Posts Tagged With: food

Tavern on the Bay

Teddy at Tavern on the Bay

TEDDY’s RATING: 

If you’re a sports fan, you’ll love Tavern on the Bay. But even if you’re not, and I’m not, I still had a good time there.

Tavern on the Bay says that they are the only waterfront sports bar in Naples. They have 13 plasma TVs and Southwest Florida’s largest big screen HD TV at over 130 inches! Puts you right in the game, I guess! They also claim to have Naples’ best Happy Hour from 3pm to 7pm Monday through Friday.

It’s a great location, right on the bay. And is accessible by boat. We sat outside on the patio so we could watch the sunset. We ordered the sliders. The portions were huge, big enough to share. We got the BBQ pork, meatball, Cuban and All-American burger. They all were quite tasty.  They also have chicken wings, flat bread pizzas, burgers, salads, sandwiches and other entrees.

Tavern on the Bay          Sliders

They have a large selection of signature drinks including the Soco Hurricane, which I got (pineapple juice, sour mix, grenadine and Bacardi Rum). It was good, but I not as potent as I would have thought. I also tried their frozen Mudslide (vanilla whipped vodka, Kahlua and Bailey’s) and again, not that potent. Still both tasted good. Some of their their signature drinks are: Neapolitan Cosmo, Grand Slam Margarita, Classic Mojito, Blueberry Brain Freeze, Frozen Chocolate Razz and the Tavern Rum Bucket.

Soco Hurricane          Mudslide

Tavern on the Bay has gotten mixed reviews online. But I thought it was pretty good. And if you’re a sports fan, you’ll probably enjoy it even more.

Dates of Visit:  January 2013

http://www.tavernonthebay.net/

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

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Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rib City-No knife required

Rib City with Teddy

TEDDY’s RATING: 

I usually don’t like to write about chain restaurants, but in this case, I just have to. While researching a trip to Naples, Florida, I saw mention of Rib City and thought about giving it a try. They claim that “if you have to pick up a knife to eat our baby back ribs, then we’ll pick up your meal.”

We got there after lunch and before dinner, so there was a shift change and there was only one waitress on duty. She was super friendly and apologized several times for taking so much time. But the food came out promptly and piping hot.

Rib CityI ordered the baby back ribs platter which came with two sides, cole slaw and French fries. I like sweet, creamy cole slaw and this did not disappoint. I also like sweet barbeque sauce and again, I was not disappointed. Considering these were lunch-sized portions, they were huge. Plenty of food, and very good food. For dessert, the waitress recommended the coconut cream pie. Again, wonderful. Super huge and delicious.

The menu includes all the traditional barbeque options: pork, beef, ribs (baby Rib Citybacks and St. Louis), chicken and turkey. Sauces: Sweet, Tangy, Hot or Carolina Mustard. Sides: French fries, corn on the cob, cole slaw, baked beans, apple sauce. Desserts: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Southern Pecan Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Chocolate Mania.

Rib City started out as a small family-style barbecue in 1989 in Fort Myers, Florida. They branched out into nearby Cape Coral and several other Florida cities. They now have locations in Colorado, Utah, Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois.

Dates of Visit:  January 2013

http://www.ribcity.com/rc/index.php

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

Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Breakfast at Blueberry’s

Teddy at Blueberrys

TEDDY’s RATING: 

Had it not been for the fact that we couldn’t find Peace, Love and Little Donuts that morning, we probably wouldn’t have gone to Blueberry’s. But even though we didn’t get donuts that day, we had a nice breakfast here.

Pigs in a blanketThis restaurant kind of reminded me of Joey’s Pancakes in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. It’s not a chain restaurant and tries to come across as being “homey.” The breakfast was very good, but not as good as Joey’s. (If you read my post about Joey’s you’ll understand why.) At Joey’s you feel at home. You get your food quickly, but you’re never rushed and the wait staff is extremely friendly. I didn’t find that at Blueberry’s. The service was a bit slow and yet they tried to rush you out.

I had pigs in a blanket, three pancakes with sausages. The pancakes were light and the Pancakes with eggssausage not spicy. There is an extensive menu. In addition to several types of pancakes, they have crepes, waffles, Eggs Benedict, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, skillets and, of course, eggs any way you like them.

