Posts Tagged With: dessert

Kick up your heels at Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

Exterior

TEDDY’s RATING: 

For quite a few years now, I’ve been in love with Celtic music – Irish, Scottish, even Canadian bands like The Chieftans, Solas, Altan, Leahy, Off Kilter, The Corrs and the Celtic rock band, Enter the Haggis.

Irish dancersWhat does this have to do with travel and food? Well, Raglan Road is an authentic Irish pub in Downtown Disney where you can enjoy a traditional Irish meal and be entertained by traditional Irish dancers and musicians. Two of my favorite things: great music and great food.

Raglan Road was constructed using salvaged pieces of Irish taverns and churches. The four bars are each over 130 years old. All of this adds to the authentic atmosphere and charm of Raglan Road.

Now, the Irish aren’t that famous for their culinary creations, but Raglan Road’s updated menu of old world favorites is definitely worth tasting. And there are a lot of choices on that menu. Master Chef Kevin Dundon has taken classic Irish dishes and pumped them up with a contemporary flair. It’s more Sod the Stewthan corned beef and cabbage. The menu includes Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips, chicken and wild mushroom pie, bangers and mash, beef stew and several lamb and seafood options. For dessert try the amazing Strawberry and Apple crumble, the bread and butter pudding, Triful Sinful or the Black Forest Kiss.

I couldn’t decide between the Shepherd’s Pie and the Stew. I opted for the stew because the pie contains lamb, which I’m not that crazy about. But I am going to try the Shepherd’s Pie next time for sure. The stew was full of beef, carrots and potatoes and flavored with a hint of Guinness. For dessert, the crumble with vanilla ice cream was quite delicious.

Irish DancerAnd don’t forget the libations – beer, wine, specialty drinks and a wide variety of whiskeys. You can even have flights of beer or whiskey, a great way to try new flavors. I had Jay’Gail Sangria which was a blend of Magners Cider, Peach Schnapps, fruit liqueurs and juices. Yummy. With dessert, I asked for an iced Bailey’s coffee, not on the menu, but they made it for me. Also, yummy.

The service was exceptional. Our waiter, Todd, was very knowledgeable about the different beer offerings as well as the dinner menu. Our food arrived piping hot and very quickly.

Of course, since Raglan Road is part of the Walt Disney World Resort, you can expect high prices. But I think the delicious food is well worth it, plus you get free entertainment. There’s live music and Irish folk dancers “river dancing” seven nights a week. I think the price is quite reasonable for dinner and a show.

Date of Visit:  February 2013

http://www.raglanroad.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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Categories: Disney, Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stoney Knob Cafe-Weaverville’s Best

TEDDY’s RATING:

Weaverville is a little town, just north of Asheville, about a 10 minute drive from downtown. Population: just over 3,000 people.

If you’ve driven through Weaverville you might think of it as just a sleepy little hamlet, but they’ve got some great eating spots. I’ve already written about the Well-Bred Bakery. Definitely check that out if you’re there. But if you’re looking for a great meal at a fun, funky bistro, try the Stoney Knob Café.

When you walk in, you’d think you were in a restaurant in downtown Asheville or even a much more metropolitan city. The décor is a “whimsical blend of artifacts and artful spaces,” as their website says and the menu is made up of American, European, and Mediterranean cuisine.

The Stoney Knob Café started out as a small diner back in the 1960s. When original owner Gus Dermas emigrated from Greece to the US, he discovered Weaverville and fell in love with it because it reminded him of his homeland. The restaurant is currently run by Gus’s sons, John and Yotty.

In 2000, the Stoney Knob Cafe was expanded. The original diner remains, but is now flanked by two other dining areas. On one side is the Red Room where you can enjoy an intimate dinner by the fire. On the other side is the Mediterranean Room, also called the “saints and sinners” room. This larger dining room is decorated with a mish mash of everything from velvet Elvis paintings to a life-sized statue of the Virgin Mary. So, one restaurant with three distinctive looks, but all of them inviting and fun, and like nothing you’ve probably ever seen before.

