New Tastes!

Hotels

Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville

6000 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 224-2155
View Website Here


Pour me somethin' tall and strong
Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It's only half past twelve, but I don't care
It's five o'clock somewhere….

And that's pretty much the case at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk.

When you enter Margaritaville, you can expect a party with lots of Jimmy Buffet music playing for all of the faithful parrot heads. The interior is designed to give you a feeling of sunset on the beach, with a big volcano that erupts every hour and fills up a larger than life margarita pitcher. They have stilt walkers, balloon animal makers, and live bands sometimes too…its certainly a change in Latitude that will change your Attitude     

As you might imagine,With a name like Margaritaville, Margaritas and island style cocktails with lots of rum are the house specialty, but no trip to Margaritaville is complete without tasting some of the island themed food.

With the help of executive chef Dan Murray, Margaritaville has rolled out a new menu at its Orlando location that will soon be available at all locations. Some of the classics, like "The Cheeseburger in Paradise" and the ever popular "Volcano Nachos" have stayed and have been upgraded, but overall the menu contains over 15 new items in entrees, appetizers and even new drink selections.

The refreshed menu features new appetizers, like the Asiago Crab Dip, White Cheddar Cheese Curds, and a Drunken Shrimp Skillet. But a new twist to the menu is adding a "Bites" section. The bites are small plate offerings that include Jerk seasoned Shrimp Skewers, Beach Tacos, and a Crab Cake Slider among other things. 

When going to Margaritaville, you can expect lots of booze in the blender,
that  will render that frozen concoction that helps you hang on….you can even get your booze in a take-home mini blender cup.

Some of the new margaritas are quite good. 

The Last Mango In Paris, and the Blueberry Pomegranate Margarita both add a unique and refreshing twist to a classic drink.



The Grilled Shrimp Skewer was a favorite of everyone at our table.

Its a different take on a jerk seasoning, as these are glazed in a jerk marinade and dusted with sugared coconut. Sweet, spicy and crunchy all at once.








The White Cheddar Cheese Curds were good also. Not really a Floridian special, or something you would find in the Caribbean, but this is Margaritaville, so what the heck.

The curds are served with marinara sauce and Landshark Lager BBQ sauce…very tasty.


Beach Tacos are offered in 3 varieties. Chicken Tinga, Carne Asada, and Braised Pork…you can choose any two for your selection.

We had the Braised Pork and the Carne Asada, both of which were flavorful and tender.


The Asiago Crab Dip is full of lump crab meat mixed in a sharp asiago cheese cream that is served with grilled crostini.

I am not the biggest fan of crab dips, but if you are, you will like this one. They do not spare on the crab meat.


The Drunken Shrimp Skillet is a unique dish. The shrimp are sautéed with Tequila Key Lime Butter, roasted garlic, onions and peppers and come with a baguette for dipping.


You can load your baguette up with toppings, or you can eat the shrimp by themselves…either way, it was a fun and delicious appetizer.


I enjoyed the Landshark Lager Fish and Chips. The batter was not too thick and left a nice crunch.

The Jalapeño tartar sauce was a nice touch as well.


One of my dining guests had the Fish Tacos with Avocado, Cilantro Lime Coleslaw and Key Lime Crema. They are served with Black Beans, Rice, and Pico de Gallo 

This is made of the same Landshark Lager battered fish and was pretty good also.


My other guest had the Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It comes with Green Beans and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Gravy.

No matter how far south you go…Fried Chicken is a staple of the south. This fried chicken was quite good and the overall dish had a nice southern appeal.



The Chocolate Hurricane is everything the name implies.

Its a spectacular indulgent creation of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream served with Brownies, Kit Kat and Heath bars, Pirouette and Mini Shortbread Cookies, Sliced Banana, Whipped Cream and Chopped Macadamia Nuts, that is swirled table side with chocolate and caramel sauces.

This desert is meant to be shared with at least 4 to 6 people…minimum. After all the appetizers and entrees we had, we barely put a dent in it…but man was it good.

They were also nice enough to bring us a slice of Key Lime Pie…that we had no room for either, but we ate it the next day.

