Monday, December 29, 2014

The Black Sheep Pub in Ormond Beach, FL

Had dinner at a restaurant called The Black Sheep Pub in Ormond Beach. Located across the street from the ocean along A1A, this restaurant served pretty standard British foods.

I decided to try The Black Sheep's Award Winning Famous Fish & Chips. That's multiple superlatives used to describe the fish & chips, so I was expecting something amazing. The fish & chips were good. The meal came with two large pieces of deep fried fish, topped with slices of lemon, served aside a pile of fries. I'm not sure if this fish was amazing enough where I'd give it an award, but it was good enough.
Someone else at the table ordered the Black 'Sheep'herd's Pie.
The food I tried at The Black Sheep Pub was tasty enough. It wasn't the best British food I've had, nor was it the worst. I'd eat here again.

The Black Sheep Pub on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 26, 2014

Terrace BBQ at SeaWorld Orlando

I was at SeaWorld and had dinner at a restaurant called Terrace BBQ. This is located in a building once occupied by the Hospitality House where you could get free beer when Anheuser-Busch owned the park. I noticed Anheuser-Busch beers were still available in here, but you have to pay for them now. I was last at Sea World back in October and this building had an Italian buffet in it then, so the conversion to Terrace BBQ has apparently happened within the past couple months.
I tried the rib platter. This came with three good sized ribs, macaroni & cheese, and a roll. The ribs were good, covered in a slightly spicy dry rub. One of the three contained more fat that I would have liked, but they were otherwise good. The macaroni and cheese was also good. It was very cheesy and had nice bits of crumbled something over the top. Texture in macaroni is good. The roll was disappointing mushy white bread.
As far as Orlando theme park food goes, I normally rank SeaWorld last on the list. I've had some pretty bad food in the park, so I was a bit surprised when the ribs and macaroni were actually tasty. With SeaWorld's financial woes and budget cuts all over their parks, it is good to see their food hasn't suffered. Hopefully these ribs were a sign that it's getting better!

Terrace BBQ on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Smashburger in Orlando, FL (Waterford Lakes)

Restaurants specializing in fancy burgers seem to be opening all over the Central Florida area lately. One of the newest gourmet burger chains to recently open is called Smashburger. They currently have two locations in the area, one in Waterford Lakes and another along Colonial Drive in Orlando. Just before they opened to the public, I was invited to come try the Waterford Lakes Smashburger for a media preview.
Tom Ryan, the founder of Smashburger, was there to guide us through the restaurant's menu.
I tried some of Smashburger's fries and sides first. I tasted their Smashfries (fries tossed with rosemary, olive oil, and garlic), Sweet Potato Fries, Spicy Buffalo Fries, Veggie Frites, and Fried Pickles. My favorites were the Buffalo Fries and the Fried Pickles.

The Classic Smash was the first burger that was tasted. This was a burger topped with American cheese, Smash Sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion, all on an egg bun.
The BBQ, Bacon, and Cheddar Burger was my least favorite of all the burgers. It was topped with BBQ sauce, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, and haystack onions. It was mentioned that this burger was a big seller, but it didn't do much for me. Even with the toppings, it didn't seem to have enough flavors happening for my liking and was too meaty.
The Truffle, Mushroom, and Swiss Burger had truffle mayo, sauteed criminini mushrooms, and aged swiss on an egg bun.
The Central Florida Burger included Wicked pimina cheese, spicy brown mustard, fried green tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and mayo on an egg bun. This was the first time I've ever had fried green tomato on a burger as well as ever hearing of wicked pimina cheese. Since this was the Central Florida Burger, specifically sold in local Smashburger stores, I suppose I'm supposed to like this stuff. This burger was tasty.
The Avocado Ranch Black Bean Burger was a vegetarian option that we sampled. It consisted of fresh avocado, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, and ranch on a multi-grain bun. I did enjoy the black bean burger patty.
Spinach, Cucumber, and Goat Cheese Chicken. The chicken sandwich had cucumbers, spinach, goat cheese, tomato, onion, and balsamic vinaigrette on a multi-grain bun. This was my favorite sandwich of the evening.
The Buffalo & Blue Cheese Crispy Chicken consisted of fried chicken in Frank's RedHot Buffalo sauce, blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on an egg bun.
The Spicy Jalapeno Baja Burger was the last sandwich that was sampled this evening. It had fresh jalapenos, guacamole, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion & chipotle mayo on a spicy chipotle bun. The chipotle bun was interesting. I personally didn't find the bread too spicy, but it had a unique flavor. For the rest of the burger, guacamole is always a plus.
Smashburger also had various flavors of hand-spun shakes available featuring Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Their Nutter Butter shake was my personal favorite out of what I sampled.

I liked what I tasted at Smashburger. For my personal burger preferences, there should be enough flavors happening on a burger so it doesn't just taste like beef and bread. Luckily, the majority of the burgers at Smashburger had enough going on to make me remember that burgers don't have to be disappointing. I'd have a burger from Smashburger again!

Smashburger on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tuk Tuk Truck in Orlando, FL

I tried TukTuk Thai Cuisine at a recent Food Truck Bazaar in Casselberry. This was my first time coming across this food truck. I'm not sure how long they've been around, but I decided to try their take on mobile Thai food.
I ordered the Shrimp Pad Thai. The noodles were cooked with egg, tofu, bean sprouts, peanuts, and cilantro. The Pad Thai had plenty of flavor, but I would have preferred slightly larger shrimp. The tiny little shrimp in the dish were somewhat sad looking.
TukTuk was okay. It was good, but not outstanding. Their prices seemed a bit more affordable for what you get compared to some of the other food trucks that frequent the bazaars. I'd try something else from TukTuk, but not before I try some other food from trucks which I haven't tasted yet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Garden Buffet in Orlando, FL

I found myself eating dinner at Garden Buffet in Metrowest recently. This Chinese buffet is located in a Wal-Mart shopping center on Kirkman. Garden Buffet shares the shopping center with another Chinese restaurant which I've dined at in the past called China Lee.
Garden Buffet had several buffet tables. New food kept on being brought out, so it seemed like they had good turnover.
My first visit to the buffet tables resulted in dumplings, lo mein, chicken with broccoli, some sort of shrimp breaded in something, and a krab rangoon. Everything on this plate ranged from mediocre to disappointing.
I decided to try again and came back with a couple different types of sushi rolls, mixed vegetables, fried rice, spare rib, and a seaweed salad. Again, most of the food on this plate was also mediocre. The only standout was the seaweed salad. Maybe it was the novelty of not having seaweed salads all the time, but I really liked this stuff.
Since I wasn't too impressed with most of the food I tasted, I decided to give Garden Buffet's dessert table a try. I tried their egg custard, taro custard, cookies, orange slices, and some more seaweed salad. Again, the seaweed salad was the best food of the night.
Perhaps I'm holding my standards too high for a Chinese buffet next to a Wal-Mart, but I wasn't impressed with Garden Buffet. The food was mediocre and besides the seaweed salad that I liked, Garden Buffet didn't really give me a reason to return. Take out from China Lee across the parking lot would be a better choice.
Garden Buffet on Urbanspoon


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