Author Archives | Ashley K. Edwards

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

Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria
625 Rock Ridge Blvd,
Apopka, FL 32712

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.” 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 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?

The Porch in Winter Park

The Place

The Porch LogoWord spreads pretty quickly when anything new opens in Central Florida…particularly if it’s food related. Am I wrong? So I’ve been hearing a little buzz about The Porch in Winter Park for about a month or so. This past weekend a friend and I decided to go check-it-out and see what’s good in the ‘hood.

I really didn’t have any expectations about what to find once inside The Porch, which is right next door to Floyd’s Barbershop and about a block west of Cask & Larder. The interior definitely has a bar atmosphere, which large screen televisions sprinkled throughout, likely most often used to show sports games (the World Cup was on during my visit). Essentially, the entire place is split into two distinct rooms: one more of a dining area with booths and high-tops and games, the other mainly a bar. Outside there are picnics tables which I’m sure are perfect during the cooler months.

The Food

One of the things The Porch can proudly boast about is their eclectic selection of food dishes. And although there are salads on the menu if you’re on the hunt for healthy eating this is probably not the place where you want to land. In addition to the food there’s a healthy selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

I simply must highlight the dish I personally enjoyed…and hope my trainer doesn’t stumble upon this post.
Basically a glorified french dip, which I’ve always had a weakness for.

The Porch 6

I know, she’s beautiful, isn’t she? And while it may look like they skimped on the meat, I can assure you under that heap of crispy onions is a whole mound of delicious roast beer.

Aside from the food (of which there are more photos below), I must also add the staff is incredibly social and friendly…at least, they were the day we were there.

The Porch 4

Check it:

Our delicious eats consisted of: Flowersprouts (flour-dusted sprouts and cauliflowers); wings; and my “The Big Dipper.”

Based on all of this it’s pretty safe to say I’ll include The Porch in my bag of places to grab a tasty dish from time-to-time.

Interested in making your own visit sometime soon? Feel free to take a glance at The Porch menu before heading over.

Places you can find The Porch online:

Location deets:

The Porch
43 N Orange Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789

Out and About: Tagged (God Edition)

In case of emergencies….

Tagged God II

(Location: MetroWest area.)

The Lucky Lure in Ivanhoe Village

I’ve been driving by The Lucky Lure for the almost year it’s been around in Ivanhoe Village, which is just north of downtown Orlando if you’re not familiar. I finally got an opportunity the opportunity to pop-in this past rain-drenched weekend. Gotta say I am not a fan.

I can see where this dive would appeal to a particular niche (think PBR, Natty Lite, and Coors Lite), but there’s nothing from my recent visit that connected me to it or left me wanting to go back again. I’d much rather head down the street to Imperial down the street and hang out there (with the domestic beer and wine crowd).

The Lucky Lure II

Occupy your time with pool and foosball.

The Lucky Lure I

The Bar Area

The Lucky Lure is co-owned by Amy Smith (AKA Lounge, 57 West) and Mike Blaise (Go Lounge), so there’s definitely some bar/nightlife experience behind the establishment. It also runs some pretty great happy hour deals, if that’s something you typically look for when deciding on a bar to go to.

Now, while I’m obviously not personally a fan of this little bar, one of the great things about the location is the opportunity to catch an awesome Central Florida sun setting over Lake Ivanhoe across the street (the place has an open-air concept).

Location deets:

The Lucky Lure
1427 North Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32804

If you wanna see what other folks are saying about their own experience at The Lucky Lure–including at least three reviews about a “rude, prick bartender”–check out Yelp.

What You’ll Miss If You Leave Florida

Sure we have reliable, wild, and often inconvenient summer storms. Yeah, traffic can be a major pain in the rear, and I-4 can sometimes be the worst part of any Central Floridian’s Day. And of course there’s the hassle of dealing with out-of-town folks and all things associated with them (you know what I’m talking about). But can we all agree Orlando is pretty great?

I saw this article on Buzzfeed recently titled “19 Things No One Tells You About Leaving Florida” and wondered, why would anyone want to?

Among those on the list are pools, Publix subs, all-things-Cuban, ducks, and our almost daily mesmerizing Florida sunsets…like the one below I personally captured not too long ago while on a jog on the Orlando Urban Trail.

SunsetWe think these are some pretty compelling reasons to stick around. What would you miss most if you ever left Central Florida…or even Florida altogether?

Florida Mall Loses Nordstrom Department Store

Orlando Business Journal published an article on Thursday facilitating the news that Nordstrom at Florida Mall will be closing. Later next month is the targeted closing.

“…we would need to make a significant investment in this store so that we’re not offering our customers a substandard experience.”

That’s according to Nordstrom’s president of stores.

