Friday, April 30, 2010

Little Caesars in Altamonte Springs, FL

According to Wikipedia:
The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martiae) is the name of March 15 in the Roman calendar. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months.[1] The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 709 AUC or 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators.
After receiving a $10 gift card, I picked up a pizza from the Little Caesars in Altamonte Springs. It wasn't until after getting home that I realized that I was eating pizza from a fast food restaurant named after a Roman emperor on March 15, the Ides of March, or the anniversary of Caesar's death. Coincidence is pretty awesome sometimes.
I ordered a $9 Vegetarian Pizza. They said it would take about ten minutes to make, but the people in the back claimed the cashier never told them to make the pizza (she did), so it was a bit longer. They gave an order of their Crazy Bread as an apology...
This was my first time ever eating pizza from a Little Caesars. I tend to avoid the big pizza chains, so a Little Caesars isn't someplace I would normally visit without the incentive of using a gift card.
Comparing this pie to what the other pizza chains serve, Little Caesars was better than Pizza Hut, but not as good as Papa Johns. Haven't tried Dominos new recipe yet, so I can't compare to them.

The Vegetarian Pizza was topped with onions, green peppers, black olives, and sliced tomatoes.
The pizza was okay for what it was, but there is no comparing a chain pizza like this to a pie from an independent pizzeria serving good NY style pizza. I wasn't expecting much from the pizza, and it was slightly better than my low expectations. I don't think I'll be getting another pizza from Little Caesars again anytime soon unless they entice with more free gift cards...

Little Caesars on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 29, 2010

2 Years...

Today is the two year anniversary of when I started this blog. And it's still going.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Raphsodic Cooperative Company in Orlando, FL

Vegan Wasabi Almond Brownie
I visited a vegan bakery in Orlando on 17-92 called Raphsodic Cooperative Company. I had a Wasabi Almond Brownie. It tasted a lot like a normal brownie with the wasabi flavor kicking in as an aftertaste. It wasn't noticeable that this was dairy free. Pretty good...

Raphsodic Cooperative Company on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 26, 2010

Race the Lakes 10k Food

On Saturday, May 24, I ran in the Race the Lakes 10k in Lakeland, FL. It was fun (although paying to run, even if part of the money goes to a good cause, seems so silly to me). The race started in front of Lake Mirror, proceeded through downtown, around Lake Morton, through some neighborhoods filled with lots of old historic mansions, around Lake Hollingsworth, and then returned to the start at Lake Mirror. After the run, it was time for the post-race food.

They had water bottles printed up specifically for the race. I wonder how much of the $20 registration fee went to printing custom waters? Behind the bottle is a view of Lake Mirror and Downtown Lakeland. The stone arches on the far side of the lake is main entrance to Lakeland's underground tunnels that run under downtown. I'd love to see inside these long closed tunnels...
Customized Water
I normally stick to water, but I picked up a bottle of orange Gatorade. I felt like I needed to brush my teeth after...
Post Race Gatorade
They had boxes of bananas, Fuji apples, and Gala apples.
Race the Lakes Fruit
Fuji apples are one of my favorites, and I'm normally fine with bananas. For some reason though, bananas always taste horrible after I run.
Cookies aren't exactly the healthy post-race food that I would expect, but these oatmeal raisin and lemon coconut cookies were pretty good.
Oatmeal Rasin & Lemon Coconut
Overall, Race the Lakes had better post-race food than some of the other races I've run in...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy in Lakeland, FL

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy
I had lunch at Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy in Lakeland. The interior of the restaurant was set up to look like an outdoor courtyard.
Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy
I had the Enchilada and Taco combination from the lunch menu. I had my choice of fillings in each and picked an avocado enchilada and chicken taco. The avocado in the enchilada was actually a really smooth guacamole. Sort of reminded me of the guacamole from Taco Bell, but it was still tasty. No complaints about the taco. The combination also came served with refried beans and rice.
Tacos & Enchiladas
Abuelo's was pretty good for a chain Mexican restaurant. I'd place them above other chains like Chevy's or Don Pablos.

