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The Breadbox at Universal CityWalk

It’s shocking I was able to come up for air, and refrain from shoving my face full of food…as I’m hear talking about eating once again. But I was able to exercise some self-control for just a couple of minutes; you’re welcome.

I recently took a little trip for lunch to The Breadbox located at Universal CityWalk. I wouldn’t say this is the place for you if you’re on a diet or looking for healthy options; however, it’s good to indulge from time-to-time.

Breadbox

Smokey Brisket Sandwich

Yup. That right up there is why I was having issues coming up for air. And is a good example of the types of offerings you’ll find on The Breadbox menu. A few others are:

– Chicken Salad Sandwich
– Italian Sandwich
– Roast Beef Sandwich
– BLTA Sandwich
– Turkey Grilled Cheese

And when it comes to side options you have the usual offenders: french fries, chips, and salads. Oh, and for dessert there are Twinkies on deck.

Location deets:

The Breadbox
6000 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819


If you’re out at Universal Orlando and needing a quick bite to eat, or just looking for something different to try on the weekend, you should definitely check out The Breadbox.

The Meatball Shoppe in Orlando

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Noms noms noms is all I can say about The Meatball Shoppe. Actually, that’s not true. I can say lots…and it’s all good.

While it’s not necessarily in the most ideal location in town (an area I don’t travel to very often, mainly because it’s not close to where I live), a friend and I had heard fantastic things about this local, family-owned place, so we decided to make the trek and try it out. I mean, it’s a restaurant dedicated entirely to meatballs! I already knew I would be in love.

Sitting as a bookend in a little strip shopping center, the store, candidly, is not the sexiest from the outside, but once customers walk through the front door they’ll find a quaint little dining room with walk-up counter service. No overwhelming personality or atmosphere, but when the food is as good as this place you kinda overlook the lack of other things.

Can I just get on to the food, please?! Now the meatballs are made fresh daily, and there’s a pretty extensive selection on the menu. I’m a big fan of lamb in almost any form, so I opted for the Mediterranean-grass-fed Lamb meatballs (three in total), which were accompanied with Pita Bread and Tzatziki Sauce. They were so good I literally needed just a few minutes alone with myself and them. I still think about them. And to boot, I also had a side of the White Bean Ragout, which was amazing as well. The meatballs were actually served on top of the ragout.

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Smash – On Freshly Baked Ciabatta Roll

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“Nonna’s” Traditional Italian

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White Bean Ragout

Now, my dining partner and I noticed a table sign promoting a Mac and Cheese Explosion Ball so…duh…of course we had to try that. All I can say is a-may-zing! Mac ‘n cheese with meatball baked in? Who wouldn’t love that?

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We had an opportunity to speak with the owner of the restaurant for a few minutes – super nice fella. He’s thinking of opening another location of The Meatball Shoppe sort of closer to where I personally live, which definitely got me excited. No solid plans as of yet but I’m definitely staying tuned to see what progresses.

Interested in checking out the place for yourself? Get a preview by reviewing The Meatball Shoppe’s menu to get an idea of what you’ll want to try. All-in-all I was super fond of this place, and would be willing to take a trip back at any time!

The Strand in Mills 50

I’ve been meaning/wanting to try this place for ages. Friends and folks I’m connected with in Social Media have been raving about it (Kim originally wrote about a year ago; see below), and I decided it was something I couldn’t ignore. So a friend and I made a plan to start out a recent evening here followed by a performance at our new arts center.

The Strand is a local joint, and I always love supporting local. Situated on the tail end of a little shopping strip in one of our “artsy” neighborhoods, I was a bit underwhelmed by the atmosphere when first stepping in. Honestly, though, it grew on me more as I spent more time in the dining area, and I think it takes on more of a personality in the evening after the sun goes down.

When it came to deciding what to order off the menu I kept it plain, simple, and delicious: Pork chop, mashed taters, and green beans. And I must say each was packed full of flavor and left me completely satisfied. Food does always have to be fancy to be enjoyed – just made with love and flavor.

The Strand

I’ll definitely be going back to The Strand for another visit…for five! I’m interested to check out their lunch menu, so that’ll be coming soon.

Original post by Kim:

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

PB&G at Four Seasons Resort

“Enjoy a fun meal in a lively setting on one of the restaurant platforms suspended over the lake.”

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty darn appetizing to me. RIGHT? With that description I give to you PB&G at Four Seasons Resort (Patio Bar & Grill! Clever, eh?

I’ve had a staycation at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando but bypassed PB&G at that particular time. The time I visited was actually a work “field trip” (hey – we had to see what all the fuss was about), on a gorgeous day that really highlighted what this beautiful outdoor dining area has to offer.