The menu is as eclectic as the atmosphere. They prepare dishes “from near and far” combining local tastes with world-wide flair. You can get Spanish paella, Greek moussaka, Asian spring rolls, falafel, Kobe beef burgers, and filet mignon. There are also seafood, vegetarian and gluten-free choices.

We started off our meal with an excellent cocktail, the Love Potion #69, a blend of strawberry kiwi Vodka, peach schnapps, lemon juice and sour mix. Delightful. They have other original cocktails, a full bar and an extensive wine list.

For entrees, the tortellini with chicken was light, creamy and totally delicious with a parmesan carbonara sauce, prosciutto and peas. And as the menu says, the tender braised boneless short ribs with asiago stone ground grits were “to die for.” We rounded off the meal with their luscious Italian lemon cake.

Service was excellent, as was the food and the entire experience. There’s really nothing negative I can say about the Stoney Knob Café. I can’t wait to go back there on my next trip to the Asheville area. 

Dates of Visit:  May 2012

http://www.stoneyknobcafe.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, North Carolina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giddy Up to the Apopka Food Truck Roundup

TEDDY’s RATING: 

Rustle up some tasty vittles at the Apopka Food Truck Roundup!

The food truck craze has really exploded all across the country. You can sample all types of food in one place. Kind of like a traveling food court. I’ve even toyed with the idea of opening up one myself. Teddy’s Tantalizing Treats?  Hmmm.

Anyway, the Apopka Food Truck Roundup takes place the first Thursday of every month at Kit Land Nelson Park in downtown Apopka, Florida from 5:30pm to 9pm. This food truck event has been so successful that in August they’ll be celebrating their 1st birthday.

Several of the food trucks are regulars at the Roundup and others take turns making an appearance. Here are the trucks that were there when we went:

Burger Culture, Sunset Ice, TJ’s Seafood Shack, The Crooked Spoon, Monsta Lobsta, Yum Yum Cupcakes, Brisket Bus, Jimmy’s Meatballs, Kerri Out, Fat Tortillas, Korean BBQ Taco Box, Big Wheel Truck, The Crepe Company, Shipyard Brewing.

       

Each of them has their own Facebook page and you can follow them on Twitter so you know where to find them each day or weekend. Some have website, some even do catering.

Here’s the food that we tried:

The Crooked Spoon: Macaroni & Cheese, with bacon, yellow and red peppers, fresh basil and crumb topping.
The Brisket Bus: Pulled brisket sandwich with cole slaw.
TJ’s Seafood Shack: Fish & Chips.
The Crepe Company: Red, White and Blue Crepe (strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream).
Sunset Ice: Banana and strawberry Italian ice.

And we rounded off the meal with half a dozen cupcakes from Yum Yum Cupcakes: Root Beer Boom Boom, Orange Cream Dream, The Ballad of Churro, Peanut Butter Choco-Rama, Red Velvet and Lady Bird (gluten-free hummingbird cake).

Everything was very good, especially the cupcakes. Of the six, there wasn’t one that I didn’t like, but my favorites were Root Beer Boom Boom and Peanut Butter Choco-Rama.

I do have to say that the prices were a bit steep ($8.50 for the mac and cheese, $13.00 for the six cupcakes), but you’re paying for the experience. And it was a fun experience. There was live jazz music. The city sets up tables and chairs, which a lot of other food truck sites don’t do. We got there early before there were any long lines. Food is made fresh to order, so you should be prepared to wait. And even though most trucks take credit cards, it’s faster if you have cash.

So, why not lasso a great meal at the next Apopka Food Truck Roundup? But get there early, before the stampede!!

