurants in Orlando who pull these sides off perfectly. Both were done very well here. We will definitely return for the items we ordered and for smoked meat to go. Chefs cook up the meat to order on the smoker out back, and it smelled delicious!

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