Monday, May 27, 2024

Sampiguita: A taste of Filipino Ice Cream in Orlando

Orlando is a melting pot of diverse culinary delights, and nestled within this vibrant scene is Sampiguita, an ice cream eatery that brings a unique Filipino flair to the city’s dessert landscape. Offering an array of exotic and traditional flavors, Sampiguita is more than just an ice cream shop; it’s a cultural experience that transports you to the tropical islands of the Philippines with every scoop.

Filipino ice cream, aka sorbetes, has a history as rich and varied as its flavors. Introduced during the American colonial period, this beloved treat quickly adapted to local tastes and ingredients. Unlike its Western counterparts, Filipino ice cream often uses coconut milk or carabao (water buffalo) milk, lending it a distinctively creamy texture and a unique flavor profile. Traditional flavors include ube (purple yam), mango, and macapuno (sweetened coconut), each offering a taste of the Philippines' abundant natural resources.



At Sampiguita, named after the national flower of the Philippines, you’ll find a delightful array of flavors that pay homage to this storied tradition. The ube ice cream, for instance, is a crowd favorite, with its vibrant purple hue and subtly sweet, earthy taste. Another staple, Mango, bursts with the tropical freshness of the islands, while the macapuno offers a luscious and creamy coconut experience that’s hard to resist.

But Sampiguita doesn’t stop at the classics. The eatery also explores innovative combinations that fuse Filipino flavors with modern twists. Their calamansi (a local citrus fruit) sorbet is a refreshing palate cleanser, and the buko pandan (young coconut and screwpine leaves) ice cream presents a fragrant, green-hued treat that is both exotic and familiar.

Sampiguita isn’t just a place to indulge in sweet treats; it’s a community hub where Filipino culture is celebrated and shared. The welcoming atmosphere, adorned with vibrant Filipino art and motifs, invites patrons to not only savor the unique flavors but also to engage with the cultural heritage they represent. 

For those looking to explore new and exciting flavors, or simply wanting to reconnect with familiar tastes from the Philippines, Sampiguita offers a delicious journey into the heart of Filipino ice cream traditions. Each visit is an opportunity to enjoy a scoop of history, a dollop of culture, and a generous serving of community spirit. Next time you're in Orlando, make sure to stop by Sampiguita and treat yourself to a uniquely Filipino frozen delight.

Sampiguita Ice Cream Orlando

Address:

Sampiguita Ice Cream

1233 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL 32803

https://maps.app.goo.gl/VEFkQ1HoHtj2UUAn8

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/SampiguitaIceCreamOrlando

https://www.instagram.com/SampiguitaIceCreamOrlando

https://www.twitter.com/SampiguitaIceCreamOrlando

Monday, May 13, 2024

Death in the Afternoon


Death in the Afternoon is a bar and restaurant based around the theme of Absinthe.

Many of the cocktails have Absinthe as an ingredient.




We came primarily for the food.





This place is located on Mills Ave between King Cajun and Taki Cheena in a former thrift store.

Service and atmosphere were excellent and the seating was comfortable.

I would recommend reservations especially on Friday and Saturday. I think you could do a walk in on slower days.

Dishes we tried were:

Boursin Cheese with fennel and toasted bread - rich and tasty, could have used a few more pieces of bread



Escargot in garlic herb butter - this was a special, not typically on the menu, served with toasted baguette, tomato jam, and a small salad. The combination of the tomato jam and the Escargot was an unexpected delight.



Jamon Puff Pastries - I liked these but I think the honey might be a bit much for some.


Gnocchi with rock shrimp - the menu described this as being served with mussels not rock shrimp, but apparently that's changing. That was good news to me. I love gnocchi but not mussels. Really enjoyed this.



Chorizo Burger - It was a good size burger that had Manchego cheese and peach jam. The burger was accompanied by larger size cut of fries.


We also had the pork belly which was served with a pepper sauce and grilled onion.




Everyone in our group really enjoyed our cocktails each in their own unique glasses.





We will definitely be back and keeping an eye on their social media for special dishes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The Return of Chef Jerry

Back in 2013 I encountered a restaurant called Kesh on the east side of town. I had many great meals, conversations and experiences with friends and Jerry Helminski the owner and chef. It closed a few years later and the chef went on to work at other places. 

I've kept in touch with him over the years and recently we started talking about his next endeavors. He's got a few different things in the works. 

Recently we got together for a supper club and to try some of his culinary creations and discuss some techniques of preparation.

We started with some marinated olives and peppers, they were marinated in oil and I believe crushed red pepper flakes.

The theme of the dinner was salt, we were presented with a variety of salts to taste and smell including Hawaiian black and red, kosher, maldon and smoked.

Course 1 was Compressed Watermelon with Pickled Onions, Aged Balsamic, and Black Salt. This had a great flavor excellent combination of salty and mildly sweet.


I wanted to better understand the process of compressing watermelon, it involves a Cryovac. So Chef demonstrated it for us. 




Course 2 was tuna tartare with cucumbers, this was simple and pleasant. We discussed sourcing of fish you can eat raw, which may be challenging for some who don't have connections with a seafood distributor. The smoked sea salt elevated this dish.

Course 3 up was Grilled Korean Style Beef Short Ribs with Kimchi BBQ Glaze, I loved this. I like the visual of the plating as well.



Course 4 was red salt seared scallops with mushrooms & ginger hot siphon infused broth and blistered tomatoes. Chef demonstrated how to use the infusing machine, which reminded me of high school chemistry class, the infuser is similar to some high end coffee machines with the beakers and glass. The broth is in the bottom and is boiled up to the top where the ginger, lemon and peppers are. Then the broth drips back down through a strainer.





Course 5 was crispy-salty skin pork belly with sherry syrup & almonds, The skin was exceptionally crispy the sauce was sweet. This was an excellent dish.





Course 6 was kombu & pink salt cured salmon belly with shaved truffle and black and salmon roe. Kombu is a seaweed that can impart dishes with umami flavor.






The final course of dessert was a selection of beets, dried fruit and chocolate hummus, I was a little skeptical about the chocolate hummus, but it was actually fantastic. I could lightly taste the chick peas flavor. This course was a unique take on dessert. 






Overall this night was one to remember, an excellent experience.. My favorite part other than the fantastic food is discussing the cooking techniques to see what I can absorb for my own home cooking attempts. 

I can't wait to see what Jerry has in store for the future.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Ice Cream for Breakfast at Kelly's

Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day was created by Malia Grace’s mom and aunt in 2013 in honor of her memory after Malia Grace passed away from cancer in 2010.

She loved ice cream and her family wanted to commemorate her birthday in a way that would be fitting for Malia Grace.

During her wish trip at Give Kids the World, Malia Grace had the opportunity to Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast and it was a highlight of her family's experience.

February 18th has become an annual international childhood cancer awareness event. Each year the celebration has grown; increasing support for those fighting, celebrating the survivors and remembering the children we have lost.

During the month of February, Kelly's Ice Cream will be donating a portion of proceeds from certain flavors to Arnold Palmer's Hospital for Children. 


On the date of February 18th, 50% of the proceeds earned on ice for breakfast will be donated as well. Additionally customers can donate during their visit in February all month long.


The two featured ice cream flavors are Blueberry Pancake and Maple Bourbon Bacon. I got to try both and I really loved the maple bourbon bacon, it had real pieces of crispy bacon.


So go out to one of the Kelly's Ice cream locations and enjoy some ice cream and make your donation. 


More Details here: https://www.kellyshomemadeicecream.com/eaticecreamforbreakfast