Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Maddey's Craft & Cru promises to bring a taste of the Big Apple to Orlando

Maddey's Craft & Cru is scheduled to open in Downtown Orlando on June 30th. I know I'm excited to try. Here are a few details from a press release:

Maddey's Craft & Cru poses a singularity in this city's dining scene. It's where past, present, and future collide resulting in a restaurant quite unlike any other in Orlando. Chef Jason Schofield fuses his penchant for comfort classics with postmodern techniques and a cosmopolitan sensibility to bring such unique dishes as short ribs with glazed onion, lengua lardoons, and truffled purple yam mousse, and Waygu Beef NY Strip, sous vided then dipped in liquid Nitrogen, then deep fried in beef shortening. Only to be topped with sal de flur, bone marrow butter, and finished with shoestring fries that have been fried in duck fat to the fore of this city's burgeoning food scene. Bon vivants and gastronomes will undoubtedly be wowed by his ability to stick to traditional ingredients and nostalgic flavors while creatively injecting contemporary flair and worldly twists in his from-scratch executions. A bite of his artisanal pizzas here will prove convincing. With a carefully curated beverage program heavy on craft beers and vintage cocktails, Maddey
s affirms to Orlandoans that throwback comfort food and drink isnt a stale relic of the past, but very much part of the culinary history we make today. Original cocktails including but most certainly not limited to- Smoke on the Water (Ron Zacapa Rum, Snap Ginger Liquor, Fernet Branca, black walnut bitters, smoked hickory garnish), The Red Light (Bol Genever, Cocchi Torrino, espresso infused Campari), Golden days (Ochco Blanco tequila, Giffard Creme de banana, Giffard Apricot, lemon juice, coconut milk), these are only the beginning.

Maddeys brings the taste of the Burroughs to the City Beautiful making their home on Church Street, in downtown Orlando. Travel through the Burroughs with a special monthly changing menu that represents the rich cultural diversity that makes the NYC food scene what it is. There is also an unchanging Maddeys Craft & Cru menu. Maddeys Craft & Cru doesnt cut any corners when it comes to quality and authenticity of flavors. All flour is milled on sight for pizzas, pastas, breads and desserts. All mozzarella, ricotta, and ricotta solatta is made in house from raw milk, no pulling curds. Maddeys is keeping the modern flare with their pizza oven that can cook a pizza in a mere 180 seconds. We can hear your stomachs growling already.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Visiting Universal Orlando and other Central Florida theme parks? You must check out UO Fan Guide

Copyright UO Fan Guide. All rights reserved.
Visiting Universal Orlando? Check out UO Fan Guide for tips, tricks and advice when visiting the parks. And check out their interview with yours truly for the best places to eat when visiting Orlando.


UO Fan guide has created an extensive library of vacation planning information to help you plan the BEST Orlando vacation you've ever had. Some of the resources include:

Profiles, image galleries, and unbiased reviews of rides, shows, play areas, restaurants, shops, and other theme park attractions.

Comprehensive guides (Fan Guides) for Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, on-site hotels, off-site hotels, transportation, money-saving discounts, and more.

A regularly updated blog with theme park news (especially Universal Orlando news), travel and touring tips, expert interviews, and more.

If you're visiting Orlando or live in Central Florida, make sure to check out UO Fan Guide!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Happy National Donut Day -- now go get yourself a free one at Dunkin Donuts Orlando

What’s National Donut Day all about? I talk with Dunkin Donuts Executive Chef Jeff Miller about the for real holiday and how to score a free donut on June 3rd at Dunkin Donuts across the country.

One of Dunkin’ Donuts’ favorite holidays is National Donut Day – celebrated this year on Friday, June 3 – and once again the brand will ring in the day in a most delicious, delightful and delectable way, offering guests a free classic donut of their choice* (while supplies last) with the purchase of any beverage. The offer is good all day on June 3 at participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants nationwide. Additionally, Dunkin’ Donuts is helping guests across the globe celebrate the joy of donuts by making this special offer available in participating restaurants around the world.

National Donut Day was originally established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of June. Dunkin' Donuts has been serving guests signature donuts for 66 years. Dunkin’ Donuts is the #1 retailer of donuts in America, and sells 2.8 billion donuts and MUNCHKINS® donut hole treats annually worldwide. Within the United States, Dunkin’ Donuts offers more than 70 varieties of donuts, including beloved flavors such as Boston Kreme, Glazed, Chocolate Glazed Cake and Chocolate Frosted. Additionally, some Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants also feature regional favorites like the Sour Cream Donut in Chicago, and the Peanut Stick in upstate New York.

To learn more about Dunkin’ Donuts, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DunkinDonuts), Instagram (www.instagram.com/DunkinDonuts) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/DunkinDonuts).

* Excludes Fancies, Squares and Croissant Donuts

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It is possible to grab a local craft beer on International Drive in Orlando. For real. At Yard House.

Looking for a pint of beer while on vacation in Orlando? Looking to try a local craft beer while visiting Disney World or Universal Studios? Look no further than Yard House on International Drive in Orlando -- deep in the heart of tourist town. Located at the I-Drive 360 complex, directly under the Orlando Eye, Yard House is the perfect upscale respite from the tourist madness on busy International Drive.

The beverage team and beer experts at Yard House have just completed their annual Beer Review, and the results are in: The award-winning restaurant will add a total of 1,581 new taps of draft beer to its curated line-up of American craft and import beers with more than 50-percent appearing on Yard House’s menu for the first time.  