Dates of Visit:  July 5, 2012

http://www.facebook.com/ApopkaFoodTruckRoundUp

http://www.apopka.net/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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Yum, Yum, the Asheville Food Tour

TEDDY’s RATING: 

Asheville is quite a culinary town. It’s even referred to as a “Foodtopian Society.” There are so many restaurants to choose from. No matter what your taste buds crave, you’ll find something to please your palate.

One of the best ways to sample all the fantastic food Asheville has to offer is to take the Asheville Food Tour. As their slogan says, “Asheville Food Tours introduces you to the city bite by bite.”

It’s a two and a half hour walking tour of downtown, stopping at 7 to 10 different restaurants and/or specialty food shops to savor their flavors. We went to a total of 8 places, each of which gets a separate mini paw rating from Teddy.

Our guide’s name was Chris. He and his wife created Asheville Food Tours. And what’s great about it is that you get to sample more than just a few bites of food. You get to try items right off the restaurants’ menus or dishes specially prepared for the tour. By the time the tour is done, you’re full! And you get a discount card to use when you visit any of the stops at a later date.

Here are the 8 stops we made:

The Chocolate Fetish (3 mini paws) http://chocolatefetish.com/
Here we tried three different samples of chocolate: truffle, caramel and plain dark chocolate. And we got to see behind the scenes of their chocolate making process. It’s a nice place with lots of exotic chocolate options, but I still love the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. The owners, Bill and Sue Foley, are very nice people and they led the tour through their shop.

The Green Sage Café (3 mini paws) http://thegreensage.net/
This is one of Asheville’s “Green” restaurants. They recycle all paper products and compost all leftovers. And they pride themselves in being a restaurant that buys locally from local suppliers. We had zucchini soup and a vegetable hummus wrap.

Strada (3 mini paws)
http://www.stradaasheville.com/
This is one of the newer stops on the tour. Strada is an Italian bistro. We were served goat cheese pizza and a fig stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, along with red wine.

Olive & Kickin’ (2 mini paws) http://www.oliveandkickin.com/
This was a most unusual stop. This shop sells different types of olive oil and balsamic vinegars. And to taste the different olive oils, we did shots of them. Yep, shots of olive oil. Pretty odd. No dipping bread in the oil, just drink it up.

Mr. Frog’s Soul Food and Creole Kitchen (3 mini paws) http://mrfrogsavl.blogspot.com/
This was another fairly new restaurant. The chef talked at length about his history and why he started the restaurant. We had cucumber water, ribs, an oyster, and a Cheerwine truffle.

Chorizo (3 mini paws) http://www.grovearcade.com/shopping-dining/chorizo/
I’m not big on Latin food, but the pork quesadilla and fruit drink were very good. After the trip, I made the fruit drink (orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and club soda) at home, adding in some pineapple/coconut rum.

Karen Donatelli Cafe (3 mini paws) http://www.donatellicakedesigns.com/
By the time we got to this bakery, we were already pretty full of food. We sampled a pecan caramel square. Karen Donatelli mostly creates cakes, but she has some very creative desserts available as well. Wish we weren’t so stuffed!

The Spice & Tea Exchange (3 mini paws)
http://www.spiceandtea.com/north-carolina-asheville-ezp-17.html?chapter=1
The final stop was the Spice & Tea Exchange. They feature a huge variety of spices, teas and flavored sugars. I bought an orange creamsicle tea sample to try along with maple syrup sugar and raspberry sugar.

Overall, the tour was great fun. Great experience, great food, great town. I’d do it again since Chris doesn’t necessarily go to the same stops each time.

Some things to keep in mind about the tour. They are held rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes. There are no substitutions for dietary restrictions. Tours are limited to 12 people, so book early. Tours are held March through November, Tuesdays through Fridays at 2pm. The tour costs $39 per person.

There is a second tour offered that takes you through Biltmore Village, a quaint collection of shops and restaurants just outside the historic Biltmore estate. We plan to try that one next time.

