Latest News

College Park JazzFest

Such a great, fun local neighborhood event. We’ve talked about it here before, and have attended in the past. Unfortunately we won’t be able to make it this weekend, which is a big bummer because we’ll be missing TIFFANY! Yes – the one and only 90s pop icon. Not quite sure why this hasn’t been promoted more or she’s not getting higher billing…there’s also nothing about the appearance on her official website.

2014_CPJazzFest_FlierFor all complete info on this event check out the College Park Jazz Fest website.

Do you usually hit-up this local neighborhood festivity? We’d love to know what your favorite thing about it is.

Out and About: Tagged

Menacing crew? Hmmm…not sure we’d want to be part of their posse.

photo (47)

(Location: Dr. Phillips area near Universal.)

Orlando Airboat Tours

Aren’t you guys always looking for new and exciting things to do in Central Florida? Perhaps a little excursion an hour or two away, a little adventure? Me, too. Enter Orlando Airboat Tours located in the Kissimmee area. Now, candidly I don’t venture out to that part of Central Florida too terribly often. We were recently invited*, though, to come enjoy this outdoor adventure–which, oddly, has been on my “to do” list for months-and-months–and did a friend and I did so a couple of weeks ago.

First off, my adventure companion and I headed over to the Orlando Airboat Tours headquarters (address below) to check in, and then quickly zipped over to the boat boarding site, which is actually just down the street from the headquarters base. And it went something like this:

photo (39)

Our Chariot.

The boat (helmed by Captain Bill on this day) typically seats up to six people. We were joined by two other folks so ours only had a total of four.

photo (43)

Getting started.

I was a little bit nervous about the weather as we started out…really even before I left my house in downtown Orlando. But the sky eventually opened up and the afternoon turned out to be quite beautiful. So we hopped on our boat and started our journey down a very, very long waterway. This afforded us the opportunity to pick up some speed and build anxiety for all of the wild creatures we were praying not to…err, hoping to encounter.


Now, we didn’t quite get to see all of the wild animals (i.e., alligators) we were hoping to. We later learned from Captain Bill that this is alligator season, so most of them were hiding out…with good reason. But we did have a few chance encounters with some baby gators, and then this happened:

photo (38)
Beyond breathtaking, and for me personally, the highlight of the tour. Stunning, right? Obviously there are no guarantees for a replication of this for every adventure, but here’s what most visitors can expect:

“As these airboat tours are in a natural, living environment (Central Florida’s subtropical climate promotes the growth of lush vegetation providing natural habitats for a variety of species) taking you through the swamp marsh and wet prairie they are not only educational, but fun and enjoyable.”

I mean, who doesn’t want to spend a Saturday afternoon this way?

Location deets:

Orlando Airboat Tours
4275 Neptune Road
St. Cloud, FL 34769

OrlandoAirboatTours

Here’s a fun hyperlapse video we captured on our excursion:

* Full disclosure: Pulse of Central Florida was provided two (2) complimentary tickets to experience Orlando Boat Tours. Big thanks to the team!

Out and About: Tagged

We all b fit!

WeBFit

(Location: Maitland near Enzian Theater.)

RA Sushi Bar at Pointe Orlando

raA group of friends and I recently headed over to Pointe Orlando (something I don’t particularly care to do too often) prior to a show at House of Blues Orlando to grab a bite to eat. Planned on taking advantage of Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining at one of the restaurants but after not really feeling the vibe inside made a last-minute switch to try out the newly opened RA Sushi Bar.

RA has some great curb appeal. Large outdoor dining area which is visible walking up to the main entrance. Once inside, the bar (situated just upfront by the entrance) & dining area appear clean, crisp, with the color of red taking over much of the space. And heading toward the back of the dining room is a very large sushi bar. It’s quite impressive, actually.

Attachment 5

Sushi Bar

After being seated at a large table nearby the sushi bar, our group started scouring over the options listed on the menu and then ordered several starter dishes and sushi rolls…along with many delicious cocktails! Upon the recommendation of the server much of the dishes was shared by everyone.

Now, as I’ve stated many times I’m not much of a sushi person; I really have to be in the mood. So I opted for one of the noodle bowls on the menu – one of my favorite dishes at other similar style restaurants.

Attachment 1

SPICY CHICKEN TERIYAKI UDON

Gotta say this dish was not good. It actually had zero flavor, and the chicken seemed as if it was maybe just cut up and stuck in the oven to bake for a little bit (I know this from personal home experience). Shame because the presentation was great; I had high hopes. This can only lead me to assume sushi is, in fact, RA’s specialty. (Oh, and the dish wasn’t even near spicy, despite its namesake.) I did thoroughly enjoy my cucumber kimchee salad just prior to this, which was hella spicy!

Get a peek at their menus before heading over to try RA out for yourself. I’m definitely heading back at some point to give it a second taste.

Location deets:

RA Sushi Bar
9101 International Drive
Suite 1008
Orlando, FL 32819

RASushi.com/Orlando

The Thirsty Topher in Ivanhoe Village

This might possibly be one of my new favorite places to grab a drink in Orlando. The Thirsty Topher isn’t technically that new, I suppose – it’s actually been open for about a year – but I’m just now getting around to giving it a look-see.

