New Tastes!

Hotels

Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexican. Show all posts

New “Smokehouse Summer” Specials at 4 Rivers Smokehouse


11764 University Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32817
(844) 474-8377

(All Locations)
View Website Here


After Chef John Rivers returned from his most recent trip to Mexico, he came back really inspired by some great dishes while he was there. 

Naturally he wanted to share what he had found, so 4 Rivers Restaurant Group will debut four new limited time only “Smokehouse Summer” dishes at its locations in Florida and Georgia (excluding downtown Orlando).

Available from June 4th to August 4th, the Smokehouse Barbacoa Bowls will be offered in four varieties – Brisket Barbacoa, Nana’s Pork Sofrito, Chicken Tinga and Black Bean & Cilantro Rice.

“We’re excited to celebrate one of our favorite times of the year at 4 Rivers with the delicious new Smokehouse Summer offerings and family fun happenings,” said John Rivers, 4 Rivers Founder/CEO. “The Barbacoa Bowls serve our signature smoked meats in an all new flavor combination that will introduce guests to a side of 4 Rivers they may have never experienced.”

4 Rivers Sweet Shop will also offer two limited time only summer specials. In June the featured dessert will be a Mountain Dew and Doritos Cupcake and in July a Coca-Cola and Potato Chip Cupcake.


I was fortunate enough to visit the 4Rivers Test Kitchen and not only get to hang with John Rivers, but also get a first bite of the new Smokehouse Summer Specials.


This is the Chicken Tinga Bow. The chicken is shredded and prepared in a tomato chipotle sauce, then it is served with rice and black beans, salsa verde, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, queso fresco and cilantro topped with a sliced jalapeno. A This bowl had great flavor with a good spice.

Next up was Nana's Pork Sofrito Barbacoa Bowl. All Barbacoa Bowls will have base ingredients like black beans and rice, Pico de gallo, Cilantro, sour cream, and queso fresco, but you can add or subtract any ingredients you wish.


Here is the Brisket Barbacoa Bowl made with 4Rivers famous beef brisket, that is served with rice and black beans, salsa verde, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, queso fresco and cilantro topped with a sliced jalapeno.


While visiting your local Smokehouse, 4 Rivers guests can show their summer spirit by taking pictures at the Smokehouse Summer photo booth with their friends, family and food. Guests are encouraged to share their photos with #4RSmokehouseSummer on social media for chances to win prizes.

All prize packages include a beach towel, beach tote, 4R koozie, magnet and pen. Weekly rotating prizes include 4R spice rubs and BBQ sauces, 4R insulated water bottle and an autographed copy of John Rivers’ The Southern Cowboy Cookbook.

As a thank you to teachers on break, 4 Rivers is extending a 10 percent discount to all teachers with valid ID this summer. Additionally, each Smokehouse will host a backpack drive benefiting selected local Title 1 elementary schools. The drive will take place during a two-week period prior to the start of the school year – dates to be announced. For every backpack filled with school supplies that is donated, the donor will receive a free sandwich at that Smokehouse.

On Friday, June 15 and Saturday June, 16 each Smokehouse will offer family friendly Father’s Day activities including cookie decorating kits for kids and special gifts to buy dad such as Pitmaster Kits and 4R merchandise. Beginning June 1 each Smokehouse will offer complimentary “A Date with Dad” invitations for children to color and give to their fathers.

For the first time ever, this 4th of July 2018, 4 Rivers Smokehouses and Catering will be open this year on the holiday from 11:00am to 5:00pm.


4 Rivers Smokehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read more ...

Taco Maker Mexican Grill

7790 Lake Underhill Rd.
Unit 105
Orlando, FL 32825
(407) 930-0496
View Website Here

And… we have yet another entrant into the Taco Craze currently erupting in Central Florida. More tacos, more Tex-Mex the more the merrier as some would say, maybe others are tired of it, but either way, Tacos are here to stay.... for now.

