Friday, December 31, 2010

Waterstone Grill at Aquatica

On the second day of Winter, I decided to celebrate the seasons changing with a trip to Aquatica. Don't know why I thought going to a water park in winter was a good idea (even a Florida winter), but it actually wasn't that bad. Beside the chilled temperatures out of the water, the park turned out to be completely deserted except for British tourists for some reason. The first thing we did after arriving at the park was get some food at a restaurant called Waterstone Grill. After the meal, we did every slide and lazy river at Aquatica in less than an hour. Winter means no lines at water parks...
Since this was Sea World, I figured I had to get Waterstone's Fish Sandwich. The sandwich consisted of fried fish, lettuce, and tomato on a slightly sweet roll. French fries were served on the side. The sandwich tasted good, although the fries were cold. Only real quirk was with the size of the fish. When you enter the restaurant, they have all of their menu offerings on display. The fish sandwich behind the glass had a piece of fish about double the size of the fish I received. Regardless, my sandwich was still plenty to eat.
Another brave swimmer that came along to Aquatica ordered a Southwestern Chicken Wrap. I took a picture...

WaterStone Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cricketers Arms in Orlando, FL

Cricketers Arms Pub
I had dinner at a British pub called Cricketers Arms in Festival Bay on International Drive. I ate at the restaurant years ago, way back when they were in The Mercado Mall at the other end of I-Drive. If I remember correctly, they were one of the last businesses in the Mercado before it was demolished. Cricketers Arms moved and has been at it's current location for a few years now, and I finally returned to give them a try...
Cricketers Arms Pub
I wanted to try the Dubliners Bangers & Mash, featuring Irish sausage instead of English sausage (what's the difference?), but they apparently didn't have the Irish sausages. So that meant I ordered the Cricketers Bangers & Mash. This came with three sausage links topped with caramelized onions and a side of mashed potatoes. The meal was okay, but these were definitely not the best bangers & mash I've had. There was far too much grizzle in the sausages, hitting something hard every few bites. After seeing someone else order the Shepard's Pie, I think that may be a better choice here. It seemed like a bigger portion for a lower price and also came with a salad. Next time I suppose...
Bangers & Mash
Bangers & Mash

Cricketers Arms Pub & Eatery on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Green Lemon Cafe in Winter Park, FL

Green Lemon Cafe
I ate dinner at Green Lemon Cafe in Winter Park. Located in a strip mall anchored by Whole Foods, this little restaurant has a very nice selection of both savory and sweet crepes. Since it was dinner rather than dessert, I had a savory crepe...

Too many of the crepes sounded good, but I decided on the Turkey Brie Crepe. This consisted of a very thin whole wheat crepe filled with sliced Boar's Head turkey, plenty of brie, and sliced apples. The sweet apples, salty turkey, and creamy cheese worked well together making a very nice flavor combination. Also served was a mixed green salad in a balsamic vinaigrette. Overall, I thought my meal was very tasty and have nothing bad to say about the food...
Turkey Brie Crepe

Green Lemon Café on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 24, 2010

East Buffet in Longwood, FL

East Buffet opened in a former Roadhouse Grill in Longwood. The main buffet area is in the center of the restaurant. There's a hibachi grill in the former open kitchen of Roadhouse and a sushi bar was set up towards the back of the restaurant where all the sushi was made for the buffet.
East Buffet
I wasn't impressed by the Chinese parts of the buffet. The selection of food was pretty small compared to other nearby buffets and it didn't seem like there was that great of a turnover. Much of the food looked like it had been out for way too long, and several items had run out and weren't refilled during the duration of my meal. Perhaps the lack of turnover on the Chinese food was because everyone was eating the sushi. East Buffet had the best selection of sushi that I've seen on a buffet around here and it seemed to have a great turnover. There was constantly a crowd picking from the various rolls...
Sushi & Chinese!

East Buffet on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grass Root in Lakeland, FL

I had lunch at an organic vegan restaurant called Grass Root in Lakeland. Located in a little house off Florida Ave, I was interested to see how Lakeland did vegan food...
Grass Root
I ordered their burrito off the raw section of the menu. This burrito was filled with avocado, tomato, onions, and something that resembled a meat-free version of ground beef. It was all wrapped in a romaine lettuce leaf and topped with a vegan creamy sauce and fake parmesan cheese.
Raw Vegan Burrito
The burrito was tasty enough, but it wasn't the best value in my opinion. Many cheaper sandwiches on the menu came with sides, but yet this burrito that cost almost $10 was served looking lonely on a big plate. Perhaps I would have loved this place if I was vegan, but as an omnivore, I wasn't too impressed. There was too much focus on the menu about making non-meat food taste like and resemble meat. I've been to vegan restaurants that don't try to make their food something it's not, and some of them have awesome food. Unfortunately, Grass Root wasn't one of these. Food was okay for what it was, but not worth going out of my way to return for...

Grass Root Organic Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pollo Campero in Downtown Disney

Pollo Campero
Pollo Campero is a new fast food restaurant that opened in Downtown Disney, replacing McDonald's. Anything is better than a McDonald's in my opinion, even if it's another fast food restaurant (which is very similar to Pollo Tropical). A few weeks after they opened, I found myself in Downtown Disney to try Pollo Campero's Latin-American style chicken...
Pollo Campero Sides
On my visit, we ordered the Citrus Grilled Chicken family meal. This came with four 1/4 pieces of chicken (basically a whole chicken) and a large side of black beans & rice. Also included were several corn tortillas.
Grilled Chicken Family Meal
Pollo Campero Beans and Rice
I liked the food here. The chicken had plenty of flavor, as did everything else I tasted. Pretty good for fast food!
Pollo Campero Chicken

Pollo Campero on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nha Trang in Orlando, FL

When the recent Orlando Weekly article on the Vietnamese sandwiches called banh mi was published, I decided it had been far too long since I had eaten any sort of Vietnamese food. The next thing I knew, I found myself at Banh Mi Nha Trang in Orlando's Mills-50 District.

