Monday, August 8, 2016

Shake Shack (International Drive) in Orlando, FL - New Summer Menu

Shake Shack recently launched several new summer menu items. This blog was invited to attend a Blogger Meet-Up at Shake Shack's International Drive location to sample the new foods. The following is some of the food highlights from their new summer menu:

Bacon CheddarShack Burger & Fries:

Chick'n Stack: Crispy chicken breast with lettuce, pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo.

Raspberry Lemonade:

Shack Sandy: A blend of Shake Shack's ShackMeister Ale and Shack-made Lemonade.
Chocolate Cookies & Cream Shake: Chocolate frozen custard blended with chocolate cookie Crumbles and topped with whipped cream.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Miss Vi's Cook-Up in Orlando, FL

I tried food from Miss Vi's Cook-Up a few weeks ago during the Orlando Fringe Festival. They were set up in Loch Haven Park as one of the festival's food vendors serving Caribbean foods. Of the nearby vendors in the area, Miss Vi's food smelled the most delicious making my decision to eat there easy.
I tried the Oxtail. The meat was stewed with carrots and served over rice & peas. Cabbage was served on the side. The oxtail was nice and tender, with the meat easily falling right off the bone. The jerk sauce had a very nice flavor with added to the rice below.
I did enjoy the oxtail. It was a little messy to eat with the bones in a festival environment, but it was otherwise delicious!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Creative Arts Cafe in Lake Helen, FL

I had breakfast at a restaurant in Lake Helen called Creative Arts Cafe. The building was apparently some kind of youth art/theater school at some point, but was converted into a restaurant when that wasn't successful.
I had the Ultimate Greek Breakfast. It was scrambled eggs with ham, feta, tomatoes, and peppers. It was pretty tasty, although the cubes of feta on top of the eggs were half melted and had a very non-feta look to them. Hashed browns were served on as a side. They looked well seasoned but needed salt.
My food at Creative Arts Cafe was good enough. Not the best breakfast I've ever had, nor was it the worst. 

Creative Arts Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, June 17, 2016

D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs

D-Luxe Burger is one of the restaurants which recently opened in the new Town Center section of Disney Springs. The restaurant's theming was seemed to be modeled off a Florida cattle ranch, located alongside the new spring that has suddenly started to bubble up in what used to be a Downtown Disney parking lot.
The menu reminded me of a Shake Shack or a BurgerFi in both format and choices. I ordered the El Diablo Burger. The menu described this as a chorizo-and-signature blend patty, fried banana peppers, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayonnaise. A small box of fries was also ordered.
The chorizo did add a bit more flavor that isn't generally found in a plain beef burger. The meat itself didn't provide much spice, nor did the fried peppers, but the chipotle mayonnaise did have a nice kick. The main issue I had was with the burgers being served vertically. Gravity pulled all of the sauce down. This resulted in a sandwich where the top end was dry and bland. The bottom end had plenty of the tasty sauce, but was also really soggy with all the sauce pooling downwards.
Overall, the burger at D-Luxe was good enough. I wouldn't call myself a burger expert (I don't understand the gourmet burger trend that seems to be going on right now), but the burger here had more taste than just plain, bland ground beef and ketchup, so that's a good thing. They would have been better if the burgers were served flat though...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Indian Hut in Orlando, FL

I recently discovered an Indian fast food/take out restaurant in Orlando at the intersection of Conroy and Kirkman called Indian Hut. Indian food after lunch buffets are finished for the day gets pricy in Orlando, so Indian Hut's affordable prices were refreshing. The place is set up similar to a Chinese take-out where you order at a counter then find a table to eat. Better than most take out places, they serve the food here on real plates.

I tried the Chicken Vindaloo on my first visit with a side of naan. Pretty tasty. The vindaloo wasn't as spicy as I've had elsewhere, but was just about right for my tastes.
I had the Masala Dosa on another visit. This huge pancake was filled with a potato filling, served with three different sauces.
I have enjoyed my visits to Indian Hut so far and I'll most likely return again. Fast food Indian food is a good thing!

Indian Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dunkin' Donuts Tasting Event

On the June 2nd, 2016 I got to go to a special Dunkin’ Donuts tasting event. It was the day before National Donut Day! I sampled their newest breakfast sandwiches, coffees, teas, Coolattas, and of course Donuts!
The Heath Bar iced coffee, the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Sandwich and the Blueberry Cobbler Croissant Donut were my favorites! 

The Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Sandwich had an amazing blend of sweet and peppery. I’m usually not a fan of croissant sandwiches but this was still very good. I also learned that you can get your sandwiches put on any kind of bagels, pastries or donuts! 
I am a huge regular coffee fan. I was a little skeptical with the Almond Joy and Heath bar iced coffee, but both were good. The Heath bar was something I enjoyed more. It had a mocha coffee taste.
The Caramel Latte Square and Blueberry Croissant are the new donuts in town. Both were very good. The Caramel Latte Square was infused with real coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts Croissant donuts are my go to donut from Dunkin’. It has 24 layers and is so fluffy and moist.
Dunkin’ Donuts newest Coolatta flavors include Sour Apple, Blue Raspberry, and Watermelon. These drinks are popular with Millennials. These were a little too sweet for my tastes.
After all the tasting was done. We made Munchkin Trifles! We layered Dunkin’ Donuts Chocolate Munchkins, whipped cream, candy, and chocolate pudding! This would be fun to make at a kids party!

Overall, I am totally a fan of Dunkin’ Donuts. They have something for any taste palette to enjoy whether you are coffee drinker or not!

]I am all about fitness and finding balance of living a healthy lifestyle and loving sweet foods! You can follow me on Instagram: Sienafit. I am writing a guest blog post for Watch Me Eat!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Boston Coffeehouse in Deland, FL

Boston Coffeehouse divides people. I know certain people who love Boston Coffeehouse while other people claim it's the most horrible coffee/food they've had. I recently visited the Boston Coffeehouse in Downtown Deland. Not horrible, but not great either.

I ordered the half sandwich/half soup. For the sandwich, I had the Cambridge Croissant. The croissant was filled with sliced turkey, spinach, provolone, tomato, and creamy avocado spread. It was a very basic sandwich with nothing too exciting going on, but it was tasty enough. For the soup, I had corn chowder.
I also ordered a Frozen Hot Chocolate. Frozen hot chocolates confuse me. There is the contradiction in the name. Something cannot be frozen and hot. Wouldn't this drink be more like an icy chocolate milk than a hot chocolate? Regardless, the drink was good. Like I said, it tasted like an icy version of chocolate milk, topped with whipped creme and chocolate syrup.

Boston Coffeehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, May 19, 2016

San Antonio Food: Casa Rio and Mangonadas

After a few days in Austin, I headed south in Texas to San Antonio for a day. Everyone who I spoke to in Austin told me I'd be terribly disappointed with the city and not to waste my time with the two hour drive to San Antonio. I'm not sure why San Antonio has a horrible reputation among Austin residents, but I throughly enjoyed my day exploring the city. I toured Spanish missions, I rented a bike and rode along the San Antonio river. When it was dinner time, I found myself in the San Antonio River Walk section of downtown. I took the canal tour boat ride and had a restaurant called Casa Rio pointed out...

Casa Rio:

Casa Rio is the oldest restaurant along the San Antonio River Walk. That little factoid made me decide to have dinner there. I ate outside along the river where there were nice views of passing boats, people strolling, and a gang of attack ducks that were going up to tables then biting diners if they weren't fed. It was very entertaining.
I ordered the Deluxe Dinner. This came with a cheese enchilada, tamale, crispy beef taco, chili con carne, chili con queso, mexican rice, refried beans, and a guacamole salad. It sounds like a lot of food, but I didn't realize how much it actually was until food started being delivered to my table. I got a basket of chips and salsa first. This was soon followed by the guacamole salad. Their guacamole salad was shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes topped with a big scoop of guacamole. Tortilla chips covered in queso also came out with the salad.
The plate with the rest of the food soon followed. Standout items on the plate were the the tamale and the chili con carne. As with many Mexican restaurants, everything else was pretty standard and tasty enough.
At $11.25, all this food was pretty reasonable. Nice environment and good food. I'd return to Casa Rio.

Casa Rio Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cathedral of San Fernando Food Stand:
Later that evening I went to the Cathedral of San Fernando where they had a projection mapped light show on the outside of the building. In the park outside the cathedral, there were a few food trucks and a couple permanent food stands feeding the tourists.

One of the permanent food stands had an interesting menu. They had corn in a cup, mangonadas, and funnel cakes. I had never heard of a mangonada before, so I decided to give it a try.
It turned out a mangonada was basically a Mexican version of an Italian ice. I had a mix of strawberry and lime. It was served in a large cup. The mangonada was sweet and refreshing!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Austin Food #4: (Kolache Shoppe, Naegelin's Bakery, and Der Lindenbaum)

This is the last of the foods I tried in the Austin area on this trip. You can read about some of my previous Austin food adventures here. Today's blog post is pretty much about German/Eastern European foods. I didn't realize before my visit, but Texas was settled by a lot of German immigrants that brought foods over from Europe. This blog post is talking about some of these foods. We are starting at Kolache Shoppe...

