Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza – Dr Phillips

Originally posted on Blogger on August 16, 2011

 
Every time I’ve ended up in the Dr. Phillips area recently, I’ve spotted Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and thought about how I needed to try it the next time we went out to eat. Of course, my silly overloaded brain always forgot when the time came to choose. So, just imagine how excited I was when I got the opportunity to try them out last night! I brought my dad with me (he is a fellow foodie and also a lover of beer, so it was perfect), and I have to say, we had an absolute blast. We were overwhelmed by the quality of both the service and the food.

We had gone in planning to try two of their newer items, the roasted cauliflower pizza and the craft beers. Try those we did, but we also got to try several of their other menu items during our meal. First we sampled two of their salad options: the classic Italian salad and the mozzarella and tomato salad. This may sound silly, but I could not believe how good the Italian salad was. If I hadn’t known I needed to save room for more food, I would have devoured the entire thing. It was not your normal house salad at all, as it had basics like romaine lettuce and red onion slices but was then embellished with garbanzo beans, olives (pitted!! Hooray!!), hard-boiled egg slices, and even gorgonzola cheese (on the side, and it is an extra addition; I highly suggest getting it). Not only did it have these extras, the simple vinegarette was delicious. Seriously. Freakin’ AWESOME. The mozzarella and tomato salad was also wonderfully fresh tasting. I don’t normally like raw tomatoes, but I ate the entire thing. The combination of the fresh (and generously sliced!) mozzarella, tomato, green pepper, and basil was perfectly balanced. Try it. Go. Now. Do it.

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Hawkers Asian Street Fare

Originally posted on Blogger on July 17, 2011

I’d read tons about Hawkers Asian Street Fare on Twitter and on other foodies blog posts over the past month or so before my first visit, and everything I read just made me want to go more and more. So, a couple of weeks ago I tweeted an open invitation to my fellow foodies to join me for lunch. It was a weekday, so I didn’t expect much of a response, so I was thrilled when three others came along! I also invited my good friend M, and so we ended up with a group of five at that first lunch. I enjoyed it so much I ended up back the following week with another friend for lunch yet again.
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Restaurant Review: Funky Monkey Wine Company

Originally posted on Blogger on July 3, 2011

I had been eyeing the Funky Monkey Wine Company menu for ages. AGES. So when a Groupon came out for the downtown location, I knew I had to grab it. Who can turn down $40 worth of food for $20? I bought the Groupon, of course, and last week convinced a friend to venture out to the Mills50 District for a bite after work.

It is a very small restaurant that is almost hidden in the shadows at night time. If I hadn’t known that it was next to Bananas Modern American Diner (owned by the same people that own Funky Monkey), I probably would have driven right past it. As it was, I had to turn around and crawl back to find the parking lot. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. I love a hole in the wall, especially if it has good food. It just surprised me, for some reason that I cannot pinpoint.

The decor at Funky Monkey is…well….dark. It was very dark in the restaurant; so dark in fact that I can tell you that I think the main color scheme included a deep purple and black, but don’t quote me on that. I’d love to show you a photo but well, you guessed it, it was too dark. Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore a small, intimate, romantic setting. The Funky Monkey has the potential to be just that. However, when my friend has to use a cell phone light to read the menu, and when the server needs to move the candle on the table so that we can “see the food better,” that is a little too “intimate” for me. I’m at a restaurant, not in bed. On the opposite side of the coin, though, some of the tables are so close together that, frankly, if I was there on a date I’d probably learn just as much about the couple sitting next to me as I would about my companion.
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Antonio’s on Sand Lake

Originally posted on Blogger on June 27, 2011

My littlest sisters (twins) graduated high school a couple of weeks ago. They are ten years younger than I am, so of course, this means I am officially old. They also graduated from a huge high school, and that means that their graduation ceremony was insanely long. However, one of them was a valedictorian and the other was in the honors program, so their names were called fairly early and, as sad as this is to admit to those whose last names begin with Y, I somewhat tuned out the second half of the ceremony. Oops. What was I thinking about instead? The celebratory meal that we were going to have after the ceremony, of course!

The twins’ chose Antonio’s, an Italian restaurant in the Restaurant Row area of Dr. Phillips, for us to have dinner at following their graduation. A few members of my family, including myself, had been there once before several years ago, and I was looking forward to returning. C and I got there before the rest of the family (we were a party of nine total, including C and myself, my three sisters and parents, my aunt, and a friend), so we decided to go up and have a drink while we waited.
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China Sun – Local Chinese Take-Out at its Best

Originally posted on Blogger on June 21, 2011

Hidden in the middle of an area of Orlando that one would most likely not venture to in search of a delicious meal, China Sun is found. While it isn’t an upscale or expensive restaurant, China Sun is the best Chinese take-out that I have tried since moving back to Orlando four years ago. I will admit, I’ve never actually been to the restaurant’s storefront (located at the corner of Oak Ridge and Rio Grande); we’ve always ordered by phone and had our dinner delivered. We have our standard favorites, but I do like to venture out once in awhile and try something new, so we’ve had a good sampling of their menu over the last couple of years.

We ordered food from China Sun for the first time in a few months last week, and since it was just C and I (and he didn’t want leftovers for a week like usual), we only ordered a few items and most of them were off our list of “go-to” options.

