Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Restaurant Hacks and apps that save you money when dining out in Orlando

Thank you News 6 for a great story on saving money when dining out and for allowing me to give my tips. Special thanks to Danielle Frew, the up-and-coming writer/producer/reporter getting ready to take broadcast news to the next level. The full story: https://www.clickorlando.com/news/investigators/restaurant-apps-aim-to-save-diners-money-peace-of-mind

Monday, July 24, 2017

Get ready Orlando: Season 2 of Eating Orlando on YouTube begins August 1st

Season 2 is finally here! The eating adventures continue with Season 2 of the Eating Orlando YouTube channel starting August 1, 2017. Mark your calendars and subscribe now so you won't miss a single episode. Here are some of the adventures you can expect:

  • A night on the town at STK Orlando
  • Dinner with Celebrity Chef Roy Yamaguchi
  • What geeks like to eat at MegaCon Orlando
  • Finding the best pizza in Brooklyn (an Eating Orlando RoadTrip)
  • Checking out the new guy in town: Earl's
  • A visit to the new "World's Largest (Entertainment) McDonald's
  • Eating in the kitchen at Buca di Beppo
  • This is how English eat Curry
  • Joey Fatone: Boyband member to hotdog vendor
  • Visiting the very first Chick-fil-A (another Eating Orlando RoadTrip)
  • And more -- much more!

About Eating Orlando on YouTube

Eating Orlando, Orlando's favorite food blog, is now on YouTube. Join food writer James Emerson, and his band of hungry hipsters, on a gastronomical road trip across Orlando, the theme parks, and all of Central Florida. From Disney to Universal and Apopka to Zephyrhills, we’ll visit the best places to eat all across the state. Orlando restaurant reviews, news and the best places to eat in Florida. Come join the expedition as we continue eating Orlando one restaurant at a time!

Want to check out Carrabba's new happy hour specials with a $50 gift card compliments of Eating Orlando?

Carrabba's Italian Grill recently asked me to check out their new Happy Hour specials and I, of course, said "Yes!!" And if you want to check out Carrabba's for yourself, with a $50 gift card in hand, compliments of Eating Orlando, just enter the contest below and I'll select a random winner.

Featuring both food and drink specials, Carrabba's Happy Hour are available seven days a week through the end of the month. Menu highlights include:

  • $5 Specialty Cocktails (Pomegranate Martini, Blackberry Bellini, Sicilian Prickly Pear Margarita and Sparkling Tuscan Lemonade)
  • $5 Premium Spirits (Absolut, Beefeater, Bacardi, Altos Plata, Jim Beam, Crown Royal and Dewar's)
  • $4 Well Spirits
  • $2 - $3 Draft Beers ($3: Stella ArtoisBlue Moon and Peroni; $2: Bud Light)
  • 1/2 Price Appetizers (Mozzarella Marinara, Zucchini Fritte, Wood-Fired Italian Wings, Shrimp Scampi, Calamari, Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata, and Mussels in White Wine Lemon Butter)
On my visit, I tried the Sicilian Prickly Pear Margarita, and it was fantastic -- sweet and fruity -- but not overpowering. I also sampled the Pomegranate Martini. And, like the last 10 visits to Carrabba's, I ordered the fried calamari. I've always been a fan of this Carrabba's appetizer, and I still am. I especially love it when it is 1/2 off!

Happy Hour has to end eventually. When it did, I moved on to Carrabba's lasagna and my dining partner tried the pork tenderloin. Limoncello Bread Pudding was the dessert of choice. Take a look at the photos and see for yourself. I won't bore you with details of the dinner because we all know you're here to enter the contest, so here are the rules: You have to visit the Eating Orlando Facebook page, like the page -- you must like the page, and then just post a comment why you should win the $50 gift card. I will pick a random winner this Friday, July 28, 2017 at 5 pm. Here's the link...

Eating Orlando on Facebook

Cocina 214 breaks ground on a new location in Daytona Beach with LandShark Bar & Grill

Award-winning TexMex restaurant, Cocina 214, in Downtown Winter Park is expanding to include a second location at a popular beachfront spot in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Cocina 214 recently broke ground along with LandShark Bar & Grill at 451 South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach. 

Cocina|214 is an award-winning contemporary Mexican Kitchen & Bar. The name is a combination of the Spanish word for kitchen, “cocina” and the Dallas area code, “214.” The idea for opening Cocina|214 developed when two of the owners from Texas missed the Tex-Mex and Mexican food they had grown up eating. They wanted the same authentic, fresh and quality food here in Florida. Cocina|214’s menu combines bold flavors with the freshest local ingredients to create exceptional Tex-Mex – all served in a vibrant, elegant setting.

I'll bring you more details as they are announced. Here's a preview of the restaurant inside and out:

Get a preview of what's replacing Portobello at Disney Springs: Terralina Crafted Italian

Terralina Crafted Italian, a new dining experience curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, will open this fall at Disney Springs. The new restaurant, which will replace the space at The Landing previously occupied by Portobello Country Italian Trattoria, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover inspired by the design and lifestyle of Italy’s Lake District.

Set on the shores of Lake Buena Vista, Terralina Crafted Italian’s sweeping waterfront views and dining will provide guests with a tranquil escape to another part of the world. Just as in an Italian home, the kitchen will serve as the hearth and perfect centerpiece for guests to gather around in the restaurant. Each dining room will include eclectic decor made up of found art and pieces that share the stories of moments worth celebrating. A newly installed veranda bar outside the main entrance will serve as the perfect welcome mat for guests to relax and sip on craft cocktails, muddled with herbs similar to those grown in a garden located right outside the restaurant.

The menu will feature authentic, Italian cuisine cooked in Chef Tony’s signature olive oil, imported directly from Italy. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven will fire up a selection of artisanal, hand-tossed pizzas and fresh vegetable dishes. Fan favorites from Portobello Country Italian Trattoria such as the antipasti platter and signature pasta dishes will remain on the menu alongside new additions like mussels and pork chops.

“The new food landscape at Disney Springs is amazing and the guest choices are so diverse that it has become a true dining destination,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. “We are excited to open Terralina Crafted Italian and share our vision to deliver authentic food, hospitality and every last detail as part of a memorable guest experience.”

“It’s been an honor to lead the concept and vision for Terralina Crafted Italian,” said Tony Mantuano, James Beard Award-winning chef. “We wanted to create a dining experience that would transport guests to the shores of Italy. Focusing on the hearth of the kitchen, dishes will embody the passion and flare of the flames. Executive Chef Justin Plank and I cannot wait for guests to come in and have a taste of Italy.”  

Construction is expected to be complete this fall. Terralina Crafted Italian will be open for lunch and dinner.