With more than 100 franchise restaurants in Puerto Rico, the Taco Maker brand has expanded into the U.S. with their concept of made to order Mexican with the introduction of Taco Maker Mexican Grill in 2014. With more than 70 franchises now sold, the team at Frans Global – who acquired the Taco Maker brand in 2006 has made its way to Orlando.

Whether it’s tacos, burritos, fajitas or dessert, the food is served fresh and with passion. The menus are full of savory and customizable Mexican food options to fit any taste and any diet. Taco Maker features beef and chicken fajitas and fresh made on site guacamole, tortillas and chips as well as fresh made sauces with over 20 fresh ingredients to choose from. 

Inside is pretty open and spacious. Guests walk up, place their order and customize it as they go through the line and seat themselves, Fast-Casual at its core. 

Guests have a variety of toppings and options to fully customize their orders as they go through the line.

Mexican Grill Bowl with seasoned ground beef and Mexican rice and a Jarritos Lime soda.

A Quesadilla Platter.

This is a taco salad that is fully customizable and served in a house made deep fried tortilla. This was filled with Chicken Criollo. Proteins available here are Ground Beef, Chicken Criollo, Steak Fajita, Chicken Fajita or Pork Carnitas.

A Taco Trio Platter with Chicken, Carnitas and Ground Beef with black beans, chips and Mexican rice.

The Grande Platter I ordered came with a taco and a burrito, so I got the burrito stuffed with carnitas, and went with the ground beef for the taco. The carnitas were very flavorful and really good for a fast casual place, but they do make it everyday in house. 

The Apple or Cherry Pies are deep fried tortillas with apple or cherry filling and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon...what’s not to like?

Of course the Nutella Cheesecake Pie is pretty much a game changer. This is a deep fried flour tortilla with cheesecake and Nutella filling and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. They also serve Rellenitas XL, which is basically a quesadilla filled with nutella and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

Overall, we really enjoyed Taco Maker. The prices are very affordable, a combo is about $9.00 here, and that includes a drink. For the freshness of the food and ease of ordering, I personally don't mind another taco spot in Orlando, as long as it’s decent food and they are not trying to hop on another food trend like some local establishments.

They have another location in Central Florida as well, at 9924 Universal Blvd.
Read more ...

Cafe Rio


1040 N Orlando Ave.
Winter Park, FL 32789
(321) 422-2099
View Website Here


Cafe Rio is yet another entrant into the Fast Casual market, and of course the ever growing Taco Craze that is currently consuming Central Florida. 

Much like it’s competitors, you walk in, order a bowl, a burrito, tacos, salads or tostadas, and you pick the meats, toppings, sauces and sides while everything is put together as you go, you pay, then seat yourself and dig in. 

Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, is a fast casual restaurant chain based in Salt Lake City Utah, with branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Brand’s recipes are inspired from the traditional cooking styles of the Rio Grande region of Northern Mexico, Southern Texas and New Mexico. The Winter park Location is the first one in Florida.

The first thing you see when you start your order at Cafe Rio is a tortilla maker rolling freshly made dough and placing it on the comal. An essential tool in traditional Mexican cuisine for over five hundred years, the comal is what gives the tortillas their rich, deep and nutty flavor.

Cafe Rio makes their signature sauces, salsas, dressings and toppings fresh every morning, hand slicing fresh chiles, vegetables and fruits and mixing them with a blend of secret spices. From mild to “I can’t feel my tongue” hot, they have the fresh, flavorful kick for your favorite meal.

Options for ordering at Cafe Rio include, Burritos, Salads, Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tostadas, Nachos, Chips & Salsa, Queso, Guacamole, Tortilla Soups and a small selection of desserts.


Everything you order at Cafe Rio can be customized…Proteins, Toppings, Sauces, Beans, Etc… can all be customized after choosing your base.

We ordered an appetizer of Chips with salsa and queso and a side of the Cilantro Ranch as well as a side of Tomatillo. The queso was really good with a little heat to it.