I popped in with a friend not too terribly long ago after a show at The Venue. The location, nestled in the Ivanhoe Village just a few blocks north of Virginia Avenue, is almost a word-of-mouth find for locals. Walking up, the bar is quite welcome, tucked behind a wall of foliage yet an open concept once you pass by it.

One of the best things about The Thirsty Topher is, of course, their drinks. A huge offering of craft beers (including one of my new obsessions), it’s easy to get lost in the variety of the delicious menu. The ambience is also extremely conducive to chatting with whomever you might’ve shown up with…or perhaps the stranger sitting next to you. Low lights when it’s dark outside and high ceilings. I do recall music playing, but not overwhelmingly loud like many places around town. I’m actually really looking forward to spending some time here in the fall, when we hopefully start to experience some cooler temperatures here in Central Florida.

If you haven’t been yet here’s a little of what you can expect:

Location deets:
The Thirsty Topher
1609 Alden Rd
Orlando, FL 32803

Haven’t had a chance to check out The Thirsty Topher yet and want some other opinions? See what local residents are saying on Yelp.

And here are some other local articles:

Shantell’s Cafe in Downtown Sanford

Y’all already know I’m a born-and-bred southerner. Well, if you know me personally or you’ve been reading the blog for any significant amount of time. For those who weren’t aware, please know I love sweet tea, fried chicken, black-eyed peas (the food, most assuredly not the band), and watermelon. Mmmm, watermelon with salt. Collard greens are not on the menu of favorites, however. But I digress….

When I heard about Shantell’s Cafe in Sanford I quietly asked myself how fast can I get there? (Dang…why hasn’t someone figured out the whole teleportation thang?) Apparently the Orlando Sentinel recently published an article claiming Shantell’s to have the best fried chicken in Central Florida (or something like that), and although my visit was not spurred by said article, I can affirm that in my opinion, it’s actually the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Yup – I said it.

First off, let’s talk about Shantell’s location. It’s settled on a quiet little block just a few away from the bustle of the main street in town. I paid a visit on a Saturday afternoon, and it was not in the least bit busy; they open at noon and my friend and I went shortly after.

Screen shot 2014-09-12 at 5.48.04 AM

(Front Entrance. Courtey of Sanford365.com.)

Once inside, visitors find a charmingly-themed main dining room, with a bar and open-style kitchen. Don’t be fooled, though – this place is deceptively large (there’s another full dining area off to the left of the main dining room). I also hear Shantell frequently hangs out and even meets with patrons. Sadly, she was not around this day.

Here’s a little peek inside:

And now for the deliciousness that was our lunch:

Attachment 4-1

Famous Fried Chicken with Onion Rings


Yes, yes, I opted out of trying the chicken & waffles that were screaming at me from the menu. But I’m still pretty happy with my dish decision. Guess I just have another reason to go back. :)

My only main complaint about this visit–and hopefully it’s an isolated incident–is the air conditioner was essentially not working. It was HOT. Really hot, and very humid…no doubt fueled by the proximity of the kitchen. It was getting to the point of miserable – nobody wants to be hot and sweaty when they’re eating (I don’t think).

Location deets:

Shantell’s Cafe
406 S. Sanford Ave.
Sanford, FL 32771

ShantellsCafe.com

All-in-all my tummy and I enjoyed out excursion to Shantell’s in Sanford and will certainly be making a trip back there sometime in the future (A/C working, I pray!).

What about you? Have you ever experience Shantell’s?

Enzian Pays Tribute to Robin Williams

Enzian Theater dropped an email to subscribers this past week announcing a month-long tribute to the late Robin Williams during December. Highlighting such classic pieces like “Dead Poets Society,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “Good Morning Vietnam.” Personally, one of my favorites is “Mrs. Doubtfire” but it’s not on the schedule. Out of those being featured I have to say “Dead Poets Society” is the one I’m most eager to see.

For more info on this and other special programs and showings visit Enzian’s website.

Which Robin Williams movie are you looking forward to seeing?

The Enzian Theater is located at:

1300 South Orlando Avenue
Maitland, FL 32751

Enzian.org

#supportlocal

Out and About: Tagged

LA -> Philly?

Laffily (Location: Dr. Phillips area.)

Terror on Church Street Comes Back To Life…Sort Of

Who remembers Terror on Church Street?! I’m takin’ it waaaaay back right now. I recall visiting Orlando when I was younger and always wanting to visit this used-to-be-downtown-staple Of course, now we get our fights from events such as Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream.

Well, some of the original folks behind Terror on Church Street are bringing it back to life, so to speak, with a new haunted experience that will live at The Majestic located on North John Young Parkway. It’s a little bit of an odd location – ok, A LOT a bit – but I’m sure there’s a very logical reason for it ($$$). Currently raising money for the project, Nightmares at The Majestic will offer to scare its visitors 24 dates during the month of October. You can read more about it in an article recently published on OrlandoWeekly.com.

Nightmares at the Majestic

What do you think? We’ll you be checking this out during the Halloween season? Or are there too many other events going on?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,982 other followers