Monday, July 28, 2014

Orlando Artisan Marketplace

Orlando Artisan Marketplace, a weekly, on Friday, Farmer's market at Fashion Square Mall to have it's Grand Opening Event Friday Aug 1st @ 3 pm.
Here is the press release:
The Orlando Artisan Marketplace:

 Locally Grown, Crafted, & Enjoyed

A Community Market at the Fashion Square Mall

Central Florida has become a hub for all things local, cultural and sustainable, with an increasing shift towards small business and craft, farming, and community. The desire for locally produced food and goods continues to grow, along with burgeoning support for local commerce.

In the spirit of this growing need, this return to a sustainable and involved community, we introduce the Orlando Artisan Marketplace: Locally Grown, Crafted, & Enjoyed.

This is more than just a farmer’s market. This is local food, wine, art, goods, talent and culture at its best, deepening community ties and support, a return to our roots: this is Central Florida, this is the Orlando Artisan Marketplace.
With the combined vision of the newly revamped and renewed Fashion Square Mall, local food activist and businessman Steve Moreau, and local marketing consultant and writer Jade A. Murray, the Orlando Artisan Marketplace was born.  

Steven Moreau has been a fixture in the local food scene for the past ten years, first as a farm apprentice on a grass-fed farm in Northern Florida milking cows, feeding chicken and pigs, and learning the ins and outs of sustainable farming practices. His focus in recent years has been to provide this superior quality food to locals through his farm food buying service. Sourced from only the best Florida farms, makes grass-fed and toxin free food available to residents all around Central Florida. Steve personally visits and picks up from each farmer, ensuring quality and fostering relationships reminiscent of the “good old days” when we were more in touch with our food, neighbors and community.

His reputation preceding him, Steve was recently approached by the good people at the Fashion Square Mall to put together a local farmers market in their efforts to grow the local economy and community. With his passion for local business, culture, food and sustainability, Steve jumped at the chance. He enlisted the expertise of his marketing consultant and together they have brought this vision to life.

Jade Murray has been marketing and writing for small business for years, specializing in content marketing and building local brands. As part of the Orlando Artisan Market she will be marketing vendors through social media and other sources, highlighting both the market as a whole as well showcasing the local talents.

As we prepare to launch the Orlando Artisan Marketplace we are handpicking only the finest artisan producers. From homemade skincare products to salsa, locally grown greens and handcrafted goods, we are bringing together a group of people who are passionate about their products and who put quality first. Our vendors are sincere people with intimate knowledge and pride in their craft, whether it is crafting wallets or growing the best Central Florida tomatoes around!

The Orlando Artisan Marketplace is more than just a farmer’s market; it is an experience, a featured weekly event cultivating the local economy, culture and community.

With the full support of the Fashion Square Mall, the heart of Orlando, we are excited to announce this amazing and unique gathering of local talent. The Orlando Artisan Marketplace will be open every Friday from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. Come enjoy a leisurely walk around the air conditioned mall, never mind the Florida heat or rain, and stock up on your favorite locally produced goods while enjoying a sense of community with your fellow neighbors.

Enjoy food demonstrations, small group seminars, guest speakers, and market tours along with locally farmed organic produce, grass-fed meats, raw honey, handcrafted soaps and lotions, and so much more!

Join us in revitalizing and bringing together the cultural community, supporting local commerce, and providing delicious foods and unique goods to your family all while enjoying your Friday evening with family, friends, and neighbors at the Orlando Artisan Marketplace!

The Grand Opening Event will be on Friday, August 1st beginning at 3:00pm. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Restaurants Opened in Orlando May/June 2014

Recent restaurant openings in the Orlando area:
Cafe 906 opened in Baldwin Park

Bistro CloClo(french) in old Press 101 Dr. Philips

Beer & Burger Joint UCF

P is for Pie

Cappadocia Turkish

Fresh to Order Waterford Lakes

The Porch Winter Park:

GT Roti and Curry, Sandlake and OBT :

Mikki V's Winter Springs:

Bleu 42 East Aloma:

Cafe 1739 Winter Garden:

Trevi Pasta on Corner of Princeton and Edgewater:

Memories of India
Virgin Olive Market
La Brexta in East End Market(to be replaced by Kappo Japanese cuisine)

coming soon:
Osprey Tavern Baldwin Park:

Southern Moon BBQ Orlando

Southern Moon BBQ just opened This Past Sunday so I stopped off today to give them a try. They are located on Curry Ford and Crystal Lake next to Winn Dixie and Rogue Pub.