Two Enchiladas, one with Shredded Chicken, one with Fire Roasted Chicken. Really enjoyed both, but of course the fire roasted version stole the show, but the black beans and the rice were quite tasty also.

Cafe Rio is almost as famous for their house made drinks as they are for the freshmade food. I was really impressed with the horchata and the fresh squeezed mint limeade. (I couldn't help but think that the limeade would have been dangerous with a shot of Vodka in it...We almost asked to take a gallon home!)

Two Tacos at Cafe RIo... one with Sweet Pork Barbacoa and another with Fire Roasted Steak served on house made tortillas. Both were really good, but the sweet Pork Barbacoa is ridiculously delicious.

Folks, this is indeed a Big Ass Burrito. We ordered it with the Chile Beef and topped it with enchilada sauce and extra cheese then had it baked for the win. It was large and in charge, and really good.

Here is a shot of the menu, to give you a better idea of how the ordering process goes at Cafe Rio.

There is a decent amount of seating available inside here, but they do have a nice little side patio area with umbrellas as well for additional seating.

Each day at Cafe Rio begins with a delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables, right from the farm. They hand squeeze over a thousand limes, hand scoop over a thousand avocados and they cook or grill all of their proteins and meats on site every day and prepare all the sauces, salsas and desserts fresh daily.

We really liked Cafe Rio, and think you will too. Sure, there is an ever growing taco craze going on in Central Florida right now, but what's not to love about even more tacos, burritos, enchiladas and nachos? If you are anything like me, you could probably eat TEx-Mex/Mexican food almost everyday of the week.

Cafe Rio is open everyday from 10:30 am until 10:00 pm, except Sunday, as they are open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.


Cafe Rio Mexican Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read more ...

Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar

7468 W.Sand Lake Road 
(Restaurant Row)
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 226-0550

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a review or write up for Rocco’s Tacos. My last write up for Tastes Of Orlando was back in 2012 for Rocco’s, and lots of things have changed since then.

I have visited a few times intermittently since then for friends and family members birthday events or corporate gatherings, so I was excited at the opportunity to return and revisit for a proper blog write up.

As I said back in 2012, the one of many things I love about this location of Rocco’s is the fact that it makes me feel like have arrived at an upscale version of the bar from the movie "From Dusk till Dawn".

Do you remember that movie with George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino? It's the one where they get stuck at a crazy and wild bar on the dark side of Mexico and everyone turns into vampires. Although I never feared anyone at Rocco's turning into a vampire, the ambiance and feeling of the place certainly reminded me of the film.

Owner Rocco Mangel opened his first location in West Palm Beach in 2007, and has had quite a good following with a total of eight stores that have opened since then. The Orlando location was still in its infancy when I went for the first time in 2012, but they have maintained a steady business since then.

That is a testament to the brand and quality that owner Rocco Mangel brings to his establishments, especially when you consider how many restaurants have opened and closed in Orlando and Restaurant Row since then.

They have a few new additions to the menu and also have reinvigorated some of the old classics and kicked things up a notch now in 2018.


Inside, or Outside, both of the bars at Rocco’s are pretty impressive. This is the inside bar with just about every type and brand of tequila you can imagine.

Whether you choose to dine inside or outside, there is plenty of room, with great views no matter where you are. The inside is full of unique chandeliers, skeletons, bizarre statues and an array of interesting things to look at. Outside they have seating lakeside with a great view of Little Sand Lake and plenty of tiki torches to light up the night.

The Chips and Guacamole here have always been a favorite of mine, with guac made table side and the seasoned chips that are good by themselves.

Jalapeno Rellenos are stuffed and fried jalapeño poppers with cotija cheese, lime crema, avocado ranch and cilantro for a really good appetizer to share at the table.

Pollo Al Carbon is a generous platter from the Especiales de la Casa section of the menu with chicken, green bean and frisee salad, pickled red onions and sweet plantains.