For lunch they have sandwiches, salads, chicken grillers, wraps, and burgers and Reubens. The dinner menu includes chicken pot pie, pot roast, meatloaf, pasta dishes, steak, ribs and some all-day breakfast items.

Their website boasts that they were voted “Best Breakfast” in 2012. But they don’t say by whom or where.

Blueberry’s is open 7 days a week, from 7am, but not for dinner on Sunday.

Dates of Visit:  January 2013

www.blueberrys-restaurant.com

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

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

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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Porkie’s Original BBQ – It’s Smokin’

Exterior

TEDDY’s RATING: 

There’s a lot of competition out there when it comes to barbecue restaurants. You’ve got your major chains like Smoky Bones and Sonny’s and the up and comers like 4 Rivers. So how does a small, single location survive? Well, Porkie’s Original BBQ in Apopka, Florida must be doing something right because they’re still open and thriving.

InteriorThey seem to distinguish themselves from the Big Guys by using oak and hickory wood and slow smoking their meats on their 20-foot BBQ pit. They also have 6 sauces, all original recipes and made from scratch. Owners Steve and Mike started Porkie’s back in 2002 after traveling the southern states in search of the “perfect BBQ flavor.” That flavor is getting rave review from locals. They’ve been voted “Best BBQ” in Central Florida. (However, I don’t know where that title comes from!)  And apparently comedian Dennis Miller is a huge fan of the place and recorded a radio commercial for Porkie’s.   That’s totally awesome!

The menu includes pork, chicken and beef which can be served pulled, sliced, chopped or chipped. You can get platters, combos or “samiches.” Side dishes include baked beans, potato salad, collard greens, green beans, garlic toast, macaroni & cheese and dirty taters. I had the Pig Dip, thickly sliced smoked pork on Cuban bread and served with au jus. It was good, Pig Dipas were the dirty taters which are cubed red potatoes sautéed in onion and garlic. And supposedly their Monster Ribeye Samich is something worth trying.

Sometimes Porkie’s features some experimental dishes using very unusual meats like bison and beaver. When I visited, they had samples of bison chili. (I don’t like chili, so it wasn’t for me.)

Another thing that makes Porkie’s unique is that every Thursday night they host a local biker’s night. This weekly event sometimes draws several hundred bikers to the restaurant.

Porkie’s Original BBQ is a casual, family friendly restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s open Mondays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner. Catering is available.

Dates of Visit:  January 2013

http://www.porkiesapopka.com/

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

Categories: Eat, Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sanibel Island’s Over Easy Cafe

TEDDY’s RATING: 

When it comes to finding a good restaurant on Sanibel Island for breakfast or lunch, the choice is easy…the Over Easy Café. What may not be so easy is trying to decide what to have. They have a very extensive menu with lots of choices.

This award-winning, chicken-themed eatery offers six varieties of eggs benedict including the Reuben Benedict, Sanibel Shrimp Benedict and Nova Smoked Salmon Benedict. But if “Bennys” aren’t your thing, how about the Mellow Portobello Omelet, Crab and Asparagus Omelet, Stuffed French Toast, Oreo Pancakes, Strawberry Pancakes, Piggies in a Blanket or Sunrise Sliders. That’s just to name a few. Don’t forget the fresh squeezed orange juice. Every restaurant in Florida should have fresh squeezed orange juice! And I’ve read that the cinnamon rolls are fabulous. I’ll definitely have to try one next time. And yes, there will be a next time for sure!

If it’s lunch you’re after, try their wraps, salads, seafood, all kinds of sandwiches and burgers. I had a half tuna salad sandwich on toasted sourdough bread with a cup of Italian meatball soup. Super yummy!

Since I was there on a Friday during a somewhat low season, there was no wait, but hear it’s busy on weekends and during peak season. And if you have a well-behaved dog, you can eat on the pet-friendly patio.

This is the first restaurant I’ve ever been to that served drinks in insulated Tervis Tumblers, appropriately with chickens and roosters on them. (Come to find out, Tervis is a Florida company. Their headquarters is outside Venice, Florida.)

