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The Meatball Shoppe in Orlando

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Noms noms noms is all I can say about The Meatball Shoppe. Actually, that’s not true. I can say lots…and it’s all good.

While it’s not necessarily in the most ideal location in town (an area I don’t travel to very often, mainly because it’s not close to where I live), a friend and I had heard fantastic things about this local, family-owned place, so we decided to make the trek and try it out. I mean, it’s a restaurant dedicated entirely to meatballs! I already knew I would be in love.

Sitting as a bookend in a little strip shopping center, the store, candidly, is not the sexiest from the outside, but once customers walk through the front door they’ll find a quaint little dining room with walk-up counter service. No overwhelming personality or atmosphere, but when the food is as good as this place you kinda overlook the lack of other things.

Can I just get on to the food, please?! Now the meatballs are made fresh daily, and there’s a pretty extensive selection on the menu. I’m a big fan of lamb in almost any form, so I opted for the Mediterranean-grass-fed Lamb meatballs (three in total), which were accompanied with Pita Bread and Tzatziki Sauce. They were so good I literally needed just a few minutes alone with myself and them. I still think about them. And to boot, I also had a side of the White Bean Ragout, which was amazing as well. The meatballs were actually served on top of the ragout.

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Smash – On Freshly Baked Ciabatta Roll

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“Nonna’s” Traditional Italian

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White Bean Ragout

Now, my dining partner and I noticed a table sign promoting a Mac and Cheese Explosion Ball so…duh…of course we had to try that. All I can say is a-may-zing! Mac ‘n cheese with meatball baked in? Who wouldn’t love that?

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We had an opportunity to speak with the owner of the restaurant for a few minutes – super nice fella. He’s thinking of opening another location of The Meatball Shoppe sort of closer to where I personally live, which definitely got me excited. No solid plans as of yet but I’m definitely staying tuned to see what progresses.

Interested in checking out the place for yourself? Get a preview by reviewing The Meatball Shoppe’s menu to get an idea of what you’ll want to try. All-in-all I was super fond of this place, and would be willing to take a trip back at any time!

The Strand in Mills 50

I’ve been meaning/wanting to try this place for ages. Friends and folks I’m connected with in Social Media have been raving about it (Kim originally wrote about a year ago; see below), and I decided it was something I couldn’t ignore. So a friend and I made a plan to start out a recent evening here followed by a performance at our new arts center.

The Strand is a local joint, and I always love supporting local. Situated on the tail end of a little shopping strip in one of our “artsy” neighborhoods, I was a bit underwhelmed by the atmosphere when first stepping in. Honestly, though, it grew on me more as I spent more time in the dining area, and I think it takes on more of a personality in the evening after the sun goes down.

When it came to deciding what to order off the menu I kept it plain, simple, and delicious: Pork chop, mashed taters, and green beans. And I must say each was packed full of flavor and left me completely satisfied. Food does always have to be fancy to be enjoyed – just made with love and flavor.

The Strand

I’ll definitely be going back to The Strand for another visit…for five! I’m interested to check out their lunch menu, so that’ll be coming soon.

Original post by Kim:

Have you ever been to the same restaurant twice in one day? Thanks to a great lunch last week at The Strand, I can say I have, since I decided to head back that same night for dinner.

First, let me say, I love everything about what The Strand is doing. There’s nothing fancy, pretentious or over the top about the place. It’s a small, simplistic restaurant with a modest menu in the Mills50 District of Orlando, but it just works.  Everything from the paint color to the flat screen TV disguised to be retro to the straightforward menu of something for everyone appeals to me.

In fact, The Strand’s focus is to “feature the “New Old,” contemporary interpretations of classic culinary fare” and I think they’ve done exactly that. The bar is limited to craft beer and wine, but their selections are spot-on … you don’t even miss the cocktail option.

Hope you have a chance to check it out soon–if you do, let us know what you think!

#Droolworthy Burger:

Strand

Out and About: Tagged

Gator.


(Location deets: Baldwin Park.)

Out and About: Tagged

What a pecker.

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(Location deets: John Young Parkway near Colonial Drive.)

PB&G at Four Seasons Resort

“Enjoy a fun meal in a lively setting on one of the restaurant platforms suspended over the lake.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty darn appetizing to me. RIGHT? With that description I give to you PB&G at Four Seasons Resort (Patio Bar & Grill! Clever, eh?

I’ve had a staycation at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando but bypassed PB&G at that particular time. The time I visited was actually a work “field trip” (hey – we had to see what all the fuss was about), on a gorgeous day that really highlighted what this beautiful outdoor dining area has to offer.

Located in the rear of the resort, PB&G sits on and overlooks a beautiful waterway and marsh-like wooded area. Certainly something to be enjoyed on one of our famous sunny Central Florida days. While not terribly extensive, the menu is diverse to say the least. It’s “inspired by the local waters, vegetation and farms of the south” and features items such as shrimp, chicken wings, burgers (with a twist), and fish tacos to name a few. To start, my lunch party and I ordered the eggs with eggs in an egg. Candidly, this was really stepping outside of my food-comfort zone because a) I am not nor have I ever been a fan of deviled eggs (I know, I’m shaming my southern roots at this very moment), b) caviar creeps me out. So I was pretty much setting myself up for disaster from the get-go. But I’ game for trying anything at least once, and turns out they weren’t really so bad…although I doubt I’d ever order them again.

