Jan 262015
 

New Smyrna Beach isn’t exactly know for its fine dining or world renowned chefs, but between Spanish River Grill, Boston’s Fish House and now Yellow Dog Eats, the culinary scene is definitely improving. During a recent beach trip we ventured over to Yellow Dog Eats in search of sandwiches and hopes of discovering a new favorite.

Led by Fish Morgan, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Yellow Dog Eats was born out of his natural talents and love for bringing people together over a meal. The New Smyrna Beach location isn’t oceanside, but the cozy courtyard and unique decor make up for any longings of a water view. Our meal was tasty and the service was friendly; here’s what we tasted and can’t wait to try next time.

Tasty Picks:

  • Classic Yellow Dog Club – Honey mesquite roasted turkey piled high with smoked Gouda cheese, pecan-smoked bacon, crunchy cucumber, crisp leaf lettuce and orange Cointreau mayo, served on thick sliced multigrain bread. A sandwich that exemplifies simplicity done right – the turkey is thinly sliced, piled between pillow soft bread and mixed with their orange Cointreau mayo. I mean really, why make a sandwich at home when you can order this beauty?
  • Buffalo Soldier Tender – Smoked chicken, Jack Cheddar and Blue cheese crumbles, fresh shredded lettuce, vine ripened tomato, red onion, crispy cucumber slices, orange Cointreau mayo, jalapeno ranch and homemade buffalo sauce all come together in a southwest chipotle wrap. My hope was that this wrap would be spicy, but alsas the mildness was perfect. The wrap was juicy, tender and crisp in all the right ways. A unique take on a classic chicken wrap, if you want some extra spice ask for one of their housemade hot sauces.

To Try Next Time:

  • Baa Baa BLT – Twist on a classic with smoked pancetta, vine ripened tomato, field greens, crispy watercress, pecan smoked bacon, savory goat cheese and orange Cointreau mayo, served on sliced multi grain bread. Spice it up with Sriracha mayo and try with their fig sauce.
  • Hokey Pokey Ahi Tacos - Three flour tortillas layered with Hawaiian Pokey style Ahi tuna, Napa Bok Choy, guava cream cheese, scallions, mango cilantro salsa and drizzled with Cusabi buttermilk dressing. Served with tricolor tortilla chips and homemade salsa.
  • Smokey’s Smoked Salmon Salad – Fresh salmon, dry rubbed with Yellow Dog’s seasoning blend and smoked to perfection. Served on a bed of field greens, garnished with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, carrots, sun-dried fruit & nut blend, sprouts, roasted red peppers, scallions and sliced red onions.

Yellow Dog Eats has two locations: 147 Canal Street New Smyrna Beach, Fla. 32168 and 1236 Hempel Ave. Gotha, Fla. 34786. For menu details and more info visit http://yellowdogeats.com/.

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Yellow Dog Eats Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Jan 242015
 

In honor of National Croissant Day on January 30 and as a way to start the year off on a sweet and savory note, Dunkin’ Donuts has debuted a Chocolate Croissant and Tomato Mozzarella Supreme Bagel. So, when Dunkin’ invited us to try their newest coffee blend and menu items we simply couldn’t refuse! Plus we’re giving away a $10 Dunkin’ gift card, so keep reading for your shot at some free donuts.

Dunkin’s new warm Chocolate Croissant is filled with melted goodness and ideal for a sweet tooth. The croissant is sweet, and a suitable alternative if you’re not in the mood for a donut. The Tomato Mozzarella Bagel we ordered combines melted mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and herbs into one topping; we filled our bagel with plain cream cheese and thoroughly satisfied our savory cravings. Of course, we couldn’t leave without snagging some munchkins, we’ll always be partial to those nuggets of goodness!

During our trip we also sipped on their new Colombian Coffee, a medium roast with a full-bodied flavor and sweet finish. The coffee is even registered by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, which ensures the coffee is produced to the highest standards. My husband and I arepicky about our coffee, but our cups were full of flavor, smooth and had that fresh “brewed from a barista” taste.