Located in the rear of the resort, PB&G sits on and overlooks a beautiful waterway and marsh-like wooded area. Certainly something to be enjoyed on one of our famous sunny Central Florida days. While not terribly extensive, the menu is diverse to say the least. It’s “inspired by the local waters, vegetation and farms of the south” and features items such as shrimp, chicken wings, burgers (with a twist), and fish tacos to name a few. To start, my lunch party and I ordered the eggs with eggs in an egg. Candidly, this was really stepping outside of my food-comfort zone because a) I am not nor have I ever been a fan of deviled eggs (I know, I’m shaming my southern roots at this very moment), b) caviar creeps me out. So I was pretty much setting myself up for disaster from the get-go. But I’ game for trying anything at least once, and turns out they weren’t really so bad…although I doubt I’d ever order them again.

PB&G 1

Eggs with Eggs in an Egg

For my main dish, I opted for one of the specials not on the main menu. I don’t feel a description would be adequate so just take a look:

PB&G 2

Roast special (not always available)

Yup. I tore that s*%t up! And I’d do it all again if given the opportunity.

See more of what PB&G has to offer by viewing their current lunch and children’s menu.

One of four restaurants and three lounges, PB&G offers casual dining options for both lunch and dinner. I will definitely visit the Four Seasons again if not for anything else than to grab a meal here.

Location deets:

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Blvd
Lake Buena Vista
Florida 32836

Eating Thru Orlando

As you’re all well aware, we love food. And Orlando is really coming into its own with regard to interesting, creative places to dine and experience food. So we love this video from our friends over at Visit Orlando!



We’ve undoubtedly asked this from our fans before, but what are some of your most favorite culinary adventures throughout Orlando? It could be a favorite, staple of Central Florida residents, or a hidden gem that we need to know about. Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

STK Orlando Rides Into Orlando

“One thing you can’t do with babies, you can’t give them steak. – Flavor Flav”

Yeah…I pretty much just quoted Flavor Flav. But it seemed appropriate. And another reason babies are…well, let’s just say babies are missing out.

I don’t eat steak too often, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t crave it from time to time. Medium rare, thank you very much. So I was intrigued when I learned that STK, a modern steakhouse mixed with the ambiance of a sleek lounge, will be adding a Central Florida location to their intimate roster of restaurants. Owned by TheONEGroup, “STK offers small, medium and large cuts of meat, as well as naturally raised options and market fresh fish entrees. Aside from steak, signature items include Parmesan Truffle Fries; Lil’ BRGs; Shrimp Rice Krispies; Sweet Corn Pudding; and Jump Lump Crab Salad.” (Description courtesy of TheONEGroup’s website.) By the way…you had me at Parmesan Truffle Fries….

Not too terribly much has been revealed about the arrival of this delicious steakhouse, other than it will reside at The Landing at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), and will open sometime this year. Exact date has yet to be revealed. We’ll surely be dialed in, though, and will share info here as we learn about it.

Here’s a little preview of what we can expect:

Photos courtesy of PR Newswire.


Anyone else looking forward to this?

Tom + Chee Brings Some Flavor to Central Florida

logoA place that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup? SOLD! I’m in. No more details needed. But I’m going to share a few more nonetheless.

Tom + Chee is a gourmet grilled cheese chain (I’m sorry, I just love the sound of that!) originally based out of the Midwest (Ohio), and even made several appearances on the [stressful to me] show Shark Tank, and they’re bringing their delicious flavor to us folk who love to eat in Central Florida.

At the moment there are five (5) locations set to open in the area, the first of which–not surprisingly–is in Lake Buena Vista just near Downtown Disney. It’s currently slated for an April opening. (Other Central Florida locations in possible discussions are Waterford Lakes, the University of Central Florida area, Oviedo, and Altamonte Springs.)

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Grilled Mac + Cheese

Kind of excited about this like I am, based on what you’ve heard so far? Check out the Tom + Chee menu and then head over to give your favorite dish a try later this spring. In case you’re interested, one thing I’m definitely looking forward to trying is the Grilled Mac + Cheese sammy. Yeah, that baby you’re looking at over on the right. Mmmm….

Another thing worth taking a look at are the fancy grilled cheese donuts, which is apparently “a thing” for Tom + Chee. Know what? I ain’t hatin’ it. I mean, the majority of the ones currently featured on the menu are a bit out there fore me, but I’ve got my eye on one or two as potential victims…errr, dining companions?

Wanna hear more or keep up with the Tom + Chee developments in the Central Florida area? Visit TomAndChee.com, Follow the Tom + Chee Twitter, or Like them on Facebook.


Thanks to this article on OBJ.com for originally putting this on our radar.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Dessert

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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!

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):

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(Tostado Nachos via @duffysmvp Instagram.)

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