Everyone really enjoyed our time at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. Yes its a tourist destination, but nonetheless, it is a very unique place to check out…whether you are a parrot head or not, and is great fun for all ages.

As Jimmy would say...

"The weather is here, I wish you were Beautiful, The skies are too clear, Life is easy today, The beer is too cold, The daiquiri's too fruitful, There's no place like home when it's this far away, I need time for to play"…and that sums up Margsritaville.


Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville on Urbanspoon
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The Grand Bohemian Hotel

325 S. Orange Avenue
Orlando FL 32801
407-313-9000
View Website Here


I recently had the opportunity to dine and take an inside look at one of Downtown Orlando's most luxurious hotels.

If you are not familiar with The Grand Bohemian Hotel, let me give you some background.

The Grand Bohemian is Celebrated as an experience in art and music, and takes center stage as downtown Orlando’s luxury icon. From the moment you arrive you will be dazzled with a blend of art, music and memorable hospitality that will immerse the senses. 

From the Italian mosaic tiled barrel-vaulted ceilings to the jester-like statues upon entry, an oasis of sheer beauty welcomes visitors to enjoy the unprecedented collection of more than 150 rare works of art.

Located moments away from downtown’s cultural gems, as well as Orlando’s magical theme parks, Grand Bohemian fosters a setting that celebrates creativity and inspires the soul.

The famed boutique hotel, steps away from Orlando’s Amway Center, attracts the
elite visitor, including celebrities, athletes and VIPs, to enjoy dining, art and entertainment. With 247 guest rooms and suites, an inviting rooftop pool, spa, restaurant, lounge and more, The 
Grand Bohemian is a captivating haven of creativity exuding passion and edge.



We started our evening by enjoying fine wine and a meet and greet with world famous Kessler signature artist,  Jean Claude Roy 

Krystle Nguyen of Tasty Chomps and JC Roy
Jean Claude Roy is best described as an “expressionist - colorist” that works most frequently with oils and a palette knife.


Since the late 1980’s, a characteristic of his landscapes has been the presence of the sun; this followed a discovery that by putting the sun – initially a black sun – in the sky, it added light to the picture, and it has now come to form an important part of the composition.

Everyone in our group really enjoyed the company of Jean Claude, as we admired his paintings and he shared stories of the French Countryside.

After our meet and greet we were given a stellar tour of the The Grand Bohemian's guest rooms and a tour of more great art work from The Kessler Collection that adorns all the walls and every room. There is so much artwork  and inspiration packed into the halls of the Grand Bohemian, that words do not do it justice. You must experience it for yourself.

From there it was on to the dinner portion of the evening. As you can imagine, a hotel that has such an artistic focus as The Bohemian does, they take food as an art form too. There are events throughout the year that will allow you to experience an artistic dinner with food and wine pairings that match the artist on display

In addition to the The Boheme Restaurants daily offerings, they also host one of the best-kept secrets in town, the Sunday Jazz Brunch that Features some of Central Florida’s hottest jazz musicians, and the Imperial Grand Bösendorfer Piano…which is another sight to behold all in itself.

Since we had the French painter John Claude Roy with us, an artistic wine dinner with a decidedly French theme, and some really good wines from different regions of France was in order from Chef Laurent Hollaender.

In his short time at The Boheme Restaurant, Chef Laurent Hollaender has taken ownership of the culinary operations in the Boheme and banquet events. He has more than thirty years in the culinary field and hospitality industry and uses his passion for culinary excellence.


Wine Pairing: Cremant Brut Rose
Our stater was an Amuse Bouche of: Salmon Tartare served in a Cucumber crown and a Quail Egg with Black Salt.

The term "Amuse Bouche" translated from French literally means "Mouth Amuse", and this starter certainly did just that.


Wine Pairing: Gewürztraminer, Trimbach
Our next course was an Hors d' oeuvre course of Duck Foie Gras Terrine, Smoked Duck Breast, Toasted Brioche and a Beet and Carrot Chutney.