Dates of Visit:  May 4, 2012

http://www.ashevillefoodtours.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, North Carolina, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Well Bred Bakery & Cafe

TEDDY’s RATING:

Back in 2006, while on a trip to North Carolina, we explored the little hamlet of Weaverville, just north of Asheville. There we discovered Well Bred Bakery & Café. Now we make this café a scheduled stop on all our Asheville vacations.

I’m always drawn to homemade treats. Well Bred is abundant with “handcrafted edibles.” But the one that drew me in the most was the mountain éclair. Your normal chocolate éclair is about five or six inches long and filled with a bit of cream. This is not your normal éclair. This one is about six inches in diameter and filled with an ocean of cream. Super yummy. We get one, or two, every time we visit Asheville.

I tend to always pick one thing at a restaurant and go on and on about it, ignoring the other wonderful delectable delights. In this case, it’s the éclair. But Well Bred has so much more.

Sweets include: baklava, tiramisu, crème brulee, carrot cake, sour cream lemon and cranberry pound cake, chocolate raspberry bars, cinnamon streusel cake, key lime tarts, chocolate fudge cake, various cookies and now a mini version of the mountain éclair.

For entrees, they serve a fantastic chicken salad, fruit salad, gourmet croissant sandwiches, quiche, hot paninis, sesame noodles and homemade soups.

They offer a variety of organic coffees from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Jamaica and Columbia, along with their collection of signature artisan breads including challah, wheat, demi baguettes, Italian batard, olive oil and rosemary, and sourdough.

This place is usually crowded during lunch with locals or visitors, but it is definitely worth waiting for a table. They’re open every day and stay open late on Fridays and Saturdays, until 9pm, so you can stop by and pick up a mountain éclair to take home. It’ll feed a family of four!

Dates of Visit:  May 2006 to present

http://www.wellbredbakery.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, North Carolina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Drinking from the Chocolate River

TEDDY’s RATING:

Attention Chocoholics: This is your nirvana. It’s the French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, North Carolina. Now, they have a lot of things to enjoy here, but my favorite is the sinfully delicious liquid chocolate truffle.

Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a drink from Willy Wonka’s chocolate river? Well, I certainly have. And when I put my lips to a mug of liquid chocolate truffle, my dream comes true. This is the smoothest, richest, thickest, creamiest, most decadent drink on the planet. Matched only by a similar liquid chocolate drink I tried in Anchorage, Alaska at the Modern Dweller’s Chocolate Lounge.

But since Asheville is much closer to my home in Florida, I’m able to drink from the chocolate river at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge much more often. As a matter of fact, I imbibed twice on my most recent visit to Asheville earlier this month. (By the way, the French Broad is the river that runs near Asheville.)

I could go on and on about the liquid truffle, but I must mention that the French Broad Chocolate Lounge also has coffee, desserts, brownies, cookies, cakes and so much more. It’s a casual hangout downtown patronized by the likes of actress Andie MacDowell. (She lives in the area.) I’m not sure what she likes to eat or drink there. Maybe she likes the liquid truffle too. You can get it in different flavors like plain dark, plain milk, with different spices like cinnamon, cardamom, even lavender and honey…am I gushing about it again? Sorry.

If you find the place a bit crowded, you’ll know why. It’s because everything there is fabulous. And if you can’t find a table, venture upstairs where they have lots of extra room. And if you come on a day when they’ve got live music, sit down and enjoy a liquid truffle…okay, you can try something else if you like!

Dates of Visit:  May 2009, May 2012

http://frenchbroadchocolates.com

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, North Carolina | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Scampi’s – A Hometown Italian Eatery

TEDDY’s RATING: 

I always like to try out small, family-owned, hometown restaurants and not always patronize the big chains. Scampi’s Italian Eatery is a small, hometown restaurant near where I live. So, we like to go there every so often for Italian food.

