Comfortably Num Num Num

By Man Biscuit May 12th, 2015

Pulling up to Pig Floyd, the first thought I had was “Oh crap, I hope we can find parking.” But, to be fair, it’s like that for most businesses in that area. We decided to hit this place up on a Saturday night at around 7pm, and we still only waited for about 20 minutes before getting to order, all in all, it’s worth the wait, even if it looks like the line is ridiculously long, don’t let that stop you. The outside aesthetic is homey. Lively music and a nice patio with plenty of room for outdoor dining. Florida can be a hit or miss weather, but it beats waiting for one of the few tables inside the joint. The place is set up similar to a meat and three or a Pei Wei, where you order your food, grab a number and sit down at a table. This is an elegant solution to people camping out tables and getting others to order for them.


WARNING: The patio is served with a side of beefcake. While we were there in line there was a huge, hunky guy running around helping everyone and being super nice. Once you make it past the doors, you get in line and check out what they have on special, I believe these are dishes made from the previous days’ leftovers. It’s written in cute chalk-marker on a huge roll of paper. Speaking of chalk work, take some time to appreciate the great pictures and penmanship on those blackboards featuring menu items and beers. Someone over there is quite the deft hand.

The food arrived a short time after ordering, in spite of being very busy, we only waited about 10 minutes. My order came out on two plates. Because I got a platter (1.5 lb rack of ribs) it came with two sides. I went with the fried yucca with fancy sauce, and the corn, grilled and coated chili, lime and cotija cheese. I’ve had corn like that before at cask and larder, and it was equally good here.

The fried yucca has it’s own little story… Yucca and I have been bitter enemies as most of the time I’ve had it, it was served as a puddle of starchy slime with no seasoning. At Bahama Breeze they fried it, and it completely turned me around on that root. That’s why I ordered it here, to see if frying is indeed the way to go, and I can tell you, it totally is. The sauce is, (I assume) a combination of mayo and ketchup seasoned with garlic. That’s my best guess anyway.

Let’s talk about these ribs… Oh these ribs, the ribs were phenomenal. They ask when you order them what sauce you would like, make sure you choose one or the other. The reason they ask, is because they add a sauce on the ribs before finishing them off on the grill. I have no idea how they did it, but they managed to make fall off the bone ribs, stay on the bone until you bite into them. They were super tender, but held up when you lifted it and had a satisfying meaty chew.


Being gluttons for gluttony, we ordered a dessert, they called it a black and tan, a pudding parfait type dish, served in a small mason jar. It’s chunks of a blondie (a non chocolate brownie) a chocolate pudding, Mexican chocolate sauce and whipped cream. I’m not usually one for a sweet tooth but this little guy was great. It was good for sharing as well because it is a bit rich, in a good way.

You Wish You Were Here

By Apple Cheeks May 12th, 2015

At Pig Floyd’s, one thing that is often missing from great barbecue comes through in spades – and that’s flavor. It’s not just about how tender the ribs are, but the complexity of the sauce and those fine details that turn regular BBQ into something closer to gourmet.  Look out, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, I’ve got a new favorite.  Okay, so I’m rambling. It’s a little hard to put into words how delicious this place was. Pig Floyds isn’t just tasty, the prices are manageable, the staff is swift and polite (with refreshing motley of hipster beards and gauges) and the selection is quite fine.


The ambience is typical downtown coolness. Fun textures and different levels of brown and white give this place the fresh barbecue joint style. Their little pig symbol can be seen everywhere, from their hand-chalked menu boards to the wooden board on which they served delicious ribs. Like most awesome restaurants, there was a line out the door. It moved pretty quickly, however. We waited maybe 15 minutes before they took our order. It was counter service style where they give you that little number-on-a-stick deal. We snagged a table and it was mere moments before we had our beers. The beer selection was good, but they ran out of the interesting ones on draught and we had to settle for Cracker House – which is a favorite anyway. Beers were served in the usual hipster mason jar.


The only honest complaint I have about this restaurant is that the table was made of some kind of rubber that always feels sticky. Honestly, it could have been covered in corn syrup and I still would have enjoyed an amazing meal.

