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Showing posts with label East Coast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Coast. Show all posts

East Coast Wings & Grill

3138 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32828
(407) 930-0830

About a year ago, my favorite wing place closed down and mysteriously went out of business. Ever since then, I have been on a mission to find a solid replacement for my dearly departed local wing joint, and East Coast Wings might just do the trick.

If you are unfamiliar with the brand, East Coast Wings & Grill is a fast growing casual dining chicken wing franchise that has 24 locations in North Carolina, and has signed agreements to add 70 new restaurants across the country within the next several years. The franchise concept not only caters to the chicken wing lover by offering 75 different flavors of chicken wings in any of nine heat intensities, but also features salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and more, all using fresh ingredients.

The newest franchisee for Orlando just happens to be a former small forward for the Orlando Magic by the name of Quentin Richardson. Although Richardson may be known for his basketball skills, he has a keen interest in business development. With the help of Jackson Brown Hospitality Group, he has signed on to open ten East Coast Wings locations in Orlando over the next seven years.

Two of those locations are now open for business. The first one to open up was on south Alafaya trail closer to UCF and the Waterford Lakes area. The second location is in Downtown Orlando, and is aiming to give the downtown crowd some good alternatives for lunch and dinner. I had an opportunity to stop by the downtown location and try them out.

While we can all argue about the origin of the wing, or how big a wing should be, I personally like a nice medium sized wing. I get fed up when I am presented with those tiny miniature wings that some places try to serve, but I also do not want a mega jumbo turkey drumstick either, and I am very pleased with the size of wings at East Coast Wings. The variety of sauces and flavors as well as heat intensity offered here can be a bit overwhelming, so I would recommend going with a group and getting lots of wings.

What makes this place unique aside from the wings is the variety of other foods offered as well. They have a surprisingly large menu full of unique appetizers, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, pot stickers, nachos, egg name it...they have it. There is something on the menu to satisfy everybody, and they have some pretty damn cold beer too!

We started our adventure with the Chester's Pub Pretzels. These are soft pretzels, served with your choice of bourbon honey mustard or Sam Adams craft beer cheese sauce.

The soft pretzels were good by themselves, but that beer cheese sauce was addictive and delicious.

We could not resist the Buffalo Chicken Pot Stickers. Wonton style dumplings are stuffed with seasoned chicken and cabbage, garnished with shredded carrots and celery, and drizzled with Peppadew Ranch. A must have treat!

Chester's Wing Sampler is 30 wings in your choice of 6 flavors-We decided on Grande Cayman, Jamaican Jerk, Mango Bango, Bourbon Street, Garlic Hot, and Caribbean. Some were bone in and some were boneless, but all of them were good.

As a grand finale, we ordered the Big Easy Binnies. These are miniature versions of a New Orleans beignet, dusted with cinnamon, powdered sugar and served with your choice of caramel, chocolate or raspberry sauce. 

Overall I was really impressed with the food at East Coast Wings. I am looking forward to a return visit, not just for wings, but for maybe a burger, or a turkey and Swiss, or maybe a wrap, or...well you get the picture. So much good food, so little time.

Stop by and check them out some time, your gonna love it. 

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Aunt Catfish's On The River

4009 Halifax Drive
Port Orange, FL 32127
Phone: (386) 767- 4768

I recently had the opportunity to stop in to Aunt Catfish's for a family dinner.

I don't get out to Port Orange very often, so anytime I have an opportunity to dine on Florida's East Coast, its always a great opportunity to share my experiences.

Aunt Catfish's is a no nonsense southern seafood joint on the Halifax river, where all the servers are "cousins" and treat you like family. Fresh Seafood is their specialty along with Mango BBQ Ribs and mixed drinks that come in old fashioned Ball Mason jars. All meals also come with the house specialty cinnamon rolls that practically melt in your mouth and are part of the restaurants claim to fame.

Almost all platters and entrees come with or have the option to add the Fish Camp Fixins Bar and the Salad Bar to your meal in addition to a side item.

The Fixins bar consists of Cheese Grits, Cornbread, Cinnamon Apples, and Baked Beans. 
I sampled just about everything and enjoyed the down home southern flavors of all the fixins, especially the cheese grits.

The Salad Bar here is also quite impressive.

The bar itself wraps around to form three parts that contain a wide variety of greens, mixed salads, fruits and vegetables, and also features home made salad dressings.

With the help of my family members I was able to sample a variety of fried offerings including...Shark, Shrimp, Cod, and Catfish. While I enjoyed all the food I sampled, including my own meal, I thought the portion sizes were a bit on the small side. Most platters are either $19.99 for two selections of seafood or $24.99 for three selections including the fixins bar and the salad bar.

The Fried Shrimp platter was pretty good, and the addition of a Mexican Potato Skin as a side choice was something a little different, but pretty tasty.

Its hard to find places that serve good Shark, but for a southern fried rendition, Aunt Catfish's Fried Cajun Shark Bites are a real treat.

For my entree, I chose the Fried Shrimp and Fried Fish Platter with sweet potato fries as a side, along with the additional Pineapple Fluff.

I found the sweet potato fries a bit soggy, and the pineapple marshmallow fluff sounded much better than it tasted.

The shrimp and fish were fried perfectly and of course the cinnamon roll was heavenly...I just wish there was more. More everything.

Six small pieces of shrimp and what amounted to three or four fish nuggets immediately told me that I had paid more for the service of a Fixins bar and a Salad bar than I had for the seafood.

Overall we enjoyed our experience at Aunt Catfish's. Its a unique spot on the Halifax river with scenic views almost anywhere you sit. We found the service to be friendly and attentive. I would say that Its definitely worth a visit if you are heading to Port Orange.

My only complaint is the portion size of the seafood that comes in the platters. I would rather have more quality seafood than extra helpings of cheese grits and fried apples.

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