Now for the fun part, we’re giving away a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card to one lucky reader! The winner will be notified next week, so enter below the pictures for your chance to win.

Happy weekend to you!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dunkin' Donuts on Urbanspoon

Jan 232015
 

American Q, Central Florida’s premier modern barbecue concept at B Resort & Spa, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort, is rolling in the new year with three weekday promotions including “Meatless Mondays,” “Prime Rib Tuesdays” and “Swine & Spirits” on Wednesdays.

Meatless Mondays

  • Every Monday, American Q “goes green” with enhanced vegetarian offerings. Take advantage of the restaurant’s Flatbed Buffet for $19.95; enjoy signature, vegetarian-style eats like Smoked Tofu Chili, Veggie-Friendly Soup, Baked Potato Bar, Full Salad Bar, Baked Beans, Mac ‘n Cheese and Spinach Gratin, as well as endless table-side carvings of Grilled Cauliflower Steak.

Prime Rib Tuesdays

  • During Prime Rib Tuesdays, purchase the Flatbed Buffet and enjoy all-you-can-eat Smoked Prime Rib with Cajun onions, straight from the rodízio, for no additional charge.

Swine & Spirits

  • On Wednesdays, purchase the Flatbed Buffet, unwind with a complimentary beverage and savor American Q’s take on the whole roasted pig. Choose from two ways to indulge: purchase the Flatbed Buffet for the regular price, and in addition to the usual tableside carvings, enjoy unlimited servings of their Tangerine and Whiskey-Brined Suckling Pig, along with a complimentary featured spirit that will change weekly.

Here’s to three days of fabulous feasting!

Prime Rib Tuesdays

Photo Credit: American Q

American Q on Urbanspoon

Jan 222015
 

Love or hate the day, February 14 is swiftly approaching. Valentine’s Day always stirs up mixed emotions in people, some love the excuse to eat extra chocolate and swoon over their roses, for others the day ends up being one giant disappointment. I personally enjoy the decorations and the excuse to wear my beautifully obnoxious Lilly Pulitzer Valentine’s Day sweater.

Whether you’re single, dating or married, it’s virtually impossible to ignore the day. We’ve rounded up the best ways to celebrate regardless of your relationships status.

For a Romantic Evening:

  • Luma on Park- Sure it’s pricey, but isn’t she worth it? All kidding aside, Luma always serves up a fabulous and memorable meal. Plus, their wine list is incredible and extensive. We’re fond of the Steakhouse Wedge and Margherita Pizza (fancy, I know!)
  • Café de France – This quaint cafe has been serving up authentic French food on Park Avenue since 1982! The Coq Au Vin is sensational and everything is crafted under the watchful eye of the French owners.
  • Norman’s – Does it get any more romantic than dining at the The Ritz-Carlton on Valentine’s Day? Norman’s is serving up a four course meal with offerings ranging from Mango “Barbecued” Grilled Cobia to Strawberry Grouper Ceviche.  Reservations required!

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For a Laid Back Celebration:

  • Rome’s FlavoursThis former fro-yo shop has been transformed into an Italian mini paradise! Order their authentic pizza, crack open a bottle of wine and finish the evening with the gelato trio and espresso.
  • Briarpatch – Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year, so why not avoid the evening crowds and head out for a relaxing brunch? Order the Raspberry Lemon Cream Pancakes for a fail-proof meal.

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For Avoiding the Crowds:

  • Winter Park Valentine’s ConcertSkip the madness and celebrate a few days early in Central Park. On Sunday, February 8, the Park Avenue Merchants Association will host “The Sweetest Sounds: A Valentine Concert in Central Park” from 4 – 6:30 p.m. Bring a picnic basket (with some Fresh Market prepared foods perhaps?) and enjoy these sweet sounds with your sweetheart for free!