Abuelos Mexican Embassy on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Fresh on the Fly in Lake Mary, FL

I ate dinner at a new seafood restaurant in Lake Mary called Fresh on the Fly. Their menu was somewhat limited with almost only sandwiches and salads. There was nothing that could be considered a seafood dinner, but I personally had no problems with the menu. The menu also shared that Fresh on the Fly only uses sustainable wild-caught fish, grass fed beef, and hormone free chicken.
Fresh on the Fly
I had the On the Fly Fish Tacos. The two tacos were filled with blackened mahi mahi, lettuce, pineapple salsa, and mango sour cream. These were very tasty tacos and only cost $5. Not bad, considering I've had similar tacos that weren't nearly as good at nearby restaurants for double the price.
Fresh on the Fly Fish Tacos
One final thought about Fresh on the Fly. Their sign is really hard to read from Lake Mary Blvd. I had no problem seeing Fresh, but the rest of the sign is too small and jumbled to decipher from a distance. I probably would have eaten here sooner if I would have been able figure out what this place was from their sign.

Fresh on the Fly on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stavro's and Sons in Eustis, FL

I had a late dinner at Stavro's and Sons in Eustis, FL.
Stavro's and Sons
The meal started out with some garlic bread and a Greek salad with shredded lettuce, onions, ham, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and a pepperoncini. Ham doesn't typically come in Greek salads, so that was somewhat surprising.
Stavro's and Sons Greek Salad
For my meal, I ordered the Cannelloni Florentine. As described on the menu, this consisted of large tubular noodles filled with spinach, cheese, and veal. Differing from the menu, the cannelloni I received also had carrots mixed into the filling. I didn't see any of veal in the noodles, but the cannelloni was served in a meat sauce, so perhaps that's where the veal was. Even though the cannelloni was served slightly differently from how described, it was still really tasty. For $8.95, it wasn't a bad deal considering a plate of spaghetti with meatballs was $9.25 when cannelloni is definitely more labor intensive to make.
cannelloni florentine
When paying, we spotted the dessert case filled with cannolis and decided to get one to go. The shell wasn't the typical crispy cannoli shell and was instead more light and flaky. The custard filling was topped with chocolate shavings on each end and was really good!
Stavros & Sons of Eustis on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 16, 2010

Little Saigon in Orlando, FL

I ate dinner at Little Saigon in Orlando's Mills 50 District (or Colonialtown, Viettown, Little Vietnam, or whatever else the neighborhood is known as). Little Saigon has won all sorts of awards, including best Vietnamese in this year's Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards. As the sign in front of Little Saigon said, they are "One of America's Top Rated Restaurants."
The meal started with a Summer Roll appetizer. These rolls filled with pork, shrimp, vegetables, and noodles were tasty, but they were also very skinny compared to the Summer Rolls from the neighboring restaurants.

I had the Hu Tieu Thap Cam. It was a soup filled with roasted pork, shrimp, krab, scallions, cilantro, and clear rice noodles in a broth. A plate of bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, basil, and lime was served on the side to be added to the soup. It was really tasty and was a whole lot of food, all for $6.50!
Of the Vietnamese restaurants I've visited in Orlando, Little Saigon appeared to be the fanciest. The restaurant itself had the nicest interior, but as far as the food goes, Little Saigon wouldn't get my pick as the best in Orlando. The food was good, but little things like the skinny summer rolls and a somewhat stingy portion of vegetables for the soup make me think of some of the neighboring restaurants that serve equally tasty food and are pretty generous with the portions. Good, but not the best...

Little Saigon on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pipo's Cafe in Lakeland, FL

I ate lunch at a Cuban restaurant in Downtown Lakeland called Pipo's Cafe.Pipo's Original Cuban Cafe
I ordered their lunch special that included a half sandwich, rice and beans, plantain chips, and iced tea. For my sandwich, I chose a classic Cuban sandwich, or the Cuban "The Real Deal" as they called it. In addition to the normal roast pork and ham, there was salami and mortadella on this Cuban sandwich. The pork was topped with cheese, pickles, and mustard, and then pressed. The sandwich was a little dry, but was still pretty good.
Pipo's Lunch Combo
I got the impression that Pipo's Cafe was part of a large, franchised chain from the way it looked on the inside. After checking for other locations on their website, it turned out they are a local chain and aren't that big with only four stores in the Tampa area. Interesting...

