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Smashburger

Smashburger logoWe all get cravings from time-to-time, right? Maybe a hankerin’ for a great burger? I dare to say even the strongest of our vegetarian friends experience these cravings (although they may both deny and resist said cravings). It can often be a very mooving handkerin’, too.

So if you’re looking for hamburgers in Orlando for which can subside this craving you might wanna turn to Smashburger, a newly opened burger and shake joint near Fashion Square Mall (there’s also a location on Alafaya Trail; addy below).

A couple of friends and I dropped in not too long ago and I must say the burger I experienced is one of the best in Central Florida. Hands down. So let’s cover off on a few things.

The Good

Obviously I just raved about the burger itself that I had. I opted for a BBQ, Bacon & Chedder complete with fried onion rings on top. Oh yeah – I mean, I was going all in on this day. “Go big or go home” is what they often say, right? There are many creative options to choose from so it wasn’t easy for me to land on this selection, but I’m quite satisfied with the outcome of my decision.

Smashburger 1

BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar Burger

Shall I go grab you a napkin? I get the sense you might be drooling just a bit. And what’s crazy is this is the “regular” size – there’s also a “big burger” option. I might feel just a tad guilty about the latter so I think I’ll stick to the regular portion on all my future visits.

Now you might see a couple of my new favorite friends trying to photobomb the burger in the photo above. Yup – I’m referring to those amazing fries. Normally I prefer mine a little thicker (please see post on Scratch in Winter Park) but turns out I was just fine with these. Cooked to perfection, hot, and dusted with a light flavor of salt & pepper…. Lord, I need these in my life at this very moment.

Smashburger 5

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, french fries are like my biggest weakness in life. I suppose it’s better than some other options….

One other thing worth mentioning–although I can’t testify from personal experience–is that Smashburger has a reputation for having amazing milkshakes. At least, that’s the assumption I made coming from the happy sounds both of my dining companions kept repeatedly making shortly after ordering and receiving theirs. The shakes certainly provide for a temporary happy place.

The Not Great

Honestly, the only thing I’d say I thought was a little odd about this place is the dining room. Sure, it’s clean and they do a great job of extending their brand through images and entertaining wall murals, but I just didn’t feel it had much personality or any real sense of a vibe. But other than that…can’t win ‘em all, right?

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Smashburger’s Dining Room

So what do ya think? Tempted? Even if burgers aren’t your thing you still might want to check this place out at least once. The Smashburger menu boasts a collection of “out of the box” chicken sandwiches along with salad dishes. There’s even a menu for the little tykes.

Central Florida location deets:

Smashburger
3162 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
407.286.3390

Smashburger
334 N. Alafaya Trail
Orlando, FL 32828
407.203.6081

Smashburger.com

So why “smash”burger? Well, the beef is actually “smashed” into its patty state with ingredients that are fresh, never frozen (one of the restaurant’s key components to sustaining quality and flavor) including 100% Certified Angus Beef.

If connecting socially is your thing, too, Follow Smashburger on Twitter or become a Fan on Facebook.

Out and About: Tagged

It’s a zoo. Yes, it certainly is.

Out and About - Itsazu (Location deets: 17-92 near Winter Park Village.)

Mynt Fine Indian Cuisine in Winter Park

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw

Well, that may not necessarily be the ultimate truth, but dang – I LOVE FOOD! And as you know I’m always eager to find new places to experience in Central Florida. So when a friend of mine recently suggested we head to Winter Park to try out Mynt, a new Indian Cuisine restaurant near Park Avenue, I was totally game.

Folks, this place is amazing! It’s been over a week since we checked it out and I seriously can’t stop thinking about it.

Mynt 6

Mynt’s Front Entrance

This was a lovely Sunday afternoon, anticipating a late quiet lunch at a new place. What we ended up having was one of the best, most interesting (and affordable) brunches in Central Florida. After being greeted and seated at one of the tables in the tiny dining room, we’d not even cruised through the menu when Mynt’s brunch special was offered up to us. “Sure,” we said without even really asking what the items consisted of or how much it cost. (We may have possibly been influenced by the complimentary glass of champagne that joined the party.)