I ordered “The Big Floyd – Can you handle it?” It came with a pile of fries for a mere $9.99. “Oakwood Smoked Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage, Sweet BBQ sauce, citrus peanut slaw and fries on a toasted coconut pineapple roll.” Sound delicious? Dear lawd, it was. The toasted roll was light and sweet, the mix of meats was perfectly balanced and there was something amazing in the slaw – but I can’t pin down what. It might be fennel. There was an earthiness to it. Each bite was tender, meaty – one could say wholesome. It’s rare that I can take a bite of a BBQ sandwich an have it create such a wonderful blend of flavors. I don’t usually go for the French fries on the sandwich deal, but here it just added a mealy crispness to the sandwich that was a delight to the mouth. Everything was just seasoned delightfully. I tried their two types of BBQ sauce with the fries, and I couldn’t stop eating it. It was just so delightfully complex. Each nibble told a story.


Aside from the meal, we ordered a pork belly taco to try. This was pretty freaking good, too. The wrap was a bit soggy from all the delicious things inside of it, but if you eat it quickly it’s not really a problem. The pork belly was cooked perfectly and the interior had more fascinating coleslaw.

Our dessert was a shared Black & Tan pudding. Chunks of blondies with a super light fluffy chocolate pudding and Mexican chocolate sauce. Each bite was rich and soulful.

Overall, Pig Floyds was a wonderful experience. It seemed like simple fair until you put any of it in your mouth, then the way everything meshed together, it could only mean love.

Nailed it.

By Apple Cheeks March 24th, 2013

Winter Park is home to a relatively large collection of restaurants and stores. The Ravenous Pig is an unassuming little place down Orange Avenue, surrounded by office buildings, medical supply stores and banks. As we drove past, I assumed (largely because of the name) that it was  barbecue restaurant. We turned around and parked, and I was ready for some ribs or BBQ chicken. I wasn’t disappointed to find out that not only was it NOT a BBQ restaurant, but it was the best restaurant experience I have ever had the pleasure of enduring.

If you google “best restaurants in Orlando,” I guarantee you’ll see the Ravenous Pig among the first results. We stepped into the entrance, and were immediately greeted by a horde of attractive smiling females. Despite the lack of a reservation, they escorted us to a two-top about three steps from the front door. The poor lady looked apologetic, but we were abashed by not having reservations, so we were even. The sad moment gave way to a hearty greeting from Alex, who immediately offered us the most tantalizing sounding cocktails. I wasn’t in the mood for drinkin’, so I ordered an Unsweet Iced Tea. Man Biscuit has a theory that the quality of the servers in a restaurant is equal to the freshness of their iced tea.

I sipped my incredibly fresh tea and looked around. There were antiqued tiles on the ceiling and demure bare bulbs hanging down over the tables. The filaments in the bulbs glowed brightly, but not enough to hurt our eyes. There was some obscure metal art on the walls, butcher paper on the tables and not much else. I decided since the décor wasn’t seriously whacky, then the food must be the real art. As our foie gras arrived, I knew that was the case. Centered in a vast circular plate, two pieces of goose liver sat unceremoniously  steaming. Man Biscuit cut into it carefully and divvied out the goods.

As my tongue touched the liver, bread and slivers of fresh Plant City strawberries, a tear trickled from my eye. The flavor leapt from the fork and pierced my heart. Glorious fat, sweet and tart fruit and spongy bread mingled in a slow dance of perfection as the bite literally melted in my mouth. I was blown away. The sear was crisp, the foie gras was light and airy – it was like no liver I have ever tasted. Sheer perfection.  The only complaint I can muster, is that I would have eaten twice again as much.

For my meal, I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. At a whopping $34, I was nervous about my selection. There was a perfectly delicious sounding hamburger for only $13. I don’t care. If there’s a menu with lamb on it, I have to order it. It’s a personal rule. So, I bit the bullet, and orered the Ellensburg Lamb Noisette. When it arrived, I marveled in the beauty of the dish. It was plated carefully, with perfect circles of sous-vide lamb, surrounded in lamb belly. I cut into it, with some difficulty, but after the initial workout I had a piece of lamb with fat together. The fat belly was seared perfectly, and the sous-vide lamb was tender.  The flavors mingled with the spring onion puree and lamb jus like old friends. The various kohlrabi, nigella and royal trumped mushrooms were cooked with precision and care, seasoned well and pleasant spots of color and flavor on the plate. The Nettle dumpling was a bit bland at first, but once I chewed through the nettles, the flavor brightened. A crumb-like seasoning dotted the plate, and once dipped provided a sweetness not unlike brown sugar that added some depth to all flavors on the plate. It was a decidedly heroic dish.

I must not forget to mention the truffle fries (which come with the burger, but dammit, we wanted to try them.) They were small string fries, lightly salted and flavored with truffle oil. They were just damn tasty.

The Ravenous Pig is a clear winner in the race to the top of Orlando Restaurants, and they proved that with a delectable dessert that finished off a near-perfect meal. I ordered the pistachio cake, complete with a blackberry sorbet. The sorbet was rich, dark and mysterious. The flavor bounced around the sprigs of mint and berry drizzle that drew your eye to a lovely layered cake. The cake was soft and moist, in two small slabs that surrounded a light and sweet honey mascarpone.


Each dish was treated with experience and an artful flare. Chef/Owners James & Julie Petrakis should be proud of their fare. I’m so glad it wasn’t just a BBQ joint.


Despicable, Ravenous Me

By Man Biscuit March 24th, 2013

Applecheeks and I have been to this area of town a few times. Having driven past a name like “The Ravenous Pig” it tends to pique one’s interest. Especially if one is as interested in food as we are, I believe you cannot have the word pig in your restaurant unless you have the skill to back it up with fantastic food. The Ravenous Pig did NOT disappoint.

It was a Sunday so we had to park a bit away. It was a nice day and we wouldn’t balk at a walk. The entrance has a small, non-fenced in, patio area for those who prefer to eat outside. You step in and are instantly standing at a host stand. When they asked if we had a reservation, I thought “my only reservation is about eating at places that require them” sadly, I could only sputter out “Uhh, no… Can we still eat here?” Turns out they had a table for two, right next to the front.

The place is decorated like a combination pub meets art gallery. The table was decorated with butcher paper, 2 presumptuous wine glasses, Salt & Pepper grinders, flatware and a sugar caddy. The lighting was fairly intimate. It definitely had a good date night feel.

Our server greeted us, his name was Alex. He asked if we had dined here before and discovering it was our first time, he began telling us a bit about the restaurant (like that they only use local ingredients and whatnot), he took us through a tour of the cocktails and beer menu. The first thing he pointed at struck me like a slap to the face.

The Ravenous Pig Old Fashioned.

First let us take a look at a “normal” Old Fashioned: Bourbon Whisky, dash of bitters, some kind of sweetener (usually a teaspoon of sugar), a maraschino cherry, and orange wedge on ice.

The Ravenous Pig Old Fashioned: Bacon infused buffalo trace bourbon, vanilla maple syrup and angostura orange (orange cocktail bitters).

So, what they have done is take bourbon, which gets much of its flavor from the ageing process, in which it sits in a white oak barrel that has been charred on the inside allowing the alcohol to absorb some of those flavors. Imitation vanilla is made from taking wood and soaking it an alcohol. What they’ve done is take the sweetener, and nod at Bourbon twice over by giving you vanilla a flavor component in the bourbon and giving you maple given to us by the sweetest of trees. What I’m trying to say is that it was delicious. The crispy bacon garnish was just the icing on the pork.

Time to order an appetizer.  Applecheeks and I have never before had Foie Gras. I knew a bit of what to expect thanks to years of food network and travel channel. Let me tell you… if you think you know what it tastes like, you’re wrong. Its SO MUCH BETTER. Or rather it can be.

