Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chef Andy Bates having a pop up dinner at Redlight Redlight

A popup dinner will be hosted by Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour next Thursday, November 6th. Celebrity Food Network UK Chef Andy Bates is gonna be in town and will be preparing an English Dinner. I will be cooking with him as well. The Redlight Redlight brewers are crafting a traditional english style ale to pair with Andy's fare. Ticket are on sale now at Redlight Redlight.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

American Q Restaurant at B Resort And Spa in Lake Buena Vista

I spent a delightful Monday evening this week at a tasting for Orlando’s newest BBQ concept, American Q.  This unique restaurant combines the fun and excitement of a Brazilian-style carving and buffet experience with the traditional American flavors of barbecue.  It’s a relaxed, rustic setting with a restored 1951 red Ford truck as the centerpiece, holding the salad bar. Executive Chef Justin Leo created an inspired menu that gives guests a true tour of the best of BBQ.

I started with a Dragonfruit Smash cocktail. This unusual drink combines muddled dragon fruit, tequila, basil simple syrup, lemon and mint, with a big slice of dragonfruit as a garnish. The flavor was very sweet and tropical, but the lumpy texture from the dragonfruit seeds takes some getting used to.  Still, it’s a fun way to try this exotic fruit for the first time!

The bar snacks are truly worth the trip, especially the signature Swine Candy.  I’m not usually a fan of sweetness and bacon combined, but this snack is truly exceptional.  Smoked bacon is roasted with molasses & bold spices to a crunchy-chewy texture, and I liked pairing it with the yummy tater tots.  

I also loved the blue crab and rémoulade stuffed deviled eggs, a nice twist on this vintage favorite.
Visitors to Florida often want to sample alligator meat, and American Q’s alligator boudin is a nice way to cross that off the bucket list. Nicely smoked with rice, roasted tomatoes, peppers & okra, it’s like a Cajun jambalaya in a sausage.

I tried all three types of ribs, and my favorite was the Memphis Baby Backs, nice and meaty with a mild sauce, served with a refreshing apple and caraway coleslaw.

Then it was on to the Flatbed Buffet- an all-you-can-eat bargain at $34.95 for adults, $10 for kids. The servers did a great job explaining the regional sauces: Kansas City, Carolina, Texas Mustard, and a Florida-inspired Mango Heat.  They helped us pair them with the delicious smoked meats.

My favorites were the House Made Andouille Sausages, Smoked Pork Shoulder with Spiced Onions, and Picanha of Beef.  

But the star of the evening was the Brisket Of Beef with Texas Bark.  I’m a brisket connoisseur, having traveled all over Texas to experience different preparations. And I was shocked to discover that this was the most tender, most intensely smoky and juicy brisket I’ve ever tasted. I really enjoyed pairing it with the very nice loaded baked potato salad from the buffet. I’ll make the trip to American Q just to experience that brisket again.  

Oh and for the dessert too! Many restaurants just phone in their desserts, or serve some frozen and reheated standards. But American Q makes each one in-house, and each is incredibly delicious.  

The classic Berry Cobbler, served in a mini cast iron pot, is rustic perfection with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. I also loved the Croissant Bread Pudding with warm apple compote and whipped cream. The piece de resistance was the decadent S’mores Pie.  This stuff is serious! The layered graham crackers, gooey chocolate cake, and toasted marshmallow topping makes it a chocoholics dream come true. 

I was wowed from beginning to end at American Q, and I highly recommend it for both locals and tourists alike! Located in the B Resort & Spa in the Downtown Disney area of Lake Buena Vista:
1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd.
Lake Buena Vista, FL

American Q on Urbanspoon