Sunday, February 26, 2012

La Chiva Colombian food in Casselberry

Colombian food, Le Cordon Bleu trained chefs. Very friendly and fun guys.

I had the Bandeja Paisa which is the traditional Colombian sampler platter with 3 meats, rice and red beans. It was very good. My favorite part was the grilled Chorizo.

For desert I had the Flan, great presentation!

I'll be going back very soon.

1555 Semoran Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32792
(407) 300-2954

La Chiva Colombian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sushi Pop

I was finally able to visit Sushi Pop last night. It's been around for a long time and I've been hearing a lot of buzz about it but I was never able to visit until yesterday.

We had a wonderful experience our server Andrea was excellent.

She started off by offering me a beer the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout ( Link ), I wouldn't have thought to order a beer but this one was perfect because it had a tangy strong flavor that offset some of the more mild dishes.

The decor in Sushi Pop is a nice mixture of traditional & modern Japanese, beautiful banzai trees and orchids paired with Anime movies playing and Manga art on the walls.

They have so many interesting items it was very hard to choose, so I ordered a number of different varied dishes so I could get a feel for the whole menu. Menu on Sushi Pop Website

Here are the dishes we tried:
  • Roasted asparagus salad with roasted garlic and mushrooms was so delicious I found myself dipping my chopsticks in the sauce again and again just to get a taste of that sweet soy sauce. 5/5 stars
  • Far East Flatbread a duck fat seared Chinese scallion pancake topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions, roasted Japanese mushrooms, Furikake seasoning. This was kind of like a large flat bread it was quite delicious very strong and would fill up the average person, don't order this by yourself. 5/5 stars
  • Thin sliced Hamachi(Yellowtail) with jalapeños and a very light sauce that had a delicious amazing flavor. 4/5 stars
  • Lobster sushi roll with toasted almonds, avocado and tempura asparagus. Since it was cooked tempura style I expected this to be a little hotter temperature wise but it was still pretty good. 3/5 stars
  • Sea urchin Sashimi, something I've just recently discovered that I like, it has a brown buttery flavor. This particular serving was a little bit more mushy than I would've preferred but it still had that flavor that I enjoy. 3/5 stars
  • "It's No Yolk" - Cubed salmon with sunny side coconut milk mango "egg", served with seaweed rice cracker. 2/5 stars
  • For dessert we ordered the P.M.S. though oddly named, it is a mixture of Peanut butter powder, Molten chocolate lava cake, and Salted caramel ice cream, It was uniquely tasty. 3.5/5 stars
Sushi pop is not cheap especially when you order that much as I did but it is really great unique experience, a great place to take that adventurous date or for a splurge.

Hibachi Asparagus
grilled asparagus, garlic braised oyster
and shitake mushrooms with soy
glazed pea tendrils • $8
Far East Flatbread a duck fat
seared Chinese scallion pancake
topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions,
roasted Japanese mushrooms, Furikake seasoning
• $12

Jalapeño Pepper Hamachi
yellowtail with diced jalapeños, fresh
wasabi lime sauce, black pepper and
micro cilantro • $14

Lobster and Almonds
tempura lobster, avocado, asparagus,
smelt roe, yuzu tartar sauce, encrusted
with toasted almonds • $10

It’s No Yolk
fresh cubed salmon tossed with lime
juice, olive oil, shallots, thai basil with
sunny side egg of sweet coconut
milk and mango puree, served with
seaweed rice cracker • $14

peanut butter powder, molten chocolate,
salted caramel ice cream • $7

Some other really interesting dishes I didn't get a chance to try:
  • Gold Digger- lump crab, tempura shallots and sweet chili topped with blue fin Otoro, bu bu rice crackers, edible 24 karat gold flakes and soy gel • $17
  • Godzilla - tempura fried alligator, hearts of palm salad with green onion, celery leaves and radishes, citrus and Togarashi remoulade • $12

Sushi Pop
310 W Mitchell Hammock Rd
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 542-5975

