Author Archives | Kim Taylor

Jazz Tastings in Maitland

Tucked on the side of a little plaza near Lake Lily in Maitland is the unassuming restaurant/bar Jazz Tastings. I heard about it from a few friends who wanted to check it out, but none had ever been.

Not knowing really what to expect, we opted not to eat dinner there, even though I read on Yelp and their site that they offer a number of delicious food options. Instead, we decided to head there for a few drinks. Jazz Tastings is an intimate space and not at all what I was expecting. It was every bit the sophisticated, relaxing atmosphere they promote it to be.

The room is long and narrow, but has a good amount of seating and a small L-shaped bar near the kitchen. While the smaller size of the place might seem like a negative, it’s truly the opposite because you’re that much closer to the stage.

jazztastings

Speaking of the stage, the whole point of the bar is to showcase phenomenal Jazz talent, and boy have they succeeded. We were there on a Friday night and the performers were ridiculously good. I was really blown away by the vibe of the place, how into it the audience was and just how well it all just “worked.”

Jazz Tastings is open six days a week, so you have no excuse not to check it out!

Olea Mezze Grill

After weeks (maybe months?) of driving past Olea Mezze Grill in Maitland, I finally decided to stop in and check it out. It’s in the same plaza as one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, Francesco’s, so I figured why not.

First of all, Olea is not at all what I was expecting. Not sure why, but I assumed this was a sit-down-and-be-served kinda place. It’s not. It’s more of a walk-through-the-line-like-Chipotle kinda place.  This was completely fine with me, and exactly what I like in a lunch/easy dinner place.

Basically, you go through the line and select the type of meal you want:  pita, bowl or salad.  Then you add spreads (GET THE ZESTY FETA, TRUST ME), protein (chicken, falafel, gyro or meatball), toppings and dressing.  There are so many possible options and combinations, each seems as delicious as the next.

I dare you to look at this and not drool:

olea

 

Olea was super-clean, the staff was lovely, and the price was right.  That delicious, fresh lunch was $7.99 + tax.  How can you go wrong? (Hint: you can’t.)

Go support this locally owned business so I can get Zesty Feta spread for life.

 

 

Out and About: Tagged

Um, I’d have to disagree …

tag

Out and About: Tagged

Well, okay then.

wanker

Trader Joe’s Opening Date Announced!

Trader Joe's

Exciting news … Trader Joe’s announced it will open its new Winter Park store June 27!

Two-buck Chuck, here we come!

Read the full story over at the Orlando Business Journal.

Bike to Work with Buddy

BiketoWorkSilder

Leave your car at home May 9, and bike to work along the Orlando Urban Trail!

The Strand

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

An Tobar Re-opening

An TobarIt was a sad day in 2005 when local Irish bar, An Tobar, closed at the Sheraton Orlando North in Maitland.

I’ve never been a huge fan of hotel bars and can’t imagine seeking one out unless I’m staying on-property. An Tobar was different … authentic, even.  Maybe that’s because, as the story goes, the whole bar was shipped piece by piece from Ireland.  Whatever it was, the place always had a good vibe, a good crowd and it was a staple for Happy Hour.

So, when a friend recently mentioned Tobar (as the regulars call it) was re-opening, a feeling of joyous nostalgia washed over me like a pint of freshly tapped Guinness.

Tobar’s re-opening next Friday (March 14) just in time for St. Patty’s Day!

See you there!

New Ikea Service

ikeaWe’re not a shopping blog, but once in a while we hear a tip worth passing along.

Did you know Ikea Orlando offers In-Store Picking?  This is the perfect service for those of us (me) who get a tiny (read: a lot!) of anxiety at the very thought of winding through the retail maze at Ikea.

For $40 you make your list with an Ikea employee, pay for your items and the service, and then the employee does all the shopping for you!  No more fighting the crowds, no more trying to figure out if you got both boxes for your new Hemnes bed, it’s all done for you while you wait.  And, if you’re smart, you’ll use that waiting time to get one of those $1 ice cream cones they sell.

Would you take advantage of this service?  I might pass if I was just going in for something small, but I can see the value on those days when you’re planning to re-do an entire room.

Big News from Will’s Pub

wills Will’s Pub, aka Will’s on Mills, announced some awesome news for those who wish not to spend their weekly salary on a dry cleaning bill.

They are now NON-SMOKING!

Will’s is such a great little bar, with an awesome draft beer selection and tons of great live music–this news is the icing on the venue’s cake!

Way to go, Will’s!

 

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