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

Tamale Co. Coming to Hourglass District


2411 Curry Ford Road, 
Orlando, FL 32806
407-455-1580
View Website Here


Just in time to welcome Cinco de Mayo, Central Florida’s most popular purveyor of fresh and tasty tamales will open a brand new brick and mortar location, Tamale Co. Hourglass, on Sunday, May 5th, in the Hourglass Social House.

The 1,300 square foot restaurant is an open dining concept housed in the relaxed, shared space also occupied by Foxtail Coffee and Vegan eatery Leguminati, with in-restaurant seating and a beautiful outdoor patio. Tamale Co. models a modern yet traditional Mexican décor and incorporates pre-Hispanic cooking utensils and equipment to give guests an idea of the art of tamale making.

Tamale Co. Hourglass will feature top tamale favorites from the food truck, plus an expanded menu of Mexican style street food representing Chef Fernando and wife Jennifer’s hometown and roots, and the location will also serve solely Mexican craft beer and imports, wine, mixed drinks, sangria and mimosas. 

“We are pumped to open Tamale Co. in the very cool Hourglass Social House,” says Fernando and Jennifer Tamayo. “Our partners at Hourglass have made the corner so beautiful, welcoming and trendy. It’s the ‘go to’ hang out space, and we are very fortunate to grow our Tamale Co. brand there, expand our passion and make it easier for all our food truck lovers to find us and enjoy our delicious tamales every day. We hope everyone comes out to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with us and join us for our very exciting Grand Opening.”

Don’t miss Tamale Co. Hourglass Grand Opening on Sunday, May 5th from Open to Close located at 2411 Curry Ford Road, Orlando, FL 32806. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 10am-9pm. For more information, visit www.tamaleco.com or call 407-455-1580.

Tamale Co. was founded in Orlando by Chef Fernando Tamayo and Jennifer Tamayo in December of 2012. Tamale Co. is original and traditional, unlike any other. They are passionate about the idea of tamale, a Mexican dish that can be traced back to the pre-Hispanic times, made of masa filled with anything from meats to fruits to vegetables, wrapped in cornhusks and combined with delicious Mexican sauces.

Making it a very traditional way to create a unique assemblage of different flavors, Tamale Co. offers the best gourmet Mexican tamales, each hand-crafted to an artisan perfection and prepared with the freshest ingredients Florida’s local farmers have to offer.

Tamale Co.’s rich passion for the art of quality and authentic cuisine is sure to unwrap the original taste. Tamale Co. Food Trucks can be found serving at Farmers’ Markets and making local visits throughout Central Florida, Brevard and Flagler Counties and the Gulf Coast.

Tamale Co. Food Truck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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MX Taco


207 N Bumby Ave.
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 730-5241
View Website Here


When I heard of another taco spot opening in Orlando, I pretty much rolled my eyes and shrugged my shoulders and said..”Great another taco place.”

We are almost suffering from taco overload, and there is a race to the finish line on what the next hottest foodie fad will be in Orlando... poke or ramen.

But then when I saw that this new spot was being helmed by Chef Ryan Manning and when I saw his concept and idea… I said…”Ohhhh, Wait a minute.”

I met Ryan at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes when I first previewed Highball and Harvest, as he was the sous chef there at the time. He explained to me that he was currently in the process of opening a restaurant in the Milk District of Downtown Orlando, and I knew I had to check it out.

After leaving Orlando, Chef Ryan moved to Mexico to work at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun where he had the opportunity to work his way through the cuisine and culture of Mexico while working and traveling for the hotel’s culinary experience.

He realized that much of what he thought he knew about Mexican food was actually not Mexican at all and that the cuisine was much deeper as you break it down from region to region.

Upon returning to the United States he became the banquet chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. This created a great opportunity to partner with the Mexican Embassy and Cultural Institute to share the flavors of Mexico with the guests of the embassy.

Earlier this month Chef Ryan returned to Orlando to open MX Taco – a fast-casual taqueria focusing on producing the flavors that he experienced through his travels and work in Mexico.

The menu is unique from the others around the area as it features the states where each item comes from and delves into some of the unique flavors you don’t often find in the United States, including Shrimp Tikin-Xic which has its origins several hundred years ago in the Mayan Empire.

MX Taco is a culinary journey through the different regions of Mexico, and after a visit here, you will quickly find that Not All Tacos are Created Equal. MX Taco is on another level.


A trio of House made Hot Sauces at MX Taco with Chile Guajillo, Chile Habanero and Chile de arbol is available on every table, which is only 4 for now.

The Guacamole and Tomatillo salsa and chips were both fresh and delicious with great flavor.


We enjoyed our sampling of Agua Frescas with Watermelon, Horchata, Hibiscus, Pineapple and Horchata with Coconut.

