Sunday, October 31, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Desert Grill at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL

I went to Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream this October. Eventually, I started to feel hungry so I ventured to the Desert Grill in the Timbuktu section of the park. The restaurant doubled as the theater for their Blood Relations show, so I was able to watch the show during my meal.
Desert Grill
The Desert Grill was set up cafeteria style, serving sandwiches, spaghetti, and fried chicken.
Desert Grill
I tried the Italian Sausage sandwich. It tasted good, but the peppers and onions were so cold it felt like they came out of a refrigerator. I'm not entirely sure how this happened since the sausage and vegetables were sitting in the same pan. The sausage itself was hot, but somehow the peppers & onions ended up being cold.
Italian Sausage
Italian Sausage
Overall the sandwich was okay considering it was theme park food. It would have been much better if everything was the same temperature, but my cold vegetables didn't ruin the evening and I still had a good time with the haunted houses and roller coasters...
Trapped in the Walls

Desert Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mix Frozen Yogurt in Orlando, FL

Mix Frozen Yogurt
Mix Frozen Yogurt is one of the newest self-serve yogurt shops in Orlando. They are located near UCF in a shopping center at the corner of Colonial and Alafaya. They are sort of hidden back there and I never noticed Mix until they were kind enough to invite me to try their yogurt! Now that I know where they are, I'll definitely be back!
Mix Frozen Yogurt
They had a very nice selection of sixteen different flavors of frozen yogurt.  
Yogurt Machines
They also had a large topping bar filled with fresh fruit, candies, cookies, and everything else imaginable that you could possibly want on yogurt.
Mix Frozen Yogurt
Fruit Toppings
Candy Corn
I tried four different flavors of yogurt. I had pumpkin, red velvet cake, strawberry, and tart yogurt. Pumpkin was my favorite out of the bunch, tasting like pumpkin pie.
I topped my yogurt with kiwi, raspberries, strawberry flavored boba, and some candy corn. With Halloween coming up soon, I had to add the candy corn to go with the pumpkin yogurt...
Mix Frozen Yogurt
Mix Frozen Yogurt is a great addition to Orlando's collection of places serving frozen yogurt. With the large selection of yogurt, big topping bar, and only costing $0.39/oz, how can you go wrong?

Mix Frozen Yogurt UCF on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vegfest in Orlando, FL

Vegfest Orlando - 10-23-10
I'm not a vegetarian, but that didn't stop me from ending up at the Central Florida Vegfest in Lock Haven Park to check out the food choices! Most of the local vegetarian/vegan restaurants had booths set up, along with a few more that were new to me. Places to try I suppose...
grass root
Raphsodic Cooperative Company
loving hut
oat pattys
Was I inspired to eat a vegan diet after my trip to the Vegfest? Later on, I ended up eating dinner at Keller's BBQ if that answers your question...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oasis Cuban Cafe in Longwood, FL

Oasis Cuban Cafe
I had dinner at Oasis Cuban Cafe in Longwood. Everyone's meal here started with a choice of soup or salad. I choose the salad, topped with beets, beans, and tomatoes.
Oasis Salad
I had the Pechuga a la Plancha for my main course. This was a tender chicken breast topped with grilled onions. The chicken came with congri rice (black beans & rice) and plantains on the side. Everything was good and was a whole lot of food!
Perhaps next time I'll try the pork...

Oasis Cuban Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tacoberfest at Del Taco

The Del Taco restaurants in Oviedo and Orlando are putting a spin on one of Germany’s most famous events – Oktoberfest. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 20, both restaurants will be offering 29-cent tacos (limit of 10) at a “celebration worthy of tacos” – Tacoberfest.

The Oviedo Del Taco is located at 3551 Dovera Drive, and the Orlando Del Taco is located at 12025 Collegiate Way.

