Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mediterranean Street Food in Maitland, FL

Mediterranean Street Food is located in a tiny building in the middle of a strip mall parking lot in Maitland. They have been around for quite a while, but I recently gave them a try for the first time and ordered some takeout.
I had the Doner - Gyro Bowl. This was served in a container lined with a large flatbread, filled with rice, then topped with the meat, seasoned onions and tomatoes, and a salad. Tzatziki was served on the side.
Also ordered a Falafel Bowl. Very similar, with a cucumber salad replacing the onions that came with the gyro. Interesting that the falafel were flatter, more disk-like than what I typically see elsewhere.
I enjoyed the food here. The portions were huge and were a good value for the price. Everything was flavorful, and there was plenty of vegetables to counter the main item. I'll be back.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Ginther's Swirls Ice Cream in Orlando, FL

Today is apparently National Ice Cream Day. Hurray for made up food holidays! To celebrate, here's a Dole Whip from Ginther's Swirls located on International Drive near Sea World. Pineapple soft serve ice cream floating on a pool of pineapple juice. It's was just like getting the must overhyped Dole Whips at Disney without dealing with the Disney crowds!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Hungry Howie's in Deland, FL

Way back in the day, I listed Hungry Howie's Pizza pretty high on the pizza chain hierarchy. Of the big chains, Papa John's was near the top. Domino's was near the bottom of the list. Hungry Howie's was second or third on the list. Then all the nearby Hungry Howie's near me closed.

I was out in Volusia County and ended up at the Hungry Howie's in Deland. The pizza was very different than I remembered Hungry Howie's serving. The crust was thick and puffy. I remember it being much thinner than this pizza was. The flavor of the cheese and sauce were fine. It seemed like they drenched the entire pie in a disgusting amount of some sort of butter sauce. I very much did enjoy the sesame seeds on the crust.
Hungry Howie's (or at least this Hungry Howie's location) was not what I remembered at all. It was worse. If this was a good representation of the chain's pizzas, they have moved way down in my hierarchy of pizza chains.

Something else that bothered me: I ordered this pie in the days of COVID-19, but before Deland's mandatory mask order - not that it would probably make a difference since people aren't following the rule in Seminole or Orange County). Not a single person working in this store who I saw, both front of house and who I could see in the kitchen, was wearing a mask. Seems like a standard safety thing that all restaurants should be following. If Hungry Howie's ignores masks, I can imagine there's other food safety things that might be ignored. Not saying they were violating any other rules, but that seems like a logical next step...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pizza 1905 in Lake Mary, FL

I ordered takeout from Pizza 1905 in Lake Mary. When I went in to pick up my pizza, it was promising. They had pizza by the slice on the counter that looked to be super thin NY style pies. I ordered a 16" Margherita pizza.
Pizza was mostly good. The sauce was very flavorful and the fresh mozzarella was melted nicely into the pie. The crust was unfortunately the pizza's downfall. Unlike the pie's available in the front of the restaurant, the crust wasn't exactly thin. It also seemed doughy and undercooked, like they rushed taking it out of the oven.
I want to give Pizza 1905 another try. There seemed to be potential for really good pizza, but for whatever reason, the undercooked, doughy crust on my pie was holding the pizza back from reaching that potential.

Friday, April 24, 2020

NY Food: Bagels (Pumpernickel Bagel, Zucker's Bagels & Smoked Fish, Russ & Daughters, and Liberty Bagels)

Since nobody can travel right now due to COVID-19, let's go back in time a few months and visit New York to eat. My last visit to the New York was in December for a few days. The last couple posts on this blog from New York had to do with the pizza and Indian food I ate on the trip. This post is about the Indian restaurants I visited while there. I ended up eating a lot of Indian food on my short trip.

Pumpernickel Bagel:

This was a random bagel shop I walked by in Long Island City when it was time for a bagel breakfast.
I had a whole wheat everything bagel, filled with lox cream cheese and onions.


 Zucker's Bagels and & Smoked Fish:

This bagel shop was located a few blocks away from Bryant Park. It was a chain. I ordered a sandwich called The Flatiron. This had everything seeded smoked salmon, avocado, and scallion cream cheese. I very much enjoyed this sandwich.



Russ & Daughters:

This place is a classic that I've visited before in the past. They have all sorts of delicious smoked fish here.
I had the Shteil. Smoked sable and goat cream cheese on an everything bagel.