This was a favorite of the night. The sweetness of the chutney and the richness of the Foie Gras were perfect matches.

Wine Pairing: Pouilly-Fuissè, Louis Jadot
The Poisson, or Fish dish consisted of Lobster, Sea Bass and Mussels Ravioli with Onion Compote and a White Wine Butter sauce and Lobster reduction.

The Flavors of all the seafood went went well with the ravioli and surprisingly had a very mild, but good flavor overall.
Wine Pairing: Cigalus, Gerard Bertrand

The meat portion was a Petit Filet Mignon with Morels and Chanterelles sauce with Pommes Anna, and Fall Vegetables 

Adding the nutty flavor of Morel Mushrooms  and the aromatic flavor of the Chantrelle Mushroom sauce really made this filet stand out.

As good as the steak was, I was also impressed with the flavor and crispiness of the Pommes Anna. They were nice and buttery.

We finished the evening with a very delectable desert of Brandy marinated Cherries, Valrhona Chocolate Ganache and French Vanilla Ice Cream

Wine Pairing: Banylus, Chapoutier
The Ganache was silky and had great texture with the right amount of Chocolate to compliment the Cherries.

Chef Laurent even incorporated a Jean Claude Roy sun into his picturesque desert. 




Whether you stop in for dinner, brunch, or an overnight stay, The Grand Bohemian is sure to impress. From the very moment you set foot in the door your senses are wowed and you are whisked away to a place that disregards the conventional standards set forth by hotels and replaces those standards with an artistic vision that is unsurpassed in Orlando. 

The Grand Bohemian truly Captures the classical and unconventional spirit of Bohemian cultures.



Visit them@  www.kesslercollection.com or 
www.grandbohemianhotel.com 

You can also find them on Facebook  @facebook.com/GrandBohemianHotelOrlando




The Boheme on Urbanspoon
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Haute Holidays at The Omni Orlando Resort


A world away from winter chill, couples can escape to Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate to experience HAUTE HOLIDAYS, offering lovebirds the ultimate romantic getaway as Orlando’s best kept secret is transformed into a magical holiday retreat.

Available now through Dec. 31, 2013, and starting at $290 per night, HAUTE HOLIDAYS includes a festive cooking demonstration and three-course dinner designed by Executive Chef Robert Ash, daily breakfast including breakfast in bed with personalized “His” and “Her” robes, Neiman Marcus Champagne Makeover and personal shoppers to coordinate a personalized look from head to toe, as well as a Mall at Millenia Shop & Stay VIP booklet.


HAUTE HOLIDAYS

Starting at $290*, Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2013 

Two-night luxurious accommodations

Holiday cooking demonstration and three-course dinner designed by Executive Chef Robert Ash including a complimentary take-home chefs tool and apron.

Daily breakfast: breakfast in bed with personalized take-home “His” and “Her” robes and Trevi’s 
signature breakfast buffet

Neiman Marcus Champagne Makeover and personal shopper to coordinate look from head to toe.

The Mall at Millenia Shop & Stay booklet including free valet parking and exclusive offers fromGucci, MAC Cosmetics, Brio Tuscan Grille, and more.

Complimentary resort service charge and self parking


Whether naughty or nice, yuletide couples begin their effortless holiday vacation in warm Central Florida with a view overlooking 1,200 acres of natural wetlands, golf courses and recreation reflecting understated elegance, luxury and pristine beauty. 

Couples take the morning to relax and reflect on the holiday season with a gourmet breakfast prepared by the Omni Executive Chefs while wrapped in embroidered “His” and “Her” lush, white robes. A hearty breakfast is in order with a day full of VIP experiences and shopping at Orlando’s hotspot, Mall at Millenia.



Holiday shopping in Orlando enhances the celebration with elaborately decorated stores and sounds of the season and is not complete without buying a gift or two for Santa. 

With the Neiman Marcus -- renowned specialty store dedicated to offering the finest fashion and quality products for both men and women -- Champagne Makeover and personal shopper to coordinate each look, Santa will be saying “Ho! Ho! Ho!” all the way home. 