I recently stopped into the Orlando Del Taco near UCF. Putting aside the twenty minute wait for my so called fast food, I sampled two different tacos. I had a Shrimp Taco and a Chicken Taco del Carmen. The shrimp taco was average and was about what I would expect from a fast food restaurant. The Taco del Carmen was better than I was expecting with lots of onions and cilantro with really flavorful chicken on a corn tortilla. I'd definitely get it again.
Dos Tacos from Del Taco

Del Taco on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Restaurant at Mayfair in Sanford, FL

Restaurant at Mayfair
The Restaurant at Mayfair is located inside of the Mayfair Country Club in Sanford. The restaurant provided a great view to watch the golfers, or in my case, look for the fox squirrels and sandhill cranes that hang out on the golf course.
Mayfair Golf Course
The restaurant was advertised as a buffet, but that wasn't quite the case. The food was all you can eat for $10, but it definitely wasn't a buffet. You ordered off a menu through the wait staff, who then went to the kitchen and picked up your food from the hidden buffet and then served it to your table.

Plate #1 consisted of a shrimp croquette, polish sausage, and mashed potatoes.
Restaurant at Mayfair: Plate #1
Plate #2 came with beans and macaroni & cheese.
Restaurant at Mayfair: Plate #2
Finally, plate #3 was a piece of fried catfish.
Restaurant at Mayfair: Plate #3
In concept, this restaurant could have worked. The problem was it took a while for the food to be brought out, even though I got the feeling that it was all pre-cooked and microwaveable. The food itself also reminded me a bit too much of what is served at a Ponderosa or Sizzler. I think The Restaurant at Mayfair would be much improved if they got rid of the kind-of buffet concept and switched to a menu serving better quality food that's cooked to order.

The Restaurant at Mayfair on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 15, 2010

iKiwi in Orlando, FL

More self serve frozen yogurt in Orlando! This time, it came from iKiwi near UCF. I got a few flavors, topped with mango, blueberries, and kiwi. Very tasty frozen yogurt!

Ikiwi Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Joy Luck in Longwood, FL

Joy Luck is a Chinese restaurant in Longwood. I can remember several different restaurants in this spot, all serving Chinese food. I don't remember ever trying the restaurant since it became Joy Luck, so I figured it was about time.
Joy Luck
I ordered the Kung Pao Chicken combo. This came with wonton soup, an egg roll, fried rice, and the chicken. Everything was good up until the chicken itself was brought out. The little cubes of meat were really chewy, almost to the point of not being edible. I took most of the chicken home and had no desire to eat it later on either. We were the only customers in Joy Luck when we ate there. If all of their meats are like their chicken, I can see why. Bayridge Sushi and Luna Pizza are much better options in the same strip mall...

Joy Luck Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cheesecake Factory in Boca Raton, FL

Most people are familiar with The Cheesecake Factory. The chain is known (at least to the people I talk to) for their huge menu and scary sized portions. Even with a humongous menu, they tend to serve food that is generally tasty. My most recent experience with eating at the Cheesecake Factory in Boca Raton, FL!

The meal started with an appetizer of Fried Macaroni & Cheese. This isn't something I would necessary choose as an appetizer, but when someone else picks it and there's extra, I might as well give it a try. There's something about breaded, deep fried pasta that just doesn't seem right to me. I only have one other experience with this dish and Cheesecake Factory's was superior.
Fried Mac & Cheese
For my main course, I had the White Chicken Chili. At first glance, I was actually disappointed with dish. I ordered off the dinner menu, but yet the lunch portions that were also brought to the table appeared to be at least triple the size. As I started eating though, I realized that the portion was still huge. With all the protein from the chicken and beans in the chili, I only got through half of my meal before I ended up getting a to-go box. Putting the apparent size of the chili aside, this chili was very tasty. It had lots of chicken and beans in a creamy broth, topped with brown rice, scallions, and tomato.
White Chicken Chili
I really do find it amazing how everything I can remember ordering from Cheesecake Factory always tastes good. They are definitely near the top of my list when it comes to chain restaurants.

The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 8, 2010

International Delight Cafe in Rockville Centre, NY

Rockville Centre, NY is a very cool area of Long Island in my opinion. It has a nice urban feel, with most of the downtown area within walking distance of the elevated Long Island Railroad. There's plenty of shopping here, and also plenty of restaurants. One of these restaurants is the International Delight Cafe...International Delight Cafe - 8-18-10
International Delight Cafe has been around a long time. I have memories of eating here as a little kid, then going next door to look at monkeys in the neighboring pet store (which is now gone) or going to Nunley's (also gone).
International Delight Cafe - 8-18-10 - Sicilian Salad
On this return visit to the International Delight Cafe, I ordered the Sicilian Salad. The salad consisted of romaine lettuce topped with fresh and sundried tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives, and lots of fresh mozzarella.The salad was good, and the generous portions of cheese and sundried tomatoes really made it better.

On the way out, I stopped to look at the huge selection of homemade gelato. Unfortunately, I was full from my salad so I passed on this visit...
International Delight Cafe - 8-18-10 - Gelato

International Delight Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zatarain's House of Blues Gospel Brunch in Orlando, FL

HOB Water Tower
The House of Blues Gospel Brunch takes place every Sunday morning in Downtown Disney. It's something I had never seen in my years of living in Central Florida, but when I was invited to try the new Zatarain's sponsored Jambalaya Bar at the brunch, I figured it was time to give the Gospel Brunch a try!
HOB Entrance
It was strange seeing the House of Blues filled with large round tables instead of concert goers...
HOB Floor
The Zatarain's Jambalaya Station was the first thing that greeted everyone near the entrance of the House of Blues. Here, a chef prepared freshly made jambalaya from whatever ingredients you selected. The Zatarain's sponsored food are offered for a limited time in October and November, so hurry in if you're after the jambalaya.
Zatarain's Jambalaya Station
Jambalaya Chef
Jambalaya Toppings
Jambalaya Cooking
Several other buffet tables were also set up. There was a salad bar with several different types of salads. The breakfast bar had a nice selection of typical southern breakfast items, including eggs, waffles, biscuits & gravy, grits, meats, and pastries. The lunch bar featured foods like fried catfish, rice & beans, macaroni & cheese, collards, and chicken. Nearby was a carving station providing freshly sliced meats, and the dessert bar can't be forgotten either.
Gospel Brunch Salads & Fruits
Breakfast Bar
Southern Foods
At the far side of the House of Blues, there was also an Omelet station providing custom made omelets.
Gospel Brunch Omelet Station
After checking out the food choices, it was time to eat! I started with with the jambalaya, catfish, and cornbread. In my jambalaya, I choose crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage, as well as all of the vegetarian toppings. I really enjoyed the jambalaya, especially with good Cajun food being a rare find in Orlando. The cornbread was also really good. It was really moist with great flavor!
Jambalaya, Catfish, & Cornbread
I didn't get a chance to try the omelets, but that didn't stop me from snapping a picture of one...
Mickey's Omelet
Next came a plate of salad and breakfast items. One of the salads was Caesar and the other was a mixed green salad with crumbled blue cheese. For the breakfast, I tried scrambled eggs, sausage, home fries, cheese grits, and a biscuit. The standouts here were the cheese grits and the biscuit.
A visit to the lunch buffet table came next. I had red beans & rice, collard greens, macaroni & cheese, roasted chicken, and some more of the awesome cornbread. I liked everything here with the exception of the macaroni. It was very dry in my opinion.
Southern Food
Finally, I picked up a plate of bread pudding, key lime pie, apple cobbler, and a brownie for dessert.
Gospel Brunch Dessert Plate
After forty-five minutes of eating, the show started. Apostle J.L.Cash came out and did a good show for another forty-five minutes. There were many mentions of Jesus, god, and similar topics. These are not musical themes I normally seek out, but this was expected in a Gospel Brunch. Much of the audience was getting really into the show with lots of dancing and crowd participation, so I suppose the show was a success!
Apostle J.L. Cash
I enjoyed the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. The food was really good and was definitely on par with the nearby breakfast buffets elsewhere on Disney property. Getting the show along with the food was an added bonus!


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