Monday, November 29, 2010

Francesca's Cucina in Syracuse, NY

I had dinner at Francesca's Cucina in Syracuse's Little Italy. This was part of an event I attended, so there was no ordering involved and all the food was served family style.
Francesca's Cucina
A big antipasto salad was the first dish to come out, topped with all sorts of good stuff, including prosciutto, salami, cappicola, olives, cheeses, peppers, greens, and much more.
Francesca's Cucina Salad
An unusually shaped ravioli in marinara sauce came next.
Francesca's Cucina Pasta
Then came a plate of rigatoni in a tomato cream sauce.
Francesca's Cucina Pasta
By the time the meal was done, my plate was also filled with some chicken marsala and some sort of white fish in a tomato sauce.
Francesca's Cucina Dinner
Finally, this huge plate of Italian desserts was served. It was piled high with cannolis, cookies, cream puffs, eclairs, and more. Sadly, most of the dish was untouched by fellow diners. I couldn't let this be and had to remedy the problem...
Desserts!
Francesca's Cucina Desserts!
As I was leaving Francesca's Cucina, there were a few snow flurries falling. None of the snow stuck though...
Francesca's Cucina

Francesca's Cucina on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bruegger's Bagel Bakery in Syracuse, NY

At the end of October, I found myself enjoying the wonderful cold weather in Syracuse, NY for a weekend. For breakfast one morning, I ended up at Bruegger's Bagel Bakery at Syracuse University.
Bruegger's Bagel Bakery at Syracuse University
There was a Bruegger's in Altamonte Springs for a while, but I never visited and they eventually closed. After getting my bagel, I can kind of see why they were so short lived. This bagel was tiny! I was expecting the bagel to be on par with the other chain bagel places, but this wasn't even close! The everything bagel was topped with smoked salmon cream cheese, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, and red onions. It tasted good, but was just way too small!
Bruegger's Bagel
There was a nice view of one of the University buildings outside Bruegger's. All colleges should be built like this!
Syracuse University

Bruegger's Bagel Bakery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cibo Express Gourmet Markets in JFK Airport

During my travels to Syracuse from Orlando, I had a three hour layover in JFK airport. Since I was waiting for a connecting flight, I was stuck in the Jetblue terminal to avoid going through security again. With all that time to kill, I was able to check out the airport food in the terminal! There were a few restaurants serving fancy airport food as well as a sushi bar, but I found myself at the food court called Cibo Express Gourmet Markets...
JFK Jetblue Food Court
I tried food from two different restaurants inside of Cibo Express. One was an Italian chain called Famous Famiglia Pizzeria.
Famous Famiglia
I tried a slice of Sicilian topped with pepperoni. The crust was hard and dry. The cheese didn't have much flavor and was congealed like it had been sitting out for far too long (not reheated long enough). The oil from the pepperoni didn't help much to hydrate the dry crust either. Of course, they sold this substandard slice for overly inflated airport prices. They definitely weren't following the rules of the New York Pizza Connection here...
Famous Famiglia Sicilian
I also split a sandwich from the Boar's Head Deli. They had a very cool computer ordering system here. It could have been improved if they told you which sandwich toppings cost extra and which were included. I had to go back a few steps several times to remove something that cost an extra $1.50. Those extra costs added up quick, although I'm sure most people buy their sandwich regardless of the price.
JFK Boar's Head
The sandwich turned out really good, considering it was from an airport food court. Salsalito turkey, brie cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pesto all came on a semolina hero.

JFK Boar's Head
Overall, this was a really nice food court as far as airports go. The pizza could have used some improvements, but otherwise there was a nice selection of food choices and tasty custom subs...

Cibo Express Gourmet Foods on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 22, 2010

Jetblue Snacks

Jetblue View
I recently flew up to Syracuse on Jetblue. They seem to be one of the few airlines that still give any sort of snacks during their flights. Giving a nice choice of snacks and their willingness to give seconds on the food is only one of the reasons that makes Jetblue my favorite airline!
Blue Chip
Blue potato chips and Dunkin Donuts tea.
Jetblue Chip
Linden's chocolate chip cookies!
Jetblue Cookies
Chocolate Chips @ 36,000 ft.
Coming up next: Food in the JFK Jetblue Terminal!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Earl of Sandwich in Orlando, FL