Street Tacos at MX Taco are on point. The Conchita Pibil from the Yucatan Region on the left with bitter orange pulled pork and pickled onions and the Carnitas from the Michoacan region on the right with onions and cilantro...both were outstanding.

Esquites or Mexican Street Corn was simply phenomenal, perhaps one of the best I've had.

Shrimp Tikin-Xic from the Yucatan region with achiote bitter orange shrimp and pickled onion and a Quesadilla con Chorizo from Mexico City with Oaxaca queso and chorizo.

This Pozole will warm you right up and is pretty hearty with a hominy soup and tomato pork broth, served with a chicharone. Pozole is a Thursday Special at MX Taco.

Bistek con Sikil Pak from Yucatan with steak, pickled onions, and pumpkin seed sauce on the left and Bistek en Salsa Roja on the right from the Sonora Region with braised steak, pepper sauce and avocado were all unbelievably good.

For a vegetarian option, on the left is a Comote con Mole taco with sweet potato, beans, queso, Cotija, pickled onion and salsa mole from the Oaxaca region, on the right is a Mole Poblano taco from the Puebla area of Mexico with chicken, queso Cotija, onion and crema.

The Avocado Ice Cream is AMAZING. It was very creamy and refreshing topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and shaved Mexican chocolate..


Just like the restaurant itself, the kitchen at MX Tacos is pretty small as well, but there is just enough room to make the taco magic happen.


As you walk into MX Taco, Chef Ryan’s goal is to transport you to Mexico with smell of traditional braises and chilies in the air with a guiding principle to provide the authentic flavors of Mexican Cuisine.

With fresh ingredients prepared in the right manner, the clean and oftentimes healthy dishes of Mexico do not require excesses in spices and ingredients. The goal is to take you on a journey through the states of Mexico with every bite you take.

MX Taco is open everyday from 11:00 am to 10:00pm. They are in soft opening from now until the end of January with plans to open fully and have some additional patio seating by the beginning of February.
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Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food


6000 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 224-3663
View Website Here



Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is one of many dining options available at Universal City Walk. Although the decor is very lively and fun, It certainly is very far from being Authentic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing thing though.

The food that is served up is pretty decent for the most part, and some things can be hit or miss, but let’s face it...this in the heart of a huge tourist area. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it’s a tourist trap, it is a place that I’m ok with not being fully authentic.

Once you step inside of Antojitos, you will find a lively fiesta vibe with neon lights, loud music, and array of decorations that get you into party mode. 

The bar has plenty of cocktails and tequila creations like the “Blood Orange Margarita” or the “Horse You Rode In On” made with Herradura Reposado Tequila, Ginger Beer, Amarena Black Cherry and Simple Syrup. They also have a very extensive line up of tequila by the shot that range from $5.00 to $60.00 for a shot of Casa Dragones.

The menu features made from scratch Mexican street fare with flavorful favorites like tacos, empanadas, and fajitas with traditional creations like hearty Mar y Tierra Stew and bright Mahi Veracruzana. Some items are just not quite authentic, are more of an artistic expression of what that dish should be.

The Chips and Salsa were pretty much standard fare for any Tex-Mex place. The salsa was a tad bland, but not too bad.

A Tropical Mojito on the Left and The Horse you rode in on the right made with Herradura Reposado Tequila, Ginger Beer, Amarena Black Cherry and Simple Syrup.

The bar is a focal point as soon as you walk into Antojitos and it has pretty cool vibe with lots of neon lights.

Queso Fundido La Generala is made with Menonita Cheese topped with chorizo sausage and ancho spice, served with warm flour tortillas.

The Carnitas were really good with beer braised chili pork, salsa verde, guacamole, queso fresco, grilled Serrano chili, black beans and house rice, but for the price of $16.95, the portion was underwhelming.

We really enjoyed the Churrasco that is composed of skirt steak, ancho, chimichurri, grilled chorizo, black bean puree, house rice and crispy chile onions. This was very tender and flavorful and had adequate portions.

As I said earlier, some things are hit or miss here, and they try to do too much with artistic expression. This is the Tamales at Antojitos and they were rather strange. They made them as a souffle, and I get the idea they were going for...the flavors were there, but it lacked the ultimate flavor of a good Tamale with a good homemade corn tortilla. Interesting, but missed the mark.

Inside of Antojitos is very spacious and open with a few different dining areas.

With live Mariachi music setting the tone on select nights, Neon Lights galore and a crazy atmosphere this is a festive dining experience every day of the week. The food is good and you will have a good time here, just don't expect authentic Mexican as the name suggests.

Antojitos is open Sunday to Thursday from 3:00 pm to Midnight, and Friday to Saturday from 3:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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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
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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.
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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
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