The full article can be found on a href=”” target=”_blank”>Orlando Business Journal’s website

Are you a Nordstrom customer? Will you miss this location?

Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center Preview

(This post is a guest post from Pulse friend Colleen Burns.)

Dr. Phillips Performing Art Center

It’s coming! Orlando, our backyard is currently being landscaped by some bad-ass people! That’s right, on Nov 6th, the ribbon cutting of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Phase 1, is when our new backyard will be unveiled and everyone can frolic and play amongst the world of arts and culture.

What does that mean? Well I was lucky enough to join the Yelp Orlando Elite Squad ( and get a sneak peak of everything that is going on at 455 South Orange Ave, in the heart of DT Orlando.

photo 7
Now I am sure you are saying, “yeah, yeah, I have heard about it.” I get it, you can go visit the website, walk by in astonishment of the amazing architecture, and read what shows are coming to town… But, let me tell you some things you may not know yet.

- #ArtsForEveryLife ( – check it out, that’s right, this is not just the opera and what you imagine such a high-end performing arts center to be; this is for everyone!

- No stairs walking into this glorious building – that’s right, it’s on everyone’s level. All shows ranging from Classical Opera, Ballet, to a Rock show will all enter in one door and mix and mingle before heading into the actual theaters.

- They used neutral colors all throughout because they want the people to add all of the life and color. (adore this)

- Phase 1
Walt Disney Theater (seats 2,700±)
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater (seats 300±)
– Phase 2
Acoustical Theater (seats 1,700±)

- You may enter and mix and mingle even if you do not have a ticket to a show, enjoy this amazing spot anytime you wish. The goal: come early, stay late, enjoy!

- The front is all glass so everyone driving or walking by can see in and know they are invited.

- The venue itself will include two grand performance theaters, a community theater, outdoor plaza and performance space, rehearsal rooms, banquet space, administrative offices and an educational facility.

– The community theater’s seats are all removable to accommodate various layouts for shows and so there will never be an empty seat in the house.

- The entire site is more than nine acres in size

- Glass railings all throughout so you can see what is happening all around you

- There will be a 300 ft bar on the ground ground floor

- Throughout phase 1 there is 10,000 sq feet of education space – including viewing rooms to the dressing rooms so students can get to experience and dream of their future in theater. Also, when Phase 2 is completed, another 10,000 sq feet of education space will be added, totally 20,000 sq feet of education space total.

photo 5

- The grand staircase, as you enter into the building, is actually an inverted amphitheater going up all 5 flights with brilliant acoustics

- Magnolia will be functional during the day but closed off each evening for valet services.

- From the entrance of the building all the way back to city hall, will be able to host a 20,000 person concert.

- They paid carful attention to the back of house as well so the production staff would also have a positive experience. The loading doc leads right to the back of the largest theater and easily accessible via freight elevator for the community theater.

- There is a catering and liquor license that covers the entire load in area in the back for production staff’s leisure to host BBQs etc. so they do not have to leave the premise.

I don’t know about you but all of these facts blew me away! I am most excited about the casual evenings here to just sit back and enjoy our community. What are you most excited about?

Raglan Road Irish Pub

Raglan Road logoStraight up, I can already tell you I’m pretty much going to be drooling the entire time I’m putting this post together. Not only because the food in the pictures is delish, but because I’m daydreaming back to the day it was sitting right in front of my face. I’m talking about Raglan Road Irish Pub, a strangely authentic, yet tourist-geared Irish restaurant/pub located in Downtown Disney.

I love what the restaurant states on their website:

“There’s only one wee problem with 99.9% of the Irish pubs in America. They’re not Irish. Oh, they use green tablecloths and put dainty shamrocks on the menu – some even say Slainte. But to be a true Irish pub, you need to be from Ireland.”

Pretty much spot on.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the very traditional Irish eating (i.e., “fish & chips”, cabbage, etc.); however, I’ve always had a soft spot–literally–for Shepherd’s Pie (sometimes referred to as Cottage Pie). When I saw this on Raglan Road’s menu, and also upon the strong recommendation of one of my dining companions, the deal was sealed for me. Check it:

Shepherd's Pie I
Shepherd's Pie II
Looks amazing, right? And definitely not the Shepherd’s Pie you know or are familiar with. It was so tasty, the meat almost having a sweet aftertaste. I literally had dreams about this, and would certainly make a special trip out to “that area” simply to have it again.

I honestly can’t even remember what my dinner companions had because I was so focused on my own plate. I believe it was a roast something or other…. But there’s lots to choose from at Raglan. They don’t really have a menu listed on their website but there are a few photos here, which you can check out before making your trip to the Downtown Disney area.

Location deets:

Raglan Road Irish Pub
1640 E Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830



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