MG Eats Smokey Bones in Kissimmee

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Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, 2911 Vineland Rd, Kissimmee, FL. More locations.

Smokey Bones bbq has always been a good place to eat. They came out with a Late-Night menu that worked into my schedule on a Saturday night to make a visit. Great prices and nice choices that last from 10pm until close every evening. I like eating at their bar. A large wrap around bar with a multitude of TV’s, some hi-top tables and booths are available as well as their dining room.

I’m pretty finicky when it come to burgers, but theirs never disappoint. The LN menu offers a  1/2 lb Premium Burger with cheese, none of the others are offered on this menu, but for 7 bucks, I don’t need avocado and bacon. They are cooked to order and I love that. Let’s add Smoked Wings $7.00, and the Loaded Cheese Fries $5.00. A beer seems the perfect pairing for this mix, and they were having a special, $2.95 for a Blue Moon. Score!

The cheese fries came first and dang, they looked amazing! A hefty amount of seasoned French fries covered in cheddar jack cheese, bacon, chipotle mayo, sweet BBQ glaze, green onions, tomatoes, and ranch dipping sauce. Yes, it could be an entire meal and you’d be completely happy, just wash it down with beer and it’s all good. My PIT (Partner in Crime) wasn’t sure about the sweetness of the bbq sauce on it, but after a few bites, I had a hard time keeping up! Damn, I want some now…my is watering!

The chicken wings came and they were very good. I probably would have like them better naked, instead of the sweet glaze on them. I like to dip into my own sauce, because if you don’t like their sauce, the whole plate is ruined. Nice hint of smoke though.

The burger arrived and it was cooked to perfection! Not many can get the Rare temp correct, but they mastered it. It has your basic sides, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles. I put some ranch dressing on it and it was on! Delectable burger. Lots of flavor and a tummy full of happiness.

Go to smokeybones.com and view their Late Night menu. It’s a good one for late night noshing. Super specials throughout the week from their regular menu, lunch and dinner.

Their best Sammy is the Pulled Pork and it is on the menu for $6.00. You can’t barely get a crappy fast food sandwich for that!

4.5 out of 5 points

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mad Girl Eats Keke’s Breakfast Cafe in Winter Park

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Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, 345 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL. Other locations around Orlando, Central and South Florida.

Sunday morning, rainy and cool. I need breakfast and a visit to Keke’s is just the place to fill the bill. Keke’s is a breakfast and lunch only restaurant. They have a large menu and when everything sounds soooo darn good, making a decision seems like an epic chore. Start me off with coffee and let’s go from there. Good coffee, by the way!

Belgian waffles, pimped out waffles, pancakes (dinner plate size), pimped out pancakes, French toast, stuffed French toast, eggs, omelets, ….oy. Everything looked amazing to my starving belly. I’m feeling like something sweet with savory on the side.

I went in hard for a Banana, Nut, & Caramel Waffle. A beautiful masterpiece. Banana and pecans baked inside the waffle, topped with more banana and pecans, then add caramel drizzle, whipped cream, and powdered sugar, Sugar! Wow. Hey, don’t stop there. You MUST add maple syrup to get the entire scrumptious layers of flavor. Yes, do it.

Also ordered were their pancakes. Gigantic pancakes. Eggs and bacon. Former patrons had said, their pancakes were enough for 2 people. I’m saying, they are correct. The taste wasn’t anything special, regular pancake mix flavor. The bacon was excellent and the eggs were fine. If you’re a picky eater, get this basic breakfast. If you’re adventurous, get a souped-up, pimped-out waffle, pancake, or egg dish. They know how to put some bang in your breakfast!

Hours: 7:00am to 2:30pm daily.

http://kekes.com to peruse their breakfast AND lunch menus.

4.5 out of 5

 

 

Mad Girl Eats TooJays Gourmet Deli in Orlando

wpid-photogrid_1433187871415.jpgTooJays Gourmet Deli, The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips, 7600 Dr Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL. Other Florida locations.