Of course Rocco’s has the tacos as well, and they do a pretty good job of serving them up with a variety of protein options, like this platter with Chorizo, Carne Asada, and Pollo.

Camarones Patron are a cool item on the menu that I really enjoyed, with shrimp sauteéd in tequila and rojo chipotle butter sauce, padrón peppers and served with flour tortillas.

Hey… they have salads here too, and they are pretty darn good. The Ensalada de Espincaca at Rocco’s is made with blackened chicken, spinach, mixed greens, goat cheese, bacon, grilled onion and a very delicious charred jalapeno vinaigrette.

Enchiladas are always a good choice, especially these Mole Poblano ones filled with pulled chicken in adobo drenched in a mole poblano sauce.

For all you meat lovers out there, I strongly recommend the Gaucho Platter with grilled steak, chicken breast, shrimp, chorizo, chimichurri, grilled green onions, radishes and corn tortillas.

You can not go to Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila bar and not get a margarita. They make some of the best margaritas in Orlando. One of my favorites is the Cadillac Margarita made with El Mayor Anejo, Grand Marnier, and Rocco’s Housemade Sour Mix.

Back in the beginning phases of Rocco’s, Rocco himself went and scoured the globe and visited Mexico more than 20 times to get a better vision for his concept. His goal was not just getting the food right, but more importantly...to bring the best and widest selection of Tequila's in the southeast to his loyal patrons.

At any given time Rocco's can have as many as 300 different Tequila's on hand. A single shot of a lower end Tequila may cost you around $5.00, But, for the discerning customer, they have a shot of "1800 Coleccion Anejo" for a mere $250.00.

Back in his heyday, Rocco was known for visiting his establishments and donning the shoes Pee Wee Herman made famous during the “Tequila” song and dance in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. He would jump on the bar and pour tequila shots down patrons throats and the place would go crazy.

Nowadays, Rocco Mangel is a little laid back and not as crazy as he once was. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis not too long ago, so he has undergone a lifestyle change, but it’s all for the better. Rocco has a made a big effort to be part of the National MS Society because as he says, he wants people to know that his life, and those of others with MS, can continue to thrive.

In addition to all the walks and fundraisers Rocco is a part of, he has also added a special drink to the menu called the MS Miracle Margarita that is made with Maestro Dobel Diamante, Cedilla Acai Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice, and best of all, the proceeds go entirely to The National MS Society.

I said it in 2012, and I’ll say it again... The only thing that would have made our experience better at Rocco’s Tacos, is if Salma Hayek playing the part of Santánico Pandemonium would have been our server. The food is always good here, and it’s an atmosphere that is so fun and enjoyable and they make a damn fine margarita.


Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read more ...

Pepe's Cantina

120 West Church St
Orlando, FL 32801
407-730-2341


Pepe’s Cantina in Winter Park took over a space that used to be Mi Tomatina, a place that specialized in Paella in late 2015. Ever since then, Pepe’s has been a great success at the Hannibal Square location and has become a staple of good eats in Winter Park.

Pepe’s has done so well in fact, that the owners decided to open a second location in Downtown Orlando at 120 W. Church street, adjacent to Hamburger Mary’s.

Sure, they have Tex-Mex classics like enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos and burritos, but Pepe’s strives to be innovative with a menu that puts a new twist on traditional Mexican cuisine. Table side guacamole, tacos with authentic fillings and fresh homemade tortillas are great for lunch or dinner, but ordering off of the dinner menu is where the difference is. Pepe is a real person by the way, as in Chef Jose "Pepe" Baranneko.

For dinner they serve entrees like Pollo Pepe’s a grilled chicken breast served with onions, peppers, tomatoes and bacon and is topped off with a signature red sauce and queso, or the Pacific Salmon topped with a sweet and sour mango jalapeno sauce. An interesting appetizer on the menu is the Shrimp Dip which is grilled shrimp with cheese dip, topped with pickled onions and cilantro.