Guests are treated like royalty with the Mall at Millenia Shop & Stay offering, providing exclusive experiences and discounts for the VIP shopper looking to take advantage of the finest side of Orlando. 

Warming up Omni Orlando Resort from a day of holiday shopping and pampering, lovebirds enjoy a delicious, festive three-course dinner without the clean up. Omni Orlando Resort showcases the talent of its versatile chefs with interactive step-by-step cooking demonstrations, exciting the taste buds and most importantly relishing in traditional holiday meal designed by Executive Chef Robert Ash, wrapping up the evening with a take-home complimentary chefs tool and apron.

Omni Orlando Resort provides guests who purchase the HAUTE HOLIDAYS package with a pre-arrival coordinator to handle booking dinner reservations, spa appointments and more. Additionally, the resort offers add-ons or upgrades to the package that include but are not limited to a couples massage, transportation, etc.

Wrap up the holiday season with Omni Orlando Resort’s HAUTE HOLIDAYS package by visiting:

www.omnihotels.com/Home/FindAHotel/OrlandoChampionsGate/SpecialOffers/HauteHolidays


* Rate is two-night package price, based on two-person occupancy, taxes not included. ** Based upon availability. Excludes the cost of purchased items.

Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate is a part of the Omni Hotels family, which creates compelling, memorable guest experiences by tempting the senses in innovative ways, surrounding them with a balanced blend of scents, sounds, sights, textures and tastes.

The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate offers luxury accommodations including 720 rooms and suites, two championship Greg Norman designed golf courses, world headquarters of The Leadbetter Golf Academy, a signature Mokara spa, two heated outdoor pools and an 850-foot lazy river. The resort also features six diverse dining experiences from sushi and sake at ZEN to the Italian herb garden and brick oven flatbreads at Trevi’s. For more information regarding the Four-Diamond resort, please call 1-800- The-Omni or visit http://www.omniorlandoresort.com.
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Vanity Night Club

110 S. Orange Ave
(Upstairs)
Orlando FL 32801
407-602-2746
View Website Here


The all new Vanity nightclub has opened at 110 S. Orange Ave. on the second-floor space above Vintage Lounge and The Fifth. 

Vanity is a gorgeous 5,000 square-foot club that features three full service bars, multi-tiered seating, crystal chandeliers, three private VIP areas, a dance floor, a state of the art LED lighting and sound system and a 400 square-foot balcony terrace that overlooks Orange Avenue. 

Vanity will also offer high-end culinary packages created exclusively for club guests, deluxe VIP bottle storage and special table side mixology. 

Pairing up classy cocktails and offering culinary packages should not be a hard task, since Vanity is owned by Miramar Entertainment LLC and is in partnership with The V Group…Thats the people that own Vintage Lounge, Vixen Bar, NV Art Bar, The Fifth, Hanson’s Shoe Repair, and Gitto’s Pizza.



Vanity was Inspired by the energy and glamour of Las Vegas and Hollywood nightlife. 

Inside you will find three stunning and sophisticated atmospheres including a lounge, nightclub and a balcony terrace.






Each section of Vanity comes stylishly equipped with its own private lounge seating, flat screen televisions and contemporary furniture that promise to deliver elegance and flair. 









With a brilliant ambiance to create an unmatched, five-star customer service experience for guests, Vanity is unlike any other night club in Downtown Orlando.

Their goal is to raise the standard for upscale nightlife to the next level.



If you are looking for a fun, yet elegant night out, or you are looking for some after dinner fun, check out Vanity. They are open Wednesday through Saturday from 10pm to 2am.

If you would like VIP Service please call ahead @ 407-602-2746
or email  events@vanityorlando.com 









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Mimi's Cafe

4175 Millenia Boulevard (All Locations)
Orlando, FL 32839
(407) 370-0333

Mimi's Cafe is seeking  to bring "Joie de Vivre" back to its chain of restaurants with new ownership,  an exciting new executive chef and an all new French focused menu.

