Friday, April 29, 2011

Orlando Food Truck Bazaar #2: May 1, 2011 @ Fashion Square Mall

The second Orlando Food Truck Bazaar, brought to us by, is happening this Sunday (May 1, 2011) at the Fashion Square Mall outside of Dillards from 7 pm - midnight. I'll be there. Will you?

Some quick points on what I learned from the first Food Truck Bazaar last month to make the event more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Don't go there expecting to get your food and leave within an hour (my big mistake last time). Allow yourself at least a couple of hours.
  • Get there early. The food trucks might sell out.
  • Don't expect to try everything.
  • Expect the lines to be large and intimating. Think Magic Kingdom on July 4th. Thankfully, the lines will move faster than Disney and your food will most likely be more satisfying than your thirty second ride on Dumbo.
  • Don't cut in line. I noticed this was a huge problem last time around. Don't contribute to the problem.
Get all the delicious details at
See you there!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eastern Chinese Restaurant in Tallahassee, FL

I went camping a few weeks ago up in Tallahassee. When you sleep in a tent around a bonfire, I hear you're supposed to make dinner yourself using primitive cooking techniques. What's 200,000 years of human evolution and the invention of the internal combustion engine good for if we still need to make food the same way as our ancestors? We decided to make full use of our human achievements and drove to the nearest shopping center to pick up Chinese take-out rather than cooking over a fire...

We ended up at Eastern Chinese Restaurant in a Publix Shopping Center. I started with some Wonton Soup.

I also had some Vegetable Lo Mein. These noodles had plenty of mixed vegetables, although the lo mein was sort of bland tasting. Some soy sauce and spicy mustard fixed that...

Just to get the most out of my camping experience, the next night I had a grilled venison steak and corn on the cob, all cooked under the stars. Honestly though, I preferred my Chinese food...

Eastern Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 25, 2011

Casa de Chef Food Truck in Orlando, FL

We're in the middle of somewhat of a street food renaissance in Orlando. New food trucks are popping up all the time. We are quickly getting a vast array of food type offerings, and there are now food truck events almost every week. One of the newest food trucks in Orlando is called Casa De Chef on Colonial Drive.
They were parked in the Chevron Gas Station parking lot at the intersection of Colonial and Fern Creek. It was apparently their second day open when I visited. Casa de Chef served sandwiches, rice bowls, and kabobs called pinchos. I decided to try the very first item listed on their menu and ordered the Cuban Sandwich.
The huge sandwich had lots of shredded pork, peppers, pickles, lettuce, potatoes strips, mayonnaise, mustard, and perhaps some more fillings I'm forgetting. Casa de Chef definitely makes a very good sandwich, and the prices are good too at $4.50 for this large sandwich. I would gladly get food from Casa de Chef again...

Casa de Chef on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kafe Kalik in Orlando, FL

I ate dinner at Kafe Kalik in the Premium Outlet Mall (no more Prime Outlets?) on International Drive. This Bahamian fusion restaurant had most of the stuff you would expect from a Caribbean themed chain restaurant, although their sushi bar did seem a little out of place.
Kafe Kalik
My meal started out with a side salad. Nothing about it screamed Bahamas to me...
Kafe Kalik Salad
I had the Curry Shrimp for my main course. This large portion of shrimp, carrots, onions, potatoes was drenched in a spicy curry sauce over jasmine rice.
Kafe Kalik Curry Shrimp
I enjoyed my meal. The shrimp tasted good, the portion was large, and they did a nice job with the presentation too. My only real complaint was that we never got the bread that was supposed to come with our meal. I'd gladly go back to Kafe Kalik next time I'm at the outlet mall!

Kafe Kalik on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Captains Pizza in Clearwater, FL

Captains Pizza
After a day of enjoying Clearwater Beach, it was time to get some dinner. It was decided that pizza would be an appropriate post-beach food and we were off to search for an Italian restaurant. It seemed just about every pizzeria within walking distance of the beach served small conveyor belt pizzas with really high prices, that is, until we came to Captains Pizza.
Captains Pizza
The place was kind of dingy looking, but they had real pizza ovens and had a pie that was large enough to feed five people for an affordable price.
Captains Pizza
Captains Pizza
Our cheese pie wasn't the best pizza around, but it served it's purpose for a post-beach dinner. It was quickly devoured and we were out of the restaurant in time to see the awesome sunset on the Gulf of Mexico...
Clearwater Sunset
Captain's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dominic's I in Boca Raton, FL

I've always liked Dominic's II in Boca Raton but I had never been to Dominic's I just off the Florida Turnpike. That all changed when I stopped for lunch at the restaurant during some of my travels. They had some good lunch specials going on and I ordered this Spinach Stromboli for $3.50. The stromboli was comparable in size to what other Italian restaurants serve for full price and was overflowing with spinach and cheese. This was definitely a really good deal for lunch...

Dominic's I on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bojangles in Sanford, FL

Two-piece chicken dinner with macaroni & cheese, green beans, and a biscuit from Bojangles in Sanford. The chicken was less greasy than the garbage KFC serves, but was also by no means worth going back for. It's fast food chicken-- you can't expect much...

Bojangles on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sun Valley Buffet in Sanford, FL

Sun Valley Buffet opened in an old Bennigan's in Sanford. They had three tables of Chinese food, a table of misplaced southern foods, Mongolian BBQ, sushi, and a dessert table. My main complaint here was the disproportionate amount of fried food on the buffet. It was like the Golden Corral of Chinese buffets. Way too much fried food and not enough variety when it came to everything else...
The dumplings and sliced pork were two standout foods on the buffet. I found most everything else to be mediocre and overcooked in many cases.
I wasn't impressed with Sun Valley Buffet. I doubt I'd return, especially for $12.99...
Sun Valley Buffet on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 8, 2011

Orlando Food Truck Bazaar #1: The Taco Company/Lady

The first Orlando Food Truck Bazaar happened on March 29, 2011 in a church parking lot on Orange Ave. The event was organized by and even though the Bazaar was promoted everywhere, I don't think anyone was expecting the humongous crowds that showed up. I decided to stop by the event on my way home and didn't think the parked cars that went on for a few blocks could possibly be for a parking lot filled with food trucks. They were. I parked and entered the mass of thousands of people consuming street food...
Orlando Food Truck Bazaar #1
Because of the huge crowds, I decided I would make my food choice based on whatever line seemed shortest. After a quick walk around, The Taco Company (also listed as The Taco Lady and The Taco Truck) won my business.
Taco Lady or Taco Company?
It took me about twenty minutes to place my order. With the amount of people still lined up for the other trucks, I figured I was doing pretty good. I decided to get a torta with carne enchilada (seasoned pork). Turned out the only meats left were steak or chicken, so I went with a chicken torta instead.
The Taco Company
Once I placed the order, it was time to wait for the food. I must put the emphasis on wait because my twenty minutes to order was dwarfed by the next hour and a half that I stood there waiting to get my torta. In that time, all of the other trucks had either sold out of food or shut down for the evening. I did receive my food eventually and the nice people inside The Taco Company truck threw in some tacos and a soda to apologize for the wait. By that point though, I was completely over standing in line for my food and just wanted to get home...
The Taco Lady
Once back home, it was time to eat the food! I started with the chicken torta. The large roll was filled with plenty of shredded chicken, lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers, and cheese. Unfortunately, the avocado that was also supposed to be on the sandwich was nowhere to be found.
Pollo Torta
I actually preferred the tacos over the torta. Being that these are from a taco truck, I guess it's only appropriate. They gave me one chicken and one steak taco, each on a warm corn tortilla, garnished with onions and cilantro. A handful of radish and lemon slices completed the plate.
Steak & Chicken
My food was good, but there is no way it was worth the wait. If you want to try The Taco Company, I would suggest finding them in Ocoee when they aren't swamped with thousands of people. I have a feeling the tacos would probably be served up pretty quickly in another situation.

The Food Truck Bazaar was definitely a success with the amount of people that showed up. I waited way longer for my food than I was anticipating and didn't get to try as much as I would have liked, but this is the first event of it's kind in Orlando. After the success of the Food Truck Bazaar, food truck events seem to be becoming a weekly thing in town. With food trucks out all the time and more events like this, such as last Wednesday's Food Truck Pod at Firestone Live, it only means Orlando's street food scene will get better from here...

The Taco Lady Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mojo Cajun Bar & Grill in Orlando, FL

When Mojo opened on Church Street in the space once occupied by Rosie O'Gradys, some of the reviews I read about the restaurant mentioned Mojo was more about the drinks than the food. Because of this, I was expecting one of those awkward restaurant situations where I'm one of the very few people eating while everyone else is drunk at the bar.
Maybe something has changed at Mojo since these initial reviews were written. When I visited Mojo, the restaurant was filled with diners and the bars were almost completely empty. Even more, everyone I ate here with was impressed with their Cajun food.
I ordered the Jambalaya with a side salad. The salad came out first, consisting of mixed greens, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. The salad served it's purpose. Nothing great, but not bad either...
My jambalaya was served soon after. This rice dish was filled with lots of chicken and andoullie sausage, then topped with several large shrimp. This jambalaya actually had a nice kick to it, unlike the bland Cajun food I've had at other restaurants. A large piece of delicious cornbread was also served on the plate, with it's sweetness contrasting the spicy rice.
Overall, I was very pleased with the food at Mojo. I enjoyed the food, prices weren't bad given the location, and the dining environment was nicer than I was expecting. I'll definitely be back... Mojo Cajun Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 4, 2011

Joe Muggs in Sanford, FL

Joe Muggs is the coffee shop in the Books-A-Million store in Sanford. I was in there the other night and bought myself an everything bagel. For $1.25, I got this toasted bagel with a few little tubs of cream cheese. It wasn't the best bagel in the world, but was good enough being from a bookstore coffee shop. Because Joe Muggs doesn't charge for cream cheese, I think I may come back here rather than going to Panera the next time I'm hungry for a bagel in Sanford!
What's up with Books-A-Million not giving free Wi-Fi though? I'm not going to pay $20 for a year subscription to your Millionaire's Club so I can use Wi-Fi in your store when there are so many other nearby places that give free internet access...

Joe Muggs on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hollywood Sweets & Icy Treats in Hollywood, FL

Hollywood Sweets and Icy Treats
While enjoying a recent day at Hollywood Beach, I got some dessert from Hollywood Sweets & Icy Treats. I ordered a gelati with layers of Florida orange Italian ice and vanilla ice cream. After being meticulously assembled, I was surprised how huge the cup of gelati turned out to be.

To sum up the experience: Italian ice + beach = Awesomeness!
Florida Orange Gelati #2

Hollywood Sweets & Icy Treats on Urbanspoon


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