I’ve read some very mixed reviews online about Scampi’s. Some people absolutely love the place, others have rated it only one star because of the service. We had a nice time when we went. The service was good, although we were there early on a Sunday evening and there were no other customers. Other reviewers have stated that they were turned away at the door, even though they arrived well before the 10pm posted closing time.

Scampi’s has a very extensive menu. They have everything: pizzas, calzones, all types of pastas and sauces, hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups, chicken, veal and seafood. The menu is almost too large. But it is all freshly cooked to order.

I had the Chicken Marsala. The sauce was very light in both flavor and consistency.  The portions are quite large. I had enough leftover for at least one more meal. The small calzone is a very good size as well. Other members of our party had lasagna and spaghetti with sausage. The lasagna was very good, but the sausage was rather bland. Dinners come with a side salad and garlic knots. We were too full to enjoy dessert, but they do offer tiramisu, bread pudding and cheesecake.

Scampi’s does have a web address. The site is not really up and running yet, but you can access their menu on it.

Dates of Visit:  April 29, 2012

http://www.scampiscf.com/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mitchell’s Fish Market – Even if you’re not a seafood fanatic

TEDDY’s RATING: 

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I’m not a big seafood fan. So why would I go to a place called Mitchell’s Fish Market? Well, there were expiring gift cards involved, so I kind of had to go. But I definitely was not disappointed. Of course, I made sure ahead of time that they had several “Turf” choices on the menu.

First off, I’d like to shout out to our wonderful waitress, Aline. She was top-notch, making some excellent suggestions. She recommended the Elderflower and Pear cocktail. It sounded unusual, but Aline said it was very good. And it was. So much so that I wasn’t willing to let anyone else in my party take a sip! This signature drink contains Absolut Pear Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, champagne and fresh lemon juice. I love champagne drinks. This was light and bubbly, very refreshing.

Since I’m totally a Turf girl, I chose the pot roast for my entree. (Decided to forego the appetizer, soup or salad to save room for dessert.) It is served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. It was delicious, very tender and tasty. The rest of my family tried the Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta, the Lemon Chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and the Cod and Shrimp with Hush Puppies and coleslaw. All entrees were highly rated by all.

So, now we come to the dessert. Yes, the best part of every meal. Aline recommended two desserts, the towering 7 layer Carrot Cake and the “Sharkfin” pie. We got one of each. These desserts are gigantic. More than enough for sharing – with 27 of your closest friends.

The Carrot Cake was quite moist and sweet, but I have to say that my favorite Carrot Cake is still baked by The Dessert Lady.

“Sharkfin” pie, what a crazy name for a dessert, but when you see it, you’ll know why it’s called that. This dessert is a huge wedge of vanilla ice cream layered with chocolate fudge, peanut butter, a chocolate cookie crust and honey roasted peanuts. You’ll be hooked after your first Great White bite.

Mitchell’s has over 80 different menu items which change daily based on the availability of fresh seafood. Their website says they’re “absolutely, positively obsessed with freshness.” If it’s not 100% fresh, right off the boat, they don’t serve it. Their motto is “Fish any fresher would still be in the ocean.”

And to ensure their seafood is the freshest and the best, Mitchell’s is “chain of custody” certified. I had never heard of that before. It means that Mitchell’s has a screening process for their suppliers, so they know exactly what they’re getting and where it comes from.

I noticed that there are a lot of blogs out there devoted to gluten-free diets. All of you out there will be pleased to know that Mitchell’s has a gluten-free menu.

Mitchell’s has several locations across the eastern and central US including Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Date of Visit:  February 26, 2012

www.mitchellsfishmarket.com

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Beard Papa – Awesome Cream Puffs

TEDDY’s RATING: 

While on a visit to San Francisco in 2007, I came across this little shop with a funny name, Beard Papa. What was that? I had to check it out. It was a sort of pastry shop selling “fresh ‘n natural cream puffs.” Who can resist that? Not me. I was hooked from the first bite.