Earl of Sandwich
Earl of Sandwich is a fast food restaurant located in Downtown Disney. I found it interesting that the restaurant was actually started by the real life Earl of Sandwich and the founder of Planet Hollywood.
Earl of Sandwich
The majority of the menu consisted of hot sandwiches. Each sandwich sold for $5.99 which is pretty good for Disney prices. No sides came with the sandwich, but still, $6 isn't bad given the location.
Earl of Sandwich
The Caribbean Jerk Chicken sandwich and The Earl's Club were ordered.
Earl of Sandwich
Caribbean Jerk Chicken on the left and The Earl's Club on the right.
Earl of Sandwich
The Caribbean Jerk Chicken was filled with chicken, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, and a jerk sauce. The Earl's Club had turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and sauce. Both sandwiches were really tasty, but I think most of the flavor actually came from the sauce. Unfortunately, on both sandwiches, they were somewhat stingy on the meat and other fillings. I guess they hope you don't open the sandwich to look inside...
Earl of Sandwich
Earl of Sandwich
Overall, Earl of Sandwich was pretty good. The sandwiches were a bit small, but one sandwich still filled me up. As far as the price goes, these are probably one of the best values in Downtown Disney. I'll be back!

Earl of Sandwich on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Orlando Food and Wine Festival

On November 13, I visited the Third Annual Orlando Food & Wine Fest. It happened on a section of Robinson Street next to Lake Eola Park. The festival featured food samplings from a multitude of Orlando's restaurants, cooking demonstrations, and live music.
Food & Wine
While I was there The Redcoats were playing Beatles covers.
The Redcoats @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
I watched a cooking demonstration with John Zimmerman of Ruth Chris Steakhouse.
John Zimmerman @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Moving on to the food for sale, Kobe was cooking up their hibachi chicken.
Kobe @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Sushi was also well represented at the festival with Shari Sushi, CRAVE, and this Spicy Tuna Hand Roll from Orlando Sushi House.
Orlando Food & Wine Fest Spice Tuna Hand Roll
There were several restaurants serving ribs. O'Charlie's had big slabs of ribs and The Boheme at the Grand Bohemian Hotel was offering Beef Ribs with Mango BBQ.
Orlando Food & Wine Fest O'Charley's Ribs
G.B. Ribs @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Dexter's was serving up pulled pork sandwiches.
Dexters @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Cityfish had huge Jalapeno Hush Puppies and some delicious looking Gumbo.
Cityfish Hush Puppies @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Champion's Gate was grilling kabobs that smelled great!
Champion's Gate BBQ @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
The larger restaurant chains were also at the festival. Panera Bread was serving soups and P.F. Chang's had rice and lettuce wraps.
Panera @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
P.F. Changs @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Anatolia Mediterranean Cuisine was one of the booths that I choose to try. I had a gyro, served with tzatziki, hummus, and pita. The lamb in the gyro was very tasty!
Anatolia Gyro Platter @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Anatolia Gyro @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
I also tasted the food from Caribbean Sunshine Bakery. I tried the Jerk Chicken with a side of rice. The chicken was nice and tender and had a great kick to it. Out of all the food at the festival, it seemed like Caribbean Sunshine Bakery was giving some of the most generous portions.
Caribbean Sunshine Bakery @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
Caribbean Sunshine Bakery Jerk Chicken @ Orlando Food & Wine Fest
I had a good time at the Food & Wine Fest! I was able to eat delicious foods, but my only wish was that I could have tried a bit of everything! There was so much to choose from at the festival, there was no way to sample it all! I suppose it's a good excuse to go visit the restaurants represented at the festival and try what I missed...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cappello's Pizzeria in St. Cloud, FL

While traveling through St. Cloud, I realized it was time to eat. I spotted an Italian restaurant called Cappello's and pulled into the parking lot. As I exited the car, I was greeted with a great pizza odor emitting from the building. At that point, I immediately knew I'd be ordering a pizza for my meal. Before the pizza though, I had a garlic knot appetizer.
The pizza was served pretty soon after the knots. The crust was thicker than what I expect from a NY style pie and didn't have that foldability that most 'real' NY pizzas have. Instead of a super-thin crust, this thicker crust was light and airy and had a great texture. The cheese was nice and salty and released just the right amount of oil when cooked. What really pulled the pizza together was the sauce. It had a wonderful garlic flavor that permeated throughout the whole pie.
Initially, I saw the thicker crust on the pie and assumed that this would be one of those pizzerias that claim to serve NY style pizza, when in reality, their product is nowhere close when it comes to taste or structure. After all, St. Could isn't a town where I would expect to find good pizza. Once I tasted Cappello's pizza though, I realized I was wrong! I would rank this as one of the best pizzas I have had in a while!

Cappello's Restaurant & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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