For Celebrating with Friends:

  • ScratchOrder a bunch of small plates and some wine flights with your best buddies for a tasty and relaxing evening. Make sure the cheese plate with house-made fruit preserves ends up on your table too!
  • Rocco’s Tacos- With over 250 varieties of tequila, guacamole prepared tableside and Molcajetes, you’re virtually guaranteed a good time. Reservations are hard to come by, but there’s always ample bar space.

However you celebrate, make sure it’s memorable!

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Photo Credits: Briarpatch, Roco’s Tacos, Norman’s

Jan 212015
 

The seventh annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest is set forFebruary 21 and February 22; all feasting and drinking will take place overlooking Lake Eola on Robinson Street!

“The Downtown Food & Wine Fest is one of our Downtown’s signature cultural events, showcasing the best of Orlando’s culinary scene. Events like this continue to expand Downtown’s offerings and bring more and more people to our urban core to celebrate the beauty, diversity, and vibrancy of our community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Admission is $15 per person, per day with advance online purchase.  For all-weekend Fest fans, a two-day ticket is available for $20 per person with advance online purchase. Food and beverage tickets are available at the Fest for $2 each; food and beverage offerings range from one to four tickets.

A limited number of Wine Tasters Club passes will be available for purchase for $15 per person at the Fest. Club members will enjoy up to five 2 oz. pours of their choice throughout the Fest and a souvenir lanyard.

Thirty  top restaurants are scheduled to present culinary tastings including the return of the 2014 Foodie Award winners as honored by a panel of Orlando elected officials, food writers and reporters and celebrity chefs. Here are the winner’s from last year’s festival:

  • 2014 Foodie Award: Smiling Bison – Pretzel Bread Pudding
  • 2014 Best Overall Menu: Kasa Tapas & Raw Bar
  • 2014 Best of Show: Siro at Orlando World Center Marriott

See you there Orlando!

Staying Connected

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*Note: Spork will receive complimentary tickets to this event. All opinions and reviews belong to Spork. Photo credits – Downtown Food & Wine Fest.

 

Jan 202015
 

Among the myriad of fro-yo places, Menchies consistently reigns supreme. The flavors are made with real ingredients (fruit, hormone-free milk, etc.) and the topping selections are outrageous ranging from heath candy to sour strips.

I’ll never be able to decide between fruit or chocolate flavors, so I usually mix the flavors all together and then top with loads of candy. During a recent trip I become an instant fan of their new Sweet ‘n’ Tangy Peach Mango! It’s made with real juicy mangos and tangy peaches for a yummy fruity flavor. Give it a whirl next time and top with lots of sour candies!

In other fro-yo news, National Frozen Yogurt Day is coming up on February 6. Rumor has it you can enjoy a free 6 oz. cup of frozen yogurt from 4-8 p.m. at Menchies! Impossible to turn down right?

For more flavors and location information head to www.menchies.com. Plus sign-up for their rewards club here, during my last visit I scored a $5 off coupon with my points! Hooray for fro-yo!peach_mango[1]

Photo Credit: Menchie’s

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Jan 192015
 

In honor of National Coffee Break Day on January 20, Dunkin’ Donuts is encouraging Orlando residents to take a coffee break and head over to select SunRail stops for FREE treats to start the morning off right.

The Dunkin’ Donuts sampling team will be at three SunRail stops in the Orlando-area on Tuesday, January 20 from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to treat commuters to a morning coffee break. Guests can enjoy Dunkin’ Donuts’ 100% hot or iced Colombian Roast coffee, a medium roast with a full-bodied flavor and sweet finish, and the new Chocolate Croissant featuring a flaky croissant dough with chocolaty filling, served warm. There will also be gift card giveaways!

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Colombian coffee is registered by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, which ensures the coffee is produced to the highest standards. Dunkin’ Donuts’ Colombian Packaged Coffee is also the brand’s first packaged coffee with the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, made with 30% coffee beans sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

WHERE/WHEN:

  • DeBary Station: 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Lake Mary Station: 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • Sand Lake Station: 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

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Photo Credit: Dunkin’ Donuts