Liberty Bagels:

This was my last bagel experience before heading back home. They were located close to the train station so I grabbed one last bagel before catching the train back to JFK. They had some interesting bagels that involved a lot of food coloring like their rainbow bagels.
They had some interesting cream cheeses as well. Can't say I've ever seen maple bacon or Oreo flavored cream cheese anywhere.
None of that matters though, because it ended up with me getting handed the wrong order. They confirmed what I ordered when I picked it up, but that's not what was in the bag. What they gave me was a sesame bagel stuffed with lox, avocado, tomato slices, onions, and capers. It wasn't a bad combination. It was almost a combination I would have enjoyed, except there was no cream cheese. Who in their right mind orders bagels with no cream cheese!? Unfortunately, I was already on the train to the airport when I opened the bag and saw I had the wrong order, so I ate it...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

NY Food: Indian Restaurants (Deep Indian Kitchen, The Kati Roll Company, and Apna Masala)

Since nobody can travel right now due to COVID-19, let's go back in time a few months and visit New York to eat. My last visit to the New York was in December for a few days. The last post from New York had to do with the pizza I ate on the trip. This post is about the Indian restaurants I visited while there. I ended up eating a lot of Indian food on my short trip.

Deep Indian Kitchen:

This was an Indian fast food restaurant located right outside Times Square. With this restaurant, imagine a Chipotle, only serving Indian food instead. I ordered a meal called the Live Fire Feast which was a combo that included a main dish and several sides. I had the Chicken Tikka Masala, saffron rice, chickpea dal, beet kachumbar, and garlic naan. I had blood orange lemonade as a beverage.


The Kati Roll Company:

This tiny restaurant served something called kati rolls. This Indian street food was something new to me and was similar to a wrap/burrito. There's apparently several locations of The Kati Roll Company in New York. This location was on MacDougal Street. I ordered the Unda Chicken Roll. This was chicken tikka and eggs wrapped in paratha bread. Not exactly knowing what I was getting into with a new food, I was very impressed. This little wrap was delicious.



Apna Masala:

This was one Indian restaurant among many in the East Village. They had a nice dinner combination that came with tea, appetizers, a main course, and a dessert.




Sunday, April 19, 2020

NY Food: Pizza (Vinnie's Pizzeria and Ray's)

Since nobody can travel right now due to COVID-19, let's go back in time a few months and visit New York to eat. My last visit to the New York was in December for a few days. The next few posts on this blog will focus on that trip. This particular post will discuss the pizza I sampled while there, because what trip to New York is complete without pizza.

Vinnie's Pizzeria in Williamsburg:

This was my first pizza experience on the trip to New York. Vinnie's was located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
I had two slices. One was topped with eggplant and ricotta. The other was a sauceless white slice. Both were a good example of NY style pizza. I preferred the eggplant of the two, but both were very respectable slices of pizza.



Famous Original Ray’s Pizza:

I ate at this chain of pizzerias in New York. I ended up getting a slice of white pizza when I saw the crazy prices of some of the more exciting toppings ($8+ for a slice). It was alright, but nothing I'd go back to seek out.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Gateway to India in Longwood, FL

Since everyone is supposed to be social distancing right now, I used UberEats for the first time ever and had food delivered from Gateway to India in Longwood. I've been to the restaurant before in the past, but always at lunchtime for their buffet.

The order consisted of Chicken Tikka Massala, Butter Chicken, and Garlic Naan. The main dishes were served in plastic takeout containers and came with a large styrofoam container of rice. The naan was wrapped in foil. All was delivered in a sealed paper bag.
The garlic naan had plenty of garlic on it.
Here's a photo of the chicken tikka massala after it was re-plated out of the togo container. Of the two chicken dishes, this was slightly spicier. Not unbearably spicy, but it had a nice, flavorful heat to it.
Everything here was enjoyed with my stay at home meal from Gateway to India.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Catfish Johnny's Restaurant in Lake Panasoffkee, FL

I was driving to Dade City from Orlando a while back and wanted dinner on the way. Restaurants were thin on the route I was taking, but the internet told me there were restaurants in the town of Lake Panasoffkee. I had never heard of the tiny little town, but the highest rated restaurant was called Catfish Johnny's. Headed that way and lost cell signal, meaning that my meal was phone free.
I ordered the Catfish Fingers Dinner. This consisted of a huge mountain of deep fried, boneless catfish. The crispy batter was nice and flavorful and the fish was tender. Corn fritters, cheese grits, and fried okra were served as sides.
With the slim pickings of restaurants that I had in the area, I think I chose well!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Farmer's Market Restaurant in Florida City, FL

I had dinner in Florida City at the Farmer's Market Restaurant. This was located in the State Farmer's Market. I've seen similar restaurants like this in industrial farmer's market complexes, but it seems unusual to actually see them open for business. This Farmer's Market Restaurant had the highest restaurant rating according to Google near my hotel and was also open at 8:00pm when I was looking for food.