A great place, with a variety of choices. When it gets sweltering hot in Florida, I tend to enjoy cold edibles. The Triple J sandwich pictured above, is one of the tastiest….and pretty sexy lookin’! A grand roll up of corned beef, roast beef, turkey, swiss cheese, and coleslaw with Russian dressing all in-between their bakery-fresh exquisite rye bread.

This sandwich hits the right notes: soft, chewy, crunchy, creamy, rich, sweet, salty, bright, and tangy. A perfect blend of textures and flavors. If anything, get a side of Russian dressing and add more, if you’re saucy and roll that way. I am!

I’ve had their Tongue, which is awesome, breakfast entrees, and their divine bakery. Every visit to TooJays, I come away happy and satisfied. I’ve never had a bad meal! Generous portions at decent prices, and fab staff. Muah!

5 out of 5 super salivating sandwich points!

Mad Girl Eats Private Island Nitrogen Ice Cream in Orlando

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Private Island Ice Cream, 14650 Gatorland Dr, Orlando, FL.

Entertainment, Science, and sweet ice cream. How much better could that get?! Throw in homemade ingredients, that’s how! Private Island Ice Cream has it all. With a plethora of flavor combos to choose from, the ice cream is made from scratch right in front of your eyes with liquid nitrogen at a subzero temp of -321 degrees F. Private Island (formerly Pure Magic) was the first in Florida to introduce liquid nitrogen ice cream back in 2007.

I ordered chocolate ice cream and added in their homemade caramel and M&Ms. It is pretty interesting to watch this liquid being whisked and squirted with nitrogen, whisked some more, a bit more nitrogen, thickening….adding the goodies, and WALLA! This sweet, richly decadent, extreme flavor, hardened and made to perfection. You order a cup and receive a generous amount of ice cream. Super heavy, intense, did I say rich? Yep, very rich. Wow, just wow. Nice experience.

wpid-20150307_212154-1.jpgLocated across the street from Gatorland on South Orange Blossom Trail, in the Hunter’s Creek neighborhood.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 1:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday – Saturday 1:00pm to 10:00pm.

http: privateislandicecream.com

4.75 out of 5 very cool treat points.

Mad Girl Eats Oblivion in Orlando

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Oblivion Taproom, 5101 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL.

After reading about this place from a myriad of sources I totally respect, I took the leap of faith and went to a “taproom”. I thought I may feel out-of-place, but bravely I sauntered in and was warmly welcomed into a funky, cool, punk rock, edgy atmosphere. I am cool, but none of the rest..ok, maybe a hint of artistic funk. It was nothing and everything I expected.

First off, the staff is completely amazing. Everyone from the Hostess, to the Servers, and the Manager that checked on my table were on-point. The décor was awesome, (the tables were far apart which I appreciate) you just felt special being there. There is a nice sized dining area, a bar, and an area with pool tables and darts in the back. They are known for their burgers, notably, The Hog Wild which seems to rate on many “Best Of” lists. They have a huge Beer list and also Cider list. Cray-zee!

I ordered the Hog Wild Burger, rare, with Tater Tots seasoned with Salt and Vinegar. Also, naked Chicken Wings with Teriyaki on the side and homemade Blue Cheese dressing. A beer is a must in this place, so I got a Haider Weiss…light and incredible. I highly recommend it. The superior thing about Oblivion is there are many flavor choices available to you. Peruse the menu, it tantalizes the taste buds.

Ok, the burger and wings arrive. Let us start with the wings. I like my wings naked, sauce on side if applicable, I don’t like breading. They were naked and golden, just like they had been to the beach all week. The teriyaki sauce was homemade and decadent; rich, with a slight kick. Like the majority of everything they serve, the blue cheese dressing was made from scratch as well. You could taste the pureness, so fab I dipped my salt and vinegar tater tots (done perfectly) in it and made magic! Best wings I’ve had in quite some time.

Burger up! This is not just a burger, this is a freakin’ insanity burger! It should be called Holy Hog Wild because “holy” was the first word that slipped out of my mouth with my first bite. Listen to this….house smoked pulled pork, sharp cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, fried onion straws, house bbq sauce and house smoked bacon. Oh yeah, and it is all on a half pound chuck-brisket-short rib burger and in between a delectable brioche bun. You know it is a sublime burger when you don’t want or need any condiments on it. Have mercy! This smokey sensuously meaty burger will make you cry. It will make you wanna slap somebody, and then when you have gone home, it will make you yearn to return. A carnivore’s dream.

Bliss. BLISS I SAY!

Vegetarian options are offered as well. Nice, right? Check it out. Oblivion Taproom offers its customers the best in food, drinks, rad atmosphere and staff. Damn, I am now obsessed.

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 4pm to 2am. Sunday 4pm to 12am. It’s a taproom, not a tearoom. Closed Mondays. Located just East of Downtown Orlando.

http://obliviontaproom.com

5 out of 5 perfect palate points. If you’re in Orlando and don’t eat here, you’re an idiot.

Mad Girl Eats Black Bean Deli in Orlando

 

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Black Bean Deli, 1835 East Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL. One location also available in Winter Park, FL.

Florida is so fortunate to have restaurants and food trucks that offer magical fare, especially Cuban. Going in, Black Bean Deli had an award-winning, good reputation and I was intrigued to try them out.

The place was boomin’ busy! The line moved swiftly,  it was clean and inviting, and the staff was welcoming and friendly. You order at the counter first. My order was random, wanting to hit my faves and some the resto is known for. Of course, a Cubano/ Cuban sandwich was needed, along with a Papa Rellenas, and Empanada. I could eat these 3 items everyday. Honest. Ok, I’m not done…Black Beans is a must-try (it’s the name of the joint! Duh!), and their Yuca Fries are crowd-pleaser popular. Orangina to pair it all with, and I’m set.

I’m given my Papa, Empanada, Orangina, and number to put on the table. I’m so happy I don’t have to wait for everything, cuz this girl is mad hungry! OMMMMMGGGeeee the Papa Rellenas were a potato powerhouse. A big ball of Cuban happiness (mashed potatoes with a spoonful of beef, spice, and green olive in the center) breaded and fried. I really wanted another one, but had ordered enough for 3. Ok, Empanada, you’re up next. I chose the Picadillo empanada with its rich ground beef, spice, herb and veggie mixture. The crust was perfectly flaky and tender, and the filling was the right choice, a wonderful burst of flavor. I wanted another of these also. Dang yummy!

Soon the rest of the order was delivered, in cute little aluminum trays. I dove into the award-winning Cuban sandwich. Oh yeah, that’s it. The bread was a perfect balance of crisp and chewy, and not too crusty to rip up the roof of your mouth. I hate that. The meats, cheese, and pickles were all in perfect harmony. I agree, award-winning! Next, the Black Beans. They didn’t disappoint! A generous amount of beans over a small layer of rice. The beans were spiced just right and was a fantastic side dish. When the girl taking the order was asked what I needed that I didn’t order, she recommended the Yuca Fries. They looked delish and tasted even better! Substantial heft to each piece, nicely fried, seasoned with salt, and extraordinary dipped into the accompanied tangy garlic mojo sauce. I have to admit, I dipped my sandwich in the sauce too. Yeow, that was amazing food!!!! I generally have water with my meal, but the Orangina went beautifully. A bit of effervescent orange…realllly good.

In Orlando? Go, go now…well, don’t go on Sunday because they’re closed. Here are their hours for this location. Check their website for Winter Park location hours.

Hours: Mon – Thurs  11:00am – 8:00pm, Fri and Sat 11:00am – 10:00pm. Closed Sundays.

Off street parking and small parking lot. Dining tables inside and out.

http://blackbeandeli.com

5 out of 5 drool-worthy points

Mad Girl Eats Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion

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Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant, 7760 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL. Many other locations country-wide.

Aloha! Roy’s in Orlando has always been a favorite mine. I haven’t been back for a while (so many restos, so little time…and money), so when an email appeared for a Wagyu burger, I jumped at the chance to go. I’ve never had anything but a stellar experience at Roy’s and I was sure this wasn’t going to let me down.

The burger is only available in the bar, so I sashayed my way over to seating at the bar that backs up to the open kitchen. Great seats! I arrived about halfway thru Aloha Hour (Happy Hour) so I ordered an appetizer of Crispy Pork and Steamed Buns at Happy Hour prices. Roy’s has a nice Aloha Hour menu for both food and drink. The appetizer arrived and was 2 delightful Asian buns, each with a piece crispy pork, green apple slaw and Red Dragon sauce. It was nicely done, but I’m a saucy girl and it needed more sauce for my liking. My tip is to ask for sauce on the side also….to dip 😉

I ordered my Wagyu Burger, rare of course. It comes with caramelized onion, truffle mushrooms, a sunny side up egg, and Togarashi aioli all on an awesome Brioche bun. The burger arrived and it was a perfect picture of meaty paradise. There were super crunchy fresh onion rings on the plate that I added to my burger as well. Wow, that first bite was pure pleasure and moan-worthy. Quality, moist, rich beef gently seasoned. The many layers of flavor and texture from the toppings only helped to create a fantastic experience. A little sweetness from the onions, a bit earthy from the mushrooms, oozy egg yolk and glorified aioli were an absolute amazing combination and the ending crunch from the onion rings, took it over the edge.

Roy’s, once again, leaving with a smile on my face and a happy, very satisfied tummy.

Aloha Hour is 5:00pm – 7:00pm. Dining room hours: Sun-Thurs 5:30pm – 10:00pm, Fri – Sat 5:30pm – 10:30pm

http://roysrestaurant.com

5 out of 5 beautiful beefy bites of bodaciousness.

 

Mad Girl Eats Pho 88 in Orlando

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Pho 88 Vietnamese Restaurant, 730 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL.

After hearing numerous great things about this Vietnamese restaurant, I knew I had to get there and experience it for myself. Quick and friendly, the staff sat me and helped me with the extraordinarily large menu. Since it was my first venture into Vietnamese, my server was knowledgable, patient, and reserved as to my virgin taste buds. He kept pointing out the most popular dishes along with the word ‘American’. I didn’t want an American watered down version, I wanted authentic, sock-it-to-me Vietnamese cooking. I figured he knew better than I, so I went with the safe, albeit flavorful bet.

I ordered the #5. Shredded pork skin spring rolls, #11. Roasted Quails, #37. Pho Bo with eye round steak and beef balls, #42.Pho Bo with eye round steak, flank, fat brisket, and soft tendon, #114. Chicken stir-fried with rice and vegetables. The appetizers came first and wow, were they nice. The spring rolls were big and chocked full of pork skin and veggie filling, just superb, and made more so by the luscious peanut dipping sauce. Roasted quail, well that was divine. Add a squirt of fresh lime and the little bird sang “Welcome to Flavor Town”! The Pho arrives and none too soon. I was getting over a bad cold (hence the reason for the 2 bowls) and the brothy noodle soup was just what Dr. Feel Better ordered. The bowls were huge! A plate of vegetables accompanied the bowls of Pho. I added bean sprouts and jalapenos for kicks and giggles. Soooo good. The meats were beefy and tender, the noodles and broth were scrumptious. Next up, the Chicken Stir-fry. I was a bit hesitant to order this, I felt I could get this same dish in the Food Court at the Mall. Oh no no no. It was incredible! It may look similar, but the taste was beyond what you’d find at a chain restaurant. Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating it!