The banh mi is this restaurant's specialty. For $2.50, you get a large sandwich that's ingeniously packaged. With it's paper and plastic bag secured with a rubber band (and pepper), it keeps the banh mi held together while collecting any juices that might drip out. All sandwiches should be packed like this.
The banh mi came on a toasted baguette with a very nice crust. Roast pork, cucumber, cilantro, onions, various pickled vegetables, mayonnaise, and fish sauce filled the sandwich. There was potentially a few more banh mi fillings that I couldn't quite identify, and I'm not going to try. All I know is that this was a delicious sandwich!

I'm going to make a point to try some more of Orlando's banh mi. These sandwiches are really good, and are perhaps some of the best food values in town...

Banh Mi Nha Trang on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Food Aboard the Grandeur of the Seas

I already put up lots of fancy food pictures from the Great Gatsby Dining Room aboard the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas from last August. Since I have pictures of more cruise food aboard the ship, I figured why not do another post on it!

The ship had a buffet called The Windjammer. I enjoyed the breakfasts here. You can't go wrong with a buffet with smoked salmon on it.
Smoked Salmon & Cottage Cheese!
Lunch and dinner here wasn't as good. Except for the day when they had all sorts of Asian foods, the majority of the food was mediocre. Many times, they served variations of what was being served in the dining room without the fancy presentation.
Soup & Shellfish
Asian Buffet Foods
The Grandeur of the Seas was sort of disappointing when it came to late night foods. Other ships that I've been on have 24 hour snack bars that have pretty good food. This ship had a single snack bar that had very limited hours and a very limited menu. The choices here consisted of frozen pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, or fries...
Grandeur of the Seas Snackbar Food
Grandeur of the Seas Pizza
The midnight buffet aboard the Grandeur had all the fun stuff like ice sculptures and carved watermelons. The sandwiches, cheeses, and desserts were good, but the rest of the food was seemed to come from a supermarket's frozen food section. Bagel pizzas, bad burritos, beef pattys...

Midnight Buffet

Rabbit Sandwiches
Midnight Buffet Foods
Midnight Dessert Buffet
Midnight Dessert

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great Gatsby Dining Room on the Grandeur of the Seas

Back in August, I went on a cruise on the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas. The trip provided some opportunities for short food adventures in Key West and Cozumel, but let's not forget the food on the ship. The Great Gatsby Dining Room was the main restaurant on the boat and I enjoyed the food here for the most part. Some dishes were really good, others not so much. For mass produced meals feeding about 1,000 people at a time, overall I thought the food was pretty good.

Day 1 Dinner: The first dinner in the dining room of the trip. I started with a smoked fish tapenade appetizer
Smoked Fish Tapenade
My main course was a Potato and Cauliflower Curry, served with rice, roti, and a yogurt sauce. I wasn't expecting Indian food on a cruise ship, and it was really tasty! They had a variation on this dish every night as a vegetarian option.
Potato Curry
Fruit Dessert

Day 2 Dinner: Started with an appetizer of Escargot. How can anyone not like these little gastropods soaked in butter and parmesan cheese? This was not the only plate of snails I ate on the trip...
Escargot #1
I also had a bowl of Oxtail Soup.
Oxtail Soup
My main course was Shrimp Ravioli. This was my least favorite dinner on the cruise. It didn't necessarily taste bad, but it reminded me too much of something that could be bought in a supermarket's frozen food section...
Shrimp Ravioli
Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert...
Strawberry Cheesecake

Day 3 Dinner: Roasted Garlic Soup came first.Roasted Garlic Soup
I also had Scallop Risotto for an appetizer. Very tasty with huge scallops.
Scallop risotto
The Garlic Tiger Shrimp were served over rice with assorted vegetables.
Tiger Shrimp
Chocolate cake for dessert.
Chocolate Cake

Day 4 Breakfast: The forth day of the cruise was the boring day at sea where there's no stopping in any port, so the entire day pretty much consists of moving from restaurant to restaurant to fill time. I ate breakfast in the Great Gatsby Dining Room rather than the buffet for the first time on the trip. Luckily, I was traveling with a large enough group to fill up a whole table in the restaurant for dinner. Because of this, the awkwardness of being seated with other random people on the ship was avoided for the most part, with the exception of this meal. I had the Smoked Salmon Benedict. Lox and runny eggs were served on an English muffin, topped with hollandaise sauce and asparagus. Hash browns were served on the side.
smoked salmon Benedict

Day 4 Lunch: I also did lunch in the Great Gatsby Dining Room. They had a very nice salad bar set up where you selected your ingredients and a chef tossed the salad. I ended up with lots of fresh mozzarella and thinly sliced prosciutto in my salad.
Grandeur of the Seas - 8-7-10 - Great Gatsby - lunch salad
They had a Greek Salad on the menu topped with Octopus salad. It sounded good, so I ordered a side of the marinated octopus. A little chewy, but still tasty.
Squid Salad
And here's a lamb sandwich. Tasted just like pulled pork on a pita to me.

Day 4 Dinner: Caesar salad...
Caesar Salad
Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp & Mahi Mahi Tempura
Mahi & Shrimp Tempura
a slice of Key Lime Pie for dessert.
Key Lime Pie
And that's it for the pictures of my fancy cruise food. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise food. I thought the majority of the food was good, although some of my fellow travelers disagreed. It was definitely better than the dining room food on the Carnival ship I traveled on a few years ago...


LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs