Jan 102015
 

The ever-evolving culinary food scene at Disney has some new permanent additions, food trucks. Their four food trucks have a new home at Exposition Park at Downtown Disney. The trucks include Namaste CafeŽ with flavors from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Superstar Catering with flavors from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Fantasy Fare with Magic Kingdom Park treats and World Showcase of Flavors with Epcot offerings. The trucks are open evenings, with hours varying seasonally.

We’ve yet to taste the food, but I’m sure it’s comparable quality to what you’d find at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. We did walk by the trucks recently on our way to Splitsville. The bustling area was quite quaint, an oasis of sorts from the Downtown Disney mobs. Situated lakeside, it looks like the perfect place to watch the sunset and grab a bite to eat before catching a movie or attending a Cirque show.

Here’s a little more on each food truck:

  • Superstar Catering (Hollywood Studio Tastes): Serving up tastes like the turkey meatball sub and a slow-cooked pot roast sandwich—both served with house-made chips and the margarita flatbread, topped with basil and balsamic glaze.
  • Namaste Café (Animal Kingdom Tastes): Offerings range from a naan and samosa dipping to lamb kefta with tomato cucumber raita sauce.
  • Fantasy Fare (Magic Kingdom tastes): Enjoy sticky chicken and waffles inspired by those at Magic Kingdom, the Croque Monsieur from Disneyland Paris and hand-dipped corn dogs from Disneyland.

Happy food trucking!

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Photo Credits: Disney Parks

Jan 092015
 

Kale, quinoa and the “crount” are so last year. As we move into a new year, there’s plenty of room for new food trends and ingredients to watch for as rising stars. Up and coming trendy ingredients have a sneaky way of presenting themselves on local menus and in your kitchen. So, we turned to the experts for their trend predictions and flavors you’re sure to see popping up at a restaurant and grocery store near you. Here’s to a happy and tasty new year!

For more on food trends and predictions from Orlando’s chefs head to Orlando My Way!

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Photo Credit: All photos from each chef respectively 

Jan 082015
 

Chef Aarthi at American Gymkhana is back again with some tasty new dishes, lately she’s been busy whipping up brunch! We’re getting a sneak peak soon, but in the meantime here’s what we know about the new brunch offerings.

American Gymkhana Brunch:

  • Where: American Gymkhana, 7559 W. Sandlake Road, Orlando
  • When: Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 – 3:30
  • Price: $25, includes an entré, side and TWO brunch drinks (plus tax and gratuity)

Sample of Menu Items:

  • Desi Omelet - Serrano chili, sauteed onion, cilantro, Amul cheese, buttered toast served with Masala Potato Wedges or Kake & Cashew Salad.
  • Mumbai Frankie – Gymkhana chicken, red onions, sweet peppers, garlic aioli, flaky paratha served with Masala Potato Wedges or Kake & Cashew Salad.
  • Banjara Chicken & Waffles – Spiced fried chicken, garlic yogurt and buttermilk taska waffle, served with syrups and flavored butters.
  • For a side try the Black Cardamom & Hickory Smoked Lamb Bacon
  • Drinks: Orange-Mango Mimosas, Lychee Mimosa, Peach Bellini, Mumbai Bloody Mary

We’ll be back next week with a full recap and tasty pictures from our brunch!

American Gymkhana Brunch Flier

American Gymkhana on Urbanspoon

Jan 072015
 

Cheddar’s Casual Café, a Texas-based group of restaurants, has repeatedly garnered No. 1 ratings from Zagat, Consumer Reports and Nation’s Restaurant News for food quality, customer experience, value and atmosphere.

In each restaurant, dozens of culinary team members prepare Cheddar’s dishes by hand. The menu offers a range of selections including steaks seasoned with a special blend of herbs, ribs slow-smoked for hours in-house, hand-cut seafood, crisp salads, generous pastas, classic burgers, chicken and more.

True to their Texas roots, the designer-quality interior and exterior features real copper awnings, Austin chalk stone from a Texas quarry, solid cherry and walnut butcher-block table tops. Although new, the restaurant was impeccably clean and warm, from the interiors to the friendly staff, the atmosphere was notable and impressive.

Our food was hot, the margaritas were abundant and the servers were helpful and attentive. Cheddar’s is definitely a nice option if you’re in the area. Here’s what we tasted and sipped throughout the evening.

  • Honey Butter CroissantsOh my. I’d go back just for these treats. Hot from the oven and melt in your hand, these croissants are Instagram worthy.
  • Santa Fe Spinach Dip – Blended with sour cream, spices, four cheeses, topped with mozzarella cheese and served with unlimited chips and salsa. We were painfully hungry after a long day, so this appetizer was a nice compliment to our margaritas as started our meal.
  • Skinny Margarita – Sauza Gold with Cheddar’s Skinny Agave Sour. Served in a massive glass and boasting a mere 109 calories, this marg is a good bet for your meal. Oh and did I mention it’s only $3.99?
  • Sweet Heat Chicken & Shrimp – Chicken breast with grilled shrimp, glazed with sweet chili sauce and served over ginger rice with a salad tossed in tomato herb vinaigrette. I really wanted to order something “bad” but thought I’d give their “Lighter Side” menu a whirl! For a dish under 575, I was impressed by the portion size and flavor. The chicken was tender and I could slice it with a fork, paired with rice and a salad, you’ll forget you ordered a calorie controlled dish.

Cheddar’s is always packed so head out early if you want to avoid the crowds! As my Dad would say, this place definitely passes the “parking lot test,” parking lots and crowds don’t lie when it comes to restaurant popularity. So, what do you think of Cheddar’s? Tell us in the comments below!

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Cheddar's Casual Café on Urbanspoon

Cheddar’s Casual Cafe on Urbanspoon

Jan 062015
 

Tacos After Dark, Food Network Celebs and a doggie happy hour are just a few things you’ll find in Miami next month. The 14th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE returns February 19-22, 2015, and consists of more than 75 events during the four-day gathering.

The Festival kicks off on Thursday, February 19 with Ronzoni Pasta’s 100th Anniversary Al Fresco Feast, a celebration of pasta and all forms of Italian-American cuisine under the Festival’s signature white tents in the sand behind South Beach’s iconic Delano. Hello swanky.

The Festival is brimming with culinary goodness and can’t miss events. So click over to their website and head south for one of these amazing events:

With events for every budget and taste, you’re sure to have a memorable weekend. So hop on the turnpike and head to Miami with your best group of friends for a foodie banazana!

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Photo Credits: South Beach Food Festival

Jan 042015
 

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, a steakhouse staple in Orlando is refreshing its bar program with a menu featuring new cocktails set to unveil at its inaugural Christner’s Craft Wars. All about the bar, on Saturday, January 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., three of Christner’s resident bartenders will go head-to-head in three rounds of craft cocktail making with the winner dueling it out for charity and bragging rights.

All cocktails will be judged based on originality, taste and the uniqueness of its name; the three rounds of cocktail creations include the Christner’s Classic; the bourbon cocktail and the “secret ingredient” mixed cocktail.

Christner’s bartender’s Jeannie Rudnick, Kyle Laufenberg and Stacy Word will be partnered with three local charities – Central Florida Food and Outreach, Florida Hospital Diabetes Institute and Runway to Hope – and the bartender with the most tips at the end of the three rounds will select the cocktail of his/her choice to be featured as a limited-time-only drink on Christner’s bar menu. Tickets will be given back to all attendees in the way of “tipping tokens.” RSVP via e-mail to Christners@rockawaypr.com.

ABOUT THE BENEFITTING CHARITIES:

  • Runway to Hope – To provide direct support and aid to Central Florida children and their families impacted by pediatric cancer. Through partnerships with Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Florida Hospital for Children, and Nemour’s Children’s Hospital, Runway to Hope fosters collaborative efforts among corporations, local businesses, and philanthropists to not only raise funds and awareness, but also bring new programs and initiatives to the pediatric cancer community.  - www.runwaytohope.org/

WHERE:  Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster

729 Lee Road | Orlando, FL

WHEN:     Saturday, January 17 at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

COST:       $20 per person of which, $10 of which is donated to charity

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Photo Credits: Christner’s

 

Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster on Urbanspoon

Jan 022015
 

Keeping things short and sweet today with a killer Tijuana Flats deal come Monday. I think we can all agree that January 5 will be rough, the holidays are over and the “I’ll get to that after the New Year” state of mind is over. So, to ease the pain a teensey bit, Tijuana is offering $2 tacos all day long this Monday. It will cost you 50 cents extra for steak or carnitas and speciality tacos are excluded, but we’re not complaining, two bucks a taco is a steal. So enjoy the weekend and this 80 degree weather because we all know it’s back to the grind Monday.

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Photo Credits: Tijuana Flats

Tijuana Flats on Urbanspoon