My very first impression of the Over Easy Cafe was a positive one. Our waitress was extremely friendly and accommodating. This was the first restaurant I went to on my most recent trip to Sanibel, so it was refreshing to have a great dining experience right off the bat.

So, whether you visit the Over Easy Café for breakfast, lunch or brunch, you’re sure to have a tasty meal.

Breakfast Hours: 7am to 3pm
Lunch Hours: 11am to 3pm

Dates of Visit:  October 2012

http://www.overeasycafesanibel.com/

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

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

Phillip’s Seafood at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

TEDDY’s RATING: 

It’s not often that I have to go out of town for work (alas, I don’t write my blog for a living.) So, this was a great opportunity to write about places outside my usual stomping grounds. This trip took me to Baltimore.

Even though I was out of town, I still found myself eating at yet another seafood restaurant. But this time, I actually had one of the few seafood dishes that I like, New England Clam Chowder. The restaurant was Phillip’s Seafood at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The Phillips family has been in the seafood business since the turn of the century. Grandpa first had a crab processing plant in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. In 1956, the Phillips family moved to Ocean City, Maryland, where they opened a small carryout restaurant, Phillips Crab House, where they sold the overstock from Grandpa’s plant.

The company has grown considerably over the last 50 years. They now have several locations along the eastern seaboard where they serve fresh seafood in a casual yet classy atmosphere. In addition to their Maryland locations, they also have restaurants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington D.C. They even have several airport locations including ones in Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Newark and Savannah.

But back to the food, the New England Clam Chowder was good, a bit fishy for my taste, but nice consistency. My colleague ordered the grilled Mahi Mahi, which he enjoyed. And for dessert, chocolate lava cake.  Of course, they’ve got all the usual seafood dishes like lobster, shrimp, clams, and what they’re most famous for…crab.

Dates of Visit:  October 2012

http://www.phillipsseafood.com/

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

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

Get a Taste of the World

TEDDY’s RATING: 

It’s time once again to tempt your taste buds at the 17th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival going on right now through November 12th.

If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth going to try some of these culinary creations. I love having the chance to try new foods, which are in tapas-sized portions. I’m not that courageous when it comes to foreign dishes, but over the years I’ve enjoyed some interesting and yummy things at the Food and Wine Festival.

        

More than 25 booths, or marketplaces, are set up around Epcot’s World Showcase. This year features two totally new food stops: Terra, where you can partake in vegan treats like Trick’n Chick’n Curry; and Florida Local, which features the Sunshine State’s local flavors like Zellwood Sweet Corn Salad.

Other new exhibits include The Chocolate Experience: Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli where you can try their drinking chocolate; The Mr. Food Watermelon Patch; and the Festival Center Wine Shop.

          

My favorite foods and drinks are Canada’s Cheddar Cheese Soup, the Caribbean’s Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada, Morocco’s Mimosa Royale, Ireland’s Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache, Belgium’s Belgian Waffle with berries, Australia’s Lamington cake and Scandinavia’s Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry sauce. Oooohhhh, I’m so hungry.

I tried a couple of new things this year: the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce in Canada and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Clam Chowder at the Hops & Barley place. Both were good, but unfortunately, not great. I had hoped to try the Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam at the new Terra marketplace, but by then I was stuffed.

There are also celebrity chef demonstrations and wine seminars throughout each day. HGTV hosts home entertaining seminars featuring their celebrity designers.

“Eat to the Beat” is a concert series that takes place at the American Gardens Theater each evening of the festival. In addition to regular bands like Air Supply, Gin Blossoms, Survivor, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, there will be some new performers appearing this year: Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler and Dennis DeYoung from STYX.

Here are some fun facts about the festival:

Each year more than 3,000 gallons of Canada’s Cheddar Cheese soup are made. I eat about half of that!

The Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie dish is one of the most popular menu item at the festival. I concur.

The lingonberry is a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine. I compare it to cranberries, but not as tart.

More than 100,000 desserts are eaten at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Of all the dishes I try, most ARE desserts!

          

One big change to the Festival this year is the use of Earth-friendly food containers. I completely understand Walt Disney World’s dedication to recycling, but these containers tend to make the food look much less appetizing.

Dates of Visit:  Various years

www.epcotfoodfestival.com

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

Categories: Disney, Eat, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Categories: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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