To start with, I must admit that I was never a big fan of Mimi's Cafe. The menu was bloated and it  seemed that Mimi's was going in the opposite direction of where it once started, going further away from French cuisine. After a few visits over the years, I marked it off of my list and have never had a desire to return.

However, I was quite intrigued when I was invited to a media preview event for an all new "Menu Relaunch" that was going to showcase a new dedication to French Cuisine.

With the hiring of Phil Costner in February 2013 after Le Duff America Inc. acquired Mimi's , They are looking to refocus the brand and reassert a strong market presence.

Before joining Mimi’s Cafe, Phil Costner previously worked for six years as President and COO at  
La Madeleine Country French Cafe , which is also owned by Le Duff America. At La Madeleine Phil was responsible for operations, marketing, menu/product development, purchasing and development. He has a good sense of where Mimi's needs to be at, and is committed to making the 34 year old cafe chain relevant again.

The biggest challenge Mimi's faced was cutting the fat out of the menu. As I said previously, the menu was bloated and at times out of place. That's where Katie Sutton  comes in:


As Executive of Chef of Mimi’s Cafe , and a graduate of The French Culinary Institute,  Katie Sutton has worked really hard at changing the menu and adding exciting and creative elements. The menu redux consists of more than thirty new items that are of French influences. Some of the new foods include baked brie, seafood crepes, coq au vin, mussels and open-face sandwiches, as well as a few of Mimi's classics that have been reworked like the chain's French onion soup.

Baked Brie


We started the evening with Baked Brie:

In the center of the plate is warm brie that is baked in a cast iron pan and topped with an apricot chutney

It’s served with French baguettes and some  thin sliced green apples. This was a very tasty treat that we all enjoyed very much.



Mussels a la Mimi's

The Mussels a la Mimi's are steamed with white wine, herbs and garlic. 

I am not a big fan of Mussels, but these were tender and flavorful.





French Onion Soup

The French Onion Soup is a holdover from the old menu, but its been kicked up a notch and is even better than before.








Brioche Croque Madame

My guest had the Brioche Croque Madame.

It is an open faced Ham and Swiss sandwich with French Mornay sauce served on brioche and topped with a fried egg.


The Croque Monsieur or Madame, is a staple of many French Cafes, and Mimi's was pretty tasty. Its a rich and filling entree, but packs flavor in every bite.




Bistro Bavette Steak



The Bistro Bavette Steak is French-style grilled steak served with mushroom-infused au gratin potatoes.

You have a  choice of a bordelaise or béarnaise sauce and seasonal vegetables.

I opted for the béarnaise sauce. My steak was cooked very well and was very tender.


Some of the Desert menu was still being tweaked, but we treated to a taste of some of Mimi's new breakfast items. 

Strawberry Waffle Perdu
The Strawberry Waffle Perdu consists of three petite waffles  filled with cream cheese and orange marmalade topped with fresh strawberry sauce. 

This was a favorite of many guests, and certainly could be for desert or breakfast.
Bacon Apple Waffle


The Bacon Apple Waffle is three petite waffles topped with apples, hickory-smoked bacon, syrup and a hint of orange zest.

This waffle provided that salty and sweet combo and would really be good for breakfast.



What Mimi's Cafe has lost over the years, looks to be making a comeback and headed in a great direction. The new menu at Mimi's has brought together people who believe in heritage, quality ingredients, and a focus on good food enjoyed with people.

Tastes Of Orlando recommends you to stop by and see all that the new menu has to offer for yourself….I certainly will return.





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Greek Chicken Wings with Tzatziki



Here is the second installment of my Healthy Greek Eats recipe challenge.
Although I am just using some recipes provided from the folks at HGE, it has made for some interesting dishes using unique flavors and a variety of cooking styles.

The Greek Chicken Wings with Tzatziki is certainly something I would have never thought of, but tasted very good. I love wings in almost every style you can prepare them, and if you have a flair for the Mediterranean, or just want wings cooked up in a different style, try these wings out!  