The Foie Gras (pronounced Fraw Grwah) is goose liver. I know how it’s been made for the past 2300 years, but there are slightly more humane ways of producing it. And outside of France, you’re allowed to call “fatty goose liver” “Foie gras”, if it’s been made slightly more humanely. I didn’t think to ask about how it was produced while I was there.

It was prepared by searing and placed on zucchini bread, then topped with plant city strawberries, rhubarb, vanilla granola and crispy ginger. Imagine biting into a big, fat piece of fried chicken. There is a moment where the chicken fat explodes into your mouth and its succulent and rich… that taste is a hint of what Foie Gras tastes like. Pairing it with the tart and sweet strawberries and rhubarb, it was simply amazing.

For my Main course, I couldn’t decide. It was difficult because the Pub Burger, which I’m sure, is delicious but I wanted something more adventurous, came with truffle fries. That sounds delicious damnit! Alex suggested I get a side of fries for us to share and pointed out the Pork Porterhouse. So that is what I did. The Pork Porterhouse is humorously named as it is literally the pork equivalent to a beef porterhouse steak. It was every bit as large and juicy as I’d hoped. In spite of it’s thickness, the pork was grilled to perfection. It was topped with a peach Mostarda (a itallian condiment made of candied fruit and mustard flavored syrup) and a peache tea gastrique. (A gastrique is a sauce, often thick and made from a reduction of something sweet and includes vinegar, in this case, peach tea.) I was completely satisfied with this dish, it delivered on flavor, texture and was juicy! It came with a side of fingerling potatoes, tossed with sherry and shallots, I couldn’t determine all of the ingredients but I found out there were tasty little cubes that went great with the small fingerlings, the little spicy cubes were actually Kohlrabi. (Kohlrabi is a German turnip; it grows underground and has big leafy protrusions on top.) I would totally recommend this dish, especially if you’re hungry. That was a lot of meat…

For dessert, I looked at the menu and something looked right back at me… the words MALT and STOUT. It was the “Cake and Ice Cream” Which was served as three small chocolate stout cupcakes, topped with a caramel butter cream (not manly to say but they were adorable). These things had a delightful chew, a strong chocolate flavor with a slightly smaller stout reminder. The ice cream portion of this dish was in the form of a milkshake. The small glass contained a stout-malt milkshake and it couldn’t be described better. If you like malt (like the middle of whoppers candy) you’re going to dig this dessert. I’m only a mild fan of the dark, stout beers but something about it’s pairing with ice cream is just fantastic.

Basically, this is the best restaurant at which I’ve had the joy to eat. Sadly, the glorious food and service does not come cheap. They do offer a lunch menu, so if you’re cheap or want to pretend like you’re rich, I’d say take your girl here during lunch hours. Otherwise, I would say, if you can afford it, this place is most definitely worth the price.

No sisters of mine.

By Apple Cheeks March 24th, 2013

The Three Sisters sounds like a witchy, eclectic getaway run by wild women with no need for men, laws or common decency. I expected to see skirt flipping, bottle throwing and feminine passion. It was not any of these things, and I was disappointed. Preconceptions of the title aside, it was still a neat looking place. Downtown Kissimmee isn’t yet well known for interesting restaurants. The best we could get was old Joanie’s diner, where you were lucky if you could get more than one type of vegetable for your side-dish. That being said, we sat down at a high-table and made our orders. The Three Sisters did sport old photos of Kissimmee on the walls, and had a pub-type atmosphere.

I eyed the blackened mahi-mahi sandwich with sweet potato fries. It sounded reasonably delicious, so I went for it. We also got the house chips. I can’t resist house chips. Something about fresh sliced potatoes, versus the poor facsimiles available in bag-form at the store –they’re just a better class of chip. I was disappointed to find out that the chips we received were made earlier in the day. They weren’t even warm. Had they been hot out of the fryer, or even remotely new to this earth, I probably would have enjoyed them. I did not.


When my mahi-mahi sandwich arrived, it was almost acceptable. It was a little zingy, a nice, thick slab of fish, but not really a stand-out dish. The toppings were ordinary and a bit sparse. The tartar sauce was a good, traditional flavor and was well made. I’m guessing it came out of a pre-made jar, but at least they picked a good one.