Kolache Shoppe (Austin, TX):

I became aware of a kolache when I was at a Four Rivers and noticed they had kolaches available on their menu on Saturday mornings at breakfast time. I never got around to visiting a Four Rivers early enough to try a kolache, but I found out that they are a sweet or savory pastry popular in parts of Texas.  When I went to Austin, I put trying a kolache on my list of regional foods to eat. Google told me the closest place to where I was staying with the highest reviews was called Kolache Shoppe. They were located in a old looking strip mall in the suburbs of the city.
I decided to try a sweet and savory kolache and ordered a blueberry and a jalepeno sausage. The kolaches were interesting, but not exactly what I was expecting. The bread that made up most of the kolache reminded me a whole lot of a King's Hawaiian Roll. It was mushy, slightly sweet white bread. The blueberry kolache had a pool of blueberry jam baked into an indentation on the top of the bread.
The jalepeno sausage kolache was sort of like a pig in a blanket. The sausage was baked into the bread. For some reason this one caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting to see a whole sausage in the kolache. I was thinking crumbled sausage for some reason.
I was a bit disappointed with my first kolache experience. I was expecting some sort of delicious pastry and ended up with dinner rolls...

Naegelin's Bakery (New Braunfels, TX):

I ventured a bit outside of Austin and found myself in the town of New Braunfels, TX. This town was founded by German immigrants and still had lots of German influences around the city. There were German restaurants, a beer garden, and German desserts from the oldest bakery in Texas. I went into Naegelin's Bakery and saw they also served kolaches. Since I wasn't impressed with my first kolache experience in the state, I figured I'd see how a place that had been around since 1868 made them.
Naegelin's Bakery had several varieties available. Not nearly as many as Kolache Shoppe had, but still plenty to choose from. I asked the woman taking my order what her favorites were and she recommended the bratwurst and the breakfast sausage.
These kolaches were different from what Kolache Shoppe served. These were also similar to pigs in blankets, but the bread was much denser with a yellowish dough. Out of my two kolache experiences, these were far superior to the mushy white bread that I had the first time, but I still can't say I'm sold on kolaches. These were tasty enough, but I think I would have much rather have had some other sort of German desserts which Naegelin's Bakery sold.
I've since been told I should have also tried a chain called Kolache Factory for good kolaches. They initially came up on my first search for nearby kolaches in Austin, but they had an average 1.5 star review so I passed. Next time I'm in Texas, perhaps I should attempt to find a Kolache Factory for a third kolache data point. I wonder if their kolaches would be different from what I tried as well?

Naegelin's Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Der Lindenbaum (Fredericksburg, TX):

Fredericksburg, TX was another town nearby Austin that I visited during my trip. Like New Braunfels, there was also a whole lot of German influence here. Because of this, I decided I should have German food for dinner. I ended up at a restaurant called Der Lindenbaum.

I ordered the Currywurst. I don't think I had ever tried currywurst. It came with two sausage links with a large bowl of curry sauce. Mashed potatoes and sauerkraut came as sides. The thick, slightly sweet and slighty spicy curry sauce was delicious. It was definitely better than the sausages themselves and made its way onto the potatoes as to topping. The sauerkraut was really good too. It had fennel seeds, along with other flavors tasting like dill and lemon. I would have eaten a whole plate of the sauerkraut alone!

Der Lindenbaum Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, May 13, 2016

Austin Food #3: Brunch Haus, Threadgills, and Amy's Ice Cream

Continuing with food from my trip to Austin, we have some more restaurants which I tried. There's no breakfast tacos or barbecue in this post...

Brunch Haus:

I had breakfast one morning during my trip to Austin at a food truck park called Barton Spring Picnic. There were several trucks here, all centered around a central covered seating area. Of the trucks here, not too many were open for breakfast. There was a large number of people sitting here though, who apparently got there a couple hours early to wait for trucks to open for lunch. I noticed people like waiting for food in Austin.
The truck I ended up trying was called Brunch Haus. It didn't seem busy, but it took a good half hour to get my food. More of people not minding the waits for food in Austin.
I had their Stuffed French Toast. I hardly ever eat French toast, but they made this toast sound tasty. It was a thick slice of challah bread served in a cardamom-infused heavy cream stuffed with a strawberry jam, basil, and mint mascarpone filling. The whole thing was topped with syrup, powdered sugar, and sliced strawberries. The toast was really sweet, more like a dessert than a breakfast, but I enjoyed it!
Brunch Haus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


I ended up at Threadgill's for dinner one evening. I liked this place. They served southern food and like Stubb's Bar-B-Que talked about previously, are known for live music. Apparently Janis Joplin played at Threadgill's frequently. I had their blackened catfish, served with scalloped potatoes and stewed okra & tomatoes. The catfish had nice spice in the blackening and both sides were delicious. I was there with a large group of people and they handled the crowd very nicely.
Threadgill's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Amy's Ice Cream:

This is a chain of ice cream shops that I saw all over Austin. I visited their location in SoCo. I had two scoops, one coconut and one Mexican vanilla. It was okay. Nothing worth going out of my way to get again. I still don't know the difference between their Mexican vanilla and regular vanilla. The person taking my order couldn't answer what differentiated the two...
Amy's Ice Creams Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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