Sushi Pop on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Downtown Food & Wine Fest: Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mouth-watering food and global wines are paired with world-class entertainment and national celebrity chef appearances at the Downtown Food & Wine Fest at Lake Eola on Saturday, March 31 and Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Located in the heart of downtown Orlando at Lake Eola on Robinson Street, the two-day Fest features mouth-watering dishes from 40 of Orlando's premier restaurants, domestic and international wines, and live entertainment.
Revitalized by popular demand, the Fest is presented and produced by Orlando favorites MIX 105.1 FM and 1059 SUNNY FM in partnership with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. A portion of the event's proceeds benefit the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation.
Celebrity Chef's Stage*
Bright House Networks hosts live cooking demonstrations on the Chef's Stage with fan meet-and-greet opportunities with the following celebrity chefs: 
BRAVO's Top Chef Just Desserts Season 1 Chef'testant Erika Davis (Saturday)
Food Network's Extreme Chef Amadeus, winner of the "Mexican Showdown" (Saturday)
BRAVO's Top Chef Season 9 Chef'testant Finalist Lindsay Autry (Sunday)
Live Entertainment*
Saturday, March 31 (noon to 9 p.m.)
Live Hart                        
John Smith and Tropical Steel     
Simulcast with Scott McKenzie of MIX 105.1 FM and Bob Frier of FOX 35                  
American Idol Winner David Cook                 
Sunday, April 1 (noon to 7 p.m.)
CeCe Teneal
My Generation
Little River Band
* Appearances and entertainment subject to change without notice.
Tickets on Sale Now
Admission is $10 per person, per day with advance online purchase at Tickets are also available at Centennial Bank and Mercedes-Benz locations throughout Central Florida.  Admission at the door is $15 per person, per day. Admission for children under age 12 is free.  Food tickets are available at the event for $2 each; food and wine tastings range from 1-4 tickets.
Stay Connected
For more information on the Downtown Food & Wine Fest:
Like Downtown Food & Wine Fest on Facebook
Follow @DTFoodWineFest on Twitter
Call the events hotline at 407-919-1048

Monday, February 20, 2012

Festa Italiano

Sunday 3/11 Festa Italiano! 4pm-7pm $65 all u can eat & drink. Over 100 wines and 25 food stations. Antonio's Maitland.
Tickets are presale only. Call 407-645-5523 or 407-645-1039. Expecting 250-300 people. More details to follow

O-Town Chowdown Event

During Bike Week 2012 Orlando Harley-Davidson is having an “O-Town Chowdown Event” featuring some of the Orlando Food Trucks during Orlando Bike Week 2012.  The dates of the event are March 10th through the 18th.  Event times are 10-7pm daily and 10-6pm on the two Sundays.  Here is a list of the food trucks that are on site during the event.  Four trucks will be onsite daily and they are rotating in and out throughout the week.  Some have more than one day.  For more information and schedule visit
The Batter Bowl
Big Wheel Provisions
C&S Brisket Bus
Twisted Cuban
City Eats
Pupusas Orlando
Gastro Truck
Monsta Lobsta
Que Rico
Tree House
Yum Yum Cupcake
La Empanada
The Flattery
SwedeDISH Truck

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Feast at the Imperial

Feast was held. Sunday Feb 19th 2012 at the Imperial Bar/Washburn Imports.

Feast is a first come, first served locally sourced feast.
Created by friends Andy, Brett, and Dennis and inspired by and in conjunction with John Washburn at The Imperial, feast will invade your mind body and spirit.

Get to know your food, enjoy the spirit of community, and celebrate our local food movement.

Food: Smoked brisket with pickled cabbage and creole mustard, braised short ribs with black eyed peas and hominy, tripe and tongue stew, beef braised carrots, parsnip and quinoa salad w/fresh mint and toasted pine nuts.

Michelada, lemonade mimosas w/lemon thyme syrup

Here are a few pictures.

