Mad Girl Eats Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen

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Tibby’s,  2203 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL. Two more locations in the Greater Orlando area.

The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, couldn’t be more true than at the Tibby’s location in Winter Park. Set in a generic, blah shopping center, you open the double doors and are instantly transported to gregarious New Orleans. Quickly welcomed and seated by an upbeat and friendly staff, I took my time soaking in the Bourbon St style ambiance. They have a large menu to peruse, all with the N’awlins classics. A must-try today is the Muffuletta, one of my favorite sammies. It states it is just like the original from Central Market in NOLA, so I’m looking forward to this. On their special menu was an interesting “Munday” traditional plate, pork with red beans and rice. Needing a side dish, the New Orleans Potato Salad spoke to me.

My server had a great idea for the Muffuletta, after asking if I wanted it hot or cold. Hmmmm, never had it hot, so she gave me half and half….of a half. Tip: A half of a Muffuletta is good size for 1-2 people. A whole is gigantic, so beware. Their Muffuletta is salami, ham, mortadella, olive salad, swiss cheese and provolone cheese all on a delightful bread that comes direct from New Orleans. I enjoyed this sandwich hot. The cheeses were melty, the meat flavor was more pronounced, and the olive salad makes a bolder statement. Huge flavor blast! The New Orleans Potato Salad was a divine side. Tender potato, eggs, bacon, sausage, olives, pickles, and onion. What’s not to like in that combo of delight?! I always appreciate green olives in my food, it just brightens an otherwise flat dish. Yum! The traditional Munday family dish of pork with red beans and rice was good. For my taste, it did need the Tibby’s Louisiana Hot Sauce on it. Next visit I’ll try the Gumbo, Etouffee,,or Poor Boy.

You can’t visit a New Orleans style restaurant without ending the meal with a sweet treat, like Beignets….and of course that also means, Café Au Lait. Ooohhh yessss. Bring it on! I was sooooo freaking happy with this dessert. This is my breakfast when I’m in New Orleans, and just as cheesin’ to have it for dessert. Gently fried, light and lovely pillows of pastry and  heavy-handed with powdered sugar expertly paired with Café Au Lait, was bliss. Actually, the guy that brought it out to me, shared a great tip. He said, he stirs some the powdered sugar from the Beignets into his Café Au Lait. Genius! It was scrumptious. I have no problem going back just for this as an afternoon treat. Although, they have Bread Pudding to try too. Oy vey!

Great atmosphere, stellar staff, high quality traditional food. Worth stopping for.

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00am-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:00am-10:30pm, Sun 11:00am-9:30pm.

http://tibbys.com

4.25 out of 5 bright bold and bodacious bites!

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Mad Girl Eats Paradise Cheesecakes

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Paradise Cheesecakes, 1220 Hand Ave, Suite C, Ormond Beach, FL.  Winter Park Farmer’s Market, 200 W New England Ave, Winter Park, FL.

Paradise Cheesecakes is the most appropriate name for these pieces of heaven. With almost 100 flavors, Paradise Cheesecakes is the epitome of happiness. If you can’t find a flavor you love in alllll that, you have a problem, my friend.

The cheesecakes are light but significant, not overly sweet, and pack a punch of flavor. We all have our favorites, mine are generally more fruity, like Mandarin Orange, Key Lime, Mango, White Chocolate Raspberry. Peanut Butter Cup, Turtle, Chocolate Grand Marnier, Butterfinger all are crowd pleasers as well. I could go on, just go on their website and see what tempting choices they are offering because my mouth is starting to water.

http://paradisecheesecakes.com or scan the QR above with your smartphone.

I fell in lust with Paradise Cheesecakes over a decade ago on Saturday trips to the Farmer’s Market in Winter Park. The best thing? The owners, Ann and Mike Calamis have kept their product’s high quality and taste profile continuous throughout all these years! Their product line has broadened to take on even more drop dead divine desserts, and more luscious cheesecakes. You can get the cupcake size individual cheesecakes (great for taste testing 😉 or order larger for special occasions. You can’t go wrong, except you may become addicted.

Ann and Mike are awesome people, making awesome baked goods. Go see them at their bakery in Ormond Beach Mon – Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-4pm, or Saturday mornings at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market in Winter Park, FL. Boom shucka lucka!

5 out of 5 Big sugar smootches of paradise perfection.

Mad Girl Eats The Ravenous Pig

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The Ravenous Pig, 1234 N. Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL.

The recent Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards, has given this restaurant number one spots in many categories. The Ravenous Pig, located in an upper crust suburb of Orlando, this trendy gastropub has been blowing the minds of foodies since it opened in 2007. Created on the premise of using local ingredients, ensuring high quality and following an ever-changing menu according to the seasons, would be the right formula for success. They were correct.

Known for their monthly pig roasts, which win raves and high praise, I happened to visit when they were having a French Country Roast. The menu sounded delectable, with smoked pork loin, pork sausage, roasted potatoes, choucroute (French style sauerkraut), bereweka (fruit chutney), spicy mustard, and a French inspired dessert.

The plate was beautifully presented. All the components were divine (the temp was a bit lukewarm), but that smoked pork loin stole the show. Tender, not overly smokey, a moist thick cut. Mmm mmm Magnifique!

I need to go back and taste their regular menu and try their Charcuterie, Grilled Foie Gras Torchon, Pub Burger, Pork Porterhouse….a big wish list, actually. Serving Lunch, Dinner, and Swine Hour.

Hours: Lunch in Dining Rm Tues-Sat 11:30am – 2:00pm, Dinner in Dining Rm Tues-Sat 5:30 – 10:00pm,  Swine Hour Tues-Sat 4:00pm – 5:30pm, Bar opens at 4:30pm. Street parking available, Valet parking in back.

Check out their menus as they change frequently http://theravenouspig.com

Chic atmosphere, fabulous food, wonderful staff. Impressed and definitely will return.

4.5 out of 5 squeals of joy for The Ravenous Pig.

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