Author Archives | Ashley K. Edwards

Strike Outs Bowling at Fashion Square Mall

Fashion Square Mall is really, really trying to step up its game. And quite honestly I’m really happy to see it (the whole area could use a breath of fresh air) – although I still question what the end result will be. We already know there are plans for an Element by Westin hotel to be added into the mix of shopping and dining, and now Strike Outs–a bowling and game facility–has just opened. Check out their Facebook Page:

Not personally my cup of tea but 1) I wouldn’t mind checking things out at some point and 2) I imagine this bowling/movie package would be quite appealing to a family looking to do something fun together one evening or on the weekend.

Fashion Square bowling

You can keep up with future developments on the Fashion Square Mall website or by Liking them on Facebook.

What do you think? Excited about all of the new development in this part of Central Florida?

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….

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

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


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