They're from a small Winter Park sidestreet shop called Rome's Flavours. The foodery also has small pizza and pasta offerings that appear to made with good ingredients--plus Italian expertise.Read more
The menu is extensive, including pulled chicken, smoked sausage, and the intriguing Turducken Burger, described as "turkey, duck & chicken dressed with cornbread stuffing, cranberry relish & sweet potato fries." Several beers are available.Read more
I was outright dreading these beverages. I liked them, though. They're all mentioned in the Harry Potter books and available nowhere else on property--or in the world, probably. My favorite was the Tongue Tying Lemon Squash.Read more
Break out the sparkly cocktail attire, the glittering jewelry, and those extra high heels. New Year's Eve warrants a big-time celebration. On Sunday morning, December 21, I'll be on Fox 35's Good Day sharing where to have a ritzy, glitzy New Year's Eve in Orlando.Read more
Participants will gather at Long & Scott Farms, which is best known for growing the Orlando area's Zellwood corn. Chefs will cook and serve specialties at food stations, and complementary wines will be poured.Read more
A Venezuelan family just moved in next door. Within 15 minutes, I had the well-heeled woman with an impressive corporate career bubbling enthusiastically about where she finds the flavors of home. It's no fancy spot--just a spiffy, upbeat self-service joint turning out abundantly stuffed, flavorful versions of Venezuelan street foods. So yesterday I tried Arepas el Cacao.Read more
Mamak is a terrific new place to eat Asian street food. It's a handsome spot with an expansive menu of small dishes meant to share, from pad Thai to coconut shrimp. Yet I'm stumped. The menu--not just the offerings, but also the execution--is nearly a duplicate of the one at Hawkers, a nearby establishment. Why is Mamak so much like Hawkers?
I like having a choice, don't get me wrong. Hawkers is a family favorite. Its spiffy if budget dining room is often so packed that we have to wait for a table--and we're willing to, which we won't do elsewhere.
I sure would like to know the back story, though. While the Mamak bill of fare offers far more than Hawkers does, much of the line-up is a carbon copy. Take the roti canai, flaky bread with a curry dipping sauce. We order it every visit and always want more. Not only does Mamak's look just like Hawkers' version, it tastes the same too.
The beef skewers, pictured above, are a bit different: They're more caramelized at Mamak, which I prefer, but don't come with a spicy peanuty sauce, which I miss. The barbecued roast pork is pretty spectacular, with its sweet outer area and tender insides. The hoisin dipping sauce is a plus.
The sesame noodles were a little pasty at Mamak. Still, I'm glad the cold, kid-friendly item is on the menu. Until a couple of years ago, we could barely find this dish in Orlando.
I don't recall seeing wontons in hot sauce on Hawkers' menu. These peanuty, spicy dumplings are a treat. Maybe Hawkers should do the carbon-copy thing itself.
French fries with five-spice powder? Both restaurants. Coconut shrimp? Both. Lettuce wraps, chicken tacos, stir-fried string beans ... I could go on. In fact, both restaurants use Facebook pages as their websites, which usually only smaller spots do.
I'm happy to have a second Asian street food restaurant in Orlando's Mills 50 district, and I'm glad the food is promising. If you know who owns this grand space, and why it's so doggone similar to Hawkers, please let me know. Otherwise I'll do a feature for a print magazine at some point and do intense digging myself.
A team of four pastry chefs, led by Patrick Binion, began working on the Caribe Royal gingerbread village back in June. "We started thinking about the concept and decided on a Thomas Kinkade 1950s, 1960s look," Binion explains.Read more
With its girly upholstered banquettes and intimate setting, Winter Park's Paris Bistro is a surprising, almost sensual, retreat tucked away from the busy shopping district. Now the restaurant has revamped its menu, keeping the classics, slashing off several entrees, and adding at least half a dozen autumn items. Welcome to thew new seasonal menu at Paris Bistro.
During a visit last night with friends, I was torn between ordering the rack of lamb with brandy and porcini-mushroom sauce, salmon en croute with spinach in a pastry shell, or chicken with lemon-caper sauce. As it turns out, all three were added the week before just for fall. I opted for a fourth choice, a parmesan-crusted chicken breast with Dijon mustard cream sauce, which you see pictured. (That's my friend's, actually. I started wolfing mine down before I remembered to snap a photo.)
This is good food--simple and straightforward, for sure, with fork-tender chicken, a gentle crust, and a velvety, flavorful sauce. I was invited to add on two sides. The "creamy au gratin potatoes" are what I call calorie-worthy. They were just absolutely scrumptious--tender and creamy and cheesy. I had sauteed spinach with mine. The greens were fresh but a tad too salty. It seems from the picture that my friend opted for sauteed green beans.
Owner Tatiana Cerruto tells me that yet more menu items are available until the weather turns yet chillier: scallops in a white wine and roasted garlic sauce, bouillabaisse, and a Grand Marnier souffle among them.
I suggest you copy my dinner group and begin your dinner with a glass of Kir Royale, which is a flute full of champagne and Cassis. It was just sweet enough and vibrantly bubbly.
The handy add-on will also assist with auxiliary services. Need a recommendation for a nearby restaurant? I wish you'd ask me (Rona does recommend, after all), but the app will guide you to nearby tables--and let you make a reservation.Read more
Dozens of retailers throughout the space sell all kinds of items, from high-end artsy chandeliers to junky Thing 2 T-shirts. Most of the merchandise falls between the two--handmade but not thrilling.Read more
The upscale Indian restaurant on Orlando's Restaurant Row is brand new, which means it has kinks not yet untangled.Read more
For $9.99, I got a fresh little salad plus steak, griddle-cooked cheese (we practically arm-wrestled over who got to finish it), green plantains, and fried casava.Read more
The resort's culinary team welcomed 20+ chickens, who will now reside on the Whisper Creek Farm outdoor event venue.Read more
Hamilton's Kitchen upgrades an already fine classic. Here, the steak is a thick 8-ounce top sirloin "coulotte"--tender and wonderful tasting.Read more
The pasta was red, maybe magenta. And the flavor was kind of sweet, though those white shavings of what I believe were cheese grounded the sweetness so it was intriguing, not overbearing.Read more
We ate pulled beef shortrib on brioche with caramelized onion relish. We feasted on panko-crusted veal cutlets with wild mushroom gravy. And, bravely, we hesitantly sampled charred Spam and quail egg biscuits with honey aioli.Read more
Today she sells six all-year flavors and two seasonal ones from farmers markets plus a retail shop that's open three days a week--and ABC Fine Wine & SpiritsRead more
It's potato chip-crusted chocolate cake with peanut brittle and salted caramel. Need I say more?Read more
It's an entree that looks so appealing, and tastes so fine, that meat-shunners will feel as if they're being treated with respect.Read more