Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Blaze Pizza in Disney Springs

Blaze Pizza has been around for a while now in the Orlando area, but they never made it onto this blog. I've eaten at a few of the Blaze Pizza locations in Florida, but these pies are all from their location in Disney Springs. 

Of the pizza chains where you pick what you want on your pie as it's being made, Blaze seems to be the most consistent. The proportions of crust, cheese, sauce, and toppings always seems to be just about what I'd expect from a pizza at Blaze. That's some good corporate fast food consistency...

Thursday, January 28, 2021

1000 Degrees Pizza in Lake Mary, FL

 I had lunch from 1000 Degrees Pizza in Lake Mary. This is yet another restaurant following the formula of Blaze, MOD Pizza, etc, where you pick toppings for your pizza in a Chipotle style format. I honestly started mixing up places serving pizza in Orlando, and confused this with 900 Degreez in a brick and mortar form. Wrong temperature, wrong restaurant, and 900 Degreez is still a truck.

My pizza was topped with sausage, pepperoni, onions, bell peppers, olives, and banana peppers. Pretty tasty. Topping selection here seemed slightly more limited than some of the similar competitors, but they still had a decent selection. I'd get a pizza here again.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Shiraz Market in Longwood, FL

Shiraz Market is located in a tiny, somewhat shady looking strip mall in Longwood. A taco shop once occupied the spot, but they have been long gone. I would ride by all time and the restaurant went completely unnoticed until they started getting all sorts of press, including being featured by Andrew Zimmern (part of his apology after insulting Orlando's restaurants). I tried Shiraz Market soon after and was very underwhelmed. They served good sized portions, but everything I tried tasted unseasoned and flavorless.

I recently gave them another try and enjoyed the food much more this time around. Perhaps I caught Shiraz Market on a bad day on my first visit. 

The Koubideh Combo: Ground beef and chicken made into skewer form. Served over rice with a garnish of tomato, sliced onions, and parsley. 

Beef & Chicken Kabab Combo: Almost the same as the meal above, only the chicken skewer was replaced with whole pieces of chicken rather than ground chicken.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

SeaWorld Christmas Celebration Food

Ended up at SeaWorld a few times this past season during their Christmas Celebration. They had booths selling specialty holiday food items all over the park. Here's the foods I tried.

Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac & Cheese: Bacon bits and blue cheese crumbles over macaroni and cheese.

Lobster Mac & Cheese: Lobster, shredded cheese, breadcrumbs, and parsley over macaroni and cheese. The better of the two mac & cheeses that I tried.

 Tachos: Nacho equivalent with tater tots instead of tortilla chips. Topped with pork, cheese, jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream.

Beef Slider:

Sunday, October 25, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: London Food (Leon, Bake, Gerrard's Corner, British Library, Sushi Daily, and Pizza Express)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. I spent the last two days of my trip in London. Here's some of the food I ate:

Leon: 

I had a breakfast box from this chain of fast food restaurants. I believe the box I tried was vegetarian, with a poached egg, beans, mushrooms, tomato, avocado slices, and a delicious type of grilled cheese called halloumi.

Bake: 

I ended up in Chinatown. I stopped in this bakery on my visit to London in 2016. I think they may have been renamed since my last visit. Last time, they were called Chinatown Bakery. This time, the store was just Bake. I thought the waffle fish stuffed with various fillings were enough of a novelty that I needed to get another fish when I walked by.


Gerrard's Corner:

Another restaurant in Chinatown. I know British food has a bad reputation, but this is the only meal on this trip that really was unenjoyable. I had the sliced pork with seasonal vegetables. Those seasonal vegetables included carrots and broccoli, but the pork was the bad part. Pretty sure it was undercooked. A friend ordered fried rice. The rice was crispy. Most of our food was left uneaten here. It was confusing because the restaurant was packed...

British Library:

Cinnamon roll from the cafe in the lobby of the British Library.

Sushi Daily to Go:

This was a fast food Japanese restaurant. I had a chicken noodle bowl and miso soup.


Pizza Express:

This is a chain that is very prolific in London. Seems like there's a Pizza Express every few blocks. The name is confusing, since it is a sit down restaurant and isn't very express.

Friday, October 23, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Grasmere Food (Co-op Food, Lucia's Coffee and Bakehouse, and Emma's Dell)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. During this trip, I rented a car in York and drove to the Lake District. I wanted to see a national park outside of the United States to see how parks like this are done elsewhere. I picked a random destination within the Lake District and ended up in a town called Grasmere. 

Co-op Food:


When I arrived, I checked into were I was staying, hiked up a mountain, and then got back just in time to take shelter from a thunderstorm. By the time the storm let up, all the restaurants in Grasmere were closed for the day. That is, except for the small convenience store sized supermarket called Co-op Food. Here, I bought some of their ready-made food options for dinner. This included a Chimichurri Chicken Flatbread, olives, and biscuits. 


Lucia's Coffee + Bakehouse:


I had breakfast the next morning at a place called Lucia's Coffee + Bakehouse. I had a freshly baked Cumberland Sausage Roll, served with homemade ketchup. 



Emma's Dell:

Lunch was had at a restaurant specializing in crepes called Emma's Dell. I had a crepe called the Highland Fling. It was filled with smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, and served with a chive crème fraiche. I had tea to drink. Tea leaves were served loose in a french press.


During the meal, I felt like somebody was trying to watch me eat from the next table...

Here's a picture of a Luxury Dairy Ice Cream truck in the mountains, just because mountains need to be photographed.
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: York Food (Betty's Cafe, 29 States, and The York Roast Co.)

 I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. During this trip, I left Newark-on-Trent and proceeded to York.

Betty's Cafe Tea Room:

As I was leaving Newark-on-Trent, a bus driver told me I had to eat at Betty's Cafe in York. Also, to avoid the main location in the city which gets huge waits and visit the location in Stonegate instead.  I followed directions and was able to be seated in the restaurant immediately. I walked by their other location a few blocks away afterwards and there was a huge crowd waiting to get in...

It was a tea room, so I started with some tea. Obviously...

I tried their special of the day. It was a breakfast dish what I was unfamiliar with called Kedgeree. This consisted of rice, fish, and dried fruit, topped with a poached egg. It was interesting, and really good. Looks like the dish has it's roots in India and became popular in England during the Victorian era. 

29 States:

I was touring Clifford's Tower in York and was distracted by the aromas of delicious smelling Indian food wafting up the hill from a restaurant somewhere below. I decided I was going to find this restaurant and eat there for dinner. Turned out this restaurant was called 29 States. I had a very good chicken dish with some naan. 
The view was nice too. It's the only Indian restaurant I've ever visited where I was able to look out the window and see a castle towering above the restaurant...

The York Roast Co.:

Having Yorkshire Pudding in York seemed like an appropriate thing to do. I did this at a fast food restaurant called The York Roast Co. They basically made wraps out of the Yorkshire pudding, rolling the bread around turkey, stuffing, cranberries, assorted vegetables, and gravy. It was a very messy thing to eat and the Yorkshire pudding didn't hold together very well as a vehicle to transport the rest of the fillings...



Monday, October 19, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Nottingham Food (Pieminster)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. While staying in Newark-on-Trent on this trip, I took a train to Nottingham. I saw Robin Hood, then I ate.

This was a restaurant which I did not eat at, but was noteworthy. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem was built into the side of a cliff below Nottingham Castle and claims to be the oldest inn in England.


I had lunch at a restaurant called Pieminster. As the name states, this restaurant specialized in all sorts of pies.
There was some quirky decor in here, such as potato eyes in glass cases.
I had the Saag Pie-neer. This was an Indian inspired pie filled with paneer, peas, spinach, potatos, chilli, and mango. It was served over mashed potatoes. A side of mushy peas and gravy also came on the side. It was pretty good, and the Indian influence was a nice change from the other more traditional meat pies I had on this trip.


 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Newark on Trent Food (The Old Post Office, The Old Bakery Tea Room, Turkish Delight, and The Sir John Arderne)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. I began this trip in Brighton, left early in the morning, and took a train to Newark on Trent where I stayed for about a week.

The Old Post Office:

My first meal in the city was at a pub called The Old Post Office. I had a meat pie, served with mashed potatoes, peas, and gravy. Not the best food, but not the worst either. There was some confusion with the service where they mixed up what I had ordered, but we'll forgive them.

The Old Bakery Tea Room:

I thought tea in a royal palace was pretty cool in my last post, but this was different. This restaurant was in a building that was amazingly old from an American perspective. The Old Bakery Tea Room is located in a medieval Tudor style cottage which has been around since the 15th century. Their website lists them as one of Nottinghamshire's Most Haunted Buildings too, but I saw no ghosts... 
Started out with tea. I had Earl Grey.
I ordered the Ploughman’s Lunch. This came with a salad, various cheeses, fruit, pies, and slices of bread served with butter and chutney. Everything about this meal was delicious. 
Of all the foods I ate on this trip to England, this won as my favorite meal. The food was great, combined with the environment of eating in a restaurant who's building has been around since the middle ages...

Turkish Delight:

Middle Eastern food located next to a church which has parts dating back to the 12th century. I'm glad the crusades are over... 
I had the lamb and chicken combination doner kabab. The meats were served over chips, topped with a tzatziki style sauce, and pickled vegetables. This was a huge amount of food for the price. More than I was able to eat in one sitting. 

The Sir John Arderne:

This was the second pub I visited in Newark on Trent. The Sir John Arderne was the better of the two. Better service, better atmosphere, and I enjoyed the food more as well.
I ordered what seems to be a standard British pub food: The Chicken Tikka Masala. I guess this is a side effect of colonialism. The chicken was served alongside rice and garlic naan. No complaints at all with this meal. 


Thursday, October 15, 2020

UK Trip Travel Food: Brighton Food (Brighton Zip Fish & Chips, Royal Pavilion Tearoom, Mr. Whippy Ice Cream, What the Pitta, and YHA Brighton Hostel)

I took a trip to England in the summer of 2019. I began this trip in Brighton. I flew into Gatwick, stayed overnight in London, then took a train to Brighton early the next morning. I was in the UK in 2016, and Brighton was a city several people recommended visiting that I ran out of time to see. Made it the first adventure on this UK trip. Here's what I ate:
 

Brighton Zip Fish & Chips: 

On my last trip to England back in 2016, I remember being told that the best fish & chips in the country could be found in Brighton. I didn't have any specific restaurant recommendations, so I found a random restaurant serving fish & chips. They were located on the beach attached to a zip line attraction. Not always promising for food when a restaurant is attached to something amusement park related, but they seemed to be doing good business and had an ocean view. 
The fish was good. It was fried in a crispy batter and was well cooked inside. The chips were nothing exceptional, but I did the thing and smothered them in malt vinegar which improved them. A generous scoop of mushy peas were served as a side. 

Royal Pavilion Tearoom: 

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is a palace built King George IV. The palace is atypical of what I would expect from the palace of a British monarch, with a very Middle Eastern/Asian appearance. 
I took a break from touring the palace in the Royal Pavilion Tearoom. This may have been the peak of my British food experience. I had afternoon tea in a palace once owned by the royal family. The tea was served in a teapot that looked like it came out of a Japanese restaurant, which fit perfectly with the style of the building. I also had a very nice fruit tart. Afternoon tea in a palace. It's all downhill from here...

Mr. Whippy Ice Cream:

I took a long walk along the boardwalk running along the beach. During this hike, I stopped at an ice cream truck called Mr. Whippy Ice Cream.
Vanilla ice cream cone with a flake. These flake things make ice cream more interesting. Can't go wrong with adding a chocolate wafer cookie into the ice cream.

What the Pitta:

I had dinner at a restaurant called What the Pitta specializing in doner kababs. I did not realize beforehand that they were a vegan restaurant. I had their vegan döner which was made from a soy based meat substitute, veggies, hummus, and tzatziki (dairy free I'm assuming?) in a wrap. I got the combo, which included a drink and baklava. It's here that I discovered that the British pronunciation of baklava is different from the American and it took me longer than it should have to figure out what dessert the cashier was describing. American: bak-la-va. British: ba-clava.
The kabab sandwich was really good. Plenty of flavors, and if I didn't know, I don't think I would have realized it was vegan with everything going on in the sandwich.

YHA Brighton Hostel:

I stayed in a hostel called YHA Brighton. I had an early train to catch leaving Brighton so I had breakfast at the hostel's restaurant.
The breakfast was served cafeteria style, and I got a little of everything offered. There was eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, potato cakes, baked tomato, croissants, cheese, and fruit. Lots of food for a good price.

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