“It’s an intense--yet very thoughtful--process we undergo each year,” said Gregory Howard, beverage manager for Yard House.  “Our Beer Review process takes approximately three months to complete.  During this time we talk to local distributors, our own server and bartender teams as well as the brewers themselves to find out what is new and what is being called for in each location.”

Local brews played a pivotal role in this year’s Beer Review.

“There was a huge call for us to focus on local brews, and I believe our team answered that call,” added Howard.  “What you’ll find is a much more interesting and defined beer menu with each location having its own distinct list of the best local, regional and imported brands available.”

Yard House’s Beer Review begins with feedback from guests and team members, who are on the frontline at each location observing first-hand which beers are in demand and are moving quickly.  Every team member, from dishwashers to general managers, are also surveyed and asked to put together a “wish list” of what they would want added to their restaurant’s beer head.  After the information is collected the beverage team meets, tastes and reviews more than 1,000 beers that span the spectrum--in terms of style--and include everything from local brewers and well-known domestic brands to imports.  

“Ultimately we select from 20 to 30 new beers to replace the lowest selling brands at each restaurant,” shared Howard.  “That equates to nearly 1,600 tap handles companywide.  And, of course, each Yard House will have a couple of taps that are exclusive to that particular location.” 

While IPAs remain popular, sour beers are on the rise as evidenced by the handful Yard House is adding to its menu.  These styles are deeply rooted in European brewing traditions, and each location will feature both European sour offerings as well as some amazing American craft sours.   

Yard House’s Beer Review also plays an instrumental role in what will be offered during the year as part of the restaurant’s “Chalkboard Series,” which is reserved for seasonal and small-batch selections. These beers rotate frequently and are displayed on a digital chalkboard above the signature island bar.    
With the Beer Review complete, the next order of business for Yard House is to begin an intense training with servers and bartenders who will come into direct contact with guests when the beers are tapped on March 28.  That’s the day guests can belly up to the bar to enjoy one of the new selections served in a traditional pint or goblet.  Yard House also offers beer in 9-ounce glasses known as shortys as well as its signature 32-ounce half yard.  Select locations also offer growlers to-go, allowing guests to bring home their favorite beer from Yard House.

Yard House, which boasts on average 130 taps of beer per location and offers a menu of American favorites from its scratch kitchen, is open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night dining.  For more information, visit yardhouse.com or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/yardhouse, Instagram and Twitter @yardhouse

To learn about Yard House and its annual Beer Review, visit http://www.yardhouse.com/beers/annual-beer-review or catch the Beer Review video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DMfZGRr6bw

When Yard House opened in 1996 in Long Beach, California, it revolutionized the restaurant industry by creating a 250-tap draft beer system.  Its lofty design, warm wood accents, and industrial vibe with the use of steel and chrome, made it a dining destination from the start. 

Nearly 20 years and 63 restaurants later, Yard House still leads the way with great food, classic rock and a vast selection of draft beer while evolving into an award-winning dining destination known for its menu of American favorites, crafted cocktails and endless fleet of tap handles featuring the best American craft and import beers.  The exhibition kitchen creates more than 100 items made from scratch daily with quality ingredients and globally inspired flavors.   The menu reads like a road trip across America and guests can select from an array of items, including grilled burgers, gourmet salads, street tacos, steaks, seafood and house favorites. 

Each Yard House has its own distinct beer list with a handful of taps reserved for local and regional brewers along with an offering of seasonal and small-batch selections as part of the rotating “Chalkboard Series.”  The glass-enclosed keg room showcases hundreds of steel barrels containing as much as 4,000 gallons of beer that flow to the center-island bar through an extensive network of tubing positioned overhead.  From there the beer is fed to the taps where it’s served ice-cold by the pint, 9-ounce shorty, goblet or half-yard glass container.  Yard House is also well-known for its classic rock boasting a library of 5,000 songs with each location having its own distinct playlist.  Yard House is open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night dining.

Yard House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, May 30, 2016

Checking out Chicken Salad Chick in Orlando and an opportunity for you to win a $25 gift card

Chicken Salad Chick is a brand new concept to the Orlando area. I stopped in to have dinner with restaurant owner, Adam Reeves, and talk about what makes the concept so unique and the Alabama recipes that form the foundation of the Chicken Salad Chick menu.

The Chicken Salad Chick concept, born in Auburn, Alabama, was established in 2008 in the kitchen of founder, Stacy Brown. When Stacy discovered that the local county health department would not allow her to continue making and selling her delicious recipes out of her home kitchen, she overcame that obstacle by launching her first restaurant with the business expertise of her future husband and fellow founder, Kevin Brown. Together, they opened a small takeout restaurant, which quickly grew; the company now has 50 restaurants across the Southeast. Kevin was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in November of 2013, which led to the creation of the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation. Kevin was the key driver in the creation of the Music & Miracles Superfest, and his passing in November 2015 has only further motivated the CSCF team to reach their $1 million donation goal and make a significant impact with the funds raised.

Remember, if you want to win the $25 Chicken Salad Chick gift card, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMvSYF2mUIA, like the video, comment on the video, and subscribe to the Eating Orlando YouTube channel. I'll pick one random winner on June 8th and notify the winner in the comments section. You'll have 7 days to claim your gift card. Good luck!

Chicken Salad Chick Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato