The rainy Saturday that I found myself walking into Teak Neighborhood Grill was quite unexpected. Minutes before I pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot, I was only a few miles away sitting in the parking lot of a medium-sized shopping center. I was there for Mediterranean food, but after about 10 minutes of searching, it finally dawned on me that maybe the restaurant forgot to inform Foursquare that they were, in fact, no longer at that location — or probably any location. Usually never out of ideas, I was stumped on what I should eat. I had no desire to drive very far, which for a foodie like me is a problem because my part of town doesn’t offer many great choices outside of the regular chain restaurants. But thankfully, Foursquare didn’t fail me again when it directed me to Teak Neighborhood Grill. It wasn’t the healthiest of food outings, but it sure served up some great vegetarian bar food.
My recent visit to the newly opened Marlow’s Tavern Waterford Lakes had all the makings of a “disappointing restaurant visit.” There was the fact that it is part of a chain AND that it reminded me very much of a sports bar. If it weren’t for the invitation to try a few of the items on the menu gratis and meet a few local food bloggers, I’m not sure I would have ever found my way inside of Marlow’s. But thankfully, the media and blogger tasting event gave me an opportunity to see how _____________ (I’ll let you fill in the blank) I was being. I left Marlow’s with a tummy full of really great vegetarian-friendly food and a reminder of the whole “judging a book by its cover” thing.
It started as just a simple girl’s day out, but after a great brunch, an extended stay at the nail salon, and a chat between friends over cupcakes, it turned out to be so much more.
Every morning from Monday to Friday, you can find me on Central Florida’s 408 toll road heading east for what can be between a 30 to 45 minute rush-hour drive to work. I have come to really not enjoy this drive. Because I dislike it so much, I make it a point to make this journey only when necessary, which for me is only during the weekday. However, a few weekends ago after lucking up on one of Scott Joseph’s, a famed Central Florida food critic, NPR clips I decided that I had to add one more long drive to my week to try one of Central Florida’s newest restaurants: Spoleto.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was hungry! I was both hungry and, because I have been partaking in a little retail therapy over the past few weeks, a bit economically challenged. Before checking my bank account earlier that morning, I had great plans of visiting this upscale Mexican restaurant and then sharing my great meat-free findings. However, upscale anything just did not fit into my budget. So, I had to downgrade my lunch plans. Not wanting to use up too much gas and with my new $15 or under budget, I decided to finally try a restaurant that was probably no more than 10 minutes away. I was a bit skeptical until the amazing smells floating from Ocoee’s That One Spot Burgers hit my nose.
This past week, I participated in what many tried very hard to convince me was an honor. I was a “willing” participant in jury duty. Although I was quite happy to be doing something out of the ordinary on a random Monday, that happiness quickly turned into disappointment once my juror number was called to participate on what would become a 3-day trial. But with my ability and knack for thinking quick on my feet, I immediately had an idea that would turn my bag of lemons into a perfectly-made pitcher of lemonade. I would document my time in downtown Orlando the best way I knew how: through food! With little thought, I quickly chose Orange Avenue’s Whitewood Modern Mediterranean Grill to begin my meat-free journey through downtown Orlando, and what a great decision it was!
For the past 5 months, I have unknowingly been driving right by what would become a place that I would come to rave about to my friends and family. So you don’t make the same mistake as I did, allow me to introduce you to Mamak Asian Street Food. If you live in Central Florida, it is quite easy to 1. miss it on your drive down the always-busy Colonial Drive and 2. not think much of it as its street appearance is quite unassuming. Being the adventure eater that I am, after the 1,000th time of passing by wondering what on earth was going on inside, I did a bit of research, liked what I saw, and decided to call up a friend to try the place out with me. One bite in, and I knew that Mamak would be a place that I would come to again and again.
To say that I had been dying to go to Prato would be an understatement. It was probably about two years ago that I was walking with my family down Winter Park’s trendy and upscale Park Ave, when either my nephew offered or I suggested that he get me a gift card to one of the many restaurants that lined the street. Either way, he obliged and for the last few years, I have had my Prato gift card packed safely away waiting for the perfect moment to use it. This past Friday, I decided that it was time, so I took the day off from work and tried the vegan and vegetarian side of Prato, and loved every bite!
Before I had even finished what would presumably be the first of many meals at Se7en Bites, I was already contemplating my next visit. It was that good. If you know me or have followed my blog for awhile, this is very telling. When it comes to eating out, I have about 2-3 places that I have on my go-to list. But for the most part, I am a stick and move kind of girl. I am happy to admit that Se7en Bites and its vegetarian friendly menu has made it onto my “go-back” list.
The moment that I received an email alerting me to Infusion Tea’s new seasonal menu, I knew that I had to go and try it, and ASAP. So, this past weekend I headed to what has become one of my favorite vegetarian/vegan eateries and ordered 2 items that I had yet to try: one from the new seasonal menu and one of the menu mainstays that I just never seemed to order.
From the first moment that I tried pad thai, I loved it. In the early days, my pad thai dish would always come topped with chicken. These days, I still love pad thai, just sans the meat. So, after hearing about how awesome Winter Park’s Thai Place was, I was really excited to try their pad thai… with tofu just for me!
When the craving for a burger hits, the last thing I want is a thin, card-board like veggie burger. Nope, although I’m not a fan of beef, I still like my veggie-packed burgers to be big and meaty. Thankfully, B&B Junction’s #18 gave me just what I was looking for.
Black Bean Deli promised great Cuban food, and it delivered really good, flavorful food. Meat free AND vegan!
The title of this post is no exaggeration. I am not and have never been a “salad girl.” I think that they are a waste of stomach space to be quite honest. However, since my first visit to Designer Greens some months ago, I continue to find myself being pulled back in to their huge, awesomely garnished salads.
If you have been following my blog, you already know that I am a total hash girl when it comes to breakfast. This was even before I kicked meat from my diet. Now that I only do veggies and fish, I am always on the lookout for a great veggie hash for breakfast. My recent visit to First Watch gave me one more hash to add to my list of loves!
While my family ordered large dishes filled with beef and chicken, I was quite happy with my colorful plate of split peas, red lentils, collard greens, and cabbage.