Luma on Park Ave, Winter Park

from their site: "What is Luma: An upscale, casual American Kitchen serving original locally inspired cuisine."
290 South Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida 32789 Google Map
Luma serves dinner seven nights a week.
Had a delicious dinner and experience last night at Luma. The staff was wonderful, especially our server Shawn. I was very interested in about half of the items on the Small Plates menu. We shared the following items:
  • Tomato soup - unfortunately this was only decent but nothing special, I've had better flavors in tomato soup at much more lower priced places
  • Heirloom tomato salad - though I love locally grown Waterkist tomatoes, these were a little mushy, there was a couple clumps of Burrato cheese on the salad which had an interesting texture like a buffalo mozzarella with a very mild flavor.
  • Pea shoot tagliatelle carbonara - the tagliatelle dish was so delicious, the pasta was made in house from snap peas and it had basil-fed snails and small cubes of Tasso(smoked pork), each bite had a wonderful snap pea crunch, I highly recommend you try this dish.

I also had the Lionfish sashimi which sounded very interesting and something I don't think most people have ever had before, but was too mild for my taste, still it was a unique experience. According to our server the Lionfish is becoming quite a nuisance along the Florida coast, here is an article about it, Florida wants invasive Lionfish on the menu

The only Main Course that interested me was the Scallops with grits and Tasso, but due to a sudden lapse in judgement, I decided to order the Bolognese Ragù which didn't have enough of the tasty meat sauce for my liking. The pasta was cooked al dente but I didn't care for that texture. I also tried a bite of the Striped bass which had an excellent flavor and went well with the onion broth.

Too full to try dessert but they had one really interesting item that caught our eye. It was described as having a flavor similar to the milk left after you eat all the Cap'n crunch cereal out of it.
CAP'N CRUNCH POT DE CREME -rabbit run farms strawberries, peanut butter crumble $7

We hope to go back soon and try the chef's table, you have to call at least a few days in advance but I hear it's quite a great experience.

Menu(changes daily)

Heirloom Tomato Salad
Watermelon radishes, EVOO-fried bread, 

anchovy vinagrette, burrato $10

crème fraiche, extra virgin olive oil, chive

basil-fed snails, pancetta tesa, sugar snap peas

Serrano, lime, king farms datil peppers, Thai basil flowers

eight hour ragù, red wine, parmesan

toasted farro, trumpet mushrooms, onion broth, romesco

Luma on Park on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 18, 2012

South OBT Latin Food Truck Crawl Part 2, coming next weekend!

RSVP here on facebook:

This is a public event!

Saturday, February 25, 2012
7:30pm until 9:30pm

South Orange Blossom Trail to start (across from Tropical Ford),
9867 South Orange Blossom Trail Google Maps

We are discovering food off the beaten path this month! The Latin Food Trucks on South OBT will be on the menu with four types of Latin cuisines. If you have ever wanted to explore these food trucks, this is the night to go with an adventurous group of eaters who love taking food photos and spotting them.

Food Trucks:

• Las 4 Estaciones (FB)() - Peruvian burgers, Anticuchos, chicken sandwiches, empanadas, & more
• Dominican Chimi (Yelp Review) - Dominican Pinchos and sandwiches
• Arepas El Gran Saman (Yelp) - Venezuelan Arepas
• La Tripleta subs and more (FB) - Puerto Rican sandwiches & more

We will start at Las 4 Estaciones food truck at the address listed above and leave our cars parked there. We will walk North on OBT and stop at the food trucks in the above listed order. Try one or try them all by sharing, bring your friends and get ready to spot some Latin food...

*Please remember to bring CASH for this event. Items usually range $4-8

Foodspotting is a website and free app for the iPhone, Android and soon BlackBerry, that helps you find good food wherever you are. Search for what you crave and make recommendations simply by snapping a pic of your favorite dishes. Download the app from

For more info about the crawl, visit a similar one we did last year

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shin Sushi

Last night I organized a dinner with a group of fellow Orlando foodies and food bloggers to Shin Sushi. Many of us had heard it was the best in town, obviously a debate that will go on and on, so I thought it would be fun for all of us to go and see what the consensus was.

We had a group of 14 and Shin was happy to oblige, though we did not reveal the "special occasion" I think all the high quality cameras and picture taking by many of the attendees may have given us away.

In attendance were the following friends, food bloggers and their guests @ricduck, @Ann_archy, @ladyskye77, @PrimlaniKitchen of The Primlani Kitchen, @TravelerFoodie of, @mismamari of, @randomhangers of .

The decor is simple but clean wood and silver, the metal chairs kind of surprised me, as I'd always assumed Shin was quite fancy, but luckily I found my chair to be very comfortable. There is plenty of free parking along the street in front and free parking in the garage just behind the restaurant.

Service was pleasant and the server was excited to tell us about special menu items and was enthusiastic about certain rolls he liked, though with a big group a few people didn't get their extra ginger and other sides as quickly as we would have liked.

I've eaten sushi a number of times at Ichiban downtown years ago and a couple of other times at Amura, but I often forget the names of the different ways sushi is prepared, which seemed to be a common experience among many diners. I've summarized the different ways sushi is served at the bottom for reference.

The server failed to mention 2 special items which were not on the menu but were barely legible on the marker board behind the sushi bar:

  • Hamachi Kama - it was described to us as the jaw and cheek of yellowtail (more info)
  • Fried Oyster Roll - server was a bit vague about this one and none of our party ended up ordering it

I found the Hamachi Kama description exciting so I ordered a one for us to all try. Separating out a bite for each person was a bit of a challenge but many did get to try some. I thought it was quite delicious especially the large chunks of meat that had some of the crisp skin attached to it, it was a nice blend of flavors.

For my main dinner I ordered 2 pieces of Nigiri, Toro(tuna belly) and Uni(sea urchin). I've actually prepared Tuna Belly at home on the grill(some say cooking it is a sin) before and I love the flavor when I've prepared it but served as sushi it didn't do much for me.

For my main sushi rolls I ordered:

  • "HIGHWAY 50" $12 (Tuna, cucumber, cream cheese, Sriracha sauce topped with smoked salmon, and avocado) this roll sounded delicious but it's flavors were too mild for me.
  • "EEL DRAGON" $15 (Half fillet of freshwater eel, cucumber, sweet onion, cream cheese, drizzled with eel sauce) - this was my favorite item of the night by far The cooked eel was unbelievably good. I'm not exactly sure how this is prepared but it seemed to be pan grilled and it had a sweet delicious glaze on it. I could order just the eel on rice and be quite happy.

I also tried some spicy tuna which was decent but not really my kind of thing.

Traveler Foodie(link) was the most knowledgeable among us about the different types of Sushi, Sake and fish, so he was dubbed the sushi whisperer. He recommended we try the horse mackerel but unfortunately they did not have it that day. They did have one of his other recommendations of Uni(sea urchin), so I ordered a piece of that Nigiri style. It was a light orange color and very soft. The flavor reminded me of a light touch of butter, I wasn't sure what to expect but it was surprisingly good.

@ricduck Foodspotted(photographed) quite a few items, you can see his pictures here:

Four bite-size, crispy, deep-fried with panko, Angus Beef and vegetable skewers

Some other interesting menu items we spotted were:

Five pan-fried jumbo scallops wrapped in bacon, sautéed in Yuzu with a soy sauce-butter reduction

California roll topped with Shin volcano & tempura Lobster

Salmon, mango, cucumber, sesame seeds

Tuna, salmon, escolar , cucumber, with homemade habanero
puree topped with masago and scallions

Sushi Definitions:

Sashimi - just the piece of uncooked fish

Nigiri - same as above but with a small cylinder of sushi rice underneath often with a little band of seaweed to hold it together

Rolls(Maki) - traditional sushi rolls most people are familiar with

Tempura - a type of breading used on shrimp, asparagus in some Maki(rolls) and many non-sushi dishes most notably Tempura Vegetables.