The fries, however, were quite tasty. Crispy, sweet potatoey and nicely seasoned. The dip wasn’t great- it was bland and overly sweet.


They didn’t have much on tap, so I ordered a bottled beer. It was a raspberry Wheat. The beer was probably the best part of my meal. It was sweet, light, refreshing and tasted like a fine dessert.


Overall, I wasn’t impressed by the Three Sisters. I’m willing to give them another chance, on the possibility that they were having an off-day. The service wasn’t great. Our server seemed more annoyed by our presence than happy to see us. They weren’t terribly busy, the music was too loud and the atmosphere seemed half hooters, half dive bar. Perhaps our expectations were too high, considering the cool name, but this was a restaurant that truly missed the mark.


It’s better than one sister.

By Man Biscuit October 20th, 2012

Nestled in the middle of Downtown Kissimmee. A small down town area, attempting it’s damnedest to be as chic, over priced and hip as larger downtown cities. Three sisters looks like a bar. It has an out doors eating area half a block long and indoors, dominating the center of the place is a massive old world style wooden bar. This idea is further enforced when you find a seat. Apple cheeks and I visited mid-day on a Saturday. You would think in preparation for what is most bars’ most populated day, they would have more staff on hand. There was a bar tender who had us sit wherever we like, and one server to get the 4 tables that were sat outside. We took a spot at a high top with two chairs and at the table are two menu’s; a wine menu and a list of their specialty drinks. No food menu however, there was a chalk board describing some of their dishes near the door.

Turns out our server was to be the bartender. She was pleasant and well mannered and had a fair working knowledge of the menu. I decided to grab one of the drinks on the specialty menu. I went with the pineapple mojito, it seemed like a classic recipe with pineapple juice and garnish added. I have to say, it fell short for me. It tasted unremarkable and seemed to lack the punch that most 8 dollar drinks deserve to have. The main flavor components that came through were the soda water and the mint. When you have ingredients like rum and pineapple that shouldn’t be the case.


The menu had relatively few choices, this is something of which I am a fan. I much prefer to have few things done extremely well than many mediocre choices. The menu was separated into appetizers, sandwiches and entrees. After scanning the appetizers, we agreed on the “chips and dip” which is what it sounds like, home made chips and home made dip. Onion dip to be specific, which was good. Not great, but good. The chips could have been made fresh but distinctly were not. They had that glaze of oil on them which tells us they were fried in house but were room temperature. I’m not sure if that was because it sat for a while or if they just make large batches and we got to them well after they were made. The onion dip was interesting. It wasn’t strongly flavored but paired well enough with the chips. Unfortunately the entree comes in single and double format. Though it wasn’t indicated on the menu and our server didn’t inform us that we would be paying eight dollars for not so fresh chips and uninspired dip.

As for the main event, I went for the Cuban Sandwich. Honestly, I was very tempted by the Argentinian flank steak, but at the last second I was feeling porky. Having a choice between chips, fries and sweet potato fries I went with the fries. Apple cheeks was ordering the sweet ones so this way we get to sample all the sides. I wasn’t shocked to learn they don’t season their sweet potato fries. I’m not sure why but many restaurants seem to be afraid to go sweet and savory with these bad boys. They we were well cooked and for an extra 50 cents she got a special dip for them. It tasted like cinnamon, brown sugar and butter but it didn’t act like butter so I’m not certain. It was a fair accompaniment. My fries were classic crinkle cut fries, also well cooked and hot so there was little to no sitting time for them. My cuban was also nice and hot, classic ham, swiss, pulled pork and a pickle. It’s pretty hard to screw up a cuban and they didn’t. It just wasn’t special. I felt like I could get the same sandwich at a gas station. The pulled pork was dry and the ham was given to the sandwich sparingly.


All in all, it wasn’t great. It’s prices are high and the food didn’t warrant it. The atmosphere was nice, music was good and staff were pleasant. I just didn’t find the food or the prices worth it.