The table was happy with the selections, but I plan on going a bit more wild next visit 😉

Open 7 days a week. Hours: Lunch – 10:00 – 4:00pm, Dinner 4:00pm – 10:00pm. Parking lot or street parking.

http://pho88orlando.com

 

4.75 out of 5 Pho-nominally delish points.

Mad Girl Eats La Spada’s in Orlando

 

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La Spada’s Original Cheesesteaks and Hoagies,  1010 Lee Rd, Orlando, FL.  Locations in Sanford and Orange City also.

This shop comes from a deep lineage of fine sandwich shops, starting in 1938 in Atlantic City, NJ with the family’s first Hoagie shop. Family carried forward the tradition and blazed a trail of new shops in Pennsylvania, then the Ft Lauderdale area of Florida, and now Orlando. The La Spada’s know what they are doing! The superior level they have maintained through the years, shows in every bite.

I ordered their original Cheesesteak. Steak, grilled onions, and white American cheese on a homemade Hoagie roll with sweet peppers. Succulent and simple. ATTENTION! This is the best Cheesesteak I have had outside of Philly. I love that they chop up their steak and don’t leave it in long pieces to make it hard to eat. This mix of meat and melty gooey cheese is perfection. The onions and peppers just add to the party going on in my mouth. Great fries too!

My partner in crime and I stopped in on a whim, split a 10″, moaned and groaned with every bite…. and ordered another. It was just that fantastic! Their Meatball Parm looked incredible and will be one for the next visit!

Hours: Mon – Fri 10:00am to 5:00pm,  Sat and Sun 11:00am to 4:00pm. Conveniently off of I-4 and Lee Rd exit, located in the far end of a strip mall.

http://laspadas.com

5 out of 5 bites of bliss. Mangia!

 

 

 

Hawkers Asian Street Fare, Orlando

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Hawkers Asian Street Fare,  1103 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL.  Also a new  location in Jacksonville, FL.

If you welcome big flavor and are looking for a quality experience of Asian cuisine, get to Hawkers Asian Street Fare restaurant. They offer some of the best Asian food I’ve had in a very long time. A big menu that offers something for everyone, depending on how adventurous you want to be, and how much spicy heat you can take.

My table ordered Pad Thai Noodles, Curry Duck Noodles, Hawkers Wings, Curry Laksa Soup, Chicken Egg Rolls, Roti Canai, and BBQ Pork Banh Mi. A nice array to sample. They arrive at your table the second they are finished being prepared. It was exciting to keep getting new dishes arriving, fresh and hot!

The Roti Canai arrived first. Roti is one of my favorite things, a Malaysian flat bread served with a side of very spice curry sauce for dipping. A fantastic start! The Hawkers Wings were ordered grilled, excellent choice and also came with dipping sauce as did the awesome Chicken Egg Rolls. Great choices again! The Pad Thai Noodles arrived, huge flavor but also huge on the heat! Noodles and Hawkers sauce stir fried with shrimp, chicken, vegetables and red chili peppers, topped off with peanuts and fresh lime. Hawkers authentic sauce is simmered for 6 hours, so it’s ready to kick your ass. Super spicy, so beware. The hits just keep on coming…. The BBQ Pork sandwich was hearty and heavenly with Char Sui bbq sauce. The Curry Duck Noodles were nice and easy. Egg noodles, veggies, and roast duck all stir fried together with Hawkers own curry recipe. This is for the non-spicy diner. The BEST IN SHOW however, was the Curry Laksa Soup. What a bodacious burst of flavor! Wow. This very large bowl of perfection, was a bit heated but I could handle it. You have egg noodles in coconut curry stew, topped with hard-boiled egg, shrimp, chicken, yow choy, and fried bean curd. This dish is a memorable one and absolutely made my “Best Of” list.

This place should be called Flavor Town. The food is outtabounds, the service is top-notch, the atmosphere is modern cool, and the experience is worth every step to get there. Located in the greater downtown Orlando area.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00am – 10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am – 11:00pm, Sun 12:00pm – 10:00pm.

5 out of 5 bountiful bites!

 

 

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