An interesting fact/misconception that many people don't realize is that most sushi isn't actually made with truly raw fish, most of it is previously frozen for food safety. "In the US all fish served raw (like for sushi) has to be previously frozen in order to ensure that all parasites are dead. The only exception is tuna. You can serve raw tuna that wasn't frozen because it's not prone to parasites", More info at the link below

Shin Sushi is open for lunch and dinner and is located in the same building as Virgin Olive Market and Citrus restaurant. On Orange Ave just north of 50/colonial.

Dinner Menu:

Shin Roll Menu:

Lunch-Monday through Friday, 11:30am ~ 2:00pm (Last call 1:45pm)
Dinner-Monday through Saturday, 6:00pm ~ 10:00pm(Last call 9:30pm)

Shìn Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Orlando area Farmers Markets

Audubon Park Community Market @ Stardust Coffee
Facebook Page
Monday 6pm-10pm
1842 E. Winter Park Rd

College Park Farmers Market @ Infusion Tea
Facebook page
Thursday 5pm-9pm
1600 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804

Edgewood Farmer’s Market
Beginning Thursday, February 9TH, 2012 and every Thursday thereafter.
Thursday 4pm-8pm
405 Larue Avenue, Orlando Fl, 32809

Lake Eola Farmers Market
Sunday 10am-4pm
599 East Central blvd, Orlando, Fl 32801

Maitland Farmers Market
Sunday 9am-2pm
701 Lake Lily Dr
Maitland, Florida 32751

Sand Lake Farmers Market
Dr. Phillips Marketplace
Sand Lake Rd. & Dr. Phillips Blvd, Orlando, Fl
Saturday 9am-2pm

Sanford Farmers Market
Official Website
Saturdays 9am-2pm
E 1st St & Magnolia Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

Ocoee Farmer's Market
Fridays 3pm-7pm
Bill Breeze Park
125 North Lakeshore Drive

Waterford Lakes Farmers Market
Saturday 9am-2pm
514 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828

Winter Park Farmers Market
Saturday 7am-1pm
200 West New England Avenue

Winter Garden Farmers Market
Saturday 9am-2pm.
300 West Plant Street, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Lake Mary
Official Website
Saturday 9AM-1:30pm
at the Lake Mary City Hall
(Corner of Lake Mary Blvd & 4th Street)

Edgewood Farmer’s Market

The City of Edgewood is proud to announce a Farmer’s Market

Farmers Market is Thursdays 5:30-8:30 pm
Raymond A. Bagshaw Park at Edgewood City Hall
405 Larue Avenue, Edgewood, FL 32809
Farm fresh eggs, produce, organics, local vendors, food trucks.  Free parking and tables and chairs available in the park.
Fifth Fridays Food Trucks takes place the 5th Friday of those months with five Fridays!  Next event is Friday, April 29th from 6 pm to 9 pm

View Larger Map

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jazz Tastings new Tapas Bar in Maitland

Jazz Tastings -- wine & tapas bar - "With a menu of Spanish- and Cajun-influenced tapas and wine pairings to match, along with a live house jazz band, Frazier said he hopes to cater to an upscale audience looking to enjoy good jazz, wine and food."

Jazz Tastings Facebook

164 Lake Ave, Maitland, FL 32571 near Rangetsu
Sun 1pm-9pm
Tues-Thu 4pm-12am
Fri-Sat 4pm-1am

here is their menu:
Spinach Salad

Warm Chorizo Vinaigrette, Caramelized Granny Apple Crouton, Balsamic Onions, Goat Cheese Crumble


Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini

With Savory Spiced Fig Jam

Crispy Beer Battered Black Grouper Nuggets

With Roasted Cauliflower Puree, Warm Smoked Green Pea Coulis, Sweet Potato Paprika Dust

Lump Blue Crab Cakes

With Black Bean Chili, Roasted Tomato Relish, Horseradish Bloomed Capernaise

Mussels Diablo

With Shallot Herbed Butter, White Wine, Chili Sambal Oelek, Parsley Shake, Grilled Crostinis

