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Divas Banana Bread

The divas love making something delicious with exactly what’s on hand – and overripe bananas and carrots are a tender, delicious mash-up for a bread that works for a quick breakfast or a sweet snack any time of day.

You can toss the carrots in the food processor and finely chop instead of grating for a dash of color (but either way works just fine). And you can forget the pecans, or add walnuts or no nuts at all. It’s a little bit healthy, a whole lot delicious.

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I share this article from distractify with you with a proverbial grain of salt. No, a big chunk of rock salt.

I do believe that there is a need for mutual respect between diner and server in any restaurant setting. And some of the points made in this listicle are good common sensical. Some of the other points have a "just sit down and don't make any trouble" tone. See if you can figure which ones I mean.

And what do you think? Servers? Guests?

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Baoery logo

The name of the restaurant that will occupy the former Cityfish space in downtown Orlando’s Thornton Park district is Baoery. No, not Bowery, like the neighborhood in south Manhattan, though it’s pronounced the same. Baoery, a play on bao, the the light but doughy bun found on various Asian menus and dim sum carts.

Baoery is the latest project from Thornton Park Restaurant Group, which opened nearby Soco last year and also owned Cityfish. TPRG partner and executive chef Greg Richie will also oversee the new restaurant.

“Soco was the first restaurant concept that I wanted to do,” said Richie. “The other one that I always wanted to do is Baoery.” He’s calling it an Asian Gastropub, “The kind of food I like to cook.”

The menu will draw on Richie’s background of cooking in Asian and Polynesian kitchens, including Roy’s (the original in Hawaii as well as the Roy’s on Restaurant Row, which he opened) and Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at the Royal Pacific hotel at Universal Orlando.

“It’s going to be fun, very accessible, very casual,” he said of the new restaurant. There will also be lower price points to encourage guests to dine more often.

There will be a variety of bao, including a roasted pork belly with Asian barbecue sauce. (If you want an idea of what that one will taste like, visit Soco and order the Slow-roasted Barbecue-glazed Pork Belly Biscuits.) There will also be a bao that features Richie’s KFC — Korean Fried Chicken — that is also a popular Soco item.

Beyond the bao, the menu will offer Asian inspired salads and a whole fish of the day prepared with ginger, scallions and a soy based sauce. There will also be wok-charred edamame, ramen, kimchi and a selection of vegetarian offerings.

The space is in the final stages of a total remodeling that included moving the restaurant’s bar from the side wall and into the center of the room. As with Cityfish, there will be ample patio seating, but expect to see the side deck opened up more.

Richie said the opening is on track for the middle of the month.

Baoery bar

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Tabla interior

I’m pleased to welcome Tabla to the flog as one of our approved advertisers. (If you’re not familiar with it, here is a link to the SJO Advertiser Policy.)

Tabla was a new Indian restaurant near Universal Orlando in 2008 and it was one of the very first reviews I wrote post Sentinel. But I had not been back since then. So the owners invited me in to see what’s new.

I think I might had said “wow” when I walked in the front door. And I’m sure I said it a couple of times while trying some of the new dishes. To say they’ve made a few changes would be an understatement.

For starters, there is the interior, which was basically gutted and updated with a modern style that includes white stacked brick walls, tufted white leatherlike fabrics, clear glass globe light fixtures, and a wood-pattern ceramic floor. (Just for comparison, I’ve included a photo of the restaurant in 2008 at the bottom of the review.)

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The above video is from a previous festival a couple of years ago, but most of the information is still the same.

The 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival officially kicked off Saturday. I was there as an invited member of the media. This is where I give you my suggestions for how to best enjoy the festival and all it has to offer. This year I have one very important recommendation: wait.

The festival will be running until Nov. 16. I know it doesn't seem possible right now, but there is an almost certainty that temperatures will drop to something much closer to tolerable than what I experienced Saturday. Wandering around in the heat and the crowds, eating too much and adding alcohol to the mix is a brutal combination. At one point while waiting in one of the few lines that looked as though it would not take more than half an hour to get to the front to place an order, I actually thought I might pass out. I was never happier to purchase one of the exorbitantly overpriced bottles of water that I snatched from a tub of ice water, resisting, just barely, the urge to get in and submerge myself.

Seriously, unless there is a specific event or personality that you must see in the early days, wait for the cooler weather that still is outside the foreseeable forecast.

I must hasten to say that I was the only one I noticed who seemed to be melting. There were way too many people laughing and having fun exploring and even patiently standing in ridiculously long lines. I can't help those people.

And have I just never noticed in years past how many groups, each with its own custom-designed commemorative t-shirt, show up to be part of the festival's first day? There were engagement parties, sororities and fraternities and just gangs of drinking buddies.

Bless their little overheated hearts.

But you're not going to listen to me, are you? You're already planning to hit the fest as soon as you can, maybe even this weekend (predicted high of 88 degrees with little chance of rain). Don't say I didn't warn you as you're begging one of the cranberry wranglers to let you into the bog.