Pipo's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 12, 2010

Logan's Roadhouse in Sanford, FL

I had dinner at Logan's Roadhouse in Sanford. I ordered the Mesquite Wood-Grilled Salmon and picked a Caesar salad and mashed potatoes as my sides.
Logan's Roadhouse Salmon
The salmon was good, especially with the garlic-dill sauce served on the side. I'm not exactly sure what was in that sauce, but it was one of the best sauces I've had with seafood in a long time!

Logan's Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spice Cove in NY

Back in July of 2007, I visited Manhattan's Curry Row for some Indian food. This neighborhood is lined with Indian restaurants, each one with someone standing outside, competing with one another for you to come eat at their store. It sounded like walking down a carnival midway past the games, only dealing with food. On this visit, a restaurant called Spice Cove won my business.
Spice Cove
Spice Cove offered a dinner special that included an appetizer, soup, and a main course for a really good price, so I went with that. Red Lentil soup was served first. It was really good, and the deep red color of the soup was great. I've never come across another lentil soup that color.
Spice Cove Lentil Soup
Next, the vegetable samosa appetizer was served. Yummy!
Spice Cove Samosa
For the main course, I ordered Chicken Vindaloo. While I love spicy food, this dish was a bit extreme. The chicken seemed to be a variation on curry chicken, served over rice, but I could not handle the heat of the dish. I probably drank more water during the meal than what I actually ate. I did enjoy it, but after the meal wasn't as fun when I had to find a bathroom in the city at midnight to get rid of all of the liquid I drank to counter the spicy. Thank goodness there are Starbucks on every corner...
Spice Cove Chicken Tikka

Spice Cove on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vámonos in Lake Mary, FL

I picked up some takeout from Vámonos in the Colonial Town Center in Heathrow. Vámonos is a new fast food Mexican restaurant that is attempting to follow the Chipotle/Qdoba/Moe's restaurant model. The menu initially looked good with nice selection of meats to choose from, but it turned out Vámonos only had three of the eight meats available. I know nothing about running a restaurant, but I imagine it's probably not a good sign if you don't have the majority of the menu at dinnertime.
I brought home a vegetarian platter for someone else, consisting of rice, beans, pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, and a side of corn tortillas. I didn't taste it, but I didn't hear any complaints about it either.
I got a chicken burrito for myself. The tortilla was filled with shredded chicken, black beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and a spicy salsa.
I also wanted the grilled fajita style peppers and onions on my burrito as well. Turned out Vámonos was out of these too. There was no offer to heat up some fresh veggies...
Vámonos had a tasty burrito, but as a whole, the restaurant was out of way too much food. Because of this, I don't know if I'll rush back any time soon. I could go to Chipotle or Qdoba for an equally tasty burrito and also expect these restaurants to have the food offered on their menus...

Vámonos on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 5, 2010

Boston's Fish House in Sanford, FL

I ate at the new Boston's Fish House that went into a spot once occupied by American Pie Pizza in Sanford.

I ordered the Gulf Shrimp Roll with onion rings and cole slaw. Being that this was under the sandwich section of the menu, I was expecting to be able to eat this shrimp roll like a sandwich. That's a bit hard to do when they leave the tails on the shrimp and the bread is too soft and mushy to hold the pile of shrimp together as a unit.

 The cole slaw was good and the huge pile of freshly made onion rings were really tasty. The good sized broiled shrimp were nice and tasty, but it was definitely not a sandwich! Don't call something a sandwich when you are serving something that's impossible to eat like a sandwich!

Boston's Fish House on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gourmet 2 Go in Sanford, FL

Gourmet2go Cuban Sandwich
I had The Classic Cuban Press sandwich from Gourmet 2 Go in Downtown Sanford. The sandwich was filled with pulled pork, ham, pickles, mustard, and a very gooey cheese. Macaroni salad and a pineapple slice were served on the side. It was a very tasty Cuban sandwich and I'd gladly return to Gourmet 2 Go!

Gourmet 2 Go on Urbanspoon


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