Beef Filet Tournedos

With Wilted Swiss Chard Chiffonade, Saffron Butter Pons Fondant, Black Beer Demiglace

Chili Dusted Scallops

With Deep Fried Chorizo Maduro Fritter, Key Lime Beurre Blanc

Crispy Pork Belly

With Ginger Spiced Apple Compote, Toasted Couscous Tapioca, Sage Demiglace

Tiger Prawns

With Sweet Potato Grits, Chorizo Chickpea Broth, Warm Watercress in Tempranillo Reduction

Calamari Frito

Smoked Paprika Polenta Crusted, Sofrito Vinegar, Black Bean Aioli

Fried Green Tomato Stack

With Spiced Panko Crusted Buffalo Mozzarella, Chilled Horseradish Dill Remoulade

Chicken and Waffles

Buttermilk Chicken Cutlets, Wild Rice Waffle, Pink Peppercorn Sherry Pouvre

Meat Cheese and Olives

Selection will vary upon fresh availability. Ask your Server


Flourless Chocolate Cake

Warm Wild Berry Preserves, Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise

Pecan Bread Pudding

Kentucky Bourbon, Poppy Seeds, Butterscotch Fosters

Panna Cotta

Seasonal Wild Berries, Almond Milk Waffle Crisp

Rum Cake

Dark Spiced Rum, Grilled Bananas, Espresso Crème Anglaise

View Larger Map

Jazz Tastings on Urbanspoon

Food & Wine Festival at Baldwin Park 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012
6 - 9PM
Cost: $65.00
New Broad Street, Baldwin Park, Florida
RSVP on Facebook

The 2012 Food & Wine Festival at Baldwin Park promises to be the talk of the town. Over 20 restaurants will be there. We have O-Town's finest dining and beverage purveyors on one street for one evening for one simple donation. This year's A-list food critics and Mayor Buddy Dyer will join forces with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to determine who will win this year's coveted Silver Plate awards. Don't miss your opportunity to vote for the "People's Choice" award. From 4Rivers brisket to cupcakes, we'll have it all. What could be better you ask? How about Shula's sommelier choosing wines to compliment the evenings fare, and an exclusive VIP lounge catered by Stonewood Grill that will feature front row seating to this year's entertainment, BB King's All Star Band. Inquire today to learn more about volunteer, sponsorship and exclusive ticket opportunities for Orlando's premier Food and Wine Event.

CK's Jerk Shack
4 Rivers BBQ
Cabot Cheese
Cafe Tu Tu Tango
Cookie Cousins
Copper Canyon
Eden Bar
Funky Monkey
Gem Catering
The Glass Slipper
Jack's Steakhouse
O'Boys BBQ
PF Chang's
Shula's 347
Stonewood Grill
Tap Room at Dubsdread
Tibby's New Orleans Kitchen
World Center Marriott
Yum Yum Cupcakes

View Larger Map

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Restaurants in the Orlando Area

Here are some recently opened restaurants in the Orlando area, check them out and let us know if you like

PR's Big Pig -- Winter Park:

Ravalia's Pasta Bar & Italian Rotisserie -- Casselberry

Nou -- Altamonte Springs:

Peperoncino -- Dr. Phillips:

Truffles Grill -- Winter Park Village

Bento Ya -- near Orlando Airport

So Napa -- Maitland

Coming very soon:
Café Jean Paul -- new juice bar & café - "Set to open by Feb. 1, with Astrid Jean Paul at the stove, the café will feature an array of healthy salads, soups, chutneys and New York-style Knish, as well as an organic juice bar with options available for people on all sorts of diet restrictions — from gluten-free to vegan."

Jazz Tastings -- wine & tapas bar - "With a menu of Spanish- and Cajun-influenced tapas and wine pairings to match, along with a live house jazz band, Frazier said he hopes to cater to an upscale audience looking to enjoy good jazz, wine and food."
Jazz Tastings Facebook

Both coming very soon to Village Plaza in Maitland next to Rangetsu thanks to Winter Park Maitland Observer for the info