I had their seafood combo special, which started with a cup of lentil soup:

The combo came with conch fritters, fish, and shrimp. The shrimp and conch fritters were both deep fried, but I had the fish blackened. The meal came with two sides. I picked mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Everything was tasty. Biggest complaint that some of the shrimp seemed a little overcooked and were beginning to be a little rubbery. Other than that, the fish and conch were both cooked well and were flavorful.
I enjoyed my meal!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Joella's Hot Chicken in Viera, FL

I had Joella's Hot Chicken highly recommended to me. Specifically, I was told to try the restaurant's Pimento Cheese Chicken Sandwich. I stopped in when I was in the area, and was a little surprised that it was a regular fast food restaurant. I had Joella's described as a chain of gourmet hipster chicken restaurants, but that was inaccurate. The building was similar to a Zaxby's.

As for the Pimento Cheese Chicken Sandwich, think a Chick-Fil-A sandwich (fried chicken and pickles) with added pimento cheese. It didn't look great, but the sandwich did have much more flavor than the Chick-Fil-A equivalent. I had macaroni and cheese as a side.
Joella's Hot Chicken was okay. It was a bit over hyped when I had it recommended to me. Good for Joella's for creating that hype though.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Harry's Pizzeria in Coconut Grove, FL

Was in Coconut Grove and had lunch at a restaurant called Harry's Pizzeria. They had a lunch deal going on where you got a salad, drink, and pizza all for less than the price of a pizza by itself. That's what I went with obviously. I picked an Escarole Caesar for the salad. I enjoyed that they put anchovies on top of the salad.
I had the Pesto Pizza. This pie had pesto for the base sauce and was topped with ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano, and tomato slices

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving at Perkins in Altamonte Springs, FL

 Wondering what a Thanksgiving meal looks like at a Perkins? I ended up at the Perkins in Altamonte Springs on Thanksgiving since they were one of the few places open. I was going to order breakfast since I did the meaty Thanksgiving thing already, but the talkative regulars at the next table had great things to say about the holiday meal on the menu. Taking the recommendation, this came with several slices of turkey, stuffing, green beans with bacon, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce.
A slice of pie was also included. I had the lemon meringue.
Not the best Thanksgiving turkey ever, but the meal was totally passable for a late night breakfast chain.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory in Tavernier, FL

I went down to Key Largo and decided to get some key lime pie. I ended up at a place called Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory in the town of Tavernier. They had several variations of the pie available, including plain, dipped in chocolate, but I decided on the key lime pie with meringue topping. The pie was nice and tart and the meringue was very fluffy. That was all good, but we really don't want to talk about the food, do we?
We want to talk about the bunnies. Blond Giraffe had a fenced in yard behind the restaurant. This yard was filled with rabbits! Apparently they have chickens back here too, but I visited after dark so they were all roosting for the night.
I ate my key lime pie rather quickly, but stayed much longer petting rabbits...

Friday, August 30, 2019

Lazy Moon Pizza in Orlando, FL (Mills-50)

Way back when this blog was pretty new, I wrote a post about Lazy Moon Pizza. This was at a location that no longer exists in a strip mall that was demolished for a newer development. Since then, Lazy Moon has expanded with a newer location nearby UCF (which I have not eaten at) and another location in Mills-50. The Mills-50 location is what this post is about.

The slices here are still huge, but the overload of half melted cheese that the UCF location was known for has seemed to improved. Lazy Moon seems like they have learned that too much cheese could be a bad thing and their slices are much more balanced in terms of cheese/sauce/toppings now.

Here's a slice with pesto as the sauce, topped with spinach and Italian sausage. They use slices of sausage rather than crumbles, which is always better in my book.
The Cuban Slice is a more unique pizza that I can't say I've had elsewhere. Its basically a Cuban sandwich in pizza form. It has mustard as a sauce, topped with pork, ham, pickles, and cheese. I was skeptical, but I ended up enjoying this.
I am glad Lazy Moon has improved since my first few experiences with the restaurant way back when!

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