Beard Papa is a Japanese company that opened its first store in 1999. Now there are over 250 stores in Japan and 300 more worldwide. In the US, the locations are mostly on the West Coast. So, upon returning to Florida, I was no longer able to get my Beard Papa fix. But lo and behold, last year a store opened in Sanford, Florida (a little north of Orlando.)

Beard Papa’s choux pastry cream puffs are about four inches in diameter and stuffed with a variety of whipped cream custard filling flavors including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, coffee, banana, and special flavors like raspberry, Pina Colada, mango and green tea. Filling flavors are sold on a rotating schedule, but they always have vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. I prefer the eclairs which have vanilla cream and a chocolate ganache topping.

Beard Papa uses the freshest ingredients and organically grown vanilla. The puffs are also free of preservatives. Each puff is filled upon ordering, keeping them incredibly fresh and delicious.

In addition to the cream puffs, Beard Papa has Mochi ice cream, a bite-sized Japanese rice cake and ice cream treat which comes in a bunch of different flavors. They also serve smoothies, frappes and shakes. They now even have lunch entrees like salads, sandwiches and stuffed potatoes. I haven’t tried anything but the cream puffs, however the gigantic stuffed sweet potatoes have caught my eye. I’ll have to try one next time.

The cream puffs are a bit expensive, about $2.00 a piece, but you can save money by buying them in a six pack. Why not? Keep them refrigerated and you can enjoy them for a few days, although they are best when eaten right away.

Dates of Visit:  2007 to present

www.muginohointl.com

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Boston’s Fish House

TEDDY’s RATING: 

I’m not a seafood lover, but if you are, Boston’s Fish House is a place you should check out. But be prepared to wait in line because there is almost always a line out the door. What does that tell you? Yeah, it’s very popular.

All ingredients are fresh, flown in daily, and everything is made to order from scratch. Portions are large and prices very reasonable. The menu includes all your standard seafood items: shrimp, clams, lobster, oysters, scallops, catfish, and salmon. These are available fried in vegetable oil, but if you prefer a more healthy option you can have your seafood broiled Cajun style, in garlic butter and white wine, or with a Ritz Cracker topping.

Even though I’m not a big seafood eater, I do like a good tuna salad. Boston’s Fish House makes a great tuna salad. It’s flavorful, not fishy, and is served on either a sub roll or Nissen roll, which I usually choose. (A Nissen roll is like a flat hot dog bun.) The wonderful tuna salad has been on and off the menu for years. It’s all based on the price of fresh tuna. If Boston’s can’t get it at a reasonable price, there’s no tuna salad available at the restaurant. So, rather than serving tuna that’s not up to their standards, they choose to not serve it at all.

I also love their potato salad. I don’t know what they do to it, but it’s deliciously sweet and amazing. My tuna salad sandwich comes with two sides and I always get two potato salads.

New England Clam Chowder is another seafood dish that I actually like. Boston’s is creamy, full of potatoes and a hint of bacon, so not for vegetarians.

Don’t forget about dessert. Boston’s Fish House serves what I consider the most enormous piece of Boston Cream Pie in the universe. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it is big.) It’s enough for at least two people to share. I always have to get it to go since I’m too full after the meal.

The first Boston’s Fish House opened in 1988 in a tiny house on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park. It became so popular that in 1994 they had to move up the street to a larger location, which is where they are now, still on Aloma Avenue in Winter Park.  They now have a new location in Sanford, Florida.

The decor is kitschy seaside (pelicans, stuffed fish, boats, buoys) combined with anything related to Boston or New England. The staff is attentive and very friendly. And every time I’ve been there, one of the owners is either running the cash register or helping the wait staff. It’s definitely family-owned and operated.

Boston’s Fish House is open every day except Monday with varying hours. Check their website for times.

Dates of Visit:   2000 to present

http://www.bostonsfishhouse.com

Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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