Only 30 minutes after our breakfast at Bull & Bear, we were on our way to lunch at Pho 88 730 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803 to eat with a local food writer/blogger, Scott Joseph.

The spring rolls were disappointing since they used Chinese spring roll wrappers, not the bubbly kind. The summer rolls were freshly wrapped but not exciting. However, I did enjoy my bowl of pho with rare rib eye, meatballs, and tripe. It’s on par with the average pho in NY but neither can compare to Little Saigon.

Pho with rib eye, meatballs, and tripe 3

After strolling through a few food shops, we hit the road and arrived in a beautifully landscaped area with picturesque houses. We landed at Farris & Foster’s 4875 New Broad Street, Orlando, FL 32814 for our chocolate making lesson. It’s a fun group activity but should not be considered a culinary techniques class. It’s highly simplified for playing and priced just right for that.

Carol with chocolate covered pretzels Audi Tina
Marc Denise Denise Spiegel

Here are my fellow blogger’s intoxicated by chocolate fumes. Don’t forget to check out their posts on our Orlando trip! From left to right, top down:

Carol Cain – NY City Mama

Audi Guha- Hot Buttered and Toasted

Tina Halpert – Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Marc Matsumoto – The Wandering Cook

Denise Dube – Global Foodie

Denise Spiegel – Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau

Our next stop was Orlando Brewing Co. the South’s only organic brewery, where President John Cheek gave us a tour. He was as chill as you expect of a brewer, but my experience ends there since I couldn’t taste. Marc slurped his tall glass down pretty quickly though…

Dinner was at Le Coq Au Vin 4800 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32806, a converted model home made into a very classic three-room French restaurant with old world charm. While it’s considered to be one of the best restaurants in Orlando, I didn’t find it to be memorable. It wasn’t bad, just there, so I don’t have much to say.

Rack of Lamb 2

Saturday morning, our hotel dropped off that cinnamon sticky bun I already mentioned.

Hogwartz 2

After a little rest, we were off to Universal Studios, to see Hogsmeade and Hogwarts (from Harry Potter). Sadly, I couldn’t get on any of the rides but I loved just looking at my surroundings. They had the talking portraits, Honey Dukes candy store, owl post, and more.


We stopped for Butterbeers which come in liquid and frozen. They are like cream sodas with a bit more butterscotch flavor. Don’t forget the photo-ops…The frothy top of the liquid one continues to grow for a bit as you sip and you’ll get a nice Butterbeer mustache.

IMG_8487 IMG_8489

Lunch was a short walk to Mythos, voted best theme park restaurant for 6 years in a row. I don’t have much comparison data since I don’t eat in theme parks much (last time was more than 10 years ago), but the food here was better than I expected of a theme park. I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here but if you’re in Universal Studios, this is a good option if you can stand the wait.

My Chorizo Pizza was a fresh rendition of a taco-like pizza.

Chorizo Pizza

I got to take a much needed nap that afternoon before heading out to The Red Chair Affair, a fundraiser promoting local arts. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat much there since so much was either crab, cured meat, or blue cheese. I ended up at the hotel bar at midnight eating a large burger and fries. Nothing special but it filled the void and I had a great time just hanging with Carol, Marc, Audi, and Denise.

Sunday morning, I had the breakfast buffet at Bonnet Creek by myself (no one else was up yet).  There’s an omelet station, waffle and pancake station, assorted pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, assorted breads, a lox station, and steam table scrambled eggs, sausage/bacon, French Toast, and even roasted tomatoes and mushrooms. It’s a pretty nice spread and looks much fresher than most. It’s $19 which is pretty standard for hotels.

omelet and fruit French Toast, bread pudding, yogurt

After some e-mailing, we were heading to brunch at The Boheme 325 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801, known for the all-you-can-eat buffet of crab legs, big cocktail shrimp, and the Boheme eggs (like Eggs Benedict), none of which I can eat!! The Chef brought us a special plate of his signature Filet Mignon with Smoked Blue Cheese and Blueberry Demi and this one I could eat. MMM….very rich and ultra tender.

Filet with Smoked Blue Cheese and Blueberry Demi 3

After that we hit a wine bar where my tasting was limited to mango juice too. 🙁

Dinner was at The Ravenous Pig, where each course was prepared by a different chef. At the end of this story, I think you can tell that I’ve lost interest after so much I couldn’t eat. Of the parts I could eat, much of it was disappointing. The best dish was a Sweet Corn Veloute with a Frog Leg and Bacon Hushpuppy but it was so salty and concentrated that you had to alternate with water. Fortunately, the dessert was fantastic, a very eggy custard that reminded me of Chinese egg tarts.

Vanilla Bean Creme Caramel 2

Ultimately, I hate to make a judgment on Orlando when there was so much I couldn’t eat during several meals or snacks, but my overall impression is that they’ve made great improvements. From what I could taste, they’re not quite ready to be named a food destination yet, but while I would have avoided Florida in the past, I know now that it’ll be ok when it comes time to bring my soon-to-be kid to Disney World. The service everywhere was truly spectacular and shows that Orlando is full of hospitality, and soon food will follow.

Thanks again Denise, Orlando CVB, and all our great hosts! I hope I will be invited back in the future!

posted by jessica at 03:09 PM Filed under Restaurants, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.