Kicked things off with a drink, Lemonade Tea with Moonshine and Peach Schnapps.

Here is the Menu which is on a couple walls, no paper menu yet.

Started off with the buffalo wings, the ranch was buttermilk and unique, Wings were good but nothing I haven't had before. Still good wings are hard to come by.

Ordered a variety of the BBQ'ed meats which you can order by the 1/4 pound or more. wanted to try all the red meats, so got the St. Louis Ribs, Pork Shoulder and Brisket.

Side of Mac & Cheese, better than average. Kinda expensive at $5.99 but a very generous portion. Pretty good, better than average. Would like to see a version with some pork in it.

St. Louis ribs were my favorite thing, they had a nice seasoning and a light smoke flavor which was just right.

They give you a variety of sauces if you request them, they have Texas Q style which is Smokey with I believe a Chipotle pepper flavor. St Louis sauce(my fav) it was thin and a little sweet, Alabama White sauce, Mustard sauce & a Spicy One. One complaint, the sauces they gave us in bottles kept getting ingredients stuck in the top so not much would come out. Have them give you each sauce in a bowl/side container instead, but what that means is that they are using real ingredients and making the sauces themselves which is outstanding.

Interior was a bit desolate but still comfortable and Cozy, can't judge or expect much in their first week they are still getting things situated I'm sure. Our server was awesome, Booth was comfy, restroom was spotless.
There hasn't been any good BBQ places in the Conway area for a long time so I think and hope they will do quite well. Menu has a lot more things that I didn't try lots of interesting desserts too.  If you order typically I'd say check will average $20-$25 a person. Not counting alcohol.

Southern Moon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sushi Pop

On April 2, I visited Sushi Pop for a complimentary sampling of some of its existing and potentially new menu items. I'm glad that I went as I previously had not been to the restaurant, although I always have wanted to try it out. The food I tried here definitely invigorated my interest!

I sat at the counter, with the kitchen and its workers directly in front of me. Throughout the evening, I interacted with several very friendly employees. Chau, Sufian and their fellow employees were attentive, genuine and polite.

I the first menu item I tried was the So Fresh & So Clean (Hawaiian yellowtail, tuna, tempura asparagus, tobanjan aioli, Asian relish, radishes). It was really good! This is something I definitely will consider ordering during future visits.

The second item presented to me was the Bacon-Wrapped Scallop (below; kampyo, avocado, crab, tobanjan aioli, scallop, orange kosho, fleur de sel, chives, torched Iberico Lardo). This was excellent and one of my favorite sampled items.

I might have the order wrong, but next up may have been the boquerones, which were prepared with an aioli, spicy garlic panko and fried capers. I've never been a fan of anchovies, but these were very good and totally different from my general perception of anchovies.

The Octopus a la Plancha (below; charred white scallion and shishito chimichurri, nori purée, sweet potato) was another one of my favorites.

Perhaps the best item I tried was the Black and White (below; cobia, venere rice, black edamame, poached quail egg, yuzu vinaigrette, tempura sea beans). As far as I can remember, I never had cobia until going to Sushi Pop. I was very impressed by its presentation and preparation. The cobia was tender and delicious. I highly recommend the Black and White.

Up next was the Khao Soi (below; duck confit, spicy Burmese curry, squid ink gochugaru noodles, house pickled cabbage, coconut milk). I liked what I tried of this, although I was unable to finish all of it since I was getting pretty full.

I did save a little bit of room for dessert, though, and ate all of the Hot Chocolate Soup (below; seasonal berries, chocolate cake, toasted marshmallow, Japanese black sugar ice cream, spiced chocolate drizzle). This was one of the best desserts I've ever had! Each ingredient perfectly complemented the others. I especially enjoyed the spicy chocolate drizzle, which definitely had a "kick" to it. I think this item is new or not yet on the menu, but I'm sure it'll be very popular once it becomes a menu mainstay. I absolutely would order it again. I also plan to try the Peanut Butter and Jelly Sorbet during my next visit.

Overall, this was an excellent experience. I hope to make it to Sushi Pop again soon. It's a very interesting, unique and impressive restaurant. I now know why it is so well-liked in our community. Thank you, once again, to Chau, Sufian and the Sushi Pop staff for accommodating me and making me feel very welcome!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lunch at Artisan's Table

I made my second visit to Artisan's table for lunch yesterday (see pics from my 1st visit here: Breakfast at Artisan's table )

For lunch I tried to Kalbi Cheesesteak - $10  downtown Orlando. Korean marinated beef rib eye, Gruyere, caramelized onions & red peppers, radish, kimchee ketchup, arugula on baguette. This sandwich was truly creative and delicious. The kimchee ketchup was only vaguely spicy but perfect for this. Bread was awesome from a French bakery out in Ocoee.

I also sampled the Smoked Chicken Salad with Basil Green Goddess dressing it was spectacular! I can't wait to go back for dinner.

They are open until midnight on the weekends.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scenes from The Coop

The Coop from John Rivers of 4 Rivers fame opened last week off Morse near Dexter's in Winter Park. Today I got a chance to try it.

The menu has a lot of great sounding items, the most interesting items were the shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes, po boys, meatloaf, chicken & waffles, pimento cheese dip. They also have organic roasted chicken as a healthier option to the signature fried chicken.

My first attempt to visit was on Monday the next week after their opening, their menu, website & Yelp says they are open Mondays but they were not on this particular Monday probably due to opening week growing pains, fair enough. So I tried again on Tuesday, I got there a few minutes after 11 and there was already a 30+ minute wait. So make sure you allow plenty of time to order and eat. They do have a takeout window on the side but it's not open yet, it's not clear if they do takeout orders at the counter, you'll likely have to wade through the sea of people blocking the entrance unless you enter via the back patio. The good thing is the dining room is quite large with many great wooden tables and chairs and even more picnic tables outside. Their hours are: Mon-Fri 11-2 and 5-9, Sat 11-9, closed Sunday.

There is a small parking lot but just like 4 Rivers which is constantly packed this one was too, it was easy to find parking not far down the street and there are no meters in the surrounding blocks.

The ordering process much like 4 Rivers is a cafeteria line where you tell the 1st employee your order and she writes it on a sheet which also serves as your placemat on a tray, then the next employee puts your sides on etc.

They have a soda machine with unlimited refills & iced tea as well.

Mr. Rivers himself was there working the line and later working the room meeting guest.

Overall it seems to be a good value for the money, slightly cheaper than 4 rivers. 

The bread pudding I liked but probably too sweet for most folks, I like the krispy kreme bread pudding from 4R better, I'm not sure what this bread pudding was made from, it was not as firm as the 4 Rivers version.

Many of the desserts look quite good such as the Pecan Pie and the Cherry Hand Pie.

I didn't have anything as good as the 4 Rivers brisket which I believe is worth the 30 minute + wait. My favorite item was the Mac and cheese, 2nd best was the pimento dip, very rich though. I still will reserve my full judgment until I try the po boys, meatloaf and a few other items. I'm not a huge fan of chicken, so I'm not the best to judge that item. The seasoning on the chicken was good, very full of black pepper.

I'm a huge fan of well made grits but these were not flavorful enough for me, they were quite creamy which is a great start a little more cheese or seasoning would make them great.

Don't just take my opinion for it, check out these posts by some of my fellow Orlando Bloggers:

Tasty Chomps - The Coop: A Southern Affair by Chef John Rivers – A Preview

The Coop: A Southern Affair, Offers Refined Southern Comfort Food 

Thanks for the Fork - From the Preview Party 

The Coop on Urbanspoon 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Qarma Crepes

Qarma Crepes opened a few months ago in Thornton Park.

Check them out at their site:

and read the reviews:

12 N Summerlin Ave
Orlando, FL 32801
(407) 403-5549

Tamarind Indian now open on East Colonial

Tamarind Indian which has it's first location in Winter Park has opened it's second location on East Colonial in the former Cypriana Greek near Woodbury.

check out the reviews:

Tartini Pizzeria & Spaghetteria now open in Apopka

Tartini which opened last year on South Orange Ave has opened a second location in Apopka. Check out the reviews.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cafe 906 Now Open in Baldwin Park

Cafe 906 used to be across from Austin's Coffee House in Winter Park, they closed about a year ago. The are now open in Baldwin Park at 4932 New broad street, Orlando, FL 32814 where O'boys was for a while.

They always had good french pastries, quiche and sandwiches. Follow them on their facebook page and check out their blog which has lots of pics of the food they used to serve at their old location.,-81.326063,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x88e76544e199ad57:0x556c38ac5e502d70 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Florida Film Festival 2014

The 23rd annual Florida Film Festival will take place in Maitland Florida on April 4-13, 2014. They always have great parties and food events during the festival so here is a summary:

Enzian is located at 1300 South Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751

Opening Night Party:
Friday April 4th, 2014
Opening Night Film 7PM The Trip to Italy preceded by “Oh Sheep!” shown at Regal
Cocktail hour at Eden Bar: 7–8PM.
Food and cocktail bar inside theater:  8–11PM.

Party ONLY ticket price $95

Some great local restaurants are participating this year in the opening night party, there is always unlimited sampling and the lines are usually quite quick.

Cask & Larder
Ethos Vegan Kitchen
K Restaurant
Olea Grill
Sushi Pop
Smiling Bison

The Matador
The Courtesy

Locally Fresh! Farmers Market

Saturday, April 5, NOON-2:30PM at Lawn at Eden Bar FREE and open to the public

An afternoon tasting of local eats and a video sneak peek into the world of our nearby farming communities. Enzian goes down to the farm to learn where our food is coming from. Featuring food from these vendors: Lake Meadow Natural Farms, Palmetto Creek Farms, Olde Hearth Bread Co., and East End Market.

After "Locally Fresh!" there will be a farmers market on the lawn. Guests will get a chance to talk to the famers and other local vendors as well as purchase goods to take home to try.

Sunday Brunch Buffet

Sunday, April 6, 11AM-2PM at Eden Bar
$13.99--includes buffet & a mimosa
À la carte options also available

Also there will be a few films of interest to food centric folks


Le Chef

View trailer on Youtube(Link)
    Directed by: Daniel Cohen
    FRANCE/SPAIN, 2012, 84 minutes
    In French with English subtitles
    Rated PG-13

Toss together a veteran three-star chef, a new CEO who wants him out, a molecular gastronomist whom the CEO wants in, and an incredibly talented and obsessive young chef. Throw in a dash of Japanese high farce. Sauté with the flawless charm and great timing of French comedy and voila! LE CHEF. Jacky is a young chef who keeps getting fired from his jobs at ordinary restaurants where he expects extraordinary gastronomes. Béatrice is Jacky’s very pregnant girlfriend. Alexandre Lagarde (played by the fabulous Jean Reno, Leon the Professional) is a three-star living legend past his prime. Sweating his contract (that depends on his three stars), Chef Lagarde pits his wits against a new CEO who wants his traditional French cuisine replaced by molecular gastronomy. Sacré bleu! Jacky has been reduced to washing windows at a nursing home when the two meet and begin a brilliant collaboration. French, funny, food, love, LE CHEF has it all.

 After Winter, Spring

    Directed by: Judith Lit
    USA/FRANCE, 2013, 74 minutes
    In English and French with English subtitles
    Southeast Premiere

Trailer on Vimeo(Link)

This is an utterly gorgeous love story for the farmers in Perigord, France, which has been continuously cultivated for over five thousand years. One hundred years ago, half of the population of France were farmers. Now less that 3% are. Will the Perigord peasants be the last generation to employ and sustain the old methods? Will the world lose their “old peasant wisdom” of prudence, respect, and love of the earth? Filmed over four years, AFTER WINTER, SPRING is a treasure trove of great food and farming traditions. With fascinating detail, it captures the roots of farm-to-table and the tenacity of the people who have taken one season at a time for generations. The filmmaker, an American ex-pat and Perigord neighbor, was raised on her own family’s farm in Pennsylvania. Her bond to the land and the people who love it translates into an insightful, lyrical tribute to a way of life on the verge of extinction.

shown with the Short Film:

Faces from Places—Louisiana: La Boucherie

Laissez le bon temps rouler! Meet a Cajun butcher, watch a Cajun BBQ, go whole hog, and Party! 

Lombardi's Seafood Shop

Great selection of fresh seafood at Lombardi's in Winter Park. Lobster, rainbow trout, oysters, scallops, smoked fish dip, grouper, chowders & more! 

Lombardi's is reportedly moving their seafood warehouse to Fairbanks near 4 rivers BBQ.