Of course any good Tex-Mexery should have plenty Tequila and Margarita specials on hand, and Pepe’s certainly delivers in that category. Guests can try a Spicy Mango Margarita, a Jalapeno Margarita, a Mezcal-Rita or just go straight for the good stuff and slam a shot of Avion Reserva 44 extra anejo for $26.00/shot.

I haven't got to try out all there is at the new Church Street location, but we did stop by for lunch one day, and it was really good.

Chips and Salsa are standard fare at any Mexican restaurant these days, but this salsa is made in house as well as the chips, and that’s what really makes Pepe’s so good. They focus on fresh.

These Grilled Chicken Tacos were topped with radicchio, pickled red onions and cilantro then topped with a chive aioli sauce and are served with black beans and Mexican rice. You can choose flour or corn and soft or hard for your taco, and all tortillas are made in house.

This is a Mexican Pizza. It’s totally not what you would expect, but that’s what Pepe’s really strives for...classic dishes, or even not so classic, like a Mexican Pizza, made with different ingredients, flavors and styles that you are not accustomed to. You can choose shredded chicken or ground beef, and they top it with red sauce, cheese, jalapenos, sour cream and cilantro and serve it atop a lightly baked tortilla.

Stop by the new location and say Hola to Pepe. Chef Pepe and his team are doing a great job at both locations offering his signature blend of authentic Mexican ingredients with innovative culinary techniques.


Pepe's Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read more ...

Tamale Co. Opens a Takeout

1006 E Altamonte Dr.
Altamonte Springs FL 32701
Unit 1002
407-637-2189
View Website Here

Central Florida’s wildly popular food truck serving fresh and delicious Mexican street food is celebrating the opening of their first brick and mortar location.

Now all food lovers have even more access to enjoy the fresh and delicious tamales of the beloved Tamale Co. Food Truck whenever they want, now that “Tamale & Company Take Out” in Altamonte Springs.
is officially open.

“We could not be more excited to officially open Tamale & Company Take Out and right in time for the holidays,” says Owners Fernando and Jennifer Tamayo. “The love surrounding the food that we so passionate about ourselves has been incredible, and we are so happy to now make it even easier for all our food truck lovers to find us and enjoy our tamales every day. We can’t wait to see everyone at our grand opening, and we hope we become everyone’s favorite stop to satisfy their cravings throughout the busy week.”

Customers of Tamale & Company Take Out will feel right at home at the 1,000 square foot quick service casual feel restaurant with a modern Mexican design. The location will serve all of the tasty tamales from the food truck, weekly special tamales and even more of a selection of the sought after Mexican street food.

Patrons can dine inside at a wall bar or outside at select tables and chairs and enjoy the ease and convenience of “grab and go” service with delicious home cooked meals, a very popular concept in the Tamayo’s hometown of Mexico City. 


Tamale Co. Food Truck was founded in Orlando by Chef Fernando Tamayo and Jennifer Tamayo in December of 2012. They provide the people of Central Florida with an original and traditional assemblage of different flavors in gourmet Mexican tamales that fills the void between fast food and sit-down dining. Tamale Co. Food Trucks can be found serving at Famers’ Markets and making local food truck visits throughout Central Florida.

Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 7am-8pm and Saturday 11am-8pm (closed Sunday). For more news and information on Tamale & Company Take Out and Tamale Co. Food Truck, visit them on Facebook or at www.tamaleco.com

Tamale Co. Food Truck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read more ...

Cocina 214 Set to Open Second Location in Daytona Beach

357 S. Atlantic Ave.
Daytona Beach, FL.
32118
View Website Here

Cocina 214, in Downtown Winter Park is expanding to include a second location at a popular beachfront spot in Daytona Beach.

Executive Chef Isidro Alvarez is leading the award winning restaurant’s kitchen staff and menu ingenuity.

With more than 35years of experience in the restaurant industry, Alvarez is the perfect person to hold this well deserved position, overseeing the production of Cocina’s high quality and fresh Tex Mex dishes.