You will need the following Ingredients:

8 Large Chicken Wings

1/2 cup HGE Tzatziki

1 Head of Garlic Halved

2 Large Red Onions

1 Jar Kalamata Olives

2 tsps. Oregano, dried

1 Large Lemon

5 tsps. Olive Oil


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place Chicken Wings in a baking dish

Cut Red Onions into wedges and cut your Garlic in half

Pour entire jar of Kalamata Olives over the Chicken Wings, then drizzle with Olive Oil

Place cut up Onions and Garlic on top and spread around

Sprinkle with Lemon Juice and Dried Oregano

Place dish in oven and allow to roast for 20-25 minutes or  until the skin is golden and crisp

Serve with HGE Tzatziki, warm Pita Bread and Lemon Wedges


Enjoy! 












About HGE: Healthy Greek Eats is a local brand with Mediterranean roots that debuted in the Central Florida market in January 2013. With the goal of utilizing native Greek cooking methods, Chef-Owner Vassilis Coumbaros collaborates with Sofia Karachalias to offer traditional meze, including Tztatzki, Authentic Greek Yogurt and Hummus, among other items. 

Products from the Healthy Greek Eats line are available at the Casselberry Farmers Market, and at The Meat House Winter Park. For more information about Healthy Greek Eats, please visit HealthyGreekEats.com. or visit their Facebook page facebook.com/healthygreekeats
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Peach Valley Cafe

2849 South Orange Ave
Orlando FL, 32806
(407) 896-4400
View Website Here

I recently had an opportunity to stop by the newest  Peach Valley Cafe location for brunch. 

Peach Valley is a chain of breakfast and lunch cafes opened by the folks at Stonewood Grill & Tavern. There are currently five locations in Gainsville, Heatrhow, Ormond Beach and two in Orlando.

The newest cafe is located in the South Side 
Marketplace on the corner of Orange avenue and Michigan,  just south of downtown.


The menu has a large selection of Eggs Benedict cooked in a variety of ways and plenty of other traditional breakfast items like Omelets,  Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, and Croissant sandwiches. 

If breakfast is not on your mind, they also serve lunch. Everything from soups, salads, wraps, and sandwiches are available to choose from.







For being made with frozen peaches, the Peach Bellini was not bad at all. It was mildly sweet and and dry all at once,  served with a rim of sugar.






The Buttermilk Drop Biscuits with Sausage Gravy I ordered was very good. The biscuits were flaky and held up fairly well to the sausage gravy, which had a good southern seasoning.






My dining companion ordered the Valley Fiesta. Its a new seasonal promotion part of the fall menu.

It  is a construction of chorizo sausage, pico de gallo and avocado, topped with a sunny side up egg, all served between two slices of sourdough garlic bread. 

This dish really hit the spot for a traditional brunch option. It was savory and not too heavy with the right amount of spice from the chorizo sausage. 





We split an order of two eggs cooked sunny side up with fried potatoes and an English muffin. The fried potatoes at Peach Valley Cafe are very good...nice and crispy fried.



Our service at Peach Valley was very attentive and took god care of us. The food here is pretty good....especially for the value. Our entire meal, coffee and Bellini included, was under $28.00...and it was enough for three people.

I would definitely return there, or perhaps another location if I am in the area, and I would recommend you to stop by and see them too.

Peach Valley Café on Urbanspoon











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Healthy Greek Eats


 It's been a while since I have done any good recipes on my blog. With so many restaurants coming and going in Orlando, its hard to keep up some times. So, when Healthy Greek Eats approached myself and other blogger's about a recipe challenge using their products...I could not refuse.

Healthy Greek Eats is a local brand with Mediterranean roots that debuted in the Central Florida market in January 2013. With the goal of utilizing native Greek cooking methods, Chef-Owner Vassilis Coumbaros collaborates with Sofia Karachalias to offer traditional meze, including Tztatzki, Authentic Greek Yogurt and Hummus, among other items. 

Products from the Healthy Greek Eats line are available at the Casselberry Farmers Market,  and at The Meat House  Winter Park. For more information about Healthy Greek Eats, please visit HealthyGreekEats.com. or visit their Facebook page facebook.com/healthygreekeats




HGE Hummus and Avocado Toasts

My first challenge was Hummus and Avocado toasts. This dish is a good appetizer to serve your family, or to your dinner guests with some good wine.

