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Olea Mezze Grill

After weeks (maybe months?) of driving past Olea Mezze Grill in Maitland, I finally decided to stop in and check it out. It’s in the same plaza as one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Francesco’s, so I figured why not.

First of all, Olea is not at all what I was expecting. Not sure why, but I assumed this was a sit-down-and-be-served kinda place. It’s not. It’s more of a walk-through-the-line-like-Chipotle kinda place.  This was completely fine with me, and exactly what I like in a lunch/easy dinner place.

Basically, you go through the line and select the type of meal you want:  pita, bowl or salad.  Then you add spreads (GET THE ZESTY FETA, TRUST ME), protein (chicken, falafel, gyro or meatball), toppings and dressing.  There are so many possible options and combinations, each seems as delicious as the next.

I dare you to look at this and not drool:

olea

 

Olea was super-clean, the staff was lovely, and the price was right.  That delicious, fresh lunch was $7.99 + tax.  How can you go wrong? (Hint: you can’t.)

Go support this locally owned business so I can get Zesty Feta spread for life.

 

 

Out and About: Tagged

Absolutely no idea here. Any suggestions?

Te Seed (Location: Downtown Orlando at Lake Eola.)

Element by Westin at Fashion Square

You might recall the post we published a little over a week ago about the new Element by Westin hotel being developed at Fashion Square Mall. I was driving by recently and made it a point to stop and grab a photo.

Fashion Square Hotel

(New Starwood Resorts & Hotels site?)

This is pretty much dead center on the south side of the mall complex, between Panera Bread and Macy’s. Now, I didn’t see any signage specifically noting this is where the new Element by Westin (Starwood Hotels & Resorts) will be located but I can only assume.

We’ll be sure to update with any info we uncover….

Out and About: Tagged

Um, I’d have to disagree …

tag

World of Beer in Downtown Orlando

UPDATE 8/19:

Rather timely to our post last week (see below), Orlando Weekly just shared some info yesterday on their Facebook Page about World of Beer employee recruitment initiatives coming up both today and tomorrow. So – looks like the opening is getting closer and closer. Check it out:

If you’re on the hunt for a job, good luck!

*********************************************************************************************************************
The World of Beer in downtown Orlando at Lake Eola has been touted as “coming soon” for well over a year now. Their last Tweet was in May of last year, and this past January Bungalower wrote an article not really stating much other than some of the major players in the development are no longer involved.

World of Beer

This seems like such a great place for a World of Beer, undoubtedly that would be successful if it ever does open its doors. Does anyone know anything about what’s going on here?

There are currently five World of Beer Central Florida locations, including Dr. Phillips, Altamonte, and Lake Mary.

New Hotel Development at Fashion Square Mall

Our friends over at Bungalower posted this (below) on Facebook earlier in the week. We’ve been hearing and reading (and now even seeing ) a bit about the overall new developments in the works at Orlando Fashion Square–including the recent opening of a new bowling alley–but are a little bit stumped about plans to build a Westin-brand property smack dab in the middle of it.

Element by Westin is apparently an eco-friendly global brand by Starwood Hotels & Resorts that will reside here.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely excited about the growth and development; however, I simply cannot figure out what type of guest (transient, business traveler, staycationer?) is being targeted. According to UP Development, who’s heading-up the project:

“…Element is a great hotel for relatives visiting Baldwin Park families, or travelers flying in and out of nearby Orlando Executive Airport.”

I mean, it’s great in theory, right? Hmmm…guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts?

Loving SunRail?

Well, I suppose the first question is “Have you been on SunRail?” (I was going to ask “have you experienced SunRail, but that could mean many, many things – traffic jams, loud horns!) So the second would be if so, “Are you loving SunRail?”

Orlando Magazine recently posed this question to their Facebook Fans and the feedback is, interestingly, quite positive.

“Transportation is the center of the world! It is the glue of our daily lives.” – Robin Chase, Founder and CEO of Buzzcar

I’m personally eager to check-out SunRail at some point, but that’ll probably have to wait until they extend service into the weekends. What about you – have you been one of the first to ride?

Out and About: Tagged

She’s like, a total fox, right?

tagged(Location: Universal Orlando area.)

Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria

Tartini LogoI’ve been hearing about Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria in south Orlando for some time, although I wasn’t aware they’ve been around for already over a year (info courtesy of the server I had when I recently visited). When I’m on the hunt for delicious Italian food the Conway-ish area of Central Florida doesn’t immediately come to mind; however, this visit may’ve pushed it near the top of the list. NOTE: There’s also a location in Apopka, which I was unaware of ’til researching info for this post.

My main reason for giving Tartini’s a try was for Orlando Weekly’s Bite30 last month. And if after reading this you’re dying to get out and give these items a try, please be advised most of the items I tried were developed specifically for the the 32 Bites menu and are not offered on the regular menu.

As self-described on Tartini’s website:

“Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria is proud to feature Italian style pizza and pastas inspired by old world recipes from the owner’s hometown in Southern Europe. All of our dishes contain only the finest imported meats and cheeses and the freshest produce. Tartini also features an extensive wine list, curated by a team of master sommeliers and internationally sourced.”

As a little kickstart my dining companion and I tried out some calamari. Not best I’ve ever had–and I’m pretty picky about calamari–but certainly wasn’t bad. One thing that threw me off was the inclusion of randomly-placed jalapenos. Another interesting starter on the Bite30 menu was the Italian Egg – an egg wrapped in meatball and friend. Delish! And moving on, my main dish was lasagna – always a sucker for a good lasagna. It was just as tasty as its predecessors.

Like anything you see? Unfortunately much of what I had was part of Orlando Weekly’s Bite30 program, and these items were specifically created for such. But, you can check out Tartini’s menu to get a feel for what they offer.

Location deets:

Tartini has two Central Florida locations, as follows:

South Orlando
Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria
6321 Hansel Avenue
Orlando, FL 32809
407.601.2400

Apopka
Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria
625 Rock Ridge Blvd,
Apopka, FL 32712
407.814.7474
TartiniPizzeria.com

Have you been to either Tartini location? We’d love to hear about your own experience.

The Brass Tap in Mills Park

I don’t know much about The Brass Tap (actually, I know absolutely nothing about it) but when I was in the Mills Park area this past weekend this sign caught my attention. A little research piqued my interest even more.

Pulse Pic I I love beer, and The Brass Tap promises to deliver with over 300 craft beers. If I even understand their website, customers can select their favorite beers and have them packaged to take home.

In addition to beer The Brass Tap will offer its customers live music from local bands/musicians:

“At The Brass Tap, our line-up of leading local bands adds a distinctive flavor to a vibe that’s already upbeat.”

OrlandoSentinel.com reported in February of last year The Brass Tap’s intent to arrive in Central Florida as “later this year” (meaning ’13), so apparently development is a little later than originally intended. We’ll keep an eye out and update you on any news or progress.

For a complete listing of locations for The Brass Tap visit TheBrassTap.com. You can also keep up with them on Facebook. (PET PEEVE: They highlight their Twitter profile on the website, yet they’ve only Tweeted once…back in October of 2010!)

Are you familiar with The Brass Tap? Ever visited one of their locations?

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