Posts Tagged With: Winter Park

4Rivers Smokehouse – For some it’s BBQ Nirvana

TEDDY’s RATING: 

I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to 4Rivers Smokehouse. Though I find the food good and prices competitive, I don’t gush over the place like a lot of people I work with. They just can’t get enough of it. There must be something I’m missing because the line at lunchtime is always literally out the door. And if you check out the publicity page on their website, you’ll see that everybody’s talking about 4Rivers Smokehouse.

Chef and owner, John Rivers, wasn’t always a BBQ master. He spent 20 years working in the pharmaceutical industry. Originally, his interest in great Texas-style barbecue was only a “backyard passion,” but after organizing a barbecue fundraiser for a young child’s cancer treatment, John saw how popular his BBQ was. He left the corporate world to open up his first restaurant in 2009.

Since then, 4Rivers Smokehouse has become one of the fastest growing restaurants in Central Florida. Currently there are three locations, Longwood, Winter Park and Winter Garden, but soon they will be smoking meats in Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida.

The menu includes your regular BBQ fare: angus brisket (pretty popular with my colleagues), pork, chicken, turkey, wings and St. Louis style ribs. They have your traditional sides like cole slaw, French fries, potato salad, corn bread, beans, but also mac & cheese, sweet potato casserole and fried pickles. And what I found very unique was their huge variety of bottled beverages including Cheerwine and many types of root beers.

The first time I tried 4Rivers Smokehouse BBQ was at a company party. I thought the pork was very tender and tasty, but I didn’t care for the sauce. (I like the Sweet sauce at Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ.) So, at my last visit (also a company function) I got the smoked chicken salad sandwich. It was very good – smoked chicken with grapes. For my sides, I had cole slaw and macaroni and cheese. Everyone raves about the mac & cheese and I agree it was very good.

The Longwood, Florida, location has a Sweet Shop next door where you can partake of all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, pastries and other goodies. (The other locations have desserts from the Sweet Shop available.) I was quite looking forward to the Orange Creamsicle cupcake that I got, but found it only average. Perhaps other flavors are better like the red velvet, carrot cake, coconut or birthday cake. They even have some unusual cupcake flavors like Mountain Dew with crushed Doritos and the Grape Nehi.

Since my work colleagues are totally obsessed with 4Rivers, I’ll be trying it again in the near future. At our office, we have an annual pre-Thanksgiving lunch catered by 4Rivers. Maybe I can bring my own sauce!

Dates of Visit:   November 2011, October 2012

http://4rsmokehouse.com/

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

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

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

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

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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