The flavors of the Hummus and Avocado along with the balsamic glaze on the tomatoes makes for a real savory flavor profile that has a nice texture with a bit of crunch from the toasted Pita.

You will need the following ingredients:

6-8 slices of Whole Wheat Pita Bread

1/2 cup HGE Hummus

1 Large Avocado

4 Plum Tomatoes

2 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsps. Balsamic Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut tomatoes in half and core them and remove the seeds.
Arrange tomatoes on baking sheet cut sides up in a single layer.
Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Roast tomatoes for 25-30 minutes until the tomatoes caramelize.

Toast your pita bread and cut them into circular shapes, or you can buy the prepackaged small round pitas.

Spread 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of HGE Hummus on each pita

After you halve and pit your avocado, mash it up with a fork, but leave it chunky.
Layer the mashed avocado over the hummus and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

Place your caramelized tomatoes on top of the avocado. You can leave them whole or slice them, like I did.

Plate and serve. 
















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Underground Public House

19 S Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 841-4000


Occupying the former space of Ichiban Japanese restaurant, is Downtown Orlando's newest bar that happens to serve food... called Underground Public House.

Although it does not advertise itself as such, Underground Public House is basically another gastropub. Im guessing the use of Gastro in the name was off limits, since directly next door is Avenue GastroBar, which I have reviewed already. Both places really share a lot of similarities, and at times, I thought I was actually inside Avenue Gastro Bar, but the British flag painted on the wall helped me to stay focused.

The food is of course classic pub food...Burgers, Wings, Fries and Wraps, but UPH is putting a bit of an Old English flare to the menu. They have some unique offerings like Shepard's Pie Potato Skins,  London's Scotch Egg, Bangers and Mash and of course...Fish and Chips.

Being a pub, they have a full liquor bar and a large selection of bottled beers.

At the tap you will find English favorites like Fullers London Pride Ale and Boddingtons Pub Ale along with other craft brews. 


Once Inside of UPH, you will find a fair amount of seating available at high top tables and seating at the bar as well.

As with Avenue Gastro Bar, its a seat yourself and flag down a server type of place.



We started our evening off with the Crispy Hot-Hop Pickles.

These are crispy and spicy hot pickles that are deep fried in an India Pale Ale batter and served with a side of Remoulade sauce.

These pickles were very spicy, but very good, with just the right amount of batter on them and a remoulade sauce that worked nicely to cool the heat down. 


The star of the night for us was the Shepard's Pie Potato Skins.

The Skins consisted of Peas, Carrots, Corn, Beef, and Cheese stuffed in to a potato shell served with sour cream.

The flavor of these potato skins was immense and very satisfying. I would actually return and order these as a dinner selection since they are loaded with ingredients.


My dining companion opted for the Vegetarian Baji Burger. It is made with crispy fried mushrooms, mango and avocado salsa and  spices served on a pita.

The overall taste was ok, but the earthiness of the mushrooms clashed with the tart and sweetness of the mango.


Although my first inclination was to order some type of burger, I decided that since I was in a pub with a British appeal, I had to order the English Stout Battered Fish and Chips.

It turns out I should have stayed with my gut instinct. The fish and chips at Underground Public House was just about inedible.

I received one large chunk of fish and one thin piece of fish in a soggy batter that was incredibly over salted. There was no amount of squeezed lemon that could make this taste better. The side of Broccoli Slaw also was inedible and had a strange foul smell. The chips portion of the meal, the fries... were actually decent and had a good seasoning on them.

Underground Public House should do well as a bar and pub as it adds yet another place to go for drinks at night and a place to watch sports in the heart of downtown. The apps we had were awesome, but the main courses were really disappointing. I would certainly return for the Potato Skins, and I also would like to try one of their burgers, which I hear is pretty good.

UPH does not have a website yet, but you can Facebook them here:
https://www.facebook.com/UndergroundPublicHouse

Underground Public House on Urbanspoon
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