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Eggs with Eggs in an Egg

For my main dish, I opted for one of the specials not on the main menu. I don’t feel a description would be adequate so just take a look:

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Roast special (not always available)

Yup. I tore that s*%t up! And I’d do it all again if given the opportunity.

See more of what PB&G has to offer by viewing their current lunch and children’s menu.

One of four restaurants and three lounges, PB&G offers casual dining options for both lunch and dinner. I will definitely visit the Four Seasons again if not for anything else than to grab a meal here.

Location deets:

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Blvd
Lake Buena Vista
Florida 32836

Slava’s Snow Show Falls on Central Florida

An evening at the theater (or, theatre if you’re super fancy).

Who doesn’t love that? I know I do. Particularly if it has any association with Cirque du Soleil. So I was super-stoked when I was invited to catch Slava’s Snow Show while it’s in town for a short run at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Now first of all, what the heck is a “Slava”? Well, Slava is the most celebrated living clown” and is founder of the Slava’s Fools Unlimited. His “Snowshow” is rated as a “classic of the 20th century” and has been touring the globe for 22 years non-stop. (Woah – he must be exhausted!) He’s also the original Cirque du Soleil’s clown genius.

“The deeply imaginative Slava, who draws on the vaudeville approach grounded in the
innocence of discovery, takes his audience on a dreamlike journey reconnecting them with their
inner child.”

Pushing Ball Wide (V.Vial)

Simply put, Slava’s Snow Show is an awesome theatrical experience and a profoundly moving spectacle full of vibrant wondrous images, delightful comedy, enchanting music and snow — lots and lots of snow.
If you have a chance you should check out this entertaining show before it melts its way out of Orlando. I don’t think you’ll be sorry….


And here’s a little video I captured of a rather sticky moment. Sorry for the low quality.

Location deets:

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
445 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

* Full disclosure: While I was invited to this event by a friend, we were provided complimentary tickets. I was not asked nor encouraged to write about it.

Eating Thru Orlando

As you’re all well aware, we love food. And Orlando is really coming into its own with regard to interesting, creative places to dine and experience food. So we love this video from our friends over at Visit Orlando!



We’ve undoubtedly asked this from our fans before, but what are some of your most favorite culinary adventures throughout Orlando? It could be a favorite, staple of Central Florida residents, or a hidden gem that we need to know about. Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

The Orlando Eye is Nearly Complete

It’s getting closer and closer. And we’re getting more and more excited! It’s been fun to watch the progress of the development of the Orlando Eye over the past year, and while the exact “opening date” hasn’t been announced yet, the completion of the passenger capsules on the wheel can only mean that time is near.

Check out this fun video posted by Visit Orlando:



What are your thoughts on this new Central Florida attraction?

STK Orlando Rides Into Orlando

“One thing you can’t do with babies, you can’t give them steak. – Flavor Flav”

Yeah…I pretty much just quoted Flavor Flav. But it seemed appropriate. And another reason babies are…well, let’s just say babies are missing out.

I don’t eat steak too often, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t crave it from time to time. Medium rare, thank you very much. So I was intrigued when I learned that STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge, will be adding a Central Florida location to their intimate roster of restaurants. Owned by TheONEGroup, “STK offers small, medium and large cuts of meat, as well as naturally raised options and market fresh fish entrees. Aside from steak, signature items include Parmesan Truffle Fries; Lil’ BRGs; Shrimp Rice Krispies; Sweet Corn Pudding; and Jump Lump Crab Salad.” (Description courtesy of TheONEGroup’s website.) By the way…you had me at Parmesan Truffle Fries….

Not too terribly much has been revealed about the arrival of this delicious steakhouse, other than it will reside at The Landing at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), and will open sometime this year. Exact date has yet to be revealed. We’ll surely be dialed in, though, and will share info here as we learn about it.

Here’s a little preview of what we can expect:

Photos courtesy of PR Newswire.


Anyone else looking forward to this?

Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! Invades Orlando

Make no bones about it – the additions to the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex just keep growing and growing! One which was just recently announced that caught our eye is Skeletons: Animals Unveiled!, and it’s pretty much what you would imagine it would be.

“Skeletons will exhibit over 400 skeletons in clever never-before-seen poses and dioramas and brand visitors with a whole new respect for the animal kingdom.”

Are they all real? Apparently so. Each of these species will be represented in a way that’s natural to their environment and habitat. So chances are you’ll run into this guy:

Skeleton

(Photo via Skeletons: Animals Unveiled Instagram.)

I mean, what do you think? Based on this limited insight about this new exhibit, will you visit?

The Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! attraction is currently scheduled to open next month (March).

Location deets:

Skeletons: Animals Unveiled!
8441 International Drive, Suite 250
Orlando, FL 32819
405.814.0006

SkeletonMuseum.com

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