Mynt 1

Cheers, y’all!

Now, I’ll be honest with you. Both looking over the menu and hearing the dishes breezed over by the server, I didn’t know half of what was about to get layed out in front of me. But I’ve had Indian food several times in the past and have always found it enjoyable. So instead of trying to even pretend to school you on the amazing plates that were part of the fixed brunch menu, how about I just show you.

Mynt 5

That’s a lot of food, right? And save for one dish (one certain kind of chicken was a tad dry, but still had good flavor), everything was so delicious. One minor complaint I would have–if any–is the dishes were brought out very quickly, one after the other, but that’s probably because the restaurant wasn’t that busy when we were there.

Mynt 2

Dessert

Mynt 4

Corner of Dining Room

So, did I do it justice? Can you even assume how good everything was? Well, if you’re still not completely sold check out Mynt’s menu and view some of the dish photos.
Location deets:

MYNT Fine Indian Cuisine
535 W New England Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789

MyntOrlando.com

Now, there’s also an upstairs part of Mynt but we didn’t check it out during this visit. Oh well…just another reason to go back!

2014 Orlando Year in Review

Can’t believe 2014 has come to a close and we’re already running fast-and-furious into 2015! Where does the time go, friends?

The end of last year was quite busy and we weren’t able to pay as much attention to our dear little site as we would’ve liked. However, we’re starting fresh and will do our best to keep you informed about all the fantastic things going on in The City Beautiful. Through our eyes, of course!

In the meantime, we recently ran across this great video put together by our friends at Visit Orlando, showcasing many of the exciting things that happened in Central Florida last year. Got any favorites, or were you involved in any of the big projects? We’d love to hear about it.

Happy National Cotton Candy Day

“Some people handle sweets better.” – Harvey Weinstein

I, my friends, am one of those who handles sweets better. Which is why today just might be one of the most awesome holidays ever: National Cotton Candy Day. Cotton candy is pure sugar, and pure joy in my opinion.

I was recently connected with Duffy’s Sports Grill, which has a new location in the Millenia Mall area, as well as in Lake Mary. Now, please note I haven’t been yet but hearing about their Cotton Candy Cosmopolitan just might be the push I need to get over there. And a delicious way to pay homage to the gorgeous cotton candy land….

Duffys

Pinnacle County Fair Cotton Vodka, cranberry juice, fresh lime juice and cotton candy.

And this is only a taste of what Duffy’s has to offer. Their full menu of burgers, sandwiches, pasta and salads has me droooooling.

The new Central Florida locations are:

ORLANDO
4158 Conroy Rd.
The Mall at Millenia
Orlando, FL 32839

LAKE MARY
951 Market Promenade Ave. Colonial Town Park
Lake Mary, FL 32746

If you’ve ever been to a Duffy’s before we’d love to hear about some of your favorite things we should take note of.

Connect with Duffy’s on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for scrumptious things like this (we aren’t complaining):

Screen shot 2014-12-07 at 2.17.35 PM

(Tostado Nachos via @duffysmvp Instagram.)

Stop Bullying & End Hate: The Official Standup Tour

Looking for something entertaining to do this weekend that’s also tied to a good cause. We’ve the perfect thing for you: The Official Standup Tour. This free, all-ages concert in Celebration features former American Idol and The Voice contestants, as well as several other music acts all joining together to help keep anti-bullying and hatred top of mind.

Stand Up Tour Flyer
Here’s a little about The Official Standup Tour:

The Official Stand Up Tour’s mission is to bring awareness by shining a light on the rampant social issue of bullying that plagues today’s youth through epic concert events.

In addition to today’s concert there is a [ticketed] VIP meet & greet with some of the talent on the roster. If you’re a fan and are interested you can purchase tickets here*.

If you end up going we’d love to hear all about it!

* not an affiliate link

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.)

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