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Anatolia in Dr. Phillips

Originally posted on Blogger on June 13, 2011

My mother had recommended Anatolia to me a few months ago, saying the Turkish and Lebanese offerings were amazing and “just like the little place across from our old house in Boston,” so with praise like that, it was immediately on my list of must-eats. However, I kept forgetting about it when trying to decide on a place to eat! Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got into a chat on Twitter about it with a few fellow foodies, and decided C and I would have to try it that weekend for lunch.

Located in the Dr. Phillips shopping center off of Sand Lake Rd (right in the “Restaurant Row” area), Anatolia is a small restaurant with gorgeous decor wedged in between Einstein’s Bagels and Starbucks. It has a few tables on the outdoor walkway for when the weather isn’t too hot and is great, in my opinion, for both a casual lunch and a semi-dressy date night.

C and I have been looking for great Mediterranean food (his goal is to find a kebab as good as the ones from The Golden Grill in Clevedon, the little town we lived in in the UK) for some time now, and we definitely found it at Anatolia. This is far from street food, though, and the prices reflect that to an extent. However, it is worth the money, be it for lunch or dinner.
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Orlando’s Food Trucks: Korean BBQ Taco Box

Originally posted on Blogger on June 9, 2011

This week I’m writing about a food truck that I’ve been heaping praises on for weeks now; ever since I first tried the Korean BBQ Taco Box on my very first Official Food Truck Adventure, I just cannot stop singing this awesome eatery’s praises.

Photo taken from http://www.kbbqbox.com/about.php

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Orlando Food Trucks: The Treehouse Truck

Originally posted on Blogger on June 3, 2011

I am loving the local Orlando food truck scene, and so I’ve decided to devote a day each week (Friday!) to one of the awesome trucks around town. I figure that they are multiplying so quickly at the moment that it will be a LONG time before I run out!

I first tried the Treehouse Truck at The Daily City‘s second Food Truck Bazaar. It was my last truck of the evening, so I was incredibly full at the time, but I still managed to try a few bites of the chimoo and a fried PB&J, and they were both delicious.

The Chimoo – a huge sandwich filled with skirt steak, chicken, sweet potato fries, cole slaw, and mango BBQ sauce. Genius.

I got the opportunity to try another item from this awesome truck a couple of weeks ago when they were set up in Thornton Park with the Big Wheel Truck for the evening. This time, I rushed over after work to get there before they closed up for the night, and the truck was not nearly as busy as it had been at the food truck bazaar. Because of this, I was able to chat with a couple of the guys at the truck for a few minutes while waiting for my Aggie’s Porto Sammie to be made. These guys clearly love what they are doing, and that make the fact that what they are cooking up is fantastic all the more excellent. The Porto Sammie was so delicious and messy; the marinated portobella mushroom along with red peppers and melty provolone cheese is so hearty you will NEVER miss the meat!

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Disney Series #2: Kouzzina by Cat Cora

Originally posted on Blogger on May 26, 2011

C and I stayed at Disney for our anniversary back in January and took advantage of the Disney Dining Plan as part of our mini-vacation. I know this post is way late but hey…I didn’t have a blog back in January! On the first night of our stay we decided to try out Kouzzina by Cat Cora (here’s a link to the full menu, a new-ish restaurant (it opened in August of 2009) that took the place of Spoodles at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. I had made reservations a few days prior, and boy was I happy that I had!

Photo taken from WDW Info

I have been a fan of Cat Cora’s since her show Kitchen Accomplished aired on the Food Network, and love watching her on Iron Chef America, so when I saw that she was opening a restaurant nearby, I was psyched. Mediterranean food is a particular favorite of mine and C enjoys it as well, so it was a good choice for us for our anniversary trip. The anticipation was high enough as it was, but when we got to the restaurant and checked in for our reservation and saw a sign stating that Cat was actually at the restaurant that night and meeting the patrons, I got a little bit star-struck. Movie stars and famous singers do nothing for me. They might as well just be really rich (and often very attractive) random people. For the most part, anyway. Chefs and writers that I admire, though? As much as I say “oh they are just normal people, why would I get all worked up over meeting so-and-so”…I am 100% full of crap. When I saw Cat Cora walking around her restaurant and greeting people, I got positively giddy. Please forgive the horrible quality of these photos; they were taken with my old and incredibly crappy cell phone.

Me looking ridiculous and giddy and Cat Cora….not looking at the camera. Oops!

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Oishi Japanese Hibachi Restaurant

Originally posted on Blogger on May 20, 2011

I bought a coupon from EverSave awhile back for $40 worth of food at Oishi Japanese Hibachi Restaurant for $20 and kept forgetting to use it. So, when I realized I had both a free evening and a craving for sushi, a foodie friend and I went off to take advantage of my awesome deal. I had read very mixed reviews of Oishi on Yelp so went in with an open mind and fairly average expectations.

Oishi is located at the corner of International Drive and Central Florida Parkway in a shopping plaza. It looks unassuming from the outside, but the decor is very nice. The tables are made to look like natural wood, and while there is a lot going on, it is tastefully done. Since it was relatively late (almost 10pm, and they close at 11), we decided to sit at the sushi bar with hopes of seeing some exciting stuff being made right in front of us. Alas, the clear window was a bit too high to see anything going on behind the counter. A little disappointing, but no biggie; we could decide what we wanted from the menu instead of just picking and choosing as things that looked good went out to other tables.

We ordered four rolls (spicy tuna roll, sex on the moon roll, spider roll, and ninja roll) plus two pieces of octopus sushi. I’ll be honest, I tend to like to order rolls that sound a little different, so I was excited about both the sex on the moon and the ninja rolls because of their wild descriptions, but I was really most pleased with the simpler rolls.

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