Previously, he trained with notable chef David Cordua and founder Michael Cordua of Churrascos Restaurants, in addition to working for Hilton Hotel and other restaurants.

Dining Room Rendering
Cocina 214 is an award-winning contemporary Mexican Kitchen & Bar. The name is a combination of the Spanish word for kitchen, “cocina” and the Dallas area code, “214.” The idea for opening Cocina 214 developed when two of the owners from Texas missed the Tex-Mex and Mexican food they had grown up eating.

They wanted the same authentic, fresh and quality food here in Florida. Cocina 214’s menu combines bold flavors with the freshest local ingredients to create exceptional Tex-Mex – all served in a vibrant, elegant setting.

The first location opened in May of 2011 in Downtown Winter Park. Since it's inception, Cocina 214 has won over 35 awards, including, “Best Mexican Restaurant” and “Best Tex Mex”, among others.

Cocina 214 is known as a vibrant and hip spot for brunch, lunch and dinner with a lively bar that is still approachable and family friendly. The new Daytona Beach location will look to continue that trend and uniquely position itself as the best Tex Mex destination in the heart of Daytona Beach.

Chefs make Cocina dishes twice daily from scratch to ensure the freshness and highest quality dishes. Cocina also offers a variety of vegan and gluten - free options to accommodate the preferences of all its guests.

Bar Rendering
The newest location will be aiming to provide guests with real authentic Tex-Mex, the freshest local ingredients and made from scratch dishes, including homemade tortillas, eclectic salsas, unique sauces,savory tacos, fiery fajitas and famous signature margaritas.

The Daytona Beach location plans to be open from Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. until midnight.
Read more ...

Border Grill

5695 Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 352-0101


Border Grill is what some of us might call a “Hole In the Wall” type of restaurant. With so many new restaurant openings over the past few years that have brought Orlando all kinds of great new and shiny dining experiences, it's actually nice to find a place that is very mom and pop and somewhat of a hole in the wall.

Make no mistake though, what Border Grill lacks in size, they make up for in flavor. The menu here is traditional Mexican street food with some Tex-Mex offerings as well. Everything is cooked to order in the open kitchen towards the back of the restaurant with fresh ingredients and fast service with no frills. That is what makes this place so special.

The Taco’s have become famous for those who have already found out about Border Grill. Taco offerings include, carnitas, shredded chicken or beef, seasoned beef tongue, chorizo and of course fish tacos. If tacos aren't your thing, they have a good variety of some pretty awesome burritos and enchiladas and a few other dishes and daily specials.

Chips and salsa are complimentary, but we ordered a side of Guacamole and a side of Queso to get our dinner started.

My guest chose the Trio Tacos with Carnitas. The pork was seasoned wonderfully and was topped with fresh cilantro and diced onions. All combos come with Mexican rice and refried beans.

  
I really wanted to order tacos, but once I saw Milanesa steak on the menu, I had to order it, as it is one of my favorite things. Milanesa is a thinly cut, breaded and fried steak. The one at Border Grill is topped with fried potatoes and sauteed onions and has now moved into first place for my favorite Milanesa in Orlando. In addition to potatoes and onions, the dish is served with lettuce, tomato, Mexican rice, refried beans and your choice of three corn or flour tortillas.

Sopapillas are popular dessert in a lot of Mexican restaurants. The deep fried pastry is usually served as a dessert, covered with honey or syrup and cinnamon. The sopapilla at Border Fresh is made for at least two people to share and is topped with chocolate sauce, honey, cinnamon and lots of ice cream and is a pretty fantastic dessert.

This unassuming hole in the wall may be located in a suspicious strip mall on Vineland road, but Border Grill may be some of the best authentic Mexican food that I have had outside of Mexico itself. The staff is very friendly and our food was cooked to order and came out pretty fast. Stop by sometime and enjoy one of Orlando’s best “Hole In the Wall” restaurants….you will not be disappointed.

Border Grill Orlando Fresh-Mex Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Read more ...