To the window, to the walls, to the tapioca balls!

By Apple Cheeks May 12th, 2012

Nera Deva was another spur-of-the moment idea. Man Biscuit and I were on a journey to buy a keg. The keg store was located in Millenia, which to the unfamiliar is a portion of South Orlando that has blown up in recent times. There’s a huge Target complex surrounded by restaurants, furniture stores and pseudo-yuppies. We snagged our sweet party keg and looked around for something to munch.

Around the corner from the Wal-mart of liquor stores, there was Nera Deva Thai. It looked like any other strip-mall restaurant from the outside, but we do love Thai food and thought to give it a chance.
As we entered the building, I was surprised by the decor. You would ordinarily expect a few artifacts from the native restaurant’s homeland, maybe some table cloths and pictures of the food. This wasn’t the case. Everything was wooden. Natural wood everywhere. Our booth was wood. There were wooden crossbeams everywhere, supporting hanging flowers. There was a large, intricately carved wooden archway on the wall. You could see the dancing spirits of Thai culture, people, animals dragons and all sorts of cool stuff carved into this peice. It was pretty cool.

We sat down and looked at the large menu. There were many traditional Thai dishes, and a bunch we hadn’t heard before. This time we decided to choose only from the appetizer menu, in a Tapis style. We ordered four appetizers. The server brought a photo album with professional looking pictures of each of the dishes. I was getting hungry just looking at it.

The first  appetizer arrived. Steamed Tapioca Dumplings. They were visually very appealing. A sea green color, dusted with sesame seeds. I grabbed my chopsticks and went to flavor country. Well, I tried to. First, let me say that I am a chopstick expert. Not for nothing, but I’ve been using chopsticks for a really long time. These tapioca balls were just a bitch to pick up. They were coated in tapioca. Wobbly, jello-jiggler-like tapioca. When I finally managed to get one into my mouth, it was pretty entertaining. The tapioca coating was thick and gummy, the interior was flavorful and overflowing with porkiness. I just picked up the next one with my fingers, which was nearly as difficult as with chopsticks. If you want to mess with your friends, buy a whole bunch of these and watch them try to get them to their mouths.

The dumplings arrived and were good. They were traditional style in a gyoza wrap and came with a teriyaki soy dipping sauce. I won’t give them points for originality, but they were acceptably tasty.

Another plate landed on he table. Fresh rolls. I know, it sounds vague, but the fresh rolls were interesting. They were essentially a small salad with a piece of shrimp, wrapped into a roll. The dipping sauce was sweet and well spiced. I feel like the lettuce and vegetables in the roll could have used a little more life. There was something missing, flavor-wise, I just can’t put my finger on it.
Lastly, there was the Thai Jerky. Super-fried strips of pork with a thick and spicy dipping sauce. I’ll say it, it was delicious. The spices were rich, the crust crunchy and he pork chewy. It did feel like jerky, but was hot and not too dry. I would love to come back and try the chicken or beef, because the pork was excellent.

We hadn’t had enough with our nibbles, so we ordered a dessert. There were a few interesting sounding dishes, but we settled on the Black Sticky Rice with Coconut and Palm Sugar Caramel Topping. The small black brick that arrived was aromatic and alluring. The sticky rice was fluffy and not too sweet. The coconut and caramel were incredibly sweet, but drizzled artfully so as not to overpower the flavor. I would definitely order it again. In fact, I might look up recipes to see if I can make my own.

So, in conclusion, the prices were fair, the variety was good. Dessert was fantastic. I recommend for anyone who is looking for a bite of Thai.

Having a wonderful Thai-m

By Man Biscuit May 12th, 2012

Applecheeks and I were on an adventure getting a half keg for my padre’s birthday. One of the best prices I found was at a place called Total Wine near the Millenia mall.

While we were there we decided to stop off at NaraDeva Thai Restaurant for some grub. Hauling kegs is hungry work. It’s placed in a corner lot with fairly convenient parking. We got in there in the early evening, around 5:30pm on a week day and business was understandably slow. The hostess, server and another lady were chatting quietly at a booth and greeted us immediately.

