Jul 282015

Strap on your dancing shoes! Throwdown Hoedown is taking place Thursdays at American Q! From 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., choreographer Trevor Thornton will have you line dancing (and teach beginners a few steps along the way) to your favorite country, pop, and R&B favorites.

Plus enjoy $3 Jack Daniel’s and Draft Beers, $4 Beef Brisket Sliders and $1 Hickory Smoked Jerk Chicken Lollipops, as well as other specials all night long. And for more on American Q, check out our latest review!


Jul 252015

This year’s Food and Wine Conference took place July 17-19 right in our backyard! Countless food bloggers and industry experts gathered inside Rosen Shingle Creek for a three-day conference. The event brought together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, traditional media, new media, authors and brands all working together.


The conference was full of exceptional speakers, food and of course new and old friends. It’s amazing how those of us in the industry so easily bond over the love of food. From SEO to photography tips and lots of cheese and chocolate, the Food and Wine Conference is a must attend for anyone interested in growing their publication. Here’s what we learned and explored last weekend!

Everything is Subject to Change – A first hand account of the journey to become a successful freelance writer. A fabulous reminder that your “no” is actually getting you closer to a “yes.” Always enjoyable to hear from those in the industry that have countless years of food writing experience.

Blog Your Way to Business Success – Yep. Blogging can be a full time career, you just have to know how to manage it right! So enjoyed hearing from two successful women that went from 9-5 to full time blog.

A Tale of Two Photographers: Our very own Julius “Droolius” Mayo Jr. held a session on photography. If you follow his Instagram account you know he’s a pro!


And of course the countless food was incredible! From local vendors to ice cream, cheese, steak and chocolate, it’s safe to say that this convention food was anything but average. People come from all over the country and we’re lucky to experience #FWCon right in our backyard. Don’t miss next year’s conference – it’s so worth the time!



Photo Credits: Food and Wine Conference

Jul 252015

Beale Street Blues Company announces today that Lafayette’s will officially open for regular business hours on Monday, July 27 following two soft operating days on July 25 and 26 where the restaurant will be open for dinner service only (beginning at 4:00 p.m.).  The restaurant, located on the second level of the Pointe Orlando outdoor shopping center (9101 International Drive, Suite 2220), will be open daily for lunch and dinner and will feature live music nightly.

The opening marks the Memphis-based brands first expansion out of Tennessee, which is most celebrated for their dedication to live music and Southern cooking.  Music lovers are invited to enjoy a great meal while listening to a variety of Americana, Country, Rock and Roll, Blues Rock, Bluegrass, and Jazz.  Historically, Lafayette’s is known for showcasing legendary musicians such as Billy Joel, Barry Manilow, Big Star, Kansas and Kiss.


Dishes prepared by Executive Chef, Paul Wisler pull influence from the Mississippi Delta to New Orleans with dishes ranging from rich Southern Po’Boys ($12-15) and Shrimp and Grits ($19) to a variety of specialty pizzas ($12), market-priced seafood offerings, and made-from-scratch desserts ($6) like Beignets with vanilla ice cream.   Freshly shucked oysters and crab claws will also be available when in season.

Every Saturday and Sunday beginning August 1, the restaurant will serve brunch.


Photo credit: Lafayette’s

Jul 252015
SLATE, the newest Concentrics Restaurants concept, now offers lunch at the modern American eateryMonday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To further expand its offerings, SLATE will launch its highly anticipated weekend brunch on Saturday, July 25 and will be available every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Since opening in June, Executive Chef Dominic Rice’s creative methods of showcasing fresh, local ingredients has made SLATE one of the most sought dinner options on Orlando’s famed Restaurant Row. His signature culinary philosophy is also reflected on SLATE’s lunch and brunch menus. Lunch features a seasonally driven selection of soups, salads, fresh seafood, sandwiches and wood-fired grilled pizzas. Menu staples include a Fried Green Tomato Torta with Pimento Cheese, Romaine and Bacon and a Hanger Steak Salad with Cotija Cheese, Radish, Watercress, Walnut and Cilantro Vinaigrette. The current lunch menu can be viewed here.
With SLATE’s brunch menu, Chef Rice offers his take on classic sweet and savory dishes including Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes, Gulf Shrimp and Grits and a Pork Spoonbread with Peach Barbecue, Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork, and Sunny Eggs. SLATE’s brunch also features an extensive craft cocktail menu developed by bar manager Paul Johnsen as well as a full-service bar, craft beer and wine by the glass and bottle. For the complete brunch menu click here.
In addition to its new lunch and brunch service, SLATE will also provide daily food selections for Concentrics Restaurants’ next Orlando concept, SOMM. The one-of-a-kind wine bar is scheduled to open in late summer/early fall. Located near the entrance of the 400-foot Orlando Eye observation wheel—the centerpiece of the new I-Drive 360 entertainment complex—SOMM will offer a curated selection of boutique and fine wines developed by advanced sommelier Justin Amick. SOMM will also carry craft beers, artisanal sodas and a rotating selection of hot and cold dishes prepared by SLATE.

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Jul 222015

Imagine five courses of Southern goodness paid with exceptional wines and then finished with dueling desserts. That’s exactly what we experienced when Soco met 4 Rivers Smokehouse during their inaugural South Meets South dinner. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m seriously rooting for John Rivers to open a fine dining restaurant. Our five-course dinner featured alternating signature dishes from Greg Richie and John Rivers. Each course was the perfect celebration Southern heritage and flavor while incorporating local produce and proteins. Here’s what we tasted and thoroughly enjoyed last week!

Blue Crab Topped Fried Green Tomatoes: Similar to John Rivers’ creation for Chef’s Night with Feed Hope Now, this version was equally tasty and a joy to taste again! Topped with watermelon rind syrup, balsamic reduction and roasted pepper jam it’s a unexpected symphony of Southern flavors you simply won’t find elsewhere. Paired with one of my favorites, La Crema Pinot Gris, the first dish of the night set the tone for an exceptional evening!


Molasses and Soy Glazed Pork Belly: Caramelized watermelon, pickled rind and a bourbon barrel aged soy emulsion. Mini bites of savory bliss presented in a beautiful arrangement. I’m not a huge pork belly lover, but the flavor was perfect and that watermelon was the perfect taste of summer.


Tempura Crisped-Collard Greens Wrapped Tuna Loin: Oh man. Can I have this dish every night please? Thankfully I had two tuna courses since my pregnant friend couldn’t eat anything raw. (Score!) The dish sounds bizarre, but it was hands down one of the best tuna dishes I’ve ever tasted. The tuna was wrapped in tempura battered collared greens and served with mustard seed butter. The smooth tuna mixed with the crunchy tempura was in a word, divine.


Lake Meadows Free Range Chicken: Florida raised chicken topped with bourbon peach glaze, southern succotash and baked grits. All served with a side of the most delicious pimento cheese and jalapeño hushpuppies. Little was said during this course as we were way too busy enjoying the delightful flavors and tender chicken.


Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie Bread Pudding: Saving the best for last totally applies to dessert and particularly to this meal. Two desserts is impressive, but two bread puddings, now that’s just magical. Topped with a praline crumb topping and served with a salted bourbon caramel ice cream. Hello southern savory sweetness.

Local Blueberry Bread Pudding: Topped with Georgia peach whiskey sauce and served with buttermilk ice cream. A perfect pairing to conclude the evening!

Soco and 4 Rivers, please come back with a South Meets South version 2.0 soon!


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Jul 222015

Duffy’s Sports Grill announced today the grand opening of its 29th location, slated to open for business on Friday, July 24 near the Altamonte Mall.  Located minutes from I-4 at 525 E. Altamonte Drive, the new restaurant opening marks the company’s fourth in Central Florida in less than a year.

Duffy’s Sports Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers an unbeatable combination of high quality food, affordable prices and memorable hospitality.  Duffy’s is known for providing outstanding value with 2-for-1 drinks all day, every day.  This includes everything from the bar such as top-shelf cocktails, premium wine and even bottled beer.  Adding to this is a full weekday roster of value-priced deals including a Monday night special when every item on the menu is $12.95 (5 p.m. to close); a designated “Kids Day” every Wednesday that allows kids to eat free and a Thursday Night Rib Fix featuring a half rack of signature baby back ribs with one side for $9.95. For more on our experience, click here!


Duffy’s Sports Grill features a chef-driven menu with a focus on freshly prepared ingredients and grilled items.  Guests will enjoy signature favorites such as Certified Angus Beef brand steaks and ½ lb. burgers as well as a variety of other fan favorites including award-winning jumbo wings tossed in a choice of more than 10 sauces, garden fresh salads, savory pasta dishes and a rotating lineup of distinctive “Chef Specialties” created by Duffy’s Executive Chef Eric Parker.

To view the menu prior to Duffy’s grand opening, download the Duffy’s mobile app available  on both Apple and Android devices, or visit the website, www.DuffysMVP.com.

Jul 222015

Swine & Sons Provisions, the novel takeout concept from the owners of The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, will expand offerings to include breakfast beginning Monday, July 27, at its 595 West Fairbanks Avenue shop in Winter Park. The morning menu will feature hot egg sandwiches, quiches, pastries, house cold brewed coffee, espresso drinks and rotating seasonal specials.


Breakfast hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Swine & Sons will continue to serve lunch weekdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and will offer a limited menu consisting of grab-and-go options, charcuterie, beer and wine between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The breakfast menu will not be available on weekends, but the full lunch menu will be served from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. To celebrate the launch of the new breakfast menu, Swine & Sons will offer hot breakfast sandwiches all day (7 a.m. until 5 p.m.) on Monday, July 27.

Swine & Sons’ breakfast is a collaboration by James Beard-nominated chefs/co-owners James and Julie Petrakis and their Swine & Sons partners, Rhys and Alexia Gawlak. “Neither The Ravenous Pig nor Cask & Larder are open during breakfast time, so this was the perfect chance to add an option for people to enjoy Swine Family restaurants at all hours,” said James Petrakis. “Swine & Sons breakfast offers quick takeout for people on the run, as well as a neighborhood hub where guests can read the newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee.”

Swine & Sons will also offer breakfast catering services for local businesses and private gatherings. The catering menus are available here.

For more information on Swine & Sons, visit www.SwineandSons.com



Photo Credit: Swine & Sons