The decor was pretty awesome. There were plenty of plants and fountains. Lots of wooden decorative pieces and light fixtures.

Our server was very friendly and didn’t mind waiting when we took a while to order. Since I was in a Thai restaurant I had to order a thai tea, sooo tasty. It was a little sweeter than I’m use to but still good. We decided to order all appetizers so we could eat a bigger variety of things.

First up on the hit parade
Steamed Tapioca Balls – stuffed with savory ground pork, sweet turnip and crushed peanuts filling, sprinkled with fried garlic flakes, garnished with cilantro.

My thoughts on this one; They were green and squishy. I don’t have a problem with that but some might. The outside resembles flavorless jello. Which isn’t too far from the truth, when the tapioca is steamed, it gels and creates that distinct squishy outside. The filling was a tad disappointing. I didn’t taste much of the savory ground pork but I would recommend these to impress your friends.

Steamed Dumplings – Steamed Gyoza Wrapper, filled with seasoned pork mix, with garlic chives and shredded cabbage in sesame sauce, served with Sweet & Sour Soy Dip.

These guys I felt were nothing special. Pretty good if you’re a dumpling fan but the portion size is pretty small… which I guess is the point of appetizers?  The sweet and sour sou dip was a good complement to the dumplings.

Fresh Roll – Steamed Rice Paper Rolls, filled with boiled shrimps, crisp vegetables, fresh Thai herbs and rice noodles, served with Sweet Chili Sauce with crushed peanuts.

These guys looked naked with transparent rice paper. Basically you wanna have one of these in between as a pallet cleanser. The flavor is of unseasoned, raw vegetables. For best results, dip the roll in the sweet chili sauce and then into the crushed peanuts.

Thai Jerky – Marinated in flavorful Thai Jerky sauce, deep fried & served with Spicy Lemon & Chili dip.

You can chose between beef, pork or chicken. We went with pork and I was quite happy about that decision. Imagine little chunkies of pork that have been deep fried. That’s essentially what this dish offers. The spicy lemon, chili dip was, at first taste, a bit odd. But it was actually one of the tastiest sauces we had that day. I would totally recommend this appetizer. It’s a little more costly than the others but you get a decent amount of meat for your money.

Since we didn’t get an entree we felt totally justified in ordering dessert. There were quite a few choices that looked delicious. Eventually we ordered Black sticky rice with coconut in palm sugar carmel topping. Heck of a long name for a dessert but it happens to be very descriptive. The dessert features black sticky rice which I think is a wild rice.  It had shredded coconut which was mixed with that palm sugar carmel, topped with Coconut Cream Sauce. That sauce was super sweet but went well with the rice. I’d say the dessert was a winner, especially if you like rice. I don’t know if it was because we were a couple or if it’s how it’s normally served but our dessert was shapped like a heart! <3

Zilly Be Good.

By Man Biscuit May 6th, 2012

Nested in the middle of several  businesses surrounding it. The outside is quite humble. When you first walk in, you get the aroma’s floating over to you from the kitchen and the pleasant banter from the host(s). Well, that is a normal visit… as it turns out freaks can smell their own because we were greeted at the door by an overly-enthusiastic previous-night-party-goer. His eyes were red and he looked like he could see for miles.

After he let us walk to our booth, I noticed where a bar would be in a normal restaurant, this place held a coffee shoppe area complete with a barista. We had a seat and within 10 seconds we were greeted by Jade… or Jada? She was very nice and attentive. Unfortunately for her, Applecheeks and I had a temporary mental breakdown while staring at the menu. The number of caffeinated (and non caffeinated.) delights was nearly staggering.

They appear to have a daily changing drink specials. We both went for it but in different ways, I had the iced version (they call it frozenchino) and Applecheeks went for the cappuccino style. Today’s flavor was “Almond Joy”. Sadly, like most frozen drinks (alcoholic ones included) the ice melted quickly and led to a watered down flavor. Before that happened though, the drink was quite tasty, if small. (The photograph makes it look like a normal sized drink, but most of that was large crushed pieces of ice.)

Finally, I arrived a choice for breakfast… see if you like the sound of this: fresh croissant topped with eggs, spinach,ham, cheddar jack cheese  with hollandaise sauce and your choice of breakfast side.

I thought so too! So, I ordered that with their red potato home fries. When this bad boy got to the table, I’d say they’ve got a great presentation and I’m ready to get down on some topped croissant. After the first few bites I noticed a distinct lack of seasoning. There is something to be said about having the ingredients speak for themselves. But even in a fancy steak house, they still use salt. I felt like there was no attempt at flavoring the eggs or spinach. Even the hollandaise lacked that acidic hint you would expect. The red-skinned potato home-fries had the same issue; no seasoning. So in the end both dishes were well cooked, well prepared and well served but lacked seasoning.

That being said, I intend on giving this place another shot. Applecheeks waffle looked awesome and service was great. We may hit up their lunch menu or some such.

I Dream of Waffles

By Apple Cheeks May 6th, 2012

There was one thought on my mind as we barreled down the highway at the breakneck speed of 48 miles per hour. Waffles. When I want waffles, I really want waffles…and they’d better be good ones. So, we googled around a bit and found a little place in Downtown Orlando that serves…You guessed it! Waffles!

As usual, it was a biotch to find parking, but once we did the walk from the parking garage wasn’t too far. We popped into the entrance and was greeted by an attractive seating hostess, and an old guy who asked us if we were excited. He didn’t work there, he was just really excited about the food.

“You having breakfast?” he lunged toward us with big, outstretched arms. We involuntarily took a step backward and agreed that we were, indeed, having lunch. “You excited? It’s really good here!” he wiped imaginary drool from his mouth, “Really good!”
The hostess looked a bit uncomfortable, but played it off well. “He’s just really jazzed about our breakfast.” I think he was also jazzed about the sangria, to the tune of 7 cups or so. So, with a glowing review still lingering in our thoughts, we took our seat in a comfortable booth. The lighting was surprisingly romantic for a breakfast setting, there was a bunch of local art on the walls, and a snooty food channel on their over-large flat screen tv’s. In a word, it was “cool.”
We took a peek at the menu, but I was already well positioned to vote for waffles. Man biscuit lingered over the menu before deciding on his own meal. Almost everything sounded amazing. Of course, hunger is a tasty sauce.

We both ordered specialty drinks – the Chef’s Choice. Mine was a hot almond joy cappucinno. It was pretty tasty! Very sweet and more like hot chocolate than a proper cappuccino, but the foam was foamy, the coconut flavor was rich and aromatic, and the sweetness was thick. It was maybe a bit too sweet. I might have preferred an actual cappucino, but for the sake of tasting like a candy bar, they pulled it off. If you want something to kill your sweet tooth, I’d highly recommend it.

After a minor deliberation on the toppings, I did settle for a “Downtown Waffle” with bananas and berries. This also included a glob of whipped cream the size of my fist. The waffle arrived in no time, brought to us by an incredibly attractive server (who reminded me of the chick from Firefly – the tall pretty black one? Married to Wash? I can’t remember her name. Help me out, readers.) Come to think of it, every member of the staff was attractive. It was more like a modeling agency than a restaurant. Even the greasy chefs were hot in a greasy Gavin Rossdale sort of way. Oh right, and they had food, too.

One bite of my giant, fluffy, heartbreaking waffle and I was in love. It was crisp on the outside, warm and inviting in the middle and delicious all over. The fruit was ripened well (though the strawberries were more on the tart-side, the whipped cream helped with this.) The hot Firefly server brought me some syrup in a handy squeeze-bottle (which I imagine cut down on the stickiniess factor.) I didn’t need it. The waffle, cream, fruit and my fork were all that were required for this symphony of happy noises. Waffles, you are my sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. Sorry Man Biscuit… I’m leaving you and running away with this waffle.

So, that’s the scoop. Sexy watiers and hot waffles, steamy creamy sweet drinks and a cool hipster atmosphere. Check it out, it’s worth a bite.